1. Use sand to give paint some grip
Give paint some grip
In a bucket, combine 2 cups of paint with ¾ cup of sand. Use the mixture to coat stair treads; let dry, then top them with a coat of regular paint. See more ways to get smart with your sand.
2. Peel-proof your paint job
Use vinegar for more than just salad dressing
Before painting galvanized metal or concrete, wipe down the object or surface with vinegar, using a sponge or lint-free cloth. This little trick will help your paint job last longer. Believe it or not, there's more to vinegar than just salad dressing.
3. Tighten up loose fittings
DIY dental floss
TOH general contractor Tom Silva has used dental floss instead of Teflon tape, to block leaky gaps around parts that screw into place. He just winds a length around the fitting's threads half a dozen turns before screwing it on.
4. Space tiles with pennies
Perfect spaces? Priceless!
When setting tile, place pennies on end between the corners of each piece for spacers that are easy to remove. See more in 10 Uses for Coins .
5. Lighten the load of a heavy planter with packing peanuts
Blog Posts by This Old House Magazine
1. Use sand to give paint some gripRead More »from 7 Clever Home Improvement Hacks
- This Old House Magazine | Team Mom – Fri, Jan 25, 2013 5:19 PM EST
Gary Geiselman and his crew work on Speedwell Forge, a nearly 250-year-old Lancaster County houseOur social media channels and online communities are abuzz with homeowners planning the daunting task of a home remodel. When the weather warms and home-improvement projects begin, renovation rip-off artists come knocking, so many of you are rightfully concerned with how to avoid hiring a crook. Start with getting recommendations. Talk to your friends and family and then check in with the National Association of the Remodeling Industry for a list of members in your area. You can also talk with a building inspector, who'll know which contractors routinely meet code requirements, says This Old House general contractor Tom Silva, or pay a visit to your local lumberyard, which sees contractors regularly and knows which ones buy quality materials and pay their bills on time.Read More »from The Don't-Get-Burned Guide to Hiring a Contractor for Your Home Remodel
Once you've settled on three potential contractors, arrange a time for each one to take a look at the project. You're looking for someone with a good reputation who has the skills and experience to deliver a quality
Increase Efficiency, Not SizeBusting the budget is everyone's biggest fear when it comes to renovation. And with good reason. Even if you follow the essential advice we've been doling out for years-build in a 20 percent cushion to cover the nasty surprises, get contractor references and check them, banish the words "while you're at it" from your vocabulary--it's hard not to end up shelling out more than you want to, even if you want to pen a check for a million bucks.Read More »from 7 Ways to Save Money on Your Home Remodel
But why scale back a project or forgo that Viking range? No, what you need to do is get your dream at a price you can afford. And not by cheaping out, either. With some strategic thinking about design, materials, and timing, you can cut costs without cutting corners. We'll show you the ways, from the big (knock down the house and start over) to something as small as choosing a wall sconce over a recessed light. But another universal truth about renovations is that every little thing adds up. So save a little here, save a little there, and pretty
- This Old House Magazine | Team Mom – Wed, Jan 16, 2013 5:36 PM EST
Your home is falling apart...unless you're doing regular maintenanceRead More »from 3 Ways You're Destroying Your Home by Accident (and How to Fix it with DIY)
"From small things, Mama, big things one day come," as the song goes. It's especially true when it comes to your house. Left unchecked, seemingly minor things (a gutter pitched the wrong way, a bit of crumbly grout) can lead to bigger and expensive issues. The good news is that, in many cases, all it takes to head off catastrophe is a little preventive maintenance. "Don't wait until it's an emergency," says This Old House master carpenter Norm Abram. "Spot-check areas around your house, preferably twice a year, in the fall and spring."
Is mold taking over behind your walls?1. YOU'RE ALLOWING MILDEW TO TAKE OVER FOUNDATION WALLS
Potential problem: Overgrown foundation plantings can channel water down exterior walls, leading to mold and sill rot. What's more, roots can work their way into foundation walls and pipes.
Fix it now: Trim shrubs yourself. Better yet, replace them with dwarf varieties that won't be a perpetual pruning headache. In many parts of the country, planting in early fall gives shrubs a head start at
- This Old House Magazine | Healthy Living – Tue, Jan 15, 2013 3:57 PM EST
Flu-proof your homeHave a touch of the cold? Catch the flu? You probably did it to yourself...because you're gross. Truth is, even the most diligent OCD cleaners among us are likely to overlook these cesspools for ick. According to the Hygiene Council, here are the nastiest parts of every home. Get disinfecting, folks! - Elizabeth Lilly & Tabitha SukhaiRead More »from 7 Germiest Places in Your Home to Keep Clean This Flu Season
SEE ALL OF OUR DIY WAYS TO FLU-PROOF YOUR HOME AT THISOLDHOUSE.COM
1. Kitchen sponges. Wiping up all that spilled milk and all those cookie crumbs can add up to lots of disgusting bits lodged in the nooks and crannies of your favorite cleaning companion. If you don't want to spend on replacing your sponge every week or two, nuke it in the microwave for a few seconds or run it through a cycle in the dishwasher (along with a full load) to antibacterialize.
2. Kitchen faucets. The spout may help you wash up, but it holds on to its own fair share of yackiness. Give your kitchen faucet routine wipe downs with anti-bacterial wipes or some good- old-fashioned
America's most trusted home improvement brand shares tips tp help you save on your remodelThe holidays may be over, but 'tis the season for planning remodels! Homeowners everywhere are designing the homes of their dreams...and dreading the price tag. We canvassed dozens of industry pros to catalog ways you can wrestle your renovation costs back down to earth this year.
RELATED: How to Afford the Kitchen You Want
1. Increase Efficiency, Not SizeIf you can reorganize and equip your kitchen for maximum utility, you may not need to blow out the walls to gain square footage. Start by replacing space-hogging shelves with cabinet-height pullout drawers 8 inches wide, containing racks for canned goods and other items. "You're getting three or more horizontal planes where you might otherwise get only one," says Louis Smith Jr., an architect with Meier Group, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. You could easily shell out a few thousand to outfit cabinets with upgrades like dividers, pull-out pot trays, and lazy Susans, but you'll save many times that amount by skipping the addition you Read More »from 3 Easy Ways to Save on Your Remodel
- This Old House Magazine | Team Mom – Tue, Nov 27, 2012 1:10 PM EST
Steal ideas to create a gorgeous space for gathering friends and family this holiday season.
1. Festive Farmhouse Dining Room
Homey Holiday Spread
Vintage furnishings set the stage for a homey holiday spread. Here's how to re-create this welcoming feel using thrifty finds. Don't shy away from hanging wreaths indoors! The ones shown here, hung with extra-wide ribbon on the inside on windows, are also visible from the curb! See what else you need to get this look in Create a Festive Farmhouse Dining Room
2. Colonial-Style Dining RoomRead More »from 6 Delightful Holiday Dining Room Designs You Can DIY
Classic American furnishings and colorful accents create a room that's equally inviting for a holiday feast or an everyday dinner. Thinking outside the box about paint colors really makes this otherwise traditional room pop! Other ideas to steal: Flank wall art with lighting sconces and add an ornate mantel.
Despite your best efforts to prepare, you'll probably encounter a blip or two during your family gathering. Here's how to handle the unexpected __Karen Ziga, thisoldhouse.com
Murphy's Law states that the one day a year you use your best linens is the same day someone will knock an entire glass of red wine onto them. And onto the carpet or your favorite blouse. The key to fixing the red-wine-spill problem is speed. Immediately treat the stain. Start by blotting the stain (don't rub!) and pour cold water on it. Then, sprinkle it liberally with salt. For fabrics, it's ideal to sit the stain in a small bowl, then pour boiling water over it and let it soak until the stain is gone. If that doesn't work, steep the stain in diluted white vinegar (1 part vinegar to 2 parts water). See more in this video on removing a red wine stain from our friends at Real Simple.Read More »from Thanksgiving Host Survival Guide
For a carpet spill, blot first to remove as much liquid as possible. Then, make a paste of baking soda
- This Old House Magazine | At Home – Thu, Nov 8, 2012 2:25 PM EST
Built-ins all-access barThe holidays are upon us. For help getting party-ready, we've assembled a portfolio of bars and servers that pack style and utility into the typical untapped spaces in a home.Read More »from Gorgeous Built-In Storage Upgrades that Will Make Holiday Entertaining a Breeze
SEE ALL: 12 Amazing Built-Ins That Will Make Holiday Entertaining a Breeze at thisoldhouse.com
All-Access Bar. This wet bar was designed and built as part of a kitchen addition by handy homeowner and frequent entertainer Aaron Cover of San Diego, California. The doorways on either side were once dining room exterior windows, which Aaron enlarged to create easy passage between the new and old spaces. Structural posts determined the length of the bar, which he fitted with small drawers for corkscrews and other cocktail accoutrements; a double-drawer fridge for mixers under the counter on the left; and, for symmetry, a look-alike panel on the right that tilts out to access plumbing for the sink. In the upper cabinets, puck lights illuminate liquor bottles. Aaron's collection of vintage-look signs announces that this
The annual TOH Pumpkin Carving Contest is under way. (Make sure to enter your own carving creation by October 29!) Here are 10 great carvings of much-loved cartoon characters!
See ALL of the entries so far and enter the 2012 TOH Pumpkin Carving Contest
1. Sulley of Monsters, Inc.
Sulley from Monsters, Inc.
"My theme started out as the monster sully from Monsters Inc. but ended up being just a monster. I used linoleum cutting tools that I bought for $4.99 from Hobby Lobby. The entire outside of the pumpkin is painted with acrylic paint "Cool Blue" and "Christmas Green" both by Apple Barrel bought at Walmart for about $1.35 ea. His ears are one gourd difficultly cut in half with a breadknife and gutted and glued on with hot glue, his hair is made out of an old rope I had laying around the house that I unwound and cut and individually glued onto the top of his head. His eyes are kind of 3D effect and have 2 different layers. shaved off one of those layers and painted it green to better stand out.Read More »from 10 Pumpkin Carvings of Kids’ Cartoon Favorites