Anchor Furniture to the Wall and Prevent an Accident

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is recommending that consumers secure TVs and furniture to walls in their home with an anchoring kit. The kit is inexpensive and it takes just 5 minutes to install.

Toddlers are involved in two-thirds of TV and furniture tip-over fatalities. Parents, grandparents and family members in households with young children or homes where young children visit should know that families with toddlers between the ages of 2 to 5 are about 60 percent of child tip-over fatalities.

“Ninety-one percent of furniture tip-over fatalities occur in the home,” says CPSC Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle. The CPSC cites the importance of anchoring furniture and TVs and suggest following their Anchor It! Campaign which you can learn more about at their website www.anchorit.gov.

Here are 6 take-aways to prevent a tip-over incident and protect your child from injury from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
1. Mount flat-screen TVs to the wall or to furniture to prevent them from toppling over.
2. CRT televisions should only be placed on furniture designed to hold a television, and should be anchored to the wall or the TV stand.
3. Secure top-heavy existing furniture with inexpensive anti-tip brackets. New furniture, such as dressers, are sold with anti-tip devices. Install them right away.
4. Remove items that might tempt kids to climb, such as toys and remote controls, from the top of the TV and furniture.
5. Purchase anti-tip devices sold online and in-stores for prices ranging from $5 to $25. Visit your local home improvement, electronic or mass merchandise store to purchase anti-tip devices. An online search for “anti-tip strap” or “anti-tip kit” will result in a variety of purchase options.
6. Install the anti-tip devices according to manufacturer instructions, and always double check the attachment points to make sure the device is secure.

Visit us at www.diyornot.com to learn the cost of home repair and improvement costs and compare doing it yourself with hiring a contractor.

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Live More Outdoors with Lighting

Staying home for a “staycation” instead of going out of town? Think about using some of that fun money in your own backyard and you might get more use of the great outdoors. When friends added some basic landscape lighting they said they never thought of their trees as being such a beautiful part of the landscape. The addition of a few low voltage lights beaming up into the foliage created a lovely view of the leafy cover of the trees that became the focal point of their garden.

When we added path lighting to a garden walkway from the rear of the property to the back door it made for safe-footing and a sense of security when we returned late at night.

In years path homeowners had a few basic black fixtures to choose from but today there’s a  nice selection of outdoor lighting fixtures that complement a landscape.

If you’re considering adding outdoor lighting to your yard wait until it’s dark, give the kids a flashlight and use them as spotters to determine the best location for lighting. A lighting center or home center will give you product information. For inspiration and ideas go to the American Lighting Association at www.alalighting.com. If you add outdoor lighting I bet you’ll spend a lot more time enjoying the evening in your own backyard.

And if you want to know the cost of home improvement projects like lighting, visit us at www.diyornot.com.

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Easy Does It August Home Checklist

Here are 11 checkups and inspections to make your home and property work better and more efficiently in August. These are mainly cleanup and checkups, so nothing major heavy duty or extensive.

Gene and Katie Hamilton
http://www.diyornot.com

  • Replace air conditioner filter
  • Inspect for open joints around windows and caulk
  • Inspect for gaps around doors and thresholds and weatherstrip
  • Vacume coils of refrigerator condenser
  • Turn mattresses and upholstered furniture cushions
  • Sharpen blades of garbage disposer with ice cubes and refreshen with lemon
  • Clean pet area and accessories
  • Make calls to have furnace tune up and heating ducts cleaned
  • Flush whirlpool pump to remove bacteria and mineral build-up
  • Sharpen lawn mower blade
  • Maintain lawn and garden beds by watering, mowing and weeding

Click on these Related Job Costs to compare doing it yourself with hiring out the work.

COST TO CAULK WINDOWS

COST TO WEATHERPROOF A DOOR

COST TO TUNE UP A LAWN MOWER

COST TO RESTORE A LAWN

For hundreds of home improvement and repair job costs visit www.diyornot.com.

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Spray Paint a Garage

A fresh coat of paint can do wonders to change even the most ordinary garage. To make short work of the job, consider spraying on the paint instead of brushing or rolling it. The open expanse of wood siding on a one-story garage is the perfect target for a paint sprayer because there’s little masking needed, often the most time-consuming phase of the job.

Finding a paint contractor for such a small job may be difficult. If you’re successful, they’ll charge almost $1,128 to spray paint a typical one-story, two-car garage, but you can do the job for $125, the cost of the paint and primer and renting an airless sprayer. You’ll also need a paintbrush, wide masking tape, drop cloths, hand scraper, sandpaper, garden hose and ladder.

The project involves preparing the siding, which can be as simple as giving it a quick spray from a garden hose, to scraping and sanding any chipped or damaged surfaces. Lay down drop cloths to protect any shrubbery or plantings around the garage from scraped off paint chips. Protect any trim with wide masking tape, then prime any bare wood or repaired areas. Sand the areas so they’re smooth and you’re ready to paint.

When you’re at the rental center, ask for directions to operate the sprayer, especially the adjustable nozzle.

When you’re choosing an exterior paint color for the siding of a garage or house remember it will appear a shade or two darker or more intense than it appears on the paint chart. A color on a large broad expense of siding is bolder and more vibrant than it is on the small sample.

Find hundreds of improvement job costs and compare doing it yourself with hiring a contractor at www.diyornot.com.

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Keep Your Attic (and Home) Cool with a Ventilator


Limit the use of expensive air conditioning to those dog days of summer and consider installing an attic fan to cool down the house when it’s not so hot. An attic or whole-house fan are designed to work best in the evening when temperatures are at their coolest. Open windows and turn on the fan so that it draws in cool, fresh air and forces it out through attic vents and by morning you’ll be reaching for a blanket. An electrician charges $577 to install a direct-drive attic fan that cools a typical 1,500-square-foot house. This includes the labor and material. A homeowner with electrical and carpentry skills can buy one for $200 and install it, cutting the cost by 65 percent. The project involves some major work: cutting an opening in the ceiling, installing the unit in the opening, hooking up the wires and then adding the louvered cover panel. Timewise, a homeowner can do the job in a long day of work compared with an electrician who can make the installation in half the time.

Follow the fan manufacturer’s directions about wiring the unit into your home’s electrical system and to any switches or controls you choose. For the easiest installation, choose a direct-drive unit that’s designed to fit over the attic floor joists so that you don’t have to cut into them. You’ll find these units sold at home centers and lumberyards. At http://www.airvent.com in the Resources section you’ll find advice and an attic ventilation calculator.

The Home Ventilating Institute suggests how to find the right size for a whole house fan. Walk around the exterior of the house and measure its length times its width to get the total square footage of the house. Let’s say it’s 35 x 40 feet, which equals 1400 square feet. To find the size of whole house fan, multiply the square footage times three. 1400 x 3 = 4200 CFM (cubic feet per minute.) That means, buy a fan whole house fan with a 4200 CFM to effectively cool the house.

To find more DIY and contractor project costs, videos and calculators, visit www.diyornot.com on a laptop, tablet or smartphone.

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4 Easy Yard Fix Ups – Do Now and Enjoy all Summer


Make your property more attractive and enjoyable with these simple repairs. These are no-brainer jobs any homeowner can tackle with a small amount of time, money and energy. Compare the cost of hiring a professional with doing it yourself and you’ll be encouraged to tackle the jobs. Tackle one a weekend and you’ll be done in a month!

Bare spots and patchy clumps of weeds and thatch are an eyesore in any lawn. With a little work over a month’s time you can rejuvenate the area. Compare restoring 100-square-feet of lawn yourself for $215 with hiring a landscaper for $495. Restore a Lawn

Manicuring shrubs and brushes with a routine pruning will keep them healthy, growing and looking good. Pay a gardening service $95 or do it yourself for $45. Prune Trees and Shrubs

Don’t throw away a perfectly good garden hose just because the end is damaged. Replacing a hose head is s a quick fix anyone can do that costs $12 or less compared with buying a new hose for $45. Repair a Garden Hose

You’d be amazed at how cleaning a dirty deck will give it new life. Rent a pressure washer for $130 for the afternoon and do it yourself or pay a service $232 for a 15×20 foot one level deck. Pressure Wash a Deck

For more job costs visit www.diyornot.com.

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Not a Man Cave or She Shed, a Dog Dugout for Your Pet

diy263Some of the most popular home improvement projects on our website have nothing to do with upgrades for the people who live in their home, but everything to do with improvements for the dog of the house. That says a lot about how much we value our favorite family member. Sure, the people in a household are important but they all have a special bond with their dog who is waiting for them when they come home. A dog is usually their best friend so it’s no surprise that building a dog house, a dog kennel and a dog door is something to consider.

At www.diyornot.com you’ll find the cost of hundreds of home improvement jobs. When it comes to the price tag for three popular dog projects, here’s what you’ll find. You can buy a doghouse kit made of cedar components with a raised panel floor for about $120 and assemble it, or you can pay a handyman for the kit and its construction for $325. The kits come with all parts cut to size and all the fasteners required for assembly.

Thinking about a nice dog kennel where your Buster can move around outdoors? A fence contractor will charge $480 to install a 6-by-12-foot gated kennel that’s 6 feet high. You can buy a kennel kit of similar size for $318 and install it and pocket a 33 percent saving.

What about making a dog door so your pet can go out and come in without having someone open and close a door? A pet door is the solution. A handyman will charge $121 to install a good quality-medium size pet door in a wooden door, but you can make the installation for $48, the cost of the unit. It’s a good first-time project for a budding do-it-yourselfer because the tools required are basic and it’s an easy job to accomplish.

If you want to compare the cost of doing a project yourself with hiring a contractor we hope you’ll visit us at www.diyornot.com.

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