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How to Install Weather-Sensitive Heating Controls

Shopping List for Installing Weather-Sensitive Heating Controls:
– weather response control, including outdoor sensor
– insulated cable staples
– plastic cable ties
– foam-rubber pipe insulation
– 1/2-inch sheet metal screws

Tools for Installing Weather-Sensitive Heating Controls
– drill/driver fitted with extra-long 3/8-inch-diameter drill bit
– lineman’s pliers

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How to Install a Forced-Air Bypass Damper

Tools for How to Install a Forced-Air Bypass Damper:
– Drill/driver equipped with a sheet metal duct cutter

 

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House of the Future: Installing a Robotic Wall

Shopping List:
Robotic Wall System

Steps:
1. Connect the motorized wall component using screws and a screwdriver.
2. Slide the braces of the chassis into the base.
3. Connect the chassis braces using screws and a screwdriver.
4. Build the wall by connecting the pre-made structure. Start with a base.
5. Make the connections using a socket wrench, bolts and washers.
6. Connect the drawers and cabinets by clicking in pre-made hardware and screw them in using a drill/driver.
7. Screw in bed slats using screws and a drill/driver.

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How to Patch Small Holes in Walls

Steps:
1. For small cracks and holes, Tom recommends a patching spackle that can be applied easily using a small putty knife. Spackles are generally applied in one coat and then lightly sanded before repainting.
2. For a larger hole, Tom uses an adhesive metal patch that can be cut to size for reinforcement.
3. He uses a putty knife to spread a thin layer of joint compound over the metal patch. Tom suggests building up many thin layers of joint compound with adequate dry time in between, rather than building up the joint compound too heavy and risk cracks.
4. Later in the workshop, Tom shows another technique for patching a larger hole using a spare piece of drywall. Using a utility knife, Tom cuts a square piece of drywall larger than the hole he needs to patch.
5. He then traces that piece over the hole and cuts the outline on the wall using a jab saw.
6. Tom inserts a piece of scrap wood in the hole to act as reinforcement and screws it down using a drill/driver. He then screws the drywall patch to the wood using a drill/driver.
7. Tom tapes around the perimeter of the drywall patch using drywall tape.
8. Finally, he covers the entire patch with a thin layer of joint compound. Just like on the other patch, he recommends many thin layers of joint compound versus one heavy one.

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How to Choose a Countertop

Steps for How to Choose a Countertop
1. Visit a showroom that has full-scale kitchens on displays. There you’ll see various countertop materials in realistic kitchen settings.
2. Laminate counters are composed of thin sheets of plastic laminate glued to a particleboard substrate.
3. Plastic laminate comes in a wide range of solid colors and patterns, including ones that resemble stone.
4. Wood counters are available in several hardwood species, including teak and maple.
5. Don’t use wood counters near sinks or other wet areas.
6. Natural stone counters are cut from granite, marble, soapstone, limestone, sandstone, and slate, to name a few.
7. Note that natural stone is porous, so it must be sealed regularly to prevent staining.
8. An alternative to natural stone is an engineered product called quartz composite. It’s extremely hard and more stain-resistant that natural stone.
9. If you’re interested in a natural stone counter, visit a stone fabrication yard and view the full-size slabs in person.
10. Marble is a popular countertop material, but because it’s calcium-based, it’s softer and less scratch-resistant than granite. Marble must also be sealed more often.
11. Marble can be factory-sealed prior to fabrication, which dramatically increases its stain resistance.
12. The marble slab is placed in an oven and warmed to open up its pores.
13. Next, liquid penetrating sealer is sprayed onto the warm surface, and then buffing wheels evenly distribute the sealer and force it deep into the surface of the marble.

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How to Choose and Install Laundry Appliances

Steps:
1. Richard discusses the options for the latest laundry appliance technology.
2. Richard shows off a top-loading washer. It’s the most commonly used, but highly inefficient. It doesn’t leave clothes very dry which means more electricity costs when it comes to the dryer. Richard also explains the top loader uses 40 gallons of water to wash one large load of laundry.
3. Richard then shows off a high-efficiency top loading model of washer. It does not include a center agitator and has a high-efficiency motor. Per load, this model uses 17 gallons of water.
4. Finally, Richard shows off a high-efficiency front-loading model that has a second washer below the larger one. It has double the capacity and uses only 13 gallons of water per load. Less than half of the typical washer.
5. For the installation, set down the bottom portion of the dryer and adjust the knobs at the bottom to make it level on the floor.
6. Place the top of the dryer on the base.
7. Connect the exhaust hose to the back of the dryer and tighten the clamp using a screwdriver to keep it in place.
8. Plug the dryer into a 220-volt outlet.
9. Level the pedestal washer, once again using the knobs on the base.
10. Place the washing machine on top of the pedestal washer and secure with screws.
11. Connect bronze splitters to main water connections.
12. Connect stainless steel braided hoses to the splitters and to the inlets on the washing machine.
13. Snug up the connections using an adjustable wrench or pliers.
14. Connect the discharges from both washing machines to a laundry basin or a stand pipe drain.
15. Plug the washing machines in to a standard receptacle.

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How to Install Kitchen Cabinets

Shopping List for How to Install Kitchen Cabinets:
– Kitchen cabinets
– 3-inch screws, to fasten cabinets to walls
– Wood shims, for leveling and plumbing cabinets
– 2×4 blocking, to secure peninsula or island cabinets

Tools for How to Install Kitchen Cabinets:
– 2-foot and 6-foot levels, for determining level and plumb alignment
– Tape measure
– Screwdriver, to unscrew doors
– Cordless drill, for drilling holes
– Impact driver, to drive screws
– Utility knife, for trimming shims

Steps for How to Install Kitchen Cabinets:
1. Check the ceiling for level in two directions. If it’s out of level, find the low spot and use it as the measuring reference point.
2. Measure down from the ceiling (or low spot) 33 inches in several places and mark the walls. These marks represent the bottom of the upper cabinets.
3. Connect the marks with a long level and a sharp pencil to produce a level line along the kitchen walls.
4. Mark the stud locations on the walls, then measure and transfer stud locations to the back of the upper cabinets. (If you prefer to proceed with one cabinet at a time, begin with the one that will hang in the corner of the kitchen, and continue with consecutive cabinets.)
5. Pre-drill a screw-shank clearance hole through the cabinet backs at each stud location.
6. Unscrew and remove the cabinet doors; place the doors in a nearby room for safekeeping.
7. Hold the first wall cabinet in place in the corner of the kitchen. Be sure the bottom of the cabinet is even with the level line marked in Step 3.
8. Drive one screw through the upper back of the cabinet and into the wall stud.
9. Check the cabinet for plumb with a level. If necessary, slide shims behind the cabinet. Then drive in the remaining screws to secure the cabinet. Trim the shims with a utility knife.
10. Repeat the previous six steps to install the rest of the upper cabinets.
11. To prepare for installing the base cabinets, lay a 6-foot level on the floor in several places to identify the high spot.
12. From the floor’s high spot, measure up 34½ inches and mark the wall.
13. From that mark, draw a level line around the kitchen walls. This line represents the top of the base cabinets.
14. Install the sink base cabinet first, centering it under the window.
15. Drive shims under the sink cabinet, if necessary, to raise it flush with the 34½-inch reference line marked on the wall.
16. Fasten the sink base cabinet to the wall studs with 3-inch screws. Before fully tightening the screws, slip a shim behind the cabinet to fill any void.
17. Check the cabinet for level from front to back; slide shims under the front of the cabinet, if necessary, to level it. Trim the shims with the utility knife.
18. Install the remaining base cabinets in a similar manner.
19. To secure peninsula or island cabinets, screw 2×4 blocking to the floor. Set the cabinets over the blocking, then screw through the toekick and into the blocking.
20. Cover the exposed end of the cabinets with a decorative panel. Drive in short screws from inside the cabinet.
21. Install all the drawers and doors.
22. Fabricate a filler strip to fit alongside the base cabinet that abuts the range. Fasten the filler by screwing through the cabinet face frame.
23. Once the base cabinets are installed, make a template for the new countertop.

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How to Dress Up a Hollow-Core Door

Shopping List for How to Dress Up a Hollow-Core Door:
– 1 1/8-by-1 3/4-inch poplar nose-and-cove molding. Get four 8-footers
– 18-gauge 1-inch nails for pneumatic nail gun
– Wood glue
Wood putty
– 120-grit sandpaper
– Latex primer and paint
– New lockset (optional)

Note on proportions: A typical interior four-panel door has three equivalent stiles with a matching top rail and a deeper base rail. Mock up simple patterns cut from cardboard to see what size panels will look best on your door.

Tools for How to Dress Up a Hollow-Core Door:
– Flathead screwdriver
– Phillips-head screwdriver
– Combination square
– Framing square
– Miter saw
– Clamps
– Pneumatic nail gun
– Rounded chisel
– Mallet

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How to Fit a Salvaged Door in an Existing Opening

Tools for How to Fit a Salvaged Door in an Existing Opening:
– Drill-Driver or screwdriver
– Hand plane
– Track saw
– Scribes
– Utility knife
– Speed square
– Screws
– Wood glue

Steps for How to Fit a Salvaged Door in an Existing Opening:
1. Remove the hinges from the doorframe using a driver in reverse or a screwdriver.
2. Remove the hinges from the door using a driver in reverse or a screwdriver.
3. Place door in opening and push it up tight to the header.
4. Use a pair of scribes to follow the angle of the gap between the header and the door starting at the widest gap and tracing until the lowest gap.
5. Cut the marked portion of the door using a track saw.
6. Take a small piece of wood and line it up with the top hinge. Mark it 1/8-inch longer than the door to account for the space between the header and the door.
7. Also mark the distance on the wood from the edge of the hinge to the face of the door. Now, that can serve as a gauge for making the hinge points in the doorframe.
8. Now, place the gauge tight against the underside of the doorframe. Using it as a guide, match up the hinge with the edge on the gauge. That’s where you want the hinge to be placed.
9. Drill holes through the holes in the hinge and drive in screws.
10. Mount the bottom hinge by using the same reference lines on the gauge.
11. Close the door and see how it fits into the opening.
12. If there is a gap between the door and the frame on the hinge side, you may have to mortise out the hinges.
13. Next, check the distance between the door and the floor. If there’s a gap, you may have to account for it by adding a piece.
14. Measure the distance between the door and the floor at its highest point. Take that measurement and subtract 1/8-inch and that’s what you’ll want for the added length.
15. To add the extra piece of door, take the measured piece of poplar and glue it to the bottom using wood glue.
16. Then drive in two screws at the bottom to keep it together.
17. Using a hand plane, plane door the piece of poplar until it’s level with the rest of the door.
18. To create a fake seam to match the rail of the door, use a speed square as a straight edge and a utility knife to mark the poplar. Go over the cut several times.

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Draft-Proofing Your Home

As the cost of power soars and winter is upon us, check out Rob’s must-watch guide to the easiest way to save money in these cooler months.

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