Handyman At Home: Top 5 Handyman Hacks Any Homeowner Can Achieve!

1. Salvaging A Broken Lamp

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Have a lovely lamp that simply won’t turn on? Follow this tutorial on rewiring a broken lamp & let there be light!

 

2. Replacing Screens Any Time Of The Year

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Whether summer is on the horizon or a pet scratched a hole in your screen, this step-by-step guide will ensure a quick, easy fix to all screen mishaps.

 

3. Hole In The Wall? Drywall Repair For Any Novice

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A party led to a hole in the wall? Refurbishing a fixer upper? This guide will save time and money for minor drywall repairs.

 

4. Un-Stick Even The Stickiest Of Doors

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No money to replace a new door? Check out this tutorial on adjusting a hinge knuckle.

 

5. Remove Paint Stains In 1 Minute

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The easiest hack of all, rubbing alcohol! Use this for any paint mishaps at home.

 

In need of a more serious repair? Give Chicago Handyman a call for a quote today!

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Redefining An Old Space For The New Year

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Final Product from dat_asthma

I hope you all having been having a lovely holiday season! I know I have. But after all the holiday celebrations and visits, you might have found a room or two that is just not suiting your needs. Or maybe you got uber jealous of a cool friend’s super updated place. So I’ve decided to post a great DIY room repurposing from Reddit user, dat_asthma. This DIY-er turned a bland guest bedroom into a combined bedroom/office space, and you can too!

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Before from dat_asthma

Initially, you will need to measure out the space in which you will put your frame for the elevated office area. Once you measure the area, cut your boards to size. Screw them together in the shape of your frame.

Then you need to attach simple brackets to the wall and short wooden supports to your desired height. Place the frame on the brackets and bolt it into the brick wall. Next you should add two square shaped supports to the front of the frame. Make sure to screw these square supports into the floor to sustain the weight of the office space.

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Completed frame by dat_asthma

 

For further support, add vertical beams for the floor board to sit on. For the retractable bed, install a simple bed frame on locked castor wheels underneath the office area. With all the supportive materials in place, it’s time to add the decorative features.

With the floor board and foot boards in, you can now start adding paneling. You will add handles for the pull-out bed and leave an area to add stairs. Paneling should be screwed to the front of both of these areas. Then add 20mm chipboard for the subfloor beneath the laminate you are about to install.

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Adding paneling to the frame by dat_asthma

Installing the laminate flooring is incredibly simple after attaching a plastic foam layer to the chipboard. After the laminate floor is installed, add trim to the office area and skirting to the bottom area. With the basics completed, you should paint a layer of wood primer and then several coats of white enamel paint.

Your last step is to fit the mattress into the pull out space. With that installed, you now have a convertible home office and bedroom that you and your guests will love.

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After from dat_asthma

The Most Important $12 Door Update To Do

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Doors are often ignored in a renovation. Countertops, walls, appliances, all of these updates are fair game. But think about all the time guests spend looking at the doors of a home. This $12 update will add glamour to any doorway.

And the process? Couldn’t be simpler. Purchase a 1/4″ piece of plywood. Then measure out the spaces needed between the panels. Once all the horizontal spaces are even, secure the plywood to the door with a nail gun. Repeat the steps on the other side.

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Once all the pieces are attached, sand down any rough edges present. Once all is smooth, install the door. This can be done before or after painting or staining the door.

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When the paint or stain has dried, this new door can completely transform the way a room looks. Try adding this paneling to all doors of a home for a consistent look.

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For a step-by-step guide, check out Jenna Sue Design!

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Once you’re done with the doors in your home, call Chicago Handyman and renovate the spaces within the doors!

 

Renters Rejoice! Pay Only $65 For A Custom Closet

 

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Some closets in an apartment just aren’t large enough to fit a full wardrobe. So create one! With a few simple tools and a day of work, a hidden custom closet is possible on a budget.

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Here are the materials required:

  • A drill and drill bit
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Pencil or pen
  • Three pieces of plumbing pipe sized to fit the space
  • Two flanges
  • Two pipe elbows
  • Spray paint
  • Curtain rings
  • Curtain

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Start by measuring the height and width necessary to cover the area. For more space in the actual closet, add a foot above or below for more shelving. Attain pre-cut pipes or ask the hardware store to cut them to the required size.

Spray paint the pipes the desired color before attaching them together. This will look more seamless and be easier to disassemble if the closet needs to change. Once the pieces are dry, screw them together and slide the curtain rings on.

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Here comes the parts needing more elbow grease. Level the frame area and mark it with a pen or pencil. Once level, drill four holes into either sides of the wall and then insert anchors. Assure the frame is level, line it up with the anchors and then screw in the screws so they are secure.

After that is done, here comes the easy part. Slide on the curtain! Now a new closet awaits to be filled with all the new purchases possible to buy with the money saved on a custom closet.

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Old Home? These Quick, Easy Updates Will Blow Your Mind!

Sometimes a vintage touch brings interest to a home. However, if every room in a home is a remnant of the 60’s, 70’s or 80’s, it might be time for a remodel. If there’s time or no money for a full-blown renovation, check out these fixes to revamp a space provided by Kim Anderson!

Painting 

A new paint job can revitalize any room. Paint can be costly, but here’s a tip: check out the “Oops!” painting section. These paint cans were returned by customers, not because they didn’t work, but because they didn’t work for them. Pick up a few of these cans for less than $5 and watch the room transform.

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Counter Tops

A new paint color on the walls not enough? For kitchens and baths, consider painting the countertops! There are products  made for painting countertops & Anderson says her countertop has lasted 3 years with barely any chipping.

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Lighting

This last update will be the most expensive, but possibly the most rewarding. For between $40 & $150, new lighting in any room can change the brightness and sight lines of a room. Try a dome light in eating areas, new vanity lighting in bathrooms and updated ceiling fans in bedrooms.

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So don’t stress about renovation budgets or hiring a construction crew, try these simple fixes to restyle a home!

 

Ready for a large scale renovation? Call Chicago Handyman today! 

 

Feeling The Chicago Freeze? Check Out The Nest Labs Thermostat

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Ever wish your home knew when to heat up and cool down depending on the intense weather outside? Well with Nest Labs Thermostat, developers are getting pretty close!

This thermostat uses Wi-Fi and sensors to remember the temperatures you prefer at home. It is compatible with a majority of HVAC systems and turns the temperature down when you're not home.

Want to adjust the temperature remotely? No problem! Access the system with your smart phone, tablet or even your laptop on the go.

So don't suffer through waiting for the heat to turn on coming in from the Chicago cold. Check out Nest Labs Thermostat and keep comfortable.

 

Adding Lacquer & Lace To A Tired Desk

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A less than stellar desk by Rlcollins3

Everyone has bought that one piece of furniture. At a garage sale or a thrift store, they become convinced that they will be the ones to save a couch, desk or vanity from furniture purgatory. Unfortunately, so often these pieces get shoved into the recesses of a basement or garage after purchase, never to be touched again. Well, Rlcollins3 offers a different path for those impulse desk buyers with just a few coats of paint and a lace application.

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Required supplies by Rlcollins3

These are the required supplies to achieve this look:

  • Kilz primer
  • Behr Polar Bear White paint
  • Target Devine Pond paint
  • Polyacrylic paint
  • White Satin finish spray paint
  • Silver spray paint
  • Martha Stewart Metallic paint
  • Lace fabric
  • Trash bag

Apply the Kilz primer to the surface of the desk as well as the front of all the desk drawers. After this dries, paint these same surfaces with two coats of Devine Pond paint.

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Priming by Rlcollins3

 

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Painting by Rlcollins3

 

Following the painting process, place a drawer in a trash bag, only leaving the front exposed. Cover the whole front of the drawer in lace, securing the trash bag tightly around the drawer to keep the lace in place. Spray white spray paint over the lace pattern. Remove the lace and repeat this step for each drawer.

For extra touches of flair, use the Martha Stewart Metallic paint on the trim of both the desk’s surface and the edges of the drawers. Spray paint all the hardware with silver spray paint.

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This elaborate desk drawer is awesome by Rlcollins3

 

With the handles in place and drawers pushed in, this long ignored desk of drabness found its way to furniture salvation.

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The spectacular end result by Rlcollins3

Dreaming Of Summer: A Home Deck Project

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trexmoflex‘s gorgeous DIY deck

Chicago’s forecast for the past two weeks has been anywhere between -10 and 10 degrees. Not exactly a reason to smile. But here’s one way to distract from numbing fingers: planning an awesome backyard deck.

Reddit user trexmoflex‘s backyard deck may spark some great inspiration. With enough wood, tools and some helping hands, this deck can be a part of anyone’s backyard in just 3 days for less than $3000.

Assembling the required supplies for a deck may seem daunting, but it actually couldn’t be simpler. Consult a local hardware store or even Home Depot for the best type and amount wood for the type of deck desired. Then gather the wood stains and tools to secure the deck in the ground.

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Gathering the supplies by trexmoflex

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In process foundation by trexmoflex

Lay the initial two boards horizontally for the vertical slats to sit on. Secure these slats for the foundation with a power drill. Hopefully, multiple people will be working on the deck’s foundation so staining can begin. After staining, secure the deck’s surface also with a power drill. The process of surface application will take less time than the foundation.

Finally, for a more inviting look, try adding a built-in bench. Using a saw, cut the left-over wood from the deck to size and drill the legs of the bench into the deck’s surface. After adding the seat for the bench, finish off the built-in by adding a surround to the edges of the bench.

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trexmoflex building a bench

 

This weekend project will not only add more living space but actual equity to a home. So don’t stress about a Chicago winter, dream of a Chicago summer!

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A side-glance at the side deck by trexmoflex

 

And if you’re more of a planner than a builder, contact Chicago Handyman for a quote on deck services for your home. 

Get The Stainless Look Without The Stainless Budget

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Stainless steel is probably one of the most popular kitchen elements today. However, these appliances can be expensive and don’t necessarily clean any better than non-stainless appliances.

And now, there’s no need to pay the price. Blogger Julie Blanner has given homeowners everywhere the greatest gift: a DIY stainless makeover solution for under $10!

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Pick up these materials:

  • Stainless Steel Contact Paper
  • Scissors
  • Razor Blade
  • Credit card (not just to buy the supplies!)

Begin by cutting the contact paper 3 inches longer than the length of the dishwasher. Open the (empty and clean) dishwasher and start at the edge. Line the contact paper up with the top and start peeling the paper an inch at a time. Begin applying the stainless contact paper from top to bottom, smoothing it out with a credit card along the way. Make sure a partner holds the tension on the paper to eliminate the majority of bubbles.

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To finish it up, cut any excess paper off and let the paper meet with the bottom edge of the appliance. Following application of the paper, smooth out any bubbles remaining with a credit card.

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The same steps can be done with any appliance, just add more stainless contact paper!

So if there’s no budget for stainless, don’t sweat it! Find some change in the couch and get this look for less than a day of work.

 

A Mosaic Table To Accent Any Room

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Final product by am_i_man_or_muppet

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Adding the molding by am_i_man_or_muppet

Some tables are supposed to be basic surfaces to eat on. A mosaic table is not one of them. While a mosaic table can be eaten on, it will also add an artistic flair to any room in a home. Don’t worry about being an expert craftsperson either. With a simple surface, moulding, wood glue, a brad nailer, glass scraps, epoxy resin and grout, a mosaic table can be made by even the most amateur home improvers.

First, attach the molding to the corners of the table. This creates a border for the mosaic to be placed in. All the molding should be cut at a 45 degree angle beforehand. Then using a brad nailer and wood glue, secure the molding to each side of the table.

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In process design by am_i_man_or_muppet

Depending on how fluid or particular the design, there may be a period of sketching on the table surface. Reddit user, am_i_man_or_muppet, preferred to lay glass and beading as they went, allowing the end project to surprise them. Glue down the glass and bead pieces with any type of glue on hand. Arranging the glass and beading is the longest part of the process but also the most enjoyable.

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The grout-y mess by am_i_man_or_muppet

When all the pieces are glued down, it is time for the grouting to begin. This will be a messy, grout-y process but totally worth it. The grout should be all over the glass by the end of the application. To keep the grout moist, spray it with water while you squeegee it off. Once all the grout is removed, pour a layer of epoxy resin to seal in the pieces of glass and beading.

All that’s left to do is find a place for this piece of art-slash-furniture. Enjoy!