New Year, New Home: New Year Home Maintenance Tips
We thought it fitting that we share some of our most clever tips to help ring in your the new year – home improvement-wise. We hope that you find these tidbits as useful as do we and that they help make life around your humble abode more pleasant. Happy new year!
Zip it, clip it and hang it.
Wall-mounted peg-board is ideal for storing tools. It’s great for organizing other things, too, such as safety gear, including goggles, dust masks and respirators. Or small hand-held electronic gadgets like a stud- finder, multimeter, voltage tester or a calculator. Even fresh batteries and other various small tools and parts that you need or use often can be organized using peg-board. To keep such things dirt-, dust- and moisture-free, seal them in plastic food-storage bags, and then put a metal spring-binder clip (from the stationery store) on the top edge of the bags. Then, hang them from a handy peg-board hook. They’ll be easy to reach when you need them and you’ll be able to see what’s inside. Because it’s sealed airtight, whatever you store will remain clean and dust-free.
Improving Kitchen Storage
A little organizational help.
While in the kitchen, if your attempts to locate that special pot, pan or can of soup make you feel like Sherlock Holmes, chances are you can use a little organizational help. The addition of a few inexpensive and simple-to-install storage organizers will not only improve the storage capacity of your kitchen cabinets, but will make your kitchen a more pleasant place in which to work, as well. Lazy susans, pull-out shelves, spice racks, cutlery trays, trash can pull-outs and undersink pull-out caddies are just a few of the accessories that can be found at your local hardware store or home-improvement center, and installed in an afternoon. For specialty items or installation assistance check with a local cabinet shop.
Two Rooms In One
Double your pleasure!
Many houses today have a home office that doubles as a guest bedroom. But when no guests are visiting, the bed sits there, taking up valuable floor space and winds up loaded with books and papers just like a tabletop does. Is there a better way? The answer is a wall bed — sometimes called a Murphy bed. During the day it folds up out of the way, and the room becomes a regular den or office. At night, when day’s work is done or when company comes, with just the touch of a finger, a full bed lowers into place and the room is once again a bedroom. It’s a way to make two rooms of one.
Automatic Closet Light
When you open a refrigerator the light comes on. How would you like that feature in a closet?
When you open a refrigerator the light comes on. How would you like that feature in a closet? All you need is a spring-loaded jamb switch and some basic carpentry and electrical skills. The automatic light switch is mortised (in a chiseled notch) into the hinge side of the closet doorjamb. When the door opens, the light turns on, and when the door closes, the light turns off. Power has to be run from the light to the switch. Many times, removing the door casing does the trick. Tools needed are a drill, chisel and screwdriver. When wiring it, the hot wire (most often black) runs to the switch then back to the light fixture. Electrical supply houses sell jamb switches as do hardware stores and home centers. If you’re unsure about either the carpentry or the electrical work, consult a pro. Then — as with a refrigerator — it’s door open, light on, door closed, light off.
Carrying 4 X 8’s
How to carry full sheets…alone…like a “pro”…
Say you need to move a 4 X 8 sheet of Drywall or Plywood, and no one is around to help. Carrying full sheets alone can be awkward and risky. You could damage the material, gouge a wall — or worse — strain a muscle or your back. Here are a few methods the pros use to avoid damage to themselves and clients’ possessions: Hook the claws of a hammer under the bottom edge of the sheet of material — dead center — and lift, using the handle as a convenient carrying grip. Use your free hand to steady the board up top. Another way to carry full sheets is with an 18-foot-long rope tied into a big loop. Slip the loop over the bottom two corners, then lift and pull the middle section of the rope up while, again, using your free hand to steady the board. To protect panel edges or surrounding walls, glass table tops, window panes and mirrors, slide pre-slit foam pipe insulation over the edges, then haul away.
Pointing — Caring For Bricks
Brick pointing is the process wherein you remove and replace any damaged or missing mortar between the bricks.
Brick is a very popular material. It’s rustic and beautiful, fireproof and durable. However, over time, the mortar that holds bricks together can become cracked or loose due to aging and settling of the house. That’s when it’s time for “pointing.” Brick pointing is the process wherein you remove and replace any damaged or missing mortar between the bricks. First, chip away any cracked or loose mortar with a chisel and hammer. Be careful not to damage the bricks. Then sweep it off with a brush. First, chip away any cracked or loose mortar with a chisel and hammer. Be careful not to damage the bricks. Then sweep it off with a brush. Brush water onto the joints, so dry bricks don’t draw the moisture out of the new mortar. Then squish the new mortar into place with a mason’s trowel — vertical joints first, then horizontal, removing the excess and shaping it with a jointer.
For more home improvement tips and information search website at www.onthehouse.com or call our listener line any time at 1-800-737-2474! All you need to do is leave your name, telephone number and your question.