A Few Finish Carpentry Tricks Anyone Can Use

January 27, 2017 by  
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finish-carpentry-miterWhen you’re working on finish carpentry, presentation is everything so you want to make sure you’ve done all you can to get the look just right. The more you do it, the more you’ll find that being good at it just involves care and precision. With these tips, anyone with the proper tools can make the cuts or adjustments they need.

Tightening Up Miters

Misaligned door jambs and uneven drywall can lead to gaps in your miter. If this has been a consistent problem for you, then try to slide a shim or a pencil below the miter as you make the angled cut. That additional support will help you get a back bevel on your cut, which should tighten up the cut and bring it closer to the wall.

No Stud to Nail the Baseboard

Sometimes, you’ll find yourself in a situation where there isn’t a gap to nail the baseboard to. Sometimes, it’s a matter of too much joint compound on the board itself, which requires re-application and some cleanup work. Other times, all that’s needed is for you to drive a nail into the board at an angle. You can do this with either a hammer or a nail gun, just make sure you angle such that you aim into the stud at the base of the wall.

Final Thoughts

The most important rule in carpentry is patience. Practice patience and your skills will grow exponentially. Take your time with each cut, and be as careful as you can when applying joint compound. Also, make sure you thoroughly clean the surfaces you’re working with.

Since his retirement from the Church, Archbishop James Provence is a volunteer docent for the California State Railway Museum in Sacramento. James Provence resides in Vacaville, where he practices furniture making.

Memory Foam 101: How it Works and Why We Sleep Better On It

March 3, 2016 by  
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Memory FoamWritten by: Foam Factory, Inc.

There’s a good chance you’ve already heard all about the wonders of memory foam. You know the commercials where they set a glass of red wine on the memory foam bed and then drop a bowling ball or show a child jumping on the other side, and then the glass of wine barely wobbles at all? Those commercials are demonstrating one of the best properties of memory foam, which is that it offers stability and firmness to both partners.

A queen-sized memory foam mattress won’t buckle under either of you, nor will it become lumpy over time. Even if you have a traditional mattress, memory foam sheets can provide additional support on either side of the bed.

There are secondary benefits to memory foam as well. Many people accumulate various aches and pains throughout their bodies, sometimes from sports injuries, trying too hard in their CrossFit class. If you don’t address the root causes for these problems, such as how your sleep and in what positions, you’re aggravating those injuries and making things worse for yourself. Swapping out your old feather or spring mattress for a queen memory foam mattress might be the best investment you make. Improved sleep means better productivity, higher mental capacity and more energy to tackle the day.

Even if you think you’re young and ache-free, you’ll be astounded to find that sleeping on a memory foam mattress will give you some of the best sleep you’ve ever had, leaving you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day without hesitation or your usual stretching routine you use to get rid of morning stiffness!


Reasons to Install French Doors

Written by ETO Doors.


French doors are one of the most popular choices for interior doors. They are a great choice for anyone looking to add a touch of elegance and class to their home. They are also incredibly versatile, making them a perfect addition to almost any home regardless of the interior design or architecture. Here are a few of the reasons why French doors are one of the best interior door styles:

Getting Light Into a Room

One of the key features of interior French doors is the use of glass as a design element. French doors usually have several windows or glass elements, or even a large piece of glass with wood accents. This means that they let in a tremendous amount of light. If you are looking for an interior door that is facing a den or office space, this can be a perfect way to make your room feel brighter.

Opening Up Space

A French door is a great solution if you want to make a room feel bigger than it is. This is because of the use of glass throughout the door, which opens up the space and makes it feel larger and more inviting.

Wide Range of Designs

Shopping for French interior doors is fun for many people because of the many different design options that are available. This starts with the use of glass. Depending on how the glass windows are integrated, you can have a classic look or one that is completely modern. Using different types of glass can also change the look and feel of a French interior door. You’ll never have to settle for a door design that you don’t like when you are looking for French interior doors.

Plenty of Material Options

Interior French doors have traditionally been made from wood, which is still a popular choice for homeowners who want a classic look. However, there are now many different types of French door materials to choose from. You can select a French door that uses fiberglass, steel or aluminum depending on which one will fit best with the rest of your home.

Energy Efficiency

French doors are more than just stylish; they are also very energy efficient. They are very airtight and do a good job of reducing leaks that can cause you to use more heating or air conditioning than you need. You can extend the energy efficiency of your French doors by using high-efficiency glass.


More than 100,000 customers have turned to ETO Doors for their new or replacement interior and exterior doors. The company sells high-quality products at affordable prices.

Check These Key Spots to Stop Bugs from Infesting Your Home

Have you been hassled by spiders, cicadas, or other bugs sneaking into your home recently? Worried about your pets getting heartworm or other parasites from rogue mosquitoes, fleas, and flies? If you’ve had a few scares recently, you may want to inspect your home to identify how exactly they’re getting in.

Open Doors

Your number one culprit will the same place almost everything enters your home, through the exterior doors while they’re being used or left ajar. If you are forgetful you may want to invest in a door closer that will automatically pull the door shut once it is not being pressed on. If calibrated correctly, door closers will completely shut the door until it latches, saving you money in energy costs and preventing bugs from gaining entry to your home.

Even Closed Doors

Check under your doors to see if it has a feature called a “sweep” A sweep is a strip of rubber or other flexible materials that is affixed to the bottom of the door. Sweeps fill the gap between the door and the door jamb without causing any scraping or friction. It may surprise you, but without a sweep bugs are able to enter even when your door is properly shut. When your door has a proper sweep, this enhances the seal between your home and the outdoors, providing sound dampening and keeping out pests.

Windows and Screens

Windows and screens are the next most likely culprits. Check around all window sills to make sure they do not show any gaps into the insulation space or to the outside. Fill in any gaps with caulking to close them up for good. If you like to have your windows open, be sure to regularly check your screens to ensure they are seated properly in the sill and do not show any signs of damage, rips, or wear.

Bio: ETO Doors is a door manufacturer and vendor with showrooms located in Los Angeles, New York and Las Vegas. ETO Doors is known for their custom-cut doors and customizable options, in addition to a wide variety of pre-cut doors, double doors, transoms, and more. Check out their selection, read ETO Doors reviews, and more on their website today.


The Fundamentals of Soundproofing

There are a variety of methods to apply when soundproofing a room. The general meaning of soundproofing is to reduce the ability of sound to travel from one point to another. To accomplish this, there are different kinds of materials that can be installed to help absorb sound and keep it within its chosen confines. There are also elements of construction that are very effective for soundproofing.


If the room that needs to be soundproofed is already built, installing materials like acoustic foam panels is a good place to start. They’re available in a variety of sizes, shapes, and prices. These will not only help control the transfer of sound, but will also give the noise inside the room a better quality. For example, in a recording studio, foam can contribute to the soundproofing as well as decreasing echoes and keeping the various sounds isolated. Isolating different sounds keeps them from bleeding too heavily into one another, providing a cleaner overall effect.


There are a variety of options to choose from for soundproofing foam. Acoustic eggcrate and wedge designs are affordable and available in different sizes. Higher quality foam like acoustic pyramid provides additional benefits due to its extra surface area. If you’re looking for aesthetically pleasing foams, acoustic spade, wave, and grid are all eye-catching designs that offer quality sound absorption.

While sound absorption is important for soundproofing, it’s not the only component. If you’re looking to build a room from the ground up, there are several other factors that can increase the room’s ability to contain sound and keep outside sound from coming in.


Mass is a common method to use for soundproofing. Any solid object can disrupt the transfer of a sound wave from inside a room to outside the room, and vice versa. Materials such as drywall and plywood are very useful, and as a general rule, the larger the mass is, the more beneficial it will be.


The method of building a “floating room” can also be implemented, and that involves the use of mass and air. This is a highly effective soundproofing technique. “Floating room” basically means a room within a room. This can be done if a room already exists that needs to be soundproofed, or if the construction of the space is just beginning. This method utilizes sound absorption, mass, and can also incorporate sound deadening foam.


Bio: The Foam Factory can custom cut foam panels for soundproofing any room in the home, with shipping anywhere in the continental United States.

Beware of Cheap Bamboo Manufacturers

September 17, 2013 by  
Filed under Home Guides and References

Manufacturers vary in their acquisition of raw materials, milling procedures and quality of finish used on their products. When homeowners decide to install bamboo flooring, they may be tempted to save a few bucks by using a cheap outlet store. The best finish to use on bamboo flooring is aluminum oxide. It’s environmentally friendly, and it is one of the most durable, long lasting finishes on the market.
Bamboo flooring is some of the hardest types of wood flooring available for installation. Bamboo wood flooring hardness is comparable to Northern Red Oak, a popular choice for most hardwood flooring. But depending on the type of finish used, it can be easily scratched. Scratching can be prevented by using a high quality finish. Bargain outlets that sell cheap bamboo flooring only use the cheapest materials to treat the planks, which means even a light laundry basket can scratch the material. Like any hardwood floor, using an area rug or floor runner in high traffic areas can help your bamboo flooring last longer.
Cheap outlets may be using bamboo that is harvested after only 90 days. It’s true that bamboo can grow back in three months, but it’s not nearly as durable unless it has matured for about 5 to 7 years. Despite this time needed for re-growth, bamboo flooring is far more sustainable than hardwood flooring. Pine, oak, and maple trees commonly used in traditional hardwood floors take a minimum ten years to regenerate. However, they usually take much longer, and many types of hardwood trees take up to 120 years to grow back.


Guest post is provided by Bamboo Flooring Facts. For more information on the benefits of bamboo hardwood flooring, read the articles provided at www.bamboo-flooring-facts.com.

You Don’t Always Need A Contractor For DIY Home Improvements

September 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Home Guides and References

The cost of getting repairs or home improvement done by licensed contractors are known to be high, but often necessary, mainly because most people do not have the skills or equipment necessary to make a repair in their homes or complete improvements themselves.

You don’t always need to hire an expensive contractor to do a job, though. For example, often when a power failure occurs, it is nothing more than a blown fuse. Most home fuse boxes are located in basements or garages of homes. When you experience an outage, make sure you check and distinguish between blown fuses or melting wires. If you hire an electrician to simply repair a blown fuse, it will cost you a lot of money (including labor charges) to replace the fuse, when you can do it yourself for a few dollars.

You can check a fuse by placing a working fuse in the opening where you think that the fuse is blown. Remember to remove the fuse and return it to its original place instead of leaving the fuse in the slot, so as to avoid the danger of fire.


Modern homes are equipped with breakers and when the breaker fails it will automatically shutoff the electricity. Changing a breaker is similar to changing fuses; they require little effort to replace and you usually instructions when you buy a new breaker, giving you directions on how to change it out. Follow the steps closely when doing an installation.

Light switches are another minor household issue that can be easily repaired by you. Most switches last for several years before a problem occurs, but there are times when a repair is necessary. Make sure to follow the instructions when repairing the switches, and shut off the power supply to the switch, since working with electricity can be very dangerous.

It is smart to cut off the circuit breakers when installing a new part. After you remove the switch plate cover, you will see screws that hold the circuit box in place. These screws will have to be removed as well. Before continuing the process, you should use a ‘neon tester’ to test the circuits for charge. This will help prevent shock.

When you see the wires inside the outlet box, be careful to follow the installation instructions carefully. Once inside the box you will see two wires, one black and the other wire red. You can dust off the wires if necessary. Once you have found the wires you can begin repairing the problem. You must connect the black wire with the “brass terminal” in the circuit. The curving ends must lock clockwise before you can screw the screws into in place. Follow the same procedure for the other wire. It is imperative to read the directions carefully when dealing with electricity in your home.

Home improvement is a creative journey and an investment, whether you are improving the home’s value, or repairing the home for your family’s safety. Doing some of the work yourself will save you a great deal of money in the long run, rather than paying high labor charges to a professional contractor.

Additionally, repairing or improving your home inevitably increases its value. Many people feel intimidated at the idea of repairing or remodeling their home themselves.

By clearing the hindrances out of your way and following instructions carefully, you will save a great deal of time and money on DIY home improvement, as well as have renewed confidence in your abilities. Contractors want to justify their high costs to you by making you believe that many of the repairs or improvements are huge jobs that require only a professional’s touch. If you are interested in DIY home improvement, do lots of research by getting manuals and books from the library, and you will know exactly what the work entails.

Wooden window blinds as part of a home improvement project

September 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Home Guides and References

Wooden window blinds provide a great solution for a window treatment as part of a home improvement project. They offer a relatively inexpensive way of giving a room a real feel of luxury and warmth. They also bring a touch of nature to the inside of the home.

Wooden venetian blinds are probably the most popular and practical kind of wood blind available at the moment. They consist of a number of horizontal slats (or louvers) that are connected together using a ladder tape which allows the slats to be rotated through about 170 degrees, giving great control over the amount of light entering the room. This control over the slats is not only a good way of filtering the sunlight but means you can have as much or as little privacy at the window as you require.
They can also be raised or lowered as desired using the lift cord.

They are generally made from basswood which is an ideal wood for manufacturing blinds as it is a lightweight yet durable wood. It also lends itself very well to being stained in a number of attractive colours due to its natural grainy texture.

These blinds are available in a wide range of colours and sizes. The most common slat widths are 1″ (25mm), 1.5″ (35mm) and 2″ (50mm). Some of the more popular colours include pine, beech, tawny, honey, chestnut, auburn, hazel and white.

When deciding on which size of slat to choose, the obvious thing to bear in mind is that a blind with 1″ wide slats will have twice as many slats as a blind with 2″ slats, and it’s purely a matter of opinion as to which looks better.

The fitting of these blinds is a fairly easy job, particularly for someone with DIY experience. They should come with all the necessary instructions,mountings and matching valance.
The tools you will need are a drill, a pencil, a screwdriver, a saw to cut the valance to size and a spirit level.

Cleaning the blinds is again an easy process. The best thing to do is dust them on a regular basis, and then once every couple of weeks give them a wipe over with a damp cloth.

In conclusion wooden venetian blinds are a great way to enhance the décor of any room and will give an elegant, luxurious look and feel to your home for many years to come.

Using the Equity in Your Home For Home Improvements

September 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Home Guides and References

Is it time for a new roof and updated windows? Do the kids need more space? Is the garage overrun with stuff with no room for the cars?

You’re going to need some money to get these projects done, whether you decide to hire a contractor or do it yourself. Consumers should look closely at the financing options before jumping into a loan. Ask yourself some questions when approaching a home improvement loan.

Ask yourself these questions:

How long is the whole job going to take?

What is the total cost of everything?

Will I need more money for anything else beyond the home improvements?

For small jobs, less than say $500, using a credit card is probably the best options. The interest rate will most likely be higher than other financing options, but there won’t be any extra paperwork and appraisals.

Using the equity you have in your home is a low cost way to finance your home improvements. The equity is just sitting there waiting for you to sell your home.

Many banks over home-improvement loans made for low-to-moderate income families, whereas your typical home-equity loan offers a better rate structure. Additionally, the interest payments on a home equity can be deducted on your federal income taxes.

A home equity loan basically is a homeowner borrowing against their house, pledging it as collateral. If you want to borrow a large amount of money or you have poor credit a home equity loan can be attractive.
The lender is often more liberal with a home equity loan since it is viewed as a relatively safe loan. If you default on a home equity loan, you can’t disappear or hide with your house. Your payments are more likely to be a priority if your home is at stake.

Advantages of Home Equity Loans

Home equity loans are attractive for a few reasons:

  • The interest rate is typically lower.
  • The qualifications are easier for consumers with bad credit.
  • Payments on the interest could be tax deductible.
  • Loan amounts can be relatively large.

Home equity loans are a good investment for you as well. Let’s say you have equity of $25,000 in your home. You take out a home equity loan for $25,000 for a garage addition, new siding and remodel the bath. You have increased the value of your home by improving you home by doing these projects.

Be cautious though, because home equity loans are often offered with variable interest rates. That means they can vary upwards. Fixed rate equity loans are available, but you must specifically ask for them. If interest rates were on the rise, a fixed rate would be a good choice to ask for.

Be sure the deal is best for your interest. Make sure the home equity loan fits your needs better than a credit card account would. Make a budget ahead of time to make sure the extra loan payment won’t overburden you. Consider insurance to cover the payments in case the unforeseen happens.

When deciding on financing your home improvements, be sure to check the different options available to you. If you need a new roof, new windows installed and to replace your deck, the home equity loan is a good option.

Top 5 Home Improvements To Add Value To Your Property

September 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Home Guides and References

Many homeowners in the UK take out a homeowner loan to carry out home improvements every year, and there are a number of popular improvements that can really add value to your home, making your loan a very worthwhile investment. With the right improvements you can enjoy increased comfort and practicality whilst you are living in the property, you can add to the appearance of your home, and you will find that the value has been boosted considerably if and when you decide to sell your property.

Amongst the top improvements that can add value to your home are:

  1. Converting loft space. Often loft space goes to waste, and gets used to store junk, but imagine the extra usable space you could enjoy with a loft conversion. Not only will a loft conversion enable you to enjoy the benefits of a larger home, but it will also add considerable value to your property. You can use your loft conversion for anything from an extra bedroom to a study.
  2. Adding an extension. This is another way to add additional room to the size of your property, so if you have the space then an extension could prove to be a great idea. You will enjoy a larger property, and can increase the amount of room that you have downstairs as well as upstairs. This is another great way to make the most of your homeowner loan by adding value to your property.
  3. New kitchen or bathroom. The kitchen and bathroom are rooms that are often scrutinized by potential buyers. They are also rooms in which you spend a great deal of time. Creating the right look and ambiance for both of these rooms can be easy these days, and with a choice of great kitchen and bathroom designs available you can make these rooms look and feel perfect.
  4. Replacement windows. Many people can be put off buying a property if the windows are shabby and old. Not only do they look bad upon first impression, but they also affect the light, heat, and comfort levels in your home. Replacement windows, such as double glazing, can help to increase energy efficiency and can improve the lighting, ambiance, and appearance of your home.
  5. Heating. Having the right heating system in place is another important factor when it comes to the comfort and sale ability of your home. For most buyers central heating is a must these days, and by having central heating fitted you can enjoy cozier winters, a warmer home, and a more sellable property.

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