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How to replace a GFCI receptacle (Page 1 2 3)

Remove the decorative coverplate from the receptacle. With the coverplate off, you will be able to see the receptacle and the electrical box it is attached to...

Installing a wood cornice

Adding a cornice molding to the joint between walls and ceilings is a good way to add a touch of elegance to a room without spending a lot of money or time...

Installing a plastic cornice

Plastic (usually polystyrene) molding is a material choice that appeals to many do-it-yourselfers. It comes in a variety of shapes that mimic traditional plaster molding...

Paneling over furring strips

One of the classic remodeling jobs is to cover basement walls with wood paneling; this helps convert unfinished space into livable space. To do this job almost always requires...

Installing vinyl floor tiles

Vinyl floor tiles come in almost an endless array of colors, patterns, and finishes. But all of these can be categorized into just two basic types: tiles that are laid in adhesive, such as those shown...

 

How to make an opening in a stucco wall

Stucco is a multiple-layer cement product applied to metal lath. Building paper is sandwiched between the metal lath and the sheathing to create a waterproof barrier. Stucco is extremely durable due to its cement base...

Making basic scarf joints

The joint that is most often associated with interior trim work is the miter. This 45-degree joint is designed to bring together two boards that meet at a right (90-degree) angle. But the most common joint is actually the scarf joint...

How to install locksets and deadbolts

Many doors sold today come with holes for the lockset predrilled. Some also are predrilled for a deadbolt, but very often youíll need to drill holes for the actual dead-bolt you purchase. To assist in this, manufacturers provide a template that...

How to drape and tape before painting a ceiling

In rooms with hanging light fixture, shut off the power to the circuit, lower the plate cover, and pull a trash bag up from the bottom of the fixture. Tie a knot at the top, neatly covering the entire piece. In bathrooms, place a lawn-sized trash bag...

Washing machine fills slowly

Turn off hot and cold water to the machine and unscrew supply hoses where they join the machine or at the first accessible coupling...

 

Installing window trim (Pages 1 2 3 4)

Although window trim is not difficult to install, it does take time because there are so many different pieces involved. For a traditional treatment, this means one stool, one apron, two rosettes, two leg casings, and one head casing...

How to install a time switch

First shut off the power to the switch. Remove the decorative coverplate from the switch by unscrewing the two screws that hold the plate to the switch box. Set the screws and the plate aside...

Installing a wood-paneled ceiling

Installing lightweight boards to a ceiling is not difficult work. But it can be time-consuming for a couple of reasons. First, nothing goes quickly when you are working over your head. Itís just an uncomfortable working position...

Paneling over studs

High quality sheet paneling is made of good plywood that is strong and durable. When nailed directly to the wall studs, as we show here, youíll have a stable surface that looks like solid wood, at least from a couple feet away. But if you are using cheaper...

Installing vinyl sheet flooring

Unlike laying vinyl tiles, installing vinyl sheet flooring requires some manipulation of large rolls of material. If you can find a big, open place to work, the job will be easier. Many people use the garage floor.

 

Making construction plans

The best way to prepare for a remodel project is to create a construction plan. Having a complete construction plan enables you to view your entire project at a glance. It helps you identify potential problems, provides sense...

How to install a storm door (Pages 1 2 3 4)

Test fit the door in the opening. If it is loose, add a shim to the hinge side of the door. Cut the piece with a circular saw and nail it to the side of the jamb, flush with the front of the casing...

How to tape before painting walls or millwork

Shut off the electricity to the circuits in the room. Remove the covers from receptacles and switches as well as heating and air-conditioning duct covers. Tape over gaps between the boxes and the switch...

How to reset the tank water level

Perhaps the most common cause of running toilets is a minor misadjustment that fails to tell the water to shut off when the toilet tank is full. The culprit is usually a float ball or cup that is adjusted to set a water level in the tank thatís...

Making a false header

There are several ways to separate rooms. The most privacy is achieved with a door. Another option is a dropped header between rooms that divides the space without closing off the rooms visually. The last option is to simply install full partitions to separate rooms and leave...

 

How to replace a bad wall switch (Pages 1 2 3)

First shut off the power to the switch. Remove the decorative coverplate from the switch by unscrewing the two screws that hold the plate to the switch box. Set the screws and the plate aside. With the...

Installing framing for a skylight

Adding a skylight to your roof and building the light shaft below it is a difficult job. The most nerve-racking part, of course, is cutting the hole in your roof and getting the window installed before it starts to rain...

How to remove plaster walls

Shut off the power and inspect the wall for wiring and plumbing. Mark the wall area to be removed by. Apply a double layer of masking tape along the outside edge of each cutting line...

Installing wood strip flooring

These days, many different wood species are used for flooring, generally as veneers glued over plywood panels. But traditionally, solid maple and oak were used for floors because the wood was so hard...

Removing an old partition

Although removing a partition is not difficult, it certainly makes a mess. The drywall (or plaster) dust gets everywhere, and you end up spending almost as much time cleaning up as doing the work...

 

How to tune up double-hung windows

Loosen a stuck window sash by forcing a putty knife between the sash and the window stop or parting strip. If hand pressure isn't enough to push in the blade, tap the handle with a hammer. Loosen both sides of the sash...

How to paint a wall

Stir the paint, using a variable-speed drill and paint-mixing bit. Set the drill on a low speed and keep the head of the bit in the paint until it completely stops turning. Paint separates quickly, so stir it thoroughly from time to time...

What if the flush stops too soon

Sometimes there is plenty of water in the tank, but not enough of it makes it to the bowl before the flush valve shuts off the water from the tank. Modern toilets are designed to leave some water in the tank, since the first water...

Patching plaster

Repairing plaster damage is usually more involved than fixing drywall problems. Small cracks and gouges in plaster can all be re paired with a thin coat of drywall joint compound. But deeper and wider cracks, and damage that breaks out large pieces of plaster...

Resurfacing a wall

Resurfacing walls and ceilings with drywall is a great way to give a facelift to an old room. Instead of gutting a room, you just cover everything with thin drywall, usually ľ-inch- thick panels. These are special order items and can be hard to handle without breaking. But they are...

 

Laying ceramic floor tile

Ceramic floor tiles come in a wide variety of different shapes and colors. One of the primary differences is whether the tile is glazed or unglazed. The unglazed type shown here is a common choice for both bathrooms and kitchens...

Building a temporary support wall

While removing partitions is messy work, it doesnít have much impact on the structure of your house. These walls just divide up space and usually donít need to support anything more substantial than five or six sheets of drywall...

Common sports for caulking

Exterior light fixtures rarely fit tightly to the siding. To block the air infiltration, apply a bead of caulk all the way around the base. Smooth the bead with a wet finger...

How to prepare wood for paint

Check the woodwork to identify any nail or screw heads that have not been countersunk below the wood surface...

How to replace a fill valve

Toilet fill valves degrade eventually and need to be replaced. Before removing the old fill valve, shut off the water supply at the fixture stop valve located on the tube that supplies water to the tank. Flush the toilet and sponge out the remaining water...

 

Planning the layout for wall tiles

Ceramic tile is a great wall finish for damp or wet areas like kitchens and bathrooms. And itís a frequent choice for laundry rooms and mudrooms. When properly installed, itís impervious to water and provides another...

Installing solid-wood paneling

Installing solid-wood paneling, like we show on this wainscoting project, is an easy way to add real distinction to any room. And solid boards can fit any decorating scheme because they look good when painted, stained, or covered with a clear...

How to glue down a splinter

If you still have the splintered piece of wood, but it has been entirely dislodged from the floor, itís a good bet that the hollowed space left by the splinter has collected a lot of dirt and grime. Combine a 1:3 mixture of distilled white vinegar...

Structural changes - Building partitions

There are two ways to build partition walls: in place (shown below) or preassembled. When you build a wall in place, you nail the wall plates to the floor and ceiling and then fill in the studs between, toe nailing each to both plates...

How to pestproof your house

If your chimney flue doesnít have a cap, you are inviting birds, bats, and squirrels into the flue, especially if you never use the fireplace. A chimney cap with screening or mesh on the sides will keep all these pests out...

 

How to paint window millwork

Prepare window to be painted. Remove hardware where possible and use painterís tape to mask the rest...

How to replace a flush valve

If the fixes your toilet from running, the next step it to try replacing the flush valve. Before removing the old flush valve, shut off the water supply at the fixture stop valve located on the cube that supplies water to...

Refinishing wood trim

Elaborate wood trim, especially in older houses, is a real asset because it looks great and performs the critical function of blending rooms together into a cohesive interior design. Unfortunately, itís difficult and ex pensive...

How to repair a gouge

Repair small holes with wood putty. Use putty that matches the floor color. Force the compound into the hole with a putty knife. Continue to press the putty in this fashion until the depression in the floor is filled...

Nailing techniques

Face-nailing through the top or bottom plate into a stud makes the strongest connection. Its also easier and faster than toenailing, where the angled nail sometimes can cause splits or miss most of the stud altogether. Either way, lay out stud locations...

 

How to patch stucco

Remove loose material from the repair area, using a wire brush. If the underlying metal lath has any rust, brush this away, too...

How to paint a casement window or baseboards and trim

Prepare baseboards for painting. Starting at the top edge of the baseboard and working toward the floor, apply a light coat of paint. Hold a dry wall knife or plastic shielding tool beneath the baseboard...

How to plunge a clogged toilet

Plunging is the easiest way to remove ďnaturalĒ blockages. Take time to lay towels around the base of the toilet and remove other objects to a safe, dry location, since plunging may result in splashing. Sometimes...

Reinforcing ceiling joists

Sometimes ceiling joists, particularly in up stairs bedrooms in old houses, are undersized. As a result they can sag and cause cracks in the ceiling plaster or drywall. One good way to stiffen up these ceiling joists is to install a framing...

How to fill gaps between joists & floorboards

if there is a gap or movement be the sub floor and joist at the squeak location, tap a tapered wood shim into the gap. First smear it with construction adhesive or wood glue. Squirt some glue into the gap, too...

 

 

 

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