We’ve talked about some fun and creative ways to ”recycle” your old appliances, redneck-style. A few grenades, an open field and a couple of beers is an entertaining way to dispose of your old fridge.
But there’s another unique way to get rid of your old appliances that’s equally destructive and equally fun. If you’ve got a knack for killer robots, you could try your hand at building your own Ziggy and declaring an all-out, carnage-filled war on your home appliances like this guy did at Battle Beach 4.
This repair tip is definitely one of those “sounded good at the time” moments that you’ll immediately regret.
If you’ve found yourself in desperate need of doing a load of dishes in your dishwasher but realized you forgot to pick up some dishwasher detergent with last week’s groceries, resist the urge to do what comes to mind.
Repair Don’t: Do not substitute your regular dish detergent for your dishwasher detergent. On the surface, it makes sense – both products clean dishes so it seems reasonable to throw a tablespoon or two of regular dish detergent in your dishwasher and save you an extra run to the store.
Unfortunately, this will cause you a whole lot of trouble and a whole lot of extra mess.
Liquid dish detergents are not designed for use in a dishwasher and as a result, will bubble up too quickly and overflow on to your kitchen floor.
Repair Do: Only use ‘low-sud’ products in your dishwasher that are made specifically for dishwasher use.
Unfortunately the moral of this story is if you’ve unexpectedly run out of dishwasher detergent, your best bet is to run to the store and pick up some. You’ll be thankful you did.
Men are not your “typical’ decorators. They don’t care about the drapes, whether you use lemon, maize or tangerine yellow paint for the kitchen and they don’t care if you get a throw for the sofa. But if you give them their own turf, they’ve got ideas galore, many of which involve the latest hi-tech gadgets, comfy leather chairs and a beer fridge.
A “Man Cave” is a room in the house (although some men have been known to renovate sheds), where a man can get away from the pressures of daily family life. It is his personal refuge full of his favorite things. Man Caves come in all shapes, sizes and themes but one thing they all have in common is loads of testosterone.
The “Man Cave” is no longer an elusive dream. According to a recent survey by Servicemagic.com, 40% of homeowners say that their home already has a man cave and another 13% said a man cave is either in the planning stage or in the process of being built.
“These aren’t ordinary recreation rooms,” said David Lupberger, a home improvement specialist with ServiceMagic.com. “These are rooms that fall solely under the jurisdiction of the man of the house.”
So what goes into the typical Man Cave?
- Flat screen TV (75%)
- Recliner (69%)
- Stereo (68%)
- Refrigerator (67%)
- DVD player (67%)
- Computer (65%)
- Bar (64%)
However, men need not limit their dream room to just these items. Many hobbies and collections have taken center stage when creating a personal Manctuary. Themes cover the gamut, ranging from favorite sports teams to favorite hobbies. There always seems to be room for just one more piece of memorabilia… well maybe not.
Man Caves are so popular now; they even have their own TV show, called Man Caves, of course. The Man Caves team has renovated and built some spectacular Caves and any guy would drool at the prospect of getting these guys into their basement or garage.
Not all “Man Caves” are created equal. They start at one end of spectrum, displaying massive hi-tech, home theater glory, to the fantastically creative and less expensive but equally enjoyable DIY version. They span the ingenious depths of drinking, debauchery and self-indulgence. And some include such Man-tastic features that you will have to see them to believe them.
With the help of Man Caves team, Tony Siragusa and Jason Cameron, this former garage has become a high-end golf practice area and lounge.
A media center featuring a beautiful flat screen
An indoor virtual-reality driving range with a curved wall
What major Mets fan doesn’t want to create a Shea Stadium-themed Man Cave in his basement?
2 side-by-side flat-screen TVs
A huge cutout of the Mets Apple and various other Mets memorabilia
A signed jersey
Custom-made stand-alone bar complete with a built-in beer tap, hot dog machine and a glass-top display case full of baseballs.
This enormous man cave is like a pool hall and lounge area all in one.
50-inch LCD TV
Pool table lighting
Built-in bench seat along the back wall
Recycled rubber tile flooring - no stray billiard balls are going to damage this spongy flooring.
This unique home bar is an arcade gamers dream.
Stand alone arcade game
Touch screen jukebox
Flat panel TV
Games table and chairs
The custom bar comes complete with built-in MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator - an emulator application that lets you play older arcade games) and a 4-player flip-out control panel. The control panel was designed to flip up into the bar to keep the controls safe from spillage when the game is not being used.
Snoop Dogg’s old Man Cave was a shed with plastic chairs. So to get back his rep he enlisted the Man Caves team to help him build a new hang-out, more befitting of his Hip-Hop mogul status.
Two 50-inch flat screen TVs
Media storage system
An art homage to himself and his friends (including a custom painting of himself)
Security system with video surveillance cameras
Plush leather couch
Direct phone line to Denny’s, his favorite restaurant
The Cadillac Couch - custom made from the bumper of a 1961 Cadillac.
This converted garage is a great hang-out after a long ride on your Hog.
46” LCD TV
Custom Bar with glass top
Harley Davidson parked right next to you.
Not all Man Caves are built completely for relaxation.
Leather Theater Seating
Retractable Projector Screen
Rock climbing handholds all over the place.
You just never know when your own personal stage and stripper’s pole are going to come in handy.
Flat screen TV
Guitars and Amp
6’ x 6’ Stage with Stripper Pole and Spotlight.
Who doesn’t need a sauna after expending all of that energy watching the game on the big screen?
50” Plasma TV
xbox360, WII and PS2
Red leather stadium seating
Air hockey table
Stand alone video arcade
Hottub and sauna
Some people are sure that you can never have enough TVs.
72-inch Samsung DLP HDTV
Two 32-inch Samsung LCDs
All three TVs are on separate satellite receivers so you can watch three games at once.
42” Samsung Plasma TV in Poker Nook
Urinal with Polaroid TV above it so you don’t miss a minute of the game.
The Earnhardt Room
Some collectors just love their collections.
50” Samsung DLP HDTV
Yamaha Amp and DVD
PSB Image Series speakers (5) with a 12” sub
Wall to wall Diamond Plate Flooring by www.racedeck.com
(43) 1/24 diecast cars featuring legends of yesterday and famous paint schemes on the Daytona Track
(195) Dale Sr. and Dale Jr. 1/24 scale diecast
Converted Craftsmen Workbench into a bar
6 Bottle Shot Steward
Race Fan Furniture
APX Home Security System
Custom built 16ft 1/24 scale front stretch section of the Daytona Superspeedway.
Secret Man Cave
Some Man Caves are too good to share, so it’s best to keep them under lock and key to keep the riffraff out.
Video cameras to watch where the kids are
Projector and a giant screen that doubles as a virtual shooting range and a movie theater
A hidden door that leads to the all-important, never out-dated workshop
The hidden keypad which opens the hidden entrance.
How To Build Your Own Man Cave
With all this talk of Man Caves, you must be wondering how you can build your own. It’s important to plan your project first and a great way to start is by following these tips on building the ultimate man cave.
For more Man Cave Inspiration:
Are your lamps looking outdated and worn? Have they gone from a once stark white to a dark, butter cream? Give those tired looking lamps a mini makeover and a new lease on life with just a few craft supplies and a little creativity.
For a funky look, use beads and string to create a fun fringe around your lampshade.
Or use scrapbooking appliqués to create your own unique pattern.
You could also opt to purchase your own fabric like this animal print to cover the shade entirely and then paint the base for a total 360 makeover.
Get creative with ribbon, jewels, buttons, stamps, stencils, paper, seashells, bows, fur, paint and more.
You can also get the kids involved in creating special lamps for their bedrooms!
Your lamps will never be the same again! This is a great idea for old lamps picked up at yard sales or an inexpensive way to update your lamps after redecorating a room.
Not long ago, I did a post on New Year’s resolutions for your home, where I discussed how to make yourself feel better by making your surroundings happier. I briefly touched on the importance of color and how different hues can make you feel certain emotions.
Since the influence of color is a pretty powerful thing, I thought I’d come back and discuss it a little further.
The symbolism of color can actually be a very complex topic but I’m going to keep it light today and just talk about how color can influence your home.
When picking out a color scheme or palette to decorate with, it’s smart to do a little research and understand what the colors you’re choosing mean.
Color can pretty much be broken down into two categories: cool and warm. Let’s take a look at each of these groups and what affect these colors can have.
Cool colors tend to be very calming and soothing.
Much like the colors you would find outdoors, like the blue sky and green grass, cool colors also have a strong association with nature. Depending upon the shade, cool colors can also give off a cold, impersonal feeling so you need to be careful when choosing a blue palette to decorate your home.
Try choosing deeper blues with a hint of red, deep navy blues or opt to add dashes of warm colors throughout your palette to keep it from giving you the shivers.
Now let’s take a look at what feelings humans often associate with cool colors:
Blue – Strong, trustworthy, dependable, calming, cooling.
Purple – Royalty, elegance, power, uplifting, calming, mystery.
Lavender – Graceful, feminine, elegance, uplifting.
Green – Soothing, relaxing, tranquil, refreshing, peaceful.
Turquoise – Refreshing, sophisticated, youthfulness.
Gray - Practical, calm, cool, cloudy, unsettling.
Silver – Playful, modern, expensive, graceful.
White – Purity, cleanliness, innocence, peaceful, simplicity.
Warm colors have the opposite effect of cool colors.
Warmer tones tend to generate strong feelings of excitement, love or even anger and can over power cooler colors. You can tone down the power of a warm color by opting for a paler shade such as yellow or pink.
Keep in mind that warm colors appear larger when paired with a cool colors, even when used in equal amounts.
Red – Love, anger, hunger, excitement, energy, confidence.
Pink – Sweetness, love, creativity, purity.
Yellow – Sunshine, warmth, joy, cheerfulness, comfort, liveliness, happiness.
Gold – Rich, extravagant, wealth, cheerful, traditional.
Orange – Energy, warmth, creativity, cheerfulness, hunger.
Brown – Natural, earthy, reliability, neutrality, clarity, freshness, traditional.
Beige – Earthy, relaxing, simplicity, calming.
Black – Powerful, sophistication, elegance, strength, night, depression.
Ivory – Softness, earthy, purity, cleanliness.
If you’d like to use a color like gray or black, where there can be negative associations such as an unsettling feeling, be sure to mix it up with more uplifting or warmer colors to keep it from being too drab and depressing.
Knowing what kind of vibes these colors can give off, you’ll be better able to create the exact feeling you want throughout your home. The best way to make sure you’re using a complimentary color scheme is to use a color wheel.
Choose a color you would like to work with and then choose one of its complimentary or analogous colors. Complimentary colors are those on the opposite side of each other on the color wheel and make great choices for rooms where you will be entertaining. Analogous colors are those that lay side by side. These colors make more peaceful combinations and are perfect for bedrooms and bathrooms.
As we discussed in my previous post, the way your home is decorated can have a strong influence on you, your family, and any of your guests. Understanding how colors work on you and with each other, you can easily and dramatically create whatever mood you would like throughout your entire home.
For further reading and a little colorful fun, check out:
You’ve finally broken down in a moment of weakness and decided to clean your fridge. It’s one of those chores that nobody likes to do, but inevitably, no matter who you are, you will finally catch a whiff of month-old spilt milk, dried up tomato sauce and a bad jar of mayonnaise that got lost in the back and decide today is the day.
While you’re worrying about the possible illness you could contract from rotten food you didn’t even know you had, there’s one other thing you should remember that will save you time, money, and a lot of unnecessary frustration.
Repair Don’t: Don’t clean the glass refrigerator shelves while they are still in the fridge, especially with hot water. This is a sure fire way to break it and spend the rest of the afternoon trying to find replacement parts.
Repair Do: Do remove the shelves from the fridge and let them adjust to room temperature. Once they’ve warmed up, clean them with warm, soapy water and replace them in your fridge once dry.
This is one of the most common, and unnecessary, repair mishaps many homeowners encounter. Save yourself the extra work and frustration by remembering today’s Home Repair Do and Don’t.
Society today is full of consumers who buy stuff and then forget about it. They believe that if something breaks you should just replace it.
The thing is, appliances are pretty expensive to replace at the first sign of wear and tear. A little care and upkeep can actually add a few years to the life of your appliance. Take 10 minutes out of your busy schedule to do one of these 10 quick and easy maintenance tips that will help your appliances last longer and work more efficiently.
Check Your Oven Door Seal:
More than 20% of your oven’s heat can escape from a poorly sealed oven door.
- Open the oven door.
- Feel for any torn, broken or deformed spots on the rubber gasket that goes around the perimeter of the door.
- Close the oven door and visually check for leaks.
- Replace the rubber gasket if needed.
Clean or Replace Grimy Oven Vent Filters:
- Wash metal-mesh grease filters in soapy water or put them in your dishwasher.
- Replace paper or charcoal filters; they cannot be washed.
Clean Dirty Stovetop Drip Bowls:
- Wash your drip bowls immediately after spills for easier clean up. Burnt on spills may not come off.
- Remove drip bowls from your stovetop.
- Soak the drip bowls in soapy water or a cleaning solution for 5 minutes. Wash, dry and replace.
Clean Your Refrigerator Coils:
- The coils can be located on the back of your fridge or behind the kickplate.
- Vacuum up any loose particles.
- Repeat every 6-12 months.
Change Your Refrigerator Water Filter:
Dirty filters may not remove all impurities or contaminants and can potentially expose you to unsafe water.
- All water filters are different depending on their model, so be sure to read the instructions for your brand. However, most filters can be removed by turning the filter ¼ inch and popping it out. Turn the new filter ¼ inch in the opposite direction to lock it in place.
- Replace the filter every 3-6 months depending on usage and water condition.
Fix Rusty Dishrack Tines In Your Dishwasher:
Rust can stick to and damage your dishes and silverware.
- Check to see if your dishrack has rusty tines.
- Buy a tine repair kit.
- Fasten new tips over any rusty or chipped tines with a sealant.
- Refrain from using your dishwasher for at least 24 hours to let the tips dry.
Deodorize and Clean Your Garbage Disposal:
- Turn your garbage disposal off.
- Visually check the drain for large, stuck items. Do not put your hand in the disposal.
- Remove items with tongs or some other similar tool.
- Mix ice cubes and salt (or vinegar) and then pour it down the drain.
- Run cold water down the drain for 10 seconds and then turn the garbage disposal on.
- Deodorize by dropping a handful of citrus peels into the disposal, run cold water and then turn the unit on.
Clean Your Dryer Exhaust:
Dryer lint in the exhaust is a fire hazard; clean the exhaust once a year.
- Loosen the clamp so that you can pull the exhaust off the back of the dryer.
- Remove large clumps of lint from both the tubing and the hole in the back of the dryer.
- Use a wire to carefully remove any large clumps in the exhaust tubing that you cannot reach with your hands.
- Vacuum the small lint.
- Reattach the exhaust.
Examine Your Washing Machine Hoses:
Washing machine floods are typically caused by leaks in the hose.
- Remove your washing machine panel.
- Check for any leaks, cracks or weak spots on your hoses.
- Replace washing machine hose if necessary.
Clean Your Air Conditioner Filter:
Your air conditioner filter should be cleaned every 2-4 weeks.
- Remove the front panel of your air conditioning unit.
- Vacuum re-usable filters or replace disposable filters. .
As the popularity of do-it-yourself repair grows among homeowners, so has a disturbing rise in serious DIY injuries. From decorating and renovating to remodels and repairs, homeowners have been taking on the roll of Bob Vila and opting to tackle home projects themselves rather than hiring a professional. While this can save time and money, homeowners don’t realize the real and present dangers of do-it-yourself home repairs.
In the US, home repair injuries are growing at an alarming rate. The most common repair injury is a ladder fall, which has risen 40% in the past decade becoming the leading cause of DIY death.
Power tools are also responsible for a large number of injuries with nail-gun related injuries up 200% since 1991 and angle grinders and power saws both causing between 15-20% of all injuries.
According to the Department of Trade and Industry in the UK, 200,000 people a year are injured in DIY accidents – that works out to almost 4000 per week.
Half of those are injured seriously enough to need hospital treatment and an unlucky 70 are fatally injured. Another 50,000 people managed to treat themselves at home without a visit to the doctor.
Surprisingly, power tools and heavy machinery aren’t the only things to worry about. Turns out even seemingly harmless items can be accidents waiting to happen such as glue and wallpaper, which collectively injured 4500 people.Other injuries include broken or fractured bones, eye damage, loss of fingers, burns, electrocution, sprains, and the list goes on.
If that doesn’t make you think twice, how about the fact that per year, do-it-yourselfers cause millions of dollars in damage to their homes from botched repair jobs. Homeowners can even risk invalidating their home insurance coverage if repairs or remodels aren’t done properly or may not be covered at all for the damage if they don’t add accidental insurance to their plan.
The most surprising part of about the rising number of DIY related injuries is that most are 100% preventable. 55 % of homeowners admitted to starting a DIY project without the proper tools and almost 50% said they started a project without knowing how exactly to do it.
If homeowners wore the right protective gear, made sure their equipment and tools were functioning properly and safely, took the time to educate themselves and were realistic about their own abilities, many of these injuries would never happened.
So, next time you’re weighing the pros and cons of doing a DIY home project, ask yourself a few questions and be honest about the answers. Is this something that is within your ability to do? Do you have the proper tools to perform the project? Do you have all the safety gear required and do you have the time to make sure the project is completed properly? If you have any doubts, ask for help. In the end, consulting a professional could actually save you time, money, and a few limbs.
We all want to make a difference by helping our environment and we’d love to save some money on our power bills, but let’s face it - when it comes to energy-guzzling major home appliances, getting rid of them is not an option.
So when you’re stuck with a necessity that could be doing damage to the environment and your wallet, what’s a homeowner to do? It comes down to compromise and taking action to minimize the damage. And the best place to start is with some of the greediest appliances in the home.
The first offender is one of the most used appliances in any home, the refrigerator.
Many people don’t have a clue that their refrigerator accounts for 5% of their yearly energy bill, a figure that doubles if your fridge is made before 1993. Combine this with bad habits, such as leaving the door open while you select your midnight snack, and you’ve got a sure fire way to waste energy and money.
Since you can’t simply shut off your refrigerator, make it more energy efficient by doing things like cleaning the coils on the backside and underneath. A fridge will cycle less when the coils are free of dirt and debris and a steady temperature of 35-38 degrees Fahrenheit helps make a difference too.
It’s also a good idea to make sure your fridge is kept away from heat sources, such as ovens and heaters, and to leave a space between the wall and fridge for air to circulate. Of course, don’t forget to minimize the time you leave the door open when deciding what to munch on.
The next greedy guzzler on the list is the clothes dryer, which is typically the second biggest electricity sucker in the home. In fact, clothes dryers are so inefficient they haven’t even earned an EnergyStar label.
There isn’t much you can do to make your clothes dryer more earth-friendly (aside from splurging for a new, more efficient model) but you can avoid over-drying by using your dryer’s moisture sensor settings so it shuts off when your clothes are dry. You should also only run it with full loads, keep the lint trap clean, and if you really want to make a difference on your bill, grab some rope and clothespins and make a good old fashioned clothes line.
The dishwasher may feel like a necessity to many but for the most part, owning one is really a luxury and an energy sucker. But don’t feel bad just yet, you can have your cake and eat it too if you use your dishwasher wisely.
First, only run the dishwasher if there is a full load of dishes and let them air dry rather than wasting all that energy the dishwasher uses.
Another no-brainer is to try to use fewer dishes in the course of a day. Fewer dishes mean fewer loads and that means fewer dollars of your money going down the drain.
And lastly, make sure you only pre-rinse your dishes when necessary (burnt on food) and if you’ve pre-rinsed them by hand, don’t run the pre-rinse cycle when you do your load of dishes.
Need more green ideas for your dishwasher? Treehugger.com is always a great resource.
The clothes washer is not an appliance anyone wants to live without but don’t let that stop you from using it more efficiently. The truth of it is, there is one very simple thing you can do to save 90% of the energy a clothes washer consumes – wash in cold water.
This is the biggest reason why washers are considered energy guzzlers and even using the warm water option will cut the energy used by half. Since a washer uses pretty much the same amount of energy regardless of load size, running full loads as much as possible is another energy saving tip. In fact, there are several seemingly small things you can do to save energy with your washing machine.
Granted the best way to make an impact on the amount of energy your appliances use is to invest in some EnergyStar appliances.
They do cost a little more but in the long run, they’ll save you money on your energy bills and really help the environment. But if you don’t have the extra green in your wallet to buy new appliances, don’t despair.
There are several easy things you can do today to make your home more green. Eliminate some bad habits, make a few small sacrifices and most importantly be conscious of what you’re appliances are doing, or rather consuming.