Friday, December 19, 2014

3 DIY Projects for the New Year

diy sink repairsMake Resolutions Now to Reach Home Improvement Goals

With the new year looming, I recently sat down with my family and sketched out a few home improvement DIY resolutions around the house that have been put off far too long. Most of the time I find that if the work is not critical, it tends to land on the back burner until I have a moment to spare. Of course, those moments are few and far between. So this year, I've decided to prioritize my calendar and dedicate myself to completing these odd and ends before January has up and left.

Plumbing in the Basement Bathroom
 
We bought our 1920s cape about ten years ago, and luckily, the list of critical repairs was fairly short. We painted the exterior, re-did the roof, then dredged and replanted the backyard garden. One item that I kept putting off was a rusted-out P-trap in the basement bathroom. We never really used the sink, so the trap simply sat there. Until of course, I finished the basement and moved my home office down there. Now, it's a hassle to go upstairs to wash my hands in the kitchen sink. So, for $20 I've already picked up a replacement kit at my local plumbing supply store, as well as a large plumber's wrench to complete the job. The guys at the store were happy to loan me one, but as a manly man, I thought I should own at least one wrench that weighs more than my oldest child. This project is slated for the week of January 1. I will need to remove the old trap, clean off any residue on the remaining threads, and replace the unit as well as the sealant tape. Simple, and complete- the job should take no longer than 10-20 minutes.


Interior Spot Painting
 
My kids are over five-years-old now, and the scribbling on the walls has ceased. At least until they become teenagers. So, I figured it was time to paint over the spots currently hidden by odd chairs and tables throughout the house. I've already walked the rooms and noted six such ink stains. For the second week of January, they will be gone forever. I already have a gallon-can of paint in the basement for repainting, but I'll want to scrub away the ink stains as much as possible first so they don;t show through. With a can of alcohol-based hair spray, each area gets a soaking. After letting it sit for a minute to activate, I dab on a bit of Arm and Hammer toothpaste, and with a toothbrush, I work this in until the stain begins to fade. I'll do this a few times to clear away as much as possible. Once all the stains are removed, I will roll a quick coat of paint over the entire wall to cover any odd spotting.

Organize the Garage with New Shelves
 
This is not as simple as it seems. During the winter, I store my boat, as well as canoe and other random lawn items in my single car, granite foundation recessed garage. This has been sad for me over the years, as I use the garage as my woodworking shop. With all the 'stuff', my winter woodworking comes to a standstill. I've determined now that I can fit the boat in, and still work in the shop, with a bit of organization. It starts with adding shelves to the granite block walls for excess material. With a .22 caliber nail driver, I match up to the concrete seams and drive in my two x four supports. Off of those, I can build my shelves. This is a dangerous tool, as it requires the use of .22 squibs, but will accomplish the job with ease when handled with safety.
Within three weeks I will have accomplished three tasks that have been put aside for far to long. Keeping to my schedule, I can then move onto the projects looming for the Spring, such as expanding my garden.


Happy New Year!