-Not being able to turn on the lights while holding a basket full of dirty laundry
-Forgetting to turn off said lights before leaving for work
This ringa true for many of our friends, too. And that's why I installed a motion sensor light switch in our laundry room.
I chose the Lutron Maestro because I heard great things about it on a few podcasts and you can find it in any hardware store. The installation is super simple if you have a single-pole switch but it can also be used in three-way switch situations. You can program the switch to turn on and off automatically. What I like best is that you can set it to turn off after 1, 5, 15, or 30 minutes.
Lutron's website has a few nice videos explaining the basic installation but I put together a tutorial that goes a bit more in depth and shares basic wiring tips. In case you're interested here's the link to my blog post http://www.homerepairtutor.com/maestro-motio...
My wife was skeptical of how well the Maestro would work but now she's requesting a second one for our closet!! If she's impressed I think you'll be too.
Here are 4 simple fixes you can do over the weekend (and between soccer or softball games for the kids!!!!).
Fix #1 - Tighten all the hinge screws. Yes, believe it or not using the door jiggles screws loose. This is way too easy but effective.
Fix #2 - Replace all the small screws (3/4 inch hinge screws should be banned) with two inch wood or deck screws that will ensure your hinges never come loose again.
Fix #3 - Add golf tees to enlarged screw holes. Employ this technique when your screws spin without gripping the wood in the door or frame. If you have a hollow core door this may not work if it's been trimmed down excessively but still give it a shot.
Fix #4- Place cardboard shims behind hinges. Where do you get the cardboard? Shoe boxes, they work great.
For more detailed explanations, solutions guide, and goofy video with me looking like a crazy man you can check out my blog post at http://www.homerepairtutor.com/4-simple-ways...
P.S. This could be my last post on Hometalk. I'm running the Pittsburgh Marathon relay and although my distance is only 6.1 miles there's a 50/50 shot I might need CPR. So if there's no post next week you know the race was a disaster-LOL.
Seeing rainwater dripping into your living room is a helpless feeling.
Maybe you can empathize if you've experienced this exact thing during a storm.
Plus, you can't fix the problem until all the rain has stopped which could take hours. A few weeks ago we had this exact thing happen to us. The next day I inspected the exterior trim of our living room window and found that the silicone caulk had cracked.
This small separation is what caused the rainwater to penetrate between the window and trim.
Since there was almost 6 linear feet of exterior caulk to remove I wanted to try a new removal solution that didn't involve hours of work.
Using chemicals always makes me a bit skiddish because of health concerns.
But I found a great liquid caulk remover called Lift Off that is environmentally friendly, biodegradeable, and water-based.
You'll only need a few supplies to completely remove old caulk with Lift Off:
+5-1 painter's tool or utility knife
+small paint brush
+small yogurt cup
+Lift Off caulk remover
+sponge & water
Apply the Lift Off to the caulk, let it penetrate, then remove it with the painter's tool. After you're done you should rinse the surface with water then apply a new bead of caulk.
In case you're interested I share some additional tips over on my blog that make this go pretty quickly. And there's a goofy picture of me in my favorite T-Shirt that you don't want to miss as well as a new entertaining video-LOL. Here's the link http://www.homerepairtutor.com/how-to-remove...
If you have an older home then you know that squeaky carpeted floors are everywhere.
My wife requested that this pervasive problem be fixed and of course I know to listen
(I'm only thick headed 77% of the time).
My brain seemed to remember seeing an episode of This Old House where they used a great little device to fix a second floor bedroom's squeaky floor.
After some research I found the floor repair kit and it's called Squeeeeek No More.
You can find it in most home centers for around $20 and the repair process is really easy.
The first step is to find the joist under your carpet. You can use a stud finder or tap a hammer over the carpet to find the joist.
The Squeeeeek No More kit also comes with a special joist finding tool that allows you to drill through your carpet without out ruining it.
Once all the joists are found in the area where you have your squeak you need to drill the special screws through the carpet & subfloor. This squeezes the subfloor against the joist and fixes the creaky sound.
For more information and a special surprise that you don't want to miss check out my blog post at http://www.homerepairtutor.com/fix-squeaky-f...
Hope this helps you with your home improvement adventures :)
Shower cleaning has to be one of my least favorite chores.
The tight space combined with cleaning solutions is just flat out aggravating.
Plus, if you have mold or mildew sometimes you're forced to use chemicals like bleach or ammonia (which I try to avoid since my wife has asthma & allergies!!).
All these things persuaded me to try Wet & Forget Shower because it uses surfactants instead of harsh chemicals to clean.
Plus, I did an 11 week experiment to see if it really would work. One half of our shower walls and doors got the Wet & Forget while the other half didn't.
The most striking result was the elimination of the red or orangish film that forms in grout lines. Wet & Forget did an awesome job at stopping this from happening.
Mildew and mold were also prevented in the treated versus untreated area. This is good news for anyone who can't bend down to get to these hard to reach places.
The only kind of surface that you shouldn't use Wet & Forget Shower on is natural marble because of its porosity. I checked this out before using it :)
And finally, the soap scum formation was halted on our glass shower door.
In case you're interested I shared a video of my results along with other tips on my blog. And there's a special surprise for anyone who reads to the end of the post!! So don't miss out. Here's the link http://www.homerepairtutor.com/wet-and-forge...
Cracked or separated silicone caulk is an eyesore.
In addition, it can lead to water ruining walls, ceilings, and more!
This past weekend I removed the silicone between our kitchen counters and tile backsplash.
The surprising twist is that I used my wife's hair dryer to make this project move faster than Danica Patrick!!
Yes, I asked for my wife's permission (I've learned my lesson).
If you want to easily remove old silicone caulk without a chemical caulk remover use a hair dryer and straight razor blade.
Any residue that remains can either be scraped off further with the razor and then cleaned with rubbing alcohol.
If you have an acrylic tub or plastic surround in your bathroom just be careful with high heat. I tested the output of the hair dryer with a thermometer and it showed the temperature only got up to 200F, just enough to soften the silicone caulk and not damage the countertops.
For additional tips and a very short movie (not long enough to eat a sleeve of Girl Scout thin mints) visit my blog post at http://www.homerepairtutor.com/easily-remove...
These drive me nuts and this past weekend I made a semi-permanent fix that you'll discover to be super easy.
I say semi-permanent because even though the screws are bonded tightly to the bathroom accessories you can still undo them with hand tools.
But, out of curiosity (and prompted by a great question from someone on my blog) I called Loctite to find out what you can do if your screws won't come loose. They shared with me that Threadlocker Blue 242 liquefies at 450F and allows screws to be, well, unscrewed. This can be accomplished with a heat gun.
Here are some tips that will help you eliminate wobbling towel bars, door handles, etc
+Use a small screwdriver or Allen wrench to loosen set screws
+Add a pencil mark on the wall to indicate the center of the metal support bracket (this will eradicate the frustration of trying to line up the set screw upon reinstallation)
+Add 1-2 drops of Loctite Threadlocker Blue 242 at the tip of set screws and door handle bolts
+Quickly tighten the screw since you have a working time of 10 minutes
Bathrooms are probably the most used and abused rooms in our homes. Our daughters and tenants have taught me this :) And this little weekend DIY project can save you a lot of aggravation.
For more pictures, a few short videos and some funny commentary visit my post at http://www.homerepairtutor.com/tighten-loose...
Where else do you need a nut and bolt threadlocker?