Thursday, July 28, 2011

Building a Shower Pan Correctly is Essential for Preventing a Nightmare

By Mark J. Donovan

When installing a custom ceramic tiled shower it is critical to install a shower pan membrane liner correctly. Otherwise you’ll end up wasting your money on the tile and cause major water damage to your home, particularly if the custom tiled shower is on an upper level floor. I’ve personally installed shower pan membrane liners on concrete and wood subfloors and have never had a leak. I’ve also filmed the installation of a shower pan membrane liner and you can see it at I’ve also wrote an ebook on the subject, “Shower Pan Membrane Liner Installation Ebook” that explains every step on how to correctly build a shower pan and it is loaded with helpful pictures. So before you waste money and cause damage to your home, check out these sources for building your own shower pan.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Home Construction in the Heat of the Summer

By Mark J. Donovan

Driving around doing some errands today at lunch, and seeing the outside temperature hovering over 100 degrees, I couldn’t help but feel bad for the poor construction workers that I passed by toiling away in the heat. It reminded me of the importance of preparing for the summer elements when working on a home construction or remodeling project. Normally when it comes to jobsite weather concerns it’s more about cold temperatures and/or rain and snow. But intense heat can be even more of a problem, particularly for the safety of the workers.

If you have plans to tackle a home construction or remodeling project during the heat of the summer, always make sure you show up to the jobsite prepared. First and foremost bring plenty of water and fluids (not alcohol). Second, stay out of the sun as much as possible. Third, wear proper and protective clothing that is light weight and light in color. Also make sure to wear a hat to protect your head.

Throughout the day make sure to take plenty of breaks for consuming water and if you feel dizzy or nauseous call it a day. No home remodeling or construction project is worth having heat stroke and dying.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

LG Portable Air Conditioner Installation was a Cool Breeze

By Mark J. Donovan

With temperatures in the upper 90s earlier this week we finally broke down and purchased a portable air conditioner. Unlike our other window air conditioners this one stands up on the floor and resembles R2D2. The specific model is an LG LP0910WNR 9000BTU Portable Air Conditioner. The unit outputs 9000 BTUs and can cool 300 square feet of living space. It has multiple fan speeds and has a programmable 24 hour on-off timer. My wife actually purchased it and hooked it up in about 30 minutes. The exhaust vent pipe assembly mounted easily in a window. Standard window air conditioners on the other hand can take an hour or more to install and typically need installation brackets. In addition, since this air conditioner is portable we can move it easily to other places within our home with little effort.

We’ve used our new portable air conditioner heavily over the past several days and it has worked like a charm keeping our kitchen cool and comfortable. So if you’re in need for a cool summer breeze within your home you may want to take a look at this air conditioner.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Outdoor Fire Pits

By Mark J. Donovan

Outdoor fire pits are great for enjoying the outdoors. During my recent vacation we gathered around our lake home’s outdoor fire pit just about every evening. Our particular fire pit sits at the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. Most summer Friday and Saturday evenings my family and friends gather round it to watch the evening boaters and to look up at the night sky. Often we have a telescope handy to check out the Moon, Saturn, Venus and Mars.

An outdoor fire pit is easy to build. Years ago we constructed ours by simply digging a slightly recessed hole into the ground and encircling it with concrete pavers. It was about 3 feet in diameter. Recently we updated our outdoor fire pit construction by replacing the concrete pavers with elongated granite blocks that were placed vertically into the ground. Mortar was added in between the granite blocks to create a solid ring. Sandy soil was placed in the center of the outdoor fire pit to allow for good drainage.

Every year before using our outdoor fire pit we visit our local fire department office and pull a season permit for a campfire. It costs nothing and provides a little protection in the event of an accident. After 12 years of frequent summer use we’ve yet to ever have a safety issue with our outdoor fire permit. A few simple safety precautions, e.g. always dousing the fire completely out at the end of the evening, can go a long way in preventing accidents.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Painting Exterior Wood Trim

By Mark J. Donovan

Painting exterior wood trim can be painstakingly slow. Cutting with a paint brush is an unhurried and laborious task with any type of paint job. However, if you are installing new exterior wood trim you can make your life a whole lot easier. After you purchase the exterior wood trim lumber, and before you begin to work with it, pre-paint it. By pre-painting exterior wood trim you’ll save a tremendous amount of time, achieve a more professional paint job, and better protect the wood. Why will you protect the wood better? Because, when you pre-paint the exterior wood trim you can paint all sides of it, thus completely sealing and protecting the piece of lumber from moisture absorption. Also, keep a paint brush and small pail of paint near the miter saw so that you can touch up the ends of the cut exterior wood trim pieces with paint, again to completely seal the wood. Moreover, whenever possible buy pre-primed exterior trim lumber. With any type of paint job a primer should be first applied .

If you’re painting exterior wood trim that is already attached to the home, then you have no choice but to use a paint brush and do the traditional cutting method. When painting exterior trim I find it best to use a brand new 2-1/2 inch wide tapered paint brush. This way I am sure to have a nice sharp and clean paint brush edge. Then with my small paint pail in hand I start at the top of the exterior wood trim and work my way across and down, finally completing the bottom apron piece. I follow this method for around doors and windows, as well as along the exterior wood trim that may exist on the side edges of the home. By following this process I can be sure to clean up any accidental paint drips that may have occurred on the main house siding as I work my way down.

With any type of exterior painting project always make sure the wood is completely dry and that there is no rain in the forecast for at least 24 hours. The last thing you want is to have running wet paint dripping down the side of your house siding.