Ten Hardware Store Must-Haves for Every Home

Every home, no matter how new, needs small repairs now and again. For new homeowners and beginning DIYers, it’s hard to know what tools are needed to get the job done. The hardware store is so full of great options, browsing the aisles can feel overwhelming. The following are the ten essential tools every homeowner needs to be prepared for everyday fixes.

1. Hammer

A smooth-faced hammer with a comfortable grip is ideal for a variety of uses, such as hanging pictures and assembling furniture. A curved claw is handy for pulling out bent nails, while a straight claw works for occasional demolition.

2. Screwdriver Set

Light fixtures, cabinets, switch plates, doorknobs: homes are full of items requiring screws. A mixed-set of screwdrivers with a variety of flat head and Philips head sizes is an excellent investment and will be used time and time again. Magnetic heads are a helpful feature, as are comfortable no-slip rubber grips.

3. Duct Tape

The be-all and end-all of home repair tools, duct tape is a quick, easy fix for rips, tears, holes, and leaks. Super sticky and thick, duct tape is great for patching, and the hardware store now carries a variety of colors and designs. It is also a great temporary solution for plumbing issues. It stops leaks long enough for professional help to arrive.

4. Tape Measure

Available in a variety of sizes, 16′ will get you through most household projects. An easy-locking, 3/4in wide design is sturdy enough to stay in place without being too bulky. Look for one with a nice hook at the end for easy gripping.

5. Set of Pliers

Tough enough to pinch and bend metal, yet flexible enough to hold tiny objects steady, pliers are necessary for getting a firm grip on just about anything. Look for a set that includes long-nose, tongue-and-groove, and side-cutting pliers.

6. Long and Short Adjustable Wrenches

Needed for manipulating hex nuts and bolts, both a long and short adjustable wrench will see you through many home repairs. For sticky nuts, use the longer handle wrench for more leverage. When space is tight, the shorter handle wrench is needed. The adjustable feature ensures they will fit around bolts of all sizes.

7. Utility Knife

This extremely versatile tool has a multitude of uses including opening boxes, cutting through carpet, scraping paint, and shaving wood. Invest in a high-quality model with a comfortable rubber handle. Blade storage is also a convenient feature, and increases safety, since it makes changing the blade quick and easy.

8. Level

A must-have for keeping things straight and even, the hardware store has a wide range when it comes to levels. There are high-tech laser levels, but for most household projects a good old-fashioned bubble level is accurate, easy to use, and gets the job done.

9. Cordless Drill and Drill bit Set

Power drills make a lot of household projects quicker and easier. Cordless options are very convenient and guarantee no hunting for wall outlets. A drill bit set with a variety with metal, wood, and universal options ensures you have the right bit for all needs.

10. Stepladder

For the vertically challenged, a stepladder is an invaluable tool. Changing light bulbs, putting up curtains, changing smoke detector batteries- stepladders make all height-based tasks easier and safer.

All of these options (and much more) are available at the local hardware store. With these ten tools on hand, basic repairs and projects will be a breeze!

Source by Andrew Stratton

Common Sense is Your Best Anti-Theft Device

Just like other crimes, a burglary can be a totally random event. However, when it’s planned, there are certain things a burglar will look for when staking out a possible break-in, and there are steps the homeowner can take to minimize this risk.

This is a good checklist before leaving your home empty or for beefing up your protection against theft:

Study your house from the street, and look for any valuables that may be visible from the street. Don’t give thieves a reason to show up.

Before leaving for any length of time, ensure that all windows and doors are locked, including the door to your garage. Many home invasion robberies come through garage doors and inner doors to the houses. Doors should have deadbolt locks with a one-inch throw and reinforced strike plate. Place a piece of wood or metal in the track of any sliding doors to prevent opening.

Don’t leave your house in darkness when you’re away, create a sense of activity by using timers on lights, radios and televisions. Install low-voltage lighting outdoors to keep your surrounding yard well lit. Install motion detectors in dark areas along the sides and back of house to alert you of any intruders.

Suspend your newspaper delivery while you’re away and ask your neighbor to collect your mail. You may even ask them to park in your driveway while you’re away. Never leave a message on your answering machine that says you’re on vacation.

Keep any shrubbery near your walkway or entrance trimmed; removing any possible hiding places. Think about planting cactus or rosebushes under windows that may be especially vulnerable. Advise your neighborhood watch that you’ll be away.

Ensure your security system is activated when you leave. Etch your name on all electronic equipment to serve as a deterrent as well as assisting police in the recovery your property. It’s more difficult to sell stolen property that has the owners name on it. Make a video tape of your possessions and record the serial numbers.

Get a safe, not just for your jewels, but for important paperwork as well. Identity theft is a crime that’s on the rise and you want to minimize any availability to your personal records.

The more you can do to deter an intruder, the better your chances are that your home will not be chosen as a target. Studies have shown that if it takes a burglar more than four or five minutes to break into a home, they’ll move on. If you increase their vulnerability by adding a well-lit area or a barking dog, that minimizes your risk again.

Source by Doug Jones

Idiot Box, Not So Idiot Anymore

Remember that square-shaped box resting on the table of your living room? When you switch it on, it would show you either some of the most brain-picking news or any other piece of monotonous video clip. That’s what this idiot box was all about in the early times.

Thankfully, the idiot-box is not so idiot anymore and nor are the TV shows that it telecasts today. Thanks to Mr. Philo Farnsworth for the invention of the modern television who certainly bought a sigh of relief to all those individuals who would otherwise get bored of doing almost anything and everything that they have been doing to kill their so-called boredom.

The invention of modern television and the TV shows is smart for sure. The nightly practice of settling into your couches and gluing yourself to your favorite television shows is the biggest leisure activity that you would find for yourself in the present times.

A worthy evolution of the idiot-box

From its body-structure to the shows that it telecasts – everything about the telly has become bigger as well as better. The beautiful plasma or a flat screen TV doesn’t only let you watch your shows in better quality, but the same looks good in your living room as well (trivial, indeed). Gone are the days of a glitch situation of cable connections where you would want to get your television connected to a cable operator to further enjoy your TV shows into it. Digitalization of television and furthermore the apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime video have evolved the entire way in which any person would want to entertain himself in front of the television.

TV shows that are worth your time:

Not only has the idiot-box evolved in terms of its structure and technical upgrade, but the same has evolved in context of its TV shows as well. Today, there are a variety of programs watching which you can entertain yourself to the very core. The categories like news, movie, music, knowledge and infotainment, etc. are bringing new dynamics to this entire idea with each passing days. Furthermore, the quality of shows has improved drastically. Needless to say that the shows like Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Big Bang Theory, Friends, Narcos, How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Half Men, etc. have gathered an immense fan-following among the global audience. The craze of these shows has increased so much that the audience are not just watching them, but living them till the very eternity.

Know some amazing facts about the idiot box

Do you know that the inventor of the modern television, Philo Farnsworth wouldn’t let his kids watch the TV? Do you know the most expensive advertisement ever made was that of program and it starred none other than Nicole Kidman? This ad was priced at $33 million. The average person in the United States spends 15 years of his life in watching the TV. Although most people dream in colors, the people who grew up watching black and white TV tend to dream in black and white.

Now that you have known much about the idiot box, go enjoy watching your favorite show now!

Source by Martin Stranski

Upholstery Linen: The Benefits of Using Linens for Your Upholstery!

People are very particular about their furniture and when it comes to the upholstery then they are even more particular. Most of the people like to use upholstery linen to bring a little class and save a lot of money. Although there are some people who are not aware of the advantages of upholstery linen and they are still using the same-old fabric and leaving their furniture looking rugged and ignored. Let us take a look at some of the most widely known advantages of this particular upholstery fabric.

It brings a style and elegance in your house. Most of the time people would like to see a little sparkle in their house and use those flashy upholsteries, and they think that they have the most high-fashion house in the world. What they do not know is that they are making their house something like a freak show. If you want a little class and elegance in your house, then you use upholstery linen. There are many styles in this, and you can even choose a print that shows your personality.

Upholstery linen is very easy to buy. You would not have to look around too long. You can even buy these linens at online stores and find many varieties from colors to prints to quality. No matter what your budget is you can always find one type of linen that is according to your needs and personality. You would not have to make any compromises because the variability in this type of upholstery is just amazing, and you will enjoy shopping for linen then you ever did in your life.

This is one of those upholsteries that are very safe, and you can use them around any kind of patients. There are people who are not very comfortable with some kinds of fabrics. There are people who are allergic to some kinds of fabrics, but let me tell you that nobody is allergic to linens. Plus you will not have any problem with cleaning this upholstery linen. As this is made of natural fibers, you will not find any dust particles inside your upholstery, and you will be breathing perfectly.

It is amazingly elastic by nature, and it can be used for many years. You use and reuse this kind of fabric for many years to come. Plus as this is a natural fabric, you will be hearing, tearing and ripping sounds. They are sure to stay as good as new for at least five to six years.

Source by Rokas P P

Using 5S to Increase Performance in the Workplace

5S requires a top-down commitment from senior management to the operator level. Without this any 5S program is doomed from the outset. Also there needs to be an infrastructure such as QCDSM in place for sustainability and continuous improvement (time and resources, ideas scheme etc.) to ensure the programs meets your goals and expectations.

5S must be properly understood by everyone in the organization. It is not simply a clean up exercise and if it is portrayed that way then the program will only achieve the second “S” and will be considered a failure. It simply works only when management understands that 5S is fundamental to good performance rather than secondary to it. 5S only succeeds in environments where there is discipline and self regulation in place to ensure that performance standards are maintained and followed.

Standards need to be maintained through a simple daily auditing system of different areas, or zones, with a person or small team being responsible for each.

Even with all this in place, long term sustainability will only be possible if the system is continually measured and improved. The QCDSM program ensures this will happen on a daily basis. In addition to QCDSM, members of senior management must carry out periodic inspections of each target area. One common error by senior management is never being visible on the factory floor.

5S provides the foundation for improving performance through continuous improvement. It focuses on:

  • Increasing quality by removing waste from the workplace.
  • Provide reduction in operating costs by reducing non value added activities.
  • Improving delivery by by simplifying processes and removing obstacles
  • Improving safety through improved housekeeping and identification of hazards

Provide an environment where continuous improvement is embraced through workers problem solving and suggestions, thereby improving morale.

Simply put, 5S works best if the implementation of the program is based on the 5S Performance Improvement Formula:



  • P – Increase productivity.
  • Q – Improve product quality.
  • C – Reduce manufacturing costs.
  • D – Ensure on-time delivery.
  • S – Provide a safety working environment
  • M – Increase worker morale.

Making sure that everyone keeps up the daily 5S discipline is a management problem. It may be the responsibility of the 5S team leader, but it is also driven and supported by the auditing and tracking system that is used to measure conformance to the 5S process. The structure of the QCDSM process ensures a disciplined approach is carried out on every shift day in and day out.


You should be able to achieve substantial levels of performance improvement with a structured approach to carrying out day to day 5S activities.

  1. Measurement of performance can occur in many ways and at many levels such as overall factory performance and work team productivity. Overall plant performance is the most important from a competitive viewpoint but many other factors can influence this other than 5S. When employing a structured system like QCDSM, expect a typical increase of about 15%-50%
  2. An organization’s concern for safety can be a significant contributor to morale and pride.It can be measured with Lost Time Injury rates or other measures of safety performance. Up to 70% Reduction
  3. Cleaning out the junk will sometimes open significant space by itself. If an analysis and localized re-layout of departments is part of the 5S effort, there may be significant savings. However, such space savings must be consolidated into larger blocks of space to be useful. 5%-60% Reduction
  4. Absenteeism results from many causes but pride and morale are two of the more important. Improvements in absenteeism, if other factors remain constant, can be assumed as resulting from increased pride and morale. 20%-50% Reduction
  5. If 5S teams prepare before-and-after spaghetti diagrams, they can measure reductions in walking distance. There are, however, other motion savings at the micro level (reaching, bending, etc.) that are more difficult to measure directly. 20%-50%+ Reduction
  6. The rigor, discipline and analysis inherent in the QCDSM approach to 5S implementation can contribute to the development of the Continuous Improvement mindset. This occurs when constantly looking for and implementing improvement becomes a part of the job. One way to measure this is with the QCDSM Idea/Suggestion program. Expect the number of suggestions per employee is tracked and reported to management. Number of Suggestions 1500%+ Increase

If you wish to get more out of your performance improvement budget, reducing the amount that you spend and increase the likelihood that these investments will positively impact your company’s performance over time, use a structured system like QCDSM to manage and maintain your 5S program. Without a focused approach to 5S implementation like QCDSM, your improvement efforts will eventually die.

Source by Brice Alvord

Remodeling? Consider Termite Resistant Materials and Techniques

Termites are a serious problem throughout much of the U.S. In the Southeast, Hawaii and California, termite issues are severe. It would make a lot of sense to either build or remodel our houses in ways that prevent termites rather than wait until we have a termite problem and then work hard to eliminate the problem. This article will consider a number of techniques and materials that will help prevent termites from becoming a problem.

The first thing to understand is that termites need food and water to survive. If we can build or remodel our homes in ways that deny termites access to food and water, the threat will be dramatically reduced. While that sounds simple, the devil is in the details. The 3 basic steps in preventative construction are:

1) a good preventative design that includes an array of techniques,

2) use of termite-resistant building materials, and

3) installation of barriers to prevent access by termites.

Preventative design involves keeping the structure dry, controlling moisture in and around the structure and providing for easy termite inspection. Research shows that the majority of infestations begin with wood-to-ground contact. Good design will avoid wood-to-ground contact. The next thing is to avoid moisture problems. Moist wood is a termite magnet. Make sure the ground slopes away form the home. Reduce the humidity in crawlspaces. Design in access panels for high-threat areas such as where plumbing penetrates the structure.

Termite-resistant building materials are an important part of the termite prevention puzzle. Options include using steel framing rather than wood, using treated lumber or naturally resistant woods such as heartwood of cypress. A newer option is plastic or composite woods. These are made from either 100% recycled plastic or plastic mixed with wood fiber waste such as sawdust. Several grades are available. One way to improve the termite-resistance of existing wood is to paint or spray with a preventative borate solution. This is a great option if you will be replacing or installing new drywall so the studs are totally exposed. Borates penetrate the wood, do not break down over time and will last a very long time.

In the U.S., chemical barriers are widely used and quite effective. Physical barriers for subterranean termites consist of stainless steel mesh and sand or crushed stone. Formosan termites can get through cracks as small as 1.4 mm or.055 in wide. One proven solution is stainless steel mesh. This mesh is a bit expensive and its usefulness depends completely on proper installation. Another solution that can work in certain locations is crushed stone or sand. The particle size is critical. Particle size must be adjusted for the specific termite in the area. If there is more than one subterranean termite in the area, this solution will not work.

Physical barriers for drywood termites mean that the structure must be sealed completely. After the remodel is complete, use caulk and expanding foam to seal every little crack and crevice. Leaving just one little opening means the termites have access to your home. Eventually one of them will get in and start a colony.

The safest approach to termite remodeling is to employ all possible techniques and technologies. Reality however, imposes limits in terms of time and money. Go with the most effective methods and materials first. You want the most bang for your buck. Eliminate wood-to-ground contact. Slope the ground away from the structure. Add access panels. Spray a borate solution on exposed wood. Use termite resistant building materials. Seal the remodel project completely. And get a termite inspection once a year. Different states have different codes and different laws. Always consult construction and pest control professionals before implementing the ideas above.

Source by Russ Frank

How Does "Water" Affect Your Wealth Luck in Feng Shui?

Times are bad nowadays. Many are retrenched, while others are losing money in their investments. Since everyone is looking to have more money, I feel that this article has come at the right time. Feng Shui is related to health and wealth. In this article, I will share with you how you can use Feng Shui to improve your wealth luck. Even if you don’t make it big, you can still minimise your losses.

In Feng Shui, Water represents wealth or money. Whenever there is water surrounding a property, there is always wealth. Besides the fact that the rich people can afford waterfront properties, it is also due to the “water” which brings them their wealth luck.

From a Feng Shui point of view, it is very unfair for the poor as they have less choices when it comes to choosing their home. The rich can afford to live in places with good Feng Shui which brings them wealth luck while the poor have to stay in places where nothing much can be done about the Feng Shui.

A few years ago, a client staying on a landed property asked me to look at the Feng Shui of his house. After taking a look at the exterior, I told him that nothing much needs to be done as the Feng Shui is already optimised.

After some time, a friend recommended another client to me. This client was staying in a small apartment. After checking the directions and the apartment, I suggested that he move out. The door was directly in front of the lift, and the flat was at the end of a long corridor. Besides that, the directions were unfavorable for him.

He told me that it was impossible for him to move out as he was under a tight budget. I understood his position and gave him a list of things which he could improve. Unfortunately, the effect is minimal as the root cause is still present.

I need to explain here that I am not belittling people who stay in small apartments. It is just very difficult to change and optimise the Feng Shui of flats and apartments as everything is more or less “fixed”. This is why I said it was very unfair for the poor. However, don’t worry if you are staying in a place with poor Feng Shui and can’t move house. I will teach you later how you can “use” the Feng Shui of the rich to benefit yourself.

Let me move on…

There are 2 types of “Water” in Feng Shui. They are the “Real Water” and the “Virtual Water”. What is the difference between them?”Real Water” refers to swimming pools, streams, rivers, the sea, fountains or ponds. “Virtual Water” refers to roads, paths, walkways, lanes and alleys. It is not enough to just have “water” outside your house. Certain conditions have to be met before the “water” can work its magic in bringing you more wealth luck.

First condition, the “water” must be at the correct direction. From 1984 to 2003, it is the period of 7. The “water” must at the East for the occupants of the house to prosper. From 2004 to 2023, it is the period of 8. In this period, the “water” must be at the Southwest of the exterior of the house in order for the occupants to prosper.

Applying this information practically, if there is “water” at the Southwest direction, outside your house, you will prosper during this period, all the way till 2023. In this case, the “water” refers to both “virtual” and “real” water. This means that if there is a pond, river, stream, road, path, fountain or swimming pool at the Southwest of the exterior your house, you will prosper.

Next condition, the “water” must be S-shaped. When the “water” is S-shaped, it causes the energy to meander, thereby bringing wealth luck. If the “water” is straight, the energy travels in a straight line which signifies “easy come, easy go” in terms of wealth. The road, path, stream or river should be S-shaped instead of straight. For swimming pools and ponds, they should be kidney-shaped instead of being rectangular, squarish or triangular.

The last condition is that the “water” must be clear. This condition only applies to “Real Water”. You may be living near a big drain. If the water in the drain is murky and smelly, your wealth luck will be affected. This also applies to swimming pools and ponds. Do maintain them regularly if you can.

Clear and clean water also signifies good economy and a prospering nation. Look at Dubai and Japan, their “waters” are all very clear and clean. Before I end off, I promised to share something with you earlier on…

OK, so what can you do if you are staying at a place with poor Feng Shui and lack the means to move house?How can you “use” the rich peoples’ Feng Shui to benefit you?

Let me share with you a simple secret. Just take a walk around the areas where the rich stay. When you spend more time in those areas, the Feng Shui of those areas will start affecting you. You might want to be hang around those areas a few times per week. You can take a walk or jog around those areas. In time to come, you will prosper as well.

I hope you have enjoyed this article. I wish you all the best in creating your own wealth luck. May you prosper.

Source by Marco Chong

How Long Does it Take to Paint a Wood Window?

Well it’s all going to depend on the size and the design of the wood window, but you can plan on spending quite a bit of time, painting these intricate architectural items.

Let me give you an idea, I had to paint 7 wood windows, one time and these didn’t have any architectural details to them, they were simply plain old wood windows. The type of windows that were installed through out the 1950s and would need to be replaced or repaired, in the near future.

You’re going to find this hard to believe, but I used to paint the outside of the house, a small house, for $300, and a homeowner would supply me with the paint. I had to buy the rest of the materials, but I could paint the exterior of these small homes, in about a day and a half.

Except for the wood windows, this was a totally different story and I wouldn’t paint the wood windows each time I painted the house. I would often touch the windows up, but the amount of time that it would usually take me to paint these windows, was unbelievable.

Keep something in mind here, I could paint the entire house in about 12 hours, but it would take me about the same amount of time, just to paint the exterior of these windows and more than half of them wouldn’t open, because they were previously painted shut.

If the wood window has any sort of architectural detail, or any grids or divided lites, you could plan on spending quite a bit of time, painting each window. If you’ve never painted a wood window before, plan on spending at the least four to six hours, for window smaller than 3′ x 3′ and plan on spending at least eight to 12 hours, or more, for larger wood windows.

If you’re a contractor, who’s going to be bidding a job, you might want to contact a professional painter or at least get someone else’s opinion, before signing the contract.

If you’re a homeowner, and you hire a professional painter and they gives you a ridiculous bit, now you know why.

Source by Greg Vandenberge

How Much Does Mattress Cleaning Cost?

You will be spending a lot of time sleeping. At the very least, your direct exposure to your mattress can go for as long as 7 hours. That being said, you have to make sure that your mattress is clean all the time.

If you have pets at home, they are more likely to leave dirt and pet dander on your mattress, thereby increasing the chance for molds, bacteria and germs to appear. It is imperative that you find ways to get your mattress cleaned.

Cost of Hiring Professionals

Hiring professionals might be easier but it can be costly especially if you are dealing with pee stains or similar problems. They will have to disinfect the bed or treat it with anti allergen cleaning treatments.

The price of cleaning a small mattress, bunk bed or a cot is usually at $60. Single to double mattress usually has a price range of $70-$80. A queen size mattress costs around $90 and a king size bed at $100. We are talking about full mattress cleaning here. If you need only to have the top or the sides cleaned, you are looking in on spending more than $30.

Buying Your Own Cleaning Materials

Spending that much money on hiring professionals to clean your mattress can bust the bank. This is true especially when you have to periodically clean your bed. Cleaning the mattress doesn’t require that much time and effort so you might as well consider doing it yourself. Buy your own cleaning materials and spend some time during the weekends to clean your bed.

You will need a stain remover, an anti allergen spray or a disinfectant, brush or sponge, some towels and a hair dryer or an electric fan. Apply the stain remover on the affected areas and leave it there for a few hours or until the stains are completely gone. While waiting, you can do your other chores.

If the stains have loosened up, you can apply a bit of the stain remover again and brush it or use the sponge to get rid of the stain completely. Wipe it with an absorbent cloth and proceed with the anti allergen spray. Spray it liberally on the surface of the mattress. Let it dry completely. If you have a vacuum cleaner, use it to vacuum the surface of the bed. Let it dry using a hair dryer or an electric fan.

There are a lot of inexpensive stain removers out there. A bottle costs around $10. An anti allergen spray might cost about $20.

Source by Zach Smith

Sexy, Sassy, Confident Women Over 50 Are Pushing the Boundaries!

I love water sports! Since I did not learn how to swim until I was in my 30’s, I try to make up for lost time by being in or near the water as often as I can. A few years ago I learned how to water ski and jet ski in the Mediterranean Sea. Believe me, neither one was an easy task to master! After consuming half of the Mediterranean Sea while falling, I became hooked on these water sports; so, I am always on the lookout for a place close to home to test my skills. Last weekend I was invited to the perfect place to do this, Arizona, and I’m glad to report that I still have it! Having said that, I made the mistake of telling my parents about this trip and wouldn’t you know it.. they tried every way possible to persuade me to change my plans. “Why?”, you may ask. They think it’s not safe and that someone my age shouldn’t be participating in such activities. Women my age… what does that even mean? Is there an expiration date on certain activities? Is there a rule book that lists all the “do”‘s and “don’t”s after 50 that I am not aware of? Well, being the stubborn and rebellious daughter I am, I did it anyway. But I made sure to call them afterwards to put their mind at ease.

This situation with my parents inspired me to further explore the over 50 concept. We all know that beneath the label of mother, wife, businesswoman, sister or daughter is a dynamic woman with passion and power who can fulfill her potential in life, realize her every dream and make a difference. An empowered woman enhances not only her life, but the lives of her children, family and community. It’s time to bring forth the most important label of all… WOMAN! I plan to achieve this by working on a fun project that will inspire other women over 50 to come and share their stories. A project that will make a difference in the lives of women at risk. I am celebrating fabulous and divine women who are 50 or older and are actually living and loving life, in hopes that it will encourage other women to do the same. I am constantly meeting inspirational and empowering women who are pushing the boundaries and I salute them. Sometimes all it takes is hearing another person’s experience to motivate us to jump-start our own lives.

Passion? Desire? Let’s continue showing others how fulfilling life is when they embody these powerful words! Who knows? Maybe your story will ignite someone else’s passions and inspire them to live the life they’ve always dreamed.

Source by Silva Mirzoian