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How to replace electric outlets

A very quick and inexpensive update that you can do in your home is to replace outdated yellowed or broken outlets.  You can buy a “contractor pack” of ten or as singles for usually around $.50-$1.30 per piece!  The plastic covers for each can also be bought as a contractor pack for pennies on the dollar.   Can you believe that?!    Most people don’t realize this because they don’t make it a habit to walk up the electric nuts and bolts aisle at the store.    Even better, each outlet only takes a couple of minutes to replace.

** Disclaimer:   I am NOT a licensed electrician.  However, there are many simple projects such as this, that you can do for yourself safely and accurately, as long as you follow EACH step precisely.  Any deviation or questions, should be consulted further before proceeding.

Materials Needed:   flat and  Philips (star head) screwdrivers, wire strippers, plug in style voltage tester (shows proper ground, etc)

How to replace:

1)  First and foremost, the most important thing to do is to turn off the WHOLE house power at the breaker panel.  The “main” switch is usually at the top.  For good measure, I not only flip this one switch but also each individual switch as well to OFF.  Overkill maybe, but it doesn’t hurt anything.  Of course, just to be certain or if there’s a concern, power off AC’s, computers, TV or other sensitive electronic equipment before you flip the breaker.  Some people still like to double check each outlet before they begin by inserting an inexpensive plug in type of voltage tester that shows “no voltage”.  This is perfectly fine if it makes you feel better, but really, if you have turned off ALL breakers, there should be no voltage. Continue reading

1920′s home renovation portfolio of before and after photos (kitchen)

One of the biggest transformations occurred in the kitchen.  I loved the custom built cabinets, but there was only one.  I also loved the idea of converting the “indoor/outdoor utility room” to be fully enclosed so that I could add a dishwasher to modernize the space.  It was a big job, but here is what was done:

Demo:  removed all pine tongue and groove slat walls, relocated back door from its current spot and removed half window, used Craigslist to dispose of all old appliances, reconfigure stainless counter top to fit a modern sink

Here is what I started with; in this photo you can see the slat walls, the back door in its current location and the lack of an additional upper cabinet:

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