10 Things Every Homeowner Needs to Know to Save Money AND Possibly a Life

by DIY Maven

10 Things Every Homeowner Needs to Know to Save Money AND Possibly a Life

 

As you know, owning a home is a big responsibility. (Well, it is if you don't want to let it fall into disrepair.) And although most people understand that, I'm always a bit surprised at how much homeowners don't know about their homes. And it's not little stuff either. It's stuff that could save thousands of dollars in property damage or even somebody's life. (That's not hyperbole

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DIY Lessons Learned: Testing for Lead

by Bruno Bornsztein

Lessons Learned: Lead Testing

The Project: 
Finishing up some leftover painting jobs in the Curbly House. After two months living in the house, we decided it was finally time to get the fireplace and stairs painted.

The Story: While the Curbly house was under construction, we had free reign to make a mess, paint whatever and whenever we wanted, and generally run wild. That's because no one was living in the house, and we knew we'd be doing a thorough (i.e. obsessive) clean...

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DIY Lessons Learned: Hearing Protection

by Bruno Bornsztein

DIY Lessons Learned: Hearing Protection
The Project: Anything LOUD! In my case, that includes using a table saw, using a miter saw, mowing the lawn, changing a dirty diaper, etc. etc. 

The Story: Hearing protection is just one of those things people like to ignore. Most folks will throw on some eye goggles or a face mask in the appropriate circumstances, but for some reason prolonged exposure to really loud noises doesn't seem to bother us. Why is that?

Think about it: those few...

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DIY Lessons Learned: Protecting Your Volunteers

by Bruno Bornsztein

DIY Lessons Learned: Protecting Your Volunteers

The Project: 
Enlisting the help of friends and family to clean up the Curbly House after months of messy construction. 

The Story: At some point in the course of any big DIY project, you're bound to need some help from family and friends. That moment came for us when it was time to get the house ready for move-in. Think: months of demolition debris, drywall dust, paint spills, and general construction garbage. It was pretty nasty.

A ton of...

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Lessons Learned the Hard Way: Keep Your Safety Glasses On!

by Bruno Bornsztein

Lessons Learned the Hard Way: Keep Your Safety Glasses On!

...Or, why Murphy's Law also applies to your peepers, people.

The Project: Cutting out old gas lines in the Curbly House, to make way for new electrical wiring and structural reinforcements (yes, these old houses were lit gas lamps!).

The Story: It was late in the day, almost time to wrap things up, but there was one lingering steel pipe up in the ceiling that I wanted to cut out. "Five minutes," I thought, then I'll go home. So I pulled out my...

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How to: Cut Tile at Home...and Not Seriously Injure Yourself

by Bruno Bornsztein

3M DIY safe prep tips

The Curbly House is moving into the 'finishing-up' phase, now that the walls are all closed up, taped, mudded, and sanded. Better yet, the bathroom walls and floor are ready for tile! I'll do a post later this week about our tile-laying adventures (don't worry, there's no tile inspection to fail), but today I wanted point out some important safety tips. Read on to find out how I'm make cutting and setting tile an injury-free process.

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Carpentry Accident Leads to Toe for Thumb

by DIY Maven

Man Loses Thumb Has Replaced With Big Toe

Why-oh-why is this story on the pages of Curbly? Because it's a reminder to all who work with power tools what can happen in a split second if we're not careful. 

Last year carpenter James Byrne had an accident at work. He cut his thumb off with a chop saw. Doctors tried re-attaching it several times to no avail. His surgeon then suggested they use one of his big toes instead. James, whose thumbs are vital for his work, was up for it. They...

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Why We SHOULD NOT Be Using Pallets in Our Interiors

by DIY Maven

toddler bed, kids eco furniture, recycled materials, DIY, pallet bed, shipping pallets, lori danelle

Okay, here's the deal, a blogger by the name of Nick went on a rant a few months back about why we should absolutely NOT be using rescued pallets in our interiors. His argument is compelling indeed and has made me re-think all those 'pallet projects' I've promoted over the years. 

First he points out the history of rescued pallets.

  • They are "exposed to water, all manner of vermin and insects" and bird droppings.

Then he brings up E. coli &

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Illuminating Switch Plates--A DIY Attempt Gone Bad and the Power of Blogger Karma

by DIY Maven

Find a Light Glow in the Dark WallPlate Insert

Last winter, I spotted the above pic on the internets and thought, "I can DIY that!" I stashed the idea in my 'make some day' idea bin, and few weeks back, I decided to finally give it a go. A bit of plastic rescued from the recycle bin, a drop or two of glow-in-the-dark paint and I would be golden. Or so I thought. The outcome was tragic. The paint was gloopy; the plastic too...plastic-y. I trashed the whole thing and forgot about it. 

...

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6+ Germ-Infested Places in Your Home

by DIY Maven

6+ Germ-Infested Places in Your Home

MWT has a cold. At least we HOPE it's a cold and not that snout flu. Just to be on the safe side, as soon as the first sniffle appeared, I wiped down places I deemed 'germ-laden'. According to WebMD, my hunches were right, but I missed some! Here's a rundown of the 6 germiest places in your pad and ways to de-funkify them.

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Curbly Video Quick Tip: Create a Crosscut Sled on the Cheap.

by Chris Gardner

Curbly Video Quick Tip: Create a Crosscut Sled on the Cheap.

The table saw is the most versatile option for the DIYster, equally successful at making rip cuts (with the grain) and crosscuts (across the grain). When making crosscuts, it's much better to rely on support which holds the workpiece at a 90-degree angle to the blade, rather than the rip fence, which is parrallel to the blade.

Enter the crosscut sled, an extremely easy homemade option for safe and accurate crosscuts on any table saw. This option...

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Caution! Christmas Light Safety Tips.

by Chris Gardner

Caution! Christmas Light Safety Tips.

Whether they're outside, inside, or perhaps a bit of both, Christmas lights are connected to your home circuit, and as with anything, especially those outside, you gots to be safe.

Here's a few tips from Suite101 to keep the fires in the yule logs and the shocks on your face when you open the perfect gift.

•    Leaving lights on while not at home
•    Christmas Tree Advice
•    Extension Cords
•    Stringing lights together
•    Touching a...

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10 Most Common Mistakes of DIY'ers.

by Chris Gardner

Trying something the first time is gonna lead to a few fluff ups. Here's a well assembled list of ten to keep in mind as you embrace a new project.

10 Most Common Mistakes of DIY'ers.

1. Failing to make a budget. 2. Overestimating their abilities.

 

3. Not having the right tools. 4. Failing to take proper safety precautions.

 

5. Failing to recognize the scope of a project. 6. Not having enough help. 7. Failing to read directions...

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Worry Less On Vacation

by Lilybee

Worry Less On Vacation

The goober and I are heading to Ireland tomorrow for a week and a bit. My sweetie is sitting this one out which means I don't have to worry about the flat being empty.When leaving someone at home just isn't an option, there are plenty of things you can do to worry-proof your home they include:

  • giving your neighbours a heads up, and a contact number
  • using timers to turn on lights, radio's etc
  • turning the phone ringer off
  • cancelling...

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How to Avoid Splintering and Tearing when Cutting Plywood

by Chris Gardner

The thin layers of plywood can often splinter and chip when cut with a power saw, resulting in an ugly edge that looks like this:

How to Avoid Splintering and Tearing when Cutting Plywood

To prevent your cut line from tearing:
1. Always use an appropriate blade for plywood, and be sure that it’s sharp. The blade that came with your saw – whether you bought or rented it – is likely inadequate.
2. Be sure the good face of your plywood is closer to the outside of the blade. So on a table saw, the...

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How to use extension cords safely.

by DIY Maven

Safety tips for using an extension cord

Extension cords are meant to be a temporary solution and NOT a substitution for permanent wiring. However, if you are to use them, here are some good tips to follow in an effort to prevent electrical fires.

  • Secure extension cords down with electrical tape, especially if they are run across trafficked areas.
  • Keep slack in your extension cords, as tension at the plug can cause the connection to pull loose.
  • Make sure that the amperage...

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DIY Disasters!

by Chris Gardner

DIY Dump has assembled a "Top Five" list of "DIY idiots" who've attempted a DIY adventure, only to have it take a different course than they planned.

DIY Disasters!

A similar article details that Britons have cause over 350 million pounds of damage to their homes with failed DIY projects.

 

Does that make you wanna think twice before starting your next DIY-venture?

 

Nah, I didn't think so 

 

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