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  • While checking out Home Improvement Tips, be sure to check out our Home Decor and Furniture site, Beautiful Home Accents (http://www.beautifulhomeaccents.com) located in the upper right list of articles where you can find anything you need to improve the look of your home or yard. Also, if you look to the right you will also find Amazon.com. While checking beautiful homes, if you find there is something  your looking for, leave a comment at the bottom and i will add it for you.
  • Below are just a few examples of things on Beautiful Home Accents.

  

Welcome

Thank you for stopping by! Hello, my name is Ken Taylor and I would like to start by telling you a little bit about myself and this site. I’m here to give you tips and ideas on how to do those projects without costing you an arm or a leg, which is what most people wind up giving when they hire a contractor. They like to make the project sound like rocket science when most of the time it’s just common sense.  I have been in the home improvement business most of my life. Starting as a kid I loved to go with my grandfather who happened to be a landlord of single-family home’s and a few small apartment’s so everything you will see here is from personal experience, not a book I feel too many of these sites sound like your getting advice from a robot. So when i decided to this i wanted to do it as myself and communicate with anyone needing my advice so i encourage folk’s to leave question’s and comment’s below I can give you easy to follow instruction’s and idea’s to save you ton’s of money because as we all know, it doesn’t grow on tree’s. So many time’s people think, well they’re the pro, but not alway’s the case and mostly they only want your money. To them, you’re just another number. To me your not a number your someone who need’s a little help so if you or anyone you know have a situation with Roofing, Siding, Gutter, or any kind of remodeling, I have more than 20 yrs experience to share with you; even HVAC. With each season, I will post idea’s and quick tip’s to all your home improvement need’s. But sometime’s we do need some extra help. I personally know trustworthy contractor’s who I’ve done business with over the year’s I’ve investigated every aspect of their business before ever referring them to anyone so before hiring anyone please let me know who your thinking of hiring and I will personally check them out.But this site is to help you not need one. If you should have question’s or any comments, please leave them in the comment section. I love working with people especially to help with all those crazy job’s that our wive’s love to say “I need you to fix this!”

‘Let me just check the codebook.’

For those many projects we want to find alternatives to lower costs; i’m going to list from cleaning products to outdoor project hacks for those moments when we need a quick fix and/or cheaper alternative.

Outdoor Hacks:

  1.  Instead of using ice and water shield in the valleys, it’s legal to use 90 lb rolled roofing. This way can save approximately $40 per roll.
  2. If you don’t have a gutter above the outside door, you can take a piece of 1 1/2 inches of drip edge and place it under the shingles up side down at a slight angle. This will keep the rain from dripping directly on your head.

Inside Hacks:

STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION. COME BACK SOON FOR MORE ALTERNATIVE FIXES AND REPAIRS.

 

Below is a great video of some really easy genius hacks for inside your home:

Here are a few excellent sites for outside hacks for Patios, Gardens, Camping, Etc.

https://www.fixdrepair.com/blog/life-hacks-make-outdoor-areas-cleaner-better/

http://www.cubebreaker.com/outdoor-life-hacks/

http://www.techeblog.com/index.php/tech-gadget/10-cool-and-useful-outdoor-life-hacks-that-will-come-in-handy

https://www.choicehomewarranty.com/80-home-maintenance-hacks-make-life-easier/

 

Maintaining your gutters is the most important thing you can do to prevent water damage to your home among other potential damage done to decks, etc.

Gutters are designed to do one thing, channel water away from the foundation and they’re critical to protecting the structural integrity of your house. But in order for gutters to do their job properly, they have to be kept in shape and free of clogs, holes, and sags.

Luckily, most common gutter problems are easy for homeowners to fix themselves. And it’s worth the effort. Here are some of the issues and how to fix them.

Clogged Gutters

This is the most common problem of all. Left untended, gutters and downspouts get so clogged with debris that they’re rendered useless. The excess weight of leaves, twigs, and standing water can also make them sag and pull away from the fascia.

Clean them at least once a year, and twice a year if you have a lot of trees nearby.

You can clean your own gutters if you’re comfortable on a ladder, don’t mind getting wet and dirty, and don’t have an extremely tall house. After you’ve cleared the muck, flush them with a garden hose to make sure they’re flowing properly.

Another option for dealing with clogged gutters is to outfit them with gutter covers. These include mesh screens, clip-on grates, and porous foam. They still need regular maintenance, though, and the cost can be more than the gutters themselves.

 

Gutters Pulling Away from the House

This is usually a problem with the hangers, the hardware that secures the gutters to the fascia. They might have deteriorated over time, the fasteners may have backed out of the wood, or they’re spaced too far apart to support the weight of full gutters. The cost to fix it yourself is cheap; hangers generally cost $10 or less apiece, and the fasteners run about $1 each.

Leaks and Holes

Leaky gutter joints can be sealed by caulking the joint from the inside with gutter sealant.  A tube costs about $5. Very small holes can be filled with gutter sealant. Larger holes will require a patch. If you can’t find a gutter patching kit at the hardware store, you can make a patch from metal flashing.

Incorrectly Pitched Gutters

Gutters need to be pitched toward the downspouts for the water to flow properly. You want at least a quarter inch of slope for every 10 feet. Get on a ladder after a rainstorm and look in the gutter; if there’s standing water, it’s not pitched properly.

To correct this yourself, you’ll need to measure from the peak to the downspout. Snap a chalk line between the two and find the spots where the gutter is out of alignment. You might be able to push it up into place by bending the hanger. If that doesn’t solve the problem, you might need to take a section down and rehang it.

Downspouts Draining Too Close to the Foundation

Downspouts need to extend several feet from the house, or they’ll dump right into the basement. Gutter extensions attached to the bottom of the downspout will discharge water well beyond the foundation. They’re inexpensive and easy to install. Examples of good downspouts are pictured below.

If your house has no gutters at all, consider investing in a system. The cost depends on the material. Most residential gutters are aluminum, which is lightweight and durable.

Do a check up on gutters at least once a year but i’d also suggest doing one after a big storm to make sure no obstructions or blockages are in the gutters thus causing potential damage to your home.

It’s that time of year again break out the ladder’s tool belt’s tearoff  tool’s and get the roofing started my favorite job! As you start your tearoff, depending on the pitch meaning [steepness of your roof ], whether you can walk it or need walk board’s, you need to determine how many layer’s of roofing you have now depending on where you live. Law’s vary and most state’s only allow 3 layer’s of roofing but iv’e seen 6 so dont assume. Now in this video you will see the best tearoff tool which i used are pitch fork’s in my day.

As you watched this video you noticed the different type of tearoff walkable roof’s you start from the top work your way down as soon as your tearoff is complete make sure your roof is clean of every nail staple or debris before installing the dripedge now there’s different style’s of dripedge these are the two i recommend. 

 Here’s a short video on installing dripedge

Now that wev’e covered dripedge and youv’e noticed the ice and water shield on the eaves now running it up the gable edge is not necessary unless you live in a high wind area but no matter where you live i would at least run 30lb felt paper. Starter shingle’s start with tar line on bottom of drip

Now the photo to on the bottom show’s the staggering of the shingle’s. Except personally,  i would suggest staggering them closer to at least 6 in apart and snap chalk lines horizontally every 5 1/2 in from the top of the starter shingle. Now you should also run a starter vertically up the gable with a 1/2 in overhang past the drip edge not meaning both starter’s just the one you see with the tar line. Once your shingling is at the top, try and make sure you have a tar line about 4 in from the top so that when you lay your capping, they will seal to the roof. As you watch this video pay close attention as how the shingle’s are wrapped around stink pipes and furnace pipe.

Now im going to also add a video on how to install ridge vent. Every contractor thinks differently on this and I personally have done roofing nearly 20 yrs so my way is start to from the living space not point to point to often high wind can catch the edge of the vent and rip it completely off.

No matter how you install your roof make sure you follow all safety precautions and as always, if you have any questions,  use the comment section below.

Thank you and Happy Roofing!

As an owner of a double wide mobile home iv’e noticed every winter as i walked through the house it was if i was walking on a sheet of ice my feet were so cold i thought my toes were frost bitten. So i thought there had to be something i can do. So here is an idea on how to keep our floor”s from freezing our feet off. First remove all skirting install foam board insulation preferably 1/2 thick this way you will still have enough space in the channel to replace the skirt’s  all the way to corner as shown here tape each board together and replace skirting. I recommend vinyl skirting it’s easier to work with in case you need to replace a piece or two.

 

Image result for Picture of skirting of a mobile home

Now here’s a project that most people hire out and the truth is, you generally don’t need to. This is of course alot more simpler than it seems. I wanna start out with a video on how to replace a toilet. Most of the time, you dont need to replace the toilet, just replace the seal; unless you see it’s broken or better yet, you just want a different toilet.

Although it maybe a boring video, he does cover the job very well. Just remember when replacing the toilet, be very careful to make sure your bolt’s are lining up. My suggestion is that maybe you get some help to make sure you don’t damage the new toilet. Now i wanna cover replacing a tank flushing kit.

Here’s another quick video that i believe is a good one to watch as well.

Now that we’ve covered toilet’s here is a video on sink replacement and repair.

Being that this video covers sink replacement. I dont think i need to cover faucet replacement or drain relacement. As alway’s if you have any questions or comment’s please leave in the comment section at the bottom of this article

Now here’s a topic we could go on forever about there’s so many things you can do with floor’s here’s a few picture’s of different types of floor’s

I mean you have vinyl floor’s – wood floor’s – carpet flooring being there’s so many different type’s of flooring they vary on installation instruction’s so my plan is to show you the most popular so i’m going to pick some video’s that doesnt include all the rocket scientry most video’s ive seen make the job look way too hard we are not going to the moon we are just installing a floor

Now Jeff is using a contractor’s tool for cutting. Personally i suggest using a jigsaw now here’s another video on tile

This is one of the best ive seen on tile he talk’s you through it perfectly. So i have one more video i wanna share but remember if you have any question’s make sure you leave it in the comment section at the bottom.

Now the idea of this site is to avoid paying an arm or leg by doing these jobs yourself but if you feel you need to hire someone please don’t hire the first guy you see be sure to do your homework and get at least 3 different quote’s since this is being done in the most important place your home!!

Painting

This is a job most folks hate doing but if done with a little patience it will be a job well done with a smile at the end. First make sure you have all the necessary tools like painters tape – a good ladder – drop cloth tray – with plenty of liners –  rollers with refills – small brushes – make sure there quality brushes for best results and make sure you have a paint pail for cutting in when choosing a pail you can either get one with a handle like the one in the video or one that actually hooks to your ladder  and all the material needed which all can be found at your local home depot or lowes here’s a quick video to help

Cutting in is usually the most time consuming part of paiting one good thing to remember is to keep the gallon away from your working area as not to accidently bump into it making one huge mess also make sure each time before filling your pan be sure to stir the paint for best results. Painting a room or rooms can make you feel like you almost bought a new house and these upgrades can make a difference in the value of your home as well. Happy Painting!

Mobile Homes

Common Differences Between Mobile Homes And Stick Built Homes

Repairing and remodeling a mobile home is different from a stick built home. Knowing the differences and how to make those difference work for you is the trick to a successful remodel or repair on any mobile or manufactured home. Here we take a look at some common differences between mobile homes and stick built homes.

I see posts in forums all the time about how you can’t replace a sink or a tub or a bedroom door and that kind of information is misleading. You can absolutely change anything in your manufactured home and even use the products at Lowe’s and any other home improvement store. All it takes is little know how and innovation.

Mobile Home Sinks and Faucets

Mobile home sinks are usually always the same standard size as the ones you buy at Lowe’s. This goes for both kitchen and bathroom sinks. To replace them you simply remove the faucet, loosen the clips or cut the seal and lift it out.

Most faucets are different but can absolutely be changed out with little effort. Faucets found in Lowe’s usually comes with the fittings you need in the box. If they don’t you only need to see what type of water line is supplying the water to the faucet and find the adapter (male and female fittings are the usual terms used) to connect the line to the new faucet. They will be about $2-5 dollars.  It is recommended that you if you originally have a center set faucet that you replace it with a center set faucet. This keeps you from having to cut out new openings in the counter. If you are also replacing the counter you can buy any type you want, there will be a template in the box to help you cut the opening. 

  • Single Hole Faucets only require a single hole to be drilled on the counter. They usually come with one or two handles attached to the main spout. These can be tricky to operate for the very young or the elder as getting the right temperature is only controlled by one handle usually. You can buy them with temperature limiting valves to prevent scolding. If you are transforming from a center set to a single hole faucet, deck plates are available and often come with the faucet. This allows the modification to remain stylish and covers up the additional holes that are no longer needed.

  • Center Set Faucets are the most often used style in mobile homes.  The holes are drilled 4″ apart from the center of the holes. The water temperature is controlled completely through the handles as there are 2 lines, one for hot and one for cold and they are mixed together in the spout. They come in either 2 handle or 1 lever designs that are attached to the base. Their compact size is beneficial for small spaces.

  • 4″ Minispread Faucets are also classified as center set yet are a bit different. The have 3 separate pieces which give the look of a widespread faucetbut you can still use the standard 4″ openings of a center set faucet. Each handle controls either the hot or the cold water. It’s mixed together in the spout.

  • Wall-Mounted Faucets are exactly what they say they are: wall mounted. These are becoming increasingly popular for small spaces because they don’t require additional counter room for the faucet. They are perfect for the modern vessel sink. Make sure to chose one that is the right length for the sink you want. It should extend to the exact middle of the sink upon installation.

  • Widespread Faucets come in either 8″ or even 16″ wide styles. The valves and temperature mixing chamber are below the counter. They are usually very large and should be used in the correct environment, with a large sink. Otherwise, the scale will be offand it will overpower everything in the room.

I found mobile home bathroom faucets at Mobile Home Parts Store for $9.95 and stainless steel kitchen sinks for $89.95. I like them and Complete Mobile Home Supply. Both are large enough to buy in bulk and pass the savings to the customers. Usually people buy from Lowe’s and retrofit because the mobile home products are so expensive but if what you need is the same price or cheaper and is made for mobile homes, you wouldn’t have to bother with retrofitting anything.

Mobile Home Bathtubs

Mobile home bathtubs are smaller than the tubs found at Lowe’s. They are usually 6 inches shorter and a few inches narrower and not as deep. We aren’t talking about the garden tubs though, only the regular olerectangle tubs. I’ve always had a neutral opinion regarding whether to buy a mobile home tub or retrofit a standard tub, and I’ll tell you why. Mobile home tubs are expensive! The cheapest I have found was around $400 (that includes the surround) but that was online and didn’t include shipping. There is a 27″ mobile home bathtub online for $229 but that’s just the tub, not the surround, so figure in another $170 for the 27″ surround or think about tiling.

In order to use the tubs at Lowe’s that are $139 and the surround that is $69.99, you’ll have to retrofit it which means moving a wall. If you happen to have the water heater in front or behind a tub wall you can usually find just enough room to make it work. It’s a hassle though, no doubt about it so if you plan to remodel your bathroom retrofitting a cheap tub or buying a mobile home tub.  I’m confident in saying that if you or someone you know has any construction experience they can do the same thing and save some money. Either way, you’re going to be tearing out a tub so moving a few studs isn’t going to make that much of a difference.

Mobile Home Doors

Both interior and exterior doors are different from the ones in home improvement stores. The exterior doors are shorter to allow for the shorter ceiling height and the interior doors are usually shorter and narrower. I have noticed that the newer manufactured homes are using standard sizes now so if your home is newer, you may be able to use any door on the market (lucky). It’s best to go with a door made for a mobile home. I say that because there’s a lot that can go wrong when replacing exterior doors. You’re dealing with siding and insulation and studs and possibly electricity so the easier you can make it the better. Future leak caused by having the door un-square can cause a lot of issues and cause more headaches than you’ll ever want to deal wit

Mobile home interior doors are not as wide or as tall as regular interior doors found at your home supply store. I was able to find the doors with no frame for around $60 plus shipping.

I won’t say it’s easy to retrofit a standard door but it’s not that difficult really. You simply measure the opening, cut it out and frame it back in and attach the door on it’s own frame to the studs. If you only need the door and not the frame, you can make a $29 hollow door from Lowe’s work by cutting it to size and ‘re-attaching’ the end piece. 

Most of these problems can be easily remedied by buying from a mobile home supply store. I do advise to price check because for some weird reason mobile home products can be very expensive and that really makes no sense to me. The products are used because they didn’t cost the manufacturer much, right? So why are the after market products so expensive? Online retailers do have some decent prices and great sales but do your homework and get the best deal possible. If you’re looking to buy a lot at one time don’t be scared to call and see about free shipping. I’ve seen a lot of free shipping offers if you buy more than $50 or $100 worth of products at one time. I actually had some help with this article from a friend but as alway’s if you have any question’s or comment’s please!!!! leave one.

 

What a great idea!

Since you’re stuck inside during the winter months anyway, it’s a good time to get those pesky inside projects done such as painting those bedroom and bathroom doors or redoing carpet or hardwood floors. When it comes to inside things to do we could go on forever.

One project that usually gets put on the back burner are those annoying little holes in the walls. Little nicks such as these shown below can easily be fixed with a little drywall compound or spackling putty depending on the type of walls you have and the size of the holes. Just take a putty knife and use a thin layer of the compound/putty and fill it and scrape it evenly over the hole, then let dry. Use fine sandpaper and lightly sand it smooth being extra careful not to sand too hard and remove all the dried putty.

For bigger sized holes, it takes a bit more work.

You don’t want to pay someone a ton of money to fix this so you could simply do this; Go to your local home improvement store and since you don’t need a whole panel of drywall, they always have damaged material they’re willing to let go real cheap. Whether it’s drywall, plywood, etc., there usually some on hand. You can get some drywall compound, a small putty knife, sheet of fine sandpaper, a utility knife and a drywall saw. Use a small level or Speed Square (Illustrated on the right) to draw a square around the hole.

Cut the square out, thus making the hole a bit bigger but shaped into a square. For example, let’s say your square is 4 inches high x 5  inches wide; Cut yourself a piece of drywall 5 1/2 inches high x 6 1/2 inches wide; making it 1 1/2 inches bigger than the square we’ve cut out. On the back of the piece of dry wall; using your level, draw a smaller square 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Carefully using a utility knife, cut out the drywall but leaving the paper.

Check to see if your cut out fits tightly in the square hole in the wall.  If not, use fine sandpaper around the edges until it fits snuggly. Some holes require a small piece of wood 1 inch thick to use as a support inside the wall to screw into the drywall. Using a damp cloth, moisten the drywall paper, then putty some compound evenly around the square. After its dry, depending if you used quick dry or it needs more time to dry ; sand lightly with fine sandpaper until smoothe. Then after it’s all done, you can paint to match the color of the walls or repaint walls if you choose to. See video below for other techniques on how to repair holes in drywall.

This brings us to another inside project some like to do during the winter months and that’s repainting rooms; which i will discuss in detail in my next article so come visit again for more home improvement tips and tricks.