512 North Main
Gore, OK 74435
Open 6 days a week
8 am to 5 pm
Clear a Clogged Drain
Level: Beginner - After you have tried to clear your drain with a plunger the next attack should come from a hand snake. A hand snake is a coiled metal cable or flat steel wire that winds down the drain and breaks up the clog with gentle twists and tugs. It is best if you use a slow, deliberate approach. This is not the time to be hasty! Many homeowners advance several feet of wire before starting to turn it. Then it either kinks up or flips out, scratching the fixture or splashing mucky water all over. Feed the snake in one foot at a time and then turn it; feeling the way as you go along. When you hit the block, work at it gently. Getting through the clog can take quite some time, even for the best of plumbers, up to a few hours. However, it minimizes the risk of damage to the pipe and you!
Level: Any - Bought a new home? Remodeled a kitchen? A bath? Added a room? A large construction project is a giant jigsaw puzzle with as many as 10,000 pieces that don’t always come together exactly as they should.
Thus some contractor flubs are to be expected. Here’s the top common problems to watch for:
First are interior and exterior paint goofs ranging from wrong colors and poor preparation to skimpy coverage and leaving a mess behind.
Next are drywall cracks (from moisture or settling) and nail heads that protrude above wall surfaces.
Also, watch for moisture ranging from leaks in windows, roofs and pipes and basements and crawl spaces (due to bad drainage) to expanded hardwood floor joints due to humidity.
Vinyl surface imperfections (due to subfloor seams and nail heads) rate "call-backs" too.
Now you know construction is more "art" than "science" so brace yourself and enjoy it for what it is: great.
Contractor Tip Sheet
Level: Any - If you're a contractor and wondering when to rent or when to buy your merchandise here's a few tips to help you make the decision.
If your equipment isn't being used 60 to 70 percent of the time, consider renting rather than owning, especially during peak periods to meet demands. In this case, don't tie up working capital in equipment purchases.
Review your project with a rental professional. You know the job; they may be able to offer suggestions regarding project equipment advances to help you complete the job easier and more economically.
Review your invoice carefully; it is more than a receipt, it is a legal contract.
Be sure that your rental equipment is covered by an insurance policy in case of damage, vandalism, or theft. Be comfortable with the deductibles.
For frequent renters, ask about a standing certificate of insurance on file with the rental company so that you are automatically insured.
Your local rental store carries only the most reliable and reputable equipment -- make sure that you are renting the best for the job. Ask questions and explain your needs.
Always ask about operational safety and any operator training manuals. If you're unsure about the equipment's use, ask your local rental store. They are the experts and can help train you.
How to Use a Brush Chipper
Level: Intermediate - Brush chippers convert unwanted tree waste into usable, dimensional chips that are ideal for use as mulch, compost and as a cover for pathways. There are many sizes of chippers, ranging from a six-inch diameter capacity for limbs up to a monster 18-inch chipper. The smaller chippers are more commonly used by homeowners, while the larger machines are typically reserved for contractors and government agencies who tackle full tree removal and light land clearing.
Please Note: Brush chippers require the use of appropriate safety gear such as goggles and hearing protection. Be sure to read the gives you for using a chipper before attempting to operate it.
How to Use a Mini-Excavator
Level: Advanced - Everybody is looking for a better way to get things done these days. Contractors and homeowners just may find the answer in mini-excavators. These machines are so versatile you can do just about any type of construction work with them – from using a hammer to break up concrete to digging holes for landscape work. These user-friendly, versatile machines are becoming an important development tool, particularly in urban areas where tighter quarters demand smaller, lighter equipment.
What can it do? With many bucket sizes and multiple attachment options, the mini-excavator is an extremely versatile tool.
Attach a hydraulic hammer for demolition and pipe digging work
Dig out a curb or sidewalk without interrupting traffic at a busy intersection
Attach an earth auger followed by a thumb to load brush and sort recyclable material
Use for multiple backyard jobs, including digging up sewage pipes or electrical conduit
Break up concrete for demolition and recycling with a hammer attachment
Dig holes for landscape work -- buckets range from 12 to 24 inches
Work inside strip malls to break concrete, set up plumbing and finish the interior without interrupting other businesses
Rehabilitate old buildings – light flotation makes them easy to get into elevators for multiple level demolition and remodeling
Coupled with a skid-steer, the two machines sometimes can be more economical than a bigger backhoe. Moreover, they can work on two different tasks at the same time
There are buckets for every type of digging and every type of dirt: For example, use a 24-inch bucket to dig footings; 12 and 18 inch for utility lines; and for soppy soil, use a 36-inch drainage bucket for the water and loose soil
What are its advantages? Small minis still have the feel of full-sized excavators. Big-excavator operators who balk at bouncy backhoes are quite at home on these machines. Mini-excavators provide several advantages – for contractors and homeowners. These machines:
Get into tight spaces – some are small enough to fit through yard gates
Are so light they can cut red tape by eliminating the need for special highway-hauling permits and commercial driver’s licenses
Are set up to run like larger excavators – almost anyone can get in and learn to operate a mini in a matter of minutes
Feature a quick-coupler attachment for quick exchange of any dipper-mounted attachment
Are much quieter than big machines when crossing over cement and hard surfaces
Feature ergonomic controls for easy operation
Have rubber tracks that won’t scrape and grind the surface like steel
Have rubber tracks that don’t slip while loading the machine for transport
Have rubber tracks that can move into narrow places with minimal damage to the ground, thanks to its light footprint
Are small enough to fit on pull-behind trailers and can be transported with pickup truck horsepower; some even fit in an extended pickup bed
Use a wide variety of attachments
Have a 360-degree swing arc that allows other units, such as a dump truck, to be placed wherever necessary – the excavator can spin around to deposit the load where it needs to be. Dumping height usually is not a limiting factor.
If It's In the Air, Use a Lift
Level: Advanced - Aerial lifts are among the most popular rental items for good reason. They offer huge productivity gains over ladders and scaffolding. Whether for construction or maintenance, lifts enable trained operators to reach everything that's up in the air.
Things to Decide Before You Rent: Depend on your area rental store to determine and explain important manufacturers' specifications located on unit model numbers. For example, a 2033 means the lift has a 20-foot platform height and is 33 inches wide. Together, you'll be able to determine the best unit for your specific job by answering the following questions.
Where will you use it? You'll use the lift either "on the slab" or "off the slab." For on-the-slab jobs (on a paved slab), most battery-powered lifts will do, particularly when the unit is to be used indoors where gasoline or diesel fumes from an engine-driven unit may be concerns.
For off-the-slab projects like new construction sites where the terrain may be uneven, a gasoline or diesel engine-driven unit with larger, flotation-style tires may be best. Aerial boom lifts, with their ability to go up and over obstructions, are a better choice than straight up-and-down scissor or vertical lifts where a lot of obstructions are present. Along with drop-offs and holes on the surface, the presence of overhead wires, lines and other obstructions are safety hazards that must be considered.
Is there access to electricity? The presence or absence of electricity on a job site is another qualifier. Electric units use battery power to operate the hydraulic mechanisms for lifting, and motors for moving about. These batteries need to be recharged. If no electricity is available, larger units that rely on diesel or gasoline engines for propulsion and battery charging may be the only option. Once a site is hooked to the electric grid and a slab has been poured, the user can switch to electric units.
How will you use it? Lifts are rated by gradability rather than horsepower. In addition to being able to travel on rough terrain, the larger units should be able to get on and off tilt-back trailers or roll-back trucks easily under their own power. Units used on a poured slab typically require much less horsepower or gradability because they are operating on a smooth, level surface.
How high is your highest working height? Maximum lift capacity is an important variable to consider before choosing your rental unit. What's being lifted where may dictate machine recommendation. Lift equipment is rated in platform height. As a rule of thumb, subtract 6 feet from the ceiling to get the platform height needed. For example, if you have a 26-foot ceiling, you will need a 20-foot reach unit.
Landscape Like a Pro
Level: Any - A sod cutter (shown) is a great landscaping tool that can easily turn a homeowner into a landscape designer. Sod cutters can be used for a variety of landscaping applications including sidewalks, stepping stones, flower beds and ponds. You’ll discover that using a sod cutter is much more productive than using a spade. It’s easy to mark or cut an area for renovation by simply engaging the blade to mark and cut the area and then rolling back the sod before digging or trenching.
When laying irrigation pipes, the results you can get with a sod cutter are much cleaner than if you used a trencher. When you’re done filling the area, simply roll the sod back over the area and it’s hidden.
Forward and reverse transport controls can help maneuver in tight areas as well. Four-wheel-drive units provide better balance and stability, which can come in handy when cutting on slopes or transporting onto a ramp.
Operating an Air Compressor
Level: Intermediate - There are five basic steps in the operation of an air compressor.
Step 1. Check the oil level to make sure the compressor is properly lubricated.
Step 2. Plug the unit into the correct grounded, 3-pronged outlet. Turn the pressure switch on and close the tank drain valve.
Step 3. Adjust the pressure for the tool you will be using and the job you will be doing. Never exceed recommended pressure for the tool or the job.
Step 4. When finished, shut off the motor, unplug the unit, and turn off the regulator valve. Then bleed the air out of the hose, remove the tool and open the regulator to bleed the air in the tank. If you have a quick connect, you must either remove the hose to bleed off the air from the tank or bleed the air through the drain cocks.
Step 5. After storing the hose, open the drain cock to release any accumulated moisture. Leave it open until the next time the compressor is used.
Available Attachments Now let's talk about the available tool attachments. If kept properly cleaned and lubricated, air tools are virtually indestructible. With few actual moving parts, maintenance is minimal. They run cool, since their power source is the compressor. Perhaps two of the most obvious and useful tools are an inflation kit and quick connect couplers. The quick connect couplers make it fast and simple to change tools. The inflation kit attachments allow you to inflate everything from beach balls to automobile tires.
Blo-Gun - This attachment is great for blasting away dirt, grease, and dust from hard-to-reach areas. Never point the gun at the eyes or other parts of the body.
Nail Gun - Always be sure the gun is flat against the surface being nailed and know what is on the other side, so you won't cause damage or injury with the high pressure of the gun.
Air Stapler - Again, be sure the stapler is flat against the surface being stapled. Larger staplers are available for attaching roofing shingles and so forth.
Air Sander - The dual-action air sander should always be touching the surface when it is turned on. This type sander is frequently used in automotive work but many other uses around the house, such as rust removal or paint preparation, make it a handy tool to have.
Spray Gun -This speeds up paint application and gives a smooth finish. There are a variety of spray gun designs on the market for various types of painting. Many times you can reduce the time required to do a job by 50% or more.
Sandblaster - This works well for removing rust and old paint and for preparing surfaces for painting. This same equipment can be adapted for use with soap and water for pressure cleaning such as degreasing auto engines and lawn and garden equipment.
Caulking Gun - This tool takes the toil out of caulking, by giving a fast, uniform bead. Uniform and consistent pressure makes for a stronger bead. This tool can be used for any tube material such as adhesive or grease.
Air Ratchet Wrench - This is great for tightening bolts, whether building a deck, working on an automobile engine or installing a muffler.
Air Hammer/Chisel - The masters jobs from masonry to tailpipe removal. It must be up against the surface when started.
Air Drill - An air drill makes drilling into any surface an effortless task.
Impact Wrench - This is used in automotive and assembly work.
Repair Concrete Surfaces
Level: Advanced - The first step in repairing and resurfacing concrete floors and other paved areas is to prepare the surfaces properly so that new overlays or coatings can bond securely. All grinding disks use friction either to cut away surface irregularities much like a saw blade or to scrape the surface using an attachment that shears material from the surface.
Concrete grinders’ horizontally rotating cutting disks clean and smooth concrete surfaces. They are designed to:
Work on the top surfaces of large areas of concrete to remove old sealers, mastics, epoxy, urethane, paint, other coating materials and carpet backing
Clean buildup of industrial residues such as rubber, grease and fiberglass
Level high spots and uneven joints, generally when irregularity is no more than 1/16"
Grinder Dos & Don’ts
Grinding machines are powerful pieces of equipment. Address these safety and operational procedures before use in any area.
Never operate gasoline-powered grinders in unventilated areas.
Use only properly sized, grounded electrical cords on electric grinder models. Be sure power sources are adequate for the machine size.
Know your concrete’s psi rating. The type cup, disk or cutters needed depends on the hardness of the surface. Be aware, concrete hardens as it ages, and varies by region of the country.
Wear safety shoes, gloves, and ear and eye protection.
Properly ventilate inside projects. Dust may contain asbestos, silica or other dangerous materials. OSHA may require wearing masks or respirators.
Sandpaper and Sanding Disks
Level: Any - For an average-sized room (10 x 15 feet), get 10 sheets of each grit for the drum sander and 10 disks for the edger.
Use the Highest Grit that Will Do the Job! The first pass should remove at least 90% of the old finish and leave the floor level. If not, try the next lower grit. Follow each drum sander pass with an edger pass of the same grit. Don't skip more than one grit from pass to pass - follow 40 with 60, not 80 or 100.
Floor Condition Grit
Pass 1 Pass 2 Pass 3 Pass 4
Good 36 or 40 60 80 or 100 N/A
Rough or Uneven 20 36 or 40 60 80 or 100
Thatch Too Deep
Level: Any - If your lawn has been taken over by thatch thicker than 1-inch, it is most easily removed with a sod cutter (shown). A sod cutter set at the soil surface removes the sod easily in light and manageable strips. The lawn must then be completely reestablished with seed. Although reestablishment is hard work, it is better in the long run.
Use Pneumatic Nailers Safely
Level: Beginner - If you are an experienced user or just learning how to use a pneumatic nailer, it's best to know the safety issues that surround using this powerful tool. The safety rules are easy to follow and most importantly include wearing eye protection to eliminate the chance of accidents happening while on the job. If you follow these simple rules, your rental experience with the nailer should be a safe one!
1. Read the Manual Even if you know how to use a pneumatic nailer from previous experience, it is best to read the manual to make sure you know how to handle, load, and operate one of these tools.
2. Always Wear Safety Glasses No matter your size or strength, your eyes are vulnerable to permanent damage from flying nails or other debris. Make sure to also wear hard hats and hearing protection to protect your ears from the constant trigger of the nails.
3. Keep Your Finger Off the Trigger Many worksite accidents occur when the tool is carried around with the trigger depressed. Since the trigger is one part of a two-part system, all you need to do is depress the workpiece to a point of contact to discharge a nail. Instead, if you need to move around or clear a jam, disconnect the air supply and save yourself or someone close to you a near fatal injury.
4. Use Regulated, Compressed Air This may seem like common sense but variations have been made in the past! Make sure that you only use air that is regulated and compressed. You also should not exceed the recommended air pressure capacity for the tool.
5. Keep Hands and Feet Away From the Fastening Area If you are driving a 3-1/2"-long nail into a piece of wood, your hand should be nowhere within 3-1/2" radius, at the least. Knots, splits, or grain structure of the wood can cause the nail to shift, possibly even out of the wood. Here's a tip on how to figure a safe distance. Multiply the fastener length by at least 2, and then use that as the minimum distance you and your body should be from the point of nail entry.
6. Operate the Tool on the Work Surface Don't squeeze the trigger unless the tool's nosepiece is completely on the surface of the material that you are working on fastening. Remember never to drive a fastener into a piece of wood too close to the edge in case the wood chips or deflects off the board. Also, make sure not to hold the tool even at a slight angle, in case the nail breaks through and deflects into the air.
7. Disconnect the Air Supply Before Servicing Tool Always disconnect the air supply before removing a jam or fixing another malfunction. The fastener will be waiting to disengage as soon as the problem is fixed and will nail into anything in the path...including body parts if not handled safely.
8. Check Tool for Proper Operation Check the tool manual or ask the rental center for basic instructions on how to perform a quick check. Stop using the tool if the safety gets stuck or if the tool begins to malfunction. The loss of one part in a two-part operating system is a critical problem that could lead to injury. Make sure to report any malfunctioning to your rental center.
'Tis the Season to Dethatch......and Aerate Your Lawn
Level: Any - We are quickly approaching the spring season, which is a great time to rent a power rake and aerator. Check your local rental store for deals they may offer on these items. Here are a few tips regarding dethatching and aerating so you know what you're getting into before you start.
Thatch is a layer of dead stems, roots and clippings between the soil’s surface and the green vegetation, which can deprive your lawn of vital nutrients. This can cause your lawn to look dull, yellow and lifeless. Excessive thatch prevents water, air and nutrients from entering the grass roots and provides the perfect breeding ground for insects and disease.
Dethatching (or power raking as it is sometimes referred to) is a process that mechanically removes accumulated thatch using steel flail blades to lift thatch debris to the surface for removal. Once this build up is eliminated, air, water and nutrients can flow freely to the roots, rejuvenating a lifeless lawn.
Dethatching may temporarily cause some minor turf browning for a period after using a power rake. To expedite the recovery of the lawn, all thatch should be removed. Fertilizer and herbicide should then be applied to prevent the growth of weeds while replenishing vital nutrients that the lawn needs to regain its green, lush appearance.
The next step for a great lawn this year will be to aerate. Soil compaction is a frequent cause of turf deterioration. Compaction is caused by all types of lawn traffic such as walking, mowing, kids and dogs running across the grass and is greatest in the top 2-3" of the soil. In compacted soil, dirt particles are forced together reducing the area where roots can grow. Aeration, the process of mechanically removing cores of turf, relieves compacted soil by improving the exchange of water and critical nutrients between the atmosphere and the grass’ roots.
For optimal effectiveness, aeration should be performed at least once annually. Spring (between March and May) and/or fall (between August and November) are the ideal times to aerate cool-season grasses, such as perennial ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass. Warm-season grasses, such a Zoysiagrass and Burmudagrass benefit the most from spring and summer aeration. In drier climates aeration increases drought resistance while decreasing the amount of watering necessary to help lawns remain healthy.
Lawns that receive regular aeration will be greener, easier to maintain and suffer from fewer pest problems and disease.
Choose the Right Sump Pump
Level: Any - The main purpose of a sump pump is to get rid of excess ground water that accumulates around a basement that is below the water line. The basement should have a drain tile around it to collect ground water and bring it to the sump in the basement. You can rent a sump pump even after your home has flooded with water or if you are going to a worksite where one will be needed to get the job done efficiently. Automatic and manual models are available with either gravity-fed or self-priming operation. Capacity is rated on the amount in gallons-per-hour can be pumped as well as the "lift" pressure generated that tells how high the liquid is to be pumped. Some models offer battery back up in case of a loss of power. The pumps are designed in two different styles; both doing an equally good job. In a submersible pump (pictured), the motor and the pump are sealed in one unit. The unit fits into the pit in the floor to pump out the water. The other model available is referred to as a pedestal pump. It has the motor mounted on a column above water level, and the base is fit into the pit.
Compost with Wood Chips
Level: Any - If you're wondering what to do with all of the wood chips left from using the wood chipper (shown) to cut down your tree, build a compost pile in your backyard. It's great for adding to your garden to help transplants along and to keep soil healthy. Plus, it's an environmentally smart way to turn household waste into something useful.
There are several things involved in "heating" up your compost and helping it break down faster. First of all, compost piles require several elements to make them work properly. These include moisture, oxygen and a source of nitrogen for proper bacteria action.
Build the pile by starting with a 4 to 8 inch layer of brown material (wood chips) covered by a 2 to 4 inch layer of green material and another layer of brown. Sprinkle with water and mix layers together with a spading fork. Continue building with additional layers until about 3 feet high. Turn the pile weekly with a fork and add water as necessary. The pile should be as moist as a wrung out sponge.
If the pile is too dry or has too much woody material in it, it will not "work" as quickly. Secondly, turning the pile often allows the introduction of air (oxygen) that speeds up the decomposition process. Proper construction of the compost pile involves using approximately equal amounts of brown and green materials. Brown matter is high in carbon and includes dry leaves, sawdust, hay, wood chips, small branches, etc. Green matter is higher in nitrogen and includes things like grass clippings, fruit and vegetable scraps, eggshells, coffee grounds, manure from livestock or poultry, etc. Coarse or large materials should be chopped or shredded to allow the decay producing organisms to reach more surface area and speed up the process.
The addition of manure or green matter will usually speed up the process if the other conditions have been met. There are some compost boosters available in garden centers, but it is hard to say what is available in your area. These are usually a form of nitrogen or microbial enzymes that assist natural occurring bacteria in decomposing the organic matter.
Digging with a Ditch Witch
Level: Beginner - Digging a trench for sprinkler systems, water pipes, electrical lines, etc. can be a tedious and back-breaking job. Yet, there is hope to make this job easier right inside your rental store with a Ditch Witch trencher! And it won’t damage your turf like heavier equipment.
It will not be much of a problem for you to make a straight trench with a Ditch Witch, even if you are a beginner.
When trying to get the Ditch Witch where you want it, leave one of the wheels freewheeling so you can pivot it more easily. However, once it comes time for trenching, make sure that you lock the drive wheels.
The maximum depth varies with different models of Ditch Witches so check with your retail center for the specifications on the model that you are renting. The tool works as a giant chainsaw on wheels; it moves in reverse towards the user so be careful when operating.
CAUTION: Always remember to check where the underground lines are before digging to prevent any mishaps!
Floor Sanding Tips
Level: Beginner - Refinishing hardwood floors in the home is a big job to handle. If you're going to tackle it yourself make sure you have the assistance of a floor sander you can rent from your local rental store. Proper planning before you begin is just as important, so here's a few tips to get started in the right direction.
Check fuse supply as machine may overload the circuit.
Remove furniture, rugs, curtains, pictures, and any other conveniently removable items.
Complete wall covering and painting project before you refinish the floor.
Provide adequate ventilation during sanding and refinishing.
IF the room has a large doorway, cover it with a dropcloth or plastic covering.
Stuff extra towels or rags under bottoms of exit or closet doors and cover all air vents.
NEVER stop the sander with the drum in contact with the floor.
Wear clean soft footwear to avoid dirt marks and scratching.
How to Hang Wallpaper
Level: Intermediate - Hanging wallpaper can give any room a new look or a completely different style. But hanging it properly is the key to success. The array of different paper patterns, colors and textures can drastically change a room from old and outdated to modern and spectacular.
New wallpaper can actually alter the appearance and perception of the whole room. Hanging vertical stripes can make a room look like it has higher ceilings. Large patterns can make a large room look smaller and cozy. Choosing your pattern can be the most difficult part of the wallpapering procedure, since there are so many different patterns and textures to consider.
Prepare the Walls: Tools and Materials you need:
Paint roller handle and sleeve
Putty knife (6-inch blade or wider)
Plaster (drywall compound and joint compound or spackle)
Step 1. Clear the Room If you have old wallpaper that needs removing, see How to Remove Wallpaper. Before you begin, remove everything possible from the room. All furniture kept in the room should be moved into piles near the center and covered with drop cloths. Cover the floor or carpet with drop cloths to protect from spills.
Step 2. Paint if Necessary Paint the trim and ceiling if necessary. Do this before the wallpaper is hung so that you don’t get paint on the wallpaper. It doesn’t matter if you paint onto the wall when painting trim or the ceiling because the wallpaper will cover any painting imperfections. Give the paint about a week to dry before you begin hanging the wallpaper. (Water and glue can damage the paint if not totally dry.)
Step 3. Spackle Cracks and Holes Fill all cracks and holes using a joint compound and drywall compound or spackle. Sand the areas until they are smooth and coat them with interior primer and let it dry completely. If the walls are painted with a semi-gloss or gloss paint, give them a light sanding to dull the surface so the glue adheres better. Be sure to sand away any tiny bumps on the wall before hanging wallpaper because the bumps will show through. Run your hand over the sanded surface to make sure it is smoothed out.
Step 4. Apply Sizing to the Walls Apply a coat of wallpaper sizing to the wall if necessary. The sizing helps you slide the paper into place when hanging it. If there is flat finish paint on the walls you are papering, sizing makes the wallpaper hanging easier. The sizing gives your walls a light gloss, which allows paper to slide into place. Apply the sizing to your walls using a paint roller just like paint. It is inexpensive and makes a better surface to hang wallpaper on. If your walls have just been primed, you can skip applying sizing to the walls. If you are not sure whether your walls need sizing or not, it is best to do it because it is quick and makes hanging wallpaper easier.
Hang Wallpaper: Tools and Materials you need:
Wallpaper paste (for non-prepasted paper only)
Adhesive brush or paint roller (for non-prepasted paper only)
Putty knife (at least 6 inches wide)
Smoothing brush (or smoothing knife)
Two large sponges
Border and seam adhesive (only if using vinyl paper)
Single-edge razor blades
Step 1. Measure and Cut Paper To make the process go quicker, cut the paper ahead of time. Number each piece at the top of the paper so that you have the right size paper for each area. If the pattern is random, you don’t have to worry about matching it up so you can cut many pieces at a time. If you have a pattern that needs to be matched, it is better if you cut the pieces as you hang them. Make sure to cut an extra six inches for trimming at the ceiling and the floor.
Step 2. Find a Starting Place Find a spot where you want to begin. If you have a pattern that needs to be matched up, there will be one place where the patterns don’t match. The best place to start is a corner that is not noticeable, because that is the seam where the pattern will not match up perfectly like the others. Good places to start are behind a door, near drapes or in the far end of a room. Using a level, draw a vertical line about 1/2-inch wider than the width of your wall paper. This line will guide you in hanging your paper straight. Do this for each piece of paper to ensure they are straight.
Step 3. Apply Glue A. Prepasted Paper Activate the glue on one strip of wallpaper at a time. To activate the glue, you simply run the piece of paper through the water tray. Submerge the end of the strip in the water tray, and slowly unroll the strip into the water and run it through the tray. Once the entire piece is in the water, pull it out and let if drip over the tray for about 2 seconds. Lay the piece on a table and fold the ends in so that glue is touching glue. This gives the glue time to activate. Once the ends are folded in, fold the new ends into the center again. Be careful not to crease the paper. This is called booking the wallpaper.
B. Non-prepasted Paper If you are hanging non-prepasted paper, you will need to apply glue to the wallpaper. You can buy the wallpaper paste at your hardware store. Lay the strip of wallpaper back side up over a big table or any flat surface. You can even use the floor, just cover it with a drop cloth first. Use a paint roller or adhesive brush to apply a thin layer of glue to the paper. Make sure to cover every inch of the paper to prevent air bubbles. Once glue is distributed over the entire piece, book the paper by folding the ends in to the center.Try to keep your flat surface as clean as possible so glue does not get on the front side of the paper.
Step 4. Hang the First Piece Place a stepladder in front of the area where your first piece of paper will hang. Take the paper by the edge that will be placed at the ceiling, keeping the rest of the paper folded. Hold the wallpaper between the vertical line and the wall by its upper corners. When it is centered, press the paper in the corner, leaving 3 inches at the ceiling and 1 inch on the adjacent wall. Let the paper unfold and drop to the floor. If the paper is hanging straight, smooth the rest of the paper onto the wall from the ceiling to the floor using a smoothing brush or smoothing knife.
Step 5. Smooth Out any Air Bubbles Use a smoothing brush or smoothing knife to force out any air bubbles moving from the center outward. Wipe the wallpaper with a clean damp sponge to remove any glue residue and continue to smooth out any air bubbles. Make sure you rinse the sponge after each wiping to keep it clean. If you don’t rinse the sponge well enough, you will just wipe glue all over the wallpaper and it will be noticeable when it dries.
Step 6. Trim Excess Paper Hold the blade of a putty knife into the corner where the ceiling and wall meet. Use a single-edge razor to cut off the excess paper at the ceiling. Slide the putty knife along the wall as you cut the paper. Once the ceiling is trimmed, do the same to trim the excess paper at the floor. Clean off any excess adhesive that got on the base molding or the ceiling with a clean, damp sponge.
Step 7. Roll and Wipe the Seams Use a seam roller to press the edge of the wallpaper down. This will ensure that the edge is securely adhered to the wall. Wipe the paper again with a damp, clean sponge. It is very important to wipe each piece thoroughly because when the glue dries, it is very hard to clean off.
Step 8. Repeat For Each Piece of Paper Move the ladder over to hang the second piece of wallpaper. Follow step 3 for gluing instructions. Hold the piece up by the top end and line up the pattern if there is one. Press the wallpaper along the top where the pattern matches and let the folded piece of wallpaper unfold. Smooth the entire strip from ceiling to floor the same as you did for the first strip, this time making sure the seam lines up correctly. Flatten out any bubbles with a smoothing knife or smoothing brush. Follow the same steps for smoothing out the paper and trimming the edges as you did for the first piece of wallpaper. Make sure to run the seam roller over the seams. Repeat this process for the rest of the wall.
Step 9. Cut Around the Windows and Doors Line the piece of paper up as you normally would and let the excess paper hang over the opening. Smooth the wallpaper with a smoothing brush or smoothing knife all the way up to the opening. Make a diagonal cut in the paper where it hits the window or door trim. Press the paper into the crease where the wall meets the trim. Flatten the paper to the wall so that it is hugging the window or door trim. Use a putty knife and a razor blade to cut away excess paper at the door or window trim. Wipe the window or door trim with a wet sponge to remove any glue. Do the same for the bottom corner of the window.
Step 10. Smooth Corners To make clean looking corners, smooth the paper into the corners with a smoothing knife while you are hanging it. If the house is old, the corners may not be perfect and the paper may wrinkle. To get rid of these wrinkles, make a cut in the corner where the wrinkle begins and carefully cut down in the corner until the end of the paper, pressing the wrinkle out of the paper.
Step 11. Double Check Corners and Seams Once the entire room is wallpapered, check all the corners and seams to make sure they are not curling up. If they are, try to use the seam roller and press the seams back into place. If that does not work, apply a little glue to the seam and press it down with the seam roller. If you are using vinyl, remember that you cannot overlap, so be extra careful when checking these seams. If they are slightly overlapped, use border and seam adhesive to make sure they adhere to each other.
Step 12. Clean Up Double check that there is no adhesive on the paper or the baseboards. Clean the tools with soap and water and throw away all the scrap wallpaper. Once the room is finished you can put the furniture back.
How to Install Carpeting
Level: Advanced - Installing your own carpet isn't the impossible task you might imagine. It does involve specialized tools (that you can rent) and using some muscles you probably didn't know you had. But the hardest part may be selecting the type of carpet that best suits your needs. The type of weave and material you pick depends on your desired price range and your desired strength and durability. You should also consider how often you redecorate since you don't need a high-priced, durable carpet if you change your carpet every few years.
Wool carpet is durable and crush resistant (walking on it does not leave footprints), easy to clean and good for high-traffic areas, but it tends to hold static and is usually very high in price.
Nylon is also very durable and easier to clean than wool and does not hold static. But it is high priced and may fade if exposed to a lot of sunlight.
Polyester is not as crush resistant as wool and fades when exposed to a lot of sunlight. It is extremely durable against abrasions and costs less than wool and nylon carpets.
Acrylic carpet does not fade, is fairly crush resistant and is easy to clean, does not hold static and is low priced. But it is not as strong against abrasion as the other types.
Polypropylene Olefin carpet is the least expensive, easy to clean and fairly strong against abrasion. It may or may not be crush resistant depending on the type of weave, also known as pile.
When installing carpet, floor preparation is usually minimal. If you are replacing carpet, pry up the old carpet from the tackless strip. The padding and tackless strips can be reused if they are still in good shape. Make sure the floor is dry and free of debris. Sweep or vacuum the area to ensure a clean, flat surface for installation. If you are installing carpet directly over concrete, check for moisture problems before installation and get them fixed. Excess moisture can ruin your new carpet. When you are nailing into concrete, make sure you know where the heat ducts under the floor are because you may accidentally puncture them. To find the ducts, wet the floor along the wall and turn the heat up. The pipes are located in the area that dries first. Mark this area with chalk and avoid it when nailing the tackless strip to the floor.
Saw or shears
Tackless strip (sized for your job)
Staple gun (or cement if covering a concrete floor)
Carpet of choice (sized for your job)
Seaming iron (rented from carpet manufacturer)
Step 1: Install Tackless Strips - Use a saw or shears to cut a length of tackless strip to fit each wall. Nail the strips around the perimeter of the room, leave a space between the tackless strip and the wall that equals 2/3 of the thickness of the carpet. Using at least 2 masonry nails for each tackless strip, nail them to the floor. Make sure the tackless strips join together at the corners and the pointed pins in each strip are facing the wall. If you are installing carpet over tile flooring, remove the tiles where you are nailing the tackless strips.
TIP: If you are installing carpet over concrete, install a special gripper edge manufactured for concrete and fasten with masonry nails before installing the carpet.
Caution: To protect your hands, always wear heavy work gloves when handling tackless strips.
Step 2: Install Carpet Padding - Cut the padding in strips long enough to fit the length of the room. Make sure the padding is long enough to cover the tackless strips on all the walls. Lay out your padding waffle side facing up, and staple it along its edge every 6 inches. If you are installing directly over concrete, cement the padding to the floor. The padding should not overlap; it should be butted up against each other to form a clean seam. Use a utility knife to trim the excess padding that is covering the tackless strips, and cover each seam with duct tape.
Step 3: Cut and Lay the Carpet - Measure your room's length and width and cut the carpet 4-6 inches longer than the room's dimensions. Use a utility knife to cut the carpet from the backside. After measuring the carpet, flip the excess over a cutting board and use a straight edge to guide cutting. Overlap each piece of carpet at the edges to allow for trimming. Make sure when cutting and laying the carpet that its pile is facing the same direction.
Step 4: Cut the Carpet Seam - Overlap the edges of the carpet leaving about 2 inches of excess carpet at the wall. Snap a chalk line on the back of the overlapped carpet edges and trim a straight edge to ensure a straight seam. Overlap the straight edges and use a row cutter to cut the bottom piece. The edge of the top piece should be your guide in cutting the seam to fit.
Step 5: Adhere the Seam with Seaming Tape - Cut a length of seaming tape and center it under the seam. Make sure the adhesive side of the tape is facing up and the carpet seams butt up against each other. Use a seaming iron to melt the adhesive by slowly pulling the iron down the tape. Once the adhesive is melted, immediately press the carpet edges together over the tape. Roll over the seam with a rolling pin.
Step 6: Use the Knee Kicker to Attach the Carpet - Hook the carpet to the tackless strip starting in one of the corners. Dig the teeth of the knee kicker into the carpet about 1 inch from the wall. Swiftly kick the cushioned end of the knee kicker with your knee to hook the carpet to the tackless strip. Follow the kicker-stretcher illustration below for the correct order and position.
Step 7. Use the Power Stretcher to Attach the Carpet - Once one corner is hooked, use the power stretcher to stretch the carpet to the opposite wall. Put the base of the power stretcher at the wall that was just hooked with the knee kicker, and use a piece of scrap carpet or a padded 2 x 4 to pad the wall. Dig the teeth of the power stretcher into the carpet about 6 inches from the opposite wall. Press down the lever and lock it into place, stretching the carpet and attaching it to the tackless strips. Next, use the power stretcher to hook the other corner opposite of the first corner hooked, following the same procedure. Follow the numbered sequence in figure 8, kicking and stretching the carpet until the edge of the carpet is attached to the tackless strip around the entire perimeter of the room. The small arrows represent the knee kicker and the large arrows represent the power stretcher in the diagram.
Step 8. Trim the Excess Carpet - Adjust the wall trimmer to the carpet thickness and trim the excess carpet at each wall. With the blade on an angle and the base of the trimmer flat on the floor, slice the carpet down the wall. When you get to the end of the wall, trim the last few inches with a sharp utility knife.
Step 9. Smoothing Out the Rough Edges - Use a stair tool to push the edges of the carpet between the wall and the tackless strips.
Step 10. Install a Gripper Edge - Finally, trim the carpet at the doorway, centering the end of the carpet under the shut door. Install a gripper edge or nail in a metal strip to hold the carpet in place.
Install Ceramic Wall Tile
Level: Intermediate - Ceramic tiling looks great behind stoves, framing sinks, surrounding bathtubs and lining shower walls. It's a great decorative accent that is also durable, easy to clean and very practical for surfaces the are exposed to water. There is an array of different tiles available for specific needs so take care when choosing the one that's right for you. So don't base your choice solely on size and color of the tile--you must also consider the tile's location when choosing a material.
Absorption Characteristics Not all ceramic tiles absorb the same amount of water, so it is important to know which tile is best for certain areas. The most highly absorbent tiles are called nonvitreous tiles, and are not suitable for showers, tubs or sink countertops. Semivitrious tiles are low absorption and can be used near splash areas such as showers and sinks. Impervious tiles will not absorb any moisture, not even dye. They are also good for bathtub and shower areas and kitchen or bathroom countertops. Tiles that are water-resistant are called glazed and tiles that are not water-resistant are called unglazed.
Grout used between the tiles can also have different levels of absorption. The best grout to use on tile that will be exposed to water is a rubber like grout with a silicone or polyurethane base.
Types of Ceramic Tile A good tile for small areas or curved areas is Mosaic because it is no bigger than 1 to 2-inches squared and as small as 3/8-inch squared. Tiles are usually attached to a mesh sheet and sold in square feet for easy installation. Mosaic tile can be glazed or unglazed, depending on your need.
An unglazed tile that is good for floors and hearths is quarry tile, but it is not water-resistant. Pavers are thick 12-inch squares that are best for patios and outdoor tiling. Marble and granite tiles are good for floor and accent tiles. They cannot be cut with a standard tile cutter, only a water-lubricated power saw.
Tools and Materials you need:
1/2-inch cement wallboard or water-resistant wallboard (amount depends on job)
Circular saw or tile saw (Rental item, shown)
Galvanized wallboard screws
Tile adhesive (thin set or mastic-type cement)
Tile of choice
Rubber-bottom float or sponge
1. Install Cement Wallboard Ceramic tile can be installed on just about any clean flat surface, but make sure it can support the weight of the tile. If you have doubts that your surface will support the tile, it is best to install a 1/2-inch cement wallboard before tiling. Cement wallboard is sturdier than most types of wallboard, but still light enough so that it can be installed almost anywhere. Cement wallboard is used mostly when tiling a wall, and is usually not necessary for tiling tubs or sinks since they are supported with plywood. Using a carbide blade or circular saw cut the cement wallboard to fit your area. If you are using mastic-type cement, face the cement wallboard with the smooth side out. Face the textured side out when using a thin-set adhesive. Using a hammer, drive galvanized screws into the wallboard 6 inches apart to fasten.
2. Tape Wallboard Seams Use the fiberglass tape recommended by the tile manufacturer to tape the board seams and the joints where the cement wallboard meets the original wall. If you are using mastic cement as an adhesive, fill the joints with thin-set adhesive to avoid water damage.
3. Draw Reference Lines Using a level, draw reference lines over a 3-feet-by-3-feet area. The lines should be horizontal and perpendicular to ensure no tiling errors. Each line must be level and they should look similar to a grid. If you are installing sheets of tile, each reference line will be the length and width of each sheet of tile. These lines will guide you in installing your tile straight.
4. Apply Adhesive Using a notched trowel spread the adhesive over one square area, not going over the reference lines of that area. Use the flat side of the trowel to apply the adhesive and then use the notched edge of the trowel to form ridges in the adhesive.
5. Press Tiles into Place Press the tiles or sheet of tiles into place, using spacers between each to keep the grout gaps uniform. After applying each tile or sheet of tile, check if it is straight with a level. Repeat this process until the entire area is tiled.
6. Cutting Tiles To Fit Around the Soap Dish: If you are tiling a wall in your shower, be sure to leave out enough tiles to attach the soap dish to the wall. Center the soap dish in the open space and cut tiles with a tile cutter to fit on each side of the dish.
To Fit Around Pipes: To tile around pipes and wall mounted faucets, use a pencil to mark the tile where it needs to be cut and break out the marked piece with tile nippers. Smooth the edges with 80-grit sandpaper.
How To Cut Tile: Rent a tile cutter so you can cut the tile in half before nipping out the center to fit the pieces around the pipe.
7. Distribute Grout Over the Tiles Once all of the tiles are adhered to the area, apply grout. Cover the tiles with grout using a rubber-bottom float or a sponge and wipe on a diagonal. Sweep the float across the tile to remove any excess grout. Remember, if you are tiling a shower or bathtub, make sure the grout includes a waterproofing agent.
8. Fill the Joints With Caulk If you are tiling a bathtub or shower wall, fill the tub with water so it is heavy enough to pull the tub away from the tile. Using latex or silicone caulk, fill the joint area between the tile and tub. Put soap on you finger so the caulk does not stick to it and smooth the caulk into the groove. After the caulk dries, trim the excess away with a utility knife.
Level: Advanced - Artwork hangs from them. Painted ones enhance the decor. They even help insulate a room. Obviously, walls are a key element of a home. So now that you are ready to complete the addition to your home, or you've finally decided to finish the basement, it's time to install the drywall? Here are some simple step by step instruction to get the job done right.
Drywall Jack (rental item shown)
Keyhole Saw/ Circle Cutter
Crow-head Hammer/ Drywall Hammer
Meatal Corner Strips
Sandpaper 80-100 grit
8"-10" Drywall Knife
4" Joint Knife
Step 1: Plan Ahead Use a special water-resistant drywall where excessive moisture may be a problem. Use a special fire-rated drywall where building codes require the use of a fire-rated material. If a vapor barrier is needed, use special insulating, foil-backed wallboard, or create a vapor barrier with sheets of plastic material.
Step 2: Cut the Drywall You can easily cut wallboard with a scoring or trimming knife and a 4' straightedge. You may use a T-square for an even cut. Use a straightedge for accuracy, and score along your marks. Hold the knife at a right angle to the board and score completely through the face paper. The board will break easily at the point where it is scored. After it is snapped, trim the paper on the uncut side with a sharp knife. To cut holes in the wallboard for electrical outlets, light receptacles, or switches, carefully measure and mark the location of the opening of the face of the wallboard. Outline the opening in pencil and cut it out with a keyhole saw or circle cutter.
Step 3: Single- Or Double-Layer Installations A single layer wall of 1/2" or 5/8" drywall is a simple and fast type of wall construction. Use a double-layer installation where extra fire protection or sound deadening is important. This double-layer usually uses a 3/8" finish wallboard laid over a 3/8" backing board.
Step 4: Use a Vertical Or Horizontal Installations? If the ceiling is less than 8ƈ" in height, use a horizontal application. If the ceiling is higher than 8ƈ", install the drywall vertically. On a two-layer installation, lay the base boards either way - whichever requires the fewest cuts. Any seams in the finish layer should be offset at least 10" from the seams in the base layer, or set at right angles from seams.
Step 5: Applying to the Ceiling Apply drywall to the ceiling at right angles to the joists. If two layers are installed, set the bottom layer at right angles to the joists and the finish layer the way that leaves a minimum of seams. Holding the ceiling board in position can be difficult. If you are working alone, solve this problem by renting a drywall jack.
Step 6: Wall Application If the drywall is being applied horizontally, install all top boards first. Push it up firmly against the ceiling, do not force it, and nail lightly into place. In areas where ceiling boards are nailed to ceiling joists, start the first run of nails on the wallboards about 7" below the ceiling. If you're applying the wall board with nails only, place all nails about 7" apart to all studs. If you're using the adhesive and nail-on method, apply nails only at the edges of the board with adhesive on the back to hold the boards to the studs in the center. If a board tends to bow out in the center, secure it with a temporary nail until the adhesive sets. Remove the holding nail after adhesive sets. If wallboards are applied vertically, place the long edges of the wallboard parallel to the framing members. Use a vertical application if your wall height is greater than 8ƈ". Use the same nailing procedures as previously described.
Step 7: Around the Corners Special metal corner strips are available for outside corners. Insert a nail in these metal corner strips about every 5". Nail first through the edge of the strip, then through the drywall and into the wood framing.
Step 8: Get the Joints Use a good grade of joint compound to finish all joints, nail heads and corners. In most cases, you'll need two or three coats of compound at all taped joints. The number of coats depends on whether you are using regular drywall tape or one that has adhesive on the back. If you are using adhesive back tape, center the tape over the joint and press it into place with your knife. Apply two finish coats over the tape. If you are using regular tape, use an embedding coal to bond the tape at each joint. When the embedding coat has set, apply two finish coats over the tape. Allow each coat of joint compound to dry about 24 hours before applying the next coat.
9: Finishing Touches Use a 4" joint finishing knife to smooth out each coat of joint compound. Fill in the slightly recessed area created by the adjoining tapered edges of the wallboards, and smooth it off with the 4" joint finishing knife.
Step 10: Taping It Up Center the wallboard tape over the joint and press it into place if you are using the adhesive back tape. For the regular tape press it into the first layer of compound firmly, but not too hard. Hold the 4" knife at a 45 degree angle. Press just hard enough to squeeze out some of the compound from under the tape, but be sure you leave enough compound for a good bond. With adhesive back tape you can apply the fill coat right away. With regular drywall tape, allow the tape to dry in position for at least 24 hours and then apply a fill coat, extending it a few inches beyond the edge of the tape. Feather the edges of the compound for a smooth finish. After the fill coat has dried, use a 10" joint finishing knife to apply still another coat of joint compound. Feather this coat about 1 1/2" beyond the edge of the first coat.
Step 11: Finish Up When the final coat is dry, sand it lightly to a smooth finish. Wipe off the dust with a clean rag to prepare the surface for the final coating of paint or paper. The total width of the compound at each joint should be about 12" to 14".
Step 12: Cover Up All nails should be dimpled just below the surface of the board. Conceal these areas by applying a first coat of joint compound with even pressure so the compound is level with the board. Press evenly, but not too hard - too much pressure on the knife may scoop the compound from the dimpled area. When the compound has thoroughly dried, apply a second coat. Let it dry thoroughly, then sand it lightly and apply a third coat. In areas where humidity is extremely high, apply a fourth coat of compound over the nail heads.
Step 13. Butt Joints The end or butt joints on wallboards are not tapered. Where these butt joints come together, be sure not to build up too much compound. It will create ridges in the wall, and may cause shadowing when the area is lighted. Feather the joint compound out on each side of the butt joints from 7" to 9". The final application of joint compound should create a joint approximately 14" to 18" wide where they come together.
Step 14: Metal Corner Strips After attaching the metal corner strips, nail them securely into position, and use a 4" finish knife to spread compound mix 3" to 4" out from the nose of the bead. When the first layer is completely dry, sand it lightly and apply a second coat, feathering the edges about 2" to 3" beyond. If a third coat is needed, feather it 2" to 3" beyond.
Step 15: Big Finish To finish off an inside corner with regular tape, apply joint compound with a 4" knife. Spread it evenly about 1 1/2" on each side. For both types of tape, cut it the exact length of the corner. Fold the tape lengthwise in the center and press firmly into the corner.
Proper Use of a Power Auger
Level: Beginner - Sometimes, after years of buildup of hair, garbage and other gunk that goes down your drains, all the pipes in the house become backed up. The culprit is most likely your main drain going out of the house, or the drain between the house and the sewer (or your septic tank) being clogged.
If you have a septic tank, you'll want to clean it out. If you have a main drain in the house to the sewer, clean that out.
To clean the main line, there is usually a cleanout at the farthest end of the drain, a plug that lets you feed an auger in without going through any traps. You find this in the basement or crawlspace. This would be work for a power auger, which can be rented for the job.
Electric augers are big with a lot of cable. If augering the main drain in the house doesn't help, then augering the drain from the house to the outside would be next. There is usually a cleanout just below the point where the main drain leaves the house. Remove the cap and start augering again. When using a power auger you won't feel resistance when you get to the clog. You will hear the motor start to slow, and that is when you need to reverse the motor and back out, going back and forth till you cut through the clog. Be prepared, this is a messy, smelly job.
If you have a septic tank, you can't tell if the drain is clogged or if you need the tank pumped out, but the smart bet is the tank will need cleaning first. If you have a drain going out to a municipal sewer, you may want to check with neighbors to see if anyone else is having trouble, it could be in the city's drains at the street.
Uses for a Concrete Mixer
Level: Beginner - If you have to tackle a job like patching a sidewalk or building a slab of foundation for your backyard shed, save yourself the money of having concrete delivered to your home and instead rent an electric mixer. However, if you need enough concrete for a larger project, rent a concrete mixer instead because they can hold more mix and can be moved easier to different locations.
When you are at the rental center make sure to ask to see how to start and operate this heavy-duty piece of material. Before getting too involved with other elements of the project, make sure to set the mixer up close to where you will need to pour the contcrete.
Remember: You will also need to have concrete finishing tools like a trowel, edger, float, and a level ready after you pour the concrete to smooth the wet mixture. The cleaner the mixer is when you start the easier it will be to pour your mixture out of the drum.