Family Handyman Winter 2020

When it comes to home improvement, you need information you can trust. Inside each issue of The Family Handyman, you’ll find see-and-solve expert repair techniques, a variety of projects for every room and step-by-step, do-it-yourself photos.

United States
Trusted Media Brands Inc.
7 Issues

in this issue

1 min
why i diy

In my late 20s, I had a ramshackle house and an income just slightly above the poverty line. DIY was my only option. Luckily, I had some basic skills and a burning desire to know more. So I spent evenings and weekends turning that dump into a home, tackling bigger and bigger projects, learning as I went. Repairing and improving that house myself—instead of hiring or moving—helped to fatten my wallet over the decades. Today, I could do what most homeowners do: pay pros for repairs and improvements. But I don’t. Here are 10 reasons why I still prefer to DIY.…

1 min
more family handyman

SEE MORE STUFF WE LOVE Have you signed up for the new Stuff We Love newsletter yet? Check out more of our favorite tools and gear every week! Go to LEARN MORE. BUILD MORE. Calling DIYers who want to tackle it all! Get unlimited access to Family Handyman’s complete library of quick DIY University online classes. This includes two exciting new projects per month—things you’ve been dreaming about, and projects that may not have occurred to you. Get ready to build a wall-mounted bike rack or your own workshop, add elegant kitchen storage and a tile backsplash, install a sleek USB charging station, and much more! Start your 14-day FREE Trial at…

4 min
stuff we love

Simple, affordable, stunning wall panels These 3D wall panels by Inhabit turn a bland wall into a dazzling accent wall. They go right over your existing drywall and attach with wallpaper adhesive. You can make the wall tiles seamless by applying joint compound between the tiles, and you can paint them any color with latex paint. The tiles are molded from a byproduct of sugarcane processing, so you can have a stunning wall and feel good about being so green. The panels cost about $3 per square foot. Check out all the styles at MORE OPTIONS FOR IKEA CABINETS If you want the simplicity of IKEA cabinets but a style IKEA doesn’t offer, check out Semihandmade, a company that makes doors and drawer faces to fit IKEA cabinets and hardware. Using IKEA’s software,…

3 min
handy hints

Slow Feeder for Puppies My puppy was eating his food so fast that he vomited it back up. Instead of buying a slow-feed bowl, I drilled holes into a 12-in. length of 2-in. PVC pipe and capped the ends. I fill the tube with puppy food, and he has to roll it around to get the food to fall out of the holes. My puppy gets all the food he needs, and I don’t have to clean up the mess that comes from eating too fast. Be sure the holes are large enough for the food to come out! CHARLIE MAY UNDER-SINK CLUTTER CONTROL The space under a kitchen sink is often a black hole where cleaning supplies go to be forgotten. You want to keep this stuff close at hand, but drawers and…

3 min
home care

Clearing the Air on VOCs and Paint We see them everywhere: home maintenance and building products labeled “low VOC” or “no VOC.” But we had never seen a clear, basic explanation of what VOCs are or why they should concern us. So, we tracked down some experts for the straight scoop. What are VOCs? VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are natural or manufactured chemicals that easily turn into a gas at room temperature and enter the air we breathe. This process is called “off-gassing.” VOCs are found everywhere: paints (to aid mixing and hardening), varnishes, caulks, adhesives, composite wood, carpet and upholstery. Even home and personal care products such as air fresheners, cleaners and perfume contain VOCs. What’s the health risk? The health risk of inhaling any chemical depends on the concentration and the duration of…

1 min
open-cell vs. closed-cell spray foam

One of the best ways to insulate is to use spray foam insulation. But spray foams are not all the same, and before you hire an insulation contractor, it’s important to know how they differ. Open-cell spray foam is soft and flexible. It’s called open-cell because air can freely travel from one cell to another. Open-cell foam isn’t as dense as closed-cell foam, but it expands more, making it a good choice for hard-to-reach areas. On the other hand, closedcell foam has a greater density and R-value because air can’t travel from one cell to another. As a result, it’s more rigid and won’t expand as much as open-cell. In general, closed-cell foam is used to insulate entire buildings and walls, and it’s roughly twice as expensive as open-cell foam.…