October 2011

Cleaning Out The Gutters

With the winter months approaching quickly, it's easy to forget that you gutters are probably filled to the brim with 

fallen leaves. When the October and November rains come, they are going to overflow and so will the snow when they melt in March.

Now is the time to go out and clean out those gutters and save yourself from a flooded front yard. Start by placing a ladder against the side of the house. Make sure the ladder is secure. You're going to want to get some gloves because that's a whole lot of disgusting.

Start at one end and just pull out the leaves and debris. You can throw them into the yard, but it might be better to attach a garbage bag to the ladder and collect the leaves. When the bag is full, just tie it off and throw it on the ground. While cleaning the gutter sounds easy, there are a couple of possible pitfalls.

Play It Safe Around Electricity

"The last thing you want is to be shocked while holding a saw."

Home improvement can be very empowering, but it should only be done if safety is a main priority. We've all seen Tim 

“The Toolman” Taylor take his scrapes and bruises, but always come out of it unhurt. That doesn't happen in real life.

One false move and you could be electrocuted or, at the very least, given a good jolt. That roof isn't going to get fixed if your spending six weeks in the hospital being treated for electrical burns. When it comes to electricity, the only thing to do is make sure there isn't any. I don't mean unplugging or turning off a light switch. I mean, going to your breaker box and turning off the breaker.

This rule goes for any time you might encounter an electrical line, such as putting in a new light, tearing down a wall, etc. When it is all over, you can go back and turn it on to make sure everything is connected properly.

Friends Make Home Improvement Easier

 

The best thing about home improvement is you get a sense of accomplishment out of it. You fixed something or 

updated something without having to pay a plumber or carpenter.

The problem is sometimes that job is just a little too big or you don't quite no how to do it all. That's where friends come in. We all have those friends that have a little more experience or knowledge about things, so don't be afraid to invite them over.

The job goes twice as fast with two people and he can help you out when you hit a snag. If anything, they are moral support even then you make the wrong decision. Friends are the lifeblood of any do-it-yourselfer.

Host Your Own Child-Friendly Haunted House

If you want to really get in on the Halloween spirit this year, why not make your own haunted house? This is something that my husband and I are sort of obsessed with, though we haven’t done anything super spooky in recent years because our daughter is still very young and spooked by scary things. Still, you can create a lot of different spooky effects and fun decorations without being too scary, such as…

How To Patch A Small Hole

 

So you were moving a piece of furniture from the living room to your patio, when suddenly your foot lipped and the 

furniture went careening into the wall. The leg or arm of the punctured the drywall and now you've got an annoying hole in the wall for the world to see.

Don't worry, patching up that hole isn't has hard it you might think. Head over to the nearest hardware store and purchase a hole patching kit. It will include a plastic screen with adhesive to cover the hole and some Spackle for repair. You're going to need a small trowel to apply the Spackle and some sandpaper.

When you get home, take out the backing and place it over the hole. Open the jar of spackle and use the trowel to apply it over the hole. Be care to apply it evenly and don't worry if its a little raised. Let it dry over night, and take a look at it in the morning. Since the moisture in the spackle has dried, it may have cracked or shrank a little over night. Just apply more spackle to cover the cracks, and give it a few hours to dry.

Don't Be Afraid To Do It Yourself

 

The hardest thing about being a do-it-yourselfer is taking that first step to independence. Sure, it's easy to just call a 

plumber or carpenter to fix every little thing, but unless you got some serious money in the bank, most people can't afford it.

You don't need to hire someone to patch that small hole in the wall or fix that leaky faucet. You can do it; you just have to believe in yourself and get some reliable information. The Internet is filled with home improvement websites and forums to help tell you exactly how to fix your problem. They tell you exactly what tools you'll need and how to use them to fix the problem.

If you're afraid to use the Internet, just head over to your nearest big box home improvement store. They don't just hire high school kids that point you to the right aisle. They hire actual experts to provide you with the information needed to fix your problem. They will walk you to the proper area and tell you how to use the tools and other products.