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Do It Yourself or Not: Build a deck made of recycled material
If building a deck is on your home improvement wish list, consider using recycled building material instead of lumber. These composites can be made of recycled plastic grocery bags, reclaimed pallet wrap and waste wood – anything material reclamation engineers discover. The material is used by home and commercial builders, as well as what do-...Read more
Do It Yourself or Not: Paint vinyl siding
You can make a house with old, weather-beaten vinyl siding stop traffic with a new coat of a good-quality, acrylic latex exterior paint. We like water-based acrylic exterior paint because it goes on easily and has leveling properties, so it adheres to both smooth and textured surfaces.
And the paint is flexible, so it withstands changes in the ...Read more
Do It Yourself or Not: Install a ceiling fan
Energy experts agree that a ceiling fan will reduce your energy bills by providing additional cooling and better circulation so you can lower air conditioning costs. Before you choose a fan, measure the room's length, width and ceiling height so you’ll choose the correct size fan for the space. You don’t want a fan to overpower the room. And...Read more
Do It Yourself or Not: Seal an asphalt driveway
Nothing makes a home look poorly maintained like an asphalt driveway in need of repair. Weeds poking out of cracks and crevices and a surface badly in need of a new topcoat are telltales of a neglectful homeowner.
Sealing the driveway can transform it and the overall appearance of the property. It’s a small investment and a fast fix for ...Read more
Do It Yourself or Not: Install beadboard wallpaper
Wallpaper that looks like beadboard paneling is a clever way to add charm and texture to an ordinary room. This lookalike wallcovering is a less expensive upgrade and easier to install than beadboard paneling, a pricey improvement that requires carpentry tools, not to mention carpentry skills. The beadboard wall covering makes any room more ...Read more
Do It Yourself or Not: Lay sod
A new spread of sod is eye candy for a newly built home; it creates an instant makeover and can transform property. It’s especially effective when a home changes its shape with a room addition, because it brings the property and landscape together. While seeding is a less expensive choice, sod is the chosen alternative when the soil is less ...Read more
Do It Yourself or Not: Replace a tub with a shower
If you have a bathroom with a seldom-used bathtub and prefer a shower instead, you can convert the old tub to a new stand-alone unit. A shower enclosure designed to fit in a standard 5-foot step-over tub alcove that measures 32 inches by 60 inches by 74 inches makes it possible. Look for a unit with the location of the drain on the left or right...Read more
Do It Yourself or Not: Install an ironing center
An ironing center is convenient, even if you don’t like to iron. When it’s located in a laundry area with a clothes washer and dryer it’s easy to remove a special care shirt from the dryer and give it a quick hit so it’s ready to wear.
A built-in, recessed ironing center can be installed in a wall cavity between the two wall studs. The ...Read more
Do It Yourself or Not: Replace a bifold closet door
It’s easy to take a closet door for granted; it quietly does its job and serves its purpose of opening and concealing all the stuff you have stored behind it. Closet doors that fold and slide easily can be a pleasure to operate, but downright annoying when they are difficult to open and close. Their hinging mechanism should allow the door ...Read more
Do It Yourself or Not: Install wallboard
We learned a long time ago that, no matter how much you save installing wallboard yourself, the job is not worth it. But when you’re remodeling, and walls need to be replaced, it’s a job that can’t be avoided.
Wallboard, drywall or Sheetrock, whatever you call it, are basically the same material: 4-by-8-foot panels made of a gypsum ...Read more
Do It Yourself or Not: Install a pull-down closet rod
If you’re thinking of upgrading your clothes closet to be more efficient and useful, consider adding a closet pull-down rod to take advantage of unused, often unreachable space overhead. It may be difficult to reach, but the space offers plenty of storage potential with an adjustable telescoping pull rod. The pull-down rod opens out and down ...Read more
Do It Yourself or Not: Install a solid surface tub surround
The three walls surrounding a bathtub take a lot of abuse, especially if the bathroom serves a house of family members who bathe daily. Those conditions call for a hard-working, durable wall surface with the ability to withstand the moisture and continued use.
Solid Surface is a manufactured material, made of acrylic resin, polyester resin or a...Read more
Do It Yourself or Not: Build in a wall niche
In many old homes you’ll often see a wall niche built into a wall as a focal point in a room as a showcase for a favorite piece of art or plant. The traditional design has a curved top with a recessed back, often a shell design, and a base shelf. The niche is custom-made of plaster or wood as an integral part of the wall. A wall niche in newer...Read more