Announcing Pretty Handy Girl Shirts & Gifts – How to Set Up a Zazzle Store

mug-back

Pretty Handy Girl DIY Gifts & Apparel

Happy Friday everyone! I’m so excited to be launching my own line of graphic t-shirts, clothing and gifts. I’ve dreamed of having a line of DIY themed shirts and clothing that would allow those of us Handy Girls and Handy Guys to show off our DIY muscle. One of the main obstacles was my lack of desire to purchase shirts in bulk and hope that I wouldn’t be stuck with leftover inventory. Plus, I used to run a baby carrier business and knew how time consuming it was to ship out multiple packages every day. I vowed to never run a shipping type busines again.

A few months ago, Zazzle contacted me about working with them to launch my own product line. They were the answer to my hesitations! It was so easy to create my own designs and set up the shop in an afternoon. (Granted, I spent several more days enjoying the creative process of designing new graphics and products for the store.) Zazzle takes care of all the details. You can upload your own graphics, photos, and designs. Or you can create your own custom graphic text designs with their “customize it” tools. Then they print and ship the orders! You don’t have to lift a finger. Plus, you earn a commission on each item purchased from your shop! AND, to sweeten the deal, you can sign up to become an associate and earn more.

If you think you don’t have the time to figure out how to set up products, you are in luck. I took a bunch of screenshots to show you EXACTLY how to list your products step-by-step.

But before I get to the tutorial, I want to share some of my favorite products from my Zazzle store! I ordered two shirts and this one gets the most comments:

I Saw Enough funny DIY shirt | Pretty Handy Girl

“I Saw Enough” Shirt

I Saw Too Much funny DIY shirt | Pretty Handy Girl

“I Saw Too Much” You have to giggle at the double meanings. This shirt is the perfect shirt for any gal or guy who likes to build and use the power tools.

Power tools are for chicks shirt | Pretty Handy Girl

In my house my husband knows he’s not allowed to touch my power tools. This “Power Tools are for Chicks” is a funny reminder that power tools aren’t just for the boys!

Here’s the coolest part (in my opinion) about the Zazzle shop. If you see a design you like, but would prefer a different color or a completely different shirt style, you can customize it on your choice of clothing or products!

Pretty Handy Girl Shirt Options on Zazzle | Pretty Handy Girl

Zazzle has more products than I can name! But, to give you a little taste: pillows, phone cases, office products, art prints, cards, accessories, t-shirts and much much more! You’ll have to peek for yourself!

Zazzle Customized Products You Design!

The last item I purchased for myself was a custom coffee mug. I thought an empowering message was a great way to start each day. This famous quote is printed on a blackboard texture background and imprinted on a stylish mug that has a variety of interior colors you can choose from. [Read more...]

How to Build Custom Rustic Wooden Box Crates

How to Build It Gallery

How to Build Custom Rustic Box Crates | Pretty Handy Girl

Making custom rustic wooden box crates is super easy. You can build your crates to fit in a book case or use them as drawers in a cabinet. When I was giving my IKEA cabinet a makeover, I chose to remove a door and build custom box drawers instead.

How to Build Custom Rustic Crates | Pretty Handy Girl

Here’s the super easy tutorial so you can build your own:

Materials:
(some links are affiliate links)

Tools:

Instructions:

Begin by cutting the 1/2″ plywood into four pieces the size you want for your crate sides.

How to Build Custom Rustic Crates | Pretty Handy Girl

Test fit the sides together. Add a line of glue to the ends of the plywood. [Read more...]

DIY Built In Shoe Shelves

Built In Shoe Shelves

Built In Shoe Shelves

Hello, it’s Jessica from Decor Adventures and I’m back this month to show you an easy project to bring some organization to your home. Now that fall is approaching, you might be thinking about getting your closets, foyers and mudrooms in shape for the changing weather. One project that can make your space nice and tidy is adding built in shoe shelves. Today I’m going to show you how to easily build shelves to keep those sneakers, sandals and boots neat and tidy. Plus, it will save you some space too.

Materials:

  • Miter saw
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Level
  • 1″ x 2″ wood, for supports
  • 12″ deep MDF or pine boards
  • Cordless drill with drill bits
  • 2.5″ Wood screws
  • Primer
  • Paint

Optional:

  • Wall anchors
  • Paintable caulk

Instructions:

In our side entry to our house we have a small landing at the stairs leading up to the kitchen. It’s a perfect place for shoes, coats and accessories. Unfortunately, our method of lining up our shoes wasn’t working. I thought built in shelves would be a great solution. The shelves ended up saving us space and giving us more room.

Before Building Shelves

Sometimes those awkward spaces can be a blessing in disguise.

Instructions:

1. First, prep the area by removing anything you were storing and sweeping it out. If you want to add a fresh coat of paint to the walls, now is a great time to do that.

Preparing to Build Shelves

2. Measure how wide and deep you want the shelves to be. (Most shoes fit on 12″ deep shelves, unless you are Big Foot.) Mark the walls at the height of each shelf. (We made the lowest shelf tall enough to fit boots underneath on the floor and the highest shelf about half that height for items like sneakers and shorter shoes.) [Read more...]

DIY “Eat Your Veggies” Cloth Napkin Gift Set

hostess gift idea sq

DIY Message Cloth Napkin Gift Idea

Bringing a hostess gift to someone whose home you are staying in is apparently a pretty universal thing.  I had never heard of such a thing until I was in my late 20′s.  It’s not a mind blowing concept but I have come to appreciate the simplicity of the thoughtful gesture.  Granted, if you are a “Real Housewife”, then I’m pretty sure if you don’t show up with a bottle of Cristal you get the stink eye.  Hostess gifts don’t have to be spendy, they just need to be thoughtful.  Today I am going to show you how to create an inexpensive gift for the hostess with a sense of humor. Gather around and learn how to make these “Eat Your Veggies” cloth napkins.

Materials:

  • Silhouette Cutter
  • Computer
  • Iron on Heat Transfer material
  • Napkins
  • Iron
  • Ironing Board
  • Towel
  • Tape Measure

Instructions:

Start by pre-washing the napkins.  Measure how big the lettering should be by folding the napkin (half fold or quarter fold napkins) and measure the printable area.

hostess gift idea

Arrange the words as you would like them to appear on the napkins.  Watch your dimensions!  Duplicate the image as many times as you have napkins.

hostess gift idea

Right click on the image and flip the image horizontally.  This will be the mirror image allowing the words to be read once they are applied to the napkin.

hostess gift idea

Send the wording or images to the Silhouette or other craft cutter.

hostess gift idea

Once the image is cut,  weed out the negative spaces. [Read more...]

How to Strip…Paint Off a Door

How to Strip Paint Off a Door | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Strip Paint off a Door | Pretty Handy Girl

Have you ever had to strip… paint off a door? (You must leave a dramatic pause after strip for the full effect! LOL. If you haven’t had to strip…paint off a door, consider yourself lucky. If you need to strip… paint, I have some tips and a tutorial for you!

Purple Honor 8906N by Duron

Here’s the back story: My home’s doors have been purple for over 7 years. I was over the dark and wanted some vibrancy. It was supposed to be a simple project. Just paint the front doors a beautiful green (Benjamin Moore Perennial Green.) I had tested the color on my custom house mailbox. That was TWO YEARS ago! (Life’s been a little busy, okay. Forgive me, I’ve been wrapped up in a major kitchen renovation.) All I had to do was get the paint mixed and get painting. Instead, I was caught in the middle of the DIY project from HELL!

How to Strip Paint Off a Door | Pretty Handy Girl

I had five doors to paint (front two doors, one side door and two wooden storm doors.) But, this DIY project was doomed from the start. My friend Holly was sweet enough to offer to help me paint. The week we were supposed to start on the doors her son came down with scarlet fever. A few days later as I was getting ready to paint them myself, MY SON got scarlet fever.

I finally got around to sanding and priming the front door. I was elated as I finally began to brush the paint onto the doors. Ahhhh. Beautiful green. I finished the first coat on the front doors. Then proceeded to the side door. When I went back to give the front doors a second coat…a problem exposed itself. Nooooooo!

[Read more...]

Knock off Garden Table

Knock off Partridge Garden Table Tutorial

Knock off Partridge Garden Table Tutorial

I often find myself searching online looking at furniture and decor on sites that I consider full of unique items.  I recently came across the Anthropologie Partridge Garden Table and fell in love.  The creative use of old mismatched legs was awesome.  Then I saw the price; a mere $ 148.00.  As cool as it is, spending that much for a plant stand is way more than I could ever justify.  I knew I could make it cheaper and am excited to show you how to make your own!

Materials

  • 3 different banister Spindles or table legs
  • 10″ clock face round
  • Wood Glue
  • Nail Gun
  • Wood Filler
  • Painters Tape
  • Three different colors of Paint
  • Sliding T-Bevel Square
  • Miter Saw
  • Spray Paint (Rust-Oleum Rustic Mist)
  • Spray Paint (High Gloss Sealer)

Round Legs

Instructions

1.  Lay  out the spindles and decide which sections will be used for the legs. [Read more...]

How to Stain a Basket

stained thrifted basket

how to stain an old basket

I admit it, I’m a basket addict!

Baskets are one of the best ways to organize and accessorize your home but they can be very expensive when purchased new. Thrift stores are a great source of affordable baskets but they are often out-of-fashion colors and can have missing or broken pieces. Today I’m going to show you how to take those old, thrift store baskets and make them a beautiful accent piece for your home.

Materials:

  • super glue
  • hand broom
  • stain
  • paintbrush

Instructions:

The first step in fixing up an old basket is to clean out any dirt or debris using a hand broom. Be thorough on both the interior and exterior.

before old thrifted basket staining

Next inspect your basket for any broken pieces. Use super glue to repair any areas that may need it. [Read more...]

Our DIY Latex Mattress: the Savvy Rest Serenity {+ Giveaway}

A DIY Mattress?! How I Chose a Savvy Rest Mattress | Pretty Handy Girl

A DIY Mattress?! How I Chose a Savvy Rest Mattress | Pretty Handy Girl

Disclosure: Here’s the disclosure before you start reading. I was sent this mattress in exchange for a post. BUT, here’s the whole truth (and nothing but the truth.): I chose to approach Savvy Rest because I REALLY wanted to share their product with you. Once you learn a little more about latex mattresses, it is going to be a sleep changer for a lot of you! Savvy Rest was nice enough to consider my proposal and agreed to send me the mattress in exchange for the promotion on my blog. Just so you know, I choose the brands I want to work with because I love the products. If I don’t like a product, I don’t blog about it. This is one of those products that I have recommended to my friends, family and anyone who will listen to my ravings. I wasn’t told what to say or write. This is my opinion and my story: 

When I shared our master bedroom plans, I told you that it all started with getting a new mattress. And, I have been dying to share the information about that mattress with you! I literally have to control myself from stopping random strangers on the street to tell them about this amazing latex mattress that I discovered. In fact, as I sit here typing this post I’m worried that it’s going to sound too much like an infomercial because of how much I love our Savvy Rest Serenity latex mattress.  In a nutshell, here are the main reasons I have fallen head over heels in love with it:

  • It is amazingly comfortable and supportive. We’ve been sleeping on it for a month now and my back aches are GONE!
  • Organic! No chemicals, no off-gassing, no bleaching! The cover is made with natural cotton and wool. The interior layers are natural latex.
  • Eco-friendly because not only are the materials natural, but this mattress will last you at least 20 years (often times latex mattresses can last 30 – 40 years or more!) This means less waste going to the landfill! And you know how passionate I am about keeping things out of the landfill.
  • It is completely customizable to your comfort and support needs. (As well as separate customization for your partner.)

Sounds good right? But, this isn’t your average mattress. I like to call this a DIY mattress because you literally pick three distinct latex foam layers to customize to your comfort needs. First, you choose either talalay or dunlop latex or a combination. Then you can choose between soft, medium and firm. This offers you more options than you can count sheep!

A DIY Mattress?! How I Chose a Savvy Rest Mattress | Pretty Handy Girl

Let’s not forget about your spouse who likely has completely different comfort needs. He or she can chose their own comfort layers when you select the Savvy Rest Serenity split queen or split king mattress. This is the key to a happy marriage, is it not?!

A DIY Mattress?! How I Chose a Savvy Rest Mattress | Pretty Handy Girl

But, I want to back up and discuss a little more about how I realized we needed a new mattress and how I decided on a Savvy Rest mattress.

Do you need a new mattress, too? [Read more...]

Video Tutorial: How to Reupholster Dining Chairs and Protect the Fabric

How to Easily Reupholster Your Chairs | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Easily Reupholster Your Chairs | Pretty Handy Girl

In the very beginning of this blog I showed you how to reupholser a yard sale chair. Almost four years has passed and I learned a lot since then. I hope this tutorial will be more helpful to anyone who wants to reupholster a simple dining chair. But, most of all, I want to show you how to protect your fabric seat after you put in the effort to recover them.

How to Re-upholster a Seat and Protect the Fabric | Pretty Handy Girl

Let’s get this chair party started!

Materials:

How to Re-upholster a Seat and Protect the Fabric | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Drill with screwdriver bits
  • Pliers
  • 5-in-1 Painter’s tool (or thin pry bar)
  • Fabric (upholstery fabric will hold up better than thin fabric)
  • Staple gun
  • 3/8″ staples
  • Hammer
  • Safety glasses

Instructions:

Turn your chair upside down and locate the seat mounting screws. Unscrew them all to release the chair seat.

How to Re-upholster a Seat and Protect the Fabric | Pretty Handy Girl

Set the chair cushion onto a flat surface. Pry up the staples with the 5-in-1 tool and/or the pliers. [Read more...]

Desk Makeover {Paint Stripping with Citristrip & Painting with Latex Enamel}

desk painted with Latex enamel

desk makeover sitristrip latex enamel

One of the unique features of our home’s floor plan is a “tech room” with built in desks just off of our mud room.  When we first built our house I thought they would make the perfect place for our older boys to do their homework.

PicMonkey Collage

The builders painted the desks with latex paint and unfortunately it showed evey little mark and scratch almost immediately after we moved in.  Within a few months I had already given the tops of the desks a coat of black chalk paint in the hopes of giving it a more durable surface.  I was again disappointed within a couple of weeks.

chalk paint on desk

In a last ditch effort to make the space look nice I did a total overhall last summer and redecorated the entire room.

TechRoom-Makeover2

It looked fantastic at first but again, it held up horribly.  I knew I needed to come up with a solution that would make the desks both functional and durable.

At this point the desks had multiple coats of paint and my husband and I decided to strip them bare and start over.  We opted to use Citristrip to strip the paint after much research.  We have three small children and the lack of toxicity was a big plus for us.

how to use citristripMaterials:

  • Citristrip Stripping Gel
  • Paint brushes
  • Scraper/Joint knife
  • Sanding block
  • Latex Enamel Paint
  • Safety Gloves
  • Protective Eyewear

Instructions:

Clean your surface of dust and debris. (You can see how horribly my latex painted desk held up to three little boys!)

painted desk stained

Apply a generous coat of Citristrip to the painted surface using a paint brush, you’ll notice the Citristrip has a thick, gel-like consistency and does not have the strong odor of other paint strippers.  It is important to use a thick coat (if your Citristrip begins to dry out, it was not thick enough.)

You should wear gloves and protective eyewear when working with Citristrip. (I didn’t realize until later that my husband didn’t have his gloves on in many of these pictures.  He has been sufficiently reprimanded!)

stripping paint citristrip

Allow the Citristrip to sit on the project for 30 minutes and test a small area with your scraper.  You can leave the Citristrip on the project for up to 24 hours before scraping.

Scrape the Citristrip and paint off the surface, scraping in the direction of the wood grain. The paint should be removed easily.

scraping paint citristrip

Remove paint debris and thoroughly clean the bare surface.  Sand surface lightly to remove any residual paint if necessary.

desk after stripping citristrip

When our desk was stripped we were left with a large piece of MDF.  We originally thought it would be regular wood so I attempted to see how stain would look on the MDF but the results were not good so that plan was quickly abandoned.

stain on mdf

After much research into durability we decided to use a latex enamel paint to finish the desks.  We chose latex enamel because it is a harder, more durable finish than traditional latex paint.

latex enamel

Apply one layer of latex enamel paint with a paintbrush and allow to dry fully.  Do not place anything heavy or damp on the painted surface for 7 days to allow the paint to totally harden.

desk painted with Latex enamel

I’m happy to say it has been three months so far and the latex enamel is holding up perfectly! It’s durable enough to scrub and I love the deep, velvety appearance of the paint!

MelissaSignature

 -Learn more about Melissa-

The Kitchen Renovation of 2013 – 1 Leak. 1 Year. 1 Woman.

spacer-bottom

How I Re-Built My Own Kitchen (after a leak) | Pretty Handy Girl

2013 Could be called the year of the kitchen renovation in our house. Or the year that nearly killed me. Or the luckiest year of our lives. I’m still debating the title. What I do know is that, I decided to take on my biggest DIY project to date. I re-built my own kitchen from bare studs and subfloor.

It started one morning as I was confronted with a foul odor. It’s only describable as that odor that usually lives in the high school gym locker room. I thought my 9 year old son’s feet were starting to stink. Unfortunately a stinky pair of shoes wasn’t the culprit, it turned out to be a very minor leak that turned into a very big kitchen renovation. We persevered through 45 days without a washer and dryer and many months without a kitchen. But, it was like being a contestant in Survivor. I lasted the year of construction; the set backs and sore muscles; and in the end I was rewarded with a brand new kitchen!

Today, I walk into our beautiful kitchen and I know it was all worth it! It was worth all the sweat equity, the daily Advil doses, and the tree falling on the house. If you want to reminisce with me as I recap my kitchen renovation of 2013, here’s your ticket to all the tutorials and posts: [Read more...]

Faux Etched Glass Soap Dispenser Gift

Faux Etched Soap Dispenser

Faux Etched Glass Soap Dispenser Gift

Hi everyone! I’m so excited to show you a fun Très Frugal DIY gift idea today – a faux etched soap dispenser.

Of course you could use this paint technique on any glass item – a vase, votive, or pretty up a simple jar – but, to me, there’s something luxurious about dish soap in a beautiful decanter. Even if the actual process of using the soap isn’t quite so luxe.

Materials:

Faux Etched Soap Dispenser

  • Glass dispenser (available at some dollar stores and most kitchen sections of large discount stores)
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton balls
  • “Frost” medium in either spray or liquid (*see below for types of frost paint)
  • Removable tape – you can use almost any type of masking tape, washi or even painter’s tape
  • Foam make up sponges

Optional: sticker shapes or stencils

 

*Types of Frost Paint:

Frost paint is simply a translucent white paint giving the appearance of etching without the chemical acid of true etching cream. It’s available as a spray paint, both by Krylon and Rustoleum, as well as others.

It’s also available as a liquid, made by Plaid, which is the product I used because I had it on hand. I’ve used it a few times with great results, most recently on some Pantry JarsThe tutorial below is for liquid frost medium.

The spray paint is definitely faster, however the liquid can be tinted with regular craft paint, which might be kind of fun.


Instructions: [Read more...]

DIY a GIANT Artist Canvas

How to DIY a GIANT Artist Canvas

How to DIY a GIANT artist canvas | Pretty Handy Girl

Have you ever yearned to own a giant piece of artwork but the cost was prohibitive? Or you knew you could create some awesome abstract paintings, but buying large canvases would cost too much. Well, for those hesitant artists, I have this quick tutorial for building your own GIANT canvas!

Materials:

How to DIY a GIANT Artist Canvas

  • 2×2″ boards for frame supports (two sides, top, bottom and center support)
  • Kreg Jig and pocket hole screws
  • Drill
  • White fabric (canvas material would be best, but use what you have)
  • Staple gun and staples
  • Paint brush
  • Gesso (if you don’t have gesso, primer would probably work fine)

Instructions:

Cut your 2×2″ lumber down to size. Cut your top and bottom the full widths. Cut the two sides and the center support 3″ shorter to accommodate the height of the added top and bottom pieces. Note, if your canvas is portrait (instead of landscape), your support will be a center horizontal brace instead of vertical as shown. [Read more...]

DIY Cable Installation

Cutting Drywall With a Keyhole Saw

It would seem that every time I’ve considered moving my TV to a new spot in the house, that there’s never a cable outlet where I need one. I recently remedied this issue and wanted to share with  you how to tackle your own DIY Cable Installation!

DIY Cable Outlet Installation

This tutorial is specific to installing “through the wall” cable lines in houses with a crawl space.  Since many cable customers have HD receivers, I think it’s important to install a home run aka an uninterrupted run of cable.  Doing so will result in a higher signal and better quality picture.  With that being said, let’s take a look at what you’ll need.

Materials List

  • Low Voltage Electrical Box
  • Keyhole Saw
  • RG6 Cable
  • 3/8″ x 54″ Auger Drill Bit
  • 3/8″ x 12″ Drill Bit
  • Drill
  • Cable Clips
  • Hammer
  • Coax Cable Receptacle Wall Plate
  • Coax Cable Stripper
  • Compression Tool w/ F-Connectors
  • Pencil
  • String
  • Fish Pole or Straightened Coat Hanger

Instructions for Installing Your Own Cable Outlet:

When you’ve decided where to install the new cable outlet, measure up 15″ and mark an area 1-1/2″ x 3-3/4″ .

Marking for Cable Installation

Using a keyhole saw, cut through the drywall to create the opening for the installation of a low voltage electrical box.

Cutting Drywall With a Keyhole Saw

Before you complete the next step, make sure that the area you plan on drilling into, doesn’t contain any hazards (i.e. electrical cable, duct work, gas lines, etc.) With open access into the wall, place the tip of the auger bit into the cutout and drill into the bottom of the stud wall to gain access into the crawlspace below. [Read more...]

How to Build a Custom Wood Range Hood

range_hood_distressed_wood_3.4view

How to Build a Custom Wood Range Hood by Pretty Handy Girl

Have you seen the beautiful custom range hoods on my Pinterest board? From the beginning of our kitchen planning sessions, I knew I wanted to put in a custom wood range hood. But, finding a tutorial to build one was tough. The one that helped me the most was Cristina’s how to build a range hood tutorial.

How to Build a Custom Wood Range Hood by Pretty Handy Girl

I knew when I built our hood that I’d need to take detailed notes and photos to help you accomplish your own project. I hope this tutorial helps you build your own range hood!

Materials: [Read more...]

How to Install a Lutron Maestro Occupancy Sensor on a 3-way Switch

red_wire_attaches_to_maestro

How_to_Install_Lutron_Maestro_Sensor

Teaching kids to turn off the lights in a room they are no longer in is a tough job. No matter how many times I try to explain that leaving the lights on wastes electricity, it just doesn’t seem to sink in. In their defense, they are like little wind up tops flitting from room to room playing with trains in one; reading in another and barely stopping to use the toilet in the bathroom (putting the lid down is a whole other issue! Ugh.)

When Lutron approached me about giving my kids a helping hand with the lights, I was immediately intrigued. It turns out that Lutron has just introduced the Maestro occupancy sensor dimmer that can be easily installed in place of an existing light switch. (Single pole switches are easiest. Dual or Multi-location switches may require a little more wiring and programming to work properly.) After some thought, I decided to try the Maestro in our art & craft studio. This is the room that we least notice when the bulbs are burning (it is over the garage and is separated by our guest room from the rest of the house.)

Follow along to see how to install your own. Your attentive nature may be rewarded at the end. ;-) [Read more...]

DIY Beadboard Picture Frames

DIY Beadboard Picture Frames

DIY Beadboard Picture Frames

Last month Matt showed you all how to build a decorative shelf with crown molding for our half bath. The shelf is perfect for the space and I love it. Unfortunately something felt like it was missing from the shelf. After some thought I decided that our shelf needed picture frames! Beadboard picture frames to be exact.

DIY Beadboard Picture Frames

Today I am going to show you how to DIY your own beadboard picture frames! [Read more...]

How to Build a Decorative Shelf With Crown Molding

How to Build a Shelf With Crown Molding

How to Build a Shelf With Crown Molding

Jacque, my wife, and the other half of The DIY Village has been kindly reminding me that I promised to make her a decorative shelf for our downstairs half bathroom.  She only had a few requests. She asked that I incorporate crown molding into the shelf, along with some hardware to hang hand towels.  As luck would have it, she found some scrap wood and crown molding that I had left over from a recent project!  Since I already had the materials, I couldn’t find a good excuse to put the project off any longer!  So I set out to make a decorative shelf with crown molding!

Materials:

  • Safety Glasses
  • Hearing Protection
  • Miter Saw
  • Kreg Crown Pro
  • Drill
  • Kreg Jig
  • Kreg 1-1/4″ Coarse Thread Screws
  • Compressor
  • Finish Nailer
  • 1-1/4″ Finish Nails
  • Construction Adhesive
  • Caulk Gun
  • Latex Caulk
  • Clamps
  • Pencil
  • Tape Measure
  • 2- 1x6x4 Pine Boards
  • 1- 5′ Piece of Crown Molding
  • 3- Wheel Handles
  • 1″ Wood Screws
  • Primer and Paint

The easy part of this project was constructing the actual shelving unit. [Read more...]

When and Why You Should Get a Permit – Interview with a Chief Code Official for Wake County

building_permit_office

building_permit_office

Have you heard the horror stories about filing for a permit and the subsequent inspections? Did you hear the tale about the inspector that made the electrician pull everything out and start over? Have you been warned not to file a permit because you might “open a can of worms”? What exactly is a rough-in? And why do people say “pull a permit” instead of file for a permit? Don’t let misinformation put you and your family at risk. I have the answers to these questions and why you would want to file for a permit before starting your next home improvement project.

Last week I drove downtown to file for a building and electrical permit with Wake County, NC, but found out we are in the Raleigh City Jurisdiction for building permits (but that’s another story for another day.) Before I went to the permit office, I asked Barry Mooneyham, Chief Code Official of Wake County if I could have a little of his time to ask him some questions. It was a very informative 3o minutes, which completely changed my perspective on permits. I left his office with a new found appreciation and understanding of permits and inspectors.

Before I get to Mr. Mooneyham’s answers, I want to answer a recent question that some of my readers posted on Facebook:

Facebook_shot_pull_permit

Laura, Alyssa & Holly, thanks for asking. I was unsure of the origin on the term “pulling a permit” myself, so I did a little research.

Why do people call it “pulling a permit” instead of filing for a permit?

  • The joke answer: Ever try getting a building permit? It is like trying to pull a tooth!
  • The possible real answer:  It’s called “pulling” a permit because the people in the office have to “pull” the paper work out of a filing cabinet.

Having “pulled a permit” last week I can tell you that it really wasn’t hard. I did print out the paperwork online before heading downtown. This was invaluable because I was able to answer all the questions ahead of time. Some of the information that was required for the permit is: [Read more...]

Installing Semi-Rigid Dryer Hose to Prevent Fire Hazard

connected_semi_rigid_dryer_Hose


prevent_fires_replace_dryer_hose
Last year when I showed you how to clean out your dryer hose to prevent dryer fires, I didn’t realize that I still had a fire hazard living in our laundry room. Since then, I stumbled across a video that scared the bejeezus out of me. Matt from Great Lakes Home Performance created this video showing what happens to foil dryer hoses.

I knew that white plastic dryer hoses were bad and had previously replaced ours with the flexible foil hose. But, I felt duped when Matt showed what happens to those “foil” hoses. First, what I didn’t realize is that those shiny metal hoses aren’t foil! They are made of flammable plastic. Go ahead, run to your dryer right now and see what type of duct work you have — I’ll wait. If it is white or shiny foil, I’ll show you how to replace it with semi-rigid duct to keep you and your home safe from a dryer fire. This is an easy tutorial, you can definitely do this (if your exterior dryer vent is on the 2nd floor, you can keep the same vent and just replace the hose.) [Read more...]