How To Replace And Install A New Kitchen Faucet

February 14, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Home How-To 

Want to replace your kitchen faucet? It’s a job for which you could hire a plumber, or, with just a little bit of craftsman skill, it’s a project you could finish yourself.

Watch this video from the Lowe’s YouTube channel. You’ll get step-by-step instruction on how to take out an old faucet and how to install a new one. The supplies you’ll need are minimal, too.

In 3 minutes, the video covers:

  • How to shut the kitchen water supply off and drain residual water from the pipes
  • How to detach and remove the old kitchen faucet
  • How to align the new faucet and reconnect to the water lines

There’s some good tips along the way, too, including how to make sure you don’t accidentally connect the hot water supply to the cold-water faucet.

If you’re uncomfortable working with your home’s plumbing and would like a referral to a plumber near Mt Lookout , please just ask. I’m happy to help how I can.


Rid Your Kitchen Of Hidden Dirt And Grime

September 27, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Home How-To 

A kitchen is often a home’s busiest room — a meeting place for meals and conversation. It’s also among the home’s most grimy rooms. Bacteria, dirt and germs collect on floors, on countertops, and inside appliances.

In this 4-minute clip from NBC’s The Today Show, you’ll learn how to rid your kitchen of “nastiness”.  The featured fixes use nothing but basic household cleansers and elbow grease, and they include:

  • How to clean and restore wooden cutting boards and bowls
  • How to remove “burn stains” from the side of a frying pan
  • How to eliminate pervasive dishwasher odors

The segment also tackles why you should choose loofah over sponge, and how to catch fruit flies.

For as much time as you spend in your kitchen, it’s best to keep it clean and sanitized.


White Distilled Vinegar : An Environmentally-Friendly Home Cleaning Solution

September 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Home How-To 

White distilled vinegarSupermarket aisles in the Cincinnati area are filled with specialty cleansers — some for the kitchen, some for the bathroom, some for the carpets. Loaded with chemicals, these cleansers can be tough on the environment and costly, too.

If you’re in search of an alternative, consider white distilled vinegar.  It’s inexpensive, safe to store, and highly effective as a household cleanser.

White vinegar’s strength comes from its acidity, roughly 8%. It’s acidity kills most mold, germs, and bacteria, and can remove minerals deposits from coffee makers and glass surfaces.

Some uses for white distilled vinegar include:

  • Cleaning the garbage disposal : 1/2 cup hot white distilled vinegar + 1/2 cup baking soda. Pour down drain and let sit for 5 minutes. Run hot water to flush it.
  • Removing lunch box odors : Soak bread slice in white distilled vinegar. Place it in lunch box overnight.
  • Remove dark spots on aluminum pots : Mix 1 cup white distilled vinegar + 1 cup hot water.  Boil in pot.
  • Brighten carpets : Mix solution of 1 cup white distilled vinegar + 1 gallon water. Test on inconspicuous area first.
  • Remove water rings from wood : Mix solution of 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar + 1/4 cup vegetable oil. Rub with the grain.

White distilled vinegar is extremely versatile, but it can strip finish from counter-tops and floors if left to soak. Be sure to exercise care, therefore, when using vinegar at home.


How To Change A Showerhead

September 7, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Home How-To 

There’s plenty of reasons to want to change a showerhead in your head. Perhaps you’re trying to fix a leak in the faucet; or, remodeling your bathroom; or, trying to conserve water via a low-flow showerhead. 

Whatever the reason, changing a showerhead can be a basic do-it-yourself project. The tools aren’t complicated and the job is a quick one.

In this 2-minute video from AOL, you’ll learn:

  • What tools you’ll need to change the showerhead
  • How to remove your old showerhead
  • How to firmly attach your new showerhead to prevent leaks

If you get stuck, or just want to outsource, call a professional handyman to finish the job. Changing a showerhead should take less than a hour to complete.


How To Reduce Home Energy Costs By Sealing Air Leaks

August 30, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Home How-To 

Air leaks With Labor Day looming, the autumn and winter months aren’t far behind. It’s a good time to reflect on your home’s heating and cooling costs, and take steps to lower your energy bills. Finding air leaks may be a perfect first project.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, up to 30 percent can be cut from a home’s energy costs just by reducing drafts. For example, a 1/16-inch gap unsealed gap around a window is equivalent to leaving the window 3 inches open. 

That’s a lot of wasted Cincinnati air.

The good news is that air leaks are rather simple to identify, and simple to fix. The key is to know where to look. And, to make the job easier, the government offers a complete DIY Guide To Sealing and Insulating a home.

Some of the key tips include:

  • Focus on the attic and basement, where most air is lost
  • Locate problem areas on a chimney
  • Check recessed lights which allow air flow between conditioned and unconditioned air

The government’s website also provides a 13-page PDF with detailed images, instructions, and recommendation to help you with the work.

However, if the job is beyond your skill set, be sure to call a qualified contractor. Sealing your home from air leaks will reduce your monthly energy bill and the money spent to pay a professional will be just a fraction of what you’ll save over time.

(Image courtesy: US Department of Energy)


How To Unclog A Sink That Won’t Respond To Drano

August 16, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Home How-To 

Sometimes, a backed-up sink is too big of a job for a bottle of Drano. To clear the clog, you have to get your hands dirty. But what do you do?  This quick, 2-minute video from Lowe’s is an excellent tutorial.

The video starts with basic safety preparation, then shows you how to:

  1. How to identify the J-trap beneath your sink
  2. Position a plastic bucket to catch water run-off
  3. Use your finger to clear out debris
  4. Replace the J-trap beneath the sink

Unclogging a sink can be simple homeowner project, but if you’re uncomfortable working with plumbing or just want to outsource, be sure to call a professional.


How To Mount And Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors In Your Home

June 7, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Home How-To 

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas found in combustion fumes, stoves, gas ranges and heating systems.  It’s poisonous to humans because carbon monoxide binds to red blood cells, preventing the flow of oxygen through a person’s bloodstream.

There’s a bevy of CO sources in the home and that may be why more than 20,000 Americans are sent to the emergency room each year because of Carbon Monoxide poisoning. 5 percent die from it.

Therefore, whether you own a home in Madeira or rent one, equip your place with working carbon monoxide detectors and test them regularly. In this 2-minute video from Lowe’s, you’ll learn how to get started:

  1. How to mount CO detectors using basic household tools
  2. In what rooms to install CO detectors for maximum safety
  3. How often CO detector batteries should be changed

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a four-season danger at home. Protect your yourself and your loved ones.


How To Replace Your New Home’s Deadbolt Locks

June 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Home How-To 

After moving into a new home in Mason , you should immediately replace its deadbolt locks.  It’s not just the home’s former residents that have the key, after all, but so might a relative, a friend, a neighbor, a dog-walker, and others.

You may call a locksmith for the job, but you can save some money if you can do-it-yourself. 

In this detailed, 2-minute video, you’ll learn how to remove and replace a deadbolt lock using nothing but a Phillips screwdriver and a deadbolt from a hardware store.  It’s a simple project that requires little mechanical skill.

And one that can make your new home more safe.


Shopping For Mattresses, Or How Buy A Good Night’s Sleep

May 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Home How-To 

NBC’s The Today Show hosted Consumer Reports for its take on mattresses. Some of the results may surprise you.

At 7 minutes, the video is long, but it’s stuffed with helpful comfort tips, including the scientific reason why a mattress should be replaced every 8 years or so.  Some of the other advice includes:

  • How to reduce morning aches and pains with proper pillow choices
  • Why “hot sleepers” should stay away from memory foam
  • How to properly test a mattress in the store before you buy it

After its testing and a series of interviews with consumer and industry workers, Consumer Reports also concludes that — for a queen-sized bed — a $1,000 list price is going to give you “a lot of bed”; there’s little need to spend more.  And, furthermore, because mattress prices are usually negotiable by half-off or more off, you could buy that $1,000 mattress at a significant discount.

More than 70% of people successfully negotiate lower mattress prices.

Consumer Reports acknowledges that there’s no “#1 mattress”, per se, because mattresses are a personal fit in terms of both firmness and size.  With respect to durability, however, most will last for years.


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