Thursday, December 31, 2009

How Do You Build a Shed Ramp For a Lawn Mower? Easier Than You Might Think

If your shed is elevated, you know that you need a ramp, especially if you have a riding lawn mower. But how do you build a shed ramp for a lawn mower? It's not as hard as you might think. While you could go and buy an expensive metal ramp, a wooden one can be just as safe and much cheaper.

First, you need to figure out how much wood you need. Your ramp should be at least 12 inches wider than your lawn mower. It also should slope no more than three inches per vertical foot. This means that for every three inches your shed is off the ground, you need at least one foot of ramp. Calculate the width and length you need your ramp to be.

Once you have the dimensions, you can then figure out how many support beams you need. Your ramp is going to be made from a frame of 4" X 4" pressure treated wood set no more than 12 inches apart and covered with " plywood. These dimensions are important as you want your ramp to be sturdy enough to support both you and a 400 pound lawn mower! To make the ramp even stronger, place the beams nine or even six inches apart.

Get your beams and lay them out on the ground, no more than 12 inches apart. The length should be slightly longer than the length you want your ramp to be. Picking one up, mark the angle at which it hits the ground, then cut off that end. You also may want to adjust the other end, depending on how you will attach the ramp to the shed. Make each of the beams level.

Attach the plywood to the top of the beams. Over top of that, you may want to put a layer of nonstick rubber matting. This will help you avoid accidents when the weather gets wet or icy. If you want to get fancy, you can attach molding to the sides. This will help you avoid rolling off the sides of your ramp.

Autor: Todd Albright

If you're interested in plans for shed ramps, as well as plans for just about any woodworking project you can think of, please visit Best Shed Plans. Not only can you learn how to build a ramp, you can learn how to make just about anything, from sheds to dog houses to jewelry boxes. It's a resource every man or woman should have.

Added: December 31, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

How to Carry Out DIY Walls and Ceiling Plastering Cost Effectively and Successfully

Undertaking a DIY walls and ceiling plastering project for your home is a great way to give your house a new look as well as save up on costs incurred by hiring contractors. Apart from adding elegance to your home, plastering it will also act as a thermal barrier and help in maintaining room temperatures efficiently and cost effectively.

Before you start the process of applying plaster it is very important to understand the whole procedure by reading up about the essential steps of plastering in order to ensure a successful and clean finish. Being organized and well prepared with all the necessary equipments is also very important for a successful DY walls and ceiling plastering project. The following sections contain a list of guidelines to assist home owners in carrying out DIY walls and ceiling plastering project successfully and efficiently:

1. Get familiar with the procedure - The first step is to research the internet and read up about the process of DIY walls and ceiling plastering in order to have a sound idea of the procedure.
2. Buy the raw material and tools - Pick up all the raw material to make the plaster as well as the tools such as the mixing bucket, trowels etc. There is also DIY ready to mix plaster available in the market which can be very convenient and easy to apply
3. Use the help of other family members - While carrying out DIY walls and ceiling plastering getting the help of another family member can ease the process as well as make the task more enjoyable.
4. Cover the ground area - Before you begin plastering make sure that all the furniture as well as the flooring is fully covered. This will help you in decreasing your cleaning work later.
5. Organize equipments - Now organize all your equipments before mixing the plaster as the plaster starts hardening quickly.
6. Make a smooth mix - It is advisable to use cold water and a spacious bucket to make the mix. Ensuring that the mix has a smooth texture and is free of lumps will help you in giving a smooth finish to your home.
7. Apply the coats - Once the mix is ready use your trowel to apply an even coat. If you are using gypsum plaster you will have to use two coats.
8. Clean up after the process - Clean up all your equipments as well as your living area before the plaster hardens and become stubborn.

Autor: Melanie Hogeveen

So if you are thinking of taking up DIY Walls And Ceiling plastering project use the above mentioned instructions for a smooth finish and a fresh looking home. For more tips and insights please visit

Added: December 29, 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009

How to Get Solar Panels Cheap

Now you've probably come to this article because you have seen the advantage of solar power but you may have also noticed the rather large price tag attached to this technology. This why i am writing this article to tell you how you can get them cheaper.

So much is a retail system?

To get a decent retail system for your home your most likely looking at paying in excess of $10,000. This is a lot of money to invest, especially if your still not sure about solar power, this is likely to put you off.

So the answer you've been waiting for how do you get a solar panel cheaper?

Well the answer is to build your own. Now don't be scared off by this. Before I built my own solar panels I had no experience in building, electricity or solar power. But I was able to build my solar panel fairly easily with a little help form a guide book.

Now I don't have the space to guide you through the process in this article so I'll just give you a little guidance.

If you do a search around the internet your likely to find some instructional guides to build solar panels. But not all of them are all that great. Your likely to find some that are targeted to people who already have some experience so while you can understand the concept you still will not know how to actually build the panel. Others your likely to find are just scams, like so many products out on the internet.

Autor: Chris Snaba

I would recommend visiting this page for more info on building your own solar panels

Added: December 28, 2009

Saturday, December 26, 2009

DIY Projects Are Not Guaranteed to Save You Money

Do it yourself projects are always expected to save you money, although this is not always the case. However, not every one considers whether such action will increase the value of the home at the same time. If your do it yourself skills are not up to a reasonable standard, you could end up reducing your home's value. We'll take a look at some projects that are virtually guaranteed to increase the value of your home, and build your self esteem too!

We have all probably heard those tales of do it yourself repair men or women who try to save themselves some money by doing the job themselves, only to have to call in the experts when things go horribly wrong. Of course this ends up costing a lot more, as the job is now a much bigger task. Not only does this result in more expense, but a lot of wasted time too. If you are not a handy man or woman, take a little advice, and leave the repairs to the experts. It will save you a lot of time and worries, and you can be confident that the job is done properly - provided you chose the serviceman carefully!

Now, it isn't just a case of doing a decent looking job, you need to make sure that all repair jobs are solid and do not reduce the value of your home. For example, if you decide to replace all the windows in your home, and to do the job yourself, then the work that you do will have no guarantee. If you then sell your home, the new owners have no one to help them should there be a problem with the installation after a year or two. However, if you go with a professional company, then their work will be covered by maybe a ten year warranty, so that if there is a problem within that time period, they will complete repairs as necessary without charge. This guarantee is very worthwhile for a new owner, and gives them a great deal of assurance, rather than being told that the windows are all new, but there is no guarantee on that work!

Now obviously there are plenty of jobs that diy experts can tackle themselves that should not reduce the home's value, but it is something to keep in mind in the future. DIY jobs like installing shelving units or cabinets in the garage should work out well, and provided the doors close as they should, then it should present a tidier garage, and perhaps add a little bit to the home's value.

There is one project that is getting a lot of attention in England right now, and that is the installation of diy conservatories. In years gone by, conservatories were glass buildings used to grow exotic plants and flowers, but over the years, their use has changed, and many family homes have now added these to their existing home. This addition has then added value to their home, because it has given the home an extra room, and we all know how important extra rooms or spaces are.

The neat thing about these do it yourself conservatories is that they are pre-built in the factory, to specific sizes, and with the building materials that you choose. They are then shipped to your home, and you can put the conservatory together yourself, or get a local builder to do this for you. This is at a much reduced price that would be charged if you had the builder start from scratch and build an addition to your home, and the results are quite amazing.

This is one project that does almost certainly increase the value of the home, by providing an extra room. Obviously, there needs to be a check into whether you need a building permit where you live - these are not required in the UK at the moment, but there are various restrictions on the dimensions and so on! - before you order your pre-built conservatory. The design of the room is up to you, but the manufacturing companies give you a lot of choice, so that you can blend the additional room into the style of the existing home. You can choose the type of window frames and windows you want, single glazed, double glazed, a tiled roof or a glass one, the options are many and varied.

Once you have chosen your diy conservatory, then you an arrange for delivery, and with your local builder, unless you are skilled at building and are going to put the pieces together yourself. In this case, you need to make sure that you are capable of doing this, and that the instructions are detailed about how you even start this.

Obviously, choosing a reputable company is important before you commit to purchasing your diy conservatory, and check that they have a service department too, just in case you need some questions answered in a hurry. But you should be able to increase the value of your home nicely by adding a diy conservatory to your existing home, without having to spend a fortune on building it or having it built for you. Once it is completed, you will enjoy having that extra space available, because we always need more space, right?

A DIY bathroom shuffle on the other hand may not add more value to your home, and if you are doing things like moving water pipes around, there is a lot of risk that something could go wrong. Unless you are a very competent plumber, then you should leave this to the experts, but even though you might love the idea of moving the wash basin and perhaps the shower, do be aware that this is unlikely to add to the value of the home. As long as all necessary parts of the bathroom are present, then moving them around probably will not add to the value of your home. Your bathroom might work more efficiently, but to someone interested in buying your house, it is how it is now that is important, not how much you spent to get it that way that is important.

You can add a little value to your home by improving your garage, so that it is more appealing and not just a catch-all for everything! There are some great floor coverings now that will improve the look of your garage, and make it feel a little warmer on the feet. Some of the coverings have channels to collect vehicle fluids so that you don't slip on them, and by covering the concrete base, the garage will seem that much warmer. Putting shelves or cabinets can present a much more organized space, and a much nicer garage to look at than one that is cluttered with all sorts of different things lying around. But do be aware that these upgrades to your garage may not add greatly to the value of your home, not like a DIY conservatory would.

So, before you plan your next do it yourself project, decide whether it really is something that you can tackle yourself to save a little money, and whether it is something that will add value to your home, or perhaps it is just for your enjoyment.

Autor: Stephen A Jackson

Steve Jackson knows only too well that do it yourself projects do not always work out as planned, and they do not always add value to your home either! However, there are some diy projects that will add value, so take a look at for more ideas on do it yourself jobs.

Added: December 27, 2009

Friday, December 25, 2009

Choosing Garden Shed Plans and Blueprints For Food Storage Needs

debt As many people can tell you, financial independence relies on much more than just staying out of and holding jobs in industries considered to be safe and stable. Financial independence also means being prepared for any direction the economy might take, from expansion to recession. This preparation looks different for every family, but one thing that is similar is the creation of large vegetable gardens, which are used to create food storage. If this sounds like a good idea to you, as it does to many, many families who don't want to rely on the economy, then your first step toward that goal should be garden shed plans and blueprints.

The need for a shed is nearly as strong as the need for the garden itself. Garden sheds are generally located very close to the garden, and are used for storing not only garden utensils, but preserved food as well. A hand built garden shed has many advantage over a purchased one, especially when it comes to food storage. A shed built with high quality garden shed plans and blueprints can be as safe and insulated as your home, while providing a large, safe space for storing foods grown and canned in the fall months.

Before choosing any blueprints, however, you'll want to check your city's building codes, to see if you need a building permit before putting up a garden shed. Also, if you are part of a homeowner's association, you'll need to check their rules and regulations as well. Once that is done, you can go ahead and choose your shed plans and blueprints. When using a shed for food storage, there are a few specific things you'll want to look for when purchasing plans.

First, you'll want to look for plans that include a complete materials list, as well as cut charts and easy to follow instructions. After that, look for garden shed plans and blueprints that include solid floors and doors. In fact, it's a good idea to look for sheds that offer many of the qualities of a real home, since the things being stored in your garden shed will need to be protected as well as if they were in your actual home. By following these tips, you'll be well on your way to choosing a garden shed that will be perfectly suited for your food storage needs.

Autor: Debra Cousins

Who else wants over 12,000 shed plans from small birdhouses to large outdoor sheds? - Download Shed Plans. Its all about the preparation and getting all your materials ready and following a set of plans and blueprints. Follow this link to get your free plans

Added: December 25, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Shed Building

In this article I am going to give you some shed building tips that you can really benefit from if you are interested in building your own shed.

Building your own shed can save you literally thousands of dollars then if you were to pay someone else to do it for you. There is nothing more satisfying then standing back and looking at a completed project, and knowing that you built it with your own two hands.

Most people seem to think that building their own project like a shed for example, is too difficult or way out of there league. The fact is anyone can do it and believe it or not, it is actually very easy to do if you are willing to put the time and effort into it.

The first thing you want to make sure you do if you have decided that you would like to build your own shed, is to get in contact with your local council and make sure that there is no special guidelines or regulations that need to be followed. This is a very important step as you could end up dismantling your project which would have been a complete waste of time and money.

The next thing you need to do is choose a design and plan that suits you. Make sure it is a fairly basic design that you are capable of achieving. The easiest and cheapest way of finding a good plan, is by browsing on the internet as there are many free plans created even for complete newbie's who have never built anything in there life.

I recommend doing a lot of research on sheds before beginning your project otherwise it can turn into a complete nightmare. Another great way to get some help is by asking your family and friends if they can give you a hand, many hands make light work.

I built my very first shed by myself and could not believe how easy it really was even when I had never done anything like that before in my life.

Autor: Venessa Jane

If you would like to find out more information on Shed Building, then you should definately check this site out as it will give you some very useful tips;

Added: December 24, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Homemade Greenhouse - Do it Yourself Self Sufficiency

My vegetable gardening takes place in a homemade greenhouse near the house, and one just a stone's throw away. I've been known to engage in vegetable gardening outside, but with Wyoming's wind, hail and rabbit population, we're much better off under the protection of ripstop woven poly.

When I think about building these gardening structures, I can't help but think it's most certainly a statement of do it yourself self sufficiency.

The greenhouses aren't difficult to build, and they save me lots of money over the price of a kit. That's important to me because I practice frugal living. I try to make the most of my hard earned money.

I have no doubt that these gardening structures won't win any awards for engineering or good looks, but they grow vegetables very well, and I've never heard any of the vegetables complain about their accommodations. And, that's the main point - provide an environment conducive to growing vegetables.

For those of us who have looked carefully at the more "sexy" greenhouse kits, we've seen that they cost plenty of money. Some can run up as high as $20,000. Fancy greenhouses like that belong at the community botanical gardens or local arboretum. For my estate in the country I just need something that will work well and stand up to the high winds out here.

The main reasons I've settled on building homemade greenhouses are:

  • it's a fraction of the cost of a kit
  • parts are available from the local home improvement store
  • it can be entirely my design
  • I can make it as sturdy as I need to
  • scrap and recycled materials can be put to good use
  • outbuildings can be converted

Even if you buy a less expensive greenhouse kit, you still have to do it yourself when it comes to building the thing, so you might as well do the design work too. Creating something like this from scratch can be very satisfying.

And, when you get a tremendous bounty of vegetables - even year round - that's your real reward!

If you're looking for more detailed information about the purpose and function of a greenhouse, I invite you to take a look at this what is a greenhouse discussion.

Autor: Clair Schwan

Clair Schwan is a greenhouse gardener, frugal living enthusiast, and an individual who believes in the benefits of do it yourself projects. He designed and built his greenhouses with no previous experience, and they have been wonderful providers of produce. See his adventures in building homemade greenhouses at where he has converted an old shop to better use, and built two other greenhouses out of steel tubing.

Added: December 22, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

How to Carry Out a Home DIY Painting Project Successfully

If you are on a home improvement project undertaking DIY painting for your walls can bring out some very effective results and give your home a beautiful facelift. Painting your home by yourself can save up a lot of money and make the whole project very enjoyable and rewarding especially if you can get other members of your family involved in the task.

While doing a DIY painting project for your home it is very important to choose colors that will compliment the style and utility of each room. It is also advisable to ask all your family members about their preferred shades so that you can bring in a personal touch to your house as well. Carrying out the whole task in an organized way is the key to a clean and successful painting project. Listed below is a step by step guideline to take up DIY painting for your home successfully:

1. Decide suitable colors - Choosing a suitable color for your walls is the most important part of DIY painting. Bright and vibrant colors are ideal for nurseries and living rooms while pastel shades are suitable for bedrooms as they give a soothing effect. If you have a narrow hallway it is always better to opt for a lighter shade which would make the room look more airy and spacious.

2. Pick up quality emulsions - While picking up your paints ensure that it is of good quality. There are a numerous stores that sell exclusive emulsions for DIY painting which allow you to get your own shade as well as choose between a gloss and a matt finish.

3. Purchase DIY painting tools - Invest in quality tools in order to do a clean and smooth job. When picking up rollers purchase a big as well as a small one which can be used in the corners and bottoms of the walls. Apart from rollers, you would need paint buckets, thinner and masking tape.

4. Prepare the room - While undertaking painting for your home paint one room at a time by removing all the furniture and covering boards and frames with masking tape. Also ensure that you are wearing loose and comfortable clothes.

5. Clean the walls - Use a wet sponge to clean the walls and allow them to dry up before painting.

6. Apply even coats - You can either carry out DIY painting onto the plastering or use a primer first. Let the first coat of paint dry up before applying the second one.

Autor: Ron Akins

Once you have finished DIY Painting your walls, clean out your tools as well as the living area as soon as possible to avoid any tough stains. So go ahead and follow the above instructions and give your home a sparkling look by painting it in a suitable and complementary color yourself. For more details please visit

Added: December 21, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Seven Ways to Avoid Home Maintenance Lists From Your Wife

The most popular thing that most people I know, don't want to do is to take care of their yards. The second thing that most people want to avoid doing is home maintenance. Here are seven ways to avoid home maintenance, when it's finally time to do it.

1. Offer to take your wife out to breakfast or lunch, depending on what time of the day it is. If it's early in the morning, it will obviously be breakfast and lunch later on during the day. This often confuses the person in charge of the home maintenance schedule and if it doesn't, maybe it's shopping and the movie.

2. Invite one of their friends over without telling her. You can use this one at least once a month and if your wife has a lot of friends, and you might not ever have to do any home maintenance ever again.

3. Find the list and burn it. This will only work if she has one copy of course. If there are more copies, you might need to hire a private detective. Remember your main goal isn't to do any more work than you have to and if you need to start looking for these lists, you're working and that isn't good.

4. Pretend like you're ready to work, but find a nice quiet place on your property to relax. This might not work well, if you live on a small piece of property, but if you live on a large piece of property, your wife won't be able to find you for quite some time. Never hide in the same place twice.

5. You won't be able to use this one every day, but ask your wife if she wants to do something with the family and if she says no, start laying the guilt trip on her. Tell her that she never does anything with the family, even if she does stuff with the family every day. Remember the goal is to make her feel guilty and for you to get out of your home maintenance repair work.

6. If your wife isn't falling for any of the first five, and you feel like you need to pull out the big guns, here it is. You're going to need to fake being sick. How you do it is up to you, but this one usually works better in the winter time or during flu season than any other time of the year.

7. This is the ultimate way to avoid doing any home maintenance. I saved the best one for last. Hire someone to do the maintenance, so you don't have to. It doesn't get any better than this, unless you don't have any money to hire them of course and if that's the case, you need to find a better job.

I hope you had fun reading my seven ways to avoid home maintenance lists from your wife. Most men that I know have their own list of things that work well. You just need to find your own ways to become a pioneer in home maintenance avoidance.

Autor: Greg Vandenberge

Read this article, especially if you have young children that you care about - Smoke Detector Tips.

Learn More About Your House And Prepare Yourself For Home Damage Repairs.

Thanks For Reading My Articles.

Added: December 19, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Do it Yourself - A Core Part of Self Reliance

One of the core concepts of self reliance is the ability to do it yourself (DIY). Just about anything that you can put the word self in front of has its roots in self reliance.

Think of the things that you can do yourself. The list of DIY tasks and projects is practically limitless. If it's been done, chances are good that you can do it yourself. Here's what I think about when DIY comes to my mind.

  • lawn and garden tasks
  • home improvement projects
  • home maintenance
  • outbuilding construction
  • road maintenance
  • cooking and baking
  • sewing
  • homeschooling
  • fixing things around the house like plumbing
  • painting a room or the outside of the house
  • fabrication of tools and resources
  • car repair and maintenance
The list can go on for quite a ways, mainly based on one's interests, abilities and objectives. So, what are some of the objectives of DIY fans out there? Something is driving us to get involved in doing things for ourselves. I think it's more important to understand our motivation than it is to understand what we're motivated to do. Here's my list of motivational factors:
  • save money
  • get it done now
  • satisfaction through achievement
  • learning something new
  • doing it right
  • doing it my way
  • being more self reliant
  • adventure
  • successfully facing a challenge
Have you ever thought about your list of DIY skills and achievements? Do you know what motivates you? It's clear that no matter how much we might like to do it ourselves, there are limits for each of us, and there are resources required as well. Think of what we need for DIY tasks. Here is just a overview of required resources:
  • skill
  • experience
  • common hand tools
  • power tools
  • equipment
  • guidance
  • supplies
  • raw materials
  • assistance
  • time
These are the big ones. In our rush around world, sometimes the resource we have the least of is time. For me, I have more time than money, so I tend to do things myself.

In any event, do it yourself is a core part of self reliance, and we'll see more of it as people decide to be less dependent and more independent. One of the benefits of being able to do things yourself is that you can teach others to be more self reliant as well.

Autor: Clair Schwan

Clair Schwan is a self made individual who strongly believes in a self directed life. He homesteads on the prairie just outside of Cheyenne, Wyoming with his sweetheart Ellen. With the help of his neighbors, he builds, repairs and maintains just about everything under the sun. And, what he can't do, he learns by doing and watching others. See his adventures in self reliance over at where the motto is, " well, and well within your means..."

Added: December 17, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How to Organize a Cluttered Closet

Everyone's closet needs some help every now and then. With these tips, you should be able to get rid of some junk, categorize like items, and make more efficient use of the space that you do have. Getting your closet organized will help you to get your day off to a positive start and keep your life running more smoothly.

1) Empty the closet. You can use your bed as a staging area. A rolling garment rack is also useful for temporarily holding your items that you don't want wrinkled during the organization process. You can later use the rolling garment rack to store out of season clothing or big coats that won't fit in your bedroom or coat closet.

2) Categorize like items. Pile up t-shirts in one stack, work-out clothes in another, dress shoes in one pile, casual wear in another, you get the picture. Separate everything as much as possible so that you can get an idea of where you'll be headed when you start to figure out what you want to do with your closet. Putting things into piles gives you a good visual to go by so that you can accurately estimate how much room you will need for each item. You may not have realized that you had so many of one thing until you group them together.

3) Get rid of what you can. Bring some garbage bags or boxes into the room and designate them for storage, yard sale, give away, or charity. Only keep out what you really use all of the time. Try not to let your closet become cluttered with storage items. You can store things like clothes that don't fit right now or that are out of season underneath beds, on garment racks, in other closets, or in dressers. Set limits as to what you will allow to be kept in your everyday use closet.

4) If you don't have space for what you have left, consider investing a little money in some shelving or a closet organization system. Sometimes you can get away with some small shelves, a few baskets or bins, and a shoe organization rack. Make use of the vertical space in the closet by using the left and right front corners of the closet for shelves and the back of the door for shoes.

5) You may be able to move the top shelf and bar up higher so that you can add a second bar. This makes a great use of a small space and only costs a few dollars. It's easy to do and only takes a few minutes.

6) Now that you have the room, take a look at your clothes hangers. Do they get bent up or cross over each other in the closet? Cheap hangers can be a bigger problem than you think. Invest a little in some nice cedar hangers or clothes hangers that will last you for a long time. Sturdy hangers will keep your clothes from falling on the floor and also make the closet look great. Once you've updated your hangers, hang your clothes however you would like.

Autor: Ellen Hamm

About the Author: Ellen Hamm is on the staff of Everything Hangers, a leading online resource for the highest quality clothes hangers, including sturdy metal hangers and cedar hangers.

Added: December 16, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

DIY Tabletop Fountain

You are one of the people who rise up to the challenge of creating or making something yourself rather than hiring someone to do something for you. Mr. or Ms. Do It Yourself (DIY), that is you and you are proud of the fact that you are.

Then, maybe, this is the first time that you actually consider making something yourself. Maybe, you are used to the convenience of just buying anything your heart wishes. But hey, there is always a first time, and this time, just maybe, may be a good time.

See, you can be an expert or someone new in DIY craft, but that would not really matter as you will be given detailed instructions on how to make your very own tabletop fountain.

This fountain making tutorial uses a bowl, river rocks for that added natural feel and prepackaged bamboo spout kits, which can be purchased online.

If you want to make a tabletop fountain with bamboo spouts resting on top of the bowl, like the 5 Arm Bamboo Spout, make sure that the water container you use is the right size to fit your bamboo spouts. You do not want the spouts to fall inside the container and that would happen if your container is too wide. Make sure that your container is waterproof and to achieve that, you can line it with a pond liner or apply watertight sealant. Bowls, galvanized buckets, half barrels, or lotus pots can be used as containers.

Your bamboo spout kit should come with a pump. Place the pump inside the container. Make sure that your pump is submerged in water before you plug it in. You can use the river rocks to cover the pump or you can purchase a decorative pump cover like the Frog Pump Cover in Antique White. Try to position the pump in a way that you can easily position the cord along the back part of the bowl or any other container of your choice.

Now, if you want another design, the rocking fountain or also known as the deer scare, may suit your taste. What you do is position the bamboo spout over the bowl, placing it either inside or outside the bowl depending on the size and your preference. Then, strategically place the pump towards the back of your container, fill the bowl with water and plug in the pump. You can use the river rocks as decoration or you may add additional accessories. You can buy the water wheel, which is a really familiar accessory or a figurine or maybe, plants, if your bowl or container is big enough.

If bamboo, though, is not just your style, you can just do away with the spout and simply place the pump in your container for a bubbling effect. A small pond spitter may also be used.

There you go your very own, tabletop water feature. Just helpful tips, make sure that the pump is always submerged in water to prevent damage and do not forget to add a few drops of anti white scale water treatment and anti algae. Go ahead; enjoy the fruit of your labor.

Autor: Kaye Castillo

Added: December 15, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

DIY Platform Bed Plans - Your Best Tool to Build Your Bed Quickly

DIY platform bed plans were very helpful when my son asked me to help him build a bed. I had purchased a set of woodwork plans a while ago for my shed but I didn't realize that I had a lot of bed plans in that package as well. There was several designs of beds, the list of necessary material including all the hardware and material recommendations.

My oldest son moved into his first apartment with his girlfriend. Of course we helped them out and gave them a lot of furniture and her parents did the same. The only thing they didn't have on their list was a bed. They had bought a brand new mattress but they had to put it directly on the floor until they find something. We all did it!

After shopping around for a bed my son asked me if I could help him build one. I taught that it was a good idea and that would save them a lot of money. I remembered the set of plans I purchased the previous year for my shed and I looked into it for bed plans. Of course there was some bed plans, and a lot of them.

I went to my son's house and pulled the plans on is computer. Choosing the bed they wanted was the hardest part of all. They spend all evening looking at all the different designs. I figure I'd come back once they agreed on something. The following week end they had printed out their favorite one out of all the DIY platform bed plans available.

My son and I carefully checked the material list and went to get everything. The total cost of the wood, red oak by the way, and all the hardware cost less than one third of the price of a platform bed already made. We used a sheet of less expensive plywood for the platform and nice wood to go around it and for the head.

It took us a day to put everything together and the next day to sand a little and apply a nice coat of water based varnish. The result was amazing. My son and his girlfriend think their bed is better that the ones they saw in stores and they got it at a fraction of the cost. The whole thing was so worth it, my son asked me if he could borrow my set of woodwork plans to get some ideas for nightstands.

Autor: Tim A. Davis

So to make your life easier making your bed, DIY platform bed plans are the first thing you need. To get ideas, resources and bed plans, go to my page at
It is a lot easier than you think!

Added: December 14, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Woodshop Plans - Why You Need Them and How to Get Tons of Them Cheap

It's no mystery. If you're going to do something right, you have to have a plan. This is especially true if you're into woodworking. Woodworking requires an idea of what it is that you want to make, the materials to make it and the right tools to measure, carve and so forth.

That's where good woodshop plans come in. In order to get your project done right from the beginning you'll need to know exactly what you want done. Using woodshop plans will tell you how to get there and whether you have the skills necessary to take on the task.

For example, before you take on a project, take a look at the materials listed and also take a look at the instructions. Are there a lot of materials listed? Do the instructions seem too complicated? If so, start with a smaller project until you work your way up. Remember, you have to build the foundation before you can start making walls for a house. The same is true for most of your future creations.

You're probably wondering where you can get your hands on some good woodshop plans for cheap. It's really no that difficult. Your local library probably has books on the topic as does your local bookstore. The internet is also a good place to start. Whatever source you choose to find woodshop plans for your future project, make sure it's reputable and that the plans actually work. The last thing you want to do is start a project with incomplete instructions or difficult to understand instructions/diagrams.

Autor: Alex Garay

Find the woodshop plans you need to get started on your next project. We have over 14000 plans you can use right now with videos and easy to read diagrams.

Click here to take a look.

Added: December 13, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Affordable Home Improvements

Some of the least expensive home improvements will spruce up your home, give it a new look or feel, make it appear more spacious our cozy depending upon what look you are going after. Home improvements that require some investment but add interest or value to your home may include cabinetry, spiral stairs, flooring, wall treatments, or landscaping.

If money is tight, you can make changes to your home that simply do not cost a lot of money. Some suggestions include:

  • Rearrange furniture, drapes, and rugs: Thoughtful arrangements include diagonal arrangements of furniture, rugs - or both - that can create a unique focal point in any room. Try pulling your drapes to the side, or using just one gathered in the middle with a tieback.
  • Plants: Greenery can make a huge difference in the appearance of a room! Pull back those drapes; fill a vacant space with different-size plants in pots at different heights. Stack a few on a table or bench behind a sofa that is flat against a wall.
  • Lamp Shades: There are tons of great lampshades to choose from - this is a great way to add color, style, and ambiance that you can change with the seasons if you like!
  • Hit those garage sales! Need we say more? This is a homeowners dream come true when it comes to redecorating on a budget.

If you have a fixer-upper or a 'cozy' abode where space and budget is at a premium, or a fixer-upper so needy that you just don't know where to start, begin with changes that are both visually stimulating and practical. Affordable updates that make your home appear more elegant, spacious and livable can be money in the bank. Some ideas include:

  • Spiral Stairs: Few home improvements make as dramatic a statement - on as reasonable a budget - as spiral stairs can. Perfect for basements, lofts, and small living spaces of all types. Believe it or not, this is an economical, do-it-yourself project.
  • New Cabinet Hardware: Old hardware can date even the most traditional cabinetry. Check with your local furniture refinisher and see if he has anything you might be interested in.
  • Bathtub Liners: These are available in all price ranges - be sure to do your homework and get the best price before you make a decision. Often it's cheaper and easier to have a professional do this one.
With some creativity and careful budgeting, you can explore interior design options and affordable home improvement upgrades that will give your home a much-needed facelift - whether it's a gallon of fresh paint or graceful econo spiral stairs to open up your unused space!

Autor: Pamela Sissons

2009, Pamela Sissons. This article is provided courtesy of Mylen Stairs - - A leader in spiral stair kits & architectural stairs.

This article may be freely published on any website, as long as the author, copyright, website address and link, and this notice are left intact.

Added: December 10, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Photovoltaic Solar Panels

Photovoltaic solar panels use solar cells to convert sunlight directly into electricity. Photovoltaic is abbreviated PV for short. PV is one of two main methods used to make use of solar energy. The other method is known as solar thermal. Solar thermal is used in concentrating solar power plants where electricity is created by using the sun's radiation and heat. The heat created from solar thermal collectors is then used to warm up a fluid that produce steam and in turn moves turbines to generate electricity.

Here is a quick overview of the way a photovoltaic solar panel works:

1. The sunlight strikes the surface of the solar cells.
2. The light knocks loose electrons, creating an electron imbalance.
3. The electrons then flow from the backside of the solar cells to the front side.

This flow of electrons is what we know and use as 'electricity'. Multiple solar cells can be connected in what is known as a 'module'. Multiple modules are created to form an 'array'.

A PV system is suitable for both northern and southern climates since it depends on the amount and intensity of sunlight, not the amount of heat like its' counterparts which make use of the sun's heat. Although the intensity of sunlight does increase as you get closer to the equator, there are many people that get great use from photovoltaic systems in more northern latitudes. Even people in England where it is always rainy and cloudy have created large PV systems that manage to produce enough electricity to supply their entire homes or businesses.

PV systems are very popular for residential solar power. Another great trait about PV systems is that they are 'modular' meaning that you can start with a smaller, basic system and easily add on to it. You may just start with one or two panels and get the main controls setup and then add on more panels a few months down the road as you have more time and money. While you can start off small, you may also create a complete solar energy system right from the beginning if you have the money, time, and will to do so. It will take several PV solar panels to make a complete system large enough to power your entire home.

Another renewable energy source that you may be able to get good use from is wind power. Wind may be a little less predictable than the sun and some areas don't receive enough wind to provide 100% power, but wind power is still a great supplement to solar. The power of sun and wind together can make for a great, clean renewable energy source combination. Even if when you get started with just a few PV panels, you could be producing enough electricity to cut your electric bill by 30% - 40% and that could be a lot of money off your electric bill every month.

If you are searching for a way to design and build your own photovoltaic solar panels then feel free to check out my website, On my site I share with you my personal story and energy struggle as well as several excellent resources for you. I also have done a review of what I believe to be the top 3 DIY solar energy guides currently available online. Good Luck and Go Green!

Autor: Scott G. Young

Scott Young Scott Young describes how solar energy works. Scott is an independent renewable energy contractor and entrepreneur. Scott gives away the resource that he used to learn solar energy basics at his website.

Added: December 8, 2009

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Do it Yourself Solar Power Installation Throughout Your Home

Get started on the road toward a greener future by looking into solar power installation. What I mean is just that: instead of paying for electricity, just make your own solar electricity! It takes just a few hours to set up and your entire house could be running on solar energy. That might seem a bit far-fetched, but that's only if you don't realize the how powerful sunlight can be. You don't need to spend thousands of dollars on 'solar products' to become self-sufficient! In fact, you don't even need a fraction of that.

Solar power installation starts with solar panels. These are those little cells that look kind of like roofing tiles (and oddly enough, some people use them for that) - they're also very cheap. Each solar panel has the capability to take in sunlight and then convert it into electricity that you can use to power everything in your home. Pretty cool, no? Most people think that solar panel installation is a difficult process, but again - it only takes a few hours and a few dollars... if you know what you're doing.

Just don't buy into the belief that you can't power your home with solar electricity or any other alternative source of energy. Lots of people combine multiple sources of energy and never worry about electricity again - solar power and wind power are the most common. That means free electricity for as long as they need it! The only question left is: are you ready to stop paying your electric company and start making your OWN electricity?

Autor: Christina Stafford

To learn how to get your home running on alternative energies such as wind power and solar power, go to Earth 4 Energy. This is the only place I could recommend for someone that is looking to make this huge change to their lifestyle. Click Here now so you don't regret it when you get your next electricity bill!

Added: December 6, 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009

Building Kitchen Cabinets - A Tool Checklist For DIY'ers

So you want to build your own kitchen cabinets? You certainly can do it, but make sure you have all the right equipment. This is a quick overview of the tools you will need.

Tools You Will Need

Circular Saw - Kitchen cabinet casework starts with cutting plywood and panel parts, and you'll need a good circular saw with a plywood cutting blade to accomplish this task. An edge guide will help you make your cuts straight and square. Cutting plywood and panel parts on a table saw is not a good idea, unless you have a table saw set-up with a large outfeed table.

Table Saw - For ripping board stock to make cabinet face frames and cabinet door frames, you'll need an accurate table saw. Many good bench top table saws will be suitable for this process.

Miter Saw - For cutting board stock to length, a good miter saw is required. Cutting board stock to length includes cutting cabinet face frames, cabinet door frames, and all moldings.

Random Orbital Sander - For finishing all casework and board stock, you'll need a random orbital sander with a variety of sandpaper grits.

Cordless Drill - Kitchen cabinets can be assembled using screws. A good 18 volt cordless drill with a backup battery will make your cabinet assembly go smoothly. Please get an extra battery so that you won't lose time waiting for batteries to recharge.

Kreg Jig - The kreg jig offers a system to assemble cabinet face frames with pocket screws. All major cabinet companies build their cabinet face frames with pocket screws - so should you. There is no need to build mortise and tenon joints on your face frames.

Nail Gun - Cabinet installation requires a nail gun for attaching all moldings on your kitchen cabinets.

Some Tools You May Need

Planer - If you decide to mill your own board stock, you'll want to have a planer. This makes sense if you decide to use board stock not commonly available at the home centers - like cherry and alder.

Sprayer - For finishing cabinet doors and face frames, an hvlp sprayer can make staining and finishing a faster process.

Miscellaneous Jigs - If you're using European hinges on your cabinets (cup hole hinges), you'll want a good hinge hole jig. Also, attaching drawer slides inside cabinet casework goes a bit more smoothly with the help of a drawer guide jig.

Building your own kitchen cabinets is a big project. It's a project that most DIY'ers can tackle, but you'll want to have all the right tools to make the project easy to manage and complete. Please consider these tools before you get started.

Autor: Seth Townsend

Seth Townsend is a kitchen designer and cabinetmaker. He writes general interest articles about kitchen design, building kitchen cabinets and tool reviews. His most recent site reviews Makita Table Saws.

Added: December 5, 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Don't Ever Hire Your Friends - Home Repair Nightmares

When I say don't ever hire your friends, I would like to clarify something first. If you enjoy your friendship with these individuals, you might not ever want to hire them. You could find yourself with more problems than you ever imagined.

I have known too many people who hired their friends for some type of home repair or even worse than that, a home remodeling project, only to find out that their friendship wasn't tough enough to make it through the nightmare.

Just imagine this for a moment, you hire your best friends son to do some plumbing work on your home, because they're licensed plumbers and have been in the plumbing business for over 20 years. You know these people personally and have heard nothing but great things about them, so why wouldn't you want to hire them.

Just bear with me for a moment, the plumbing contractor who is your best friends son, has just given you a $14,000 estimate to re-pipe your home. You can't believe your eyes, your neighbor just got their entire house re-piped for $4500. You tell your best friends son that you're not interested in using him and that there are no hard feelings, but the reality is you can't believe what just happened.

You hire the other contractor and there aren't any problems, but in the back of your mind you're still wondering why your best friend's son tried to gouge you. If you're the kind of person who lets every small thing bothered them, make sure that you never even think about hiring one of your friends, but if you're the kind of person who understands that one contractor charges more money than another contractor, you could probably work with one of your friends.

If I was going to give anyone any advice, who was seriously thinking about hiring one of their friends, it would simply be too, treat them like professionals and pretend like they're not your friends, while they're working on your home. I don't want you to ignore these people or mistreat them, just treat them like any other home repair contractor.

The worst thing that you could do is to tell your friends how much money you paid them, over and over again, until they're sick and tired of even coming over to your home. I once knew a guy who went out and bought a brand-new boat after working on one of the apartment complexes that I was remodeling. A couple of the project managers kept referring to his boat as their boat, because they sincerely believe that they overpaid him to install some roof drains.

Sometimes it's better to keep your friendship separate from business.

Autor: Greg Vandenberge

If You're Looking for a Great Contractor, Click on This Link House Construction Repair Contractors

You are free to copy this article to your site as long as you include the following resource information with an active link to my site:

Get some great Intelligent Home Repairs Tips that can make a big difference on any of your home remodeling projects.

Greg Vanden Berge is working on the internet to promote the education for creating simple to follow guides and home building books.

Thanks For Reading My Articles

Added: December 3, 2009

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Two Ways to Solve Exterior Wood Post Problems

If you have a wooden post holding up a section of your home, it would benefit you and your family, to continue reading the rest of this article. If you have any exterior wood posts that are holding up a covered patio, porch or even a wood deck, here's two ways that can help you solve your exterior wood post problems.

1. Make sure that these wood posts never get wet. Now this might not be possible, but you need to make sure that there aren't any landscaping sprinklers, roof gutter drains or anything else that could possibly get your wood posts wet.

2. Have you ever thought about maintaining the wood on a regular basis so that it doesn't rot or become damaged? This seems to be one of the biggest problems for homeowners. It's called home maintenance and it seems like most homeowners would rather pay someone else to fix a damaged wood post, then to protect it from the elements.

Here is a simple news flash for anyone who owns a house, it wouldn't be a bad idea to maintain it on a regular basis. This would include painting, cleaning and possibly inspecting your home when needed.

Let's start with painting. If the paint is peeling off of your house, it's time to paint. If you start to notice any damage to your home, this might also be a sign that it's time to paint. Painting is part of your home maintenance and one of the best ways to protect your house, will be to paint it and keep it clean.

You obviously wouldn't have found any wood post problems if you didn't look for them. It wouldn't be a bad idea, to inspect your home every six months or at least once a year. This could prevent expensive home repairs in the future.

Autor: Greg Vandenberge

If You're Looking for a Great Contractor, Click on This Link Wood Post Repair Contractors

You are free to copy this article to your site as long as you include the following resource information with an active link to my site:

Get some great Wood Post Installation Tips that can make a big difference on any of your home remodeling projects.

Greg Vanden Berge is working on the internet to promote the education for creating simple to follow guides and home building books.

Thanks For Reading My Articles

Added: December 2, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Build a Shed With Pallets

Awhile back my wife tells me I need to do something about the garage. It was just too cluttered and she could no longer get her car in there. I needed a shed but I did not have the extra money to buy one or build on myself. A friend of mine from work suggested I build a shed with pallets.

At first I was like, okay, I live in the country but even that sounded pretty tacky to me. Building a shed with old pallets did not sound like the best idea in the world but my friend said he'd seen it done and we went for a little drive. Low and behold, there it was, a shed built out of scrapped pallets!

And you know what? It looked pretty darn cool. I'm not much for meeting new people but I went up to the door and rang the bell, I had to see this from a closer view.

An old man answered the door and kinda laughed when I asked him if I could take a look at his awesome backyard structure. He said I was not the first person who had asked him that and he led me around back where I could get a good long look at his shed.

I have to admit I was quite impressed. The structure was sound and water proof and he told me he built the whole thing for about $150. He had used some metal on the roof and some good outdoor primer and paint but the rest was made from pallets he had acquired from a store not far from his house that otherwise may have ended up in a landfill somewhere.

We went inside and he pulled down this old photo album and showed me a bunch of pictures he had taken during the construction. It started out a little strange looking but I thought it was pretty cool and seemed really easy to do.

We went through the whole album and I got a good idea of how I was going to build my own storage shed and finally make the wife happy. I was not sure she would approve of the building materials so I waited until she went to visit her mother for a couple of weeks and then got busy building!

When she got back she was very impressed with my handy work and had no clue what I built my fancy new storage unit out of. I showed her the checkbook and she could not believe how little I had spent... a real bonus if you know what I mean.

If money is tight and storage space is even tighter you might want to do what I did and build a shed out of pallets. It is economical, pretty straight forward and is good for the environment as well. You can't go wrong!

Autor: David Bocock

The author is an expert in turning junk into treasure, much to his wife's chagrin. He enjoys sharing unique ideas that are economical and good for the environment by concentrating on recyclable materials

Added: December 1, 2009