Monday, June 27, 2016

How Do I Use Spray Foam? | DIY Basics

Lower energy costs are a good thing. Here's how to save money using spray foam to seal leaks.

Friday, June 24, 2016

How To Add Cottage Style To Your Suburban Backyard

Skip the trip to the cottage. When your backyard looks like a lush country oasis, there’s no need to endure the two-hour commute up North. Learn how to transform your suburban backyard into the outdoor cottage space of your dreams with expert design tips from landscape architect Joel Loblaw.

To give a Markham, Ont., backyard a Muskoka vibe, Joel divided the space into outdoor rooms, including a dining area, sunk-in patio, lounge, backyard pool and fire pit. Owners can enjoy all the benefits of a weekend cottage right outside their door. Rustic details like twinkle lights and wild flowers invite relaxed summer living. Get decorating tips to create your own enchanting outdoor escape. Plus, find out which plants were used for year-round visual interest and low-maintenance care.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

How to Install a Hidden Door/Bookshelf

Ask This Old House general contractor Tom Silva is in Salem, MA, to help install a bookshelf that doubles as a door. (See below for a shopping list, tools, and steps.)

Shopping List for How to Install a Hidden Door/Bookshelf:
- Scrap piece of 1x4 poplar wood
- Murphy door from kit
- Shims
- Finishing nails

Tools for How to Install a Hidden Door/Bookshelf:
- Hammer
- Nailset
- Pry bar
- Levels: 1- or 2-foot and 6-foot
- Scribes
- Circular saw
- Wood glue
- Drill/driver
- Utility knife

Steps for How to Install a Hidden Door/Bookshelf:
1. Remove current door from its hinges by popping up the pins with a hammer and nailset.
2. Remove the old jamb and casing with a pry bar.
3. To level the jamb, place a piece of poplar on the floor and make it level. Set your scribes the overall width of the filler and drag the scribes along the piece of poplar.
4. After marking the poplar, cut it with the circular saw, following the scribe line you traced.
5. Using wood glue, glue the poplar filler piece to the underside of the doorjamb to fill the gap.
6. Repeat the same steps to fill the back side of the jamb.
7. Move the jamb from the door kit into place. Using a 6-foot level, check that it’s plumb; if it needs adjusting, place shims between the jamb and the wall studs until the jamb is plumb. Drill through the jamb and shims, and secure with screws.
8. Using a utility knife and a hammer, remove the excess shims on either side.
9. Lift up the bookshelf and place in the pre-fashioned pivot-point pinholes on the top and bottom of the jamb.
10. Glue trim to the jamb and secure with finishing nails. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

SitePro Home Inspections - What We Do

SitePro produces easy to read, nationally recognized reports.

Our typical home inspection includes these components and systems:
  • Exterior/Site: Grading, driveways, sidewalks, front porch, patio, gates, fences/walls, decks and stairs.
  • Structure: Exterior walls, trim, foundation, basement, crawl space, exterior doors and chimneys.
  • Roof: Roof covering, flashings, attic and insulation.
  • Electrical: Entrance wires, main electrical panels and branch wiring.
  • Plumbing: Piping, valves, water heater and sprinkler/irrigation system.
  • Heating/Cooling/Air Distribution System: Heating system, cooling system, air handler and evaporative cooler.
  • Interior: Walls, floors, ceiling, doors, windows and screens.
  • Bathrooms: Counter tops, cabinets, sinks and built-in appliances.
  • Kitchen: Counter tops, cabinets, sinks and built-in appliances.
  • Miscellaneous: Vehicle parking area, overhead garage door, garage-to-house door, laundry room, interior stairs and fireplaces.

Our inspection reports are informative and easy-to-use. Each section is categorized along with a detailed summary that makes it convenient and easy to reference repairs quickly. All reports are posted on our website, produced at time of inspection, or faxed to you within 24 hours of the inspection followed by a mailed detailed report and useful maintenance tips and information.

Our detailed, computerized inspection reports include:
  • A Summary Section listing defective and marginal items as well as helpful recommendations for repair or replacement
  • A Helpful Home Maintenance Guide
  • Pre-Closing Inspection checklist for checking on repairs before Closing
  • Useful Tip Guide for Maintaining Your Home
  • Free digital copies of photographs taken during the inspection

Choosing the right home inspector can difficult. Unlike most professionals, you probably will not get to meet me until after you hire me. Furthermore, different inspectors have varying qualifications, equipment, experience, reporting methods, and yes, different pricing. One thing for sure is that a home inspection requires work, a lot of work. Ultimately a through inspection depends heavily on the individual inspector’s own effort. If you honor me by permitting me to inspect your home, I guarantee that I will give you my very best effort.

This is my promise you.

Permit Searches: Have there been any renovations, additions, or improvements made on the home you are buying? Was the home “flipped”? Are you concerned about the quality and professionalism of the repairs? In many instances we can perform a permit search for you to uncover if required permits were obtained, code inspections performed, was the work passed, and who did the work.

Roof Condition Certification: Inspection of roof covering, flashing and structure to clarify remaining life and condition in regards to leaks or damage.

Condominium Inspections: The structure is owned by the homeowners association, therefore a through review of your condominium documents is recommended for recent roof replacement/ repairs/maintenance.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Interior Design — Smart Front Porch Decorating Ideas

House & Home style expert Reiko Caron explains how to transform a front stoop with a few quick fixes. See the refreshed entrance, complete with a cheerful green door, new column base, address numbers and an inviting grey bench.

Monday, June 6, 2016

How to Install Wood Crown Molding

This Old House general contractor Tom Silva shares his tips and techniques for installing decorative crown molding. (See below for shopping list, tools, and steps.)

Shopping List for How to Install Wood Crown Molding:
- Primed wood crown molding
- 2-inch nails for 18-gauge pneumatic nailer, for fastening crown molding
- Carpenter's glue, to glue scarf joints
- Acrylic-latex caulk, to seal coped joints
- Construction adhesive, to adhere molding to brick or concrete-block walls
- Wood putty, for filling nail holes
- High-gloss latex paint, for the crown molding

Tools List for How to Install Wood Crown Molding:
- Chalk reel filled with white chalk, for snapping layout lines onto the walls
- Stud finder, for locating wall studs
- Compound miter saw, to cut crown molding
- Pneumatic 18-gauge finishing nailer and air compressor, for nailing up crown molding
- Coping saw, to cut coped joints
- Caulk gun
- Putty knife, for applying wood putty
- 2-inch sash brush, for painting crown molding
- Cotton cloth, for wiping off excess glue and caulk

Steps for How to Install Wood Crown Molding:
1. Take a short scrap piece of crown molding and hold it against the wall and ceiling in a corner of the room. Draw a pencil line along the bottom edge of the molding and onto the wall. Repeat to mark all remaining inside and outside room corners.[BR]
2. Connect the pencil lines by snapping a white chalk line onto the walls around the room.[BR]
3. Mark the locations of the studs onto the walls.[BR]
4. Hold the first length of crown molding in place against the wall and ceiling and tight into the room corner.[BR]
5. Mark the wall-stud location near the middle of the wall onto the molding.[BR]
6. Place the molding upside down in a compound miter saw. Hold the molding flat against both the saw's vertical fence and horizontal table.[BR]
7. Adjust the saw's miter angle to 45 degrees and cut a scarf joint into the molding.[BR]
8. Hold the crown molding in place with its square-cut end tight in the room corner and its bottom edge on the white chalk line.[BR]
9. Nail the crown molding to the wall studs and ceiling with a pneumatic finishing nailer and 2-inch nails.[BR]
10. Hold the second length of molding in place against the wall and ceiling, making sure it extends past the scarf joint on the previously installed crown molding.[BR]
11. Mark where the second crown molding overlaps the scarf joint.[BR]
12. Cut a mating scarf joint into the second length of crown molding.[BR]
13. Apply carpenter's glue to the scarf joint, then hold the second length of crown molding in place. Be sure the scarf joint fits tightly together, then nail the molding to the wall and ceiling.[BR]
14. Miter-cut a length of crown molding for the next wall. Then back-cut the miter joint with a coping saw to create a coped joint.[BR]
15. Apply a bead of white acrylic-latex caulk to the coped cut. Hold the molding in place with the coped end pushed tight against the crown molding previously installed on the perpendicular wall. Nail the molding to the wall and ceiling.[BR]
16. Repeat the previous steps to nail crown molding to the remaining walls. Be sure to cut scarf joints along the walls, and coped joints at inside corners.[BR]
17. If the room has any outside corners, cut a 45-degree miter joint onto each end of the mating lengths of molding. Glue and nail together the miter joints.[BR]
18. If installing molding to a brick or concrete-block wall, apply construction adhesive along the back, bottom edge of the molding and nail the top edge to the ceiling.[BR]
19. Caulk along the top and bottom edges of the crown molding, then fill all nail holes with wood putty.[BR]
20. Paint the crown molding with high-gloss latex paint.