If you’re like most homeowners, you know that the trees on your property should receive an occasional pruning. However, the task is usually put off until, for the umpteenth time, you bump into a low-hanging branch while mowing the lawn. “That’s it.” you say. “Tree. your time has come.” Typically, the tree is then attacked by a variety of tools. with limbs hacked off in a mostly random manner. When a large enough pile of branches has accumulated, the job is pronounced finished.
Your home may be filled with fire hazards that aren’t obvious. Here’s where to look, and what you should own to make your home safer. Does your family know what to do if a fire breaks out in your home? Have you ever checked your home for potential fire hazards? If you answer “no” to either question, your family could be in danger. You’ll see fire hazards in your home you might not be aware of and how to reduce these risks, products to help protect your home and, most importantly, what to do if there is a fire.
Plumbing can be mysterious and complicated stuff — much of it, anyway. But happily, many of the plumbing problems that haunt every house are no big deal to fix, even if wrenches make you nervous. The simple fixes shown here will help you solve seven small but nagging plumbing problems. Some take only five or ten minutes and require no tool more complicated than a pair of pliers or your own hand.
When it comes to understanding a drain, there’s a lot more going on than meets the eye. At first, it seems childishly simple. A pipe from the sink leads down through an abrupt, U-shaped “squiggle” and disappears through the wall, presumably taking all the drain water and waste with it. When I was 8, I figured that the “squiggle,” called a P-trap (Fig. A) was a special blessing for kids with slippery fingers.
Working with the old cast iron and threaded galvanized pipe in a home can certainly mark a low point in a DIYer career. Pipes are tough to get apart and even worse to reconnect because you never have the exact lengths you need. Copper pipe makes the job easier, although you have to learn the required soldering skills. Then plastic pipe arrived – what an ideal DIY material! You can cut and assemble it without special tools and you can master the joining process in the time it takes to read this article.
The smart gardener’s time-saving, water-conserving, weed-busting magic carpet. Talk about a landscaping product! It slashes water bills, improves the health and appearance of your plants, and saves your aching back. You don’t have to plug it in or buy a service warranty for it. There’s no assembly required. What I’m trying to sell you on is simple, down-to-earth mulch. We can learn a lot about mulch from Mother Nature. Take a walk through any woods and notice the forest floor, layered in pine needles or leaves — it’s soft and moist; there are few weeds or competing plants; the air is cool; the trees are robust.
How often have you come home at night, fumbled for the door key, and wished you’d left the light on? Or had to negotiate an icy sidewalk in the dark? Or felt apprehensive about strange noises outdoors? A motion detector that automatically switches on the outdoor lights is the perfect convenience to welcome you home at night, usher you up the walk (no need to fear tripping on a baseball bat!
Do you sometimes think you’re outgrowing your home? Did the rooms seem much bigger when you moved in? Whatever happened to all that space? No. your home isn’t shrinking before your eyes. It just feels that way. If the cramped rooms in your house or apartment are reminding you all too often of the dimensions of your decorating budget, we have some ideas for you to change all that — without moving a wall or raising the roof.
Three feet of water fall on the average house in an average year— that’s 75 tons or 518,400,000 raindrops by my estimate. The shingles and flashings of your roof must work together, day in and day out, to prevent that cascade of water from working its way inside. At the same time, your roof must let chimneys and vents escape through it, endure loo-degree temperature fluctuations and serve as an attractive part of your home’s exterior.
It’s not the easiest project you’ll ever try. You’ll sweat, get really dirty and have a tired back when you’re finished. But for a great-looking “instant” lawn, or if you’re redoing some of the landscaping around your yard, you’ll have to lay sod. To make sure that your time and dollar investment is a success, you need to know more than just “green side up.” But don’t worry. The steps are straightforward and easy to understand and it’s one project that’s doable by even the greenest DIYer.