Category Archives: Home Improvement-The Nuts and Bolts Advice, Tips and News

5 Things Women Should Know About Home Improvements

Recently  Scott McGillivray  from HGTV’s “Income Property” appeared on the Today show and discussed 5 things that every woman should know about basic home improvements:

1)  Have a few basic tools on hand

Scott recommended a 12 volt cordless drill which is small and easy to hold and it is rechargeable in 20 minutes and can be used for a variety of projects.  Also recommended were a tape measure, stud finder (used to find the framing studs in your wall which is useful to know when hanging heavier objects on your walls), drill bit set, and a “sawzall” which is a handheld mini-saw

Here is an expanded version of what I recommend that every basic tool box should have:

http://agirlcandoit.com/2010/04/27/basic-toolbox-and-tools/

2)  How to properly insert a screw into drywall for hanging a picture

If you just insert a regular screw into drywall, it runs a good chance of becoming loose and creating a bigger hole when it wiggles out.  The best method is to use a molly bolt (also known as a drywall plug).  Look in the “fasteners” section of your local home improvement store for the drywall plugs; several types even have “weight ratings” to guide you on the type you might need for your task.

3) Patching a small hole

Oops you goofed and drilled the hole in the wrong spot or maybe you don’t want a picture in a certain spot on your wall any longer and a hole remains from the old nail or screw. Small containers of drywall patch are available at most home improvement stores in the paint section.  Some are very handy and even change colors as they dry to let you know they are ready to sand and repaint.  For small holes such as nail holes or screw holes, you can use the drywall patch and a putty knife and spread a little dab of the patch into the hole and smooth it out even with the wall surface.  Repaint as desired.

4)  Your toilet is running

The never-ending noise of a running toilet is not only annoying, but costly due to high water bills.  Common fixes for a running toilet: a) handle gets stuck  so you can just jiggle the handle to make it stop; b) sometimes the chain inside comes loose so all you need to do is reach inside and reset the chain on the hook;  and c) sometimes its the flapper at the bottom of the tank that doesn’t reset itself inside properly so it just needs to be pushed back into place.

5) Reset circuit breaker

Sometimes, a circuit gets overloaded in your home and causes the lights in one part of your house to go out.  All homes and apartments have circuit breaker panels and when a circuit is overloaded, a breaker switch clicks off.  Go to your circuit breaker panel and find the switch that went off and reset the breaker by turning the switch back on.  Obviously if there is an overload, you need to try to determine the cause and adjust.  Usual culprits are high voltage appliances like hair dryers on the same circuit as other high demand appliances.

See the complete video here:

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/33448782#33448782

A Home Remodel Series (Part 1-Before Demo)

One of my friends recently purchased a beautiful new home and has decided to complete certain improvements before moving day.  Basically, with ivory walls and beige carpet along with white tiles in all baths, the home is a virtual blank canvas for aspiring do-it-yourself’ers!!  My friend has generously agreed to let me take photos of the work before, during and after in order to follow the progress; at the same time, I will provide step-by-step advice on how to complete some of the work so that you may choose to do the same in your own home!  Some of the projects have a varying level of difficulty that you may opt to hire profession help for.

Stay tuned!!!

The blank canvas awaits:

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Remodeling on the Rise, Not Home Sales

Here is some great information about why it may be a good time to love the home you are with!

Excerpts:

NEW YORK, April 21 (Reuters) – U.S. home improvement spending is expected to rise 5 percent in the United States in 2010, but the surge might not foretell an increase in sales of new homes.

But an American Express Co (AXP.N) survey found that only 5 percent of homeowners are preparing their homes for sale and that 53 percent see a seller’s market at least two years away.

The majority – 53 percent – of the projects involve indoor remodeling, with cosmetic work (36 percent), re-doing a room (25 percent), and installing new flooring (14 percent) topping the list.

“It’s clear from this month’s survey findings that Americans’ most prized possessions are their homes and they are committed to continuing to enhance its appearance and value in spite of the softer real estate market,” said Pamela Codispoti, American Express senior vice president and general manager, Cardmember Services.

She added that homeowners are doing so responsibly by funding the projects “within their financial means.”

Sources:  ecreditdaily.com, reuters.com