LESLIE: Tony in Virginia is on the line with some creaky stairs. Tell us what’s going on.
TONY: Well, I’ve got a 55-year-old ranch house and this time, before we change the carpet, I’d like to try and get some of the creaks out of the stairs that go to the basement.
TONY: And on each step, I’ve put seven 2-inch screws where the – around where the finishing nails were. And then on the back plate, I put six screws. And some of the squeak is definitely better but they’re still very squeaky.
TOM: So, what kind of staircase is it? Is it – do you know your stairs? Is this what’s called a “box stair,” where you have a wide stringer on the side of it that goes all the way down to the basement?
TOM: And so can you get to that face? So could we screw through the stringer, into the edges of the treads to get rid of creaky stairs?
TONY: Boy, that would be tough because it’s a crawlspace. It’s possible but it would be almost heroic to get to that spot.
TOM: OK, I hear you. So here is a way to fix creaky stairs – and you’re going to carpet this, so we really don’t care how pretty this repair that I’m about to tell you to do is, because it’ll be covered by carpet.
But where the treads go into the stringers, what you can do there is on a 45-degree angle, you can pilot first some small holes. And then drive the screws at an angle through the tread, catching as much of the tread meat as you dare and then going through the back of the tread and then into the stringer itself. Because probably where the tread pulls in and out of the stringer is where you’re getting most of your squeak. I’m going to imagine that what you screwed down right now is the attachment between the tread and the risers, because those are more accessible. But we want you to actually – to secure the tread into the stringers on both sides.
So do that sort of by nailing – not nailing but screwing at a 45-degree angle, piloting first. But not with a big pilot: just enough to kind of keep the screw straight. And that will pull the tread down into the stringer and hopefully lock it in place. That plus what you’ve already done, Tony, I think is the best that you can do. You know, wood stairs have a lot of parts to them and they do move as you walk up and down. They will squeak. But if you try to secure those loose treads before you carpet them, I think it’ll make a big difference, OK?
TONY: Thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
From Source Article: moneypit.com
When it comes to decor, lighting is one of the most mood enhancing features you can customize. Everything from the brightness and color of the light, to the fixture holding it and how it’s placed in a space. Having a designated and inviting outdoor space is also one of many affordable elements that can actually increase a home’s resale value in certain areas and a great space for DIY lighting.
However, since most outdoor lighting is electric, you may be wondering if DIY is really doable? It totally is! You can create a beautiful glow in your outdoor living space easily and inexpensively while recycling glass jars and bottles, tin cans, and organic materials. Here are some ways to repurpose those items into rustic chic outdoor lighting!Mason Jar Lighting
What would we do without mason jars? There are hundreds of ways in which mason jars are used in crafts, and dozens of ways in which they are used to light up our outdoor lives. Here is one of the easiest to do and most glamorous DIY lighting ideas.
Mason Jar Candle Holders Apply clear glue to the inside of a mason jar (or any glass jar) with a one-inch brush. Graduate the application: heavier near the bottom of the jar and lighter in the middle. Leave the top quarter of the jar clear. While the glue is still wet, use a spoon to sprinkle glitter apply a transparent fabric onto the jar. You can also use a transparent or thin layer of acrylic paint, such as a clear matte finishing paint. When the material of your choice is dry, insert and light a pillar candle. Place around your patio furniture on tables to create a chic relaxing environment.
Note: Never leave a burning candle unattended. To reuse the jars, soak in water to remove the glue and material; unless painted with transparent acrylic paint.Fill Mason Jars with Fairy Lights
In addition to using candles, fairy lights or solar-powered fairy lights work wonders. Fill any bottles and jars of your choosing and simply place wherever you’d like. By using solar powered lights, you don’t have to worry about batteries. You can also use these outside of your bottle use and wrap them around trees, fences, or any additional furniture pieces.Turn Aluminum Cans into Lanterns
Use any size tin cans and as many as you like (except for cans that were filled with flammable materials). A variety of sizes and shapes makes for a very attractive DIY lighting arrangement. Remove the labels and clean the cans. Use a bit of baking soda on the inside to get rid of any leftover food odor. Fill the cans with water and freeze solid.
Tape a pattern to follow onto the can or release your inner artist with a freehand design. Use a folded towel to cushion the can and keep it stabilized. Put a sharp, narrow nail on the pattern or design and tap gently three or four times with a hammer. Only the tip of the nail should puncture the can. Complete the design in this manner, then punch out two holes on opposite sides of the can near the rim.
When you’ve finished, run the can under hot water and dump out the ice. Make a handle out of 18- to 21-gauge wire, attach it at the holes near the rim and crimp the wire closed with pliers. You can spray paint your tin-can creations or add designs with permanent markers. Insert and light votive candles or tea lights and become mesmerized by the flickering patterns of light. Arrange your handiwork on a patio wall or table, or hang them by the handles.
Note: The candles can get hot. Please place the lanterns on a fire-safe surfaceCreate Art Bottle Trees
Combine two ideas: art and lighting, create an outdoor DIY lighting display that will really add to your backyard ambiance by adding art bottle trees. Using the tree limbs as your base, hang the bottles sporadically along the lower tier of branches. Make sure the string or material used to hang the bottles keeps them at a safe distance from the leaves, if you choose to use candles as your light source.
Place the bottles on bare branches or on the nails and dowels—any color you want, any way you want. Best thing is you can change and rearrange your creation any time you want.
Watch the glass bottles gleam in the sunlight.
You can also create this same idea of hanging bottle art lights across fencing or by hanging it along a wall. Harshness your creativity, your backyard is your own sanctuary, create it as you desire. You can have a bottle bush if you prefer. There is no formula to follow.
The post 4 Ideas for DIY Lighting: Repurpose Bottles and Cans into Outdoor Decor appeared first on The Money Pit.
From Source Article: moneypit.com
Even if they didn’t carry disease, ticks just aren’t something you want to share your summer with. But if you’d like to keep them in place without adding pesticides to your person, there are a number of natural and homemade tick repellents that can do the job, as well as a host of plants that are easy to add to your local landscape and garden. To make your life less inviting to ticks, let’s take a look at these natural approaches, all backed by solid science.Homemade Tick Repellents
Essential oils don’t just smell nice; research shows they can be an effective way of controlling ticks. Just a few of the essential oils that have been demonstrated to be effective against ticks are oregano, rosemary, geranium, cedar, and juniper. In fact, a review of the scientific literature on the subject concluded that essential oils “have the potential to provide efficient, and safer repellents for humans and the environment.”
To put these powerful oils to work for you, mix up a batch of homemade tick repellents and spray using some of your favorite scents. Here’s what you’ll need:Ingredients 2 oz. witch hazel or vodka 1 oz. water 20 drops EACH of any of three of the following essential oils: geranium, lemon eucalyptus, lavender, Virginia cedarwood, and Alaskan cypress Instructions
Pour witch hazel or vodka into a small spray bottle. Carefully add 60 drops of the essential oils. Pour in the ounce of water. Shake well before each use. Some of the essential oils can be irritating to skin, so test in a small area first. If irritation occurs, use only on clothes and shoes. Because essential oils dissipate quickly, reapply every 4 hours.Plants for Tick Control
Just as ticks aren’t fond of certain essential oils, they don’t care for the plants they come from either. There are several attractive tick repelling plants to add to your yard, in garden beds or patio pots. Here are a few favorites:Lavender Photo Credit: pixel2013 / Pixabay
Is there anything the soft blue-purple spikes of this plant can’t do? Besides being beautiful, it’s also touted for its relaxing scent, and it not only repels ticks, but also fleas, mosquitoes, and moths. Lavender likes full sun and well-drained soil. It makes a beautiful sweep of color in a border.Alliums
These relatives of the onion come in many sizes. Chives grow as tidy little bundles, while ornamental alliums can grow flower stalks as tall as 6 feet. What they have in common are puffball blooms, generally purple or pink, that look like something out of Dr. Seuss. The flowers have a faint onion scent that ticks and other bugs avoid.Rosemary
This woody member of the mint family can be grown as a perennial in cold areas if it’s in a protected part of your yard. It also can be grown in a pot, then taken indoors in the fall. Rosemary’s needle-like leaves give off a distinctive fragrance at the slightest brush, and ticks are not a fan.Marigold
These perky ruffled flowers have a scent that lots of bugs don’t like. Ticks avoid them, as well as mosquitoes, flies, aphids, and tomato hornworms. Marigolds are easy-to-grow annuals that make great fillers in flower beds or pots. They don’t do well in soggy soil, so be sure to let it dry out between waterings.Chamomile
Are you noticing a trend here? Lots of fragrant herbs are unappealing to ticks and other bugs. Chamomile is a perennial herb with feathery foliage topped with small daisy-like flowers that are white with a yellow center. The flowers can be dried to make a soothing tea. Chamomile likes partial shade and moderate amounts of water.Sage
Another perennial herb, sage has soft, wide green leaves. It produces spikes of edible purple flowers during the summer. Once it’s established, sage is very easy to grow and can get up to three feet tall. Make sure it has steady amounts of water until it’s growing well. Sage is available in a tricolor variety that makes it a lovely addition to a flower bed.Mint
This perennial herb is best grown in a container. Its vigorous growing habit means it will take over garden beds. If you plan to harvest its serrated leaves for tea or cooking, you’ll find that they are a little less flavorful after it flowers. Don’t be shy about cutting mint back; it will only grow back stronger.
As you can see, there is plenty of help in the plant kingdom to keep ticks at bay. If you’re struggling to stay free of the parasites, combining tick repelling plants with natural homemade tick repellents and get their pesticide-free powers to work for you. You’ve got nothing to lose except troublesome ticks!
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From Source Article: moneypit.com