Improve The Look Of Your Porch

diy porch concrete deck handrail rail remodel home

A customer of mine had an old concrete back porch that was in bad shape. It needed a new bottom stair poured which left an unsightly seem and it needed some handrail. Not only did it need rail on the landing and down the stairs, it needed rail on the ground along the side of the stairs that went down to the basement so nobody fell down there.

The plan was simple. We would parge the surface and add some black aluminum handrail.

PARGE: To add a thin coat of stucco onto the surface of existing concrete to improve the appearance. Read More

Building A Deck: Decking

diy decking composite cedar deck

Once you have your new deck framed, you’ll need to install the decking. There are many products you can use as decking material.

diy deck cedar deckingCedar: Cedar is a naturally rot and insect resistant wood. That’s why you can use it for exterior projects without it needing to be treated like Fir. Decking, railing, fencing and siding are all commonly seen in raw cedar. Cedar will eventually rot over time, especially if it’s in contact with dirt. It’s recommended to treat your cedar with something to make it last even longer. You can use a clear coat sealer if you want to keep the natural look or you can go with a stain. You can still paint cedar but it’s better to use a solid stain as it will soak into wood fibers and protect the wood more effectively. Cedar can be pretty high maintenance as you will have to keep it clean and regularly reseal it. Read More

Building A Deck: Framing

DIY deck framing porch home remodel house

DIY deck porch rot home remodelOne very common upgrade you can do to your home is to replace an old rotting deck. You will probably have a basic wood deck like the one to the left. The boards are getting soft. If it’s painted, the paint is flaking off. The handrail is loose. It’s an eyesore and a safety issue.

This is a project you may want to tackle yourself and if that’s the case, there are some specific things to keep in mind when it comes to the framing of your new deck. Read More

Fix Fail #1: Gutter Leak

DIY house home repair leak gutter

DIY Gutter Leak home improvement repair remodelFirst of all, I have no idea what happened to this gutter in the first place (main picture). It looks like somebody hacked a section of gutter out with a dull steak knife. This is at an apartment building which is a pretty common place to find fix fails. Unfortunately, a lot of apartment maintenance staff are not experienced with proper residential repairs. It seems that a maintenance worker came out and smeared caulk all over the seams of the gutter. Read More

Prepare For The Repair

emergency home repair house gas water

The worst thing you can do as a homeowner is to have an emergency situation and not know how to handle it. If there is water flooding your house, the quicker you can turn the water main off, the less damage you will need to fix later. Every minute you are running around, looking for the water shut-off valve, will be gallons of water that are destroying your floors, drywall, furniture and your life.

PREPARE FOR THE REPAIR: Read More

Basement Leak? Install A French Drain

basement DIY leak flood water home repair

DIY basement leak water flood repair french drainThe house I previously lived in was a split level. Half of the downstairs was a two car garage and the other half was an unfinished basement. We had plans to turn it into a master suite, but first we had to stop the basement from leaking.

Every time there was a heavy rain, water would start seeping out of the base of the foundation wall on the East side of the house. This side of the basement was completely underground and the foundation wall went all the way to the ceiling. The ground outside was part of the backyard and it didn’t seem to slope dramatically toward the house. Read More

Useful Extra Tools To Add To Your Toolkit

DIY home house remodel repair tool homeowner upgrade

As time goes by, as a homeowner, you’ll start experiencing more a more small repairs that need to be done around the house. Hopefully, you will learn how to take care of these issues and become more comfortable problem solving. Once you start trying to tackle more complicated repairs or bigger remodels, you will want to add some more advanced tools to your toolkit. Read More