Monday, November 28, 2011

Well that's over

So what do you get the "serious" DIYer in your household for the holidays? Here's a hint...Ask them. Or if you have a major project coming up get a piece of high end equipment related to that task. If you are painting the house get a decent paint sprayer. If you are building a deck get a compressor and nailgun. This approach serves more than one purpose. 1st it solves the gift dilemma. Next it gets the project off the ground quickly without prodding since they won't be able to wait to play with their new toy. And 3rd if you chose well it will help bring it to a timely and satisfactory conclusion due to your gift making it easier and much more pleasurable to do. Another excellent idea is to hire a service. Again if you are painting the outside hire a pressure washing service to clean and prep the house. Everyone knows that prep is at least half the work involved in a quality paint job and trust me this will be appreciated especially if it involves second story work. If all else fails get a gift card for their favorite home center or hardware store. This ensures they get what they want (not what they need) but that is a topic for another day.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

If you are among those lucky souls that stumble upon this blog by accident (it seems not many come here on purpose) I wish you and your family the happiest of days.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Great stuff!

Having a ball on Estero Island. (Fort Myers Beach, Fl) One of the things I like about weekend get-aways is that the carpenter in me gets to see all the old buildings. I love the idea of noticing every little flaw in a building and knowing what needs to be done to fix them. I love knowing I don't have to do any of it even more.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Football and turkey!

Every year football and turkey combine to enhance the holidays. We get to experience the ballgame while simultaneously being treated to wonderful aromas from the kitchen. If you did your homework you should be able to relax and enjoy yourself. pitch in and help out in the kitchen after the meal because if you do not only will you score points for the clean-up the rest of the crew will feel guilty and pitch in as well which will give the cooking crew a break and you can lead the clean-up crew. Everyone gets a pat on the back and no-one gets resentments or overworked.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tis the season to abandon all reason.

So we find ourselves this holiday spending money we don't have on stuff we don't need. Would it kill you to spring for little luxuries that make life more tolerable year round? Dad doesn't want a new tie he won't wear but he does want to take a shower that isn't wrecked because someone(you know who you are) flushed when it was time to rinse the conditioner out. You know that dimmer switch that doesn't dim? Fix it. It's not hard and it takes one more pain in the neck off of his plate. Guess what? If you can read this then you can probably clean or change the A/C filter. It takes under 5 min and is simple to do. I guess what I am getting at is just pitch in. Do you want to come home from work or school only to find a to-do list waiting? Geez let the man (or woman) sit for a few minutes. Bring a tall beverage and say sit I  got this. It's all about love and respect and there is nothing that can make you feel better.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


For some reason tis the season. It makes me feel like getting a paint brush wet. What's it gonna be? Oil or latex? The advances in latex have pretty much made oil obsolete. As much as I like the properties of latex. Water clean-up and all that are great properties to have but you can't beat oil for longevity, durability, and smoothness. The biggest worry is how do you cover oil with latex? It is all in the preparation of the surface to be painted. The smooth skin of oil paint will just cause the paint to peel kinda like a vacation sunburn. You can sand it to give a surface something to grab. Unfortunately you are gonna gum up a lot of paper. My personal recommendation is to use a readily available preparation that is specially formulated to take the gloss off and leave a paintable surface. Having decided on paint just sit and think a minute. Oil is still the selection of choice for high humidity locations. I have personally painted an aquarium cover that still looks brand new to this day and that was 15 years ago. I am pretty sure it wouldn't have lasted 5 years had I done it in latex. The name of the game is pick your poison. I love latex for it's versatility and I love oil for its durability.

Sunny me beach!

What we have here is a failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach.......Um hold on a sec that was my inner Strother Martin coming through. What you may ask does this have to do with home improvement? Well go ahead and ask. What! no takers well I'm gonna tell you anyhow. Now I don't like this anymore than you men...Crap there he is again! A man (or woman) alone with their thoughts can come up with a hundred things to make their home a better place to be. Are your toilets slow? Garbage disposal not disposing? Cracked tile? you did save a couple tiles from the last project right? just about any thing that disturbs you in your home can be remediated all you gotta do is ask me. If I don't have the answer I know who does and will be happy to plumb the depths of my colleagues experience. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving especially if you are frying a turkey for the first time. I cannot stress enough how important it is to dry that sucker off before you put it in the oil. Also if you live in a warm climate where the uniform of the day is shorts and flip-flops put on some protective gear so you don't wind up eating hospital turkey.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Back off Santa!

Call me old fashioned but I refuse to talk about Christmas before thanksgiving. Reflecting on the things we are thankful for gives a little more sincerity come the Christmas holiday. OK enough editorializing. Let's focus some more on making the Thanksgiving celebration easier and less stressful. If you are of the DIY disposition this means you have the skills to make this happen. We all know how the potluck dinner goes (everyone brings a dish and it give the hosts less to cook). Where Are you going to put all that food? Well you don't want it in the kitchen cause you are already pressed for space, so let's DIY a solution. If you work around the house at all you have a set of sawhorses these are the legs of the utility table you are going to make. What! you don't have sawhorses? Well you need em. If you are pressed for space home centers sell folding ones that store nicely. Now cut a sheet of 3/4" plywood about 2" wider than the horses and now you you have everything for an 8' table to hold anything you need and it will all fit neatly in a closet later(you may need to trim a few inches off the plywood) Grab a cheap sheet ina color you like and you are done.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Get it ready now so it's fun later.

Ok folks we have the Thanksgiving holiday coming up fast. Today my thoughts are geared more toward the family that has the dubious distinction of hosting the festivities. First and foremost clean the kitchen! If you or another family member has the responsibility of maintaining the overall cleanliness of the kitchen then by all means keep it up as a matter of maintenance. Now we all know that in the traditional sense most times the women gather in the kitchen/dining area and the men gather in front of the TV. I am here to tell you that our times they are a changing and non-traditional gatherings are becoming more and more the norm so this is entirely gender neutral but the chores in front of you remain the same no matter who they fall to. For instance if a lady feels comfortable pulling out the fridge and scrubbing behind it while the man dusts the ceiling fans then so be it. So with that in mind let's get started. Ok we are talking deep cleaning here. I mentioned pulling out the fridge, well pull out the range too if it is that type. I have found grease thick enough on the floor behind a range I needed a putty knife to scrape it up. Now clean the inside and I do mean clean it. Empty the fridge completely and remove all the shelves,drawers, etc and take them outside and clean them there. My top hint for those impossible to clean grill type shelves is to take them to the car wash and blast them clean there. Take those crusty oven racks and broiler trays with you. Using the de-grease feature used to clean engines will make short work of the worst of the crud. The whole point is to get the place as close to pristine as possible to make it a safe ,healthy, pleasing space to work in. Get all non-essential stuff off the countertops. Counterspace is at a premium when there is a lot of preperation going on. Consider setting up a coffee service on a side table in the dining area or near the bar. When Aunt mildred just wants a cup of coffee she can get it without getting in the way and the coffee pot is out of the way. Fix all the little bugaboos we all have like loose knobs and faucet drips. Get the lights all in shape so everyone can see. Get out the coolers and clean them up so you have space for the cold drinks outside. This keeps people out of the kitchen and frees up space in the fridge.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I'm kinda bummed!

OK here's the real deal. You are a complete and utter idiot with no hope for salvation if you buy anything besides a plunger or a closet auger to unstop a toilet. Chemicals do not work I do not care what the people selling chemicals say and you should not either.If you have a clog that an auger cannot resolve then the problem is NOT your toilet. Depending on the strength of your arms(and stomach) you may have to pull the toilet up. Remember it isn't a toilet problem if there are other slow drains. For that you (may) need a pro depending on your proficiency with plumbing. Answer these questions.... are you on septic or sewer? how old is the system? Are there trees that could contribute invasive roots? If you are unsure of how to diagnose the problem then by all means call a pro.......BUT and this is a big but. If you know your way around some pipes and have an adequete tool supply along with a strong (kinda) back We can fix this thing for the price of parts and missing the first half of the game. drop a line and I can walk you through it. If you got a kid to do the digging for you so much the better.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Dammit Jim I'm a doctor!

Ok it doesn't get any better than this. What are you going to do when the turlet quits? Well that's easy enough if you got the plumbers cash laying around. You also need the time to wait for him to show up. (he wants to watch the game too and will charge accordingly). Sooooo heres what you do. Make everyone pee outside till halftime and then make a run to the store. You need to buy a plunger(fixes 90% of plugs) If you have one of the other 10% then first you need to make sure your friend is OK cause that is a serious malfunction of the poopin system. While you are at the store you might as well grab a closet auger. I don't know why they call it that but I know it handles the plug when your grandson-daughter flushes a dozen armymen. Or a naked barbie doll. Give me a holler we can fix this stuff together and it doesn't have to cost a fortune.