How to Re-point a Brick Foundation

Tools for How to Repoint a Brick Foundation:
– Raking bar
– Brick chisel
– Masonry hammer
– Shovel or hoe
– Wheelbarrow
– Pointed brick trowel
– Tuck pointer
– Masonry jointer

Shopping list for How to Repoint a Brick Foundation:
– Mortar
– Square of ½-inch plywood, used as a mortarboard

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How to Upgrade an Electric Meter to 200-Amp Service

Master electrician Scott Caron shows the first phase of replacing an antiquated electrical system.

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How to Create Simulated Panels with Molding

Time:
4-5 hours

Cost:
Under $100

Skill Level:
Moderate

Tools List:
Miter saw
23-gauge pin nail gun
Measuring tape
Rag
Caulking gun

Shopping List:
1/16” x 1 3/8” primed finger jointed base cap molding
23-gauge headless pin nails
Wood glue
Wood filler
Fine grit sandpaper
Caulk
1×4 scrap wood for a gauge block

Steps:
1. Measure the height of the space between the chair rail and the baseboard using a measuring tape.
2. The base cap molding frame should be centered all around the room. An easy way to measure, take two pieces of 1×4 and place them against the top of the baseboard and the bottom of the chair rail. The distance between the two blocks is a good height for the frame.
3. To get the horizontal measurements of the frame, measure the entire width of your wall. Divide the measurement up evenly and allow for spacing between each frame. Using a piece of 1×4 as a gauge block between each frame is a good way to separate the frames evenly.
4. To cut the vertical portion of the frames, set the stop on the outfeed of a miter saw and place the base cap molding just beyond the stop.
5. Set the miter saw to a 45-degree angle, hold the molding tight to the saw and make the first cut. Repeat the process for the necessary amount of vertical sides.
6. Reverse the angle of the miter saw to the opposite 45-degree angle.
7. Set the outfeed stop to desired length for the horizontal pieces, press the molding firmly against the miter saw and make a cut. Repeat the process for the necessary amount of horizontal sides.
8. Take two vertical molding sides and two horizontal molding sides and create a frame.
9. Use wood glue to connect each corner and a 23-gauge pin nail gun with headless pin nails to tack all of the connections together.
10. Be sure to remove any excess glue immediately with a rag. Repeat the process for the necessary amount of frames.
11. Let the frames dry for ten minutes.
12. Lay out the frames in place using a piece of 1×4 as a gauge block to set the spacing from the chair rail, the baseboard, and between each frame side by side.
13. Use wood glue and a 23-gauge pin nail gun with headless pin nails to tack up the molding frames to the wall.
14. To finish off the look of the frames, fill in any holes with wood filler. Then sand it down using a fine grit sandpaper.
15. If there are any imperfections between the inside and the outside of the frames in relation to the wall, fill in those gaps with caulking using a caulking gun.
16. Paint to desired color.

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How to Beef Up Attic Insulation

Tools for Beefing Up Attic Insulation:
– tape measure
– insulation knife
– leaf rake, used to spread cellulose insulation
– dust mask
– hammer
– circular saw

Shopping List for Beefing Up Attic Insulation:
– cellulose insulation
– un-faced fiberglass insulation
– 2x10s for framing a storage platform
– 7/16-inch-thick OSB
– 16d nails”] for nailing together 2x10s
– 6d nails”] for nailing down the OSB
– 2-inch-thick polystyrene, used to cover subfloor

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How to Replace a Rotted Windowsill

Tools for How to Replace a Window Sill:
– Oscillating tool
– Reciprocating saw
– Flat pry bar
– Hammer and 3/4-inch-wide chisel
– End nippers
– Circular saw
– Layout square
– Drill/driver
– Handsaw
– Hand plane
– Random-orbit sander
– Caulk gun
– Dead-blow mallet
– Pneumatic finishing nailer

Shopping list for How to Replace a Window Sill:
– Spanish cedar, used to make new sill
– 3-inch screws, for pulling out old sill
– 120-grit sandpaper
– Spray primer, for coating new sill
– Silicone caulk, used to seal new sill into place
– 2-inch finish nails for pneumatic nailer
– Minimal-expansion foam, for filling void below sill
– Exterior-grade paint, to match existing window trim

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How to Choose and Use a Hammer

Watch this video and learn how to choose the right hammer for your next project.

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All About Clamps

Watch this video and learn everything you need to know about clamps.

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How to Install a Home Elevator

Time: Several days

Cost: $25,000 – 35,000

Shopping List:
Hydraulic home elevator lift
Home elevator enclosure

Steps:
1. Pour concrete pad for the base of the elevator.
2. Hoist the tower section with a chain pull and level it in place with a level.
3. Stabilize the tower by attaching the legs with bolts and washers using a drill/driver.
4. Hoist the second section of the tower on top of the first portion with a chain pull.
5. The first and second sections of the tower are combined using bolts and washers.
6. Fill the reservoir for the hydraulics with transmission fluid.
7. Place platform base on top of the legs.
8. Secure the platform with bolts and washers using a drill/driver.
9. Place the floor on top of the platform and secure it with fasteners.
10. Secure 42-inch panels on three sides of the platform.
11. Install enclosure around the lift to keep out rain, snow and wind.

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How to Add Electrical Outlets to a Room

Cost: $20-100

Skill Level: Medium

Tools List for Adding Outlets to a Room:
Drill
Jigsaw or router
Wire stripper
Screwdrivers

Shopping List:
Insulation rod
Outlet boxes.
Electrical wires.
Faceplates.

Steps:
1. Turn off all power to working area at main electrical panel.
2. Trace out cut area for each elecrical box.
3. Drill corner holes to pilot saw blade.
4. If necessary, drill into framing for wiring
5. Run electrical wires from outlet box holes to electrical panel, pulling 4 feet through the wall.
6. Strip insulation from electrical wires and attach to electrical box
7. Attach white wires to silver screws and black wires to brass screws and then the ground wire.
8. Use electrical tape to tape around the box.
9. Attach box to the wall and cover with outlet plate.
10. Repeat for each outlet needed.
11. De-energize the whole electrical panel by shutting off the house’s main breaker.
12. Install and arc volt breaker by attaching white and black wire to the breaker.
13. Attach white wire from the new breaker directly onto the electrical panel’s neutral bar.
14. Turn the main breaker back on.
15. Electricity is not a hobby, if you don’t feel comfortable with any of these steps, call an electrician.

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How to Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Steps for How to Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors:
1. Mark the location of each smoke detector on the ceiling.
2. Use a drill and long, stiff wire to bore a small-diameter hole through the ceiling and into the attic.
3. Go into the attic and check for obstructions around the small holes. If necessary, use a circular saw to cut open the attic floor.
4. At each smoke detector location, use a drill and a 4-inch-diameter hole saw with dust shield to cut a hole through the ceiling for a round old-work electrical box.
5. Run nonmetallic electrical cable from an existing outlet in the attic to each of the smoke detector locations.
6. Cut the cable and pull it through an old-work electrical box. Push the box into the ceiling hole and tighten the screws to lock the box to the ceiling. Repeat for each ceiling hole.
7. Screw the smoke detector’s mounting plate to the box, then make the wire connections: black to black, white to white, red to orange.
8. Gently tuck the wires into the box, then twist and lock the smoke detector onto the mounting plate.
9. Install a combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector on each level of the home and within 10 feet of the bedrooms.
10. Pull a new electrical cable down from the attic into the basement.
11. In the basement, install a standard hardwired combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector, and a two-piece wireless smoke and carbon monoxide detector. Mount the battery-powered wireless half of the detector on the first-floor ceiling.
12. Make the final wire connections in the attic, then test each detector to make sure all of them are operating properly.

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