Family Handyman

Family Handyman March 2017

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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stuff we love

WORTH THE SPLURGE An outdoor light that can save the day One night last year I was wandering around my yard in the dark and seriously wrecked my shin by walking into a retaining wall. That prompted me to replace the wimpy 60-watt outdoor light fixture with the Eaton All-Pro Revolve LED Triple Head Security Light. I absolutely love this thing! It’s motion activated, and the three LED bulbs blast my driveway with 2,400 lumens of brilliant white light. It’s so bright that I can unload cars or cook burgers on the grill, almost as if I were working in daylight. It mounts on the eave and the lights are independently adjustable, so you can light up whatever you wish. The only downside is that now my neighbors can see what I’m up…


BLUETOOTH WIRELESS SPEAKERS Smartphone and tablet speakers are just too small and tinny-sounding to produce good output. But crummy sound isn’t limited to your smart devices; the cheap speakers in your flat panel TV aren’t that good either. However, you can get great sound for your smart devices and TV, simply and inexpensively, with Bluetooth speakers. Battery-powered Bluetooth speakers are fine if you need portability. But if you largely enjoy your smart device entertainment in one area, or plan to upgrade your TV audio, choose AC-powered units. You’ll eliminate battery-charging hassles and get much better sound. Prices start at about $100 for bookshelf-size speakers and go up in price based on size, power rating and transmission technology. We’ll give you some buying advice and show youhow to make Bluetooth wireless speakers work…

best pro tips

Avoid Framing Mistakes Minor framing mistakes can lead to wavy walls and squeaky floors. More serious mistakes can leave a house vulnerable to high winds, heavy snow loads and earthquakes. We wanted to know which mistakes were the most common and how to avoid them. So who better to talk to than a building inspector? He shared his experiences, his insight and a few horror stories. We walked away with some great tips on how to build a rock-solid house, build it code compliant and build it right the first time. MEET THE EXPERT Don Sivigny saw a few framing mistakes and code violations in the 13 years he spent as a construction manager and general contractor, and the 21 years he worked as a building Inspector. Today Don is a construction code…

get social!

FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK Want even more? Follow us on Facebook to see exclusive videos, behind-thescenes photos and the latest tips and projects. Go to TheFamilyHandyman and click “like.” DO YOU PIN? All of our best spring and summer projects, including our reader-favorite Grill Gazebo, are pinned on our boards. To start following the action, go to EVEN MORE AT FAMILYHANDYMAN.COM You’ll find projects and how-to content, great videos and handy tips. See our favorite hints at…

12 top spring storage tips

1. GARDEN TOOL HIDEAWAY A mailbox hidden behind shrubs near your garden provides a convenient home for tools. A small mailbox like this one costs less than $20 at hardware stores and home centers. King-size models cost about $35. — LYNN SAMPLES 2.GARAGE STORAGE Cardboard concrete-forming tubes are inexpensive ($10 at any home center) and provide a great place to store baseball bats, longhandled tools and rolls of just about anything. Rest the tubes on a piece of 2x4 to keep them high and dry. Secure each tube to a garage stud with a plumbing strap. — DAVID S. MALLINAK 3. PVC TOOL HOLDER Build this rack to store your tools on the wall. Use a jigsaw to cut a 1-1/4-in.-wide notch the length of a 2-in.-diameter PVC pipe. Cut several 3-1/2-in.-long, 1/8-in.-wide holes behind…

perfect patio chairs

This chair is hard to beat for comfort, economy and ease of building. The design is based on a couple chairs I’ve had at the family cabin for more than a decade. Being a fiddlewith- it kind of guy, I modified the originals over the years, built others and eventually chose this design. I think it’s about as close to perfect as you can get: It’s comfortable to sit in for hours at a time, the arms are wide enough to hold a drink, and you’re reclined enough for relaxation, but not so much that you’ll groan every time you get up (unlike with most Adirondack chairs). It will accept a common type of outdoor chair cushion, available at any home center, but doesn’t require one. It’s light enough to move…