Fix-it-yourself tips at your library
How long is your list of indoor fix-up projects you meant to finish during the winter? Now is the time to tackle that list before the snow melts and everyone just wants to be outside. The Summit County Libraries are here to help. Whether it’s a remodeling project or much-needed repairs, the library shelves are stocked with just the resources you need.For remodeling projects, the libraries have resources for specific areas of the house such as kitchens, baths, living areas, attics and children’s rooms. “Paint Can! Children’s Rooms: Patterns & Projects for Colorful, Creative Spaces” by Sunny Goode will inspire you to cheer up your kids’ areas with such themes as fishing, mermaids, cowboys and animals.The do-it-yourself remodeler will also want to peruse Kent Lester’s “The Complete Guide to Being Your Own Remodeling Contractor.” As the back cover states, “Listen to Lester, and skip the surprises home renovation can hold.” The “2010 National Repair & Remodeling Estimator” will also help you prepare a budget for your project, and “Affordable Remodel: How to Get Custom Results on Any Budget” by Fernando Pages Ruiz provides money-saving options.Don’t forget to keep it “green” with “Green Remodeling: Your Start Toward an Eco-Friendly Home” by John D. Wagner. Besides presenting a wealth of practical ideas and solutions, the author explains why “green” is different. “Green” products improve the indoor air quality of a home, lower pressure on the environment, reduce the use of water, reduce the carbon footprint (the amount of energy burned), and reduce the chemical danger and exposure risks to people living in or working on the home.If you’re looking to save space, you’ll want to look at Popular Woodworking’s “Built-In Furniture” by Chris Gleason. This book comes with a DVD of how-to demonstrations. There are also many other DVDs at the libraries covering such topics as tiling, painting, plumbing, windows and doors, floors and drywall. “Faux Finishing,” featuring television’s “Hometime” host Dean Johnson, will walk you “through the steps of basic decorative finishes such as sponging, ragging and color washing.” All this and more is taught in 74 minutes of video.Black & Decker publishes “Home Improvement 101” by Jerri Farris, which promises to show the rookie do-it-yourselfer “how to handle almost any cleaning, maintenance or repair task your house can throw at you. From fixing creaks and leaks to unclogging drains to removing stains – it’s all here.” For the visual learner, also by Black & Decker is “The Complete Photo Guide to Home Repair with 350 Projects and 2,300 Photos.” The pictures are especially helpful when trying to diagnose problems or to see what the finished job will look like.Norman Becker, “Popular Mechanics” columnist of “Homeowners Clinic,” authored “500 Simple Home Repair Solutions” with answers to the most often asked questions throughout 20 years of writing his column. A hot topic in Summit County is radon mitigation. Most Realtors will suggest a radon test before purchasing property. Becker presents a concise introduction to recognizing and solving this problem.Women will enjoy “Dare to Repair: A Do-It-Herself Guide to Fixing (Almost) Anything in the Home” by Julie Sussman and Stephanie Glakas-Tenet. Because the authors’ busy husbands were rarely home, they taught themselves home repair. “No matter the depth of your pockets or the size of your home, a toilet will get clogged, a circuit breaker will trip and a smoke detector will stop working. It’s up to you how you’ll deal with them – live in denial, pay the piper or get real and do it yourself.”On the lighter side, check out “Joey Green’s Fix-It Magic: More Than 1,971 Quick-and-Easy Household Solutions Using Brand-Name Products.” What’s amazing is that these quirky tips really work. Fix a broken dishwasher with Tang. Clean up oil spills with Coke. Remove water stains from wood furniture with Miracle Whip. If you get a library book wet while consulting it during plumbing repairs, Green suggests placing a sheet of Bounty paper towels between every wet page, closing the book, weighting it down with a heavy book and letting it sit overnight. This will prevent the wrinkling, which could save you having to replace the book.
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