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Newsletter Articles - 5th Editions

 

"Seal Cracks On Exterior Walls And Slash Energy Costs"

This is the time of year when the energy bills can go through the roof! One easy way you can cut down costs is by sealing cracks on exterior walls. In some cases, even the smallest cracks could cost you an additional 10 cents for every dollar you spend on home energy bills. Here are a few tips you can follow to seal those costly cracks and start saving money today!

1. The right sealant for the job – Walk into any home improvement store and you can easily find yourself befuddled by the wide array caulking sealants at your disposal. For this job, however, only two caulking types need to be considered – acrylic and silicone.

2. Acrylic vs. Silicone – For sealing cracks that are around exterior frames, windows, and doors, your best bet is acrylic. In this case, an acrylic caulk will do an excellent job of sealing your home against water and air infiltration. Acrylics have good adhesion to most surfaces, can be cleaned up with water, painted, and are moderately priced. Silicone caulks work well for exterior cracks that are not near windows and doors, vinyl siding, eaves, etc. Silicone’s finer points include great adhesion, excellent water resistance, flexibility, and good durability. Unfortunately, silicone caulk cannot be painted over. On the bright side, both acrylic and silicone are available in white, clear, and color versions.

3. Choosing and using the best sealant – You’ll be well served to avoid cheap caulk. A high quality acrylic caulk can be purchased for $2 to $4 for a 10-ounce tube. Quality silicone can be purchased for $4 to $6 per tube. A good caulking gun will make the job a lot easier. Be sure to choose one that has a thumb-operated latch to release pressure and stop the flow of caulk. Caulking can get messy without this feature! Finally, before you caulk, be sure to read the manufacturers application tips to ensure proper use.

 

 

“Money-Saver Tip! How To Bring Your Paint Brushes Back To Life"

Even after just one use paint brushes can become fairly stiff and difficult to re-use. Loose bristles can also fall into your paint tray or on your painting surface.

To bring your brushes back to life, first be sure to re-clean the paint brush as best as you can. Next, run a brass wire brush through the bristles and “comb” out the old paint. The brass wire brush will remove paint deposits and loose bristles and will help reshape your paint brush. Avoid steel wire brushes because they can cause damage. With just a little grooming you can have paint brushes that are almost as good as new!

 

 

“Easy Driveway Repairs That Will Beautify Your Home!"

You might not think so, but a driveway that’s filled with cracks, stains or pot holes can be unsightly and even unsafe! If you’d like to give your asphalt driveway a “makeover,” just follow these quick and easy steps…

Stain Removal: To remove grease stains, mix one cup of laundry detergent in one gallon of hot water. For really stubborn stains, you can pick up a professional-grade asphalt stain remover.

Small Cracks: For small, hairline cracks of ½ inch or less, you’ll want use an asphalt-based caulk. Your first step is to clean the crack with a wire brush. After you remove the dirt and debris with the brush, rinse the crack with a hose. After the crack has been thoroughly cleaned, apply the caulk. Note: Before you fill the crack, measure the depth of the crack. If it measures more than a ¼ inch deep, you’ll first want to partially fill the crack with sand. Pack the sand with water and let it dry. After the sand has dried, apply the caulk. For cracks that are a ½ inch or wider, you’ll need to fill the gap with a mixture of sand and asphalt sealer. Following the directions on the asphalt sealer, mix the sand and sealer into a putty-like substance. Use a disposable container to make the mixture in. A pie tin would work well for this. Place the mixture into the gap and smooth over the surface with a metal trowel. If your first application sinks down, be prepared to apply another coat.

Pothole Repair: Potholes are formed when water gets into small cracks in the asphalt surface, softens the soil beneath, and makes the driveway unstable. If you don’t have extensive pothole damage, you can fix the problem yourself. The first step in fixing a pothole is to remove all of the damaged paving. You may have to dig down between 2 and 6 inches to do so. Next, fill the hole with gravel to within 4 inches of the surface. Using a 4 x 4 piece of wood, mash down the gravel.

Now you’ll need to apply a cold-mix asphalt patching compound in 1-inch layers. Use a shovel and trowel to apply the compound. After each 1-inch layer has been applied, use the 4 x 4 to mash down the compound. Continue applying the compound until it’s built up to ½ inch above the surrounding, undamaged area. At this point, apply a thin covering of sand to the area. Finally, slowly drive your car tire over the patched area to smooth it over. You’ll want to be sure that the patched area is level with the surface of the driveway.

If you’d really like to give your asphalt drive the best protection, apply an emulsified asphalt sealer to your driveway. This sealer will help prevent cracks and staining. It’s easy to do, just follow the manufacturer’s directions.

All the supplies you need to tackle these projects can be found at your local home improvement store.

 

"5 Things Every Practical Homeowner Should Have "

Here's a list of five items every practical homeowner should have in their toolbox.

* WD-40-this could quite possibly be the most practical product on the planet. The only thing this spray oil will not unstick is your teenager's behind from the couch!

* Caulk- not a pro? That's why it's great to load up on this stuff. Caulk will not only protect your home against moisture, it may even protect your handiwork from some criticism. Why? Well, caulk is great for filling cracks, miscut boards, and the like.

* Spackle- and be sure to have plenty of it. Spackle makes it easy to patch things up with minimal fuss. If you're hanging a picture or mirror, chances are you might not get it right the first time then, it's spackle to the rescue!

* Plumbing Kit- you never know when you'll have a leaky sink or drippy pipe. Your plumbing kit should include: pipe tape, pipe wrench, and a bucket.

* Electrical Kit- if you have a plumbing kit, you must have an electrical kit! Yours should include: wire snips, wire nuts, and electrical tape.

 

 

"How To Properly Store And Prevent Damage To Furniture"

When it comes to storing furniture, there's a little more to it than throwing a bed sheet over the furniture and putting it away. The main goal of covering furniture is to protect it from light and dust. This protection will preserve the wood and upholstery.

First, you'll want to drape the furniture's fabric with acid-free tissue paper. This will keep the color from fading. Then spread a tightly woven, unbleached drop cloth on the floor and wrap the entire piece of furniture inside it.

If you plan on storing furniture in the basement, store it on an elevated platform, and cover wrapped pieces with plastic to prevent any moisture damage.

To prevent musty odors in your fabric, it's a good idea to let your furniture air out every few months.

 

"Renew The Beauty And Luster Of Your Furniture With These Easy Furniture Fixes !"

DENTS IN WOOD-You can quickly and easily fix a dent in wood furniture with just water, a cloth and an iron. Place a drop of water in the dent, cover it with a damp cloth, then put the iron on it for a few seconds. After one or two applications, the dent should even out.

SCRATCHES-If your furniture has a fine scratch, try using peanut butter. Place the peanut butter on the scratch and using a towel, rub out the scratch. Olive and vegetable oils can work well too. Rub in the oil with your thumb and use a clean cloth to polish the surface.

DENTS IN STEEL DOORS-Remove the steel door and lay it on the ground. Using auto-body filler like Bondo, fill the dent with the compound. Following the manufacturer's directions, let the filler dry and then sand it so the surface is even with the door. Wipe the surface clean and paint the entire door.

 

"How To Repair Rotted Wood !"

Rotted wood is a common problem in many homes. Two of the most typical problem areas are wooden window sills and frames. The good news is, for minor rotting, you can fix the problem yourself!

A two-phase, two-part epoxy repair kit is all you'll need to tackle this project!

To begin the repair process, scoop out the soft, rotted wood. Then mix the two-part liquid (this is phase one of the process). Apply the mixed liquid to the affected area. This will act as a weather seal and bonding coat.

Next, use the two-part putty (this is phase two) to fill the hole. The finished product can be sanded just like wood. To complete the job, apply an oil primer and let it dry. Finally, apply an oil or latex-based coat of paint to make the wood look new again.

You can find the epoxy repair kit at any home improvement store.

 

"How To Make Any Room In Your Home More Spacious ! "

Space is an essential element of design that will help make your home warm and cozy. It will also add enjoyment to the time you spend in each particular room. Here are a few tricks of the trade you can use to make even the smallest room look more spacious.

* Place larger pieces of furniture near your walls so they don't interfere with open space.

* Use mostly small-scale furniture. Instead of a full sofa, consider using a love seat. Instead of an ottoman and chair, use a small recliner.

* Arrange the furniture so anyone can walk freely about the room.

* Use mirrors. Mirrors will expand your room by creating the illusion of depth.

* Pick light, cool colors for the walls. Light color will open the space.

* Light the perimeter of your room. This will do wonders at night to expand the room and create ambiance. You can even place lights under cabinets and furniture to give them a floating effect.

 

"Expert Tips On How To Safely Use A Space Heater "

New information from the National Fire Protection Association tells us that heating equipment is the leading cause of home fires during the months of December, January and February. All types of common space heating equipment are involved in home fires, including portable electric heaters and portable kerosene heaters.

Here are some safety precautions you should take if you plan on using a space heater this winter...

* Portable space heaters need a three-foot (one meter) clearance from anything that can burn. They should always be turned off when leaving the room or going to sleep.

* When buying a new unit, make sure it carries the mark of an independent testing lab.

* Portable kerosene heaters must be fueled only in a well-ventilated area, free of flame and other heat sources, and only when the device has cooled completely.

 

 

"Homemade Cleaning Solutions"

Stains come in all colors, shapes and sizes on all different types of fabrics. Here are some common stains and a few home-made remedies to remove them:

 Lipstick and Strawberry Stains-Especially on white cotton, bright pink and red stains can be very tough to remove. Mix three equal parts of laundry bleach, water and milk in a spray bottle container. Spray the mix directly on the stain and then scrub the stain with an old toothbrush. Only use this solution on white cotton colors can be damaged by the bleach.

Fruit Juices-Here's your best bet to remove sugary and bright colored fruit drinks such as Kool-Aid from most fabrics. Use paper towels to try and soak up as much of the spill as soon as possible. Use a clean sponge or cloth and put rubbing alcohol on the spill. You don't need to blot because alcohol evaporates quickly, so follow by putting some soapy water on the stain. Let it sit about five minutes and blot again with a paper towel. If that doesn't work as well as you had hoped, try a more potent solution by mixing two tablespoons of white vinegar with a cup of water. Apply it to the stain, let it sit, then blot.

Plastic ware-After storing fruit juices, spaghetti sauce, or any other colorful food or drink in a sealed plastic container, your storage item may begin to take on that same bright color. After unsuccessfully attempting to scrub it away, try this trick. Combine two tablespoons of uncooked rice, a few drops of liquid detergent and two ounces of cold water into the container. Seal/screw/close the top very, very well and shake it as best you can for a few minutes. Remove the top, empty the contents, and rinse with soap and water. Voila!

Copper Utensils -Because ketchup has a very high acid content, it is great for cleaning copper utensils. Wipe ketchup on utensils with a paper towel or old cloth. Rinse with soap and water.

 

 

"July's Home Improvement Project: How To Install A Pullout Shelf"

If you have a T.V. set or stereo system that sits on a shelf or in a cabinet, you may want to consider installing a shelf that easily pulls out and swivels around. This will allow for easier access, better viewing and more enjoyment. Many pullout shelf kits have a platform, tracks for the platform to slide on and a swivel device to allow the shelf to rotate. A wood shelf piece may or may not be included; if it isn't included, then you may need to buy a sturdy board the size of your current shelf or smaller. Be sure that the weight of the T.V., stereo, or any other device you plan to put on the shelf isn't so heavy that it causes the entire cabinet to tip over.

Open your shelf kit and lay out the pieces. You should have: a platform, tracks, a swivel device, screws, and possibly a piece of wood. Follow these directions, and in no time you'll have your very own pullout shelf:

1. Find the Centers: Measure the width of the cabinet, find the centermost point on the shelf and mark it with a pencil. Then measure the width of the platform included in the kit, find its center point and mark it. Match up the two marked center points.

 * If you have doors that shut in front of this shelf, be sure they close firmly with the included wood shelf and platform in place. If they do not, slide the platform toward the back of the shelf, keeping the center points in line. When you've found a secure fit for the new sliding shelf, mark the position of the platform.

2. Attach Tracks: Slide the platform out so that the tracks are showing in the back. Screw them into place.

* Pull out the platform and place the wood shelf on top of it. Rotate it back and forth to ensure that it is able to swivel in the cabinet. If it is not, cut to size.

3) Attach Wood Shelf: Place the sturdy board on the center of the kit's platform. From underneath the platform, screw the screws into bottom of the wood shelf from underneath.

 

 

"Home Repair Hints"

Research suggests that one-third to one-half of home accidents can be prevented by modification or repair. Here are some helpful hints for simple repairs you can do to prevent accidents such as falls.

PROBLEM: Difficulty getting in and out of the shower.

SOLUTION: Install grab bars, shower seats or transfer benches.

PROBLEM: Slipping in the tub or shower.

SOLUTION: Place nonskid strips or decals on the tub or shower.

PROBLEM: Difficulty turning faucet handles/doorknobs.

SOLUTION: Replace with lever handles.

PROBLEM: Inadequate heating or ventilation.

SOLUTION: Install insulation, double-pane windows and air conditioning.

PROBLEM: Problems climbing stairs.

SOLUTION: Install handrails for support, or install ramps.

 

 

"A Quick-Fix To Closet Clutter -How To Install Your Own Closet Organizer System In Just 4 Easy Steps !"

When I first considered this article, I was going to tell you how to build your own closet organizer and then tell you how to install it. After careful thought, I abandoned the "building your own" idea, which cut out about 10 steps and several hours of work. I figure most folks would be interested in a quick-fix solution.

To complete this project, you'll need to head over to the home improvement store and pick up a manufactured, off-the-self, organizer system. Your best bet is to go with a vinyl-coated wire system. They are well constructed and easy to install.

Tools and materials you'll need:

* Tape measure

* Pencil

* Carpenter's level or water level

* Screwdriver or cordless drive/drill with drill bits

* Hollow-wall anchors

* Screws

* The shelving system

Step 1: Use your measuring tape to determine how high you'd like the shelving system to hang. Measure up from the floor. Once you've determined the appropriate height, use your pencil to make a mark on the wall.

Step 2: Using the pencil mark you made on the wall, take your level to draw a horizontal reference line all across the closet. Be sure to make sure you're on the level. If you're slightly off, your organizer system will be off.

Step 3: Now it's time to mount the shelf unit. You mount the unit by first attaching the mounting clips. Attach the screws and drive them directly into the wall studs, which are typically 16 inches a part. If you're having trouble locating the wall studs, use the hollow-wall anchors to fasten the clips between wall studs.

Step 4: Attach the diagonal shelf supports into the wall studs, directly below the wall clips. Once the clips and support brackets are in place, all you have to do is snap in the shelves and you're ready to go!

This is an easy project that anybody can tackle. Just prepare yourself for all the extra room you'll have!

 

 

"Trees That Will Enhance Your Home's Privacy"

We know trees are a beautiful addition to any home and they are great for the environment. But have you considered the privacy enhancing effect some trees offer?

The following trees are great for screening off objectionable views and for creating space for privacy.

* Foster holly-this is an upright, evergreen holly with narrow leaves and brilliant winter berries. It'll grow up to 30 feet tall and 15 feet wide.

* Leyland cypress-a widely available tree, will grow to 120 feet when well maintained. This is a beautiful tree, but will need lots of care and attention.

* Burford holly- is a very durable plant that grows to 30 feet with an equal spread.

* Osmanthus fragrans- this rugged plant will grow 30 feet tall with an equal spread. In the late fall, it'll produce fragrant blooms.

* Little Gem magnolia- this is a dwarf magnolia that reaches about 20 feet tall and 12 feet wide. It's a wonderful evergreen screen that's resistant to drought.

* Canadian hemlock-this is one of the best evergreens available . It's great for screening and will lend a soft texture to your landscape.

 

 

"Use This To Fix A Loose Door Hinge "

If you have a loose door hinge and aren't quite sure how to fix it, you can solve the problem with a golf tee. First, unscrew the loose door hinge. Next, squirt wood glue onto the golf tee. Then, tap the golf tee into the stripped door hinge hole until it is tight.

Let the glue dry for one hour. Using a utility knife cut the golf tee flush with the door frame. Finally, screw the hinge back into place. Fix one hinge at a time so you don't have to remove the whole door!

 

 

"Do You Have The Most Efficient Furnace Filter In Your Home ?"

In the past, we've talked about the importance of changing you furnace filter. A trip to your local home improvement store will literally provide you with a dozen different furnace filters to choose from ranging in price from 49 cents to 15 dollars! How do you know which one is right for your home?

Before we get into the "nitty-gritty", I want to dispel a common myth. A furnace filter is not just designed to clean the air in your home, it's also designed to protect the furnace equipment and reduce wear and tear.

The other reason to keep your furnace filter clean is your health. A study done by the Mayo Clinic in 1999 found that mold is the culprit in most chronic sinus infections. Dust, pet dander, and other pollutants can aggravate health problems.

A special filter rating system, called MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) has been devised to help consumers choose the most efficient filter. The MERV shown on packaging of most filters is based on the filter's ability to capture particles larger than one micron. The values range from one to twelve . A one rating captures the least amount of particles and a twelve rating captures the most.

Filters are rated when they are new. As they accumulate particles, the spaces between the fibers in the filter become smaller, allowing them to trap progressively smaller particles. Generally, a furnace filter should be changed every three months. Factors that may shorten the life of a filter are dirty ducts, construction, the presence of pets and smokers.

Choosing a filter.

The least expensive and least efficient filters use a fiberglass or cellulose pad, held in a cardboard frame. These filters will not remove fine particles that can cause allergic reactions. The next level of efficiency is a washable/reusable filter. These filters have a metal frame and can be washed with a hose and reinstalled. These filters should be washed monthly and can last between three and five years.

The pleated polyester filter provides more filtering capacity. Many are made with fibers that have a permanent electrostatic charge to attract small particles. In most situations, these filters will last three months.

When it comes time to change your furnace filter, consider the options, check the MERV rating, and choose the best filter for your home.

 

 

"Easy Driveway Repairs That Will Beautify Your Home !"

You might not think so, but a driveway that's filled with cracks, stains or pot holes can be unsightly and even unsafe! If you'd like to give your asphalt driveway a "makeover", just follow these quick and easy steps.

Stain Removal: To remove grease stains, mix one cup of laundry detergent in one gallon of hot water. For really stubborn stains, you can pick up a professional-grade asphalt stain remover.

Small Cracks: For small, hairline cracks of ½ inch or less, you'll want use an asphalt-based caulk. Your first step is to clean the crack with a wire brush. After you remove the dirt and debris with the brush, rinse the crack with a hose. After the crack has been thoroughly cleaned, apply the caulk. Note : Before you fill the crack, measure the depth of the crack. If it measures more than a ¼ inch deep, you'll first want to partially fill the crack with sand. Pack the sand with water and let it dry. After the sand has dried, apply the caulk. For cracks that are a ½ inch or wider, you'll need to fill the gap with a mixture of sand and asphalt sealer. Following the directions on the asphalt sealer, mix the sand and sealer into a putty-like substance. Use a disposable container to make the mixture in. A pie tin would work well for this. Place the mixture into the gap and smooth over the surface with a metal trowel. If your first application sinks down, be prepared to apply another coat.

Pothole Repair: Potholes are formed when water gets into small cracks in the asphalt surface, softens the soil beneath, and makes the driveway unstable. If you don't have extensive pothole damage, you can fix the problem yourself. The first step in fixing a pothole is to remove all of the damaged paving. You may have to dig down between 2 and 6 inches to do so. Next, fill the hole with gravel to within 4 inches of the surface. Using a 4 x 4 piece of wood, mash down the gravel.

Now you'll need to apply a cold-mix asphalt patching compound in 1-inch layers. Use a shovel and trowel to apply the compound. After each 1-inch layer has been applied, use the 4 x 4 to mash down the compound. Continue applying the compound until it's built up to ½ inch above the surrounding, undamaged area. At this point, apply a thin covering of sand to the area. Finally, slowly drive your car tire over the patched area to smooth it over. You'll want to be sure that the patched area is level with the surface of the driveway.

If you'd really like to give your asphalt drive the best protection, apply an emulsified asphalt sealer to your driveway. This sealer will help prevent cracks and staining. It's easy to do, just follow the manufacturer's directions.

All the supplies you need to tackle these projects can be found at your local home improvement store.

 

 

"Save Up To 30% On This Important Home Improvement !"

You may be unaware of this, but your chimney is quite an integral part of your heating system. Why am I talking about heating systems now? You'll see in a minute.

It's important that your chimney is free of soot and debris. This will help prevent dangerous chimney fires and the release of harmful carbon monoxide back into your home.

"Ole Man Winter" might be gone now, but he'll be back. Many chimney sweep companies offer excellent discounts to customers who schedule a chimney sweep during the spring and summer. They offer these discounts now because fall and winter is their busy season.

A clean chimney is a must and now is the time to take care of it. Your best bet is to call around and ask for discounts because the savings could substantial.

 

 

"Fall Home Improvement Tip: Give Your Kitchen Or Bath A Clean New Look In Just 4 Easy Steps !"

Over time, kitchen and bath grout can become stained with grease, dirt, soap scum, and mildew. Spending hours scrubbing will only slightly remove the stains. In about the same amount of time you'd spend cleaning the grout, you can completely remove it and replace it with fresh new grout! Here's how...

Be sure to use pre-mixed grout. This will make the job much easier. Choose a product that's mildew and stain resistant.

Step 1-Prepare the grout joints by using an awl to scrape out the old grout. If you have any cracked tiles, now is the time to remove and replace your tiles. If you discover mildew stains around the joints, use a bleach product to remove the mildew.

Step 2-Thoroughly clean all grout joints with a sponge, and rinse carefully.

Step 3-Using a grout float, spread the pre-mixed grout over the entire tile area. Push the grout well into the joints. When the grout has set and is slightly firm, use a damp cloth to lightly clean away as much of the excess grout as possible.

Step 4-When the grout is completely dry and firmly set, wipe away any remaining powdery film with a wet cloth. Keep the tiles dry for 24 hours.

That's all there is to it! Now you've got kitchen or bathroom tile that looks brand new! You'll find all the materials you need for this job at your local home store.

 

 

"How To Increase The Value Of Your Home !"

Don't plan on selling your home anytime soon? That's OK because savvy homeowners are always looking for ways to increase their home's value.

There are dozens of simple and easy home maintenance tasks you can perform that will greatly increase the value of your home. But before we begin, let me share with you a few home improvements that may actually end up decreasing the value of your home. One example is the backyard pool. Many home-shoppers do not want the responsibility of maintaining a pool or hot tub. In fact, those in the market for buying a home often cite a swimming pool as a major stumbling block.

From a resale point of view, you'd be much better off investing your money in a snazzy new kitchen or bathroom. These two improvements top the list of value-added renovations, often recouping 70 to 90% or more of their investment cost upon resale. New kitchens and baths have been shown to lead to easier, faster sales. Other value-wise renovations include the replacement of old windows and doors with new, energy-efficient models. Landscaping features such as decks also add value. Keep in mind that the quality of work can greatly impact resale value. It's worth the time and expense of having it done right!

Large-scale renovations aren't the only way to build your home's value. A quality interior paint job just before your home goes on the market will usually pay for itself many times over.

Here's a quick check-list of easy ways you can bolster your home's resale value:

 Exterior:

* Well maintained gutters and downspouts

* Good roof

* Lights working

* Fencing in good condition

* Well maintained driveway

* Mowed lawn and well kept plantings

Interior:

* No cracks in walls or ceilings

* Fresh paintwork

* All electrical switches working

* No signs of leaks

* Easy opening doors and windows

* Floors in good condition

 Kitchen & Bathrooms:

* No leaking faucets

* Clean, newer grouting

* Cracked tiles replaced

* Attractive, clean cabinets and counters

* Caulking in good condition

* No stained sinks

* All appliances and fixtures operating

 

 

How To Prevent An Electrical Fire In Your Home

According to ABC News, 39,000 homes catch fire each year as the result of faulty wiring or other electrical problems. There are key warning signs that point to a potential fire hazard. Watch for these indications of potential danger:

* A circuit breaker that trips repeatedly.

* Loose-fitting electric plugs in outlets.

* Dimming of lights when you turn on a particular appliance.

* Light switches or outlets that are hot to the touch.

* Flickering lights.

* A burning smell.

If you notice any of these warning signs, please call a licensed electrician to investigate the situation and to make the appropriate repairs.

 

 

"Give Your Kitchen A Fresh New Look In Just 5 Easy Steps !"

If new cabinets are a stretch on your budget, cabinet re-facing can be a good solution for you.

You have a few options here veneer refinishing can result in a great look, but can be tricky if you're not a pro; painting, staining and bleaching take time but are relatively simple if you know how to do it. We're going to focus on these last three methods. Let's get started!

Step 1 -First things first use stickers to number all the cabinet doors. You'll be glad you did this when it's time to re-hang the cabinet doors! Next, remove all the doors, along with the hinges and hardware. The grunge around the hinges will give you a good idea what your next job is going to be heavy duty cleaning!

Step 2 -You may have years of built-up cooking grease to remove. The best way to remove the grease build-up is to use a product like TSP Cleaner or mineral spirits. Or you can use this home-made wood cleaner: mix 1-quart boiling water with 3 tbsp linseed oil and 3 tbsp turpentine. Use a steel wool pad to thoroughly clean the doors, along with all visible cabinet surfaces. To be on the safe side, work outdoors when possible.

Step 3 Lightly sand the doors and then wipe off the dust. For a superior finish, repeat step 2 and leave to dry for at least 24 hours.

 Step 4 -If you're painting or staining, you can now fill in any small dents with wood filler. When the filler is completely dry, sand over the filled areas and remove the dust with a tack cloth.

 Step 5 -This step will depend on which of the three following methods you've chosen:

Wood bleaching: Use wood bleach and follow the manufacturer's directions. Follow up with polyurethane or another finish of your choice.

Staining : Apply stain and follow up with a sealer. Be sure to follow product directions.

Painting : Apply an appropriate primer and finish with two top coats. For durability, a high-gloss alkyd spray makes a great choice.

Final step -Re-attach hinges and doors.

While you're at it, why not replace your cabinet hardware? New pulls or knobs can make all the difference!

 

 

"How To Prevent Costly Water Damage In Your Home !"

According to the State Farm Insurance Companies, washing machine hose failures cause about $150 million in water damage each year.

It is well worth $10 or $20 to replace the hoses when they become worn versus the cost of long-term damage. Inspect your hoses once a month for bulging or swelling, and routinely replace them every two years. Leave at least four inches between the water connection and the back of the washing machine to prevent kinks.

You can find washing machine hoses at hardware stores, home repair centers and plumbing outlets.

 

 

Install A New Towel Bar In Just 4 Easy Steps !

When installing a towel bar, keeping it tight and flush against the wall is crucial.

So before you begin, throw out those plastic wall anchors that come with your towel bar kit and pick up toggle anchors with "wings".

The "wings" on the toggle anchors will open up behind the sheetrock and ensure that your towel bar stays put! Let's begin.

Step 1-Using a pencil, mark the location you want to mount the towel bar. Next, drill a 5/16 inch hole completely through the sheetrock. Note: if you hit a stud, you will not need the wall anchor. You can drive the mounting screw into the stud.

Step 2-Squeeze the wings of the anchor together and push it all the way into the hole until the face of the anchor is flush with the sheetrock. If need be, you can lightly tap on the anchor with a hammer to make it flush.

Step 3-Push a medium-sized nail through the anchor hole to open up the "wings" behind the sheetrock. You'll feel the "wings" pop open.

Step 4-Using a hand screwdriver, drive the mounting screws and mounting plates into the anchor. Finally, hang your towel bar on the mounting plates.

All the materials you'll need to complete this job can be found at your local home store.

 

 

"Fix A Shaky Chair In Two Minutes Or Less !"

With this quick fix, you can take the fear out of sitting down on an unsteady chair hold the standard white glue or wood glue, though that stuff won't do the trick! To tighten those loose joints quickly, you'll need cyanoacrylate ester (CA) glue. What's this, you ask? Well, CA glue is special glue that fills gaps and forms a strong bond that'll tighten joints. Standard wood glues do not fill cracks or form strong bonds. CA glue will provide a permanent bond in the wood joint.

To use CA glue on a shaky chair, first attach the applicator tip to the bottle. Next, stick the tip into the loose joint and sparingly fill the joint. Hold the joint together for about a minute. A good brand of CA glue is Wonderlock Em and can be found at any home improvement center.

 

 

 

Take the first step to fulfilling your dreams. 

Give us your ideas and we will turn them into reality.

 

B&B Contractors
10 Greenhill Road
West Chester, Pa 19380
Phone: 610-696-0294

E-mail us at:bbcontractors@verizon.net

 

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