How to Stop Cold Air Leaks in Winter

Shopping List for How to Stop Cold Air Leaks in Winter:
– door sweep
– sash lock
– weather stripping
– foam-rubber backer rod
– temporary caulking
– outlet gasket
– minimal-expanding foam

Tools for How to Stop Cold Air Leaks in Winter:
– handsaw or aviation snips, to cut door sweep
– utility knife
– drill/driver

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How to Add Outlets to a Room

Time: 3 hours

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 electrical 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 Choose a Stud Finder

Time: 5 minutes

Cost: $5-50

Skill Level: Beginner

Tools List for Choosing a Stud Finder:
Magnetic stud finder
Digital stud finders
Drill
Flathead screwdriver

Steps:
1. There are several ways to locate studs in the wall- both low tech and high tech.
2. Use your knuckle against the wall to feel for a stud. If you hit a stud, the knock will feel more solid and sound slightly higher pitched.
3. Look for clues on the wall. Look for patched nail holes in baseboard trim, chair rails, or crown molding, since the trim was probably nailed to the studs. Use a small drill bit just above the baseboard to see if there’s a stud in the wall or not.
4. Turn off the power at the electrical panel and check next to an outlet or light switch. Unscrew the cover plate and slide the screwdriver along the sides of the electrical box to see where it was mounted. Once that stud has been located, measure 16” or 24” on center from the stud to identify subsequent studs.
5. Purchase a magnetic stud finder. Slide it along the wall up and down and it will stick to any nails or screws that attach the drywall to the studs.
6. Purchase a digital stud finder. Slide it along the wall and the light will indicate when a stud has been located.
7. Another digital stud finder can indicate the width of a stud. Slide it along the wall and the lights will indicate stud location and width.

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How to Replace a Garage Door Opener

Time: 3-4 hours

Cost: $350

Skill Level: Moderate

Tools List for Replacing a Garage Door Opener:
Flathead screwdriver
Open ended adjustable wrench
Screw gun

Shopping List:
Smart garage door opener and accessories
Plastic conduit

Steps:
1. Turn the power off to the garage at the circuit panel.
2. Unplug the existing garage door opener. Loosen the brackets securing it to the ceiling and gently lower it down.
3. Use the open ended adjustable wrench to loosen the bracket and remove the bracket on the door and the bracket above the door.
4. Install the bracket that comes with the garage door opener over the garage door using the screw gun.
5. Slide the track into the bracket and secure with the wrench.
6. Screw the new motor into the existing brackets in the ceiling using the wrench.
7. Connect the lifting arm from the door to the track.
8. Wire the keypad into the wall on the inside of the garage.
9. Run the wire through a conduit and connect it to the garage door opener motor.
10. On the outside of the garage, mount the wireless keypad using the screw gun.
11. Mount the electric eyes about 6” from the floor on the inside of the garage.
12. Plug the motor into an outlet and turn the power back on.

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How to Frame Walls for a Basement Room

Shopping List for How to Frame Walls for a Basement Room:
– pressure-treated 2x4s, used as the bottom wall plates
– 2x4s, used as the top wall plates and studs

Tools for How to Frame Walls for a Basement Room:
– 2-foot and 6-foot levels
– chalk line
– circular saw
– layout square
– cordless framing nailer, or hammer and 16d nails
– powder-actuated nail gun
– hearing and eye protection

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How to Safely Attach a Deck to a House

Tools for How to Safely Attach a Deck to a House:
– Sledgehammer
– Circular saw
– Drill/driver
– Impact wrench
– Hammer drill with 1/2-inch-diameter masonry bit

Shopping list for How to Safely Attach a Deck to a House:
– 2x4s and 2x6s½-inch x 10-inch galvanized lag screws with washers
– ½-inch x 10-inch masonry wedge anchors
– Pressure-treated 2×4
– Engineered-lumber joist hangers

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How to Rebuild a Toilet Tank

Shopping List for Rebuilding a Toilet Tank:
– toilet repair kit

Tools for Rebuilding a Toilet Tank:
– turkey baster or wet/dry vacuum, for removing water from tank
– large slotted screwdriver
– rag or bucket
– open-end wrench
– pliers

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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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