Skip to content

We’re Glowing Over Under Shelf Lighting!

August 28, 2015

Does your kitchen or living room feel dark and boring? If you’re looking to brighten up a room while adding depth and flare, consider accent lighting. Accent lighting brightens up a space and creates an added level of sophistication. Read on to find out why we are just absolutely glowing over under shelf lighting this season!

The most popular space for under cabinet lighting is the kitchen, lining the edge of your cabinetry above your countertops. We believe it’s a fantastic space for under shelf lighting because the light becomes both functional and decorative, emanating light for cooking while highlighting your designer kitchen as if it was straight out of a magazine. If you have granite or quartz counter tops, the light will reflect the flecks of color or sparkle in the rock, creating a beautiful halo effect.

08272015 Under Lighting Were Glowing Over Under Shelf Lighting!

Photo Cred: Denny Wu on Flickr

The living room or bedroom is also a great space to add under shelf lighting. Try adding LED reel lights to the underside of a bookshelf to show off your collection of literature. The same LED reel lights can really be installed under any shelf — try highlighting pictures of your loved ones or artwork displayed on a shelf.

There are a few different types of lights you can purchase for the underside of your cabinets or shelves. As mentioned above, one energy efficient DIY way  is to use LED reel lights. You can buy them here. To learn how to install them, step by step, click here.

There are many alternatives to LED reel lights, including strip light bars, puck lights, rope lights and tape lights. Before choosing an under cabinet light, research the options available. For example, strip lights typically provide a more intense light stream than rope lights. Rope lights are less functional, and add a softer ambiance to the room.

For the beginner do-it-yourselfer, try battery powered under shelf lights. You can find both puck lights and light bars that are battery powered online. This is a great option if you want to avoid doing any of your own electrical work. Ultimately, under shelf lighting is a creative way to enhance the design of your room.

But if you want to avoid the DIY headache, get professional assistance for the installation of your new under shelf cabinet lighting by contacting your local Mr. Handyman or call 877-256-3376.

All Mr. Handyman franchises are Fully Insured with General Liability and Workers Compensation. Some services are subject to state and local licensing and may not be available in all locations. Make sure to stay on top of all your household repairs, improvements and maintenance needs and request service in your area.

Party With These DIY Wine & Liquor Cabinets

August 27, 2015

Some people really like the idea of having their own in-house bar. Did you know that you can bring that idea to life simply by doing a days work? Trust us, it is not too good to be true! In this blog post, we will cover how to create your own DIY wine & liquor cabinets.

 

08272015 Wine Rack Party With These DIY Wine & Liquor Cabinets

Photo Cred: Ioan Raymond on Flickr

Wine Racks

Wine racks have been increasingly popular over the past 20 years. Having a wine rack in your home can make for a more elegant look and create more space. (As well as give you a reason to buy more wine!) DIY wine racks can be made out of dozens of different materials. Some common materials used to make DIY wine racks are: wood pallets, PVC pipes, mailing tubes, fence posts, aluminum cans, bookcases, milk crates, and even skis! Get some inspiration by watching this YouTube video below!

 

 

 

DIY Liquor Cabinets 

DIY liquor cabinets can be a bit more complex to build than DIY wine racks. (Most wine bottles are shaped similarly oppose to liquor bottles that come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.) Don’t let the complexity steer you away. Building a liquor cabinet is just as fun! Liquor cabinets can be made out of a variety of different materials. Some of the common materials to make DIY liquor cabinets are similar to materials to make DIY wine racks. (Wood pallets, bookcases, milk crates.) But there are also some other common materials that have been used to make liquor cabinets. Some have used cabinets (No brainer, right?), ironing boards, and even a suitcase! Take a look at this YouTube instructional video for some motivation!

 

Need a hand with some home improvement projects? Let Mr. Handyman take care of that for you! Stay on top of all your household repairs, improvements and maintenance needs by calling 877-256-3376 or request service in your area.

Help! IKEA Kitchens Are Not Easy To Install

August 13, 2015

Have you ever fallen in love with an IKEA product, only to fall victim to an assembly fail? Don’t fret, you are not alone!

IKEA makes designing your dream kitchen a breeze. Take a look at their inspiration gallery, there is something for every style and budget. The idea is simple. You design your perfect kitchen and receive all the pieces to construct your kitchen in a perfect package. How hard can it be? Well, although the instructions and tools provided for assembly appear simple enough, they are not always so easy for the average do-it-yourselfer. The translator is not included.

This is what you buy from IKEA:

081315 professional ikea install Help! IKEA Kitchens Are Not Easy To Install

photo credit: Sarah_Ackerman on flickr

This is what you get when you try to assemble all the pieces and install yourself:

081315 DIY Ikea Kitchen install Help! IKEA Kitchens Are Not Easy To Install

photo credit: JOHN LLOYD on flickr

 

From assembling a chair upside down to installing cabinets backwards, we’ve heard from several customers who’ve run into similar IKEA DIY fails and end up turning to the carpentry professionals at Mr. Handyman for their furniture assembly and installation needs. If you want to avoid a DIY headache in the future, contact your local Mr. Handyman. What you’ll get is a professional who arrives on-time, ready to work and someone who gets the job done right!

All Mr. Handyman franchises are Fully Insured with General Liability and Workers Compensation. Some services are subject to state and local licensing and may not be available in all locations. Make sure to stay on top of all your household repairs, improvements and maintenance needs and request service in your area.

Holy Cow, We Love These Sliding Barn Doors

July 28, 2015

Sliding barn doors are all the rage these days. They offer a rustic yet modern design to any doorway or passageway in your home. They come in various designs, sizes, patterns, colors, stains, etc. There’s really a sliding barn door for everyone – it just depends on your taste. And the hardware is certainly a part of the aesthetic, too.

07232015 Sliding Barn Door Holy Cow, We Love These Sliding Barn Doors

Photo Credit: gamene on Flickr

If you’re the DIY-type, sliding barn doors are certainly a do-able project, however, you do need to have the proper tools and materials in order to complete it properly. Check out the video below from This Old House for its DIY approach:

If you prefer to leave the woodworking to someone a little more qualified, there are many websites out there that have pre-made sliding barn doors and accompanying hardware kits. Websites like Artisan Hardware, Real Sliding Hardware, and Barndoors & Hardware offer a number of different designs.

Actually installing a sliding barn door is again, something you can DIY or outsource to a professional handyman. It just depends on the confidence level of your handyman skills and if you have the proper tools (and the time) to complete the job.

If you’re looking to add an interior sliding barn door to your home, contact the locally owned and operated Mr. Handyman in your area – we’d love to install your door properly and in a timely manner. Tell us in the comments section what you’re favorite sliding barn door looks like.

 

5 Things Every Homebuyer Should Do Before Moving In

July 22, 2015

The Top 5 Most Important New House Jobs

Moving into a new home is exciting! You’re in a new environment, surrounded by new people and places. But before you can fully settle in, there are a few basic maintenance tasks you should cross off your list. From lock replacement to chimney inspection, check out our list of five jobs to do when you move.

07212015 Moving Boxes 5 Things Every Homebuyer Should Do Before Moving In

Photo Cred: Carodean Road Designs

 

Change the locks, check the box…

Replace the Locks

Even if the previous owner promised to return the copy of every key, it’s always a good idea to change the locks throughout the exterior of your home. Call a locksmith or visit your local hardware store for new lock and key sets; while you’re there make a few copies—you’ll need ‘em!

Label the Fuse Box

Fuse boxes are often overlooked when moving. It’s not until you blow or trip a fuse that you remember to check it, that’s why we recommend you do it right when you move in.

  1. You’ll need a helper, some masking tape, and a permanent marker to label your box. As a precaution, power down and unplug sensitive technology like computers and televisions.
  2. Have your helper turn all the lights on around the house, including lamps—this will allow you to test the accuracy of the labels on your fuse box (if the previous owners took the time to label it). One by one flip on and off each fuse while your helper tells you where the lights are going off. After each flip, make sure the fuse is labeled correctly.
  3. After going through every fuse, plug in your sensitive technology (computers, televisions) before turning the power back on.

Inspect the Chimney

Even if you don’t plan on using your fireplace, you’ll want your chimney professionally inspected. Aside from evaluating the health of your fireplace, your inspector may be able to identify structural issues that could prevent pest access and lower heating and cooling bills.

Check the Plumbing

The day you move in, inspect your plumbing. Evaluate faucets, showerheads, toilets and especially exposed pipes (such as those below sinks). Use your showers, tubs, flush the toilets, and inspect your basement pipes for leaking. Any major problems should have been caught in the home inspection; but if you notice anything, like heavy corrosion or leaking pipes, it’s a good idea to call a plumber.

Clean Your Vents

Over the years, dust and lint collect in your vents. Moving into a home that’s not new construction, you’ll want to ensure that you’re breathing clean air by having your air ducts inspected and cleaned by a professional service. And then going forward, make sure you replace the filter every three months or as recommended. If you can, ask the previous homeowner when they last changed the air filter.

Check these five tasks off your move-in list and you’ll be ready to host the new neighbors! However, moving can be time consuming even without our additional tips, so contact your local Mr. Handyman for help crossing off any home improvement projects that the previous owners might have left for you.

Creative Ways to Upcycle Your Old Door

July 16, 2015

You know what they say…”when one door closes, another one opens.” Ever wonder what to do with those old wooden or screen doors once they are removed from the hinges? In this blog post, we will reveal ideas for old doors.

There are so many DIY project ideas for old doors. From creating an old rustic door headboard to a wooden antique table, and even some new wall art frames for your living room. There are some old door ideas for everyone, even the most novice do-it-yourselfer!

07162015 Old Door Creative Ways to Upcycle Your Old Door

Photo Credit: Gordon Robertson on Flickr

Old door Project Ideas:

  • Headboard: With a little paint or stain you can have the look of a brand new headboard. Prefer the distressed look? Use a door with chipped paint or give barn doors a try!
  • Kitchen or coffee table: Cutting an old door and piece of glass down to size is the start to a new kitchen/coffee table.
  • Picture frame/wall art: Use an old glass-paned door or French door to make a good looking frame for family photos or wall art.
  • Kitchen pot holder rack: Give an old screen door a fresh coat of paint and hang in your kitchen for a new pot holder rack.
  • Hanging station: In need of a new coat rack? Simply add hooks to an old wooden door.
  • Shelving unit made from an old door: An old door, particle board and some paint are some of the items needed to turn an old door into a new shelving unit in your home.
  • Seating bench/swing: Put together an old door and large piece of wood and what do you get? A new bench!
  • Message center/calendar: An old screen or paned door, hanging baskets and chalkboard paint is a great start to a new family message center.

Need some ideas for old doors? Check out Mr. Handyman’s Pinterest board called ‘Upcycled doors’ to see some our favorite old door projects for inspiration.

Don’t forget to call Mr. Handyman for help with your new door installation. And, if your doors are going to be hanging around for a while…Mr. Handyman can help with door repairs. All Mr. Handyman franchises are Fully Insured with General Liability and Workers Compensation. Contact us today to request service in your area!

Interior & Exterior Door Installation Costs

July 9, 2015

Doors are an important part of your home because they are both functional and decorative.  A door can make your home welcoming, provide you with privacy, and even make a fashion statement. More importantly you can increase your home’s efficiency by installing interior and exterior doors to replace those that are old or beyond repair.  Depending on what door you choose you will want to keep in mind the installation cost.  Here are installation costs that you will want to consider before you go door shopping.  Note:  Each project is unique and costs may vary.

Interior Doors 300x194 Interior & Exterior Door Installation Costs

Photo credit: Sherwood CC on Flickr

Interior doors are an essential part of any home and can range greatly in price.

  • Panel:  These doors are the basic doors used as a divider to a bedroom or bathroom and are typically made of composite or inexpensive wood.  On average these doors would cost $40-$150 or up to $1,000 for a solid wood interior door.
  • Bi-fold:  These are doors are hinged together and are generally used on closets.  They will cost about $25-$150 a set but can cost up to $1,000 if you want solid wood.
  • Pocket:  These are great doors that slide out of the wall and can be used to make the most of small spaces.  A pocket door would approximately cost $400-$1,000.

Exterior doors are available in many design styles and will increase your homes value. home repair tips outdoor doors Interior & Exterior Door Installation Costs

  • Wood:  A wood front door is an extremely popular and classic design.  On average this door would cost around $200-$500.  If you were looking for a solid wood door that is more decorative or that has to be customized it can cost up to $5,000.
  • Aluminum:  These doors are great because they come pre-painted and are rust resistant.  Generally the costs on these are $400-$600 per door.
  • French doors:  These doors are usually used in the back of the home to enter the deck or patio.  These doors are usually made from wood or vinyl and will consist of glass panes.  These doors can cost approximately $1,000-$4,000. Sliding glass doors will serve a similar function to French doors but cost less at about $500-$1,500.

If installing a new door sounds like more work then you can handle, call your local Mr. Handyman for some help.  All Mr. Handyman franchises are Fully Insured with General Liability and Workers Compensation. Some services are subject to state and local licensing and may not be available in all locations. Make sure to stay on top of all your household repairs, improvements and maintenance needs and request service in your area.

Favorite Front Door Colors & Paint Ideas

July 8, 2015

One of the most overlooked home renovations ideas is changing your front door color! The front door is something that you see up close everyday (most likely multiple times a day) and something that guests and passersby see frequently. Front door colors can say a lot about the home’s (and/or homeowner’s) personality. Front door colors can also be identified in two categories: Bold and Soft. In this article, we will go over trending front door colors and what they symbolize.

07082015 Red Door Favorite Front Door Colors & Paint Ideas

Photo Cred: Heaton Johnson on Flickr

Bold

Orange – Orange doors tell guests that you like to entertain, but also enjoy a superb challenge. Symbolizes that your home is your hobby. Your free time usually is spent decorating, gardening, organizing or tackling home improvement projects that you enjoy showing off (of course!) to friends and family.

Red – Traditionally, a red door indicates a hospitable home. It goes hand-in-hand with entertaining. Although a red door is still welcoming, it also says that you enjoy attention and try to live their life fully. Red doors tells others you master puzzles, acquire the rare collectible and complete what you start, thus inspiring others to do the same. Maybe that’s why Ron Burgundy wore a red blazer!

Blue – Those who paint their doors blue enjoy peace and cherish truth. Blue door owners are well grounded and true to themselves. A unsettled spirit that enjoys exploring new ways to use gadgets, tools or appliances to make life better. With a quick wit and quirky way of looking at things, blue door owners live in the moment.

Green – Green doors represent someone with traditional values, is ambitious and strives for personal betterment. They’re also good with their finances, as green is affiliated with money. Green door owners see life as a journey.

Soft

Gray – Gray is an indecisive color, a mix between black and white. If you paint your door gray, you could be a bit doubtful and prefer to compromise—giving both sides of an argument equal weight.

White – Just like the clean lines it creates, white doors begin a guests journey into simple and organized home decor.

Turquoise – A bit of a unconventional color, Turquoise is perfect if you desire emotional balance, have big hopes and dreams and believe that anything is possible. (Basically you’re a romantic dreamer.)

Brown – Like wood doors, brown doors tell guests that those within are warm, reliable and stable. Like the earth. They can keep an even head and are trustworthy. Brown doors also implies that you are a deep thinker that enjoys your home as a space for learning and creativity, you work out your thoughts by doodling, sketching or mulling over an idea.

Repainting your front door  may considered a DIY project but installing a front door can be a lot more complicated! For front door installs or any other of your home improvement needs, call Mr. Handyman! All Mr. Handyman franchises are Fully Insured with General Liability and Workers Compensation. Contact us today to request service in your area!

Ranking Kitchen Countertops from Most Expensive to Affordable

June 29, 2015

When installing kitchen countertops, one of the biggest decisions to make is what material to use. The look, feel, and style of your kitchen is the most important thing to factor when choosing what material to use. However, you also have to be mindful to not exceed your budget. In this blog post, we will rank 7 popular kitchen countertops from most expensive to affordable.

 

06292015 Kitchen Countertop 300x198 Ranking Kitchen Countertops from Most Expensive to Affordable

Photo Cred: Fazlmoto on Flickr

 

1. Recycled Glass and Cement Kitchen Counters

Although it’s our most expensive kitchen countertop material ($100 to $160 per square foot installed), this unique combination of glass and cement is a great way to add flair to your kitchen! Ecofriendly, sturdy and visually appealing, this countertop material can be customized and is a top choice for those seeking a “green” alternative.

2. Concrete Kitchen Counters

No, this is not the kitchen countertop of Fred Flintstone! Concrete counters can have plenty of color and visual texture by adding pigments, stains and dyes. Is sealed correctly, a concrete kitchen countertop is worth the investment — at least $100 to $150 per square foot installed.

3. Marble Kitchen Counters

Marble kitchen countertops have a classic look that always seems to be in style. Have a white kitchen in mind? Marble offers more variety of white than almost any other material. Be aware that marble is a softer stone than granite, and can scratch and stain easily! The cost of $70 to $100 per square foot installed is pricey but not the most expensive.

4. Stainless Steel Kitchen Counters

Stainless Steel kitchen countertops are nonstaining, heat resistant and easy to clean. (Which makes them great for cooking!) Don’t, however, expect to have a flawless kitchen as stainless steel makes fingerprints and scratches stand out. Costs typically range from $80 to $90 per square foot installed.

5. Granite Kitchen Counters

Granite kitchen countertops are probably the most  popular among kitchen countertops. These countertops can be customized to fit the unique look and feel of your kitchen. Ranking high in durability, granite countertops last long and maintain their original look. Cost range from $50 to $80 per square foot installed but can be more costly with more exotic slabs.

6. Wood Kitchen Counters

Wood typically isn’t the first material that comes to mind when thinking about kitchen countertops. However, a high-quality wood can create a stunning, vibrant, and long-lasting countertop. Pricing has a wide range (depending on wood type) but butcher block countertops tend to range from $30 to $85 per square foot, for materials only.

7. Plastic Laminate Kitchen Counters

Plastic laminate isn’t viewed as good as stone but is still a popular choice. This material is very customizable and can work in practically any design. With costs ranging from $8 to $20 per square foot installed, its the most affordable on our list. However, plastic laminate is not the most durable of countertops.

Installing kitchen countertops are not commonly considered a DIY project. When you need to install a kitchen countertop, call Mr. Handyman! All Mr. Handyman franchises are Fully Insured with General Liability and Workers Compensation. Contact us today to request service in your area!

Tiling Tools Checklist for DIY Kitchen Backsplash Projects

June 23, 2015

Everything You Need for a DIY Kitchen Backsplash Project

Tiling your own kitchen backsplash is a relatively affordable way to transform your kitchen. Like all DIY jobs, tiling can get tricky; but with the right equipment and a little guidance, you’ll have your own backsplash to boast about in no time. Gather the tiling tools listed below and you’ll be all set to get to work on your DIY kitchen backsplash.

06232015 Kitchen Backsplash Tiling Tools Checklist for DIY Kitchen Backsplash Projects

Photo Cred: Emily May on Flickr

Complete List of Tiling Tools

  • Tape measure: When doing a project as precise as a backsplash, it’s important to measure accurately, so having a tape measure on hand is vital. Remember the old adage: measure twice, cut once!
  • Straight edge: Again, precision is crucial when tiling. A straight edge will guarantee your backsplash turns out uniform.
  • Level: Often people just base their backsplash tiles on the straightness of the countertop, but countertops aren’t always perfectly level. Having a level on hand will ensure a beautiful backsplash.
  • Tile cutter: Because everyone’s backsplashes vary in size and shape, chances are you’ll need to cut your tile to cover your entire backsplash. If you don’t already own one, there’s no need to go buy one! Go to your local tool shop to rent a tile cutter. You’ll want a wet saw if cutting natural stone to prevent chipping and a regular tile cutter for ceramic or porcelain tiling.
  • Utility knife: Depending on the size of your tiling, it may come with mesh backing. You’ll likely need a utility knife to cut the mesh to fit your backsplash.
  • Notched trowel: A notched trowel is used to spread the tile adhesive—one of the most important tools for tiling.
  • Float: A float is similar to a notched trowel but often lined with rubber—it’s used for spreading grout.
  • Sponge: After grouting, you’ll need to wipe the tile clean of all excess grout.
  • Drill/driver with mixing attachment: Depending on whether your grout is pre-mixed, you may need to mix it yourself with a drill.
  • Cardboard/sheets: To prevent your appliances and countertop from debris, it’s best to lay some sort of drop cloth over any area that has potential to be dirtied. Use anything from cardboard to old sheets and towels to keep your kitchen clean.
  • Bucket, soap, wash cloth: You don’t want to tile a dirty wall! Wipe it down with a sponge and soapy water to ensure a strong adhesion.
  • Low grit sandpaper: Depending on your wall, if you have high gloss paint on the area where you’ll be tiling, sanding it down lightly by hand will promote maximum adhesion.

How to Tile Your Own Backsplash

  • After you’ve decided what type of tile you want, take the dimensions of your backsplash area and plan out how you want to lay your tile.
  • Prep your area! Cover any areas subject to being dirtied, such as countertops and appliances, with cardboard or drop cloths. Make sure your wall is clean before you start applying your tile. Wipe down the area with a sponge and soapy water.
  • After the wall has completely dried, it’s time to mix your mortar/tile adhesive. Always follow instructions on the label. Most mixes will last only a few hours before drying, so make sure you’re ready to put in some work.

Pro tip: Always begin working from the most visible areas when tiling.

  • With your mortar/tiling adhesive on hand, grab your notched trowel and apply the mortar in a two-foot section. First, apply a thin layer at a 45-degree angle followed by a heavier layer. The ridges from the trowel should all go in the same direction.
  • Apply your tile to the mortared area, making sure to use your straight edge and/or level if necessary. For best results, use your float to press the tile into the mortar and even out all ridges. Repeat this in small, two-foot sections until all tile has been laid.

Pro tip: Use tile spacers to ensure a uniform look.

  • Most mortars and adhesives take about 24 hours to dry. Refer to the label of your mortar/tile adhesive for specific details. With dried tile on your wall, you can start laying your grout. Follow the mixing instruction found on the container. You typically want to mix the grout until it reaches the consistency of peanut butter.
  • Use your float at to apply the grout at a 45-degree angle between each and every tile. Don’t be afraid to get grout all over your tile – it’s part of the process! But do your best to avoid the top and bottom seams where you’ll be caulking.

Pro tip: Grout tends to stick to natural stone and unglazed tile. If you’re using these varieties, use your sponge to apply a light coat of grout sealer before laying your grout. It will make cleanup much easier!

  • Remove any excess grout you can with your float and let the grout set for about 10 to 20 minutes. After the grout has settled, use a barely damp sponge to wipe off the excess grout. Be careful not to get your sponge too wet – you don’t want water in your drying grout!

Pro tip: Wipe your sponge at a 45-degree angle to avoid scraping grout from between the tiles.

  • Finally, caulk around cabinets and countertops if necessary. If possible, try to choose a caulk as close in color to your grout as possible. Remove your drop cloths and enjoy your beautiful kitchen!

If installing a tile backsplash sounds like too much work, call your local Mr. Handyman for some help. Remember, DIY doesn’t mean you have to do it all by yourself! Whether you’re thinking about ceramic, porcelain, stone or glass tile, read more about our tiling services or find some tips on designing a new kitchen backsplash.

%d bloggers like this: