Dressing Up an Archway with Fluted Casing and Rosettes

As my dining room trim work design starts getting underway, my construction strategy is to begin at the edges and work my way into the core of the room. So, near the top of the “start-building-it’” list is framing-out the dining room archway – and I’m planning to use wide fluted casings, rosettes and plinth blocks. […]

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 up from the bathroom faucet […]

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 apply… The Best Season for Tree Planting […]

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 end-vision which you can morph into a […]

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 a year or so before I had a new problem: intermittent […]

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 pieces of furniture tend to take a beating far 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 swings and accessories. I wanted to take my 11-year-old set […]

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 really happened, we were preparing the home for rental in […]