7 Ideas for Easy DIY Kitchen Remodeling

Filed Under: Do it yourself, Home repair    by: ITC

Whether you are looking to remodel your kitchen for yourself or for resale, there are a few helpful tips that can spice up your kitchen.

1. Check for coupons to Home Depot on auction sites like Ebay. Many times, you can find coupons that give you 10-20% off items. One caveat is that you need to check the feedback of the seller first to make sure they are honest about the coupons. Read more…

Basic DIY Plumbing: Toilet Trouble?

Filed Under: Home repair, Plumbing    by: ITC

I’ve been a plumber for several years and cannot tell you how many times I have walked into home improvement stores like Lowes or Home Depot only to find a customer, despondent about a leak that their toilet has sprung. As a plumber I would always suggest hiring a professional rather than doing it yourself, but in tough economic times, sometimes homeowners have to take matters into their own hands. Let me provide you with some insight into why your toilet might be malfunctioning.

Most toilet leaks come from a few common causes. Your toilet may suffer from one or it may have a combination of problems. One of the most common sources of leaks for toilets is the wax seal. The wax seal is a gasket made of wax that is on the bottom of a toilet, where it rests on the floor. Often, water on the floor or on the ceiling below the toilet is a sure sign that you have a problem with the wax seal. To fix this problem you need a new wax ring and T-bolts which you can find at your local hardware store.

First, turn off the water supply to the toilet. Next, flush the toilet and soak up as much of the water as possible from the toilet bowl itself. After you do that, loosen the T-bolts, disconnect the supply tubes, and lift the toilet off the floor. Position the toilet so that it is upside down and proceed to scrape off the wax seal from the bottom of the toilet as well as from the floor. After you have done this, place in the new wax seal and connect everything back up the way it was and install the new T-bolts. Turn the T-bolts 5 and 1/4 turns being careful not to over tighten the bolts. Turn the water on and flush the toilet.

Inspect the toilet, the floor, and the ceiling below for leaks. While labor intensive, performing this repair yourself would save you a couple of hundred dollars easily on plumber costs. The second most common leak source is caused by flowing over the overflow tube. If you have this problem, you will need a new fill valve. There are two types of fill valves. One has a big floating ball and arm, and the other has a float on the valve itself. Bother are interchangeable. You will need to buy a new fill valve at your local plumbing supply store.

Begin by turning off the water and disconnecting the splash tube. Flush the toilet and soak up all the water from the tank. Unscrew the nut under the fill valve on the outside of the toilet tank and remove the old fill valve. Install the new valve, making sure the height is correct. Put the valve into the hole in the bottom of the tank, tightening the nut on the outside as you go. Replace the supply tube and turn the water back on. Flush the toilet and check for leaks. Finally, take the tube that comes with the new valve and connect it from the valve to the overflow tube.

Another problem that frequently makes a toilet leak is a leak from the connection between the tank and the toilet bowl. In this case, you will need to purchase a new spud washer and new tank bolts. Occasionally, this problem arises from a cracked toilet bowl in which case you will need a new toilet. In order to determine this, the first thing that you need to do is to find out where the leak originates. Ask yourself if it leaks all the time or only when someone flushes the toilet. If it leaks all the time rather than only when someone flushes it, this is a sure sign that the tank or the bowl is cracked.

Examine each closely looking for hairline cracks where water may seep from. If you do find a crack, you are out of luck and will have to replace the toilet completely. Otherwise, this is probably a problem with the spud washer. To change this, you will once again need to shut off the water supply and flush the toilet. Next, loosen the bolts that connect the tank to the bowl. There are usually two or three of these depending on the model.

After that, remove the supply tube. Pick up the tank and remove it and the washer that is at the bottom of the tank. It is usually made of rubber and will have a spongy feel to it. Replace this washer with the spud washer you bought and place the tank back onto the bowl. Place the new bolts in and tighten gently, but do not over tighten. Replace the supply tube and turn the water back on. Again, check for leaks. Occasionally leaks originate from the supply tube. To fix this, you simply need to purchase a new supply tube and switch it out with the old one.

Another source of leaks in toilets is leaking inside the toilet from the tank to the bowl. The problem stems from the seal inside the tank called a flapper. To diagnose this problem, place a few drops of food coloring into the tank and wait for a couple of hours. After a couple of hours, check the bowl. If you see any of the food coloring in your toilet bowl, you can be assured that you have a leaky flapper.

To fix this, you will need to purchase a universal flapper. Most flappers are the same, although American Standard has their own design. Step one is to turn off the water to the toilet. Next, remove the old flapper by taking the chain off the lever and removing the flapper from two hooks at the bottom of the overflow tube that are attached to the flapper.

Install the new flapper and turn on the water. Try flushing the toilet. If it does not flush or does not flush with enough volume, adjust the chain length from the lever to the flapper. Test flush again. Hopefully with these tips, I have armed you with the knowledge to tackle the most common cause of toilet leaking and have hopefully saved you hundred of dollars in plumber fees.

Popular Home Improvement TV Shows

Filed Under: Cleaning, DIY Outdoor, Do it yourself, Home repair, Redecorating, Remodeling, TV    by: ITC

If you are planning to work on a home improvement project but are at a loss on where to start, you might want to consider watching some home improvement TV shows. These shows are becoming more and more popular because of the valuable information, tips and tricks that viewers can pick up from watching them. As a matter of fact, some of these shows are selling DVDs with their episodes that homeowners and designers could buy to get some home improvement project and design ideas from.

There is a wide variety of home improvement TV shows that can give you plenty of tips on home improvement, organization, interior decorating, gardening and landscaping and home repair. There are also some which show arts and crafts projects and home makeovers.

Here are some of the more popular home improvement TV shows today.

1. Clean House

Hosted by Niecy Nash, this home improvement TV show helps individuals and families who are in need of a home makeover and reorganization. The show basically brings in a group of interior designers and organizers to work on the home. They first decide which items and furniture in the house to get rid of and then sell them in a yard sale. From the money earned, the crew works on different home improvement projects from adding storage spaces to painting walls to installing new flooring. Clean House is an excellent show to watch if you have been wanting to get rid of the clutter in your home and if you need some simple and inexpensive design ideas which can improve the functionality and appearance of your home.

2. Home Made Simple

Debuting in 2006, Home Made Simple is a home improvement TV show that is hosted by the Home Mavens. They help families from all over to come up with simple solutions to improve their homes from talking handyman projects to room organization to interior decorating to creating easy meals for the family. It is a show that any homeowner or home renter would be able to pick up plenty of ideas and expert tips from.

3. Take Home Handyman

This is a home improvement TV show on TLC which is hosted by Andrew Dan-Jumbo, a craftsman, carpenter and a handyman. At the beginning of each episode, Andrew approaches a Home Depot customer and offers his services to help them complete any home improvement project that they are working on or are planning to work on. Aside from the main project, Andrew also works on small additional projects around the home. The good thing about this show is that viewers can easily understand and follow the steps done by Andrew so that they can do it in their own homes as well.

Some of the other home improvement TV shows would include Trading Spaces, Holmes on Homes, Design Start, Mission: Organization, I Want That!, Designed to Sell, Designers’ Challenge and Decorating with Style.