You know that "what am I going to do now?!" feeling. The stuck screw you were trying to remove just got stripped and now it's not going anywhere.
Well, there's an easy solution and sometimes the most powerful tool can come in the smallest package. That includes this little beauty known as a screw extractor which is used to remove stripped or broken screws and bolts.
Take a read of the tutorial How to Remove a Broken Screw and I'll show you how to use this little secret weapon that costs under $5. And having your screw loose is something you'll now be glad to tell everyone about!
Adding a dimmer to a wall light switch is easy and can transform the feel of a room. Today's controlled electronic dimmers are beautiful, energy efficient and easy to use. These thin profile elegant dimmers extend the life of your bulbs, save electricity and provide the elegance of mood lighting.
Electronic dimmers have come along way from the big bulky knobs of old (although you can still buy them). Dimmers today are largely electronic and work with the magic of a TRIAC which I explain in the tutorial How to Install an Electronic Dimmer.
In the tutorial I'll show you in vivid color how to install a dimmer and what you need to do if you want to use Compact Fluorescent Lighting with your dimmer.
We all appreciate the convenience of the garbage disposal although we may take it for granted until the disposal stops working.
And what happens when it stops working? You may think you have a major repair bill coming or be tempted to just go out and buy a new unit. But did you know that in many cases the disposal can be easily fixed? One of my most popular tutorials is how to troubleshoot and repair a garbage disposal which can save you hundreds of dollars!
In the article All About Garbage Disposals, I list a series of tutorials I've written on things I hope you find interesting and useful. There are articles ranging from content on the anatomy or construction of a disposal, to how to repair a disposal to how to select a garbage disposal that meets your needs, including disposals for septic use, how to install a new disposal, and more.
So please take a read. All you need to know is right here.
Decking material can come in natural wood or composite plastic material.
With natural decking you may run into problems with the boards cupping. If you put the wrong side of the deck board facing down, the board may cup.
With composite plastic decking you don't have to worry about cupping boards or even refinishing the deck surface itself. Made from special polymer/wood by-product combinations, today's composite decking can be long lasting and color fast. Composite decking is also easy to install since it goes down similar to wood decking.
A great composite decking company you should check out is Fiberon and they make some beautiful deck materials such as you see in the blog photo. They provide a 20 to 25 year performance, stain and fade warranty as well. The company offers decking, railings and fencing too.
Memorial Day is fast approaching and that means backyard BBQ on the deck. But is that wood deck of yours is looking a little tired? Refinishing a wood deck is a great 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.
In this tutorial I'll describe the entire deck refinishing process.
Deck refinishing includes several steps such as:
- basic deck board repair and replacement
- initial deck board cleaning,
- deep cleaning with a power washer,
- staining / sealing and
- and of course, the celebration holiday 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.
So get your deck ready for Memorial Day and then enjoy the rest of the summer!
OK, so you have an area of wall in your home or apartment and you want to install a shelf. Sounds simple, right?
Shelf installation is a popular home repair project that seems simple until you try to install one that won't sag. In order to avoid sagging shelves you need to know the span limitations of different shelving materials. Also, installing a wall shelf to support heavy items will require an installation designed to support the weight of what's being hung.
In the tutorial Recommended Shelf Spans and Spacing I'll identify span limitations for shelving based on their material and also the recommended height or distance between shelves for common storage items such as books and media. It makes a difference if you are using wood, glass or particle board shelving and the weight of what you are supporting is also an important consideration.
So take a read and don't get "hung up" with shelves that sag.
Single lever faucets are still very popular for kitchen and bath use. However, not all single lever faucets are the same. Your single lever kitchen faucet or bathroom sink faucet may be either a disk faucet or a ball faucet.
The ball faucet is unique in that has a single handle which controls a special plastic or metal ball inside the faucet body. This ball has chambers or slots in it, along with rubber O-rings and spring loaded rubber seals. Depending on the ball's position, the ball / lever assembly controls the flow and mixing temperature of the water coming out of the faucet. Repairing a ball faucet is pretty easy and in the tutorial How To Repair a Leaking Ball Faucet, I'll explain how to make your necessary repairs and stop that annoying drip.
In several articles and blog posts, I've tried to educate my readers on the risks of CFL use. Despite the hype and almost religious-like advocacy some people and organizations have for CFL lighting, CFL's are less than ideal. Given the health risks and poor performance of CFL bulbs in the home, I have been eager to see a lighting technology that was safe, energy efficient, reliable and economical.
Finally, LED lighting has come of age. As a matter of fact, LED lighting is safe and outperforms CFL lighting by orders of magnitude, including being 80% more efficient than CFL lighting. Current LED lighting has a life up to 50,000 hours as compared to CFL lighting of 6,000 - 10,000 hours (CFL claimed life is always much less with frequent on/off switching, as much as 85% life loss). That means you have a a piece of lighting equipment that can last decades, sort of like an appliance.
In the tutorial LED Lighting - The New Home Appliance I explain how LED lighting moves lighting from a consumable to a more permanent piece of equipment in the home. I also compare its performance to incandescent, CFL and halogen-incandescent hybrid lighting.
Please take a read and learn more about LED lighting, a great lighting source for your home and the long term least cost option for you as well.
We all despise a slow draining bath tub. Yes, we pretend for a few days that it will magically get better on its own, but then there comes a time when that drain just has to get cleaned.
Clearing a tub drain takes a special technique. If you just use a cup plunger by itself, not a whole lot is going to happen other than you'll make a big splash. You won't however get a whole lot of drain clearing done.
Why? Because your tub has an overflow drain that will "short circuit" the pressure and vacuum in the drain line needed for the plunger to operate.
In the tutorial Unclog a Tub Drain "MacGyver Style" I'll show you how to use a ubiquitous roll of duct tape to get that overflow drain under control and increase the effectiveness of the plunger.It's weird but it works! Trust me on that!
Few home improvements or repairs can improve the appearance, curb appeal and value of your house like new siding, with vinyl siding, wood siding, cement fiber siding, aluminum siding and brick veneer being some of the most common exterior siding options available.
One of the most popular and easy to repair siding choices is vinyl siding. In the tutorial How to Repair Damaged Vinyl Siding and Find Replacement Siding I explain how vinyl siding goes together, how to take it apart, how to remove a damaged section of siding and how to replace it with new stock.
In addition, I'll give you a tip on how to find discontinued replacement stock for a better match, using a siding matching service from ITEL Laboratories Inc. Very useful for those siding colors that are, well, just not found in nature!