Family Handyman

Family Handyman October - November 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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stuff we love

TRIED & TRUE Socks that work A friend recently told me that there are two signs you’re getting older. One, you start noticing bird behavior. Two, a good pair of socks becomes worth its weight in gold. I know he’s right about the second point because I had just bought a dozen different pairs of crew socks and tested which performed the best. For starters, I wore them all a couple times and eliminated the ones that were too hot, didn’t stay up, were hard to put on or just didn’t feel good. Next, I randomly wore the remaining six pairs to see which ones held up the best over several washings and wearings. I didn’t keep a record of how many times I wore each one; I just tried to mix it…

colorful key station

When my kids outgrew their LEGO bricks, I repurposed a few of them to make this handy key station. I predrilled holes in the small bricks to thread in eye screws, and then slipped the key rings onto the eye screws. Fasten the base to the wall with screws. JANET RODRIGUEZ NO-WAIT GLUE I don’t like waiting for the glue to reach the bottle’s tip when I’m in the middle of a big glue-up. To make sure the glue is ready to flow immediately when I pick up the bottle, I just turn the bottle upside down in a can that sits on my workbench. BRAD HOLDEN UNDER-THE-HOOD MAINTENANCE RECORD My truck’s air filter cover makes a perfect blackboard for my maintenance schedule. I use a chalk marker to write down the dates I last changed…

finding & fixing roof leaks

If you have water stains that extend across ceilings or run down walls, the cause is likely a roof leak. Tracking down the leak can be hard; the fixes are usually pretty easy. We’ll show you simple tricks for finding and repairing the most common types of roof leaks. Find the leaks When you’re trying to track down a leak, start by looking at the roof uphill from the stains. Roof penetrations are the first thing to look for. Items that penetrate the roof are by far the most common source of leaks. In fact, it’s rare for leaks to develop in open areas of uninterrupted shingles, even on older roofs. Penetrations can include plumbing and roof vents, chimneys, dormers or anything else that projects through the roof. They can be several…

wet ceilings aren’t always from roof leaks!

Water stains on the ceiling don’t always indicate a leak up on the roof. Many times the stains come from, or are caused by, problems up in the attic. Here are three of the main culprits: ATTIC-MOUNTED A/C COMPRESSORS. Clogged condensate tubes will cause collection trays to overflow. And improperly sealed or insulated ducts can cause condensation to form and drip into the house. A quick look around the attic will help you track down this problem. BATH AND KITCHEN VENTS. These vents are often vented directly into the attic (or become detached from roof vents). They can pour gallons of water vapor into the attic, where it’ll freeze or condense and drip back into the house. Again, a visit to the attic will locate it. Even an uninsulated exhaust vent that…

be a framing hero

Nail the tie plate over studs Do a favor for the electricians, mechanical guys and plumbers by nailing the tie plate to the top plate over the studs only. That way they’ll never encounter nails when drn ling or cutting holes. Snap long lines half at a time Keep long lines straight by having a helper in the middle hold down the line with a finger and snapping each side separately. Rounded vs. square lumber If you have a say in the matter, ask for square-edge lumber instead of rounded. Here’s why: ▪ Tap measures grab and hold better. ▪ More accurate measuring. ▪ Better sight lines for crowning. ▪ Easier to line up to pencil marks and chalk lines. ▪ Final product looks more professional. Slope windowsills with a piece of siding Even if you’re doing your best to follow best…

27 things homeowners must know

Common leak, easy fix Most plumbing valves—like the shutoffs under your sink or outdoor faucets—have a packing nut and a packing washer. And sooner or later, they’ll leak. In most cases, the fix is simple: Just tighten the packing nut. If that doesn’t work, remove the old washer and take it to a home center to find a match. “DIY is partly about know-how. But sometimes, being in the know is even more important. Knowing the right material to choose, remembering a clever trick or understanding the cause of a problem can make all the difference. Here are a few favorite tidbits of knowledge, picked up over 30 years of home ownership, maintenance and improvement.”GARY WENTZ, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF STAY SAFE ON THE ROOF Whether you’re reroofing or just cleaning gutters, a roof harness can prevent…