Extend Outdoor Space With Simple Paver Stone Installation!

Some decks just do not suffice for large family gatherings or even quiet nightly dinners in the summer. The instinct to remove the existing deck or patio in favor of a new, larger space is not wrong, but it also much more expensive. People spend hundreds of dollars on the lumber materials and tools alone, not to mention the cost of labor. Instead of stressing about sticking to a renovation budget, follow Reddit user justgrant2009‘s simple step by step guide on how to extend a patio with some sweat equity and paver stones.

Besides hard work and paver stones, the following materials will be needed:

  • Shovel
  • String
  • Landscape fabric
  • 2 cubic yards of 3/8 pea gravel
  • 0.5 cubic yards of mason sand
  • Sealant sand/cement
  • Hose

After getting these together, mark out the space where the patio extension will go. This can be long or short depending on the space of the yard and size of the original deck or patio. Once marked, begin the excavation process of digging up the grass until the square area is 7 inches deep. This may take longer if plants have been maturing in the area for longer than one year.

Following excavation, cut the landscape fabric to size and lay it over the excavated area. Landscape fabric will prevent weeds or grass from growing up under the patio that the human eye may have missed. Pour the 2 cubic yards of 3/8 pea gravel over the landscape fabric. Smooth it out so there’s even consistency and it fills the whole area. Repeat this step, only this time with the 0.5 cubic yards of mason sand.

With the gravel and sand laid, it’s time to lay down the paver stones. To prevent the stones from moving over time, secure the edges by nailing plastic edge restraints to the corners.

Finally, pour sealant sand/cement over the whole extension, sweeping it clean until it only shows between the stones. To solidify the area, mist the finished product with a hose. This patio will be sure to impress, or at least make spending time with the in-laws a little easier.

If you’re not feeling especially adventurous, call Chicago Handyman for a quote! Beautiful decks for very low prices. 


Take A Living Room From Bland To Beautiful

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In process painting by  jjppoo

The living room is usually the room people spend most of their time in. Unfortunately, it can also be a room overlooked in home renovation. This quick, one day project can revive a basic living space. With a couple coats of paint and a living room backsplash, Reddit user, jjppoo, took their space from a white-walled TV room to an interesting space to spend time with family and guests alike.

So how does someone brighten up the dull living room? First, purchase the supplies, mainly paint and 3′ wooden scrap boards. When selecting a paint color, go with a bright color such as yellow, orange or red. And to get a more rustic look for the living room backsplash, don’t forget to pick up a variety of Minwax stains to vary the hues of the wooden boards. Don’t be afraid to be bold. Remember, being shy with color is what made the room a snooze in the first place!

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Wood board sanding and staining by  jjppoo


Before getting started on the wooden backsplash, paint the chosen wall with the selected color. Don’t forget to use painter’s tape to protect the ceiling, the adjacent walls and any trim the living room may have.

While the paint dries on the feature wall, get started on the wooden backsplash. Sand and stain all of the wood boards to the desired color. Then mix the boards up so there is a variation of hues in the backsplash.

Once the paint dries and the TV wall mount is hung, begin to screw the wood boards into the wall. Based on the space available on the wall, attach as many boards in height and width as desired. But make sure not to overwhelm the space with the backsplash.

Once the furniture is moved back into the room, the living room will be brought from a shaky 5 to an absolute 10.

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Final product by  jjppoo

Struggling with the wiring in your new TV mount? Call Chicago Handyman for a quote on all your electrical work.


A Rustic Touch For Any Home


Whether a home is a modern oasis or vintage abode, a rustic piece of furniture can add a natural luster to any room. And instead of paying through the roof in a furniture showroom, follow the steps of Reddit user BaconStripsandFishin to make a pallet coffee table.


While the look may look difficult to attain, the supplies and steps are surprisingly simple!

This project requires the following materials:n1hyc

  • A wood pallet
  • Sander
  • Plywood
  • Wood for legs and sides
  • Saw
  • Walnut stain
  • 16 lag screws
  • Leftover coffee

To begin, acquire a wood pallet. These can be acquired for free or low cost at a local hardware store, lumber yard or construction site. While there, pick up the rest of the needed products. Except for of course, the coffee. In order to get the desired weathered look, the table will need to be stained with coffee once a day for a month. Any coffee can be used, Colombian, Hazelnut, etc.


First, disassemble the wooden pallet. Arrange the boards on the plywood and then nail them to each other with the nails pulled from the pallet.

Following assembly, sand the surface of the table until smooth but still weathered and cut the sides to the desire size. Once constructed, then begin the monthlong staining process with coffee. Meanwhile, stain the wood for the legs and sides with a walnut stain. The contrast of the tones will add a contemporary flair.

Once all the pieces are dry and fully stained, attach them to each other with the 16 lag screws. Check for stability and if shaky, add a few extra lag screws.

When finished, this furniture piece will be functional and add strong character to all living spaces.


Interested in a full home remodel? Call Chicago Handyman for a quote today!

Attention Music Lovers: A Home Improvement Project

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chillm wanted to spice up this bland space with some music

Music enthusiasts get a bad rap concerning home improvement. They love going to festivals or spinning their favorite records, but are not concerned with fixing up their bedrooms. This, of course, couldn’t be further from the truth and this vinyl album wall by chillm proves it. With this project, music and DIY work in harmony to create an awesome feature wall.

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Project supplies by chillm

First, get together supplies:

  • Five 8-foot aluminum slides
  • A laser level
  • An anchor kit of screws and bits
  • An electric drill
  • A selection of vinyl albums

After pulling these together, get to work on the first row. This should be approximately 18 inches above the ground, depending on the height of the walls in the room. Drill the first 8-foot aluminum slide into the wall with a drill on both ends. Make sure the slide is level before moving on to the next row.

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First row by chillm

When adding the next row, leave a space of at least 12 inches from the first row. In order to make sure there is enough room for the records to be displayed, slide the records into place on the first row. Measure this space several times before installing the second row, leaving little space between the records and slides for that seamless look. After several measurements, drill in the aluminum slides on both ends just like the first row.


The next 3 rows will require much less time measuring, but the same time installing. Place the vinyl albums in on each row, just to make sure the desired look is achieved. A step ladder may be needed for the last 2 rows.

With the last record in place, this statement wall displays both a music collection and great craftsmanship.

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Final feature wall by chillm

For other home improvement projects, keep checking back with Idea Corner!


A New Twist On An Old Calendar


A perfect calendar accent for any wall by princessdoki


Grid outline by princessdoki

Some people need more reminders than others to stay on schedule. Sure there are phone notifications or daily planners to keep on track, but this dry erase calendar will definitely do the job. All that's required for this project is dry-erase paint, painter's tape, black acrylic paint and black marker to bring this large scale creation to life.

Using a calendar as a guideline, create a grid for the month, days and dates to be written in. Draw this outline on the wall in pencil and a ruler or go straight for the painter's tape and a ruler. For extra flair, add a notes section like Reddit user, princessdoki, to keep track all tasks for the month.


After removal of painter's tape by princessdoki

Once the grid is outlined, apply an even coat of dry erase paint over the squares. Unfortunately, the paint takes 7 days to dry. Use this time to paint the days of the week into the top 7 squares.

After waiting a week, feel free to add the month, dates and any notes. This week-long project will not only help manage schedules and “to-do's,” but add visual interest to any wall in a home.


Final product by princessdoki

For any project involving the walls in your house, you'll need the best drywall application possible. Call Chicago Handyman for all your drywall needs!