Indoor Projects

Replacing a Central Air Conditioner Return Vent Cover

Both central air conditioning return vent covers were smashed. Oddly smashed. I could almost picture a toddler on a Fisher Price trike having a blast … [Read More...]

Outdoor Projects

Phantom Dinnertime Doorbell Ringing

Every few days, right around dinnertime - my doorbell was ringing. And nobody was there. It wasn’t a repetitive ring, or a ring followed by the … [Read More...]

Recent Projects

Replacing a Bathroom Faucet and Drain

It's 6 AM. My daughter bursts into my bedroom shrieking, "The sink exploded and it's not my fault!!" I don't know exactly what's going on, but I'm pretty sure this could be a bad start to the day. I run to the bathroom, and sure enough - water is literally shooting … [Read More...]

Paving an Asphalt Driveway

Surface tree roots and water drainage problems had been slowly killing my asphalt driveway for a number of years, but it was a convoy of construction trucks en route to the backyard that really finished it off. None of the usual asphalt repair quick-fixes could possibly … [Read More...]

Landscape Anchors and Guying To Save My Wind Damaged Spruce

This time it was a perfectly shaped and well-established blue spruce that took the hit. The wind knocked it to an awkward angle, and I could almost certainly pull it the rest of the way down by hand had I wanted. We had to secure this focal landscape tree to save it, … [Read More...]

Tree Planting 101

Spring is upon us in New Jersey (the Garden State), and signs of life are already beginning to stir outside. I've planted many trees over the years, and while everyone has their own techniques, I find there are a few basic rules & principles that always seem to … [Read More...]

Designing the Perfect Deck

My backyard deck is simple, but beautiful. And though it may seem deceiving, a huge amount of design consideration went into it. But how can I call it perfect, though? Well, as I see it, if you start out with some extremely careful thinking and develop a crisp/clear … [Read More...]

My Wireless Waterproof Doorbell Epiphany

What I needed was a waterproof doorbell. All along. Repairing the classic mechanical door chime worked for me – carefully troubleshooting with each of the components: the transformer, the door chime unit and the doorbell push button. But after the repair, it was only … [Read More...]

Paver Walkway Burrowing Pest

A few days back, we noticed a small sliver of stone was missing from our front paver walkway. As I took a closer look at it, I realized there was a hole underneath where the stone had been - and it looked kind of deep. I didn’t want to reach down to see if the stone … [Read More...]

Scratch Repair for Wood Chairs & Rails: 10-Minute Fix

My house has been called "lived-in." And what that phrase seems to really mean is that we're always breaking stuff. The kids, the dog, the ferret -- but probably the biggest breaker-of-things? That would be me.  (And my wife will surely attest to this!) Certain … [Read More...]

Repairing a Backyard Trampoline

Some of the best money I've ever spent has been on our backyard trampoline - the kids love it, they get exercise, fresh air and sunshine, and we've all had a lot of laughs with it. I won't even pretend I don't jump on it myself, though I do try to make sure none of … [Read More...]

To Rehab a Redwood Swing Set

Updated -- Originally Published August 26, 2012 Last year, I wrote about maintenance tips for redwood swing sets - and in that article I mentioned I would soon be rebuilding a good part of my set with fresh manufacturer's redwood along with some new replacement … [Read More...]

Replacing a Central Air Conditioner Return Vent Cover

Both central air conditioning return vent covers were smashed. Oddly smashed. I could almost picture a toddler on a Fisher Price trike having a blast slamming into them repeatedly… because nothing else really seemed to fit the damage I was seeing. But no matter what … [Read More...]

Switching from Mulch to Ground Cover

I love the look of black mulch and I've used it for years to enhance all of my landscaping beds, but it's frankly becoming a bit too much maintenance. And a bit too expensive. I've come to realize, I now have to try to find the perfect ground cover that can slowly take … [Read More...]