Maintenance and Repair

Drywell Rebuild with the Help of Oakum

Drywell Rebuild with the Help of Oakum

The folks at Chicago 2-Flat tore up a concrete slab in their backyard to discover a 100-year old drywell located just next to the house. They considered setting up rain barrels as the only gutter drained into this drywell but decided against this due to the weather and limited space […]

Efflorescence: The Chalky Stuff on your Concrete

Efflorescence: The Chalky Stuff on your Concrete

Efflorescence is a very common and somewhat mysterious ailment effecting masonry construction including brick, concrete, and mortars. It occurs when water moving through a sidewalk or other structure brings salts to the surface that are not commonly bound as part of the cement stone. As the water evaporates, it leaves […]

Fix a Sagging Wooden Swing Gate

Fix a Sagging Wooden Swing Gate

It’s time to fix that sagging wooden gate that scrapes along the ground. Until this is remedied it will continue to mark your pathway as well as damage the bottom of your gate and place unnecessary stress on the hinges and planks. There are some kits available that can be […]

Fix a Hole in the Ceiling

Fix a Hole in the Ceiling

A reader sent in this photo of a hole in their kitchen ceiling which they recently patched with duct tape. Obviously the duct tape won’t due and it looks like there could be further water damage around the hole. If it’s a plaster ceiling here are some steps to fix […]

Friday Fix: The Running Toilet

Friday Fix: The Running Toilet

This week’s Friday Fix is courtesy of Nathaniel from Garber’s Hardware and was originally printed in the Westview paper. So, your toilet is running. It won’t stop. You tried jiggling the handle. You tried asking your toilet nicely to behave. You tried to get your landlord to send a plumber. […]

Tree Decision: Keep’em or Cut’em?

Tree Decision: Keep’em or Cut’em?

We are big fans of trees being used as landscape elements to add detail or shelter to your home. But many times the tree begins to overstay it’s welcome and the branches become unmanageable or the roots pull up the pathway or lead to damage to your foundation.

Repairing Damaged Baseboards

Repairing Damaged Baseboards

Crown, chair, and base Moldings add a touch of character and charm to any room no matter how old or new your home is. But these moldings are also not immune to the rigors of a household and often times they are subject to even more damage because they are […]

Get Your Closets Back on Track

Get Your Closets Back on Track

Chances are you have a closet somewhere in your apartment or house–more than one if you’re lucky. After years of wear and tear or just years without renovation, you’ve probably also run into some “off-track” issues.

Keep Your Appliances Running a Long Time

Keep Your Appliances Running a Long Time

In a follow up to finding an appliance repairman, here are some suggestions from OldHouseWeb.com for maximizing the effective life of your appliances as well as how best to work with your appliance technician when they are troubleshooting your equipment.

How To Find an Appliance Repairman

How To Find an Appliance Repairman

Modern day appliances are a blessing but when they go bad they can cause nightmares at the most inopportune times. Contrary to how the majority of us treat our appliances, the moving parts in washers, dryers, and dishwashers do need regular maintenance to continue to happily run for years. Fortunately […]

The Family Grill Update using Natural Gas

The Family Grill Update using Natural Gas

Well it seems I’ve shamed my family into replacing our 20 year old outdoor bbq grill. This week Dad picked up a Char-broil stainless stell unit for $179 from Big Lots with 3 burners and a side warmer. Our previous grill hooked right up to our natural gas outlet but […]

Radon Testing and Remediation

Radon Testing and Remediation

The saying “An ounce of prevention…” is applicable when debating testing your home for radon contamination and then making the necessary modifications to your home to remedy the results of high levels of radon.

What Lurks Beneath…the Wallpaper

What Lurks Beneath…the Wallpaper

This houseblogger has uncovered a badly damaged wall after removing the stubborn wallpaper that also took the plaster with it.

Pet Hair Removal Basics

Pet Hair Removal Basics

If you have pets that shed then you definitely have a pet hair problem in your home. Maybe you’ve figured out the best solution–but I know for me it’s always been a frustrating issue. Apparently, though, the rest of the world already has pet hair removal figured out. If you’re […]

Dryrot Roof Repair

Dryrot Roof Repair

We’ve come across a great houseblog called Remodeling for Geeks. They’ve got instructive photos and step-by-steps for a number of different home improvement projects. One of our favorites is their solution for repairing roof dryrot that has effected their eaves.

Reupholstering: Make the Old New

Reupholstering: Make the Old New

Wing chairs are coming back in style, and should yours need a refresher (or any of your other furniture for that matter) there’s always the option of reupholstering it. Professional reupholstery can run you hundreds of dollars, but we all know it’s more fun to do it ourselves.

Fix an Interior Door Drag

Fix an Interior Door Drag

If the horizontal of your door is off don’t bend the rungs but rather remove the door and shave a bit off the bottom.

Steps for Safely Disposing of a Broken CFL Light bulb

Steps for Safely Disposing of a Broken CFL Light bulb

When a compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL – shown above before breaking) breaks, you must handle the contents with a bit more care as it contains mercury which is very toxic. NotMartha.org goes through the steps she took to thoroughly clean herself and the are where the bulb broke and […]

Save Money with a Water Heater Wrap

Save Money with a Water Heater Wrap

To save on energy costs and ensure a longer hot water supply, consider enclosing the body of your water heater with a tank wrap, a thick fiberglass blanket that’s sold at most hardware stores. Secure the ends of the blanket with waterproof tape. Experts recommend wrapping older water heaters; newer […]

Installing a Stair Runner

Installing a Stair Runner

Don’t wait to hire a professional to install the carpet runner down your stairs–do it yourself! Here you’ll find some tips and tricks for making the runner last longer and look better.

Cleaning Your Humidifier

Cleaning Your Humidifier

You know those little tasks in the back of our heads that we know need to get done, but somehow just never do? Here’s one of those: cleaning your portable humidifier. Yes they bring us relief from the dry cold of the winter, but if not cleaned regularly, they’ll just […]