Posts filed under ‘DIY’
In an effort to spend as little money as possible on further renovations (because hey, I already spent too much as it is)…I’m playing a little game with myself to see just how low I can keep my costs. That means no more hiring people to do my floors for me (as in the kitchen). Because of this, I decided to refinish one of the guest bedrooms myself. However, as usual, nothing is ever as easy as it seems. I figured that I’d rent one of those big floor sanders, however it turns out that I can’t lift it by myself from out of the car, up my front steps, and onto my second floor. So tonight, I borrowed my neighbor’s orbital palm sander and went to work.
Yes, you read that right…I decided to sand the floors with a palm sander. Let it be said that they invented floor sanders for a purpose — that purpose being to make large scale floor sanding easier & quicker. However, let it also be said that it CAN be done with an orbital palm sander…assuming that you are crazy, cheap, and have time and brain cells to kill. For better or worse, I chose to not wait until someone could help me lift the large one and did it by hand instead. And sheesh, am I tired!
Yesterday I invited a few friends over to help demolish the deck…so our friends Audrey and Michael came over to lend a hand, and it was actually a huge amount of fun. The demolition only took about 45 minutes with the four of us. That was one seriously rotten deck!! The posts weren’t even secured into the ground with concrete. It’s amazing it had lasted that long! Anyways…here are some pics.
Post destruction. Then began the bbq-ing!
I think this is a spectacular idea! If I end up doing any major renovaitons myself (ie. with my bare hands) then I’ll consider using it. Here’s a link to the West Philadelphia Tool Library.
And just in case you don’t live in Philly, it turns out there are locations across the country that do tool sharing. Go HERE for a list of one that could possibly be near you!
Photo taken by Chris Lombardi via flickr.
I’m at the tail end of my kitchen renovation. It feels nice. Although the reason that it’s not 100% complete is because of those final little details that seem so hard to finish. One of my biggest headaches these past two weeks has been hanging a double decker kitchen shelf from Ikea. Who knew something so seemingly simple would be so freaking frustrating?
Well, I’ve learned from experience that you need proper support when trying to hang a shelf. Several years ago, I attempted hanging a different Ikea shelf and in the middle of the night it came tumbling down…along with everything on top of it. Ugh.
So this time, I wanted to make sure that didn’t happen. Thus began the hunt for the perfect toggle bolt. Well, I will spare you the humiliating details of my incompetence…and instead just give you a simple DIY’ers how-to checklist for when YOU are hanging shelf [with a toggle bolt].
- Find a shelf. Preferably NOT from Ikea. I know they look pretty, but I’m convinced that they’re designed to make your life hell. However, assuming that you are like me and prefer form over function…then continue down this list.
- Determine what kind of wall you have and if there is a stud available. Screwing the shelf into a stud is ALWAYS preferable to using any other method. Or so they tell me… I never seem to hang anything into a stud.
- However, assuming you bought some fancy Ikea shelf that doesn’t work with the spacing of your studs (like I did), then knowing what type of wall you have will help you determine what kind of wall anchor you will need.
- When you’re marking the holes for drilling into the wall…make sure you use a level to make sure that your shelf will hang level. If possible, have the shelf propped up on top of something so that you’re not trying to hold the shelf whilst also marking the holes. This can be extremely frustrating.
- If you have hollow walls, a molly bolt or toggle bolt is your best option. But if you plan on hanging heavy items on this shelf, go straight for the toggle bolt. (Oh, and BUY A FEW EXTRA!) You’ll lose a couple in the wall trying to get it right…and the last thing you want to do is head back to the hardware store at 8pm on a Tuesday night.
- Also, if there is a small local hardware store nearby…make sure to purchase any wall anchors there. The people that work there are more knowledgeable and can help you pick out the right size anchor as well as any new drill bits you might need to insert that bad boy. If using a toggle bolt, you’re going to need a bigger hole than you think.
- Follow instructions on the package for how to use the toggle bolt, but here’s a tip: Make sure you get the right length bolts. (Or else you’re going to have to go back to the store yet again.) When you’re not sure, err on the side of longer than your first inclination . You can always tighten it.
- Another tip for the toggle bolt: Don’t try to be sly and put the toggle all the way at the end. You’ll need to screw it on a couple of threads so that it doesn’t get messed up behind the wall. Trust me!!
- Next tighten up the bolts…and then you’ve got a nice shelf hanging on the wall.
Hopefully this project won’t take you almost two weeks like mine did. But even though it took me that long, I must say that I’m very happy with the results.
I just saw this post over at Charles & Hudson, and am in LOVE. I’ve always had a serious fondness for brick walkways, stone streets, etc. Unfortunately neither in my new place (or my old one) do I have a place to use this idea. It doesn’t matter though because I’m totally in love with it. I’m going to have to store this one away for my future cottage home in the woods. Hopefully you’ll be able to use this idea NOW.
Go here to buy the mold.
In theory, I’m a big fan of “doing it myself.” However more often than not, this remains more of a theory than a fact. So this weekend I was very proud of myself for NOT calling the plumber to come and fix my running toilet. (It had that age old problem of continuing to run after flushing…and no matter how much I “jiggled the handle” it just wouldn’t stop. Until I raised the lid and pulled up the float arm.) It had been going on for at least a month all the while running up my water bill when I’d forget to fix it in a timely fashion, etc. (This also bothered me because I like to fancy myself as an earth-friendly kinda gal, and my blatant disregard for my own water wastage didn’t jibe with that image.)
So after all the ignoring, I got my lazy behind off the couch and decided to do something about it. Several years ago I’d gotten a copy of the book shown to the left. It was one of those things that I kept thinking that it may come in handy one day. This weekend was the first time that I cracked it open… Although it has some seriously simple how-to’s such as “How to change a light bulb in your stove,” (Gimme a break!?!) it also has some helpful things such as “how to change a light switch”, “how to fix your toilet that won’t stop running”, etc. These are the kinds of things that most of us don’t do on a daily basis, and therefore it was nice to have a user friendly…dummy-proof guide. I recently gave one of my friends a similar book as a housewarming present because I feel every single woman homeowner should have a do-it-herself guide. And probably a subscription to Angie’s List as well. (I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve used Angie’s List to find someone to do a project for me…with great success. In fact, I hired someone to do the cement work on my front porch via their site.)
Long story short…it sure feels good to have saved about $45 fixing my toilet myself. It gives me the courage to do the next [bigger] repair myself too.