Wallcovering spot repairs
To re-cover a damaged area, align a patch piece of wall-
covering with the underlying pat tern; tape it to the wall; and
cut through both layers for a perfect fit.
Replacing a broken tile
The most important part of a tile repair job (especially in a shower) is to
do it quickly, just as soon as you find the loose or broken tile. If not, a
lot of water can get behind the tile and degrade the drywall behind. Which,
of course, would make for an even bigger repair job in a very short time.
You can temporarily fix a loose or broken tile by filling the grout gaps and
cracks with silicone caulk. But this will only buy you a week or two. The
better approach is to remove the tile.
REPAIRING CORNER BEADS
Corner beads are the angled metal strips that are applied to the outside
corners of drywall walls. Once they are covered with joint compound during
the wall finishing process, they blend in and look like the rest of the
drywall. They are used to protect outside corners from the damage that is
inevitable when a corner juts out into the room. They work most of the time,
but they arenít indestructible. If they are struck hard enough, the bead
will bend the joint com pound will crack and fall out, and youíll be con
fronted with a repair that is more involved than you might expect. To fix
one, follow these steps.
Solid-wood paneling is a beautiful addition to any room, and it makes sense
to repair it if it ever gets damaged. For surface scratches and scars, rub a
small amount of stain that matches the color of the wall into the damaged
fibers. Then once the stain is dry, cover the repair with a few coats of
paste wax. For deeper damage, use wood filler. Buy one that has a color
close to the wall color, and use it according to the directions on the
product container. Once the filler is dry, sand it with 120-grit sand paper,
and if the color isnít quite right, apply some stair. Cover it with a
Plywood paneling has been a do-it-yourself favorite for a long time. It
looks good and can make short work of finishing any room, especially extra
space thatís been reclaimed from an attic or basement. Minor surface repairs
can be accomplished with a little stain or some colored wood filler.
There are several ways to beef up attic floor joists so the space above can
be used for a bedroom, home office, or a second family room. Usually the
best approach is to double- up the existing joists. This means gluing and
screwing a board of the same size to the side of the joists that are already
in place. Make sure that each new joist is installed with its crown pointing
up, and that itís long enough to reach from the top plate of the outside
house wall to the top plate ofa bearing wall in the middle of the house.
Fixing a leaking
A skylight is a great
addition to just about any room, especially one that is starved for
natural light. But one of these units can also be the source of water
leaks that cause internal rot and ceiling stains. Typically the first
sign of trouble is a faint brown ring on the ceiling. You can be sure
that this indicates a roof leak, instead of just water condensation
inside the attic, because the dark edge is caused by traces of asphalt
from roofing shingles or
roofing cement. A leak must
If you want to add living
space to your attic and donít have a full set of stairs going up there,
you should hire a professional to make and install a staircase for you.
But if you just want a better way into an attic that currently has only
a small access hole, then consider installing a fold-down stairway. This
job is within reach for most homeowners and can make getting up and down
much easier. The starting point is buying the staircase unit at a
lumberyard or home center.
hole or repairing small hole in drywall
Minor blemishes to drywall surfaces are easy to repair by just filling the
spots with joint compound, letting it dry, and sanding it smooth. But larger
holes require more effort. You can use one of the kits described in the box
on the opposite page.
Installing a wall
The space between the studs
on interior it walls is the greatest untapped supply of storage space in
your house. In a typical wall, this space is 14Ĺ inches wide by 3Ĺ inches
deep. Just about every medicine cabinet is designed to fit inside this
space. And many fold- up ironing boards fit nicely between studs. But the
practical storage supplied by these fixtures is not the only possibility.
Installing a door
Installing a new interior
door can be easy or not, depending on the type of door you buy. While it
is certainly possible to hang an individual door, these days the most
popular doors are prehung units where the door panel is mounted on the
jambs, holes for the lockset are pre drilled, and in some cases, molding is
attached to one side of the jambs.
Installing a chair
Flat panel wainscotings, like the type shown on the facing page, are usually
topped with a chair rail. Traditionally these boards were installed to
protect walls from damage caused by chairs.
How to build a
Partition walls are constructed between load-bearing walls to divide space.
They should he strong and well made, hut their main job is to house doors
and to support wall coverings.
colonial door casing
Doors can be trimmed out with the
same traditional components that are shown for windows or they can be
trimmed with simple colonial casing boards, which is the standard approach
for most new houses. The biggest difference between the two is that this
system features mitered joints where the leg and head casings meet. Clam
shellĒ moldings, sometimes called ďranchĒ moldings, are a common alternative
to colonial trim boards. These boards are ever plainer than colonial stock
and are best for modern interiors.
Designing a customized baseboard molding is a good way to express some of
your own creativity. One simple design is shown here. It consists of three
boards: a flat baseboard, topped with a stock cap molding, and a 3/4-inch
shoe molding. The height of the baseboard and the profile of the cap molding
and shoe can be changed easily to something you like better.
Installing a new
If you are working on a new
addition or just It adding a new window to a room, the process is the same.
You have to expose the sheathing on the outside of the house so the window
can rest against it. On new work, the sheathing is exposed already. But on
old work, you have to re move the siding before you can proceed. Use a
circular saw, with a straight guide board nailed to the house, to cut the
siding boards. Set the saw depth so it cuts just through the siding; then
remove the boards with a pry bar.
If you like the look of brick or
stone and would like to use it inside your house, consider products called
facing brick and facing stone. These materials are much thinner and lighter
that the full-size versions so they can be installed just like ceramic tile,
using either thinset mortar or mastic adhesive. No extra wall or floor
support is required. These products are usually real brick and stone. But
some manufacturers offer composite products that look like the real thing.
Preassembling wall frames, and
attaching them to bare walls, is a great way to dress up any room. This is
not a difficult job, but it does demand careful layout. The best approach is
to create a design on graph paper before you cut any wood. This gives you a
chance to experiment until you find just what you want. Keep in mind some
general rules. Frames that are narrow and high tend to make the wall look
shorter and the ceiling look higher. Wider and shorter frames, on the other
hand, tend to make the wall look longer and the ceiling look lower.
Installing tile is not difficult,
but it can be time-consuming. Because of this, be sure to read the container
label on your adhesive to find out what its open timeĒ is. This refers to
how long the material can be exposed to the air be fore it starts to dry out
and wonít hold the tile. The best approach is to start by applying the
adhesive to a small areaófor example a 2 x 2-ft. square noting how long it
takes you to get the tile in place. If you are well within the open time
limitations, enlarge your working area for the next stage.
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. But if you donít do
the removal carefully, ifs easy to crack the stucco past the outline for
the new window or door.
trim (Pages 1
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 for
a typical total of seven boards. And, if your existing windows jambs
donít extend to the outside surface of your wall, youíll have to add
three extension jambs before you do anything else. This brings the board
total to 10. Take your time with each one and youíll get good results.
Making a false
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 an opening, from floor to
ceiling, to allow passage between rooms. This last option is popular in
modern design, but it isnít always attractive. Installing a dropped
header is a good way to dress up this treatment.
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, require a different approach. The damaged area first
has to be cleaned so itís free of dust and plaster debris. Then the hole
must be filled to just below the surrounding surface with patching
plaster. Once this base coat is dry, the repair can be completed with a
smooth coat of joint compound.
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 design texture that livens
up just about any room. Even though tiling a wall can be time consuming,
itís not difficult work. One big reason: adhesives that are formulated
to hold the tiles in place while the adhesives are still wet. This means
the tiles can be installed without sagging or coming loose while the
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
to replace, so most people refinish it instead. This usually involves
removing old paint to expose the wood underneath, and then, applying a
new finish. This job requires more elbow grease than carpentry skills.
In fact, perseverance is probably the most important trait that you can
bring to the job.
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
member called a strong back. This is constructed of two boards; one is a
2x4 that is screwed to the top of the joists. The other is a 2x6 that is
glued and screwed to the edge of the 2x4. Once the strong back is
installed, the joists canít sag without bending the 2x4-and-2x6