Monday, March 30, 2009

You Too Can Build Tiki Bar Ambiance in Your Own Home

We have all heard of the classic basement bar, a few stools a keg or two, some over bearing neon drink lights and you are in business. However, since basement bars are typically found in cooler climates, if you live in a warmer region what is your alternative. The alternative would likely be a tiki bar, an island counterpart to a basement bar; only these bars are not typically inside and for all intent and purposes are much more festive than the average basement bar. However, if all you know of home bars is the basement bar, then to build tiki bar ambiance you will need to change your whole way of thinking.

While a basement bar usually has a roof over it, a tiki bar is typically a freestanding unit with a roof that is more decorative than necessary and will be located somewhere outside. To build tiki bar roofs you will need cedar for the frame and sable palm fronds for covering as well as a thin protective net to prevent wind damage and roof shredding.

In a typical basement bar, you have the luxury of either purchasing a pre-existing bar, perhaps for a bar that is no longer in business or you can build one with whatever wood or materials you see fit. However, to build tiki bar tops and the bar itself you are going to need particular woods that do well out in the elements. One particular type of wood that is normally recommended is Douglas Fir. While Douglas Firs are most notably a Christmas tree, this particular wood does very well in the unpredictable weather of warmer climates. Helping this wood to last for many years to come is the recommended application of almost nine coats of marine grade varnish for the bar top and cabinets.

To build tiki bar stools, if you are a real do it yourself kind of person, you can purchase books on the subject, or download online tutorials on how to construct the seating. If you are not so ambitious then you can easily find more than enough resources by which you can choose and purchase the right stools for your tiki bar.

Purchasing or building a tiki bar is not difficult and in fact, it can be fun, especially when it comes to decorating your bar. From the lighting to the music to the tiki inspired bar accessories, all of this can be as entertaining to put together as it is to pull up a stool and enjoy a cold refreshing adult beverage.

Autor: Rick Harding

Click here for a fabulous guide on how to build a tiki bar!

Added: March 30, 2009

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Utility Shed Plans - Tips For Selecting and Using Utility Shed Plans to Enhance Your Yard

Are you running out of space in your house or garage, or tired of dealing with the clutter of loose yard equipment? If so, consider using utility shed plans to easily build an attractive structure to house those items. A word of caution, though, not all utility shed plans are created equal. Make sure to research what your requirements are before proceeding.

An important first step is to evaluate the size structure you need to successfully hold the items you want to store. Build too small and you will be in the same position as you are now. Build too large and you may overspend on building materials, and in some cases, violate local home owners association or even city laws. A good rule of thumb is to decide on what size is appropriate, and then build one size bigger than that requirement.

The right utility shed plans will include multiple options for you to choose from when decided what size structure to build. Make sure you find plans that include these multiple options, as well as detail instructions on the building materials needed for each one. Most plans should include a materials list that is of standard size building materials. Creating a custom size shed will cost you more up front as you will need to have the lumber special cut to fit the drawings. As with anything, having options is the best way to go.

While it may seem like a simple project, building a utility shed that will last for decades to come should be approached with considerable planning and careful construction. Do not skimp on the materials. Be sure you follow your utility shed plans closely, and work with your local lumber yard on selecting the right materials for use in your area. Not all lumber is equally as good in certain climates, so ask around before buying the least expensive.

Autor: B. Barnes

Some of the most comprehensive, and least expensive, utility shed plans available are presented by Master Shed Plans. By combining complete materials lists, a huge variety of options, and step by steps instructions, these plans are really easy to follow. Get more information by visiting: today.

Added: March 29, 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

How to Make Patio Cushions For Outdoor Furniture

Instead of going to the expense of buying new outdoor furniture and patio cushions why not update your existing garden furniture by making some new cushions. If you make your own outdoor cushions you can get the exact size, design and level of firmness and comfort you are looking for - and save money too!

To make patio cushions, you do need a bit of skill with the sewing machine but otherwise they are pretty straightforward as patio cushions are simple shapes.

1. Measure Your Chairs

Measure the seat width to get the width of your cushion. If the chairs have arms then measure the part of the seat inside the arms for easier fitting of your cushions. Then measure the length of the chair from the top of the chair back (or wherever you want the cushion to start) to the edge of the seat.

2. Decide on the Thickness

If you are replacing existing cushions, use these as a guide - do you want your cushions just the same or a little thicker. If you don't have existing cushions you will need to decide how thick you want your cushions to be. About 1 - 1.5" is about right for most chairs to add a layer of comfort.

3. Buy Materials

Buy a piece of foam for each chair in the thickness and level of firmness you require. Remember that if you have a classic chair the cushion will need to bend where the seat meets the back of the chair so make sure the foam is pliable enough for that. Use the foam to estimate the amount of fabric you need. Remember to include measurements for each cushion, front and back as well as sides and seams. Choose your fabric and buy matching zippers for the cushions which are two to three inches shorter than the longest edge for easing fitting of your cushion pads. Remember to choose tough weather resistant fabric for outdoor cushions.

4. Create a Pattern and Cut the Fabric

Draw a pattern using your foam as a guide - create pieces for top, bottom and each side of the cushions and mark the additional allowance for seams. Cut out the pieces for each cushion

5. Sew and Stuff Your Cushions

Sew your fabric pieces together inside out to form the cushion covers sewing the zippers along the middle of the longest sides and using double rows of stitching to reinforce seams. Turn the cushion covers the right way round, open the zippers and put the foam inside the cushions then close the zippers. Test the cushions on your chairs. If you find they slide about too much add tie tabs to the cushions so that you can keep the cushions in place.

Autor: Janice Elizabeth White

Janice Elizabeth White has a passion for home and garden design. If you are looking to make the most of your garden take a look at her Patio Cushions Site where you'll find more detailed information about measuring and choosing fabrics for patio cushions. Or, if you decide to buy patio cushions instead of making them, check out her free consumer checklists and guides there. See for details

Added: March 27, 2009

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Build-It-Yourself Solar Panel Guides

Despite common perception, creating your own home energy solution is easy with build-it-yourself solar panel guides. The best thing is, most of these can be easily found online. All that requires of you is a little elbow grease and a willingness to put the good information into action.

If you're keen to build your own solar panel system using one of these guides, it pays to do a little research to find one that best suits your budget and energy needs. And if you need a little nudge, there are plenty of good review sites that provide good and reliable information.

Here's what I suggest. If you're a DIY novice and need step-by-step instructions, go for an instructional package that comes with video instructions. From my experience these are really helpful as you can see everything that you need to know. Nothing is left to the imagination. The good thing is, some of the better guides offer unconditional money-back guarantees...not bad, considering not many home energy related products carry such guarantees. This is a mark of quality assurance. So look out for these...

Many of these build-it-yourself solar panel guides give you information on how to get the project done cheaply. If you look around for the best deals for parts, you can get a system up and running for under $200. That's real bang for your buck, considering similar commercial solutions can break your bank by tens of thousands of dollars. What's more...most of the components can be found in your local hardware store, and some, like photovoltaic cells, can be easily purchased online from trusted sites like ebay.

With your own home solar panels, you can cut your monthly energy bills by 80% or more. The best part is, there are folks who put the basic knowledge they gained to good use, and scaled up their systems to go completely off the grid!

Now, don't you just wish you could tap into the sun's energy without breaking the bank to get started? Well, now you can, with the help of one of the many excellent build-it-yourself solar panel guides!

Autor: Dave Keller

Want to build your own homemade solar panels but don't know where to start?

Fret not! Many people just like you have successfully built these on their own to DRASTICALLY cut their monthly electricity consumption. They are already shaving $1000s off their energy bills every year. If you need STEP-BY-STEP guidance in installing one, I have reviewed the Best Online Guides on Do-It-Yourself Solar Panels for your convenience. These highly recommended guides provide EASY-TO-FOLLOW instructions that will help you save money in no time.

Dave Keller is an Renewable Energy Specialist who takes pride in helping the average consumer save on their energy bills using simple DIY devices... and give power companies a run for their money! For a candid review of the best-selling guides, go to his website at now.

P.S. Did I also mention that state governments are now offering GENEROUS tax incentives for homeowners who convert to using solar power?

Added: March 26, 2009

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

DIY Photovoltaic Panels - Your Brilliant Home Solar Power Solution!

DIY photovoltaic panels are becoming very popular among homeowners as the perfect home energy solution without the high cost. These panels are especially useful if your home receives lots of sunlight. Installing photovoltaic panels for residences used to be a very costly affair. But with the introduction of DIY solar panel technology, the average homeowner now can easily afford it.

DIY work is not for everyone. But if you're handy with tools, or don't mind a little elbow grease, this will be a fun weekend project for you and your family. Like any home DIY improvement work, this will require you to do some wood work, soldering and electrical wiring.

For best results, your home should face south. The panels should be installed on the roof, but if that is not possible, you can do the same in your garden or backyard, as long as there is not obstruction to direct sunlight (such as trees).

To build your own DIY photovoltaic panels with minimal fuss, you'll need a step-by-step instruction guide. Many of these have been recently developed for DIY enthusiasts who want to create their own renewable energy at low cost. These guides provide everything you need to know and come with complete illustrations and details. If you're a visual learner, go with one that provides video instructions too. You'll literally see how everything is done to the last detail.

Most of these guides are not expensive. Even the top-notch ones with video instructions cost under $50...a real drop in the bucket for quality information that will quickly pay for itself. The entire project should not cost more than $200, including parts and materials which you can gather cheaply from local retailers or even the internet (think ebay).

Building your own DIY photovoltaic panels offers you the convenience to customize your home energy solution. You decide how many panels you can even go completely off grid if you want!

Autor: Dave Keller

Want to build your own photovoltaic panels but don't know where to start?

Fret not! Many people just like you have successfully built these on their own to DRASTICALLY cut their monthly electricity consumption. They are already shaving $1000s off their energy bills every year. If you need STEP-BY-STEP guidance in installing one, I have reviewed the Best Online Guides on DIY Photovoltaic Panels for your convenience. These highly recommended guides provide EASY-TO-FOLLOW instructions that will help you save money in no time

Dave Keller is an Renewable Energy Specialist who takes pride in helping the average consumer save on their energy bills using simple DIY devices... and give power companies a run for their money! For a candid review of the best-selling guides, go to his website at now

P.S. Did I also mention that state governments are now offering GENEROUS tax incentives for homeowners who convert to using solar power?

Added: March 24, 2009

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Mysterious Wonders of Wood

Beginning with the basics, well we all know wood comes from trees, but there are a few other basic facts. Firstly you may know of two distinct groups referred to as hardwoods and softwoods. The strange thing is that all hardwoods are not necessarily hard, and to add to the confusion not all softwoods are soft, in fact some hardwoods are softer than some softwoods!

Let's take the popular wood used to construct model boats and airplanes, remember what it was called, yes, Balsa wood, one of the softest and lightest timbers available. Balsa is a hardwood. The Yew tree produces an incredibly tough wood, in fact yew is probably as hard as one of the hardest hardwoods, but actually Yew is a softwood. You are probably wondering how or where did these terms confusing terms originate? Well usually hardwoods come from broad-leafed trees and softwoods are associated with fir trees.

Popular hardwoods used in DIY and construction projects include mahogany, birch, ash, oak, and teak. Oak is synonymous with furniture manufacturing and is a popular choice material amongst professional carpenters & joiners for floors, doors and timber frame construction. Oak is incredibly tough wood and for that reason would not popular choice for novice DIY enthusiasts. Ash on the other hand is hard, strong and elastic, which is why it is extensively used for handles, sports equipment. Ash veneers (thin sheets of wood bonded together for strength) are widely used in the manufacture of office furniture. Birch veneers would be popular in the manufacture of residential furniture, musical instruments. Teak is hard and durable and closely associated with furniture, doors and window frames. As our knowledge and awareness of the importance of sustaining our natural resources, iroko being a more sustainable resource has largely replaced teak. Mahogany the quintessential timber choice with its red brown hues used so extensively in period furniture including dining suites, cabinets and ....

Of the soft woods, pine because of its durable nature, fast growing and relatively inexpensive is without doubt ubiquitous in use. It is commonly used and closely associated with diverse product categories including furniture, window frames, panelling, flooring etc. Spruce is to be found in garden furniture, decking, and musical instruments. Larch because of its hardwearing and water resistant qualities is another popular softwood choice used in the making of fence posts, boat building, and structural cladding.

Finally remember wood is available in a range of sizes and formats (boards, planks, sheets etc) to suit particular applications. So understanding the qualities of the various woods available will hopefully assist you through the woods and trees to making the right choice.

Autor: Owen Chubb Owen Chubb
Level: Platinum
Author is owner/manager of established and award winning garden design and landscaping company based in Dublin, Ireland. The company offers residential & commercial clients a ... ...

The author is principal of OWEN CHUBB GARDEN LANDSCAPES LIMITED, an established and award winning garden landscaping company based in Dublin, Ireland. The company offers clients a complete landscaping service including Garden Design, Construction & Planting

For more information about company and inspiring aspects of landscaping, visit:

Added: March 22, 2009

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Backyard Shed Plans - Building a Backyard Shed is Easy With the Right Plans

There are many benefits to using backyard shed plans to build a storage unit for your home. In fact, is you use the right set of prints, you can save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in the process, and get the satisfaction that the job is done correctly. Additionally, most property values will actually increase with the additional storage and functionality of a backyard storage shed.

So the question is -what are the best backyard shed plans? To help you succeed in building your own unit, follow these simple tips when selecting your prints:

  • A good set of backyard shed plans will include more than just the drawings for the structure. Make sure the plans also come with complete step by step instructions to supplement the drawings so it is clear what your process is
  • Is a complete set of building materials and specifications included? It is important to clearly understand what materials are needed so you are not left guessing as to what fasteners and brackets will be needed to ensure a stable, sturdy structure
  • Are just drawings included, or are there are blueprints involved? Many times, trying to duplicate a sketch is difficult to do. Your backyard shed plans should also include detailed blueprints so each dimension is clearly listed. The best case is your prints are available in sections, so you can easily build one section at a time.

Follow these tips in selecting your backyard shed plans and you will be on your way to building a storage unit that you can use for years to come.

Autor: B. Barnes

Some of the best backyard utility shed plans that include step by step instructions, drawings, materials and more are provided by Master Shed Plans. For more information on these easy to use prints, visit

Added: March 21, 2009

Friday, March 20, 2009

Home Barn Renovation Maintenance Tips

Barns are a hallmark of the American landscape. They are a very well recognized and much loved structures that are all representative of the farms and America's love of the heartland. They are also built to be very strong structures and as such are able to stand up for a long time, and mark passing architectural styles in barn construction. It is necessary to do some maintenance on your home's barn however and there are some tips you can follow to make it a little simpler. You should also appreciate the natural history in the building enough so that you reuse as much as you can and keep the barn as close to the original state as possible.

There are a few guidelines to follow when you are taking on the challenge of restoring a barn. These ideas are simple and application is a snap, and the work will probably not be near as daunting as you will think, and you will be able to use your barn in the manner for which it was built.

The floor of your barn will probably be one of the most needy sections in terms of renovations or repairs. The older the barn and the more animals that are living in them typically determines the shape of the floor of your barn. A leak in the roof can lead to a hole in the floor. Decay to the beams in the floor are also very common. These can be very dangerous problems so you should be very mindful of keeping this maintenance current.

The electrical and mechanical systems in a home barn should be regularly maintained. If you have just bought the property and have just gotten the barn, you should have had this inspected before your purchase, and tend to all the problems immediately. These are very useful tools in barn so you should take very good care of your electrical system and mechanical maintenance.

Also, the outside of the barn, including the roof and exterior walls should be repaired and maintained routinely. Good paint is the best tool you have to keep the wood protected from the outdoor elements.

The very first thing you should do when considering your barn renovation is to make sure you have a well devised plan and available budget to accomplish your goals. It is important to do adequate research and either learn how to take care of the barn yourself or find people who are particularly skilled at barn renovations. Even if you don't actually have them do all the work, if you are new to barn maintenance, it may be a good idea to hire a consultant to aid you in your renovation.

Autor: Neil Wenk

Being especially passionate about how to sharpen a knife, Neil Wenk is editing plenty of detailed reports on this specific matter. You can discover his work on knife sharpening kit over at and different sources for knife sharpening kit knowledge

Added: March 20, 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wood Staining Basics

Wood finishing usually includes staining the wood in some way. There are five main reasons why you should apply some sort of stain to wood.

1. The color harmony of the woodwork with the furnishings of a home requires staining. This is because wood in its natural tones on furniture from tables and chairs to end tables and wood fireplace inserts does not usually harmonize well with textiles and the colors of the walls. Changing a garish, unpleasant color to a softer more attractive one that will take a place in a color scheme is an important reason for staining.

2. You can often obtain greater beauty in a particular article by applying stain. Sometimes you can achieve this by changing an inferior or cheap wood to make it look like an expensive, beautiful one, such as imitation mahogany finish on birch through staining.

The coloring obtained through the stain may bring out unsuspected qualities and beauty in the wood itself, by accentuating contrasts and bringing before the eye attractive natural characteristics which are not emphasized in the unstained material.

The reaction of the stain upon flakes or cells of the medullary rays, its effect upon the mass of wood fibers, and its greater absorption by the open pores or broken cell cavities, are all elements of great surprise that are very interesting and vary with different kinds of wood.

3. Staining often tones down natural wood colors that are displeasing to the eye. Sometimes only one part of a rail needs to be changed in color, such as in staining a streak or edge of sapwood to match the general color of the rest of the wooden bar rails

4. Sometimes you may resort to staining as a way of giving new wood an aged effect, as in weathered oak.

5. You can get greater durability in the wood, when it has been or will be exposed to the elements of the weather by the use of preservative stains made with creosote oil. No other finish is applied over creosote-stains. Oil-stains, if they contain certain quantities of drying-oils such as linseed-oil, will protect or preserve wood through the varnishlike film which is left as a covering after the oil has dried.

What is wood staining?

Wood finishers are beginning to give a very definite and narrow meaning to the word "staining," and, at present, generally exclude all materials that add an opaque pigment to the surface, calling
such coatings, which remain largely or partly upon or outside the surface, paints, lacquers, or enamels.

With this exclusion in mind, staining is a changing of hue or tone which is due to a chemical reaction or to the application of a liquid that enters to some extent into the interior, and with coloring matter changes the color of a layer of wood near the surface of the portico, ornamental pediment, or wood surface while still allowing the grain with its different cell arrangements to be seen clearly.

Staining should leave a transparent effect instead of obscuring the surface with opaque material such as pigments. The coloring-matter in stains should be in a thoroughly dissolved condition, instead of being in a turbid muddy paste, when it is applied to the wood.

Autor: Allison Ryan

Allison Ryan is a freelance marketing writer from San Diego, CA. She specializes in do-it-yourself home improvement, such as staining of wooden bar rails or ornamental pediment. For the best in the hardwood moulding industry, check out

Added: March 18, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

How To Repair Damaged Drywall Yourself

Drywall that has been well finished looks good and there's no denying it. I have been in the home improvement business for almost a quarter of a century and I am regarded as a fine finisher and drywall repair man in some circles, but I must admit I can always appreciate fine walls and ceilings that have been masterfully taped and finished. In my opinion it is a beautiful sight and I'm not above giving credit to other fine craftsmen that deliver good quality work.

But this article focus is to help the novice; the inexperience homeowner who wants to repair their own damaged walls/ceilings themselves. And I'm confident you can do it because I'm living proof that taping and finishing drywall/sheetrock can be accomplished by practically any one. All you need is good information (which I will provide) and the willingness to implement it. That's all. Hiring a contractor to repair your damaged walls/ceilings can become quite expensive to say the least, but with practice and the will to get the job done, you can do a fine job yourself and be proud of your own work. And not only that but you can save yourself a bundle of money over time too!

The most important aspect of repairing drywall/sheetrock is having the patience to do it correctly. When I first started out I couldn't get it right for the life of me. It was really embarrassing--I was fired from three jobs! I had to fight back the tears and I walked around with my head hung down for a long time and although it's been nearly twenty-five years ago, I still remember the pain and disappointment that I suffered. But you don't have to endure that because I'm going to instruct you on how not to do what I did. I'm going to walk you through it step by step to help you achieve quality results. And the great part about it is that it won't cost you a single penny and you will not be embarrassed about your failed attempts either. All I ask of you is that you be committed to the task and give it your very best; after all, I'm going to give you my best in hopes of helping you to repair your home and restore it to its former grandeur and beauty. So welcome aboard and off we go.

Stress lines, mapping lines, crevices, cracks, small holes, dents and busted drywall/sheetrock can cause agonizing headaches for most homeowners. But most of these problems can be corrected and alleviated by homeowners and novices alike. For starters you need to take a good look at the damage area and see what category it falls under. If your walls or ceilings are showing signs of stress lines or mapping lines here's how you should address it.

Stress and Mapping Lines
Stress lines/mapping lines are small little lines that look like lines on a map, thus we get the name mapping lines. It looks much like a map with various routes shown from one point to another. Now stress lines do indeed look almost identical to mapping lines except they are usually cause by foundation problems; which is no reason to push the panic bottom because not all stress lines are an indication that your foundation is crumbling to the ground. Stress lines are more of an indication that your house is still settling, that's all; and stress/mapping lines are the easiest to repair.

Generally speaking, stress/mapping lines are very small hair line cracks and many are less than a 1/32 of inch deep and even less in width, but they can run the length of your walls/ceilings creating an unsightly presence. Fortunately, they are the easiest ones to repair. First of all I like to clean the area on the walls/ceilings that need work and by all means make sure your work area is safe from all hazards that could cause an accident.

You will need a material list, albeit a short one but nevertheless a material list. You need a box of joint compound or sheetrock mud as it is known throughout the trade. A box of all purpose joint compound is a very good product to work with. There are a number of other joint compounds that are available on the market such as taping compounds and lightweight finishing compounds that are designed to do specific jobs better and more effectively, as well as fast drying powder mix setting compounds that dries very very quickly, but can prove to be very difficult to work with. I will mention more about these later on in this article.

You will need a roll of drywall tape to cover the stress/mapping lines. Drywall tapes comes in two types:

(1) paper tape that is made out of a strong paper that is applied over the stress/mapping lines and
(2) fiberglass mesh tape that is alkaline resistant and is highly recommended for use on plaster repairs, as well as drywall/sheetrock repairs.
Both are very good but I prefer using the paper type in almost all situations; especially the kind of paper tape that has the crease down the middle of it (fiberglass tape does not).

You will need a drywall tray to hold the mud in. Trays come in various lengths: 12", 14", 16", 18" and even up to 24". But a twelve inch tray will be sufficient. The trays usually comes in two types: plastic and stainless steel. You can use the plastic type if you prefer or if your budget will only allow it, but I prefer the stainless steel tray and I have about eight of them for my own personal use, but I have used the plastic ones before and they can get the job done. You will need at least three different size drywall knives to work with.

a) Taping knife:
you will need one tapping knife to put the joint compound/mud on the wall/ceiling as well as embedding the tape into the mud. Your tapping knife should be a 4", or 5", or even 6" knife. Either one will be good for taping, but find out which one is more comfortable for you to use and choose that one. There's no need to purchase all three unless you want to. I must own at least thirty different knives: 2", 3", 4", 6", 8", 10", 12", 14" and 18", and I have several knives that are the same size and type, but you really don't need all of that to do a really neat job; all you need is a few good knives for taping, bedding and finishing. That's all.

b) Bedding knife:
after the tape has been placed in the joint compound/mud, once it dries you are ready to apply the second application of joint compound/mud. This is generally done with an 8" or 10" knife. I would recommend that you use a 10" knife but if space dictates that you can not then by all means use a smaller knife. But if possible use a 10 " knife for bedding the tape down.

c) Floating knife:
Finally for your finish application use a 12" inch knife for floating out the repair area. A good twelve inch knife is the cornerstone for finishing in my book. As I stated earlier you can use a 14", 18" or even wider blade for floating out joints but the 12" should prove to be sufficient.

d) Sanding tools:
you will need a hand sander and a pole sander for your ceilings and for giving you leverage when sanding your walls as well. I don't recommend using power sanders or electrical sanders at this point, they can open up a can of worms for the young novice. However, you will need drywall sanding paper to fit your sanding tools and all of this can be purchased at your local hardware store and improvement centers.

As a reminder, be sure and follow all safety rules and guide lines when it comes to using all tools and equipment. Follow manufacturers' instructions and wear all safety gear to avoid injuries and accidents.

There are many contractors who prefer not to use tape when repairing hairline cracks like stress lines and mapping lines, but I have found out through trial and error that if you do not cover the lines with tape the lines are going to's just a matter of time. And not only that but they might very well continue to spread even further causing more unsightly problems. That is why I use and highly recommend that you use tape to cover the lines as oppose to just covering it with drywall joint compound/mud. That is the way (tape) to cover up the problem once and for all...unless there really is a much more serious underlying problem that must be addressed and rectified immediately.

After applying tape into the joint compound/mud make sure you have adequately removed all the excess joint compound/mud from beneath the tape. You should have a real tight bond between the tape and stress/mapping lines it is covering. Note: I did not say remove all the mud from underneath the tape--no, I simply said remove all the excess mud from beneath the tape after you have pressed the tape into the joint compound/mud that covers the lines...that's it. After it has dried apply a second application of joint compound/mud this time using a 10" drywall knife.

This step is often referred to as "bedding down" the tape. The purpose of this step is to hide the tape into the mud. You want the tape to be thoroughly covered and well hidden, but you want it to be as smooth as you can possibly make it. You want it to blend in as oppose to standing out with the rest of the walls/ceilings. After the joint compound has dried you should sand the edges if they have a build up. If you sand the whole joint be careful not to sand away the mud that is covering the tape and by all means try not to sand the tape. But if you do just go back and repeat that step all over's just a learning process

The final step of the drywall repair process--repairing stress/mapping lines is floating out the joint or repair area. Using a 12" knife try spreading the mud as smoothly as you can over the repaired surface. This may prove to be awkward at first but don't give up and don't become disillusion because things are not turning out so good; just keep in mind that this is a highly skill craft and it takes a lot of practice to do a good job--bar none.

Repairing hair line cracks is a very good start for novices and it's good to become acquainted with repairing drywall but now we are going out to catch bigger fish in the ocean. Repairing large cracks, crevices and holes will prove to be more challenging to say the least, but I do it all the time and so can you. You will employ the same techniques and basic fundamentals as you used and developed while repairing stress/mapping lines. But with larger damaged areas you might have to replace the drywall/sheetrock as part of your repair work; so let's get started.

Large Cracks and Crevices:
Cracks and crevices that are one inch and wider I consider and classify them as large cracks. Crevices are areas that have been gouged out or dug out for one reason or another. Accidents do happen and drywall/sheetrock can get damaged from day to day living. But you can do a really neat repair job yourself and save some real good money... and here's how.

Large cracks and crevices should first be cleaned out. Remove all the crumbling drywall pieces and make sure the area is free from dirt, debris and other surfactants that could hamper your repair job. Once the area has been cleaned you are ready to apply the joint compound. but before you do I want to take a moment and elaborate on the drywall setting compounds that I mention earlier in this article. Setting compounds unlike drying compounds (all purpose joint compound) have chemicals added in it to speed up the drying time and they almost always come in powder form that must be mixed by you. These setting compounds are often referred to in the industry as "hot mud" because of their ability to dry so quickly. There are 20 minute setting compounds that hardens in twenty minutes, that is, from the time you add water to it the clock starts. Forty-five minute setting compounds; ninety minute setting compounds are available at most hardware and improvement centers. I have even heard of setting compounds that dries in less than five minutes...but I personally have never used it. The twenty minute setting compound usually give me a pretty good run for my money. It took me a while to get use to it and it still presents a challenge today.

But the setting compounds have proved immensely good for my drywall repair business. You see, it really is a sought of plaster that dries hard and tough. It is sandable but it can prove to be somewhat difficult. I normally buy the sandable version of setting compound but it is still something to deal with. And I often keep a heat gun nearby so that after it hardens I can use the heat gun to dry it out enough for sanding. As I stated earlier it gets hard according to the time it is supposed to get hard but hard is not dry, therefore I use the heating gun to dry it completely and that allows me to sand it immediately.

After the cracks/crevices are ready the first thing I do is fill them with the setting compound and then I place the tape over the cracks/crevices. Following the same techniques as I described for repairing stress/mapping lines I remove all excess compound and make sure the tape is securely fitted over the cracks/crevices. I prefer using paper tape as I stated above but you can use fiber glass type or some of the many varieties that they sale for this particular purpose. After the initial application has been done and have dried I then bed down the tape with a second application of the same setting compound that I used to tape it.

After the second application has dried you may need to sand it to smooth out the edges and to make it flat. You want to try and avoid that raised look. The idea is to give the illusion that the drywall/sheetrock hasn't been disturbed at all. So be sure and sand it as smoothly as humanly possible...without damaging the drywall/sheetrock.

And the final application is the floating of the repaired area with a 12" drywall knife, just as we did before when we were finishing the stress/mapping lines repair. At this stage of the process I prefer not to use the setting compound that I used to tape and bed the tape. Instead, to float out the repair area I prefer to use regular all purpose joint compound slightly diluted with water to make it a little easier to spread. You don't have to do it this way but this is usually how I close it out. The key is to find out what works best for you.

If you have followed closely the instructions and directions I have given you through out this article then you should be ready to tackle the big job and do it admirably. Repairing large holes in drywall usually involves another dimension of drywall repair that to this point have not been mention. Some holes are so large that using tape to cover it like you would a line crack in is not an option. And for holes like this (3" and wider) you must fill the whole or patch with drywall/sheetrock. It's really not hard to do at all. If you have done a good job finishing then this should be a piece of cake for you. I like to think of this as a precursor to drywall/sheetrock installation, at least this is the way it progressed for me.

You will need some extra drywall/sheetrock on hand to implement the repairs, but if you do not have any on hand you can pick up a drywall/sheetrock panel from your local home improvement center and just use what you need and if possible save the rest for a later repair--believe me there will be more repairs. But before you begin cutting the drywall/sheetrock panel measure the size of the hole in question; measure the length and width of it. Use those measurements to cut out a piece from the drywall/sheetrock that you just purchased or found in the old basement. When you are cutting out the new piece try to cut the piece just a little smaller than the actual size of the repair so that you can fit the new piece securely into the area that is being repaired. If you have a drywall rasp you can sand the edges of the newly cut out piece thus making your fit even better, if you don't have a rasp just use drywall sandpaper to smooth out the rough edges-- that's good enough.

Now you will probably need some type of backing to keep the cut piece from falling through the hole.If it is a small hole you can simply screw a drywall in the middle of the cut piece and hold it with the opposite hand that you are installing with; then quickly apply some setting compound that will hold it in place until it dries. Or you can place a piece of wood through the whole and insert a couple of screws to hold it in place. This will be a sought of backing that will help keep the newly cut drywall/sheetrock patch from just falling through. Quickly apply the all purpose joint compound or setting compound over the patch piece then apply the drywall tape and be careful not to apply to much pressure because you could accidentally push the repair piece through the hole even though it has backing, so be careful and handle with care.

The procedures are the same for repairing and finishing stress/mapping lines, repairing cracks and crevices, as it is for repairing drywall/sheetrock with large holes in it. The only difference is with large holes you must replace damaged drywall/sheetrock with new drywall/sheetrock. After you have taped the newly installed drywall/sheetrock piece now you are ready to apply the second application of setting compound or all purpose joint compound, depending on what you have chosen to use. And finally after the bed application you are ready to apply your finish coat. As I stated earlier I prefer to use a setting compound for taping and bedding and regular joint compound slightly thinned down with water for my final application, but you can do it the way you want to. And if it takes four of five applications and plenty of sanding in between then that's okay too. Just take your time and do the best you can do and you will succeed. Good luck to you.

Autor: Don R Thomas

Donald Thomas is owner and CEO of AMERICAN PAINTING AND PRESSURE CLEANING, INC. He has been in the home improvement business since 1984. Please feel free to visit our website for more full length feature articles and a lot of great tools and equipment.

Added: March 17, 2009

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Wood Finishing and Painting

Changes in the art of wood-finishing has come about through the rapid progress in the development of quick-drying, very permanent, nitrocellulose lacquers which are new finishes derived from the realm of magic and mystery. Present-day lacquers contain varnish-gums in addition to nitrocellulose, and dry so quickly that they are practically dust-proof; yet they set slowly enough so that they can be applied with little training by use of either a brush or a spray-gun.

The student wood-finisher in the school, the arts and crafts painter in the home who wishes to refinish old furniture, door toppers, or woodwork, and the professional painter will all find new and helpful hints and much practical information about lacquer and its use.

While it is true that the emphasis has been placed on new materials and processes, mention should be made of the fact that the entire field of wood-finishing, including wood-filling, shellacking, and enameling has changed.

Many microscopic studies have been made of the reaction of various finishes, especially wood-fillers, in the pores of several kinds of wood. Many technical difficulties were encountered in attempts to prepare photomicrographs of wood filler in the pores of wood, but nevertheless some interesting information was secured.

Some new and very valuable paint-pigments, such as lithophone, titanox, and "extenders," such as asbestine, are now used rather extensively in the paint trade since they were developed. For many purposes these new materials can be used to advantage. The person who applies paint at the present time has a wide field to choose from in selecting pigments, extenders, colors, drying-oils, and thinners, and needs information about these materials.

Another very fundamental characteristic of wood-finishing is that it is treated as a science as well as an art. It is for this reason that a rich background of related science is given in connection with the descriptions of the materials and the methods of using them.

The chemical formulas of the substances described are usually given, and some of the chemical and physical reactions of the materials are pointed out for the benefit of the amateur, the apprentice, or the master painter who may lack a thorough scientific background for his trade.

Experts gather information about wood finishing with meticulous care through visits to some of the best paint, varnish, and lacquer factories in the United States in order to obtain up-to-date, reliable information. A very careful study has also been made of the writings of scientists on this subject, on everything from finishing wooden bar rails to wood fireplace inserts.

In the industrial-arts departments of schools, wood-finishing and painting have often been taught in connection with woodworking, but at present there is a strong tendency toward the establishment of separate courses in which the informational aspect of wood-finishing and painting can receive proper attention.

The industrial-arts departments of 30 years ago gave little attention to wood-finishing, and attempts were made to finish articles in dusty woodworking shops; now separate rooms, after the universal practice of industry, will be found in all schools where serious work in wood-finishing is done.

The science and art of wood-finishing can be more clearly understood through a study of wood as a material. There is a book entitled "Wood and Lumber" which can be used to advantage in schools when related information and a scientific background are desired in order to give a more intellectual trend to shop work which may be too largely manual or manipulative to be educational and vocational in the best sense.

Autor: Allison Ryan

Allison Ryan is a freelance marketing writer from San Diego, CA. She specializes in do-it-yourself home improvement from finishing wooden bar rails to custom moulding on window and door toppers. For the best in the hardwood moulding industry, check out

Added: March 15, 2009

Saturday, March 14, 2009

How to Get Ready-Made DIY Solar Panel Blueprints For Home Solar Power Generation

Solar panels have become very popular these days. Many people are making their own solar panels to install on top of their home roofs. A solar panel installed on your rooftop can not only reduce your electricity bills but it can even earn you money from the electricity utilities. I know many people who actually get checks every month from the utilities. Most people who have them at home, don't receive checks every month but its really a great way of drastically reducing your power bills.

Ready-made solar panel blueprints are available which you can use to build your own solar power panel at home. Building one is easy if you have a nice DIY guide full of diagrams. The guide should have complete details so that even a person having no knowledge of electric works and solar panel fabrication is able to fully understand the details. Using the detailed solar panel blueprints, it is very easy to make your own at home and install on top of your roofs. Once you have a good guide and all of your materials, you will be able to create quality panels for less than $200. Learning how to build one yourself will save you lots of money as these are sold for at least $1000. As you can see, learning how to build homemade solar panels yourself can save you a lot of money.

When deciding on a DIY construction guide, look for one that either has pictures as illustrations or videos so that you are able to see clearly what steps you need to take. After reading the guide, you will find it very easy to build a solar power panel yourself. I have built many solar power panels at home myself and have even sold them to various people via the local newspaper classifieds or the local online classifieds.

Find the best DIY Solar Panel Guides here. You can build your own solar power panel at home easily using the detailed instructions given in the solar power generation guides. Even a person having no technical knowledge at all can use these detailed solar panel blueprints to build many solar power panels at home.

You can immediately build it at home and reduce your power bill. Installing a solar panel and a windmill on top of your rooftop are the two methods to drastically reduce your power bills.

Autor: Adam Christensen

See the Top Guides for Solar and Wind Power Generation at home. Easily build a solar panel and a windmill to generate free electricity at home.

Added: March 14, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pole Barn Plans - Which Ones Should You Choose?

If you are looking for pole barn plans, you want to be sure that you choose the ones that best meet your needs. You can build your own pole barn with absolutely no previous experience at doing so, but if you have never built one before then it is crucial that you get pole barn plans that explain the process in a way that anyone can understand it.

Building a pole barn is an extremely simple project. You do not need to be a master builder to create a professional looking structure that will add value many times over to your property. With some good plans and prints, and just a few materials found at your local hardware store, you can build a pole barn with very little investment. It is amazing how great these simple structures look. No one will be able to tell that you built it yourself, although you may find yourself tempted to brag.

Many people think having a pole barn is synonymous with having a farm, but just about anyone can benefit from adding these structures in your own back yard. Do you have items being stored outside that would be better off under a shelter? Are there things in your attic that would be more accessible if they could be reached just by walking out to the barn instead of pulling out the ladder, crawling into the attic, getting insulation everywhere and bumping your head on the rafters? If you answered yes. then building a structure on your own is a viable solution.

Autor: B. Barnes

There are some crucial things to remember when you are searching for pole barn plans. Most importantly, not all pole barn plans are created equal. A good quality pole barn plan won't cost you much at all and it is well worth the small investment due to the headaches it will avoid. Getting an inferior pole barn plan will cost you both time and money. For an excellent resource on pole barn plans, visit

Added: March 12, 2009

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Shed Plans - How Important is it to Choose the Right Ones?

If you would like to build your own shed, then the first thing you are going to need is shed plans. These will tell you what materials you need and what to do in order to get a shed erected in your back yard. The problem is that not all shed plans are created equal. Some will work, some will not. The reason for this is that many times the person who designs the prints does not normally put them to use themselves to test and see if they will actually work when applied. This is not only a problem with shed plans, but in other areas of building as well, an architect will design a house or building that is impossible to build. Why? Because the architect who designs the house has never actually built one in his life, unless you count the tiny models and even then it is just not the same.

So the quality of your shed plans is very important. The plans you choose will be the primary factor in determining how your building will turn out. I prefer to download shed plans online so that I can get instant access and a variety to choose from. These prints are designed by carpenters who have actually built the structures themselves, using the same plans. Yet, they also make them simple and step by step so that even an inexperienced person like myself can build a professional looking structure just by following their lead.

If you are considering building your own shed, I hope that you now understand the importance of finding and selecting shed plans that are made by someone who actually builds sheds and that are easy to read and implement. Anyone can build a shed if they are equipped with the right tools and great shed plans.

Autor: B. Barnes

There are some crucial things to remember when you are looking for shed plans. Most importantly, not all shed plans are created equal. A good quality shed plan won't cost you much at all and it is well worth the small investment due to the headaches it will avoid. For an excellent resource on shed plans, visit

Added: March 10, 2009

Monday, March 9, 2009

How to Build a Shed Without Any Building Experience

How would you like to learn how to build a shed so that you can create your very own storage building in your back yard? Prebuilt storage units can cost thousands and then you also have to pay to have them delivered or moved to your house. Learning how to build a shed can save you money and give you a place to keep your belongings safe and dry all year long.

If you do not already know how to build a shed then you may think you should hire someone else to do the job. But building a shed is not hard at all if you are equipped with good shed plans. Get shed plans that teach you in step by step format that are made for someone who has no prior knowledge on how to build a shed. This will ensure that you are able to understand and apply them.

All of the materials you will need are found at your local home improvement store. All you have to do is take your shed plans, which will tell you the exact materials you need, and go pick them up. Once you have gathered your materials, choose a level piece of ground that is large enough to accommodate the full size of the shed you plan on building. Your shed plans will give you detailed instructions and illustrations on how to build a shed. Follow these instructions to build your own professional looking shed in a matter of a few days.

Once you build your own shed, you may find that it was so easy that you want to do it as a side job for others. Your shed plans that taught you how to build a shed may very well also help you bring in a second income, if you use them to build sheds to sell. And because a shed can be built so quickly, you will have no problem doing it in your spare time.

Now that you know how easy it is to learn how to build a shed, why not start on one this weekend? It would be a fun family project and one you will actually be able to see through to completion!

Autor: B. Barnes

Keep in mind, getting clear, easy to follow shed plans is key in learning how to build a shed. Not all shed plans are created equal. A good quality shed plan won't cost you much at all and it is well worth the small investment due to the headaches it will avoid. For an excellent resource on shed plans, visit

Added: March 9, 2009

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Shades - So Many Stores, So Many Options

Once the decision to go out and buy roller shades, cellular shades or bamboo shades has been made, whether it is for the home or the workplace, all the particulars about the product and how it is to be used should be taken into consideration. Consideration should be given if all the window treatments, in this case shades, should be the same or different and what potential consequences may occur, the type of retailer the consumer should choose for the particular window shade type and how the decision will impact the space where they are to be installed.

Over time, paint stores have added additional products such as wall decor, flooring, wall paper and other accessories. Some paint stores have also added window treatment products yet their main product line and knowledge base remains in the paint industry. Initially, one would think that it makes sense that a retailer who is involved in the design of living/working spaces should/could also get involved in other products which are also integrally a part of the act of designing yet it is very important for the consumer to deal with retailers who are fully versed on all the products offered for sale and are also able to educate the consumer on their use and benefits. Window treatments such as roller shades and bamboo shades must be fabricated to exact tolerances and knowledge of their operation and installation may perhaps be best left to a retailer who only specializes in window treatments.

Shades, as in bamboo shades and other types of window treatments, are also found for sale in hardware stores and home centers which sell thousands of other products which are carried in inventory and sold off the shelf. When choosing shades or other types of window treatments, one must always remember that the highest quality and the proper fit will always be found in custom made shades and blinds and not in ready made products which are then cut down to size. These ready made products are mostly made overseas using high speed production methods without special attention to specific dimensions and detail and with lower quality components. Ready made shades emphasize price over quality.

In addition to paint stores and general merchandise centers, another source of window shades is interior designers. And although interior designers normally offer a home service which includes measuring and installation services, their large product offerings are oftentimes directed to a specific product offering which could exclude the full selection of products and are geared to provide the greatest profit margin for the designer. Additionally, the so called "free" service is an expense overhead which must be recovered if one is to operate a profitable business and thus included in the cost of the product. Oftentimes installation is offered as "free" yet its cost must somehow be covered in the total sale for as we know - nobody works for free.

Internet retailers are a good source for shades and all types of window treatments, including roller shades and bamboo shades. An Internet retailer will not offer free home service, measuring or installation, but reputable Internet retailers, who are conscious of the consumers' needs and seek repeat business and recommendations, do offer instructions on how to measure and install their shades as part of their website services in addition to a full collection of their products. Internet retailers' products are most likely custom made for a perfect fit thus ensuring a perfect fit by simply following the installation instructions. The greatest benefit to consumers when shopping on line comes in the way of money savings due to the reduced overhead Internet retailers enjoy which are passed on to the online shoppers.

In summary, window shades should not be purchased in the same way as buying a pair of pants or a dress. Detailed attention should be paid to color, style, fit, quality, operation, installation, and warranty and customer service after the sale. Partnering with a good retailer may be valuable in the future.

Autor: Judith Persit Judith Persit
Level: Platinum
Judith Persit has only been writing professionally for a few years. However, she is a real expert when it comes to home decor and the ... ...

To learn about Judith Persit, or her bamboo shades, consider a visit to her site which, as a quality web retailer, specializes in shades.

Added: March 8, 2009

Friday, March 6, 2009

Do Not Build a Chicken Coop Without This 1 Critical Step

The first step to building a chicken coop is planning properly. There are many common errors when building a chicken coop. Here are some tips to help you avoid those mistakes and begin enjoying the benefits of raising chickens!

The very first thing to determine is how many chickens and hens will this coop house? The most common mistake is building a coop too small. The rule of thumb is generally that there should be 4 square feet per bird. So if you plan on having 4 birds you should have a coop at least 4' x 4'. Some say it can be smaller but for healthy chickens and the best eggs, building a bigger coop is better if you have the room.

The other thing to consider in relation to the size and design when building your chicken coop is your own access! You will want easy access to clean, collect eggs, feed, and water.

Now that you have the size of the chicken coop, where are you going to put it? You cannot simply build a chicken coop wherever you have room. Your chicken coop should be in a high place to avoid puddling or flooding due to rain or even cleaning. One hint on this subject might be to build your chicken coop with a very slight slant in the floor as well as the roof for proper drainage. No one wants to deal with a damp, cranky chicken!

You want to build a chicken coop where the windows face the south. Yes, when you build your chicken coop, you need windows for proper ventilation. With the windows of your coop facing south, it will allow for cooling ventilation in the summers and will help to keep warmth in during the winters. Depending on the climate where you are building your chicken coop, you may want to use slider windows in a cooler climate. For a warmer climate, you may be able to get away with using wire netting, chicken wire, mesh, etc.

Now that your chickens will be protected from the elements inside the chicken coop you have built, it is important to protect them from predators. You should give the chickens ample room to move but you need to create a perimeter around your coop with chicken wire fencing that is buried into the ground 12 inches and above ground about 4 feet high. This will keep other animals from burrowing underneath or getting over the fence. Some chicken coops are built with wire over the top of the fencing as well to protect from hawks or owls. These steps will not only help with the chickens safety but also from diseases spread by other animals.

There you have it build a chicken coop and can start enjoying bountiful fresh eggs and experience the rewards of raising chickens in your own backyard!

Autor: Kendall Jackson
Added: March 6, 2009

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Technological Advances in Wood Blinds

It is often said that life is a circle and that what goes around comes around and wood blinds are not different in their journey throughout history. From the times of America's early settlers to the days of moon exploration and including all historic eras in between, the need to fashionably cover windows has always been ever present. Even as we watch old fashioned movies where the atmosphere was filled with suspense, beautiful ladies and daring men, the wood blind seemed to always be just around the corner performing its ever welcome function of controlling the incoming exterior light while at the same time providing the desired privacy and adding a touch of specific decor to the ambience.

As the world's population grew and humans demanded technological advances in all fields, man saw an opportunity to not only create new demands for new products but also a way to increase their personal riches thus improving the quality of life for those with a little ingenuity. Those who decided that light control and privacy were issues which affected us all began to improve on the then available forms of window treatment in order to achieve success over others in the same field. There is strong evidence that this competitive process started early on dating back to the days pharaohs and perhaps much earlier.

The early horizontal wood blinds were relatively archaic whenever compared to their modern cousins, especially in the way they operate as they originally lacked the features and benefits found in the market today. Its present ability to raise, lower and tilt to a desired position in order to achieve a certain appearance or precisely control the amount of light and/or privacy is due to the development of unique components which were not incorporated until years of evolution.

Technological advances in all fields of human evolutionary process have also positively affected the functionality of wood blinds. The operational capabilities of wood blinds have superbly improved over time specially in the last twenty years with the use of components such as cord tilters instead of wands which allow the end user to simply pull on a cord and tilt the blind at a very specific angle to meet the needs of particular moments. The same can be said regarding the lifting mechanisms which are now an integral part of all wood blinds. The so called cord locks also allow for precise and effortless lowering and raising of blinds in addition to the selection of an exact height point.

As an example of the aforementioned, the modern cord locks now incorporated as an integral part in most wood blinds has completely eliminated the need to tie the cord to an unsightly cleat or any other type of tie down mechanism thus improving the decorative look wood blinds.

In addition to the previously mentioned technological advances in wood blind components, the evolutionary process continues on as competition within the window treatment industry marches on in search for the acceptance of one product over others. One recent development in the horizontal wood blind product line is the ability to perform all the functions of lifting, raising and tilting with a single continuous cord which in addition to adding to the aesthetics of the wood blind in a very pleasing and welcome way, it eases the manual operation of the product to a single pulling action on the part of the user. This is another example of a technological advance as part of the natural evolutionary process.

In addition to the advances in components that have modernized the wood blind over time, the availability of specially milled and treated wood deserves a special recognition as a major contributor to the popularity of the modern wood blind. The fabrication process of the wood slat for window treatment purposes is another fine demonstration of the advancement this industry has experience in the recent past. The precision methods used in the fabrication of the wood slat and the use of specially designed paints and stains which resist the tormenting effect of UV rays from the sun, have expanded the acceptance of the wood blind as a product of choice and its use in all types of weather and settings.

Part of the evolutionary process was the use of aluminum slats for horizontal blinds and the consideration of some of the benefits that the use of aluminum may offer such as lighter weight, resistance to discoloration, warpage, etc. However, it became obvious that the aluminum blind did not offer the aesthetic advantage so much desired by the consumer and aluminum also had the tendency to absorb the sun's radiant heat and transfer it into the room. Also aluminum slats can be easily bent or damaged. However, a certain demand does exist for the aluminum horizontal blind and therefore it is available.

In summary, the modern horizontal wood blind is a product packed with technological advances achieved over a long period of time that transcends of eras and adds a unique and complimentary look to almost any setting.

Autor: Judith Persit Judith Persit
Level: Platinum
Judith Persit has only been writing professionally for a few years. However, she is a real expert when it comes to home decor and the ... ...

Wood blinds are modern and attractive. To learn more about wood blinds, make a visit to the store on the web where Judith Persit is an qualified interior decorator. There, you can learn about many kinds of blinds available at her website.

Added: March 5, 2009

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

How to Bird Proof Your Boat!

You have gathered your friends and family together for a day on the water on your boat. All are excited with anticipation of a day on the open seas...only to arrive at the dock and see a boat covered in bird poop. Sound familiar? Each year boat owners spend countless hours and hundreds of dollars cleaning up after pest birds. Pest birds such as Gulls, Cormorants, Pelicans and even Pigeons will not only leave behind their feces, but can damage boat parts.

Pest birds are attracted to the elevated areas of boats such as the top of masts, on spreaders, and on the riggings. From these perches they will leave behind their droppings and debris. Bird feces can eat away at boat finishes, cause stains on canvas and carry over 60 known diseases.

So what can be done to keep pest birds off of your boat? The most effective way to keep them off is to make it difficult for them to land. Here are some methods of deterring pest birds from different areas of your boats.

Biminis or Canvas:

Birds love to use your canvas covers as an area to roost, eat their catch or just relax . There are several products available to keep birds from landing on your canvas covers. There is the Bird Spider and a Solar Bird Repeller that work to keep pest birds from landing on flat surfaces. The Bird Spider has eight stainless steel "arms" that move with the breeze that deter birds from landing. The birds see the movement and move on to a more suitable spot to land. The Bird Spiders are available to cover a 2', 4', 6', and 8' diameter area.

The Solar Bird Repeller sweeps birds continually in a 5' diameter. It is solar powered to operate in dark conditions. Both products are ideal for use on Biminis and canvas covers.

Masts, Spreaders & Riggings:

Masts, Spreaders, riggings, boat railings and even Radar antennae make ideal roosting perches for marine pest birds. The easiest and most effective way to keep these areas clear of pest birds is to make it impossible for them to land. Stainless Steel Bird Spikes or the Bird Spiders work well on these areas. It is important to protect these areas even before pest birds become a big problem, once birds take up residence on your boat, it will be much more difficult to get them off.

The Bird Spikes can be used on masts, spreaders, riggings and even the Radar Antennae. It is easy to apply using zip ties to secure, then when you want to use the boat simply remove the spikes and you are on your way. It is much faster than having to clean up poop every time you want to cruise.

The Bird Spiders also work very well on masts, spreaders and railings. You can install the Bird Spiders using one of the optional bases to just about any area of your boat. The stainless steel "Arms" moving in the breeze will deter even the largest of sea birds such as pelicans. As with the Bird Spikes, you just simply remove and store the bird spiders when you are ready to use your boat. Both choices are economical to use, and easy to install. It sure beats cleaning poop!

For any bird proof system to be successful you must first do a good cleanup of the area, removing all of the debris left behind by the pest birds. It is also important to try to bird proof your boat before you have a large bird control problem. Prevention is important when it comes to boats and marinas, you are not there all of the time, so you just do not know when a bird control problem begins. It is best to stop it before it starts.

Autor: Fran Prisco Fran Prisco
Level: Basic
Fran Prisco has been in the bird control industry for over eight years now. She is involved with product development, sales and service. She has ... ...

Need help to get rid of pest birds? Contact Bird-B-Gone, Inc. the experts in bird control solutions since 1992. Call today 1-800-392-6915 or visit us at

Added: March 3, 2009

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Steel Sheds - Hints For Assembly

As with any DIY home improvement, a few hints or tips can go a long way towards making the project a roaring success. Building a steel shed starts just as any other building project would. Steel sheds are built from the bottom up. In this case, the bottom meaning the pad or foundation. Pouring a concrete slab is a bit too strenuous a job for most homeowners. It is recommended that you hire a masonry contractor for this part of your building endeavor. Still, there are a few things you will want to do in this phase, in order to make the actual assembly of your steel shed go more smoothly.

Steel Sheds Start From the Ground Up

First, be sure the earth beneath the steel shed's location is free of tree roots and graded fairly smoothly. Next, place several layers of visqueen plastic on the graded earth. Make sure your contractor uses a line level in building his forms. After the concrete is poured, hand your contractor lengths of eight inch threaded rod to be placed in the concrete on spots marking the corners of your new building. This will make anchoring the building far more simple than drilling through the concrete afterward. After a well deserved break of letting the concrete pad dry, your steel shed is ready for the next stage.

Extra Fasteners Help with Assembly of Steel Sheds

Assuming your concrete pad has been given a week to thoroughly dry, you are now ready to begin assembly. Steel sheds arrive in prepackaged kits. Presumably with all of the hardware and cladding included. Invariably, the kits are lacking the correct number of fasteners. Further, the fasteners provided are often of inferior quality and a bit too universal in size. Visit the hardware store and purchase a wide assortment of lengths and diameters of nuts, bolts and self-tapping screws. When assembling steel sheds, often, the pre-drilled holes do not perfectly align and having a slightly longer and narrower bolt will allow you to pull components together.

When assembling large sections of steel sheds, remember to leave all of the nuts, bolts or sheet metal screws being used not fully tightened (a little loose) until all of the pieces are basically in place. This will allow you to give a wall or roof section a bit of a twist and make sure all of the screw holes properly lineup. Once aligned, you can quickly tighten the fasteners for that section.

Caulk Roof Seams on Steel Sheds While Assembling

Finally, most of the kits created for steel sheds use interlocking roof panels. These use a folded sheet metal hooking design that, in theory, is meant to prevent forced rain from leaking through. A bead of latex caulk run on the inside of the bend, before hooking the following panel will completely guarantee that no force of storm can cause your new metal roof to leak. Finally step back and admire your beautiful new steel shed.

Autor: Rodney Hathaway Rodney Hathaway
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A recent English Literature and Journalism graduate looking to move into freelance writing as it is a passion of mine. Part time inventor and i ... ...

Ready to Purchase Steel Sheds? Contact Three Counties Buildings
3CB (Three Counties Buildings) is one of the United Kingdom's major suppliers steel sheds and buildings serving requirements for both industrial and domestic uses. 3CB designs, supplies and installs steel frame buildings, mezzanine flooring systems and industrial racking for both commercial and home use.
To learn more about their steel sheds, buildings and other construction products, contact (+44) 0870 850 2035 or visit
Rodney Hathaway
Mr Steel Buildings

Added: March 1, 2009