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Monthly Archives: November 2017

Steps to Install a New Toilet

What you need :

  1. Toilet bowl
  2. Toilet tank
  3. Toilet seat
  4. Two 1/4″ bolts for bowl to flange
  5. Wax ring,
  6. 20″ water supply with fitting at valve or floor connection

Tools :

  1. Pair of channel pliers
  2. bucket
  3. screw driver

1. Shut off the water to the toilet, use a bucket and a cloth or a sponge to remove the water left in tank and bowl after you flush the toilet.

2. Using a pair of channel pliers, or a small pipe wrench (8″), remove the nut where the water line fastens to the ballcock valve under the left side of the bottom of the tank. Next use a small crescent wrench, remove the two 1/4″ nuts holding the bowl to the floor flange. Remove old toilet. Remove the water line from the valve or fitting at floor or wall.

3. Now you are ready to install your new toilet. Put the two 1/4″ bolts in the side holes of the flange with the bolt head in the flange. Put some of the old wax at this spot to hold the bolts straight up and across from each other. Put new wax ring on flange, flat side up if tapered.

4. Set new bowl only straight down so it centers on wax ring and both bolts come through holds on each side of bowl. Sit on bowl facing wall until your weight puts bowl flush with the floor. Put metal washers and nuts on bolts and tighten until snug. Do not over-tighten as you can crack the bowl. Tighten these again after toilet is completely installed and filled with water.

5. Next put 2″ rubber gasket on tank where it sets on the bowl, put rubber washers on bolts provided under the bolt head so they will be on the inside of the tank. Pick up tank and set on bowl over holes in bowl where bolts go through. Sit on bowl facing wall. Put bolts on from the inside of the tank into holes in bowl, put on metal washers and nuts and tighten. Hold tank level and tighten so it brings tank down level. Use a large screw driver inside tank and a crescent wrench or end wrench to back up nut under bowl. Tighten with screw driver. Hook water supply to tank, turn on water, check for leaks, and snug up the bolts holding bowl to floor. If there is a space between the back of the tank and the wall, put a spacer of sort there to brace tank. A piece of wood or hard rubber works fine.


At least twice a year clean out the inside of your toilet tank. When cleaning the toilet tank, turn off the water, flush toilet once, add small amount of cleaning detergent inside tank to water remaining and use a cloth or brush to clean. Also clean out holes under toilet seat and rim of the bowl as well as the 3/4″ hole in the bottom of toilet bowl. Replace rubber tank ball at this time if needed. Maintaining your new toilet will keep the plumber away and reduce your plumbing bill.

Consider These Things When Choosing a Floor

How much traffic will the floor get?

The amount and type of traffic that your room will see should be one of the largest deciding factors in the kind of floor that you choose. A family room floor with a ping-pong table and busy, active life needs a floor that will stand up to lots of foot traffic and the occasional spill. In addition, you want a floor that won’t show wear, will be comfortable underfoot, and easy to care for. Vinyl floor tiles or linoleum might be your best choice there, though a good, durable wood laminate floor might do well, as well.

What’s the moisture level? Is the floor likely to get wet or is the room naturally ‘damp’?

Some floors just aren’t suited for damp areas. A basement playroom with a high moisture content, or a bathroom are seldom candidates for a solid wood floor, though there are some choices in wood laminates that might work if finished properly. Instead, you might choose slate or ceramic tiles with area rugs for the bathroom for a dramatic look that wipes up well and keeps its gloss for years.

What’s your personal style? What mood do you want in your room?

Want a luxurious feel? A thick pile rug over polished wood is a classic, elegant look that is pure luxury. A floor to accent a spare, modern style? Stone or slate, polished to a high sheen is a beautiful backdrop for leather and steel furniture and ascetic lines. A wooden parquet floor can be a dramatic focal point in an open foyer, or can lend a touch of Continental elegance to a formal living room. Wooden floors can hit any mood from rustic to royal, and the choices of color, pattern and style in vinyl or ceramic tiles can fit any active room in your home.

Mistakes when Buy a Mattres

1. Don’t limit your mattress search to innerspring mattresses.

Innersprings mattresses have long been the standard and for that reason many people are inclined to shop accordingly. Recently that trend has been changing as more and more people are realizing the benefits of getting-edge sleep systems. Latex and memory foam beds are superior to innersprings in comfort, support, and price.

2. Explore what will best suit your needs.

It is easy to be swept up in advertising and form opinions about products without ever having tried them or done any further research. This is one of the biggest mistakes to be made when shopping for a mattress. Being dead set on having a memory foam bed can blind you to the possibility that latex, with its antimicrobial properties and breathability may be a better mattress for you. You may find that memory foam is what you needed, but it is important to keep your mind open.

3. Don’t be sidetracked by trends or gimmicks.

Though it may seem like fun to change the firmness of your bed every night through products like air beds, it is not worth losing the support your body needs. Find a mattress that is customizable but continues to offer support. For example, it is easy to customize latex mattresses to any firmness level without losing support, even for couples.

4. Know the difference between firmness and support.

It is a common misconception that firmer is better. This theory has been debunked. As it turns out the human body does in fact have curves. The best mattress for you will relieve pressure points while supporting your body.

5. Don’t buy more than you need.

Many mattress sellers will try and sell you a whole new mattress set even if you already have a perfectly good box spring. If your box spring isn’t broken don’t replace it. In the case of a platform bed, which provides more under bed storage, a box spring is unnecessary.

6. Know what the exchange policy is.

Being stuck on an uncomfortable mattress that cost you a fortune is a miserable experience. Many retailers have exchange policies extending up to a month to ensure that you know the mattress you buy is the mattress you want. Know what the store’s policy is before thinking about buying.

7. Take into account the importance of a good night’s sleep.

A lot of people undervalue the time they spend in bed. A cheap innerspring mattress will not relieve pressure points near as well as memory foam or latex, which means more tossing and turning, and less deep restful sleep.

8. Don’t be too attached to brand names.

Name brand products are often very high quality. However, many smaller scale manufacturers and retailers generate comparable and often superior products at a fraction of the price.

9. Take into consideration the longevity of the mattress.

Mattress lifespan is important to consider because it affects the cost of the mattress relative to time. A good latex mattress will remain a premium sleeping surface for twice as long as any innerspring mattress. Be sure to ask about warranties on any mattress you are considering.

10. Be sure to know the features and benefits.

Knowing the features and benefits is the only way to decide which mattress is going to work best for you. To the uninformed eye a cover is a cover. To someone in the know, a cover is an amazing feature. Some covers are antimicrobial to reduce the number of allergens in the sleeping area. Some breathe better than others allowing excess moisture to be rapidly dissipated. Still others stretch to form to your body. Remember that there are important considerations when choosing a mattress cover.

Steps to Build Wood Stairs

Tools you will need:

  1. Circular saw
  2. Framing square
  3. Hand saw
  4. Carpenters pencil
  5. Measuring tape
  6. 4′ Level
  7. Masking tape

You will also need:

  1. 3 @ 10′ / 2″ x 12″ boards – Choose the best only, make sure they are straight with no check (cracks). Very Important!
  2. 2 @ 8′ / 2″ x 4″ boards
  3. 8 @ 8′ / 2″ x 6″ boards – Once again choose the good ones. These are going to be the steps so…
  4. 1 @ 45″ / 2″ x 6″ boards
  5. 1 sheet of plywood @ 1/2″ / 8″ x 48″
  6. Of course, 3-1/2″ framing nails and deck screws or nails for the steps.

Find the overall rise

We want to know the exact vertical distance from the top of the concrete pad to the top of the deck. Take one of the 8′ 2×4’s and rest one end on the deck and hold the other over the pad, Place the level on the 2×4 and level the board. Then simply measure from the bottom of the 2×4 to the pad. Lets say it is 64″. This is the overall rise.

Now determine the overall run

Before we can do this we have to determine how many steps we need.

So first..

Take the overall rise, 64″, and divide it by 7.25″, which is the typical height of 1 riser (step). This gives us 8.83, which rounds up to 9, So we will go with 9 risers.

Important: There is always 1 less tread then risers. Whether you go up or down the last step is onto the deck or the pad. So 1 less tread.

Now we take 10.5″, the width of a typical step, and multiply it by 8. This gives us 84″. This is the overall run.

While we are doing the math we need to figure out the exact rise of each step. We simply take the overall rise of 64″ and divide it by 9 and we get 7.111″ or 7-1/8″, or close enough to it. So each riser will be 7-1/8″.

Time for some layout

First thing. Grab your framing square. The long leg is the tread (step) leg and the short leg is the riser leg. Also, use the numbers on the outside of the square only.

Take some masking tape and wrap a piece around the framing square to establish you rise and run. Mark 10.5″ on the outside of the long leg and 7-1/8″ on the outside of the short leg.

Layout one of the 2×12’s on your saw horses or work bench. WIth the long leg of your framing square towards the end of the board start to line up the tape marks to the edge of the board facing you. Once you have the square in position mark the outside edge of it with your pencil.

Continue to do this until you have the required number of steps, 8 in this case. This first riser is always shorter by the thickness of the steps, for us that is 1.5″. This makes the first riser 5-5/8″.

Cut ’em out

Now use you circular saw to cut out the stringers (technical name for 2×12 with stair marks on it) being sure to cut on the waste side of the line. When you cut into the corner with a circular saw the blade misses some of the wood on the bottom side of the board. This is fine, simply cut up to the line and stop, then finish the cut with your hand saw.

Now use the first stringer as a template for the other two. Lay the stringer onto the 2×12’s and trace around it. Then cut out the other stringers the same as the first.

Reinforce the stringers

Align one of the 8′ 2×4’s along the bottom edge of the string and mark it to fit the profile of the ends of the stringers. Cut the 2×4 and secure it to the bottom edge of the stringer. Repeat this for one other stringer. These help to strengthen the stringers and reduce “bounce” in the stairs. Use the framing nails to secure them.

Assemble the stairs

The plywood is used to attach the stairs to the deck. Secure the sheet of plywood to the top end of the stringers. The two outside stringers are nailed flush with the edge of the plywood while the third stringer is centered on the sheet. Simply nail through the plywood into the face of the stringers using framing nails. 4 into each stringer will be enough.

Now take the 45″ 2×6 and nail it in between the bottom of the outside stringers. The 2×6 will fit into the notch cut into the center stringer. This provides the right spacing for the bottom of the stairs and secures them to the pad.

Attach them to the deck

Move the stairs into their final position. make sure they are level across the stringers and that the risers are plumb. When the stairs are positioned correctly nail through the plywood into the side of the deck. Use some 3″ concrete nails to secure the 2×6 spacer to the concrete pad.

Install the treads

Cut the 8 – 8′ 2×6’s in half, be sure to cut them square. Starting at the bottom of the stairs, start placing the 2×6 stair treads. Simply center them on the stringers and use some 3″deck nails to attach them. You can also use an exterior adhesive to assure that they don’t move.

Continue to work your way up the stairs until you reach the top.