Repairs And Home Improvements Repairs And Home Improvements Respective post owners and feed distributors Sun, 24 May 2015 11:18:47 -0700 Feed Informer How To: Build Interior Storm Windows The Craftsman Blog urn:uuid:f239663a-02d5-6d5a-073f-d8cccff4a037 Mon, 13 Jan 2020 05:00:52 -0800 <p>If you want to keep your original windows, gain some comfort this winter and save some money on your energy bills, then building your own DIY interior storm windows is the project for you. It's a simple and inexpensive project that requires minimal tools and time to complete. Check it out and start saving today!</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">How To: Build Interior Storm Windows</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">The Craftsman Blog</a>.</p> <p><img class="alignright size-full wp-image-49897" src="" alt="diy interior storm windows" width="500" height="500" srcset=" 500w, 300w, 150w, 100w" sizes="(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px" />Ever wondered if there was a DIY way to resolve drafty windows in the winter? Well, that&#8217;s exactly what a storm window is designed to do. A couple years ago I created a video about how to build <a href="">DIY Storm Windows</a> for the exterior of your old windows, but I figured the time was right to show you how to build an even easier version for the interior.</p> <p>Just like exterior storm windows there are commercially available interior storm windows made by companies like <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Indow</a> or <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Innerglass</a>. I&#8217;m a big fan of these products, but I know that if you&#8217;re reading this you&#8217;re a pretty handy person who&#8217;s not afraid to get your hands dirty to save some serious money on your heating bill.</p> <p>Making your own interior storm windows is extremely simple and requires only basic carpentry skills. You can watch along with the whole process in the accompanying video below to see it all in action.</p> <p>In this post, I&#8217;ll walk you thru how to measure and put together your own interior storm window so you can stop shivering this winter. Each storm window only costs me about $80 in materials (depending on the size) so the payback in energy savings is huge and immediate rather than falling for <a href="">the replacement window myth</a>. Let&#8217;s get started!</p> <h2>Measuring For Interior Storm Windows</h2> <figure id="attachment_43802" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-43802" style="width: 225px" class="wp-caption alignright"><img class="wp-image-43802 size-full" src="" alt="measuring for storms" width="225" height="300" /><figcaption id="caption-attachment-43802" class="wp-caption-text">Measure 6 places</figcaption></figure> <p>Your interior storm windows need to be installed somewhere in your window well. You&#8217;ll need 3/4&#8243; of unobstructed flat space around your window. If you have a newer house that is likely a recessed section of drywall, and for old houses the best place is usually on top of the interior stops. If you have blinds or shades within the window well you&#8217;ll have to remove or reposition them onto the casing or somewhere out of the way. You may also have some hardware that is in the way of your storm and needs to relocated.</p> <p>Measure the opening in six places just like the drawing here to account for out of square or bowed windows. If you&#8217;ve got an old house like me the chances of having a perfectly square window are virtually zero. The tighter the fit the more energy savings you&#8217;ll get, so measure twice and cut once, right?</p> <p>It&#8217;s helpful to print or make a drawing like the image I have and write your measurements directly on that so you don&#8217;t make and mistakes in transferring measurements later which is one of the easiest mistakes to make. Once you have all your measurements subtract 1/2&#8243; from all your measurements (you&#8217;ll find out why in just a bit). If you have significantly out of square windows then you&#8217;ll need to build your storms to the longest measurements and scribe the shorter areas after the frame is constructed. We&#8217;ll talk about that later.</p> <p>Got your measurements and you&#8217;ve double checked them? Cool, let&#8217;s start building something!</p> <p><iframe class='youtube-player' type='text/html' width='640' height='360' src=';rel=1&#038;fs=1&#038;autohide=2&#038;showsearch=0&#038;showinfo=1&#038;iv_load_policy=1&#038;wmode=transparent' allowfullscreen='true' style='border:0;'></iframe></p> <h2>Building the Frames</h2> <p>You&#8217;ll need a handful of tools and supplies for this project that are easy to find and relatively inexpensive:</p> <h4>Tools &amp; Supplies</h4> <ul> <li>Mitre Saw or mitre box</li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Drill &amp; Driver Combo</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1/2&#8243; Adhesive Felt Roll</a></li> <li>1 sheet of Plexi-glass or Polycarbonate</li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Random Orbit Sander</a> or Sandpaper</li> <li>Wood Screws</li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Flush Window Clips</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Circular Saw</a></li> </ul> <p>I wanted to keep things as simple as possible for these interior storm windows so we&#8217;ll be using <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1 x 2 select pine boards</a>. No need for a table saw to rip them down or make any changes. You can usually find these at any home store like Home Depot or Lowes. These are clean pine with no knots or other imperfections so they will look great even if you decide to leave them unpainted, or you can prime and paint for a more finished appearance.</p> <p>Don&#8217;t be deceived by the name since these are nominal sized boards. The actual dimension for each board is 3/4&#8243; x 1 1/2&#8243;, and this will make the frame for your interior storm window. You&#8217;ll be making a rectangle with mitered corners for the frame and joining them together with pocket hole screws, dowels, or like I do in the video corrugated fasteners. It&#8217;s a very simple design that doesn&#8217;t require complex tools</p> <h3>Step 1 Cut to Length</h3> <p><img class="alignright size-full wp-image-49905" src="" alt="Cutting interior storm window" width="400" height="258" srcset=" 400w, 300w" sizes="(max-width: 400px) 100vw, 400px" />Cut all four sides of your frame at a 45° angle on the ends to where the longest point of the mitre is equal to the longest length you measured (don&#8217;t forget to subtract the 1/2&#8243;). Lay everything out on an assembly table or the floor to make sure it fits properly and the joints are tight. After the frame is assembled we&#8217;ll be trimming off the excess to to accommodate for out of square windows.</p> <h3>Step 2 Assembly</h3> <p><img class="alignright size-full wp-image-49900" src="" alt="assemble interior storm window" width="400" height="222" srcset=" 400w, 300w" sizes="(max-width: 400px) 100vw, 400px" />In the video, I used a corrugated fastener gun to install three 3/8&#8243; fasteners in each corner joint. These hold the frame securely in place and are way faster than any other method I have found. I don&#8217;t like these fasteners for exterior work but for building cabinet doors or interior storm windows they work perfectly.</p> <p>You can also assemble your frame using pocket hole screws like I used in my previous post about building an exterior version of this storm window in <a href="">DIY Storm Windows</a> or any other fasteners you prefer like, mortise and tenon, dominos, dowels, biscuits or something else entirely.</p> <h3>Step 3 Fit and Trim</h3> <p>Give your frame a test fit in the window to see how it fits. If you have some areas that don&#8217;t fit with the expected 1/2&#8243; gap due to the window being bowed or out of square then they&#8217;ll need to be sanded down or ripped down using a circular saw for larger modifications. Once you have a good fit with a 1/2&#8243; gap all around give it a final sanding.</p> <p>This would be the time to prime and paint. You can even stain and varnish it if that will blend in better with your window trim. Whatever you decide just make it look good since you&#8217;ll be staring at it all winter long.</p> <h3>Step 4 Glazing</h3> <p><img class="alignright size-full wp-image-49902" src="" alt="glazing interior storm window" width="400" height="223" srcset=" 400w, 300w" sizes="(max-width: 400px) 100vw, 400px" />Now that you have a frame you need something to keep the weather out and you have a couple options. You can use a more expensive and long lasting option like 1/8&#8243; thick plexi-glass which I used, in which case you would just lay the frame down on the sheet of plexi and mark the outline of the frame on the plexi with a sharpie.</p> <p>Once you have the outline marked out I trimmed out the plexi 1&#8243; smaller than the outline to keep the plexi setback from the edge of the frameThen fasten the plexi to the backside of the frame using 3/4&#8243; wood screws around the perimeter every foot or so.</p> <p>The less expensive option is to use the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Window Insulation Kit</a> and install it on the backside of the frame. This kit comes with plastic sheeting and clear adhesive tape and is very simple to use. You install the double-sided tape around the perimeter of the backside of the frame of your interior storm window and then lay the plastic down tightly and press it in place.</p> <p>Cut off the excess plastic with a razor knife or scissors and then using a hair dryer heat up the plastic which shrinks it to get a nice tight fit and takes any wrinkles out of it. When you&#8217;re finished you should have the plastic as tight as a drum and free of any wrinkles.</p> <h3>Step 5 Weather Sealing</h3> <p><img class="alignright size-full wp-image-49901" src="" alt="weathersealing interior storm window" width="400" height="223" srcset=" 400w, 300w" sizes="(max-width: 400px) 100vw, 400px" />Once you have a good fit on your frame you&#8217;ll want to apply the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">self adhesive felt</a> along the perimeter of the interior storm frame. I prefer felt because that allows the frame to slide easily in and out of place, but you can use any type of foam or rubber gasket if you prefer. Putting in a couple of <a href="">small weatherstrip nails</a> strategically can help keep the felt from pulling off over the years. Test your fit again, noting that it should be pretty snug at this point. Make any additional adjustments.</p> <h3>Step 6 Installation</h3> <p><img class="alignright size-full wp-image-49903" src="" alt="storm window installation" width="400" height="222" srcset=" 400w, 300w" sizes="(max-width: 400px) 100vw, 400px" />The moment of truth has finally arrived! Depending on how tight the fit is you may be able to simply press fit the storm into place with no fasteners needed which is ultimately the goal for that tight weather seal you want.</p> <p>For extra security to keep it from falling out or to accommodate a slightly off fit you can use use the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Flush Window Clips.</a> Take four of these clips and install two on each side about three inches from the top and bottom by screwing them into the casing. Screw them in tight enough to hold their position, but not too tight that they can&#8217;t swivel into and out of place. If you have a very deep window well and a tight fit then you may not even need these clips to hold things in place.</p> <p>Fit your storm window in place and swivel the clips to hold it securely in place. Step back and enjoy your new energy efficient interior storm window!</p> <p>If you have these basic tools you should be able to build these storms relatively quickly and inexpensively. If you don&#8217;t have these tools then the good news is that this set of tools is very basic and can be used for a multitude of projects other than building interior storm windows. Good luck and happy DIYing on this fun, energy saving project!</p> <p>Let me hear your thoughts in the comments below. Was this easy, too hard, what was the difference in you energy bills? I want to hear from you!</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">How To: Build Interior Storm Windows</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">The Craftsman Blog</a>.</p> 43 Ways to Save Energy and Money in 2020 Danny Lipford - Home Improvement - DIY - Videos urn:uuid:199a69de-65fa-e43b-6e94-a9beef1581d0 Tue, 07 Jan 2020 21:00:00 -0800 You can save hundreds of dollars each year with these simple, energy-efficient lifestyle tweaks.<div class="feedflare"> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> How to Protect Composite Decking from Winter Damage Danny Lipford - Home Improvement - DIY - Videos urn:uuid:b67eff2a-d70b-9c98-d3e3-22e95ed631a4 Mon, 06 Jan 2020 21:00:00 -0800 Follow these tips to make sure your composite deck survives a winter snowstorm.<div class="feedflare"> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Lime Mortar vs Portland Cement The Craftsman Blog urn:uuid:3f65ddf9-c93a-da1a-073b-e07cd1597f8b Mon, 06 Jan 2020 05:00:44 -0800 <p>Know the difference between lime mortar vs portland cement? If your house was built before 1930 it's a must before you do any repairs to your masonry. Using the wrong materials on the wrong brick can destroy a masonry house in just a few years.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Lime Mortar vs Portland Cement</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">The Craftsman Blog</a>.</p> <p><img class="alignright size-full wp-image-49558" src="" alt="Lime Mortar vs Portland Cement" width="500" height="500" srcset=" 500w, 300w, 150w, 100w" sizes="(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px" />If you&#8217;ve got a masonry building built before the 1930s there is a good a chance you&#8217;ve got lime mortar rather than portland cement mortar, and if it was built before the 1880&#8217;s then it&#8217;s almost certain to be lime. But why does that matter?</p> <p>The argument on whether to use lime mortar vs portland cement is actually a very important one and using the wrong mortar can cause irreparable damage to historic brick. In this post, I&#8217;ll explain the differences between the two, how to determine which you have, and even where to source matching mortar for your old house.</p> <p>Once you know the difference between lime mortar and portland cement you can undertake the work of repointing or repairing damaged historic masonry feeling confident you&#8217;re using the right mix of materials and techniques. Feel free to reference my previous post <a href="">How To: Repoint Historic Mortar</a> for the details of how the process works.</p> <h2>History of Lime Mortar</h2> <p>Lime mortar has been around since biblical times. It is essentially composed of only three ingredients (lime, sand, water) which are in abundant supply around the world. The slaked lime used to make lime mortar is created by cooking limestone rocks at 1,650°F. The heat burns off the carbon dioxide in the rock leaving calcium oxide, commonly called quicklime.</p> <p>The powdery quicklime would then be submerged in water for weeks or months to create a lime putty called &#8220;slaked&#8221; lime that would be mixed with sand (or other aggregates) and water to make lime mortar. Once the lime mortar is exposed to the air it pulls in carbon dioxide and releases water as it endeavors to return to its original state of limestone.</p> <p>Lime mortar is essentially self-healing, getting harder each day and constantly pulling CO2 out of the atmosphere (the original &#8220;green&#8221; building product!). Lime mortar and other natural cements were used almost exclusively in masonry structures prior to the introduction of portland cement in the 1870s.</p> <h2>History of Portland Cement</h2> <p>Portland cement was Invented in 1824 by <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Joseph Aspdin</a> by mixing calcined hard limestone with clay and mixing it down into a slurry before heating it a second time. It got its name because it had a similar color to a widely used stone in the Isle of Portland off the coast of England.</p> <p>Portland cement was able to attain very quick setting times compared to lime, but its strengths were fairly limited compared to natural cements and it didn&#8217;t catch on for about 50 years. The first manufacturer of portland cement in America was David Saylor in the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania in 1871.</p> <p>Portland cement came into rapid growth from 1871 to 1920 when its quick initial strength (though it had lower long term strength than natural cements) made it ideal in the rapid growth of America during the Industrial Revolution.</p> <p>The thought was that stronger mortar is better (not always the case) and with that portland cement was king because of both its quick set time and high strength. It very quickly became a favored additive to residential and commercial lime mortars to attain a faster and higher compressive strength and eventually phased out the use of lime mortar almost entirely by the mid 20th-century.</p> <h2>Lime Mortar vs Portland Cement</h2> <p>For those restoring a historic building built before 1930 it&#8217;s important to select the right mortar to avoid spalling bricks. When the selected mortar is harder than the brick it surrounds then the brick will become sacrificial and worn away rather than the mortar. A sign of impending disaster.</p> <blockquote><p>Mortar should always be softer than the brick it is paired with.</p></blockquote> <p>The more portland cement is added to any mortar the harder it gets, and the harder it gets the greater potential you have to damage brick. In today&#8217;s home stores lime is largely missing from all mortars. The variety of strengths available today is mostly accomplished by other additives and air-entrenching in the mortar. You will find mortar available in the following types:</p> <ul> <li>Type M   2,500 psi</li> <li>Type S    1,800 psi</li> <li>Type N    750 psi</li> <li>Type O    350 psi</li> <li>*Type K   75 psi</li> </ul> <p>*Type K is largely not available today since that is true lime mortar, but the other types are available at most locations or for order.</p> <p>But why does this matter for old houses? Well, as mortars got harder through the years so did bricks. As kiln technology improved we could cook bricks hotter and more consistently than in previous years. A brick from the mid-1800s can be extremely soft compared to one from the mid-1900s and the appropriate mortar has to be selected to pair with the appropriate brick.</p> <h2>What Should You Choose?</h2> <p>If your house was built before 1880 then you likely have traditional lime mortar and should use only that. If your house was built after 1930 you likely have only portland cement mortar and can pick up the right mortar at your local Home Depot. That was easy! But what about the rest of us in the transition years between 1880 and 1930?</p> <p>It&#8217;s not quite as easy for us, but there is a simple way to tell what type of mortar you should be using. Take your house key out and scrape it across the mortar joint in question. If the mortar scrapes away and you could dig it out without turning your key into a nub then you likely have lime mortar or at least a mortar with higher lime content than portland cement.</p> <p>If the key leaves a mark but doesn&#8217;t do any damage then you&#8217;re in the portland cement club. Congratulations, you&#8217;ve just diagnosed your mortar in the least scientific, but most convenient way possible! If you are a more particular person (you know who you are Mr. Color-Coded Socks!) then you can send a sample of your mortar off to a lab like for a <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Historic Mortar Analysis</a>. And Limeworks can even make a batch of mortar to match your sample in color and strength exactly!</p> <p>Take good care of your brick and stone by choosing the right mortar when you need to make repairs and your historic masonry will be protected for centuries to come, use the wrong mortar and in only a few years you may end up with disintegrating brick that is extremely difficult to replace.</p> <p>As it always goes with old houses it&#8217;s about proper methods and materials. I&#8217;d encourage you to check out my friends at Limeworks. They are an invaluable resource selling lime mortars, cleaning products, masonry tools and <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">everything you need to restore or repair historic masonry</a>. Good luck and happy mortaring!</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Lime Mortar vs Portland Cement</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">The Craftsman Blog</a>.</p> Roof Trusses: Why They’re More Popular Than Ever Danny Lipford - Home Improvement - DIY - Videos urn:uuid:d62d1127-3081-df65-103d-2a878277f232 Sun, 05 Jan 2020 18:33:59 -0800 Fewer homes use rafters for roof construction — here's a crash course on why roof trusses are so popular.<div class="feedflare"> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> 5 Ways to Make Your Bathroom Eco-Friendly Danny Lipford - Home Improvement - DIY - Videos urn:uuid:494fc379-2f3c-ee34-7728-e3343cb7b2db Sun, 05 Jan 2020 14:35:12 -0800 Your bathroom uses a lot of water and electricity every day, and this seemingly innocent beauty-and-hygiene space can result in a lot of wasted energy! Here are 5 ways to have an eco-friendly bathroom.<div class="feedflare"> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> How to Buy a House: The Process and What to Expect Danny Lipford - Home Improvement - DIY - Videos urn:uuid:d72090b6-0190-efad-0618-5b562e409bd6 Sun, 05 Jan 2020 00:05:38 -0800 How long does it take to buy a house? That depends on the situation. But here's a quick overview of the entire process.<div class="feedflare"> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> 5 Ways to Save Money on Your Home Remodel Danny Lipford - Home Improvement - DIY - Videos urn:uuid:fc3ca481-56d4-fe5f-cc9e-901abd9c2ccc Sat, 04 Jan 2020 23:17:56 -0800 Want to cut costs when remodeling your home? Then you'll need a plan. Here are 5 keys to a beautiful, efficient remodel.<div class="feedflare"> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> 6 Outdoor Furniture Options and How to Care for Them Danny Lipford - Home Improvement - DIY - Videos urn:uuid:fdc85b40-2431-533e-ced9-bb4e5f9207ae Sat, 04 Jan 2020 21:30:26 -0800 Wondering what's the best type of outdoor furniture for your home? Here are six popular choices and how to care for them.<div class="feedflare"> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> January Home Maintenance To-Do List Danny Lipford - Home Improvement - DIY - Videos urn:uuid:b559ca29-354b-7d89-6373-2278fc69251b Fri, 03 Jan 2020 11:00:00 -0800 Check out our January home maintenance to-do list for tips on tasks that need doing to keep your home in good shape during the first month of the year, from changing water filters to cleaning closets.<div class="feedflare"> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> How to Care for Poinsettias Year-Round Danny Lipford - Home Improvement - DIY - Videos urn:uuid:83305253-4c7d-e929-1ad5-9677e42c91a7 Thu, 02 Jan 2020 12:00:00 -0800 Poinsettias can be used year-round, not just for Christmas! This guide shares how to care for poinsettias indoors as houseplants.<div class="feedflare"> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> How to Declutter Your Home in Record Time Danny Lipford - Home Improvement - DIY - Videos urn:uuid:bce32f59-45dc-0dc1-545e-a3a01bf62e56 Thu, 02 Jan 2020 10:00:00 -0800 Decluttering your home is easy — if you take it day by day. Here's a 21-day plan to do just that!<div class="feedflare"> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> 5 Home Improvement New Year’s Resolutions for 2020 Danny Lipford - Home Improvement - DIY - Videos urn:uuid:9d598a94-5db8-b6c6-bb20-acf5395deea2 Thu, 02 Jan 2020 07:00:00 -0800 Check out our list of home improvement projects you can put on your New Year's resolutions list for 2020.<div class="feedflare"> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> 5 Ways to Save Money and Conserve Energy in 2020 Danny Lipford - Home Improvement - DIY - Videos urn:uuid:94ac5295-d80d-83b8-9abc-360bbd1aefdf Thu, 02 Jan 2020 06:24:38 -0800 Start 2020 with more money in your pocket — here are 5 tips to lower your winter energy bills!<div class="feedflare"> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> All About Slate Roofs The Craftsman Blog urn:uuid:0d6de9db-ced5-80d7-f12f-b2d6e09ad657 Mon, 30 Dec 2019 05:00:19 -0800 <p>Not only are they extremely beautiful and long lived, but slate is very DIY friendly as well. In this post I'll tell you all about the history of slate roofs, how to pick materials, and how to repair them because slate is the best roof you can have.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">All About Slate Roofs</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">The Craftsman Blog</a>.</p> <p><img class="alignright size-full wp-image-42970" src="" alt="all about slate roofs" width="500" height="500" srcset=" 500w, 300w, 150w, 100w" sizes="(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px" />A slate roof has been a sign of quality and craftsmanship for centuries. A slate roof can last 60-200 years with with the right materials and a little maintenance. That&#8217;s a lifespan you simply won&#8217;t find with <a href="">other roofing materials</a> like asphalt or wood. Not only is it long lasting, but it is very tough and very beautiful. Sometimes installed in unique patterns utilizing the multitude of different colored slates available, patterned slate roofs stand out unlike anything else.</p> <p>In this post I&#8217;ll give you a little history of slate roofs in America and how to repair and maintain them. A slate roof may not be in your budget but if you already have one on your house then knowing its benefits and how to care for it so it can last centuries is a big money saver. A lot of the information in this post was gleaned from the <a href="">National Parks Service Preservation Brief 29 The Repair, Replacement and Maintenance of Historic Slate Roofs</a> which is a very useful publication on the topic. Check it out if you have the time.</p> <h2>History of Slate Roofs</h2> <p>Prior to the opening of the first commercial slate quarry in America in 1785 in Pennsylvania all slate was imported from North Wales in the UK. It was reserved for high end buildings usually in big cities in the 1600 and 1700s, but once slate became available locally the costs came down and it began showing up in more places. As the railroads spread so did the proliferation of slate roofs and by the 1870s the US had become a net exporter of slate with over 200 quarries in operation largely in New England and mid-Atlantic states like Vermont, Pennsylvania, New York, and Virginia.</p> <p>The slate roofing industry was at its peak between 1897 and 1914 across the country before loosing ground to other less expensive materials like wood and asphalt shingles which could be more easily mass produced and shipped. Combined with a lack of the skilled labor required to install a slate roof compared to other roofing materials slate quickly fell from its peak of popularity to become the specialty item it is today.</p> <p>There has been a recent resurgence in slate&#8217;s popularity thanks in part to historic preservation efforts and education about the the benefits of the material.</p> <h2>Picking the Right Materials</h2> <p>Slate is available in a variety of colors. The most common are <strong>grey, blue-grey, black, various shades of green, deep purple, brick red, and mottled varieties</strong>. Slate varieties are classified as either &#8220;fading&#8221; or &#8220;unfading&#8221; and they mean exactly what you think. The fading varieties will change color much like wood weathers to a soft grey. These slates should be expected to change color with exposure though it is not a sign of deteriorating. If you are looking to match an existing roof it&#8217;s important to get a variety of samples from manufacturers and understand if they are fading or unfading so the match will last more than a few months.</p> <p>Historically, slate was 3/16&#8243; thick and modern slate is sometimes 1/4&#8243; to 3/8&#8243; thick so double check the thickness of slate on your house before buying replacement slate. Widths and lengths ran the gamut and you will find dozens of different sizes of slate as well as unique shapes other than rectangles. If you&#8217;re not tied to matching an original type of slate then you have a lot of options to choose from. Not all slate is created equal and some varieties will last longer than others so keep that in mind as you shop.</p> <p>Time has shown that the Vermont and New York slates will last about 125 years; Buckingham Virginia slates 175 years or more; and Pennsylvania SoftVein slates just north of 60 years. Those are sizable differences and definitely something to consider with new or replacement slate roofs.</p> <h2>How to Repair Slate Roofs</h2> <p>A slate roof is not terribly difficult to repair though it may seem daunting at first to the novice. Slate should never be repaired using mastics, adhesives or other glues. Slate roofing requires a couple very specialized tools that you really can&#8217;t do the job without. Below is a list of slate roofing repair tools you may need:</p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Slate Ripper</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Slate Hook</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Slate Hammer</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Spiral Nail</a></li> </ul> <p>The first step in replacing a broken or otherwise damaged slate tile is removal and for that you&#8217;ll need your slate ripper. Slide your slate ripper up underneath the tile needing removal and catch the nail on the hook end. Pull aggressively to pull the nail free of the sheathing and repeat this step for the other nail.</p> <p>Once the slate is out you have two options for installing a new slate tile. They both work and the method is entirely personal preference in my opinion.</p> <h4>Repair Method 1 Slate Hook</h4> <p>Nail a stainless steel slate hook into the sheathing between the two slate tiles directly below the slate you are replacing. Position it so that the bottom of the hook lines up with the bottom of the tiles in the course you are working on. Make sure it is hammered flush.</p> <p>Use your slate ripper to pry the upper course of slate up just enough to slide your replacement tile into place and slide it down snuggly into the cradle of the slate hook. The new slate will be held in place by the hook at the bottom, the slates on either side and the slate overlapping it above and will not need nails directly.</p> <h4>Repair Method 2 Nail &amp; Bib</h4> <p>In this method you&#8217;ll insert you replacement slate and then nail it in place in the space between the two slates above it so you are only nailing through the replacement slate using the smaller head spiral nail mentioned above. Spiral nails have greater holding power than smooth nails and since it will only have one nail that holding power is imperative especially for large tiles. You&#8217;ll want to pre-drill a hole in your slate before nailing to prevent breakage.</p> <p>To prevent water penetration through the nail you&#8217;ll need to flash it with a bib. The bib is a small piece of galvanized steel or copper flashing that you cut little slits into the sides of to help it hold in place beneath the slate. Then simply slide the bib into place below the slate and above the nail so it keeps things dry.</p> <p>Selecting the length of the nail for slate work will be based on ¾” minimum wood deck, the underlayment and two times the thickness of the slate. The most common nail lengths are 1 ½” and 1 ¾” with a 3/8” diameter head, but check the measurements you&#8217;ll need.</p> <p>Below is a simple video from The Durable Slate Company showing both of these methods in action.</p> <p><iframe class='youtube-player' type='text/html' width='640' height='360' src=';rel=1&#038;fs=1&#038;autohide=2&#038;showsearch=0&#038;showinfo=1&#038;iv_load_policy=1&#038;wmode=transparent' allowfullscreen='true' style='border:0;'></iframe></p> <h2>Slate Roof Care</h2> <p>Slate roofs don&#8217;t need a lot of maintenance in general. The less foot traffic they get the longer they will last so keep off the roof as much as possibly and when you do go up to inspect things wear soft soled shoes like tennis shoes rather than hard boots.</p> <p>Other than a visual inspection every couple years to check for loose, cracked, or scaling slate tiles and proper tree trimming to keep things from contact with your roof they don&#8217;t need any regular care. The inspection of slate tiles for damage and prompt replacement of any deteriorated tiles will protect the roof as a whole and help you avoid larger repairs down the line.</p> <p>If you live in an area where the roof gets heavy growth of moss or other organic substances then a cleaning with a non-acidic cleaner like <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">D2 Biological Solution</a> will clean off the roof without damaging the slate. You&#8217;ll want to spray the cleaner on using a pump sprayer and simply let it sit to work its magic. There is no scrubbing or washing necessary. Though it can be applied and scrubbed if you want more immediate results, I prefer this less invasive method. You&#8217;ll notice results in 1-2 weeks.</p> <p>What did I miss? What challenges have you had with your slate roof or what are the other benefits you have noticed if you have a slate roof that you think other people need to know? Let me hear your thoughts in the comments below.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">All About Slate Roofs</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">The Craftsman Blog</a>.</p> A Christmas Poem The Craftsman Blog urn:uuid:7a25137a-592c-be8e-f735-d01d28d0a02f Mon, 23 Dec 2019 05:00:21 -0800 <p>Christmas in an old house is a time for fun and poking fun. Here's an original poem for anyone fixing up an old house that should ring true. I hope your Christmas is filled with joy and you get a little break from the renovations to enjoy what's really important.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">A Christmas Poem</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">The Craftsman Blog</a>.</p> <p><img src="" class="alignright size-full wp-image-45838" alt="a christmas poem" width="500" height="500" srcset=" 500w, 300w, 150w, 100w" sizes="(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px" />My old house is a joy,</p> <p>It&#8217;s pricing a ploy,</p> <p>To catch unknowledgeable folks, and foolhardy blokes.</p> <p>I asked for a Craftsman,</p> <p>Not an ugly McMansion,</p> <p>My historical taste, was employed in such haste.</p> <p>What we thought would be breezy,</p> <p>You could say easy-peasey,</p> <p>Has turned into fear, with our budget austere.</p> <p>Still we brave such a fight,</p> <p>To restore all this blight,</p> <p>Like we see on the TV, with prices too cheapy.</p> <p>We bellow aloud,</p> <p>With the rest of our crowd,</p> <p>&#8220;Chip and Joanna Gains, must out of their brains!&#8221;</p> <p>Still the paint all is peeling,</p> <p>My husband is kneeling,</p> <p>Praying &#8220;God won&#8217;t you help, such a pitiful whelp.&#8221;</p> <p>We work with the sander,</p> <p>Employing our candor,</p> <p>To remove all the paint, with only minor complaint</p> <p>Reaching close to the goal,</p> <p>Feeling warmth in my soul,</p> <p>Soon this house will be finished, and our pride undiminished.</p> <p>To all who have tackled,</p> <p>Scraped, sanded, and spackled,</p> <p>May this Christmas bring rest, and be ever so blessed!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">A Christmas Poem</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">The Craftsman Blog</a>.</p> The Replacement Window Myth The Craftsman Blog urn:uuid:2ca612d9-f7f4-f864-cbe7-dd048f68555e Mon, 16 Dec 2019 05:00:03 -0800 <p>The replacement window myth is pervasive and tough to beat, but this post comes armed with facts to show you that new windows are not all they appear to be. No you won't save money with replacement windows and no they aren't good for the environment. Don't believe me, then you need to read this!</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">The Replacement Window Myth</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">The Craftsman Blog</a>.</p> <p><img class="alignright size-full wp-image-45800" src="" alt="replacement window myth" width="500" height="500" srcset=" 500w, 300w, 150w, 100w" sizes="(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px" />There are few products as misunderstood as a replacement window. Drenched in mis-information and double speak the replacement window myth is alive in an industry awash with more fake news then the media is accused of today. In my opinion, this double speak is just as detrimental to homeowners.</p> <p>The marketing juggernaut that is the replacement window industry is interested in selling you a product and selling it often. Somehow they have transformed what should be a one time purchase (a traditional window) and turned it into a consumable item that is meant to be purchased over and over again at regular intervals.</p> <p>What is the myth you ask? It&#8217;s quite simple:</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Myth: Replacement windows will save you money and are good for the environment.</em></p> <p>Sounds reasonable, but the truth is that in most cases they accomplish the exact opposite of what they promise. How is that possible? I&#8217;ll break it down for you below in simple terms the way I always do.</p> <h2>Exposing the Replacement Window Myth</h2> <p>Let&#8217;s take this myth apart and break down its claims into the two major points so we can discuss and analyze each part. At the end of all this you can tell me in the comments if this makes sense to you or if you disagree with my analysis. If you disagree with me I really want to hear your take on it.</p> <h3>Myth #1 Replacement Windows Save Money</h3> <p>Do they really? Let&#8217;s take a look at it. Like so many things these days a half true statement when taken out of context of the whole can create a lot of obfuscation. Here&#8217;s where the replacement window industry as a whole seems to make their case.</p> <p>If you have two identical houses, one with single-pane <a href="">historic wood windows</a> and the other with double-pane vinyl windows, which one will have lower energy bills? Clearly the second one. Just like that same house with triple-pane windows will be more efficient and result in lower energy bills than the house with double-pane windows. This is simple math and science that no one should question, but that is not the whole story.</p> <p>How much do those replacement windows cost and what is the Return on Investment (ROI) for that cost? This is where things get sticky. <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">According to Angie&#8217;s List the average cost of a replacement window is between $175 and $1,200.</a> That&#8217;s a wide range so let&#8217;s go with an average of $700 (the real average is $687.50 but we&#8217;re going to use nice round numbers for simplicity).</p> <p>I&#8217;ll use my own house as an example which is 1700 SF and has 25 windows. That would equate to a $17,500 bill to have my windows replaced. My average monthly energy bill for 2019 was $205 which equates to an annual cost of $2,460.</p> <p>How long will these replacement windows last? That is a challenge since their lifespan largely depends on the manufacturer, location, type, and price point. The more expensive window lasts longer than the cheaper ones. I scoured the internet and according to a variety of window manufacturers own websites the average lifespan of a vinyl double-pane window was between 5 and 25 years. So, as before, let&#8217;s use the average of 15 years.</p> <p><img class="alignright size-medium wp-image-45798" src="" alt="Windows Annual Savings" width="300" height="196" srcset=" 300w, 600w, 743w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />How much will these windows be saving me? <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">According to the national average you can expect to save for a house about my size with a similar number of windows is $348 per year by switching from single-pane to double-pane.</a> So that equates to a 14% reduction in my energy costs. Not bad. <em>Note: Upgrading from older double-pane windows to newer ones doesn&#8217;t create nearly the savings.</em></p> <p>How long until my investment of $17,500 is paid back and I can begin enjoying the savings I really want? Well, if I am saving $348 per year then that will be 50 years and 3 months before I make my money back. Ummm, I have to wait until I&#8217;m 92 to have these window pay for themselves?</p> <p>I&#8217;m a pretty steady guy but I don&#8217;t know that my wife and I will still be living in the same house in 50 years let alone if we will still be living at all. So I think we can safely say that replacement window do not save money, but the financial ridiculousness doesn&#8217;t end there.</p> <p>Remember that the average lifespan is only 15 years. I&#8217;m going to be kind and give the windows the benefit of the doubt and say that I got really lucky and my windows lasted longer than average. Way longer! Let&#8217;s say they lasted 25 years. That means I&#8217;ll have to pay another $17,500 (plus inflation!) to replacement them again in 2044. Now the breakeven point is nowhere in site.</p> <h3>Myth #2 Replacement Windows are Good For the Environment</h3> <p>It&#8217;s clear that replacement window don&#8217;t make sense financially, but not everything we do needs to be based on finance calculations. We need to consider our planet and protect it. Even if it doesn&#8217;t make financial sense it makes moral sense to do so.</p> <p>Since replacement windows clearly cause my house to consume less fossil fuels in energy use they must provide a benefit to the environment. Let&#8217;s try to figure that out and quantify it. The <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">average cost per kilowatt hr in the US is $0.13</a> so with my $348 a year savings that means I am saving 2,638 kilowatt hrs every year in energy use.</p> <p>According to <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">BlueSkyModel one kilowatt hr is about equivalent to one pound of CO2 released into the atmosphere.</a> That means every year I am contributing 1.25 tons less (2,638 lbs) CO2 than with my single-pane windows. That a definite improvement! Over the 25 year (very generous) lifespan that&#8217;s almost 33 tons or 65,950 lbs of CO2 removed from the air.</p> <p>Right now it sounds like a huge win for the environment, but we&#8217;re not done with the math yet. It takes some energy to produce these new windows and some raw materials to be pulled out of the earth as well. What does that look like? This is tough to calculate exactly but <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">a Swedish study</a> can give us some ideas of what this looks like. This study claims that it takes about 1,244 lbs of CO2 to produce a single double-pane vinyl window. That means my 25 new windows generate 31,108 lbs (15.5 tons) of CO2 while being manufactured.</p> <p>How about transporting them from the factory to the store and then to my house? Assuming these windows travel a total of 1,000 miles in their lifetime that comes out to about 6,480 more lbs of CO2 according to the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Environmental Defense Fund</a>. That now gives us a total of 37,588 lbs of CO2 for my new windows giving us a net gain of about 13 tons of CO2 saved over 24 years. Why 24 years? Because in year 25 we&#8217;ll be replacing the windows again which generates another 15.5 tons of CO2. That means at the end of 25 years we have produced 2.5 additional tons of CO2 by replacing our windows.</p> <p>Lastly, my old windows will end up in the landfill and so will my new window in 25 years when they need replacing again and again 25 years after that as the cycle continues. How do we calculate the embodied energy in all the windows that end up in the landfill? Currently, there isn&#8217;t a good way to do this so we can&#8217;t really answer this. I think we can all agree that while CO2 production is important to calculate it is equally important to check ourselves for how much waste we create.</p> <p>Filling the landfills with replacement windows is not good for anyone except window companies who get a steady stream of new customers.</p> <h2>Conclusions</h2> <p>I know this has been a lot of math and there are plenty of sources quoted here so you don&#8217;t think I am playing fast and free with my numbers. Check them out. Do your own research! I think I&#8217;ve easily dispelled the replacement window myth. We&#8217;ve concluded that it doesn&#8217;t not make financial sense to replace your windows nor does it make environmental sense to replace them. So why would you do it?</p> <p>Don&#8217;t be fooled by clever marketing. The truth is out there we just need to make it known to more people. This is just a small DIY blog not a media empire (yet). So if you want people to know the truth then you have share this post around. Generate conversations. Talk about the truth because the truth will set you free.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">The Replacement Window Myth</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">The Craftsman Blog</a>.</p> Paint Chip Repair Made Easy The Craftsman Blog urn:uuid:3b66d5c4-73ab-edb5-6dd3-24095ea4bb15 Mon, 09 Dec 2019 05:00:35 -0800 <p>Don't you get annoyed when you see a section of chipped paint repainted but you can still see the damage? This simple method will ensure your paint chip repairs blend in seamlessly with the surrounding areas never to be seen again. The best news is it is simple and uses inexpensive products.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Paint Chip Repair Made Easy</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">The Craftsman Blog</a>.</p> <p><img class="alignright size-full wp-image-45829" src="" alt="Paint Chip Repair Made Easy" width="500" height="500" srcset=" 500w, 300w, 150w, 100w" sizes="(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px" />Old paint chips. It&#8217;s a fact of life, especially if you have little kids around. Living in an old house I needed a better method to make paint chip repair easy and safe considering I have <a href="">lead paint</a>. With multiple layers of paint each chip looks like a little crater and if you simply paint over it the edges have a tendency to continue to peel up as well as looking horrible.</p> <p>I&#8217;m very cautious about sanding a ton of paint in my house so I wanted a solution that would solve three issues:</p> <ol> <li>Minimal sanding of lead paint</li> <li>Blending of areas having different paint thickness</li> <li>Prevents more peeling paint</li> </ol> <p>The easiest way I have found to resolve these issues is by using <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">MH Ready Patch</a> which is an interior/exterior spackling compound I mentioned in my post <a href="">The 7 Best Products to Patch Wood</a>. Ready Patch helps blend in the different thicknesses of paint around chippy areas and fill in fine cracks as well as locking down the edges that tend to peel up.</p> <p>Sure, you can <a href="">strip the paint</a> down to bare wood and start over with a <a href="">smooth surface</a>, but that is a lot of work and not always feasible for a little touch up. And simply touching up the paint hides the color difference, but does nothing to hide the big hole in the surface. Ready Patch is inexpensive, needs easy water clean up, and dries pretty quickly.</p> <h2>Step 1 Scrape Loose Paint</h2> <p>Any paint that is already falling off needs to be scraped back to a solid spot. You can use a simple plastic putty knife or 5-in-1 for this most times. Don&#8217;t go crazy with paint removal here.</p> <h2>Step 2 Fill Surface</h2> <p>Using a putty knife, scoop out some Ready Patch and smooth it over the surface to blend the affect areas into each other. Work it in several directions to fill any nooks and crannies. Make sure to overfill the area a little so that when you’re ready to sand, you can sand it down to a completely level surface.</p> <h2>Step 3 Sand Smooth</h2> <p>Ready Patch will be ready for sanding in anywhere from just a few minutes for small patches to an hour or more for very large patches. You’ll notice the color changes from a grayish to bright white. Once the patch is completely dry, sand it smooth using 80-120 grit sandpaper until everything is smooth and level.</p> <h2>Step 4 Prime &amp; Paint</h2> <p>Touch up the patch with a little bit of oil or latex primer, and then you’re ready to re-paint the surface. After it&#8217;s primed you may notice a few areas that don&#8217;t blend perfectly. If they still bother you you can touch them up with a little more Ready Patch and repeat the process.</p> <p>One coat of primer and one coat of paint later and I’d challenge you even know there was a repair done at all. Simple tips like this can make your next paint job go from good to great! Check out these other tips to really up your painting game. <a href="">My Grandfather&#8217;s 7 Secrets to  Perfect Paint Job</a></p> <p><iframe class='youtube-player' type='text/html' width='640' height='360' src=';rel=1&#038;fs=1&#038;autohide=2&#038;showsearch=0&#038;showinfo=1&#038;iv_load_policy=1&#038;wmode=transparent' allowfullscreen='true' style='border:0;'></iframe></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Paint Chip Repair Made Easy</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">The Craftsman Blog</a>.</p> Wood Floor Refinishing Made Easy The Craftsman Blog urn:uuid:4b645212-243c-5f35-6dfe-37d667024752 Mon, 02 Dec 2019 05:00:59 -0800 <p>Wood floor refinishing is a cost effective option for any old house. Whether you do a standard sand and finish or a unique passive refinishing process that I'll tell you all about you can make those old floors really shine again.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Wood Floor Refinishing Made Easy</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">The Craftsman Blog</a>.</p> <p><img class="alignright size-full wp-image-42895" src="" alt="Wood Floor Refinishing Made Easy" width="500" height="500" srcset=" 500w, 300w, 150w, 100w" sizes="(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px" />Wood floor refinishing is a big part of living in an old house. Your wood floors take a lot of abuse over decades or centuries of foot traffic, sliding furniture legs, scraping Tonka trucks, and everything else that happens in your house on a daily basis. They need to be cared for certainly, but sometimes the wear and tear is just too much and the floors need a refinishing.</p> <p>Refinishing wood floors is an incredibly invasive process that requires you to move everything out of the room for a number of days, which can be a major annoyance. If at all possible I recommend that if they are in need of refinishing, you have the work done when you first purchase the home before you move in. That saves a ton of headaches, so give that some serious thought before the movers arrive.</p> <p>Wood floors can be made to last for centuries if cared for properly so before you think about covering them up because they look too battered and worn <a href="">give this old post a read and let me know if it changes your mind a bit.</a></p> <p>In this post, I&#8217;ll walk you through two different options for refinishing your wood floors. The first is your standard sand and refinish that has been in practice for well over a hundred years, and the second is a relatively unknown but extremely valuable method my good friend <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Bob Yapp</a> calls Passive Floor Refinishing. If you have an old house you definitely don&#8217;t want to miss this process because it can be a game changer!</p> <p>Wood floors only have so many sandings in them before you sand away too much for the floor to remain stable. A proper refinishing will likely remove around 1/16&#8243; to 1/8&#8243; of wood along with the finish depending on the condition of the floors and the skills of your refinisher. If you don&#8217;t have that much wood to spare then the only option you&#8217;re left with is Passive Floor Refinishing.</p> <h2>Standard Wood Floor Refinishing</h2> <p>For a long time the process for refinishing wood floors has remained unchanged and that&#8217;s mainly because the process works so well. Much like we haven&#8217;t been able to build a better mouse trap, the process for sanding the old finish off a wood floor and preparing it for new finish has been boiled down to its most essential and effective steps which I&#8217;ll outline below. The process for refinishing wood floors in this section is not incredibly DIY friendly. These tools are difficult to handle and it&#8217;s easy to gouge wood floors so be careful if you go this route on your own.</p> <p>If you want to give it a go just be careful because getting a flawlessly smooth floor with sanding is a serious challenge for a novice. If you want to do the work yourself I would think more about the Passive Floor Refinishing below.</p> <p>When I first started my business in 2010 the majority of my work was in repairing and refinishing wood floors so this is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. In fact, it was the topic I worked so hard to refine my skills at that <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Fine Homebuilding</a> and ProjectHouse did featured articles on my techniques for <a href="">invisible repairs to wood floors</a>. That&#8217;s not to brag, but to let you know that this is a subject I&#8217;m well acquainted with. Let&#8217;s get into the details!</p> <h3>Sanding Wood Floors</h3> <p>After you&#8217;ve removed all the furniture from the room the first thing you need to do is sand the old finish off your floors. There are three tools that get this job done post haste. First is the drum sander which is a big, bulky power tool that does the bulk of the removal from the floors. You&#8217;ll do multiple passes across your floors with different grit abrasives, the first of which is usually across the grain at a 45 degree angle.</p> <p>Once the drum sander has done its work you&#8217;ll be left with a few inches of flooring near the walls that the drum can&#8217;t reach and for that you&#8217;ll switch to an <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">edger</a>. The edger is a much smaller sander that may seem easier to deal with but it is a whirling dervish that can easily get away from you and put huge gouges in your floor if you don&#8217;t know how to handle it. Think a random orbit sander on massive steroids! The edger can get right up to the baseboards and do almost everything except for inside corners since it is circular.</p> <p>To get those last few tiny inside corners you&#8217;ll need a good old fashioned <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">steel scraper</a> to scrape with the grain to remove the last vestiges of finish and bring it level with the rest of the floors. Having an extremely sharp tool is key here.</p> <h4>What Grit Paper?</h4> <p>Most refinishers use a 3 stage sanding process. I preferred to do one pass in 36-grit followed by another in 60-grit then the final with 80-grit. Keeping the progression close together makes sure to remove the scratches from the preceding grit paper. For floors with heavy adhesive or other build up it may be necessary to start with something like 24-grit paper or in extreme cases 16-grit paper. That means you will likely have to do an additional pass because ending with 60-grit is too rough for a satisfactory final product.</p> <p>We&#8217;ll talk about adding stain and finish in the next section since it is the same whether you are doing standard or passive refinishing. First, lets dive into the passive way of removing finish.</p> <h2>Passive Wood Floor Refinishing</h2> <p>When you want to refinish your floors, but can&#8217;t or don&#8217;t want to sand them then this is the method for you. Pioneered by Bob Yapp on his PBS show About Your House, passive floor refinishing is a way to chemically remove the finish from your floors in preparation for new finish. Here&#8217;s how it works</p> <p>Apply a non-toxic, non-flammable chemical stripper (<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Blue Bear Paint &amp; Urethane Stripper</a>, formerly SoyGel) or something similar is a good option) to the floor in manageable sections and let it work its magic. Once the finish has softened, using a floor polisher that you can rent at most home stores and a 100-grit screen go over the area to remove the remaining finish and stripper.</p> <p>Use a clean cloth to remove the excess stripper and use a wet/dry vacuum to remove any left over stripper from the cracks and crevices. Then neutralize the floor with whatever product the manufacturer recommends and let it dry out throughly.</p> <p>You should be left with a smooth surface, clean of finish and ready for new coats of finish. This technique helps maintain the patina of the old wood and provides a great option for floors that cannot stand to have another full sanding. The video below outlines Bob&#8217;s passive method.</p> <p><iframe class='youtube-player' type='text/html' width='640' height='360' src=';rel=1&#038;fs=1&#038;autohide=2&#038;showsearch=0&#038;showinfo=1&#038;iv_load_policy=1&#038;wmode=transparent' allowfullscreen='true' style='border:0;'></iframe></p> <h3>Clean Up</h3> <p>Once the floors have been aggressively sanded or passively stripped you have to do the most thorough cleaning job of your life. All the dust has to be cleaned up or it likely will end up in your finish later and that will make your floors feel and look rough. Using a good vacuum, clean up not only the floors, but also the walls and trim around the rooms because that will also contain dust that can fall into your finish.</p> <p>After vacuuming use a tack rag moistened with mineral spirits to wipe up any remaining dust from the floor until you can run a white rag across the floor and it passes the white glove test. This is one of the areas that novices fail repeatedly. Not having a completely clean room spells bad finish work later.</p> <h3>Staining</h3> <p>Will you be staining your wood floors? If so then I recommend an oil-based stain. Minwax makes plenty of great wood stains you can choose from <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">right here</a>. Before applying your stain I recommend &#8220;popping the grain&#8221; by wiping the floors down completely with a cloth that has been dampened with water. This opens up the pores of the wood and allows it to take the stain in more evenly. There are wood conditioners on the market that do the same, but water is free and just as effective. This is extremely important with pine floors which are notorious for blotchy uneven stain uptake.</p> <p>Once the water has completely dried then it&#8217;s time to apply your stain. You can simply wipe it on (be sure to apply evenly) with a clean cotton rag. A lot of pros will use a floor buffer to apply the stain over large areas because it goes that much faster. As you apply the stain make sure to wipe off the excess and not leave any stain puddles. I like to apply with one rag and then use a a clean rag in the other hand to wipe off the excess after only a few minutes.</p> <p>Once the stain has been applied you need to let it dry between 8 and 24 hours to be safe before applying any finish. During this time it&#8217;s imperative you keep everyone and everything off the floors since they are not yet sealed. A good rule of thumb is if you can walk over the floors in clean dry socks without getting any stain on your socks then it is ready for application of finish.</p> <h3>Finishing</h3> <p>Now it&#8217;s time for the grand finale! Wood floors perform best with three coats of oil-based polyurethane. You can use water-based polycrylic, but that requires four coats for an adequate finish thickness. You can read up on the differences between the two finishes and <a href="">why I prefer oil-based finishes in this post </a></p> <p>I prefer a satin sheen because it really highlights the character of the wood rather than glossy sheens which obscure it, but ultimately the choice is up to you.</p> <p>Application of oil-based polyurethane is usually done with a few different methods and it&#8217;s largely personal preference. Using a standard roller with an extension pole, mopping it on with a lambswool applicator, or using a T-bar are the most popular. I&#8217;m a roller guy because it is easier to keep a consistent finish thickness and the familiarity of the roller helps too. Pour up your finish into a 5 gallon bucket and use a roller screen to avoid drips and puddles.</p> <p>Be sure to avoid painting yourself into a corner and use a sash brush designed for oil-based finishes to cut in the edges just like if you were painting the floor. It&#8217;s important to always maintain a wet edge when applying polyurethane so as to avoid brush marks. Work methodically from one area to the next and don&#8217;t skip around. Ensure you have good even coverage and leave it alone to cure for about 12-24 hrs depending on the weather. Warmer temps require shorter cure time and cooler temps require longer.</p> <h4>Sanding Between Coats</h4> <p>I&#8217;m gonna make some people angry here, but sanding between coats of polyurethane is NOT necessary. Contrary to what almost every article will tell you you do not need to do it. Does it provide a better finished product? Heck yeah, because with each coat of finish you apply there are little items that get into the finish or the wood grain furs up sometimes and you want a perfectly smooth floor, don&#8217;t you?</p> <p>To sand between coats you need the floor polisher we used in the passive refinishing method earlier. This time use a 150-grit screen to lightly sand the finish and knock off any high spots. After screening you&#8217;ll need to vacuum and thoroughly clean the surface again with a tack rag each time. After the final coat of polyurethane there is no need to sand or screen anything. Just let it cure and sit back to enjoy the finished product.</p> <h2>Final Thoughts</h2> <p>If you do decide to take on refinishing your own floors I hope this post will help set you up for success. You&#8217;ve got options with you wood floors. Wood floor refinishing is usually a cheaper option than just about any new flooring option. Running about $2-$3 per square foot, refinishing your floors can be a cost effective way to restore your old house and enjoy the history that rests just under your feet.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Wood Floor Refinishing Made Easy</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">The Craftsman Blog</a>.</p> Black Friday 2019 Tool Deals The Craftsman Blog urn:uuid:d8066098-65fe-3c0d-45a7-330ba562c403 Mon, 25 Nov 2019 05:00:49 -0800 <p>Everybody loves saving money, especially when you own an old house! My store has some incredible deals for this Black Friday that you won't find throughout the year. Swing by and pick up some major savings while the deals last!</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Black Friday 2019 Tool Deals</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">The Craftsman Blog</a>.</p> <p><img class="alignright size-full wp-image-43811" src="" alt="black friday 2019 tool deals" width="500" height="500" srcset=" 500w, 300w, 150w, 100w" sizes="(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px" />Who&#8217;s ready for some Black Friday Tool Deals? The more appropriate question is who<em><strong> isn&#8217;t</strong></em> ready? Black Friday, the day where we sometimes buy gifts for the ones we love, but more often than not us DIYers stock up on the newest and coolest tool deals of the year. This year promises to be a good one too. I&#8217;ve never done a Black Friday sale at my site, but I felt 2019 was the year to start!</p> <p>I&#8217;m doing some big discounts in my store starting <strong>midnight Black Friday (November 29th and running until midnight Tuesday morning December 3rd</strong>. These deals have never been this good and this will likely be the only time you&#8217;ll find prices this low and deals this good. You&#8217;ve got lots of chances to save and stock up for the year ahead below.</p> <h4><a href="">E-books</a></h4> <p>All E-books in my store will be a whopping 50% OFF for these 4 days only! Check out the complete list of titles below.</p> <ul> <li><a href="">Old Window Made Easy</a></li> <li><a href="">Steel Windows Made Easy</a></li> <li><a href="">Old Windows In-Depth</a> (contains both windows books plus 100 bonus pages of content!)</li> <li><a href="">Living in the Past</a> (my bestseller!)</li> <li><a href="">Old House Basics</a></li> <li><a href="">Historic Restoration Plan</a></li> </ul> <h4><a href="">Austin&#8217;s Glazier&#8217;s Putty &amp; Whiting</a></h4> <p>You know I have developed my own mildew resistant glazing putty with the folks are Sarco Putty, right? Well, to encourage you to give it a try (I know you&#8217;ll love it!) I&#8217;m giving you a FREE 2 lbs. container of whiting and $10 OFF every gallon of my putty!</p> <h4><a href="">Spring Bronze &amp; Nails</a></h4> <p>With every purchase of 100&#8242; spring bronze packs you&#8217;ll get 4 packs of coppered nails free of charge! Free supplies are always nice!</p> <h4><a href="">Safety Glasses</a></h4> <p>Keep yourself safe and cool looking by getting a pair of safety glasses for <em><strong>only $1</strong></em> with every order! Safety is a serious thing and so is this price!</p> <h4><a href="">ProScraper</a></h4> <p>One of my biggest sellers is the ProScraper and if you&#8217;re using it like I do you&#8217;ll need replacement blades in short order. How about a bonus FREE replacement blade with each ProScraper you buy? I thought you&#8217;d like that!</p> <h4><a href="">Speedheater Cobra</a></h4> <p>Along with the the Speedheater related products we sell something special is happening for 1-day only on Black Friday! It&#8217;s so good that I can&#8217;t actually tell you about it until the November 29th so be sure to check back!</p> <h2>Other Deals</h2> <p>If you haven&#8217;t stopped by my online store lately we are always adding new tools and supplies for you old house owners so make sure to check things out regularly. Here a few products we&#8217;ve added this year that you may not know about, but likely need in a big way.</p> <h4>Abatron Wood Restoration Products</h4> <ul> <li><a href="">WoodEpox</a> &#8211; Structural wood epoxy for repairing and rebuilding rotted wood</li> <li><a href="">LiquidWood</a> &#8211; Wood consolidant to treat soft wood and prepare for WoodEpox</li> </ul> <h4>Plaster Magic Products</h4> <ul> <li><a href="">Plaster Magic</a> &#8211; Reattach broken or sagging plaster walls and ceilings</li> <li><a href="">Patching Plaster</a> &#8211; Fill in gaps and missing sections on your plaster walls</li> </ul> <h4>Glazing Point Drivers</h4> <ul> <li><a href="">No. 1 Point Drivers</a> &#8211; For setting #1 diamond points</li> <li><a href="">No. 2 Point Drivers</a> &#8211; For setting #1 and larger #2 diamond points</li> <li><a href="">No. 5 Point Drivers</a> &#8211; Ultimate versatility to set #1, #2 diamond points as well as triangle points</li> </ul> <h4>Sash Saw</h4> <ul> <li><a href="">Sash Saw</a> &#8211; A new tool based on an old design to cut caulked and painted windows free with ease</li> </ul> <p>I hope you have a great Thanksgiving and enjoy the time with friends and family. When you&#8217;re full of turkey swing by and grab some of these deals!</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Black Friday 2019 Tool Deals</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">The Craftsman Blog</a>.</p>