Home & Garden
Family Handyman

Family Handyman April 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.
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10 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
5 things

My goal for every issue of Family Handyman is that you learn something that makes you a better, smarter homeowner. As a part of that effort, I get smarter too, learning from the editors and experts who build this magazine. Here are a few things I learned this month. EDITOR-IN-CHIEF 1 MICE ARE AMAZING (IN A BAD WAY) Pest control guru Joe Stampley met with us to share his tools and tips. When we asked Joe to name his toughest adversary, he didn’t hesitate: mice. They can get into just about any house and go anywhere within the house. They can squeeze through openings just ¼ in. wide, climb walls and jump 12 in. straight up. (That would be like a person jumping up two stories!) But Joe knows how to defeat them.…

3 min.
stuff we love

Fast & easy ceiling makeover These Armstrong WoodHaven Ceiling Planks easily install right over a suspended ceiling system. The clever Easy Up clips snap onto the grid and into grooves in the planks. The only nails you need are for any trim against the wall. You can go from bland accoustical tiles to a beautiful planked ceiling in a weekend without breaking the bank. WoodHaven Ceiling Planks are available in several styles and colors and start at about $2.50 to $4 per sq. ft. For more information, visit armstrongceilings.com. Compact square A rafter square is standard cargo in most tool belts, and until now, you actually needed a tool belt to carry one around. Enter the Milwaukee 4-½-in. Trim Square. This is a precision-milled aluminum rafter square that will fit in your back pocket.…

6 min.
easy-clean carpet

Carpet excels at holding dirt. Even with frequent vacuuming, it’s hard to remove dirt deeply embedded into the matted fibers. Recently, I came across Mohawk Air.o hypoallergenic carpet, flooring that claims to release more dust and dirt with each vacuuming, thanks to its unique design with better airflow. This sounded like a great concept to test, so I bought a two-yard sample of the Air.o ($2.51 per sq. ft.) and a comparable standard carpet ($1.69 per sq. ft.) and got them dirty. The homeLAB test I cut a sample of both carpets, then fastened foam pad to the standard carpet (the Air.o has an integrated felt pad). I weighed each sample on a food scale, poured 7 oz. of sandy dirt on them, massaged it deep in the fibers, then vacuumed. I…

6 min.
room transformer

WHAT IT TAKES TIME 2 days COST $800 SKILL LEVEL Intermediate TOOLS Circular saw, cutting guide, miter saw, drill, Forstner bits, handsaw, metric tape, nailer If you’re tight on living space or you want your guest room to double as an office, here’s a piece of furniture you’ll want to check out. This bed quickly converts to a desk without increasing its footprint. When you switch it back to a bed, the desk stays level, so you can leave all your stuff on it! A company called Hiddenbed sells bed kits with all the parts precut and ready for assembly. You can also purchase just the hardware kit, which includes the plans, and that’s the option shown here. Building the bed yourself instead of buying the precut kit can save you about $1,200! To make this furniture even more user-friendly,…

6 min.
choose the best cordless jigsaw

You may already own a jigsaw, but if yours is like mine, it likely has a cord attached. I wanted to find out how cordless models stack up against the corded type I’ve used for years. Using a range of blades and various types of cuts in different materials, I put eight cordless jigsaws through their paces. At the end of this article, I’ll give you a rundown on how they compared with one another. D-handle or barrel grip? I’m a devout D-handle guy—no two ways about it. That’s not to say I don’t recognize the benefits of a barrel grip jigsaw; it’s just not for me. And that’s the point. With jigsaws, it really comes down to what is comfortable for you, the size of your hand and how you like…

5 min.
best inverter generators

Small inverter generators are surprisingly versatile. They’re capable of powering a slew of electronics, devices and power tools. They’re also lightweight and portable and quiet enough to not drive your neighbors crazy. However, with so many options to pick from, it’s hard to know where to start. I chose five popular models within the 2,000-watt range, costing $499 to $1,049, to test their noise, features, ease of maintenance and portability. After comparing them, I’ll tell you my top choices. What’s an inverter generator? Standard portable generators create “dirty” power, an unsteady current that could damage sensitive electronics such as TVs, cell phones and computers. An inverter fixes that problem. The generator produces raw AC power, and the inverter turns that into low-voltage DC power, and then back into clean, stable 120-volt AC…