Friday, October 29, 2010

Repair Your Own Tub

Do you have one of those PVC bathtubs that looks great when it is new, but over time dulls to to scratching? Well, there is hope for you.

Get a fine gritted rubbing compound and and rub out those scratches. You finish will be dull at this point. Now go to Walmart and get a scratch remover and rub that in. some of them actually shine up the finish. Now to really shine the finish us a paste car wax. If the scratches are not completely gone they will be greatly diminished.

Let me know how it works for you.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Stain it Fast!

In the home repair business, getting things done quickly is the key to making a profit. However, there are some things that tend to slow a guy down. One of them is staining and finishing wood materials. Have you ever noticed how long it take stain to dry? And the urethane is even worse.

There are a couple of products that will help you to overcome this. Minwax makes a water based stain that dries in minutes. If it is applied on a warm day in the sun, it dries even faster. Then there are also quick drying varnishes with several different sheens. The key to using these is that you must be fast in order to get an even and uniform finish. But you will finish your job hours quicker.... in some instances, days quicker.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Driveway Repair

One of the big issues in Colorado is the soil. Bentonite expands and contracts with moisture content which can cause a lot of damage to homes if the foundation is not properly installed. It also affects our roads causing bulges and dips. One of the most common problems it causes is our sidewalks rise or fall and there is separation between concrete sections.

Separation between concrete section is what I want to deal with in this column. I currently have a gap between my sidewalk and driveway that is about two inches deep and three-quarters inch wide. Here's the fix: 1) fill the gap with dry mortar so the gap is only one inch deep. 2) insert three-quarter inch foam backer rod pushing it down so the top is only one-quarter inch deep. 3) Now install Sicaflex to cover the backer rod and and to fill the gap. It will self level and you will have a nice looking repair.

If you also want to repair hairline cracks that are down in the grooves of you concrete, this is what you do: 1) power wash out all debris. 2) Install grey caulking to cover the crack. Use your finger to remove excess. 3) Install the Sicaflex. You now have a nice looking repair.

Note: Sicaflex comes in a tube like caulking and can be purchased at a Home Depot in the concrete aisle.

Now go to Starbucks, which is where I'm headed right now.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Loose Knob

You might think that I have a loose screw by talking to you about a loose knob. In reality they are one in the same. I'm talking about those little pull knobs attached to the middle of bi-fold closet doors. Every year I repair several of these. Amazingly simple.

The knob is usually loose because the threads are stripped out and the screw no longer tightens it down. The simple fix is to remove the knob (leave the screw sticking through the door) then put a dab of liquid nail on the length of the screw. Push the knob back on until the glue squeezes out, and wipe off the excess glue. Don't use the door until the glue sets. Wallahh! Fixed.

If you want, you can drink a cup of coffee while you watch the glue dry and admire your work. Just kidding. Not!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fix a Sticky Door

Several times I have been called out to place a bid on a new patio door. Most of these doors are sliders and the big issue with them is that they stick. This, of course, causes the door to feel heavy. Most of the time the door does not need to be replaced.... only cleaned and lubricated.

It's time to get the vacuum out. Dirt or the granules off from the roof often get lodged in the bottom track. The sliding screen sticks and the door feel heavy. Vacuum out the bottom track. Then take some teflon oil and spray into the bottom track. Then wipe it out thoroughly. Slide the doors back and forth a few times, then repeat the oiling process. When finished, make sure all the oil is wiped out.

You should now notice that your door slides much easier and smoother. Now if you will just wash the windows and clean off the scuff marks it might look like a new door, too. You just save yourself over $900.00. Take tomorrow off and go fishing.... or..... shopping. Where ever you go I'm sure there is a Starbucks on the way.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Safety First

I have had a rude reminder recently about safety. Just so you know, accidents happen when you don't expect them. Over the years I have had a few accidents while working, here are just a few:

1) Back when I was still working in Green Bay, Wisconsin I stepped down off a deck right on to a nail sticking up through a board. It hurt like the dickens, but not for long thank goodness for ibuprofin. I was able to keep working, but that evening my sock stuck to the bottom of my foot.

2) About 9 years ago I was driving in a stake with a hand mall. I was holding the stake steady with my left hand and swinging with all my might with my right hand. The key to success is to actually hit the stake.... and not your hand. That hurt so bad that I couldn't move my index finger or my thumb. Off to the truck I went for some ibuprofins. I popped six of those suckers. I was back at work in 10 minutes pain free. It never did swell up or be residually sore.

3) About five or six years ago I was building a roof over my daughter's patio. A sharp piece of metal pierced my wrist. Blood all over and I still have the scar. But the job had to go on so out came the bandaids.

4) About four years ago I was finishing my nephew's basement. I had to stand on my tip toes to nail into the floor joists. The pneumatic nailer missed the joist and drove a nail through my hand. So I drove to the clinic and freaked out two receptionists and a nurse. Watching the Doctor work freaked me out, though. Out came the nail, on went the antiseptic, and on went the bandage. And it was back to work again.

5) At the same job I tripped over an air hose, caught myself on my finger tips and bent two fingers on my right hand, straight up. Man that hurt! I quickly grabbed the fingers and yanked them straight. Then I ran for the ibuprofin. Then it was back to work. My fingers were swollen for months.

6) Then there was the time when I lived in Green Bay that I cut my hand really bad. I got my youngest daughter to drive me to emergency where I sat bleeding for a couple of hours. I had enough of that. She took me back home and we bandaged it ourselves taping the wound together. That day I didn't go back to work.

7) Well, just the other day I was using my sawsall. Suddenly my finger hurt like the dickens. I looked at it and saw that I had sawed up under the finger nail of my left index finger. I had my helper bandage it up, took 3 ibuprofins, and went back to work. It bled until late that night. It's still hard to put my hand in my pocket.

So my tip for you today is..... don't hurt yourself. But if you do, at least take the rest of the day off and get yourself a Starbucks. After all, you deserve it.... and you won't get sympathy anyway. They'll just say, "what did you do a stupid thing like that, for?"

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Cleaning a Paint Brush

One of the jobs I hate the most is cleaning a paintbrush. That is why I make it as easy as possible. So one of the first things I do is assess how big the job is and what quality of brush I need.

If the job is small then clean up is relatively easy because the paint is not yet dried and caked on to the brush. Spray a little citrus orange on the brush, let it soak in your sink. Then wash it out.

Other times, depending on the type of job and the quality of brush required, I just throw the brush away. Hey, it's only a $5 brush.

To wash out my high quality brushes that are caked on, I soak them in citrus orange, then use the sprayer in the kitchen sink to rinse them out with tepid water, and use a stiff brush to scrape the paint out. It takes only a few minutes to do this and is worth it if you've spent $20 or more on your brush. But, man, do I ever hate doing it.

Well, after doing all that painting and brush cleaning, you deserve a Starbucks. So go get one. And invite me along.

What's that? How do you clean roller covers? Well, you scrape the excess paint out of them, slip a cheap plastic bag over them, pull them off your roller and throw them in the garbage. There! I just saved you a lot of frustration. That should be worth another Starbucks.