Replacing Kitchen Cabinet Hardware

Sometimes all your kitchen needs for a new look is to replace the hardware on the kitchen cupboards. When you remove the hardware you have, your kitchen will be like a blank canvas, and you can let loose with your imagination. So say you like flowers and already have flower themed wallpaper in place. By using knobs and drawer pulls which are designed in a flower motif, you can then incorporate the flower theme into your cabinets as well. Or perhaps your kitchen is designed with antiques, you can add handles and drawer pulls made from buttons found at an antique shop or flea market.

new-knobsIn addition, installing the new hardware isn’t that difficult. You just need to count how many pulls and knobs you need. You may want to do a recount to make sure you haven’t missed any the first time around though. Then you will need to determine where on the cupboard you’re going to place them. The general rule is that if your cabinet door is on top, then the hardware is placed on the lower inward corner. If it’s a bottom door cupboard, the hardware is placed on the upper inward corner. If you’re replacing hardware on drawers though, then everything is centered. For the holes left behind, you can use wood putty that you gently sand and finish.

Also, make sure you place your hardware correctly so you don’t end up with uneven knobs and pulls. If you’re unsure of the placement, have someone else hold them where you want them so you can see how the knobs look to you. You can also make replica knobs out of tape and line them up on the door. Using your eyes then, as well as measuring, this will ensure where the hardware will end up. Just measuring alone isn’t always a good idea though in case a door is off or one cabinet is higher than the other.

Next, you want to remove all the glassware and items from the cupboard so everything isn’t covered in sawdust. Then carefully mark where the hole is going to be drilled. Drill the holes very carefully and slowly. After the hole is drilled, then insert the screw and attach the knob or pull. Then test it by opening and closing the cabinet door.

As you can see, just by doing something as simple as changing the hardware on your cabinet doors can give your kitchen a new look.

Kids? What’s the Best Countertop for You?

family-kitchenWhen you have kids, finding kitchen countertops which can stand up to the wear and tear is a priority. And while there are many different types of countertops which may answer that demand, below are the best three that are kid friendly also.

  • Laminate Countertops: This a pretty popular choice for countertops because of the variety of colors, the low cost of it and the wide variety of choices. Plus it’s also very kid friendly. Some of the characteristics are that it’s made from a non-porous material so not only won’t viruses and bacteria seep into it for easy wiping; but it cleans up with soap and a sponge or cloth. Additionally it doesn’t stain even if the stains sit for a period of time, and it doesn’t crack or chip easily since it’s impact resistant. Being that it is inexpensive too, you can always install now when the kids are small and then replace it when the kids are gone without wasting your money either.
  • Solid Surface Countertops: A solid surface countertops can be made from Corian or Swanstone which is a tough acrylic material. This type of countertop can come in over a 100 patterns and colors. And being that its kid friendly, you can get a great look and still have durability. It will resist impact, mild heat and staining, but it may scratch. If it does scratch, it can be sanded out easily by your contractor.
  • Granite Countertops: With the new sealants added to granite, you no longer have to worry about spilled juice or the top chipping. When granite is sealed properly, it makes it non-porous and it cleans easily also. Just make sure whatever contractor you use has the experience and know-how to be sealing granite surfaces.

Although the first two countertops can be installed by homeowners, the granite countertops are best installed by a professional contractor. The result will be better and you’ll be happier.

Finding a Leak in an Above Ground Pool

21377318_sYou go outside to take a dip in the swimming pool and notice the water level has dropped overnight 2 inches lower than yesterday. You haven’t had anyone splashing around either, and it hasn’t been that hot, so a possible pool leak crosses your mind. So where do you start to find a leak that you really can’t see because there is no obvious puncture?

Pools plumbing system
The pool plumbing system can be the most common area for a leak in your swimming pool. So by testing the piping into your pool you can see if this is where the leak is coming from. To do this you can pressurize the pipe by putting the pressure up to 20 psi after blocking off the end of the pipe. If you see any leaks, mark where you see them. If it’s leaking at the joint, then take some Teflon tape and put it around the threads of the leaking pipe to seal it. If there’s a crack in the pipe or if it’s corroded though, then that section will need replaced.

Leak in the liner
First thing to do is to walk around the outside of the pool to see if any soil is wet on the outside of the pool. Wet soil is a good indicator of where a leak is. If nothing is showing, then get inside the pool. Check the liner for holes or cracks. You don’t have to drain the pool to do this; simply get as close to the liner as you can and feel for bumps, cracks or holes. Now when you find the leak, squirt food color in the water near the suspected leak. If the leak is in that location, then the food color will disappear into the crack or hole. By using an underwater patch kit, you can repair your leak too. Luckily, a liner in an above ground pool can last up to ten years if it’s taken care of properly.

To close, plumbing can be tricky. If you are unsure, get an expert.

Storage under the Kitchen Sink

bottlesYou have to admit it, the storage area under the kitchen sink is the “catch everything that doesn’t have a place” area which messes up that which belongs under the sink. It’s dark under there though, and sometimes you haven’t even an idea what is hiding out in that area either. So what can you do to improve the situation; plus actually put that storage cabinet area to good use? Below are some ideas to bring that storage area into the light of day:

  • First of all, clean everything out from under the sink and see just what you have in there. You can make three separate piles. One pile to keep under the sink, one pile for things that really shouldn’t be under there which could be dangerous to children or pets and three, a pile of stuff which should be pitched out. This would be anything that’s expired, wet or just plain nasty.
  • Next, throw away everything that’s nasty into the trashcan. Then go to the pile of stuff that shouldn’t be under the sink and find a new home for it. If you decide to keep laundry detergent or furniture polish or items of that nature under your sink though, then installing a childproof lock will keep children and pets safe. That now leaves the items in the third pile which is things you actually want plus use under your sink.
  • At this point, you’ll want some type of storage container, shelves or a Lazy Susan so you have better access to what is going to be stored. Try to find shelves that use the height of your kitchen sink cabinet to its full advantage remembering ease of access. This way when you put something back, it has a real home
  • Another thought too, is to install stick on lights under your counter so you can see what you’re trying to grab.

Organizing under your sink isn’t difficult, but it’s something that does get ignored. With these easy steps; however, you’ll be able to find items under your sink in no time.

The Difference Between Fiberglass and Wood Doors

When trying to decide which type of security door to buy knowing the difference between a fiberglass door and a wood door can be helpful. Both doors can look very much alike in appearance but there are several differences between the two. It’s very important to research and find out which door is the best door for what you want it used for.

entryAppearance
Both wood and fiberglass doors can be refinished, sanded and painted and when finished, it can be difficult to tell which is which. However, a wood door can fade or peel over time and a fiber glass door doesn’t have this problem. However, some people just like the feel of real wood especially when it needs to match trim and other wood areas.

Installation
Installing a wood door is usually a fairly easy process. If the door doesn’t fit it can be cut to fit, planed down or shimmed to fit almost any opening. A fiberglass door can be a little more difficult to work with. The door has to be ordered the exact size to fit. It can’t be planed or sanded down to fit into an opening. Adding hardware or deadbolts are also more difficult to install.

Maintenance
Fiberglass is very strong and it will last longer than wood. Fiberglass won’t bubble, crack or peel. However, a wood door may absorb water and become warped or form bubbles on the door. Also if a wood door isn’t properly maintained, it can rot. Fiberglass doors are hard to scratch and dent plus its energy efficient.

Other comparisons
Other comparisons between the two doors are that fiberglass won’t expand and then contract. This means that when the weather changes, a fiberglass door won’t stick to the door frame and it also won’t allow either hot or cold air to escape outside. Wood doors can move which cause unfinished area to show. The unfinished areas then may crack if exposed to unseasonable weather. These cracks may also allow cold or hot air to go through the cracks.

When choosing either a wood door or a fiberglass door, make your decision wisely for the area that you are deciding on.