Day 23 – Remembering to Change Your Air Filters Regularly

Get Reminders to Change Your Air Filters | Pretty Handy Girl

31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

I’m sure you already know how important it is to change your air filters in your home. As a Filtrete Ambassador, I’m happy to remind you why you should replace your Filtrete Healthy Living Ultimate Allergen Reduction MPR 1900 filters on a regular basis:

  • Helps improve air quality in your home
  • Allergen reduction from air passing through the filter
  • Clean filters allow better air flow and less stress on your heating and cooling system
  • Capture airborne microscopic particles that can carry bacteria and viruses
  • Regularly maintenance and filter changes can help maintain your system

ultra_allergen_filtrete_filter

If you’re like me it’s hard to remember when it’s time to change your air filters. I have a solution!

Two tips to help you remember to change your air filters regularly.

1. Write the date you changed the filter on the new filter. That way you can peak at the filter to see if you need to change them soon.

date-on-filter-watermark

2. Sign up for a reminder email. You can sign up for the Filtete Clean Advantage Club to get reminder emails when it’s time to change your air and/or water filters. It’s easy and they’ll email you at your preferred intervals to help you remember to change your filters.

Get Reminders to Change Your Air Filters | Pretty Handy Girl

Simply enter your filter size, the date you need your first reminder (or the date of your last filter change). Then choose how often you replace your filters (or should I say how often you should replace your filters.)

Get Reminders to Change Your Air Filters | Pretty Handy Girl

Don’t forget to add your email address and click submit.

Get Reminders to Change Your Air Filters | Pretty Handy Girl

Now sit back and don’t worry about remembering to change your air filters ever again! When it’s time, you’ll get an email from Filtrete!

Now you can spend time trying to remember other important things, like what time is Flip or Flop on? Anyone else watching this show? Is is just me or does it bother you that Christina doesn’t ever get her hands dirty. Must be a Handy Girl pet peeve. ;-)

Follow Filtrete via social media on Facebook or Twitter for more tips and tricks to help create a healthier home.

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filtrete-brand-ambassador-Badge_sm

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Filtrete Brand. I have the honor of being an ambassador for them and have been sharing information from  Filtrete Brand. I was given key messages to share, but all the words and thoughts are my own and additional products used in the project were selected by me.  I have been compensated for my time and for this post. I continue to work with certain brands  like the Filtrete Brand that I believe in, because of their quality and because I feel they have helpful messages for my readers. I will always disclose to you if you are reading a sponsored post. #HealthierHome #Ad

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Day 22 – Is Your HVAC Choking?

Is Your HVAC Choking? | Pretty Handy Girl

31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

 

Is your refrigerator running? Then go catch it. Is your HVAC choking? Time to administer CPR! When was the last time you looked at your HVAC unit? Specifically the condenser which is the big box usually located outside the house.  At first glance it doesn’t look too bad, but if you peek around the back…

Is Your HVAC Choking? | Pretty Handy Girl

…you’ll find a stray vine trying to make its way inside.

Is Your HVAC Choking? | Pretty Handy Girl

In order for your HVAC system to work efficiently and live longer, it’s important to keep vegetation and leaves away from the condenser. Never plant bushes or shrubs too close to the unit.

To discourage weeds and plants from growing back lay down some mulch, rocks or other weed resistant materials. I used leftover slate slabs around our unit. It’s what I had on hand and it was FREE.

Is Your HVAC Choking? | Pretty Handy Girl

Go check your condenser and if it’s choking give it some CPR by pulling back all the weeds and shrubs.

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Day 18 – 5 Ways to Find a Stud (without a Stud Finder)

locate-nail-in-moulding

31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

Using a stud finder is the quickest and easiest way to find a stud. But, if you don’t have one or are too lazy to find yours (I’m often guilty of this), you can use one of these ways to find a stud.

Day 18: 5 Ways to Find a Stud (without a Stud Finder)

5 Ways to Find a Wall Stud (without a stud finder) | Pretty Handy Girl

1. Measure from an outlet – remove an outlet cover and inspect the outsides of the box. One side will usually be nailed to a stud.

stud-visible-from-outlet-box

Then measure out to the left or right at 16″ intervals. US building code requires wall studs to be spaced at least 16″ on center (meaning the center of the studs.) This will help you locate studs. However, recognize that in locations near doors/windows or openings there may be a stud at less than a 16″ interval.

2. Look for popped nails or dimples on the wall – It doesn’t always happen, but in older houses you might see nail pops where the drywall was nailed to a stud. In newer construction this is less likely to happen because screws are used.

3. Look for nails in your baseboard or crown moulding – inspect your crown or baseboard moulding for nails that might indicate where it was attached to a stud.

locate-nail-in-moulding

4. Knock on the wall – You should use this method in conjunction with the methods described above. Use your knuckle to knock along the wall horizontally. A stud location will have a higher pitched sound and feel hard against your knuckle. Lack of a stud will have a lower pitch and hollow sound.

5. Use a small pin – Once you think you’ve located the stud, use a small quilter’s pin to verify that you found the stud.

Wall-mounted IKEA LILLÅNGEN Mirrored Cabinet turned Stuffed Animal Storage | Pretty Handy Girl

If the pin sinks in up to the head, there is no stud there. If the pin sinks in about 3/4″ and then stops, you found the stud.

pin-locating-studs

The pin method will save you the hassle of creating a larger hole only to realize that you missed the stud.

Okay, now go find your stud! {snicker, hee hee}

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Day 17 – Two Ingredient Ant Killer

2 Ingredient Ant Killer | Pretty Handy Girl
31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

It’s no picnic when you realize your home has been invaded by sugar ants. Instead of spraying your kitchen (or wherever you find them) try this Two Ingredient Ant Killer.
2 Ingredient Ant Killer | Pretty Handy Girl
Photo by Stephen Ausmus – http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/graphics/photos/dec04/k11622-1.htm
Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Day 17 – Two Ingredient Ant Killer

2 Ingredient Ant Killer | Pretty Handy Girl

Mix equal parts sugar and Borax into a small disposable lid. Set it out near the area of largest ant concentration or near the location they are entering your home. Caution: DO NOT put this mixture where children or pets can get to it.

Leave the mixture out for 24 – 48 hours or until you have no more ants. The ants will take the sugar and Borax back to the nest where the colony will have a feast and consequently die after intestinal distress.

Lest you think buying a box of Borax is wasteful, I’ll have another use for Borax later this month.

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Day 16 – Holes in Your Trash Can

31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

Take out the papers  and the trash…ummm take out the trash?

foot_on_trashcan

Grrr, don’t you hate when the trash bag gets stuck in the trash can? No worries, I have an easy fix that will make taking out the trash a much easier chore. It may sound a little crazy, but it involves drilling holes.

Day 16: Put Holes in Your Trash Can

To release the suction created by a full trash bag in the trashcan you need to add some air holes. If you put the holes about an inch up from the base you won’t risk any drips on the floor if the bag leaks.

Simply drill three to four air holes into the bottom of your trash can.

drill_holes_in_trash_can

Now you can take out the papers and the trash or you don’t get no spending cash. Yakkety Yak, don’t talk back.

before_after_trashcan

This year we’ve added several chores for the kids to handle. Taking out the trash and recycling is one of their responsibilities. I’m curious, what chores do your kids have?

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Day 15 – Use Good Wall Anchors

Good & Bad Wall Anchors | Pretty Handy Girl

31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

Curtain rods, towel bars, and other wall mounted accessories are relatively easy to hang. The trick is securing them to a stud so they can hold up to the abuse. But, how often have you found that you don’t have a stud where you want it mounted? Probably 98% of the time, right? That’s where it is important to use good wall anchors (specifically for your type walls.) Today I’m talking about drywall anchors.

Day 15: Use Good Wall Anchors

You are probably thinking, “Okay, no problem. The towel bar I bought came with wall anchors. I’ll just use those.” And that would be a mistake!

use_better_anchors

Why? Because those freebie wall anchors get mangled and they won’t hold up to regular use. DO NOT USE those El Cheapo wall anchors that come with your curtain rods, shelves, towel bars, toilet paper holders, etc. In fact, don’t even save them if you don’t use them. PITCH ‘EM…NOW… JUST DO IT!

I am a big fan of the TOGGLER wall anchors because they are easy to drill into drywall and you can remove them fairly easily with a phillips head screwdriver. There are several other brands and types of wall anchors that will work just as well. When purchasing wall anchors, pay attention to the weight limit and wall types they are designed for.

Now, pin this post because friends don’t let friends use el Cheapo Wall anchors!

Good & Bad Wall Anchors | Pretty Handy Girl

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Day 14 – Non-Toxic Drain Opener

Non-Toxic Drain Opener | Pretty Handy Girl

31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

A clogged tub or sink is an inevitable situation for any homeowner. Before you reach for the toxic drain cleaner, try this easy and inexpensive Non-Toxic Drain Opener.

All you need is a box of baking soda and cheap white vinegar.

Non-Toxic Drain Opener | Pretty Handy Girl

Day 14: Non-Toxic Drain Opener

Remove the drain pop up and pour a LOT of baking soda into the drain.

Non-Toxic Drain Opener | Pretty Handy Girl

Pour white vinegar into the drain until it causes a bubbling reaction. Continue until the baking soda fails to bubble up.

Non-Toxic Drain Opener | Pretty Handy Girl

Turn on the hot water full blast. Let it run for at least a minute.

Non-Toxic Drain Opener | Pretty Handy Girl

Hopefully this quick and non-toxic solution will clear your drain. Need some help getting that pop up back in place, follow this tutorial.

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Day 12 – Protecting Spigots from Frozen Burst Pipes

Protect Spigot from Frozen Burst Pipes | Pretty Handy Girl

31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

Winter is coming and this year I want to help you protect your home from a burst pipe because it froze. Much like your water pipes (which should have foam insulation sleeves on them,) it’s important to protect your spigot on the outside of your house from freezing.

Protect Spigot from Frozen Burst Pipes | Pretty Handy Girl

Luckily, Frost King makes this handy dandy Insulated Outdoor Faucet Cover.

Day 12: Protecting Spigots from Frozen Burst Pipes

To install the insulated cover, you simply slip the interior cord loop over the spigot handle.

Protect Spigot from Frozen Burst Pipes | Pretty Handy Girl

Cinch the cord lock tight onto the styrofoam cover.

Protect Spigot from Frozen Burst Pipes | Pretty Handy Girl

And your spigot is protected from freezing leading to a costly burst pipe.

Protect Spigot from Frozen Burst Pipes | Pretty Handy Girl

The nice thing about these covers is they can be installed and removed in seconds. If you need to use your spigot, it’s simple to remove and then replace the cover.

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Day 9 – Easy Tricks to Remove Wall Scuffs

Easy Tricks to Remove Walls Scuffs | Pretty Handy Girl

31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

Do you have a ghost in your house? I do! Want to know how I know? Because we have scuffs that magically appear on the walls. It doesn’t bother me because I know a few easy tricks for removing wall scuffs.

Day 10: Easy Tricks for Removing Wall Scuffs

My number one tool in my arsenal against wall scuffs is the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. This guy is tough on scuffs! Before you start using that new eraser, cut it into fourths. That way you only dirty one small section at a time.

Easy Tricks to Remove Walls Scuffs | Pretty Handy Girl

Rinse the eraser under water and ring out as much water as you can.

Easy Tricks to Remove Walls Scuffs | Pretty Handy Girl

Locate your wall scuffs:

Easy Tricks to Remove Walls Scuffs | Pretty Handy Girl

Gently rub the wall with the Magic Eraser until the scuffs disappear.

Easy Tricks to Remove Walls Scuffs | Pretty Handy Girl

Instantly gone, invisible and no more ghost evidence.

Easy Tricks to Remove Walls Scuffs | Pretty Handy Girl

Recently I accidentally marked my wall with a Sharpie marker.

Easy Tricks to Remove Walls Scuffs | Pretty Handy Girl

The Magic Eraser worked a little too well in removing the mark. I accidentally rubbed down to the old paint color.

Easy Tricks to Remove Walls Scuffs | Pretty Handy Girl

For true paint touch ups, I use the Shur-Line touch up painter. I poured this paint in the tube a year ago. Then stored it in the garage.

Easy Tricks to Remove Walls Scuffs | Pretty Handy Girl

I snapped a new roller into the top. After a year, the paint clogged at the release hole. But, I was able to poke a pin though to start the paint again.

Easy Tricks to Remove Walls Scuffs | Pretty Handy Girl

Then I rolled over the “oops” until it had good paint coverage.

Easy Tricks to Remove Walls Scuffs | Pretty Handy Girl

And the mark/scuff is gone.

Easy Tricks to Remove Walls Scuffs | Pretty Handy Girl

Do you have any tips or tricks for removing wall scuffs? I’m anxious to hear your tips.

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Day 9 – Replace Water Lines with Braided Metal Hoses

Replace Water Lines with Braided Metal Hoses | Pretty Handy Girl

31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

Welcome to Day 9 of my 31 Days of Handy Home Fixes. Would you believe that a burst water line can cause tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage to your home? It’s true! If one of your water supply lines is not braided metal, you could be putting your home in danger of a massive leak; leading to a flood; which can lead to rot, mold and termites! Yup, termites love moist wood.

Day 9: Replace All Water Lines with Braided Metal:

Take a few minutes to look behind your toilet, behind your washing machine and under sinks to see if you have water supply lines that look like these:Replace Water Lines with Braided Metal Hoses | Pretty Handy Girl

If you do, it’s time to change them out for braided metal water lines:

Replace Water Lines with Braided Metal Hoses | Pretty Handy Girl

And if you are purchasing a new washer, dishwasher or refrigerator, request braided metal water supply lines instead of the basic lines that are sold with the appliance. The cost difference is literally a few dollars in some cases. That extra dollar or two could save you tens of thousands of dollars!

Replacing the water lines is as easy as attaching your garden hose. To replace your washing machine hoses, locate the water shut off (usually it is behind the washer.) Turn the knobs off. Then remove the supply line from the shut off and the back of the washer. Have a towel underneath to capture any drips.

Replace Water Lines with Braided Metal Hoses | Pretty Handy Girl

Tighten the new braided hoses onto the washing machine and the water shut off valve. Turn the water back on and look for any drips or leaks. You might need to use a wrench to tighten up to half a turn more if you notice any drips after you turn the water back on.

Replace Water Lines with Braided Metal Hoses | Pretty Handy Girl

Replacing the water lines to your toilet and sink is almost as easy, usually the shut off valve looks like this:

water_shut_off_valve

Replacing the dishwasher water line can be a bit trickier if it is behind your cabinets. You might need to call in a helper to help you remove the dishwasher.

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Day 8 – Replace Foil or Plastic Flexible Dryer Duct Hoses

Semi-rigid vs. flexible dryer duct | Pretty Handy Girl

31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

Welcome to Day 8 of my 31 Days of Handy Home Fixes. Today I have a VERY IMPORTANT tip to prevent a fire from starting in your laundry room.  I’m going to show you how to replace your flexible foil or plastic dryer vent duct with a much safer semi-rigid ductwork. Before we go any further do you know what type of dryer duct hose you have? Go run and check. I’ll be waiting right here when you get back.

Day 8: Replace Plastic or Flexible Foil with Semi-rigid Dryer Duct:

Does your vent hose look like this semi-rigid type:

Or the shiny foil flexible type:

Which do you have? If your dryer ductwork is semi-rigid or solid metal ductwork you can skip the rest of this post and come back tomorrow.

What’s the difference? Well, let me show you what each of these ducts look like after one year of use:

Semi-rigid vs. flexible dryer duct | Pretty Handy Girl

Which one do you think is safer? Exactly! The semi-rigid doesn’t collect lint as easily as the flexible duct! Therefore, you have less of a chance of the lint catching fire.

To replace the duct hose, measure the length of ductwork you need to replace. You can order semi-rigid flexible aluminum duct from Amazon or head to your local home improvement store to purchase it. Be sure to pick up any dryer vent adjustable elbows and hose clamps you might need as well.

Remove the flexible duct and replace it with the new semi-rigid. For more detailed directions you can follow my tutorial for installing semi-rigid dryer hose.

How to Replace Your Flexible Dryer Hose | Pretty Handy Girl

Don’t forget to continue to clean out your dryer vent ducts 1-2 times a year! It’s an easy maintenance task you can do yourself (once you get the dryer out from the wall…which may be the hardest task.)

vacuum out your dryer duct | Pretty Handy Girl

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Day 6 – Keep Your HE Washer Funk Free

31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

Welcome to Day 6 of my 31 Days of Handy Home Fixes. So you finally upgraded to an HE washer. You have to be careful because if you don’t take care of it you’ll have a stinky funky mess. Funky music = good. Funky washer = bad! The HE washers (front load especially) are air tight, which can be the perfect environment for growing mold.

Have no fear, this tip will take 30 seconds of your time! Keeping your HE washer funk free and like new is super easy.

Day 5. How to Keep Your HE Washer Funk Free

After each wash load,  grab a dry wash cloth or rag and wipe off the door.

Then wipe out the gasket (top to bottom) to remove any water and moisture. This is the main area that will get mildewy first. Gently pull the gasket towards you to get into the fold.

Open the detergent dispenser drawer and wipe out any visible moisture. Finally, leave the detergent drawer and washer door open to thoroughly air out your washer.

If you are already stuck with a funky washer, follow these tips for cleaning it out and eliminate any odors. Be sure to read the comments because my readers have a bunch of tips to help keep your washer clean!

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Day 5 – Add Weather Stripping to Doors and Windows

Adding Foam Weatherstripping | Pretty Handy Girl

31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

Welcome to Day 5 of my 31 Days of Handy Home Fixes. Winter is fast approaching and now is a good time to assess your doors and windows. Do you feel a draft by your window when the wind kicks up outside? Can you see daylight seeping through your door?

Adding Foam Weatherstripping | Pretty Handy Girl

If you answered yes to either of those questions, you are throwing away money on heating and cooling your home. Today I’ll show you a super quick fix to make your home more energy efficient and weather tight.

Day 5. Add Weatherstripping to Doors and Windows

The photo above is a picture of the gap between our front doors. We were losing heat and letting the cold air inside through this gap. The solution is as simple as buying a roll of foam weatherstripping.

Adding Foam Weatherstripping | Pretty Handy Girl

Peel off a section of weatherstripping. Press it onto the door jamb. Peel off the protective paper. Test your door by closing it and look again for light.

Adding Foam Weatherstripping | Pretty Handy Girl

No drafts will be sneaking in here! You can also use the same weatherstripping on the bottom of your old windows.

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Day 4 – Removing a Stripped (or Painted) Screw

Stripped Screw? Use the Rubberband Trick | Pretty Handy Girl

31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

Welcome to Day 4 of my 31 Days of Handy Home Fixes.  What happens when you strip a screw head just enough that the screwdriver won’t get a good grip? Or the screw has been painted over so many times that you can’t get the screwdriver head in the hole? Ahhh, well, I have two quick tips for solving this problem!

Grab a thick rubberband, your screwdriver and a hammer.

Day 3. Removing a Stripped (or painted) Screw

If your screw is painted over, this tip will probably work for you. Set the screwdriver in the screw head (be sure to line up the grooves in the screw with the screwdriver cross. Use the hammer to give the screwdriver one good whack.

The pressure will either crack the paint or set the screwdriver in just enough to get a grip on that stubborn screw.

Need a plan B? Use a rubber band!

Stripped Screw? Use the Rubberband Trick | Pretty Handy Girl

Slip a thick rubber band over the end of the screwdriver. Insert it into the screw head.

Stripped Screw? Use the Rubberband Trick | Pretty Handy Girl

Turn to remove the screw. The rubber band will fill in the hole and give some gripping power while turning the screw.

Stripped Screw? Use the Rubberband Trick | Pretty Handy Girl

Uh oh, the screw still won’t come out? Here’s plan C: Use a dremel to get the screw out!

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Day 3 – Fixing a Stripped Hole in Wood

How to Fix Stripped Holes in Wood | Pretty Handy Girl

31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

Welcome to Day 3 of my 31 Days of Handy Home Fixes.  Have you ever tightened a screw 1,485 times before you finally admit that the hole is stripped? Procrastinate fixing that stripped hole no more!

Grab some wood glue and tooth picks and we’ll fix that hole in a jiffy.

Day 3. Fixing a Stripped Screw Hole

Remove the screw. Squeeze some wood glue into the hole. Add a little more on the end of a toothpick.

How to Fix Stripped Holes in Wood | Pretty Handy Girl

Shove as many toothpicks as you can into the stripped hole.

How to Fix Stripped Holes in Wood | Pretty Handy Girl

After the wood glue has dried, snap or cut the toothpicks off with a hand saw.

How to Fix Stripped Holes in Wood | Pretty Handy Girl

Drive your screw into your newly fixed hole!
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Day 2 – Fixing a Sticking Door

31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

Welcome to Day 2 of my 31 Days of Handy Home Fixes. Today I’m going to show you a tip for fixing a rubbing or sticking door.

Day 2. Fixing a Sticking Door

Do you have a door in your home that rubs on the frame or gets stuck certain times of year? Our bathroom door used to stick in the summer (but not the winter.) The excess humidity in the air caused the door to swell just enough that it rubbed at the top of the frame. The fix literally took less than five minutes!

Take a look at your door and determine where the door is rubbing. Assess which direction you need to nudge the door to break the contact.

The simplest fix is to try loosening or tightening the door hinge screws. Take a look at the door below. The door was too tight in the upper left corner. To relieve the rubbing loosen the screws a half turn in that top hinge. Test the door again. You may also need to loosen the screws on the middle hinge and tighten the screws on the bottom hinge.

Is your door still sticking? Try removing the screws completely from the door frame. Instead of shimming with a wooden shim (which would be too thick) cut a piece of thin cardboard (think cereal boxes and product packaging) and inserted it behind the hinge. Then drive the screws back in.

Shim a door hinge

95% of the time the above two tips will resolve your issues. If your door is still sticking, you may have to take more drastic measures like routing out more material from the door frame with a Dremel or using a power planer to trim down your door.

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31 Days of Handy Home Fixes – Day 1 – Protect from Water Leaks

31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

Welcome to Day 1 of my 31 Days of Handy Home Fixes. I am always amazed at how a great house can fall into disrepair. This doesn’t have to happen. Each day you can learn a quick fix for your home. For the entire month of October I’ll be bringing you tips and fixes you can do to protect your home, save money and save time. Follow along to learn a new tip each day. Also check out other participants in Nester’s 31 Days Challenge.

31 Day Writing Challenge

Day 1. Protect Your Home from Water Leaks

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you probably read about the great leak of 2012. We ended up having to gut our kitchen and rebuild it. Unless you want to rebuild your kitchen from scratch, there’s a simple device you can use to protect your home from a costly leaks.

Simply purchase a few of these Water Sensor and Alarms:

Water alarm

They cost $10 each, but they can save you thousands of dollars! Add batteries and put one underneath every sink. Place one behind the clothes washer and your fridge too!  Speaking of your fridge, here’s how to prevent an ice maker leak.

protect_from_ice_maker_line_leaks

Stick around to learn more tips tomorrow. Sign up to get all the tips in your email:


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Other tips in the 31 Days of Handy Home Fixes series:


Good Day Sunshine – Yellow Painted Doors

Benjamin Moore Yellow Highlighter Painted Interior Doors | Pretty Handy Girl

Benjamin Moore Yellow Highlighter Painted Interior Doors | Pretty Handy Girl

I painted my interior front doors Benjamin Moore’s Yellow Highlighter. It’s my way to start my day off on the right foot. When I get up in the morning and head downstairs, I see my front doors and immediately Good Day Sunshine starts to play in my head!

Let me tell you how this happened. Remember when I was in the middle of the DIY project from HELL?! I tried to paint our front doors on the outside and the paint was peeling off. I wanted to curl up in a ball and cry. I wanted to run down the street screaming. Instead, what did I do? I decided to create a cheerful view when I go downstairs every morning. I put stripping the outside of the doors on hold for a day or two and focused my efforts inside.

Benjamin Moore Yellow Highlighter Painted Interior Doors | Pretty Handy Girl

The solid wood doors are original to our house and had cracks in them.

Benjamin Moore Yellow Highlighter Painted Interior Doors | Pretty Handy Girl

Instead of replacing the doors, I fixed them by scraping the edges until they were smooth and devoid of bumps. [Read more...]

Install Security Film to a Glass Door and Protect Your Home

How to Add Security Film to Glass Doors & Windows | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Add Security Film to Glass Doors & Windows | Pretty Handy Girl

The folks at Allstate Insurance have graciously sponsored this post, which will help you learn how to install security film to safeguard your doors (or windows) from a potential break-in! It’s a simply DIY solution that could potentially save you the heartache of having your home burglarized.

I’ve noticed an unsettling trend in our area. There are more thefts popping up around our neighborhood. Luckily the majority of them are burglaries with no violence. But, it’s still unsettling. If you want the latest on crimes around you, sign up for SpotCrime.com. Simply enter your address and you’ll get emails when crimes are reported around you. Then again, this could lead to a bit of paranoia {raising hand.}

SpotCrime.com map

Regardless, there are two doors in our home that have always caused me some concern. We have two half window doors that needed some added security measures. The first one is the entrance to our mudroom. The second one is the back door to our garage (and you know I’d be heartbroken if anyone stole my power tools!)

How to Add Security Film to Glass Doors & Windows | Pretty Handy Girl

If you have a door like this, a burglar can simply break the pane of glass closest to the knob, reach in and turn the deadbolt and handle. One option is to install a two-sided keyed entry deadbolt lock. Because we have little children, I worried about them not being able to find the key and get out of the house in the event of a fire.

How to Add Security Film to Glass Doors &  Windows | Pretty Handy Girl

This past week I happened to hear about security film and did a little research. I was skeptical until I tested the material myself. The results seriously amazed me! You can watch my test in the video later in this post.

In the meantime, here are the supplies you’ll need and the very simply installation instructions!

Materials:
(contains Amazon Affiliate Links)
  • 8 Mil Security Window Film
  • Spray bottle with water and a few drops of dish soap (or baby shampoo)
  • 4 inch Squeegee
  • Paper towels
  • Razor blade
  • X-acto knife (or scissors)
  • Metal Ruler
  • Ball point pen or fine-tipped sharpie
  • Cutting surface

 Instructions:

1. Begin by removing the grill if you have one solid piece of glass with faux dividers (see my video below for more details on removing the grill.) If you have true divided light, move on to the next step.

2. Measure your windows. Reduce the size by 1/8″ to leave space at the edges for the water to escape. Transfer the measurements onto the film with pen. Cut the window film with the x-acto knife and ruler. (You could use scissors in a pinch.)

How to Add Security Film to Glass Doors &  Windows | Pretty Handy Girl [Read more...]

How to Identify Yellow Jackets and Protect from Being Stung

Honeybee vs. Yellow Jacket | Pretty Handy Girl

Honeybee vs. Yellow Jacket | Pretty Handy Girl

Summertime is here and I can’t keep shoes on the kids…

Honeybee vs. Yellow Jacket | Pretty Handy Girl

…or clothes for that matter.

Honeybee vs. Yellow Jacket | Pretty Handy Girl

I think my kids inherited it from me. I have fond memories of running around our backyard as a child barely clothed. I also have a not so fond memory of stumbling upon a yellow jacket nest. I ran until my little legs gave out and I hit the ground face first as those little devils stung my backside several times. Nothing puts a damper on summer fun like a bunch of yellow jacket stings on your hiney. Two years ago, my oldest son had the unfortunate experience of stumbling upon a nest in our yard. If I could have taken the stings for him, I would have. Lucky for us, he didn’t experience an allergic reaction on top of the stings. But, allergic or not, yellow jackets are not welcome in my yard!

That summer that I got stung, I learned to tell the difference between yellow jackets and honeybees. Do you know how to tell the difference? It’s important to stop and take a moment to identify which you are dealing with. Did you know that honeybees and yellow jackets are very different in appearance? Once you know what to look for, you can easily identify them: [Read more...]