DIY: Home improvement!


So, your house needs some DIY improvement. Instead of hiring someone (and potentially being painfully overcharged!), why not do the work yourself? Many household tasks, like laying floorboards or putting a new hinge in an interior door, are easy to do and can be accomplished in a few hours.

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa boardsMy roommates and I spent most of last summer working on home improvement– I wish I had known some of these tricks back then!


We’ve gotten many questions about laying floorboards and how best to keep them tight. Here’s our favorite trick. It uses a brick carrier that can be hired for a few dollars a week, or bought at your local home improvement stores. Nail a batten on the first board you lay, and use that as a lever to pull the boards tight. You can adjust the brick carrier, and when you run out of adjustment, move the batten. This will keep your floorboards close to each other.


If you are building a stud wall, it is important to have the door frame plumb. Hanging the door is a nightmare unless this is accurate. Just chisel a sliver from the top of the frame and wedge the plumb line in. You will then have a plumb reference for both sides of the frame.


secret nailsSECRET NAILS

If you have no choice but to nail, and you don’t want to see the nail head, use a very sharp chisel and carefully chisel up a small sliver of the timber and drive the nail in underneath. Then glue the timber back.