Monthly Archives: October 2014

  • Weekend Warrior: Garage Door Projects

    Garage doors are susceptible to fading, chipping, and rusting, given their exposure to various weather conditions. Ensuring that garage doors are functional and appealing can increase the resale value of a home because they play a significant role when it comes to curb appeal. There are various ways to upgrade garage doors over the course of a weekend. Below are options that may work as stand-alone projects or side by side projects, depending on a homeowner’s preference.


    Carriage Style Garage: Add some decorative hardware to garage doors to create a carriage style look. There are many options to chose from including a spear tip, arrow tip, round tip, etc. Opt for metal hardware instead of plastic, and use a drill and screwdriver to install.

    Faux Wood Finish: Upgrade worn-out aluminum garage doors with an easy-to-apply gel stain. It may be best to practice on a sample board first to ensure that the finished look will match the exterior of the house. Other steps include cleaning the door thoroughly before starting work, taping off the door to create a desired pattern, and completing the staining process.

    Energy Saving Insulation: Insulating garage doors can keep the home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. It can also reduce street noise. Determine your desired type of insulation for the garage doors and cut the material to match the length of the panel door. Mount the insulation on the door and tuck it under the lip and corners.

    De-clutter and Add Storage: Adding shelves above garage doors is a smart way to utilize wasted space. To create suspended shelving, measure from the ceiling to the top of the raised garage door – subtract one inch to determine the height of the side 2x4s. Build three identical shelf supports; align the side supports; predrill and lag screw each into the center of the ceiling joists. Use 3/8-inch plywood for the shelf base and attach plywood to the 2x4 shelf supports using 1-inch wood screws. Store tools and other equipment either in container tubs or directly on the plywood. Just be sure not to overload.

    Fresh Coat of Paint: Sometimes all that’s needed to revamp the look of the house is a fresh coat of paint on the garage doors. This can mean using the same color, or trying a completely different hue to give the house some extra interest.

  • Arts and Crafts: DIY Bookshelf Decorations

    A shelf full of books can add style and sophistication to a home, especially when the books are placed between creative DIY bookends. Surprisingly, many items around the house can be turned into bookends with a little creativity and tools from Here is a list of ideas for homemade bookends: Bookshelf

      • Mason jars –Spray two mason jars using spray paint in a bright color. Add weight to the jars by filling with rice, sands, or rocks to keep books securely in place.
      • Succulent mini-gardens – Succulents come in a variety of shapes and colors so select a type that best works with the bookshelf. De-pot the plants, but keep the dirt surrounding the roots intact. Assemble a bookend by placing one small cylinder vase inside of a larger cylinder vase – with a few inches of free space left around the edges. Fill the gap between the two with river rocks, pebbles, or any other item of choice. Then place the succulent into the smaller vase along with the dirt. If needed, hide any remaining sign of the glass. Work on a second bookend to complete the pair.
      • Old vinyl records – Make a retro statement using two old vinyl records to create bookends. In addition to the records, have felt or another fabric on hand to glue onto the base (this will prevent the record from scratching the bookshelf). Fill the sink with enough hot water to cover the bottom half of the album. Once the bottom of the album becomes bendable in the hot water, push it down to create a right angle. Work slowly and carefully to avoid ruining the label. Once out of the hot water, flatten the album further to create a smooth folded edge. Glue the fabric to the bottom of the bookend and place on the bookshelf.
      • Toy figurines – Use two identical toy figurines to create matching bookends. Figurines can be of dogs, dinosaurs, elephants, or whatever toys are available at home. Necessary supplies include four blocks of wood in the desired bookend size, super glue, paint, and a paintbrush. First, use the glue to form L-shaped bookends. Paint in the desired color and allow enough time for drying. Lastly, super glue the toy figurines to the base of the bookends.
  • Arts and Crafts: Easy Pegboard Projects

    Pegboard is handy to work with since users can maximize the space they have and keep commonly used items organized. Pegboards keep surface areas clutter-free and can be painted to match virtually any décor. DIY enthusiasts interested in working with pegboard can try one or more of the following projects:


    Pegboard Headboard – Create a modern headboard with a functional twist using a sheet (or two) of pegboard. Secure Masonite pegboard sheets that fit the width of the bed to the wall with double-sided foam mounting tape. Once attached, individuals can paint or decorate the headboard to match the décor of the room. Baskets, clip-on lamps, hanging art, and hooks for earphones are all decorating possibilities with a pegboard headboard.

    Jewelry Organizer – Pegboards make jewelry organization much easier and less messy. Earrings, rings, necklaces, and bracelets can be hung effortlessly on a pegboard. Those interested in this project will first need to frame the back of the pegboard to ensure there is enough space between the back of the board and the wall. Attach the backboards with a nail gun. Paint the board and while it is drying, consider using old molding as a frame for the front of the pegboard. If framing the board, just make sure to measure and cut the four pieces of molding at 45-degree angles. Those who wish to paint the molding should do so before attaching the molding to the pegboard. Ensure the board has the right hardware or wire at the back so it can be placed securely on the wall. Finally, use hooks and chicken wire to organize your jewelry accessories.

    Pegboard Backsplash – Tenants or homeowners looking to maximize kitchen space can turn a boring backsplash into functional storage. Even better, this process can be done at a minimal cost and removed in a matter of minutes for future projects. First, make a template of the backsplash area using a large piece of paper. Cut around the edges so that the paper matches the measurements of the backsplash. Next, use the template to outline the cutting area on the pegboard, ensuring the lines are straight and avoiding the holes. Use a jigsaw from to cut the pegboard and test it against the backsplash space. Once accurate, attach felt pads behind the board to keep the board off the wall. This will allow the hooks to slide behind. Line up the pegboard and use drywall screws to attach the board into several wall studs. Add hooks as you wish to hang pots, pans, spoons, kitchen towels, and even mugs.

  • Beginner: 5 Hidden Dangers in your Home

    Your home should be the one place where you feel completely safe and secure. Even if you’ve installed a security system, updated fire alarms, and stored emergency supplies, you may still have some hidden dangers present in your home. While they are not easy to spot and can go undetected for years, potential hazards in these five areas need to be managed before someone in your household gets sick: Home Danger

    1. Paint – Lead was banned from household paint in 1978 but older homes that have been repainted multiple times over the years are still at risk. Lead-based paints have been linked to a variety of health risks including problems with brain development in children. If you live in a house that was built pre-1978, first conduct a lead test at home. If the results appear positive, hire a professional to address the problem.
    2. Mold – One of the most common health hazards found in homes, mold can lie dormant when no water is present and then spring to life at the first drop of moisture or humidity. Mold is difficult to get rid of because it can spread quickly. It has been known to cause allergic reactions, asthma, and other health problems. The best way to deal with mold is to prevent it in the first place. Check for leaks in plumbing and air ducts on a regular basis and pay extra attention to the bathroom and kitchen, as they contain moisture. Get rid of any signs of mold with household bleach.
    3. Wallpaper – Certain wallpapers contain phthalates – chemicals that help make plastics flexible but that are also toxic to humans. These chemicals can cause allergic reactions and asthma. If you believe that your house has this hazard, remove old wallpaper and invest in a non-phthalate version or simply repaint.
    4. Carpet – Older carpets can contain dust mites, toxins, and environmental allergens while newly purchased carpet can contain chemicals applied during production. Carpets take in everything they touch. Because of this, many people prefer tiles or hardwood floors in their homes. To prevent germs from staying hidden in your carpet, clean them on a regular basis with cleaner that can be purchased from Additionally, schedule a deep cleaning every other month or as you deem necessary. Consider replacing old, worn-out carpet with new toxin-free options that are made from natural fibers.
    5. Furniture – Most furnishings are treated with flame-retardant chemicals, which can be toxic and rub off on skin and clothing. If possible, consider investing in “green” furniture, which is made from eco-friendly materials. If this option is too expensive, vacuum and clean your furniture on a regular basis.

    If any of the above hazards seem like a realistic threat in your household, contact a professional if you are unsure how to proceed. Be wary of trying to rid your home of these dangers yourself, as they usually require the tools and treatment of a specialist.

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