Built in pantry closet

If you have no space for a large walk in pantry, it is still possible to have pantry space by creating a built in.   When we built our house we didn’t add a pantry thinking that the kitchen had enough cabinets.  We decided we needed one after all but we had no space for it.   At the bottom of our stairs which is directly across the hall from our kitchen there was enough empty wall space to use to build a nice little closet.  We decided to make a design feature out of ours and add antique doors but you could also have plain doors and paint them so they blend in with the wall.

How to prevent cracking or splitting wood when fastening.

How to prevent cracking or splitting wood when fastening?
One way that used to be practiced back when carpenters actually hand nailed everything together, is to blunt the point of the nail you are about to drive by placing the nails head against the head of a nail previously driven, give the point a good whack, not hard enough to bend the nail you are blunting, just hard enough to adequately blunt the point. This flattens out the steel point and makes it actually rip its path through the wood as opposed to displacing the wood which can cause it to split.
When using a nail gun, I’ve seen many a carpenter, when nailing the end of a 2×4 to a perpendicular 2×4, by simply shooting a 3″ nail straight into the center of the perpendicular 2×4 causing the piece he is attaching to split at the end because his nail was so close the end. A simple solution to this is to back up from the end of the 2×4 being attached about 1 1/2″ and shoot the nail at an angle toward the center of the perpendicular 2×4 so that there is more wood at the end to help hold the 2×4 together. This idea can be used in any nailing or screwing application to help prevent splitting.
When screwing anything together that you definitely do not want to crack or split,..always drill a pilot hole. Many times it is a good idea to drill the pilot hole through the piece being attached and into the the piece you are attaching to, to the depth of the penetration of the screw, smaller than the diameter of the screw. Then drill a hole through the pilot hole you’ve just drilled in the piece you are attaching, that is larger in diameter than the screw. Then the screw will easily pass through the piece being attached but grip to piece you are attaching to, without displacing any of the wood enough to cause splitting or cracking. This will pretty much guarantee that you wont split or crack either piece.

How to caulk using silicone caulk

Caulking is one of the greatest inventions ever. Its been used in one form or another probably since man tried to build a boat for the first time and probably would have been done with tree sap or tar.

The problem people have with caulking is that it is meant to seal but not be seen. Walk into any public bathroom and you will see examples of the worst caulking jobs in the world. Caulking will not seal merely by being piled over the space you want sealed. It must be smoothed so that the edges of the caulking are ‘feathered’ to the side of what needs to be sealed, insuring that the seal is complete.
Silicone can be one of the hardest caulking’s to smooth out when you are trying to apply a presentable finished product. Caulking is an art really. You want it there but you don’t want to notice it. What I do with silicone, is first to be careful to apply the appropriate size line of caulk you want, relax and take your time. Applying too much is a huge problem. Then what I do is to rub the line of caulk gently with my damp index finger to feather the caulk to the edges. Silicone is not water based so the water will allow your finger to glide over the surface without tacking to the silicone for a short time. If this needs to be done again, wipe your finger clean and rewet it. You have to be careful not to use too much water or you will cause the feathered edge to separate from what you are trying to seal due to the moisture. You should try it on something first until you feel comfortable with what you are doing.

You can remove uncured silicone with denatured alcohol and a paper towel if you mess it up. Remember only to use silicone where you don’t intend to paint or coat with additional coatings. Most coatings such as paint, oil or latex, will not adhere to silicone. With areas you intend to paint you should always use latex or water based caulking or even siliconized latex which is still water based.

Crowning your lumber

Most residential framing is done with wood. Depending on where you live in the country you will be using southern yellow pine, pine, or douglas fir etc.   When it is cut down the wood is full of water, when it is cut into framing lumber it has to be cut in larger sizes than what you buy. Then its kiln dried to remove the moisture. The drying process is very important, without it the wood you use to frame your house, addition, shed etc.  would shrink and warp.  After the wood is  kiln dried it is milled to the size of lumber that you buy at the lumber yard.  The wood can still absorb moisture from the air, so  once unbundled, it can warp and shrink as it would have if it were never dried, only not near as much.  Why is this important to your building projects? Continue reading

Is your home prepared for winter?

tn_DSCF0109During the mild temperatures of Fall it is hard to think of Winter, but this is when you need to check to see if your home is prepared.  Here is a list of things to check around your home, auto’s and equipment, before the really cold weather sets in.

Check to see that all exterior window and door moldings are caulked and sealed to the
exterior siding or brick veneer to prevent cold air intrusion.

Be sure your window latches are adequately sized to hold windows tightly closed.

Check to be sure door weather stripping is sealing tightly and still
in good shape. With the lights off on the inside look at the door when
it is bright outside and look for light coming through around the
door. Wherever you see light there is a gap where cold air can

If you have a wood burning fire place have a chimney sweep company
come to clean the chimney and check the damper. Also check for cracks
in the chimney masonry and tuck point (fill with mortar) or caulk.
Water intrusion in the cracks can cause further damage from freeze
thaw effects.

If you have a crawl space, check to be sure the foundation vents are
closed tightly for the winter. If they are auto vents, check to be
sure they are closed when temperatures go below 50 deg f.

Make sure your gutters are clean and downspouts are clear so they can
drain any melted snow and ice as quickly as possible.

If your water heater is in a garage or near an exterior wall, or in
another unconditioned interior space, you could blanket it and make
sure exposed piping is insulated.

Disconnect hoses from outside spickets and drain out hoses.

If you have old fashion yard hydrants or piping exposed to the
elements be sure to wrap them with heat tape and insulation.

If you have over head electrical in to your house, check that the
riser pipe is still securely attached. The weight of ice on the wire
year after year can pull it away from your house which
could cause you to loose power.

Check your roof vent boots and flashing to be sure they are well
sealed/caulked. They may not leak during rain, but melting ice and
snow will flow through the tiniest cracks.

Its a good idea to do this every year but If your heating system is
more than 5 yrs old, have a qualified heat and a/c tech come to check
your system, especially the heat exchanger and direct spark igniter,
or pilot light, if you have gas heat.

You could have your ducts cleaned before you have to keep your windows
closed for the winter.

Caulk any cracks in drive ways and sidewalks and seal to prevent
further damage whether you have asphalt or concrete.

Aerate and over seed your lawn.

Get any pruning done of shrubs, and trees.

If you have any vegetable gardens be sure to have the beds well tilled
before frost or freezing.

Put fuel stabilizer in your out door equipment like lawn mowers or
drain the fuel into an adequate container for storage then you can
reuse the fuel for your snow blower. Also another good idea is to
spray fogging oil into the spark pug hole and reinstall the spark
plug. This will help prevent rusting of the piston rings.

Make sure your boat is winterized properly, if not professionally!

Make sure your hoses and belts in your cars are in good shape. Also
make sure your antifreeze is adequate for the normal temperatures of
your area, make sure the windshield washer fluid is rated for the
temperatures as well. Winter is very hard on vehicles.

Adding a Built In for Storage

Adding a Built In will give you valuable attractive storage and can be a a very helpful addition to keep your home organized and clutter free. Unlike free standing units, your Built Ins are custom made to fit the space and style of your home. They allow you to use every square inch of your home. They can turn empty, unused space into practical storage or work space. Built Ins help control clutter in a small space and even if you have a larger home with lots of space, they can add character and design to a boring room.

You can turn the unused space under the stairs into a storage cabinet or desk space. You can add built in dish storage in the dining room. There is always a need for organized closets and built ins for shoes and other items to help keep your closet clutter free. A Built In can be used for storage, display, added work space, tv units, books, and so much more.










































When doing your next remodel consider adding a Built In.