Do-It-Yourself Home Improvement Tips To Save You Money


If you are not certain that you have the know-how to do a home improvement properly, a little education can really help you out. When dealing with home improvement, you may want to ascertain you are as knowledgeable as possible in order to improve your house as best as you can. Read this informative article to assist you in helping yourself.

Label your storage containers for better organization. No matter how organized you are, it can be difficult to locate a small piece of hardware in your shop. Written labels do not provide the instant visual cue that this method does.


Remember those annoying little paper jewelry boxes that you get with every purchase? Don’t throw them out. Instead utilize them to clean your desk or bathroom drawer. Remove the lids and clip the boxes together to fit the inside of your drawer. You can now use them to categorize and store your little things such as paper clips, erasers, notepads and other small items.

If you need to make renovations to your bathroom, you should make it handicap-accessible. It is not necessary to talk about it extensively, but you should get ready because it may save you a lot of time and effort. If you are planning to sell your house, these preparations will surely add to your house’s value.


For home improvement projects big enough to require a contractor, it is very important that you get a contractor like San Antonio roofing you can trust. Review a prospective contractor’s history and talk to his previous employers. Any disputes, lawsuits or cost overruns you find in a contractor’s background are serious warning flags. Remember to ask the contractor to explain anything troubling you turn up, though.Siding

If you are improving your home to increase its sale value, focus on the important portions first. Trying to renovate the whole home will become overly expensive and provide a diminishing return on investment. Items such as exterior siding, plumbing fixtures, lighting, and kitchen appliances, however, will be universally appealing as you try to sell the home.


When repainting the exterior of your home, use plastic sheeting and masking tape to avoid getting paint on unwanted surfaces, such as your windows. Use drop cloths to protect your driveway, porch, and shrubs from dripping paint. You will also want to use 3-inch masking tape to protect the trim while you are painting the siding on your house.

What does the siding on your home look like? Do you have the old asbestos siding that was so prominent decades ago? Maybe you have vinyl siding, and it is starting to fall apart or look dingy. Perhaps you are thinking about bricking your house which is all around the best type of siding. Whatever the case may be, siding your home, while it can be expensive, is one of the best options in improving the value of your home.


If you’re going to replace the siding on the outside of your house, you must remember insulation. It is sure to increase your home’s value and reduce your energy costs. This process helps you save a lot of money.

Do you really want to have a better and more attractive home? Then get started right now and do not procrastinate. You will make your home look great if you apply these tips and hints the next time you’re doing work on it.

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Walls – How They’re Built

They are all around us

Walls keep the Elements out and a Controlled Environment on the Inside. Walls Separate Rooms, Closets, Restrooms, Dens, Living Rooms, Kitchens and other areas of our Home. When the Home is in the Construction Phase, Walls are Built out of 2×4 or 2×6 studs which are Douglas Fir (wood), sometimes Metal Studs or even Concrete is used for certain Applications.

The Framework is Covered in a Variety of Materials like:

  • Drywall (known as Gypsum Board – finished in a variety of textured looks)
  • Plaster (hard like concrete – in a variety of textured looks)
  • Paneling (wood or synthetic)
  • Wood (usually vertical panels)
  • Tile (porcelain or ceramic)
  • Glass (in solid pane or window form)

The Different Materials used on the Exterior of the Home Consist of:

  • Stucco (which is a Concretematerial – in a variety of textured looks)
  • Siding (wood, vinyl or recycled materials – hung horizontal or vertical)
  • T1-11 (plywood in 4″ or 8″ grooves – hung vertically)
  • Glass Block (in a wide variety of sizes and looks)

Most of these materials whether inside or outside need to be sealed (protected) for a variety of reasons. With a variety of products. Mainly to last as long as possible without having to replace them from rot or decay. Repairing walls inside or outside of the home can be done by the homeowner once they become familiar with the materials that they are about to repair.

In between the outer and inner walls there could be fiberglass insulation and possibly a vapor barrier on the outer wall to protect the wall and us from the outside elements. Be careful not to damage or remove these barriers. They are there for a reason. If you do have to remove insulation or vapor barriers, make sure you replace them in full sheets and you wear the correct clothing to work with these materials.

Repairing walls

When attempting repairs on the inner walls of your home, take note of what kind of material is being used. Normally gypsum board (drywall) is used these days in 1/2″ thickness. Older homes can have a mixture of materials like plaster or vertical wood planking or even paneling. Paneling could be mounted to the wall on top of drywall or just mounted to the wall studs (framework). Wood planks are mounted to the framework, usually at the top and bottom and the hardware is hidden by decorative moulding, so it looks seamless.

The Basics

Wall repair, for the homeowner, is easier than you may think. Now we are talking about minor damage in drywall like, fist size to basketball in sized holes. When sizing up the damage, pay attention to the thickness of the wall material and the framework inside the wall. Most wood framework, called studs, is put together on a 16″(inch) on center schedule for fastening purposes and strength of structure. That means when you measure the center of one stud, it should be 16″ on the center of the next stud and so on. This is also good to know for when you hang heavy objects on the wall. It gives you a measured map of the wall for securing to the studs.In the initial building phase of the wall (framework), the top and bottom plates (which hold the studs between the two plates vertically) are marked going in one direction (left to right or right to left, depending on what else may be joining into that wall…for example…a door, another wall joining this wall, etc.).

In the case of the large hole, we will need to open up the hole to extend to the studs on center. In other words, find the two outer studs of the hole and get that measurement. A 2 by 4 (2×4) is normally 1 1/2″ by 3 1/2″ (1 1/2 x 3 1/2). So the center of the stud would be 3/4″ (3/4 + 3/4 = 1 1/2). It doesn’t have to be perfect but, you need to have an edge of wood to screw the drywall to. So when you measure, kinda eyeball the center of the stud on one side and measure over to the next stud and that is the number you want going left and right. This could measure 16″ to 32″ or maybe 48″. Remember that the measurement could be off the 16″ formula.

Dry Wall Repair

Cut a piece of drywall so it overlaps half of the stud on the left and the right, so you can fasten it to the stud left or right. The height of the repair piece should be cut to more than cover up the hole. Now take your cut piece of drywall and put it over the hole and trace around the piece so you get a mark to cut. This is so the repair piece of drywall will extend from one stud to another which enables you to fasten it at two edges.Now that we have cut and traced the new piece of drywall over the hole, it is time to cut the square or rectangle we have drawn.

You will need a drywall saw. A small pointed type of saw so you can push the point in to start the cutting. Cutting on top of the wood (stud) is a little more difficult. Use a utility knife for this and be careful not to cut yourself. Keep your hands away from the cutting direction.

When cutting on the stud it will not come out as a clean straight edge, this is okay. Once we have a matching hole to our matching repair piece of drywall, we are ready to install the drywall. Set the drywall square piece into the hole and fasten it with drywall screws. About 4 – 6 inches apart on the screws up and down the edge should be fine, just make sure the head of the screw is below the surface of the existing drywall. Now we are ready for finishing this up.

Dry wall repair finishing

The next phase in this repair is to mud (joint compound) the seams of the drywall piece we just installed. You have some choices of which kind of joint compounds to use. Retail outlets have fast setting compounds or overnight drying compounds. The fast drying compunds are just that, fast, you have to know what you are doing when you use them. I suggest an all purpose pre-mixed compound if you are new to mudding and have the time.

To begin, we need to have some tools: a mud pan, a 4” putty knife; a 6″ or 8″ putty knife and some joint tape. Start with putting some joint compound (mud) on the seam all the way around the repair. Then put a full piece of joint tape on top of the mud. Go over the joint tape with some more mud and press slightly to get the mud into the seam.

TIP:I personally do not use joint tape on this type of repair, due to the tape sits above the plane of the wall. Do not over load the seams with too much mud the first time around. Put some in or on the seams and let it dry. once the mud is dry, fill any voids with more mud and wait for it to dry. You may have to do this a few times which is best. Now we have to sand the dried mud flush so you can not feel the repair. Now all you have to do is prime and paint to match surrounding area


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Doors, Understanding Walk Through Openings


When it comes time to change out or install an opening in a wall- like a door, there are certain considerations that should be taken from the beginning. It’s a good idea to have measurements from or have the door and frame already purchased, so you can rely on those measurements while doing any work.

First, if this is part of any new construction project, the framework will already be exposed. This makes for easy modification of the studs. This is the easiest point in which to cut and install any opening for a passage, door, window etc.

Secondly, when the walls are finished, (drywall, plaster, paneling, etc.) there’s more work to be done.

Today, we will be referring to pre-hung interior doors, sold at most retail centers

When starting this project with finished walls, you will need to determine where the framework is inside the wall and cut into the wall to create an opening from top to bottom slightly larger than what you desire. Usually by one studs span (roughly 14 1/2″ – 16″) and then replace the stud at the correct spot to receive the frame of the door.

For strength, the opening (any opening) will need a header, which is a beam above the opening, usually a 4×4, 4×6, or larger, set with king studs and trimmers. King studs run the complete height from bottom plate to top plate.

You should see this if you opened up the wall correctly. Then the trimmer 2 x 4′s are the movable parts to set the door correctly with shims. The header sits just above the trim 2 x 4′s, nailed to the king studs and will have a cripple wall, above the header and in between the king studs.

At this point you will need to rely on the measurements from the door and frame that you are installing. Note: The header length should be slightly longer than the width of the door frame that receives the door.

Once you have the framework ready for the door frame, install the frame and door into the opening and plumb / level.

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