DIY

Hits and misses of DIY projects, both big and small.

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What home DIY or remodel project do you most want to do, but haven’t yet?

4/20/2009 9:31:11 AM

Tags: DIY, home improvement, question to readers

The old house I just moved into doesn’t have screens for most of its windows. The storm windows are separate — they aren’t integrated with the main window frames. I enjoy having windows open whenever possible, but prefer to have screens to keep out the flying bugs.

I’ve thought about trying to figure out how to make a wooden-framed screen to insert into the window frame. But, in all honesty, I am not very good at envisioning how to do this. A do-it-yourself book might show me how, but I think I’d be more successful if one of the home improvement stores offered a class on making wooden window frames. I’ll have to check out the classes from my local stores to see if anything along those lines is available. Knowing how to do wood joinery with mitered corners would be a useful skill.

Both Home Depot and Lowe's offer classes and clinics on common household DIY projects. Check their websites for ones scheduled in your area.

What’s the DIY project in your home that you most want to do, but haven’t yet? What’s holding you back? Time? Money? Knowledge? Share what you dream of remodeling or fixing by posting a comment below.



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themaninthemoon
5/22/2009 2:59:23 AM
Hi, to everyone, this is for Lori S. If you have a large sizable lot that is a consistent mixture of the same type, and color, of clay then you do have the option of using this to construct bricks for a retaining wall if it doesn't need to be to high. I learned of this little trick from a gent that was, at the time, the world's foremost leading waterscape architect, and it has had the occasion to get me thru some rough jobs over the years. I have always used a wheelbarrow to mix the ingredients together, and when it is all mixed together, I just wheel it from spot to spot and pour out what I need, then I move on to the next form. Here is a list of the tools that you will find useful. 1). Electric cord, heavy duty, approx. 50 feet long. 2). Half inch drill, (a 3/8ths drill will be too small, and you will probably burn it out before the whole job is done). 3). An orbital sander without the sand paper (I'll explain when we get to this part). 4). A tulip bulb planting spiral (it works with the drill, for mixing the ingredients). 5). Wooden forms, consisting of 4 sides and a bottom, shaped like you want your bricks to look like (with the bottom of the box looking like the top of your brick),(the top of the form will be the bottom side of the brick),(like an upside down cake). 6). Your wheelbarrow (preferably a two-wheeled one, as they are easier to handle as the day drags on). 7). Flat shovel,(for loading the wheelbarrow), and a spade shovel, (for dry mixing the ingredients). 8). Flat trowel (for leveling & striking off the excess mix in the form). 9). A reliable power source on a 30 amp line (so that you don't burn up your drill, or sander from a voltage/amperage drop). 10). An electric pulverizer to turn the clay into powder, (so that you incorporate the clay with the rest of the ingredients). 11.) Water hose with nozzle. Here is your list of ingredients. Pulverized clay Portland Cement powdered dye (your choic

themaninthemoon
5/21/2009 11:55:40 AM
Hey Dena, I think that I have a suggestion for you, even if it sounds like I've been touched in the head. Remove your old carpet, pull up any staples, or tacking that held the old carpet in place. Measure your room size. Find the largest throw rug/carpet that you can. Compare the two sizes, and figure out how many square feet of self-stick tile you need to fill in the rest of the room. This is where it will get interesting, because this is where the fun comes into play. Have your husband patch up the floor with a "sandable" floor patching compound, (In a pinch, use the harder of the wall patching compounds that are readily available at your local improvement center.)Cover all of the joints in the floor, where seams of the plywood come together, plus any worn, damaged, or rough spots, in the flooring itself. Return to the store, purchase a gallon of a latex adhesive agent, (usually around twelve to fifteen bucks), it is easily applied with a sponge, so just wipe it on, (it will be a milky white), and when it turns clear, it will be tacky dry enough to make great adhesion, then apply peel and stick tile around the room, overlapping the area of where your new rug/carpet will lie, giving your living space an added touch of elegance. I put a flooring like this into a lady's home, and she filled in some of the blank areas in the room with some large potted plants, a piano, and a couple of stand up lighting fixtures (that have a swivel top for proper lighting, making it easier to read the evening newspaper from the lazyboy chair, or from a sofa), that accented the room perfectly. She didn't need the piano, but it took up some of the space. Looked like it was straight out of Homes and Gardens magazine. Five or six years later, she was doing much better financially, and had me come to the house again. I removed the peel and stick tile, re-prepped the floor, and replaced it with a ceramic version that she really liked. She said that sh

Lori S
4/29/2009 2:22:25 PM
My husband and I are just beginning construction on a house, and we'll need some retaining walls. I want to try making adobe bricks from our clay soil to use for the walls. I've never done this before so will need some advice. Anybody have any practical experience, suggestions, or sources of information I can refer to? Most especially, can I treat or cure the bricks to keep them from disintegrating in winter?

Dena_1
4/26/2009 8:13:10 PM
Zanne, thanks for your interest in my situation! To answer your question, I have looked at just pulling up the carpet. However, I have plywood subflooring under the carpet. It's not in the greatest shape and right now the carpet is the only thing that is keeping it from getting worse. I cannot afford true hardwoods, which I would love, and I'm scared of laminate; the installation process looks like it would be more than a beginner DIY'er could handle. And I do mean I am a beginner! If I messed something up, right now I couldn't afford to make it right.

Katie_13
4/23/2009 8:07:12 AM
We took down the dropped ceilings in our house installed by the former owner (think bowling alley) and now face the task of putting up new ceilings in a 110 year old rowhouse. The task of putting up the ceiling in itself is not so daunting to us as the odd shape of the walls and ceilings after 100+ years of shifting, so we are trying to figure out what to do about the gaps that will evidently appear because of it. The upstairs ceilings will be even more challenging as we attempt to increase the insulation in a small amount of space (we have a flat roof = no attic).

Suzanne Horvath
4/22/2009 9:51:48 AM
Dena, What's under the carpeting? If it's wood, then pull up the carpeting and sand & finish the floors. If wood, but not great, they can be painted (with many coats of sealer to protect). Even if it's plywood, if it is a good quality, you can stain or paint after filling in any major imperfections. Make it look like wood, or stencil etc. There are lots of possibilities. Carpeting is expensive and is tough on people with allergies. It's also very hard to keep really clean. Wood floors are so much easier to deal with. You can always put area rugs if you need to. I find really interesting heavy fabric remnants at decor places, then hem all four sides and use that for area rugs. You can add fringe if that's what you like - use double-sided carpet tape to do the hems, no sewing. Also, put down an area rug pad underneath, to keep it from moving around on the floor.

Michael Hilliker
4/21/2009 5:31:32 PM
We want to build a outdoor kitchen to cook out in the summer. I am trying to recover from a back injury and I am just not ready to tackle the job. We have purchased a grill with an oven and have a small refrigerator ready for the outdoor kitchen. We are going to build a pavilion structure off the back of the garage. We will be able to get water and electric from the garage. Just waiting for the back to get better.

Dena_1
4/21/2009 10:58:59 AM
I so deseperately need to replace the carpeting in my home but I can't because of our financial situation. It is dreadful!!! We put the carpeting in our house when we moved in 14 years ago and it has seen alot of HARD living. I have researched everything DIY to replace it with something I can afford but haven't arrived at a solution yet. Now with my husband out of work, we're really clamped down financially, so it will probably be another couple of years before we can do anything. The carpet is so bad, it can't even be cleaned anymore. I'm really ashamed to have anyone come to my house because of it!!

Jackie Clancy
4/20/2009 4:19:18 PM
We live in a condo and our outdoor space is depressingly limited... especially since I would like to have a garden. We also have the dilemma of having a north-east exposure. I have, for a while, been wanting to make a vertical garden for my patio so that my garden can have maximum light and take up a minimum of space. I know in my brain exactly how to execute it, but time and money are definite factors.







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