When you own your home, things are going to break and, unless you want to spend your money on visits from a neighborhood handyman, you’re going to need to fix them yourself. Luckily, you don’t need an arsenal of tools to handle most home maintenance fixes. These five tools will cover most of your basic projects.
- Cordless drill. A cordless drill is a must-have for installing cabinets, drawer pulls, hinges, picture frames, shelves and hooks, and more. Whether it’s for do-it-yourself projects or repairs, you’ll use your cordless drill just about every month.
- Drain cleaners. Shower and bathroom sink drains are susceptible to clogs because of the daily buildup of hair and whisker clippings. You can use chemical clog removers like Drano, but they’re expensive and the lingering chemical scent is unpleasant. Instead, buy some plastic drain cleaners that can reach into the drain to pull out the clog of hair and gunk. You can purchase them on Amazon or at a local hardware store for a low price.
- Shop-vac. No matter how careful you are, spills and accidents will happen and there are some tasks that just can’t be handled with paper towels or a standard vacuum, like pet messes or broken glass.
- Loppers. Even the minimum amount of care for your landscaping will require some loppers to remove damaged branches, vines, thick weeds, and any other unruly plants in your yard.
- Flashlight. You’re going to want something a little more powerful than your iPhone flashlight when you’re in the crawlspace!
I only ask because I don’t think I am. I honestly don’t think I can do purple in my house even if it DID win color of the year…. What do you think?
Pantone has done it again: their 2018 color of the year is bold, beautiful, and nothing like the other color predictions we’ve seen for next year. The company says their pick, Ultra Violet 18-3838, is a “dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade” and “communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future” — and the design industry agrees.
“There’s a hint of fantasy in this color — something almost unreal and fabulist about it, after all, real ultra violet rays are beyond human comprehension – the naked eye can’t see them!” says Editor in Chief of House Beautiful, Sophie Donelson. “I like the magic, optimism, and fearlessness it invokes. At home, I’d use it to envelope yourself, royals style – how about a least a mohair throw, it’s not quiet a velvet cape, but it’ll do!” We bet a plush velvet bench will do the trick, as seen in this dining area.
Nancy Fire, creative director of HGTV HOME, Design Works International, and Studio NYC Design, says she’s already thinking about how she can use it in her design work. “Ultra Violet works well as an accent pillow, wallpaper geometric combined with grey, and, of course, a regal paint color that plays well with grey, loden green, and many neutrals,” Fire says.
We think using this bold color as a statement, not to fill an entire room, is key if you usually stick with neutrals and safe shades — and Abbe Fenimore from Studio Ten 25 agrees. “When used in small doses as an accent color it can be really rich and feminine. I love it paired with pinks, greens, and metallics, especially gold and brass. You really only need a little bit of it to make a statement!” Fenimore says.
However, not everyone was on board when they first saw the shade. “I’m not a big fan of the color purple in general,” says Jessica McClendon from Glamour Nest. “However, this color is perfect for those who want to try something a little bit adventurous. It’s definitely no Rose Quartz or Serenity, as it is better suited to be more of an accent color.” So if you are a fan of purple, and a risk-taker, this color is calling your name—-Lauren Smith
Every 23 seconds, a house is burgled in the United States, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Each break-in costs home owners an average of $2,200 in stolen personal goods and possessions.
A $250 to $700 home security system can provide a powerful deterrent: it sends the message that your house won’t be an easy target, and gives crooks a strong incentive to pick another place.
How a home security system works
A home security system works like this: a keypad in your house’s entryway communicates with sensors and motion detectors around the home. The brain of the system—the control panel—is installed in the attic or utility room.
If an intruder breaks a window or kicks in a door:
- The sensor sends signals to the control panel, which typically uses your phone line to contact an off-site monitoring station.
- Simultaneously, it sets off an ear-splitting siren within the house.
- Staffers call the house immediately and ask for a password.
- If there’s no response, or if the person who picks up the phone gives the wrong password, monitors will notify the police.
Types of installers
Once you’ve elected to invest in a home security system, you’ll need to decide whether to go with a national installer or a local company. Security experts recommend choosing a company with at least ten years’ experience. Either way, you’ll spend $35 to $75 per month on monitoring fees.
- National firms boast that their call centers are fully redundant, which means if a center in Oshkosh loses power, the Vancouver center will pick up the slack.
- Local installers are going to be close by, and those companies have an incentive to do a great job in order to maintain their reputation in the community.
- Full service companies—ones that operate and control all aspects of your home security system, from installation to service and monitoring—generally provide good personalized care and attention to detail.
Before you sign a contract:
- Talk to neighbors who own a home security system about their installer; if you’re new in town, ask firms for letters of reference.
- Choose a company that offers 24-hour repair service.
- Finally, educate yourself online before making a call; websites such as www.alarmsystemreviews.com offer useful information about home security systems.
Are there DIY projects that have been lingering on your to-do list for too long because you’re dreading the trip to the hardware or craft store? There are some projects you can tackle with items that are almost certainly already in your home.
1. Vinegar: There’s probably a jug of vinegar in your pantry right now. You can soak items in vinegar to remove mineral deposits (like in a clogged showerhead), and you can boil vinegar in your microwave to remove odors and make it easier to clean.
2. Cola: A can of Coke or Pepsi can be used to clean many surfaces, including your glass windows, porcelain toilet, or chrome fixtures. Just do some research before using it on metal surfaces, as it can be corrosive.
3. Baking soda: This item may actually be more useful for applications other than baking. A baking soda-vinegar paste is great for cleaning bathrooms and kitchens. Baking soda can also be used to absorb odors.
4. Butter knife: Screwdrivers are easy to misplace. If can’t find a screwdriver when you need one, a butter knife—preferably an older one that you no longer need for table setting—is pretty effective for both Phillips- and flat-head screws.
5. Toothpaste: Is there an unsightly scratch on your car or bike? The grit in tarter-control toothpastes makes for an effective scratch remover. Clean the scratch, apply some toothpaste, let it sit for a few minutes, and then buff it out with paper towel.