Family Handyman

Family Handyman October 2016

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

High-end sinks with low prices I was at the International Builders’ Show in Vegas last winter and came across the Mr. Sinks & Faucets booth. What caught my eye was the massive selection of vessel and conventional vanity sinks made from every material imaginable. And I couldn’t believe how inexpensive they were. There was a glass vessel sink for less than $30 and a large rectangular solid granite unit for $219. The company, MR Direct International, has a huge selection of frugally priced kitchen sinks and faucets as well. The reps explained that the low prices were the result of having no stores or middlemen, just a giant warehouse in Toledo, OH. So if you’re nosing around for a faucet or sink, check out the collection at or call (877) 946-5725…

easy-build rollouts WHAT IT TAKES Time: 1 to 2 hours per rollout—but you’ll pick up speed with each one! Cost: $30 per rollout Tools: Circular saw, drill and a hammer— but a miter saw, table saw and an 18-gauge nailer will make it easier. If you’re tired of getting down on all fours and rooting through dark, jumbled base cabinets to find what you need, this project is for you. Rollouts make it easy to organize and access everything from your pantry items and cookware in the kitchen to the power tools and finish cans in your shop. I’ve built many rollouts for my house and workshop, and believe me, the conventional way of building rollouts is tricky, time-consuming and frustrating. With the easier method shown here, you can build the rollouts on your workbench using…

travis’s rollouts


double your bathroom storage

Bathrooms never have enough storage or shelf space. Finding a home for all your blow dryers, curling irons, toilet paper, and cans, soaps and bottles can be a challenge. Once you’ve filled your vanity, how do you squeeze more storage into a small bath? And what about your knickknacks? Here are two simple projects to help you get the space you need. PROJECT 1: INSTALL GLASS SHELVES Most bathrooms have one area you can count on for additional storage, and that’s over the toilet. Open glass shelving is a great way to display decorative bathroom bottles or knickknacks. There are zillions of glass shelving systems on the market. Follow the directions that come with the system for the installation, but read on for help anchoring the shelves to the wall because you probably…

handy hints®

GET $100 FOR YOUR HANDY HINT! SEE P. 4 FOR DETAILS. Leaf bag stiffener The problem with paper leaf bags is that when they’re empty, they collapse just as you start to put leaves in them. You can buy those fancy cardboard and plastic bag stiffeners, but why bother? I just roll the tops of the bags inward. This holds the top wide open while I dump in the leaves and other lawn debris. Greg Reinhard Measuring cup hang-up Free up drawer space by hanging measuring cups inside a kitchen cabinet. Position and mount a wood strip so that the cups will hang between the shelves and allow the door to close completely. Mount a second strip for your measuring spoons, then screw in cup hooks on both strips. Veronica Schuler Electric grout cleaning I always save my worn-out…

know your furnace Furnaces might seem complicated, but the basics are surprisingly easy to understand. Once you know them, you’ll be able to avoid breakdowns and solve simple problems yourself. Plus, you’ll understand what the heck a repair technician is saying, make smarter decisions and avoid rip-offs. That can add up to huge savings over the life of your furnace. Anatomy of a conventional furnace SUPPLY-AIR PLENUM The supply-air plenum is a large sheet metal box on top of the furnace. It distributes warmed (or cooled) air to the ducts. COOLING COIL If you have central air conditioning, a cooling coil cools air on its way up the supply-air plenum. Copper tubing connects the cooling coil to the compressor unit outside your home (that’s the big box with the fan in it). HEAT EXCHANGER A heat exchanger is the part…