We were at Home Depot the other day and in the paint department we saw an interesting item. It was a little drywall patching kit that consisted of one small piece of aluminum step flashing and one piece of drywall joint tape. It was selling for $2.50 or so.
It's an idea that we've never heard of, putting the flashing over the hole; taping the whole thing and then mudding it smooth. The profit margin for a piece of aluminum and tape has got to be huge, but if you don't want to deal with the extra materials, then it's probably worth it.
We also have absolutely no recollection what the product was called, so we're really no help at all.
Storage and organization is a constant problem for us and we're guessing many of you as well. Just the other day, we spent a good deal of time dealing with the giant pile of tools, fasteners, and lumber that had accumulated over the past weeks. It's no fun to do and we always have to deal with a vague sense of failure when we do it. Is it that tough to put things away when you're done with them?
The trick is, obviously, to have a place for everything (and everything in its place), instead of some hazy "I sort of keep these over here, and sometimes (but not all the time), I put those over here," concept of organization. With this in mind, our pal Mark Clement has come to the rescue with a nice article on tool organization. In it, he leads us through the construction of a workbench, a cart, a tool belt hook, and a bracket for cord storage. As always with Mark's articles, it's informative, clearly written, and accompanied with some nice photos.
We also highly recommend Sandor Nagyszalanczy's (say that five times fast) Setting Up Shop if you're looking for a far more detailed look at the principals behind good shop organization.
With everyone out buying the hip and trendy Skeletool, there must be an abundance of ignored, old, neither hip nor trendy Leathermans. If you've got one, and you're looking to give it a second life, you now have the opportunity, thanks to Instructables, to turn it into a keychain. The transformation from multi-tool to keychain involves everything you imagine it would; take apart the Leatherman, grind down the keys, and then put the whole thing together.
It's an interesting idea and perfect for those mini-Leathermans, which we think are pretty much useless anyway.
Over at the Hardware Aisle, they've got a great posting on our preferred method of patching drywall. It's when you take a scrap of drywall and peel it away, leaving a little plug with paper flanges. From there on out it's all mud and smoothing.
It's a really easy way to do it and the results are great. We've been using this method for years and don't miss the old way of trying to screw some piece of wood across the hole in order to attach the patch.
Our pals over at Extreme How-To have a great article on how to remodel your attic space. Writer Mark Clement takes you through the entire process from design to painting, giving a solid overview of each phase (and its complications). Although the project is an attic, most of the information is transferable to any remodeling job, and therefore, the article is useful to just about anyone getting involved in a medium-sized home improvement project. Everything from dealing with an ancient, uneven floor to trimming out skylights is covered. There is also an overview of the major tools used in the project.
A clean chimney is important (ever heard the sound of a chimney fire?) and if you've got a manageable roof, there's no reason why you can't do the cleaning yourself. It's easy, relatively quick, and you can get all of the equipment you need for about $75 dollars.
Of course, if you've got a steep roof, don't do it yourself. Hire a professional; he knows how to get up there and how to not kill himself. We repeat. If you're not comfortable on your roof, DO NOT TRY TO CLEAN YOUR OWN CHIMNEY.
We've assembled a few articles that can give you some help with this yearly clean-out.
We're going to be doing some tiling next week, so we figured we'd hop on the internet to see if we could find any good advice on how to handle the initial layout. Well, as expected, there's a lot of information out there and we sifted through it and now we're passing on the three best articles we found on the subject.
Extreme How-To - This article is great for floor layout. It doesn't go into great detail on how to deal with oddly shaped areas like under cabinet backsplashes, but if you're going to do a nice wide open space, it would be worth your time to read it. Article here.
Doityourself.com - This is a nice article on how to layout a shower/tub surround. It's pretty basic, but it's a nice place to start. Article here.
FloorsTransformed - We think this one is the most helpful. Not only are the written instructions, detailed and clear, but there are nice diagrams mixed in as well. It covers counter tops, tubs/showers, and backsplashes. In fact, it takes the method that Extreme How-To used and applies it directly to backsplashes. Article here.
A while ago, we posted up a video showing how to cut a circle with a table saw. Well, reader Joe went and tested it out and from the picture he sent us, it looks like he had great success. The end result is way better than anything we've ever seen with a jigsaw.
This is a new one to us. It's a video from youtube of a guy cutting a circle with a table saw. He does it pretty quickly; faster, in fact, than it would take with a jigsaw, and the result is pretty good. Might be worth a try over the weekend if you've got nothing better to do.
There’s a good chance that you’re paying too much to cool and heat your house. In fact, we’d wager 100-1 that your house isn’t as tight as you think it is and that a lot of your precious (and expensive) AC is slipping out through little cracks around your windows, doors and probably up through your attic too.
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy has a great guide to home energy savings. The article talks about the option of getting an energy audit and it mentions the following places as likely candidates for leaks: