Home Improvement Tips

Save yourself a lot of money and time by hopping on the home improvement bandwagon. With just a little instructional help, there are plenty of DIY projects within the realm of capabilities of even the barely handy. One area where you, as a home owner, can save yourself in the repair expense department is with damaged screens on your doors and windows.

The occasional damaged screen is par for the course as a home owner. But there is no reason why you have to put up with the loose aluminum screen flap, while waiting for the repairman to find time to come out and over charge you for a fairly simple task.

Sheets of screens are readily available at home improvement centers and hardware stores. There are a number of precut dimensions that are sold in packs. You can also buy lengths from rolls, much as you would with fabric. You might also consider screen material that is designed to filter or block out the sun. Whatever the case may be, measure your windows and doors ahead of time and buy accordingly, making sure that you purchase material that slightly exceeds the dimensions of the doors and windows.

You’ll need a few tools for your project. To hold the screen in place in its frame, you will be using a spline – a spaghetti-like rubber cord. Get a splining tool for this part of the job.

Start off by taking the damaged screen out of the frame. Next, lay the frame on a work surface. Use an awl or needle-nose pliers to remove the old spline from the frame groove. Once this has been removed, the old screen should be easy to pull out.

Next, meticulously clean out the small channel where you removed the spline. Now, lay the new screen over the frame, making sure that each screen side extends about ΒΌ-inch beyond the frame sides. Then, snip off the screen corners at a 45-degree angle just inside the spline channel.

Then, use the convex side of the spline tool to work the screen into the channel, making certain to hold the rest of the screen fairly tightly to ensure that no wrinkles are formed during installation. Once this is done, you can use the same tool to install the spline. This time, use the concave end of the installation tool. Install the spline in one strip without cutting it at any of the corners. Cut the end piece of the spline with a sharp knife by pressing the knife against the edge of the channel.

That should do the trick. Clean up should be minimal. It’s probably best to make your first screen repair attempt on a small window to perfect the process. Once you have installed a screen or two, the entire process shouldn’t take more than a few minutes per window, slightly longer for screen doors. Keep one step ahead of the home improvement game and save a nice chunk of change in the process by tackling simple DIY jobs like this one on your own.

Easy DIY Home Improvement Tips For Beginners

Home improvement can be a bit intimidating if you’ve never taken on a big renovation project before. But there are many DIY home improvement projects that are easier to do than you think. Why pay a contractor when you can save money and experience the rewarding feeling of finishing a home improvement project yourself? In this article, we’ll focus on a very simple home improvement procedure that anyone can do: painting your ceiling.

Getting the Right Tools

To prepare for this task, it’s important to get the right tools. A good roller with an extension handle is essential for making the job easier, allowing you to paint comfortably while standing on the floor instead of on a ladder. If you have textured ceiling, you’ll want to get a thick-nap roller to make sure you reach the spaces between the bumps of the texture. If you have a smooth ceiling, a smooth short-nap roller works best.

Preparing the Room

Start by removing all the furniture from the room (or as much of it as possible) before you start painting. Cover the floors and remaining furniture with newspaper or, if you can, canvas cloth, which works better and is reusable, though a bit expensive. Cover any areas of the wall that you don’t want to paint, i.e. door frames, window frames, etc, with quick-release painter’s tape.

Apply the Primer

Priming the ceiling before applying the actual paint is highly recommended. It’ll make the coat of paint last longer and will ensure that you only have to apply one coat. Use primer with stain-blocker if you can.

Start With a Cut-In Line

After the primer has dried, start by painting a 2 to 3-inch strip of paint along the space where the wall meets the ceiling. This is called the cut-in line, and it will make painting with a roller easier, as it’ll provide you with a more manageable border. Use a brush and a step ladder and start with the corner of the shortest length of ceiling.

Painting the Ceiling

After the cut-in line (and while it’s still wet) take out the roller and start painting. Make sure to roll the roller back and forth in the shallow part of the tray to get rid of excess paint after you’ve dipped it. This will give you an even coverage on the roller. Paint in a zigzag pattern, and then go over it with straight strokes to fill in the gaps and even the paint out.