Archive for the ‘Home How-To’ Category

Weekly Update

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

How To Replace And Install A New Kitchen Faucet

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Want to replace your kitchen faucet? It’s a job for which you could hire a plumber, or, with just a little bit of craftsman skill, it’s a project you could finish yourself.

Watch this video from the Lowe’s YouTube channel. You’ll get step-by-step instruction on how to take out an old faucet and how to install a new one. The supplies you’ll need are minimal, too.

In 3 minutes, the video covers:

  • How to shut the kitchen water supply off and drain residual water from the pipes
  • How to detach and remove the old kitchen faucet
  • How to align the new faucet and reconnect to the water lines

There’s some good tips along the way, too, including how to make sure you don’t accidentally connect the hot water supply to the cold-water faucet.

If you’re uncomfortable working with your home’s plumbing and would like a referral to a plumber near Lost Lake , please just ask. I’m happy to help how I can.

Rid Your Kitchen Of Hidden Dirt And Grime

Monday, September 27th, 2010

A kitchen is often a home’s busiest room — a meeting place for meals and conversation. It’s also among the home’s most grimy rooms. Bacteria, dirt and germs collect on floors, on countertops, and inside appliances.

In this 4-minute clip from NBC’s The Today Show, you’ll learn how to rid your kitchen of “nastiness”.  The featured fixes use nothing but basic household cleansers and elbow grease, and they include:

  • How to clean and restore wooden cutting boards and bowls
  • How to remove “burn stains” from the side of a frying pan
  • How to eliminate pervasive dishwasher odors

The segment also tackles why you should choose loofah over sponge, and how to catch fruit flies.

For as much time as you spend in your kitchen, it’s best to keep it clean and sanitized.

White Distilled Vinegar : An Environmentally-Friendly Home Cleaning Solution

Monday, September 13th, 2010

White distilled vinegarSupermarket aisles in the Jupiter area are filled with specialty cleansers — some for the kitchen, some for the bathroom, some for the carpets. Loaded with chemicals, these cleansers can be tough on the environment and costly, too.

If you’re in search of an alternative, consider white distilled vinegar.  It’s inexpensive, safe to store, and highly effective as a household cleanser.

White vinegar’s strength comes from its acidity, roughly 8%. It’s acidity kills most mold, germs, and bacteria, and can remove minerals deposits from coffee makers and glass surfaces.

Some uses for white distilled vinegar include:

  • Cleaning the garbage disposal : 1/2 cup hot white distilled vinegar + 1/2 cup baking soda. Pour down drain and let sit for 5 minutes. Run hot water to flush it.
  • Removing lunch box odors : Soak bread slice in white distilled vinegar. Place it in lunch box overnight.
  • Remove dark spots on aluminum pots : Mix 1 cup white distilled vinegar + 1 cup hot water.  Boil in pot.
  • Brighten carpets : Mix solution of 1 cup white distilled vinegar + 1 gallon water. Test on inconspicuous area first.
  • Remove water rings from wood : Mix solution of 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar + 1/4 cup vegetable oil. Rub with the grain.

White distilled vinegar is extremely versatile, but it can strip finish from counter-tops and floors if left to soak. Be sure to exercise care, therefore, when using vinegar at home.

How To Change A Showerhead

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

There’s plenty of reasons to want to change a showerhead in your head. Perhaps you’re trying to fix a leak in the faucet; or, remodeling your bathroom; or, trying to conserve water via a low-flow showerhead. 

Whatever the reason, changing a showerhead can be a basic do-it-yourself project. The tools aren’t complicated and the job is a quick one.

In this 2-minute video from AOL, you’ll learn:

  • What tools you’ll need to change the showerhead
  • How to remove your old showerhead
  • How to firmly attach your new showerhead to prevent leaks

If you get stuck, or just want to outsource, call a professional handyman to finish the job. Changing a showerhead should take less than a hour to complete.

How To Reduce Home Energy Costs By Sealing Air Leaks

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Air leaks With Labor Day looming, the autumn and winter months aren’t far behind. It’s a good time to reflect on your home’s heating and cooling costs, and take steps to lower your energy bills. Finding air leaks may be a perfect first project.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, up to 30 percent can be cut from a home’s energy costs just by reducing drafts. For example, a 1/16-inch gap unsealed gap around a window is equivalent to leaving the window 3 inches open. 

That’s a lot of wasted Port St Lucie air.

The good news is that air leaks are rather simple to identify, and simple to fix. The key is to know where to look. And, to make the job easier, the government offers a complete DIY Guide To Sealing and Insulating a home.

Some of the key tips include:

  • Focus on the attic and basement, where most air is lost
  • Locate problem areas on a chimney
  • Check recessed lights which allow air flow between conditioned and unconditioned air

The government’s website also provides a 13-page PDF with detailed images, instructions, and recommendation to help you with the work.

However, if the job is beyond your skill set, be sure to call a qualified contractor. Sealing your home from air leaks will reduce your monthly energy bill and the money spent to pay a professional will be just a fraction of what you’ll save over time.

(Image courtesy: US Department of Energy)

How To Re-Grout And Caulk Bathroom Tiles

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Over time, the grout in a shower can become dirty and discolored, and start to separate from its grout lines. This is a potentially dangerous condition for a home because broken grout lines allow water to seep into the walls, which can then lead to the growth of mold spores.

Fortunately, keeping your grout in tip-top shape is simple.

In this 2-minute video, you’ll learn how to clean the existing grout in your shower and to prepare for a new coating. You’ll also learn how to replace its caulk.

The video’s tips include:

  • Why you should remove excess grout diagonally with a sponge
  • How to protect your tub from damage while the re-grout is in process
  • Choosing the right caulk for the job

The North American Tile Cleaning Association also offers helpful grout-cleaning advice.

How To Unclog A Sink That Won’t Respond To Drano

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Sometimes, a backed-up sink is too big of a job for a bottle of Drano. To clear the clog, you have to get your hands dirty. But what do you do?  This quick, 2-minute video from Lowe’s is an excellent tutorial.

The video starts with basic safety preparation, then shows you how to:

  1. How to identify the J-trap beneath your sink
  2. Position a plastic bucket to catch water run-off
  3. Use your finger to clear out debris
  4. Replace the J-trap beneath the sink

Unclogging a sink can be simple homeowner project, but if you’re uncomfortable working with plumbing or just want to outsource, be sure to call a professional.

How To Install A Ceiling Fan In Your Home

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Up to 50% of your home’s energy bill can be tied to heating and cooling costs.  Thankfully, it’s easy to lower those bills. The addition of a ceiling fan can cut your household energy bills dramatically.

Plus, the installation may be simpler than you think.

In this 4-minute video from the Lowe’s YouTube collection, you’ll learn how to measure, mount and install a ceiling fan, step-by-step:

  1. Choose the right-sized fan for your room based on its “longest wall”
  2. Cut the power to your room, and test that the power is off
  3. Assemble a ceiling fan
  4. Secure a ceiling fan motor to the ceiling
  5. Restore power to the room

If you’re uncomfortable around electricity, or feel the video’s instructions are “too complicated”, by all means, call an electrician. The money you spend on installation will be dwarfed by what you save in energy bills.

For an electrician referral in Port St Lucie , reach out to me anytime by phone or email. I am happy to help you.