Problems commonly encountered by homeowners include coming up with ideas to make the whole home-improvement process easier, finding unique storage solutions for your tools and other items, or simply finding ways to make doing certain tasks around the house a lot simpler. And, sometimes, you just need a better way of doing something while in the comfort of your own home.
Regardless of what you need, these home improvement hacks can help make it easier for you to implement your next home-improvement project and improve your overall quality of life at home.
Before throwing away that old carpet when you replace it, cut out several long strips. That way you can use it the next time you decide to remodel an area in your home. Place the long carpet strips carpet-side down atop hardwood floors or tile in the area you’re remodeling in to minimize dust and dirt affecting the rest of the area.
To pad your sawhorses, attach a piece of old carpeting or rug to the top rail of the sawhorse. Secure the carpeting in place using an industrial stapler. Now, you can work on your projects without having to worry about marring the wood.
If you have a few old pool noodles laying around, cut two one-foot lengths and use them as cushions to keep your ladder from scratching your gutters. Simply slit the pool noodle lengthwise and fit them over the legs of the ladder near the top where they rest against the gutter.
To protect the surface of your furniture or woodworking project, attach rubber caps to the head of your hammers. Start by cutting a small hole in the cap to allow the metal of the tool to hammer in nails. Then, hammer in the nail until the rubber strikes the wood. Finish driving the nail in with a nail set.
Another use for pool noodles is as makeshift bumpers for doors around your home. Cut a short, 3-inch section off of the pool noodle, and then slit one side lengthwise. Next, fit the pool noodle section over the edge of the door, cupboard, or gate to help protect your home’s walls.
Believe it or not, you can use kitty litter to keep your tools rust-free. Place a scoop of silica crystal cat litter into a piece of breathable fabric. Secure the fabric closed with a zip tie, and place it into your tool box. The cat litter should absorb any excess moisture, keeping it off of your tools.
You can make your own hands-free work light for use in dark areas in your home using a pair of safety glasses, zip ties, and a mini flashlight. Once the flashlight is secured to the long arm of the safety glasses, slip them on when you find yourself in a tight spot with little to no light.
If you need to sand in a tight space, then this hack is for you. Cut a piece of sandpaper in the grit you need to fit around a pint stirrer. Using spray adhesive, attach the sandpaper to the stirrer. If you have multiple stirrers with different sizes of grit, write the grit size on the handle with a marker.
Easy to make, this pallet dolly requires a small-to-medium-size wooden pallet and four swiveling caster wheels. Attach the casters to each corner, reinforcing the pallet if necessary. Now, you have an easy way to get heavier items around your garage or workshop.
Keep track of the different grits of sandpaper you own by storing them in a file box. Label the tabs of the files with the grit of the sandpaper it contains. Now, you have a storage solution that allows you to pull out the exact grit of sandpaper you need.
Here is an easy way to close your paint cans when you are done using them without the mess that can sometimes occur. Place the lid on the can of paint, place a rag or paper towel over the lid, and lay a block of wood larger than the lid across the top. Tap the center of the block with a hammer, rotating the block until the lid is tightly secured.
To make this handy storage idea, cut a piece of 4-inch PVC pipe to 2 feet in length. Cut off the top half of the pipe, leaving a little more than half of the pipe’s diameter. Glue 1/2-inch thick partitions into the pipe, spaced out at intervals to create compartments. To keep upright, screw a piece of 2×4 cut to the curve of the pipe to one side of the pipe.
If you need to use a tool, such as a pry bar, to dig a trench around your home without killing your knees in the process, consider this hack. Attach the pry bar to a long handle, such as from an old hoe or shovel, using a few metal band clamps. This should give you the leverage you need without having to get down on your knees.
If you need to water your yard, but don’t want to install a permanent sprinkler system, you can use spike-type sprinklers set into PVC pipes instead. Insert 1-inch PVC pipes into the areas where you want your sprinkler heads. Then, simply insert the sprinklers into the pipes when you want to water your lawn. When finished, remove the sprinklers.
The next time you mix concrete, use a metal gardening rake instead of a hoe. The tines of the rake work great for mixing the concrete powder and water with less mess. The hoe, on the other hand, pushes the powder around and can even cause it to spill over the sides of whatever you are using to mix the concrete.
Make a storage system in your basement or garage using nothing more than 2-inch PVC pipe and some fittings. Attach the whole thing to the floor joists in your home using 5/16-inch bolts. For more on this project, check out PVC Fittings Online.
You can use this next hack to make yourself a back-saving handle for your rake. Slide a PVC pipe with a tee fitting over the handle, attach a cap to the open end of the pipe, and install a screw through the tee fitting into the handle of the rake to secure it.
Using PVC pipes with sandpaper attached are a great way to sand concave curves on your next woodworking project. Start by attaching sandpaper to varying diameters of PVC pipes cut to 1 foot lengths. The diameter of the concave curve you need to sand determines what diameters of pipe to use. To attach the sandpaper, apply adhesive to both the pipe and the back of the sandpaper.
To help prevent the blisters that often accompany using a broom or rake, use some bubble wrap. Simply wrap the handle with bubble wrap and secure it using a rubber band on each end. When using, make sure to grasp the bubble wrap to prevent blistering.
To make a better grip for the end of a shovel, attach a tee fitting to the end of the shovel. Glue the fitting in place using epoxy glue. You can also make the handle wider by gluing a slightly smaller pipe into the top of the tee.
To keep the K-Cup Pods for your coffee maker handy, install this K-Cup holder underneath a cabinet near your Keurig. Then, the next time you want to make a cup of coffee or tea, slide the holder down to get a single K-Cup and then back out of the way when you are finished.
You can also use short pieces of PVC pipe as a storage solution in your work area. Simply cut multiple 3-to-4-inch-long sections of 1 1/2-inch, or larger, PVC pipe, making sure to cut one end at a 45-degree angle. Next, drill a screw through the angled end into a 2-foot by 4-foot board. Secure the board to a pegboard in your work area. Store small items in the pipes, such as paint brushes, pencils, and small tools.
Instead of stacking your bowls on top of your plates, add a small detachable basket to the underside of your cabinet shelf. Not only can these undershelf baskets help save space, they can also reduce the need to handle them, helping to protect them from getting chipped or broken.
An easy way to cut PVC pipe, especially if it is buried in a wall or other tight spot in your home, is to use a piece of string. Find out more about this simple trick by visiting Today’s Homeowner.
If you have an empty medium-to-large-sized box, turn it into a spray paint booth. Cut a hole in the top of the box and cover it with clear plastic to let in the light. Poke hangers through the cardboard to give you something to hang the objects you want to paint.
To better organize your drills, consider installing this DIY wall-mounted drill dock. Not only does the dock give you easy access to your drills and drill attachments, you can also store batteries, drill bits, and other accessories on the shelves.
If you are a wine drinker, save your synthetic wine corks for use with this great hack. If you have a piece of furniture that wobbles, cut off enough cork using a utility knife to stabilize the item. Then glue the piece of cork into place.
You can use this hack to keep a bolt in a socket when trying to tighten it in a tight spot. Cut a rubber band into strips, and lay a strip across the end of the socket where the bolt inserts. The rubber band should help hold the bolt in place until you can get it started in the hole.
Before throwing away that plastic berry container you got from the store, consider saving it for this use. First, wash out the container and allow it to dry. Next, place grass seed in the container. The holes in the container are the perfect size to allow for the easy dispersal of the seeds when you shake the container.
Avoid buying extra clamps by using this great hack. Instead of buying specialized clamps to hold hardwood edging in place, use regular spring clamps modified with rubber bands instead. The rubber bands give the spring clamps the extra strength they need to hold the edging securely in place.
If you have some old, plastic milk or water jugs, cut off the bottoms and save them. The next time you need to move a heavy piece of legged furniture across carpet, place a jug bottom under each leg to make sliding the furniture much easier.
A common occurrence with screws is for the head where the screwdriver fits in to become stripped. If you have a screw with this problem, place a rubber band over the screw head before inserting the screwdriver. This should allow the screwdriver to get a better grip.
An easy way to change the oil in a lawnmower is to cut off a large piece of an empty cereal box. Next, fold the piece of cardboard in half to create a trough, and place it, glossy-side up, underneath where the oil comes out of the lawnmower, directing the other end into the waste pan.
To prevent water from deluging into the rest of your garage, use spray foam to create a water dam. This is especially useful if your garage is prone to flooding from rain or to contain the water from melting ice on your tires. Spray foam is waterproof and scrapes off easily if needed.
To easily dispose of dog poop in your yard, attach a long piece of 4-inch PVC pipe to a fence or other area using zip ties, making sure to sink the pipe into the ground about a foot or so. Next, place a trash bag into the pipe, securing it with a rubber band, and place a lid over the pipe to keep down the smell. When the bag fills up, remove it and throw it away. Then replace it.
An easy way to remove a stubborn nail, especially one with little or no head, is to attach a pair of channel lock pliers to the end. Then, use a pry bar to pry the nail out. The channel locks should give the pry bar something to pry against when removing the nail.
This hack provides an easy way to keep your pictures from tilting without damaging the wall. Simply take some of the putty that is used for hanging posters and place it on the bottom corners of the back of the picture frame.
If you have a pair of old sneakers lying around, why not put them to good use? Attach the sneakers to the top of the legs of your extension ladder. This should help protect your siding or walls from damage when you need to place the ladder against them. Just make sure to secure the shoes with duct tape to prevent them from coming off when using the ladder.
This hack allows you to cheaply and easily add some long extension handles to your shears, making them perfect for getting to hard-to-reach areas. Buy two pieces of PVC pipe large enough to fit over the handles of the shears, and secure them using duct tape.