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Refinishing Your Wood Deck

Saturday April 19, 2014

Now that the snow has melted, is your wood deck looking a little tired? Well, Refinishing a wood deck is a great early summer project that will improve your outdoor living space and extend the life of your deck. And your deck is a significant investment in your home.

Deck refinishing can be broken down into a few steps such as:

  • inspection of deck boards,
  • basic deck board repair and replacement
    (if needed),
  • initial deck board cleaning / brightening,
  • deep cleaning with a power washer,
  • sanding,
  • staining / sealing and
  • and of course, the celebration BBQ!

There are several tricks and tips I outline for you in How to Refinish a Wood Deck to make short work of this project and get you professional looking results. I'll give you specific product recommendations and lead you through a very detailed and photo packed tutorial of each step in the refinishing process.

Memorial Day is coming up fast, so plan now to celebrate the holiday on your new refinished wood deck and enjoy the rest of the summer!

Repairing Your Water Heater

Friday April 11, 2014

Your water heater is a pretty amazing and reliable appliance. One you rely upon every day. It really has very few parts that can go wrong and most are easy to repair. Of course knowing the various water heater's components and their names are essential. It makes finding and buying replacement parts easier.

In the article How to Repair a Water Heater I'll provide you information on tank type and tankless water heaters, and I'll show you how to troubleshoot and repair your water heater. From replacing a water heater thermocouple to understanding the anatomy of a water heater to sizing a tankless water heater, it's all covered.

Fixin' Old Faithful

Wednesday April 9, 2014

We have to admit that the unsung hero of the plumbing world is the toilet. We take it for granted and don't even think twice about it.

But what do you do when the ol' commode is not cooperating?
Well read Troubleshooting Common Toilet Problems and learn what to do if your toilet is constantly running, leaking, clogged or other annoying habits it learns over time.

You'll learn all about the different types of mechanisms hidden in the toilet tank including the ballcock and flush valve and how to fix your toilet depending on what type you have.

A Little Ladder Safety

Sunday April 6, 2014

OK, time to talk a little ladder safety.

Please do not be this guy!

Whether you are cleaning your gutters, painting a room, painting your house or putting up Christmas lights for the holiday, you'll be depending upon a ladder. But all ladders are not created equal. There are several styles to consider including single section, step-ladder, extension, telescopic and multi-function ladders.

In the tutorial Choosing the Right Type of Ladder I'll share and expand on some recommended considerations involved in selecting the right ladder as suggested by Werner Co, an industry leader in the manufacturing and distribution of ladders and climbing equipment.

In the tutorial you will learn about:

  • Selecting the right ladder type
  • Selecting the right ladder height and reach
  • Selecting the right ladder weight capacity
  • Selecting the right amount of maneuverability
  • Ladder safety.

So please take a moment to read the tutorial and learn how to properly choose your ladder based on the features you want and the duty rating it will be required to meet, and also how to safely use your ladder around the home.

Nothing Shocking: How to Install a New Outlet

Sunday March 30, 2014

Installing an electrical outlet in a newly wired circuit or replacing an old outlet in an existing switch box can be accomplished very easily. But it can just as easily be done very incorrectly.

In the tutorial How to Install an Electrical Outlet or Receptacle I'll show you how to easily do it right.

There are few basic things to know before installing an outlet, for example:

  • Is the circuit rated at 15 amps or 20 amps?
  • Is the outlet properly rated for the circuit?
  • Is the circuit a grounded circuit?

Most convenience power circuits in your home will be 15 amps. If you have a higher rated outlet such as for a microwave or garbage disposal you should have a 20 amp outlet. They are designed differently as you can see in the blog photo (20 amp on left and 15 amp on right). In the tutorial I'll walk you through the steps involved in easily and safely replacing an outlet. So take a read and freshen up / replace those old painted over outlets in your home!

Paint Your Home and Welcome In Spring!

Friday March 28, 2014

It's going to be April next week! Spring is here and it is time for springtime cleaning and home fix up projects! As the windows and doors to our homes will once again open for Spring we get to start those home "fix up" projects. Chances are you'll soon be entertaining friends and family, and a new coat of paint in the dining room, living room or family room can go a long way to freshening up your home. Or maybe you just want to put a fresh coat of low VOC paint in the baby's room.

I've outlined some easy helpful tips the pros use on how to paint a room that you can also use to make interior painting a breeze.

Also, you'll want to check out:

Fixing "Delinquent" Toilets

Saturday March 22, 2014

Does your toilet have bad habits?

Not smoking or drinking, but things like running on and on, leaking, slow draining and other thoroughly annoying problems?

Well if so, read Troubleshooting Common Toilet Problems and learn what to do to correct these and other annoying habits the commode develops over time.

You'll learn all about the different types of mechanisms hidden in the toilet tank including the ballcock and flush valve and how to fix your toilet depending on what type you have.

Cork as a Flooring Material? A Beautiful Choice.

Saturday March 15, 2014

Cork flooring is one of the most beautiful floor types you can have in your home.

Cork is increasingly popular as a home improvement flooring upgrade for good reason. Cork floors are healthy, environmentally responsible, comfortable, low maintenance and beautiful.

I used cork flooring for the Kitchen and the Den floors in a new house I built and could not be more pleased with the results (the photo above is from the Kitchen). The floor is durable and comfortable and as easy to clean as vinyl tile.

In my tutorial Cork Flooring - Explanation of Cork Floor Materials I'll explain all about these wonderful floors. So if you're planning a major home repair or replacement involving your floors, you will definitely want to consider cork.

Get Rid of Heavy Roof Snow Now to Prevent Damage From Ice Dams!

Wednesday March 12, 2014

Ice dams are best prevented in the summer when you can solve the root cause of the problem which is usually poor roof ventilation. But this is not that day.

When heavy snow falls in a short period of time, ice dams are just around the corner. The best way to prevent them in winter is by battling heavy snow drifts on your roof's edge soon after the snow falls.

This is best done with a tool called a roof rake. I explain how to battle and prevent ice dams in winter in the tutorial Battling Ice Dams, including other options at your disposal besides a roof rake.

Turn on!

Saturday March 8, 2014

Your light switch that is!

Wall switches come in a variety of styles like toggle, paddle, pushbutton or touch, and different switch types such as single pole, double pole, three-way and four-way.

Single pole switches control things from a single location, three-way switches control lights or outlets from two locations and for larger homes or complicated situations, a four way switch may be used to control lighting or outlets from three or more locations.

Knowing how to troubleshoot and repair the different types of switches you may find in your home is explained in the tutorial Introduction to Switch Troubleshooting and Repair.

In the tutorial I'll explain how to diagnose and fix problems such as:

  • Flickering Light Fixture
  • Switch Does Not Work
  • Circuit Breaker Trips or Fuse Blows When Switch Turns On, or
  • Switch Feels Warm or Hot or Buzzes When In Use.

So please take a read and turn-on with knowledge on how to fix your switch!

Promotional Feature: View this video series to learn how to take good care of your house.

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