Family Handyman

Family Handyman April 2018

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.

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great goofs

WHEN IT HITS THE FAN I was painting my living room one hot summer day, and my good ole dog, Hobbes, was looking for relief from the heat. He lay down in front of the box fan I had set up to dry the paint and grabbed some shut-eye. As I was finishing the second coat, I stepped down off my ladder and right smack onto the back of my roller pan. It flew up and hit the back of the fan, spraying paint all over the room—but especially on poor Hobbes. He slowly raised his head, took in his paintcovered body, stretched and went back to sleep. While my dog didn’t seem any the worse for the experience, I learned a hard lesson about paint pan placement. HEATHER CASSIDY NOT SO HANDY MAN When…

when should you call a pro?

◾ If you can smell mold, but you can’t find the mold or moisture problem. ◾ If there is so much mold that you can’t remedy the problem easily. ◾ If there are highly susceptible individuals in your home. This could include those with respiratory conditions such as severe asthma or allergies, and those with a weakened immune system caused by HIV, chemotherapy or an organ transplant. Young children and elderly persons may also be more susceptible to mold-related health issues. ◾ If there are other hazardous materials present, like asbestos or lead, that will be disturbed or removed along with the mold. Hire a contractor who is licensed for those hazards. ◾ If moisture has created structural problems. Consult a qualified contractor to do the repairs or a structural engineer to advise you…

reader info

Need more Family Handyman? Get our best tips and hints in your inbox. Sign up at GOT A DIY QUESTION? Finding answers is easy at Just use the search box at the top of the page to get expert step-by-step help with your projects. GOT A HANDY HINT OR TIP FOR US? To share your information with us, submit a copy of your original contribution, including photos and/or sketches, by email to: Or mail to: The Family Handyman, 2915 Commers Drive, Suite 700, Eagan, MN 55121 Please include your name, mailing address and email address if you have one, and indicate to which department you are submitting. We reserve the right to publish your submission in any appropriate department, or elsewhere. Contributions will not be acknowledged or returned. RIGHTS By submitting material to us, you grant…

handy hints ®

Easy apple cleanup Bending over to pick up fallen fruit from my apple tree was hard on my back, but I found a solution that works really well. I bought a three-tine frog spear ($3 at Cabela’s) and fastened it to the end of a broom handle. Now I just spear the apples. If I’m careful, I can spear more than one at a time. Mashing small apples with my foot makes them easier to spear. DAN ZAMBON TRASH-BAG DISPENSER You can build a simple dispenser for your trash bags using 1/2-in. pipe and a few fittings. Screw a floor flange to the cabinet, thread in a 3-in.-long pipe nipple, and then thread a 90-degree elbow onto the nipple. Cut the vertical pipe so it’s a bit longer than the width of the roll…

9 simple tips for faster wi-fi

Spinning pinwheels and slow status bars got you down? Keeping current with the latest technology is usually the fix, but if you’re the kind of person who’d rather change a set of brake pads than open the settings menu on your computer, take heart. We’ve put together nine low-tech fixes to help speed up your Wi-Fi, as well as some advanced options for those who enjoy getting software dirt under their fingernails. 1 Move your router Place your router in a central location. As you consider a central location, think top to bottom as well as side to side. Put your router up high in the room. That way, it’s above obstructions. Keep your router away from other appliances. For example, an inexpensive, poorly shielded microwave can cause a lot of…

5 myths about mold

We’re exposed to mold spores in the air every day, both indoors and out, and most of the time that’s no cause for concern. But given moderate temperatures, a food source (nearly any building material) and moisture, mold can grow on almost any surface inside our homes. Left unchecked, that can mean real trouble. Mold can harm health and destroy the building materials it feasts on. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation about mold and how to handle it. So let’s separate myth from fact and look at solutions that work. Myth #1 MOLD TESTING IS CRITICAL. Surprisingly, this isn’t the case. Testing gives you a snapshot of the quantity and type of mold present. But all types of mold (there are more than 100,000!) need to be removed, so it’s not…