Category: DIY

Crafting a Timber Gazebo

Flooring: For creating a floor for your gazebo you can either make a concrete mixture and fix tiles or lay wood on it, or simply use the land as a floor. Any of the floor designs will look beautiful.

For making a concrete floor, you need to clean and level the ground. Next, mix a basic mixture of concrete by following the instructions on the bag and lay it on the clean and flat ground.

Footing: For crafting a timber gazebo, a basic plan is needed. For an octagonal gazebo, get five equal length poles, 80″ or 85″ and then make an asterisk symbol in the middle of the floor and make sure they all intersect. Each of these posts should make a 45 degree angle. Now fix this together firmly and then mark the points made by the ends of your asterisk.

Posting: You should have a basic structure in place by now. Get eight poles of 14″ each. These should be of the same material, preferably wood and should be of the same width and shape. Now dig 2″ deep holes in the positions which you marked in the last step.

With the help of a friend, install these poles one by one in the holes and then fill them with concrete mixture and sand. Let these dry for a day or two.

Ceiling: After the concrete has dried, check whether all the posts are of similar length. Then to create the roof use 8 poles of 4×4 lumbers around 40″ in length. You need to nail these on the top of your structure. After nailing, fix it with metal strips to prevent movements in the structure. Secure all the posts tightly and cut any rough edges.

Bracing: To provide additional support to your gazebo you need to put braces on it. For bracing you’ll need 16 equal poles of cured wood. Nail them to the structural poles and the head beams, forming a trident like shape. Precaution should be taken to secure these firmly.

The Top: For crafting a timber gazebo according to this plan, you’ll need another set of 8 timber poles of around 74″ each and a small piece of wood to serve as the hub. Nail these poles to the hub maintaining a 45 degree angle.

You should have an octagonal cone like structure. Now with some help get this structure on the top of your fixed poles in such a way that every pole will coincide. Secure these poles. Alternatively you can fix each pole at one time and then finally nail them to the hub.

Roof: For this you need to measure the triangles created by each side of the octagon and then cut slightly larger plywood pieces. Fix these from the inside and shingle them and your gazebo is ready.


Install a Ceiling Fan

First things first, however, let’s cover some very basic ideas about ceiling fan installation before we delve more deeply into the instructions.

Before you do anything, you need to choose a location for the fan. Usually, people choose the center of the ceiling. They also often replace a light fixture. If you are installing a fan with NO light then you should be fine and the circuit will not overload. However, if you are installing a fan WITH lights, you must make sure that the circuit has enough capacity for the new load. If there is no current central light fixture then you will have to designate a place to hang the fan.

Next, measure the floor-to-ceiling distance then subtract the space which the fan will take up. 7 feet is general recommended but be sure to look in your local building codes and regulations. If your ceilings are going to be too low and they are creating an issue then you may want to consider getting a low-ceiling mount. That will help. Some fans come with blades that adjust quite a bit. (Note: 12 inches between the ceiling and the fan will allow for proper airflow but 18 inches is recommended and, if possible, best.)

Once you have done those two things, you are ready to mount your fan!

Mounting a Ceiling Fan

  1. Turn off the power source to avoid electrocution. This is very serious and should be done before any work begins.
  2. Determine the center by running a chalk line from one corner to the opposite corner. The point at which they intersect (remember: X marks the spot!) is the center.
  3. Adjust your location so that it matches the joists.
  4. Install the junction box. Cut a hole in the ceiling to make room for it.
  5. Mount the junction box to a beam.
  6. Assemble the fan (see below to learn how to do that).
  7. Install the hanger pipe.
  8. Wire the unit.
  9. Attach the fan blades to the unit.
  10. Electrically ground the fan.
  11. Attach to joists.
  12. Put on finishing touches. Install molding, etc.

Assembling the Fan

Assembly varies so you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If you buy a Westinghouse ceiling fan, for example, then use their manual. The same goes if you buy a Minka-Aire ceiling fan or a Hunter ceiling fan. There is no general rule for your specific fan. One general tip is to install the blades before hanging the fan.


Organizing Homes to Minimize Clutter

Storing

Containers - it’s always a good idea to keep additional containers of various sizes handy. Minimizing a certain item total within the space allowed within a container is most recommended. Excess is usually the problem behind clutter and messiness. If an item gets too excessive then it may be a good idea to start considering replacing a few items.

De-clutter versus Clutter

You may ask, “it’s just so difficult to quit buying certain items, especially when they are on sale”.

You are absolutely right, once you’ve established a habit of buying something that you like, it can be quite difficult to quit buying it. And that’s a huge problem as to why a house can get so cluttered.

Well, the best solution to this is, “If you do not need it, do not buy it”. If you’re more serious about keeping your home free of clutter than cluttering it, then you will have to minimize your spending. If you fail to get a handle, sooner or later, the containers will become a problem themselves.

Managing Storage

Labels- labeling your containers will beat putting items in the wrong containers, digging through, throwing out unrelated items, getting confused and quitting the container system all together. Sticking to a labeling system, like, summer shirts in this container, winter pants in this one, superhero socks in this one, versus just throwing all excess [summer shirts, dinosaur shirt overload and American flag shirts] in one container; peanuts, gummies, cookies in their own individual containers; face creams, teeth care, hair care in their own containers, and the list goes on.

Research

When it comes to clothing and kitchen appliances/tools, we tend to keep buying, buying and buying, because either they look great and match with a set or because they are on sale. It’s a good idea to do your research before buying [consider the reviews completely] as items can appear to portray what you’re looking for, but you may soon find out - after buying - that they don’t quite serve the purpose that you’ve attended it to serve. Many of us just keep the items instead of returning them, which in turn creates unnecessary clutter.

Updating our Homes

Periodic Updates - going through your containers, cabinets, drawers and wherever else you store items on a regular basis [every 2- 4 weeks] will provide updates on the items that you use and do not use. Knowing this will help you decide if items are worth keeping or not and if you feel as though it’s time to throw an item out or take it to a Goodwill, by all means pack your vehicle and head on out. It is pointless to keep items that you have no use for, especially if you’re looking to keep your home de-cluttered and organized.

Managing our Shopping

A great way to prevent yourself from over-shopping is to:

Stick to a list - never deceive your list and go behind its back. Find out what you want and need before leaving the house and make a promise to yourself that you will not get enticed by the beauties of other items in which will surround you on this day of shopping. This is the perfect opportunity to check your containers, closets, drawers and cabinets for what space you have to add things.


Ways to Make Home Look More Expensive

  • Make a Big Statement. Large scale art adds a bit of theater to any room. Single large images, diptychs and triptychs all deliver big impact where-ever they are hung. High-resolution images can be printed at very large scale then cut appropriately and framed in pre-fabricated frames bought at Ikea. Your costs are very low and your decorating impact monumental.
  • Drama is King. Who wouldn’t love to wrap an entire room in expensive wall covering for that over-the-top-look? When budget won’t allow for the whole room, select one wall or one section (the back of a niche, or other architectural detail) and create a splash with the paper there. To expend the high-style look match the paint on the surrounding walls to that of the paper. You’ll be pleased how far the drama will go.
  • Find a Focus. Every room must have a focal point. Fireplaces are decorating gold for just this reason. They focus everything in the room. If you don’t have a fireplace you must create focus or direct attention to something else focus worthy (like a view). A great trick for creating immediate focus is a larger than life mirror, either hung or casually leaned against a wall. Hit up your favorite local retailers for gigantic framed mirrors and invest knowing you’ll get lots of bang for your decorating buck.
  • One High-Style Piece. If your budget prevents you from filling your room with high-style, designer pieces then snag one mind-blowing piece and spin the rest of the room around it. A dramatic cabinet, an unusual antique chair or a super-chic cocktail table can add all the punch needed even if the rest of the room does not carry the same decorating wattage. When this is the case it’s great to dress out the room in similar, neutral colors (tans, taupe and cream are great for this) to heighten the impact of your designer piece. And never pay full retail for that high-style piece. Check out eBay, CraigsList and floor sample sales at your favorite expensive shops. You’ll be amazed at what you can find!

Ways to Make a Homemade Air Conditioner

Method 1

The first method uses a cooler (Styrofoam or plastic) and requires you to drill a hole on the top of the cooler. You will need to outline the circumference of the fan with a marker, making sure to make it slightly smaller so that the fan can rest on the opening without falling into the cooler. Once this is done, you will need to drill another hole for ventilation. You can use a cut our dryer vent or an elbow PVC pipe for this. The vent hole needs to be wide enough to hold either of these in place.

The next step is to fill the cooler with ice. You can use regular ice or water frozen in a container. Water frozen in plastic water bottles works well. One you replace the top of the cooler, place the fan and the elbow pipe or dryer vent in their appropriate openings. After making sure they fit snugly, it’s time to start the fan. You should now be feeling a cold breeze coming from the opening.

Method 2

This method uses elements of the first, but instead of a cooler you use a 5 gallon bucket with a top. You will use 2 cut out 2 inch pipes (about 6 inches in length). You then outline the circumference of the pipes on the side of the bucket with a marker and cut out openings. Be sure to cut them out high enough so that the ice will have room.

You will then outline the fan on the top of the bucket and cut out a hole as well. The next step is to find a Styrofoam liner to hold the ice inside the cooler. Once you have all the materials in place, put the liner in the bucket, put the PVC pipes in their holes and add ice. Replace the top of the bucket and put the fan on it. Once everything is secure, turn on the fan and enjoy!


How to Hang a Door

  • Step One. Unscrew your old door. Take out the screws from the bottom hinge before the top hinge. Make sure the door is well-supported when you take the last screw out.
  • Step Two. Hold the new door in the doorway to see if it needs adjusting. If the old one was a good fit, lay the new one on top of it and use it to mark where to plane or cut. Take equal amounts of wood from the top and bottom. Use a hand or plane saw to trim excess wood. Afterwards, sand it smooth. Ideally, there should be a gap the thickness of a 2p piece between either side of the door and the top. Allow more at the bottom if you have a thick carpet.
  • Step Three. Check your new hinges against the old ones on the frame. If they don’t fit, rest them on the bottom of the hinge recess and mark along the top of the new hinge. Remove extra wood with a chisel and mallet. Check the new hinge sits flush to the frame. Screw both hinges to the door frame and open them. The edges of the hinges should stick out slightly from the frame edge. Prop the door in the door frame, resting it on wedges to get the correct gap at the bottom. With a pencil, mark where the top and bottom of the hinges should sit on the door.
  • Step Four. Unscrew the hinges from the door frame. Place them on the edge of your door and draw around them. Make a series of chisel cuts to the right depth and then cut out the wood to the marked lines. Use a bradawl smaller than the screw to make a starter hole. Fit the hinge in the recess and screw in place.
  • Step Five. With the door supported on wedges and at a right angle to the frame, fix the hinge flaps to the door frame. Use only one screw at first to allow you to make adjustments. Check the door opens and closes easily. If it does, you’re ready to fix the rest of the screws.

Ways to Make Decorative Concrete

Stamped concrete

This method makes your concrete look like it is made from stone or brick and many other products that include wood and fossils as well. Stamped concretes are greatly durable too and often cost less. You can give a natural design to your concrete floors by installing stamped concrete. Acid stains and dry shakes as well as powder releases are used for coloring and designs. However, the only downside is that you need to properly maintain the stamped concrete or the colors may gradually wear away over time.

Concrete dyes

If you want some amazing new designs and color compositions and textures, you need to use concrete dyes. Concrete dyes are a safe bet in both home and commercial concrete applications and can be used to color walls and bridges as well apart from floors. However, concrete dyes are not suitable for exterior use as on direct exposure to sunlight, the color begins to fade a little or lighten up.

Acid staining

While not a proper dyeing method, acid staining is a great way to color the concrete. Here, a chemical reaction between water and mineral salts is what causes the concrete to have a new earth tone. Water and mineral salts basically react with the lime in the concrete. This method ensures that each slab of concrete has a unique appearance.

Of course, there are plenty of other methods too that are employed to make decorative concrete. When choosing one, it all depends on the colors, textures and designs you need.


Block Clearing Tips

  • Find the right equipment – It is very crucial for you to have all the necessary equipment to do the job. And this will include hand tools and earth moving equipment such as bulldozer. Oftentimes, you will actually need a commercial-grade chainsaw along with some proper personal protective equipment.
  • Learn how to use the needed equipment – Even if you have all the necessary equipment but you are not aware of how to use it, it will be useless. For instance, you have to learn how to properly use a chainsaw and how to properly cut down trees. Cutting down a tree is not very easy – you can actually seriously injure yourself or perhaps even damage nearby properties. Indeed, it is very important for you to know how to property use the equipment you have at hand.
  • Have your trees checked by a professional – Prior to cutting trees, it is a wise idea for you to have an expert look at such for you to know if any of these are of great value. Know that there are some firms that will cut down trees for you on top of buying it from you.
  • Determine how you can go about the block clearing process – You have to decide on the best way on how to do the block clearing process. There are actually some professionals who cut down all the trees on a certain property and move such into a separate location for processing. But for some, they just cut down the trees and leave the stump that will be removed by heavy equipment later on.

Splitting and Stacking Firewood

Tools that are needed:

  • Axe
  • Sledgehammer
  • Wheel barrel
  • Tarp
  • Old Tire
  • Splitting Wedge
  • Hard Hat
  • Google’s
  • Gloves

Before you start splitting, you need to put on your Safety Gear of a Hard Hat, Google’s, and your Work Gloves. Now that you are all geared up, you are ready to attack that pile of wood that you have in front of you.

A good suggestion to make your splitting easier and simpler would be to use a small Old Tire.

First find a flat area where you can lay it on the ground, then stand a log upright in the center of it. Now take the axe which hopefully you have sharpened before you decided to get the Firewood split, and bring it down with force in the center of the log. This will make the piece split in half hopefully if you applied enough energy into it. Some of the pieces may be hard to break through, this is where you will need to apply the Splitting Wedge into the cut. Now take the Sledge Hammer and drive the Wedge into the log.

With the tire protecting the log, all the pieces should be contained within it and not all over the ground. Also, it will give you more protection from flying debris that could hurt you or others. If part of the log is still standing up, you can split it again to make smaller pieces. Load your split wood into the wheelbarrow, then wheel it to where it needs to be stacked.

Once the logs are split, you want to bring the wood into a Shed and stack it in neat rows. If you do not have a Shed, you want to create a square post by staking the Wood up to make it look like a post. on both ends of the row. You may have a paved or gravel area where you can stack this Wood, but if you do not have an area available like that, then you should place some planks of Wood underneath the Fire Wood to protect it from rot.

Now start filling in the row where you created the Wood stack posts on either end. Once you have this row completed, you possibly will need to build more rows in order to have all your wood ready for your winter heating or camping.


Creative With Making Patio Furniture

You will need to decide what type of patio furniture you want. In other words, will it be made of wood or metal? For wood, you won’t need too much skill, as hopefully you would have had some experience with woodwork in school or with your dad when you were young. For metal, you may require a bit of skill as the tools you will need are specialised.

If you opt for a metal framed patio set, then you will need to source the same type of metal. This will help you with the structure and the soldering process. With metal you will have to solder the pieces together so that it can be sturdy. To begin the process you will need to measure the parts and cut them to size. Make sure that you measure twice to avoid any mishaps with the length of the parts. Place all the parts in the order that you will join them. Double check this. Once you are sure of each part’s positioning then begin with soldering it together. Once the parts are together and you have all your patio seats, you can paint it the colour you desire. The metal patio set will prove to be hard and cold to sit on. For this you can simply measure the seating and back areas so that an upholsterer can make the cushions for you.

The wood option is usually more popular because it doesn’t rust and it is a cheaper alternative to the metal. In most cases, people find unused pallets and use it to create their own furniture masterpieces. With pallet wood you don’t have to start from scratch. You could simply take one pallet as it is, add four small legs on each corner, sand it and paint it to create an outdoor coffee table. You may want to add a glass top for a smooth surface. For the seats you will need to take the pallet apart in order to piece the wood together to make it sturdy. You will need a saw, hammer, nails and glue to achieve this. Again, make sure that you measure the length of the wood so that your patio seats are all the same size and are symmetrical. If you are happy with the measurements, then glue and nail the wood pieces together. You can paint the wood or varnish it for a natural appearance. Measure the seating and back area. Send those measurements along with your choice of material to the furniture manufacturer who can make it for you. That part you don’t have to make yourself, because sewing the cushions can be a bit tricky if you haven’t done it before.