Top products from r/HomeImprovement

We found 286 product mentions on r/HomeImprovement. We ranked the 6,507 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top comments that mention products on r/HomeImprovement:

u/neverJamToday · 3 pointsr/HomeImprovement

This is going to seem like a weird suggestion but hear me out:

Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook.

If you just see the cover, you'll be like, "um, I don't need a book to tell me how to wash windows, k thx bye."

But a picture of the cover doesn't show the Bible-like thickness of this book. It's like 750 pages and is a comprehensive guide to living in a house. Covers everything you should be doing to maintain a house on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly basis. Covers how to manage specific rooms. Covers how to deal with pets. Covers everything from how to wash and fold clothes to how to repair the plumbing to the washing machine. Covers everything from how to clean a lampshade to how to add a new lightswitch. Has a "materials library" where it goes over every possible material things could be made out of in your home and how to care for them.

It's absurd how in-depth it is. It's basically everything you'll "find out the hard way" about owning a home over 30 years, the easy way and without the wait.

But, if you're looking to go beyond "how to be a homeowner," the Reader's Digest/Family Handyman "Complete Do-it-Yourself Manual is the single best resource for all your DIY home improvement heavy lifting.

u/ITchick2014 · 7 pointsr/HomeImprovement

Some things I would do in addition to changing locks and a deep clean...

Test out and explore the circuit breaker. Know what does what outlets/lights/etc.

Replace all of the smoke detectors if you don't know how old they are. Most are only rated for 10 years. Get a CO combo unit as well. Could save your life later. Pick up a fire extinguisher as well and check it whenever you check your fridge filter (or furnace filter if the fridge doesn't have water filter).

Clean your oven. Always good to have a fresh start.

Have stained woodwork? Invest in a wax stick and stain marker that matches the existing trim to repair any nicks and scratches that happen when you move in :)

Most importantly...remember there is no rush on many repairs. Water is something best repaired as soon as discovered...but little things you may find annoy you (like the off-white outlets and switches) are things you can tackle whenever you deem fit. Owning a home is not as difficult as many people make it out to be. You already have found a good resource. Here is another one I would suggest:

Most of all...enjoy your home. Remember to relax and share it with others...especially those you care about. Wish you the best!

u/dromio05 · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

YouTube is good. Google is good. This book is good. Friends and family are good. This sub is good.

A lot of home improvement projects are actually surprisingly simple. Swapping out a light fixture, for example, is usually pretty much just disconnecting a couple wires from the old one and reconnecting them to the new one exactly the same way. Whatever it is, just start small, take your time, triple check everything before you do something irreversible, and remember that it's your house so you want to do it right.

u/drucius · 4 pointsr/HomeImprovement

the buy it for life crowd will always argue for superior quality and buying a good tool. However another random redditor once summarized a different pragmatic:
"Buy a cheap tool, if it does the job you win. If you use it enough to break it you now are justified on buying the good version that might last you a lifetime."
I love harbor freight for economy cheap hand tools.

My exception is buy a good drill/driver. My current house might be close to 50% held together by work from my Milwaukee at this point.

Other tools no one mentioned that will come in handy: Outlet tester/live circuit detector, A stud finder, a set of allen wrenches.

u/niceflipflop · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

If you're willing to spend some money and you think you'll have more use for a good stud finder that actually works, get one of these.

I went through several finders in my 1940 brick colonial before finally trying the Franklin. I love that thing. It's not magic, but it finds so many studs that no others could. Just the way it lets you visualize the object it's detecting is immensely helpful in quickly determining whether you've got a false positive.

I can't promise you it'll help you sort out that wood paneling wall. But if any finder can detect the studs, it's the Franklin.

Good luck!

u/skwolf522 · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

If you are driving alot of screws get a good driver with Torx or square bits. Phillips or flat head screws should be outlawed.

I have tons of 18 volt tools. But 90% of the time I use my 12 volt stuff. It is lighter and plenty strong enough for most all jobs I throw at it.


Get a good tool bag, To keep all your tools organized.


This little screwdriver is my most used electrical tool.

It will take off a faceplate in seconds without scratching it.


This works great also.


These work great as stud finders, not sure how they build your houses but in america we have 2x4 wooden studs behind our walls every 16-24". This is a strong magnet that finds the studs by finding the screws that attach the drywall to the wooden studs.



If you are moving any water lines or doing any plumbing look in to Pex, It is very easy to do and you can same alot of plumbing costs.


If you are moving your toilet, look in to a wall mount. They are very modern and save you a lot of room.

u/pinkstapler · 2 pointsr/HomeImprovement

I used two kits of this on my dark pink tub about a year ago and it doesn't show any wear yet.

I realize it may begin to wear eventually - but we will probably sell the house later this year. If I knew I was going to be in a house for more than ten years, I'd go for professional resurfacing - but for my purposes the DIY worked great. Just be sure to ventilate and follow the directions to a T. Read the amazon reviews and understand the process before you jump in.

Good luck!

u/SnakebiteRT · 2 pointsr/HomeImprovement

You’re talking about a jamb switch, but they don’t meet energy codes in my area. The issue that municipalities have with jamb switches is that if you don’t close the door then the light never goes off. If you put in a motion sensor with an automatic off then it will go off after a certain amount of time even if you don’t close the door. That’s really the best option. Technically motion sensors indoors don’t meet CA energy codes either because they don’t want lights automatically turning on anywhere in the house. They want you to physically hit the switch and then for it to time off. That is called an occupancy sensor. It’s actually required in closets and bathrooms.

But what you’d want is something like this:

u/CyberBill · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

I think I may be able to help give you some 'tools' to figure out what's going on....

To start off - I'm going to assume you're in the US on a fairly modern electrical system. You're going to be on a 110 volt circuit with a 15 amp breaker. It could be 20 amps, but usually it's 15.

The first tool: Amps Volts = Watts. 110V 15W = 1,650 watts <-- That's how much power your circuit should be able to draw before it trips the breaker. Not everything you plug into wall says how many amps it pulls, it will say how many watts, so now you can translate between them, and all them all up, and see how much power you are actually drawing.

If you take a look at an LED lightbulb, it will say both how much light it outputs compared to a regular incandescent light bulb (usually 60-100 watts) and it will say how much power it draws (5-20 watts). For example, I just found a 100-watt equivalent light bulb that uses 14 watts. A light bulb pulling 14 watts on a 1,650 watt circuit pulls less than 1% of the total!! You could have 118 of those light bulbs on that circuit before it trips the breaker! Now, if you had a regular incandescent that pulls 100W instead, then you could only have 16 - that's a huge difference.

Second tool:

Go buy one of these. You plug it into the wall, and plug whatever you want to monitor into it, and it will tell you how many watts it uses. It can monitor things over time, so you can get an average of their usage.

Lastly... coffee makers are HUGE users of electricity. They typically pull 1000 watts when heating!!! That's nearly 10 amps - 2/3 of your total capacity!! It is not at all surprising that your breaker pops when you use it along with other stuff. Usually coffee pots are plugged into circuits in the kitchen with nothing else running at the same time. Your fridge is pulling ~150 watts when it's actually running, and 0 when it's not, and it will cycle on and off during the day.

Good luck!

u/jspurlin03 · 5 pointsr/HomeImprovement

Family Handyman magazine is a good one for the stage you’re at. Sign up for their email list of tips; I have and often find something useful in their newsletter emails.

Familiarizing yourself with the basic tools you need — various simple manual hand tools and their use, simple power hand tools and their use — that is a good first step.

Learning to use tools in the proper way will prevent you from inadvertently making some ill-advised-but-common mistakes, and will help keep you safe in the meantime. (For example— Could one use a flathead screwdriver as a rock chisel? Perhaps. Should you? No, and there are reasons for that and better tools for the job.)

Books like this one:
The Complete Do-it-Yourself Manual Newly Updated

Should be a good starting point. They’ll cover the basic ways houses are plumbed, wired, and some of the basic building techniques.

If you’re planning to do electrical work around your house, I’m going to highly recommend a non-contact voltage tester because it can tell you when a switch still has electricity live to it. I have a couple of weird wiring configurations (multiple breakers used in the same junction box, from three-way light switches) in our 2015 house, and my tester has saved me from risking getting shocked a couple of times. Being careful is also key, but that sort of tester is a good thing to have.

u/[deleted] · 2 pointsr/HomeImprovement

I'm working away at my basement remodel (1950's). Do you want to start with a book? The gold standard for basic renovations is Renovation 5th Edition. This will set you on the right path before you start researching specific things for yourself. There are many ways to accomplish each task. For example, for your wall assembly you can go with the classic frame + fiberglass + vapor barrier. Or you can do with frame + spray foam. Or you can go with XPS foam + frame + rockwool + smart barrier. This will depend on local building code as well since you will require a minimum R-value.

Start with your local building code/permitting office and see what is required in your area. Where I live we are supposed to pull permits for a basement renovation. Some people hate the idea of permits, but generally the inspectors and building code office should work with you to make sure you do things safely and correctly. The application process is fairly simple. Fill out a form and provide a basic drawing of the proposed space including room dimensions, window size/locations, ceiling heights, locations of existing bulkheads/beams. They also want to know what your proposed wall assembly will be. They will either approve your application or will help you to make modifications in order to meet code.

Once approved you can start working away. We require inspections after framing, insulation/vapor barrier, plumbing, and final. A separate inspection will come with electrical since that is a separate organization unrelated to the municipality.

u/sick937 · 4 pointsr/HomeImprovement

No idea about the cost, but if you have a level of confidence and have some idea what you're doing, you could pop the cover off that electric panel and see what type of wires run into the circuit breakers and what they feed. If modern wires run into breaker #1, and you turn that off and the wall fixtures turn off.. well there you go.

K&T should be easier to spot inside the box, no ground, probably dusty, and wrapped in cloth. Mapping the breakers, figuring out what controls what room/wall/fixture is a good idea. Flip them off one at a time and have someone upstairs plugging something in an checking them..

Also, I highly recommend one of these guys to quikcly test and tell you if the wiring is correct:

u/FLHRI · 8 pointsr/HomeImprovement

Not quite 20, but have 2 of these. Work great, wife and I both love it, going into year 3.

u/IcyKettle · 6 pointsr/HomeImprovement

Some good responses already. Some more info...

Very few of your devices (electronics, phones, tablets, chargers, etc), if any, are going to draw more than an amp. It'd take quite a few to overload the circuit. Heaters cause fires because they draw a TON of amps. Usually more than 10. So, while they're often safe in general on a 15A circuit, if you plug them into a cheapo power strip or extension cord with light-gauge wires, those wires can quickly become too hot and catch fire. It's easy to find thick gauge extension cords that are safe for heaters. Power strips less so. It's easier to tell people, "just don't do it" than it is to explain the issues at hand.

The easiest way to know for sure how many amps all your devices are pulling is to use a Kill-A-Watt meter. Measure them independently, or a few at a time, then add them up.

u/NinjaCoder · 3 pointsr/HomeImprovement

There are special 2 part epoxy paints that are used for this.

We used this paint to refinish a green bathtub, and it was easy to apply, and looked great until it started to scratch, peel, etc.

It is super smelly and requires proper ventilation and a respirator type mask.

u/captiantofuburger · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

I was looking for this comment. The tar etc will be there to stay, unless you pull your hvac ducts apart and manually scrub them down.

Honestly dawn dishsoap works amazing with a brillo sponge thing. I smoke, not in my house, but in my 3 season patio. Every summer it takes me about 6 hours of scrubbing to get all the tar and crap off all the windows, walls, ceiling, fans, etc. I should mention I have 24 windows floor to ceiling on my patio, one reason it takes so damn long.

On the topic of ozone generators in general. I had a small unit that was an "air purifier" and ozone generator I got off ebay. The "air purifier" I'm pretty sure was just a fan that literally did nothing. I have cats and their litter boxes are in my basement, so I would have the ozone generator go off at 4am for 20-30 min a few times a week just to cut down litter smell. I ended up buying this after it crapped out on me just want to say, HOLY CRAP this thing is powerful. It's almost too powerful to use for me. It will wake me up in the middle of the night 3 floors up with the smell of ozone. Maybe close up all the windows in your house, take your air filter out of your hvac, shove the o3 generator in there, turn the hvac fan on continuous, and leave for a day.

u/tstock · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

Under cabinets look great (as you noted), and work great when they are on.


I think the reason people don't use them is because they are not typically wired to a switch on old houses; and/or hot bulbs overheat and damage themselves.


The solution is LED lights, triggered by a sensor like this or this that turn them on and off for you. LED don't overheat much, and the sensor turns them off, and on, for your convenience and safety.

u/free_sex_advice · 2 pointsr/HomeImprovement

The two things that jump out are the downspout on the right and the windows. It's a bit difficult to tell how the roof goes there, but it looks pretty tricky and then that downspout appears to dump water right on the tricky spot - all of the downspouts need short extensions to get the water away from the corners.

Also, where the end of the gutter is right up against the side of the house. Is the gutter cap well sealed? Does the siding run behind it or did they gutter first then cut the siding around the gutter?

The windows look nice with the wide flat white area around them, but what material is that? How is it flashed to the top of the lower window, how is the upper window flashed to it? It's really difficult to build out a detail like that and make it waterproof.

You'll know more if you can figure out how high up the leak is - yes, the water can very easily move down through the wall. A moisture meter is inexpensive. Read the sheetrock inside just above the baseboard where the water is worst. Read the wall up the side of the window trim on both windows. You may get a clue from that.

It's a bit more money, but you can get Flir 1 for your cell phone - iPhone linked, but there's an Android one too. Take a look at the walls from inside and the ceiling and the side walls of that section. The moisture alone should make for cold spots, but it might be especially obvious on a cold, rainy day. Good general contractors have both moisture meters and Flir 1. Any friend that's a fireman probably has access to a Flir camera. A good home inspector has these tools. I'd offer to help, but I can tell from the architecture that you live nowhere near me.

Please update us later.

u/chrisbrl88 · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

The amount of air it'll move is honestly more important than a humidity sensor. If you want that functionality, just install a humidity sensing switch in the wall instead of a toggle. A sensor integral to the fan is just one more part to fail, and a switch is cheaper to replace than a whole fan. You want a fan that will move 1 cubic foot of air per minute per square foot of floor space at a minimum. If you've got a 7x10 bathroom, you want a 70 CFM or better fan.

u/MrTheorem · 2 pointsr/HomeImprovement

I trust Fine Homebuilding. For about $40/year, you can get access to their entire archives online. Although they don't always have something specific to what I want to do. And the books from their parent company, The Taunton Press are really good.

Also, the Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual which is a collaboration between Readers' Digest and Family Handyman is actually a very good comprehensive general resource.

u/physicallyuncomfort · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

I purchased this guy .. but it wasn’t of much use to me.
I’m so terrified of not cutting in between the two studs and having a huge chunk missing. Do you have any specific videos to recommend?

Thank you so much for your help!

u/arizona-lad · 2 pointsr/HomeImprovement

They do go hand in hand, so I'm thinking that you are not going to have a lot of luck with the curtain idea.

If you can stand leaving the window closed, there is a window insulating method that will let the light in, but help keep your room warmer:

Won't work if you need the window open.

u/Mgk645 · 2 pointsr/HomeImprovement

I added a fan to our bathroom (5x6), I went with a Panasonic 80CFM. It works great. I mounted it outside the tub/shower area in the middle of the bathroom. The fan keeps the condensation off the window and the mirror, although, some does build up directly above the showerhead. We have an older house and the ceiling in the shower is lower than the rest of the bathroom.

Also, grab one of these -

There's no point of installing a fan if you dont turn it on...

Edit - get the Panasonic, super quiet.

u/Walrus_Infestation · 22 pointsr/HomeImprovement

I use the thin film plastic window insulation kits every winter, I love them. They are great because the seal out all the tiny cracks in old windows and create a psuedo-double pane window. I would start there because they are much cheaper than curtains.

u/redorangeblue · 2 pointsr/HomeImprovement

Fyi, you can get a bidet cover for a toilet for less than $100, and they have pretty good reviews
$330 TOTO SW2024#01 A200 WASHLET Electronic Bidet Tolet Seat with SoftClose Lid. Elongated, Cotton White

$35 Luxe Bidet Neo 120 - Self Cleaning Nozzle - Fresh Water Non-Electric Mechanical Bidet Toilet Attachment (blue and white)

u/grantd86 · 3 pointsr/HomeImprovement

From the pic it's hard to tell what those walls are made out of but I still wouldn't chance just putting it anywhere and hoping for the best. Suspect that it's not the answer you want to hear but the right answer is to buy a decent studfinder. Seems like a lot for just this project but if you own a house you will use it again in the future.

The low tech route is to tap your knuckle against the wall and listen for the solid spots.

u/astew90 · 3 pointsr/HomeImprovement

I'm assuming what he means are electronic locks or smart locks. Personally, I have a Schlage BE469 deadbolt on my front door and a FE595 lever on my garage door.

The BE365 is also a good pick for a deadbolt if you don't want a smart lock, and it costs about half as much as the BE469.

Last note - If you buy a smart lock, do your research on connectivity options first. Schlage has 3 different smart lock options for Z-Wave, Zigbee, or Bluetooth.

Also @ u/_tanith

u/ashe3 · 19 pointsr/HomeImprovement

Not entirely necessary before you move in, but installing a bidet is fairly easy, and once you start using it, you will never want to poop anywhere else. I'd recommend something along the lines of this:

Or, if warm water is something you want, upgrading to the 320 model isn't that much more.

u/Hhwwhat · 3 pointsr/HomeImprovement

For the future, grab one of these stud finders. Run it along the wall and it will hang on the screw heads that were used to secure the drywall. Also works great in lathe and plaster houses. It's really just a strong magnet.

u/Rick91981 · 2 pointsr/HomeImprovement

Something like THIS is a good start, but really YouTube is probably your best resource.

u/cruceno · 4 pointsr/HomeImprovement

That, along with some doublestick tape will probably do the trick. BUT if I had my choice, I prefer this stuff because it's shrinkable and crystal clear. I've used it with excellent results in a house that was built in the 19teens and was drafty as heck.

Big box stores (Lowes, Home Depot, Menards, etc) should sell something comparable.

u/KingOfId · 6 pointsr/HomeImprovement

You can get a little magnetic stud finder on amazon for like $10. Definitely worth it, you’ll use it a million times for hanging artwork and shelves. Like someone else said, use it to locate drywall nails and get an idea of where the joist runs, then screw a hook into the joist. You can also knock along the drywall and listen for when the sound is more solid—less hollow—to get an idea. Any reasonably sized hook with a screw end should be fine for a plant.

Edit: this is the stud finder : stud finder

u/coletain · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

Hit any particularly high spots of glue with a belt sander. No need for the cement if you are doing a wood floor as long as the subfloor is reasonably level. Use whatever underlayment system your flooring calls for, but its usually a felt paper or silicone vapor shield. The underlayment will take care of any minor imperfections in the floor.

Before you put down the flooring, buy a moisture meter and check the subfloor is dried out. The cheap ones are fine for this, you aren't really looking for a specific % you just want to measure every day or so and when the % stops going down you are good.

u/immaseaman · 8 pointsr/HomeImprovement

Look into code, don't cut corners and get yourself one of these outlet testers to check your work. Like someone else said, hooking up sub panels and big jobs, have someone come in.

I'm lucky my brother in law is a very professional electrician, I always check my plans with him and I do all the work. He'll come and make the connection at the panel just to be safe, but after watching him I'd feel comfortable doing that.

u/rationalomega · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

Have you heard of Ethernet over power? Sometimes known by the trademark “power line”. We have little boxes that plug in & pair with each other. One on the router side and one anywhere else in the house. I use that to connect my work PC via Ethernet and the internet is very fast, latency quite tolerable.

I do a lot of work by using a VPN to access a janky PC in Beijing and even that works mostly ok.

The brand we use is tplink. You can have Ethernet in any room you want that way. It is damn near as fast as plugging straight into the router.

Edit: pair of them runs $40 at target or Best Buy.

My husband and I have the skills to network our house any damn way we want. This way hits the sweet spot for affordability, ease, and speed/throughput.

u/mslindz · 2 pointsr/HomeImprovement

Looks like there's a newer one from 2014, which is what I bookmarked to buy. The other poster linked the one from 1991 and then from 2005. There's also an edition from 2009. I searched it on Amazon to make sure I had the most recent version. Thanks for the heads up, though!

u/krogg62 · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

You might think about a humidity switch like the one below. I have a couple, and they work great. Comes on when the humidity in the bathroom increases. You can turn them on manually, too, when the “issue” isn’t humidity.

Leviton IPHS5-1LW Decora In-Wall Humidity Sensor & Fan Control , 3A, Single Pole, White

u/mikeyo73 · 3 pointsr/HomeImprovement

This is my unit. I like to have it a bit away from the wall. It blows out a lot of warm air and I use it to dry my hockey equipment. Works really well, I just wish I could set it up to drain automatically.

u/Jessie_James · 3 pointsr/HomeImprovement

For that kind of money you could easily get a 4-way (or 5-way) bulb adaptor plus 4-5 100w LED bulbs which would be TWICE as bright.

$14.99 for the fixture:

$35 for 4 LED floodlights that are 100w each:

Pick up a motion sensing light switch for $21:

That will be 500 watts versus 228 watts for only $71, saving you $50 per fixture. Got two like I do? $142 instead of $260!

Now, if something goes wrong, you can replace the bulbs or fixture cheaply. Or take it with you.

Bonus? You don't even have to remove your existing ceiling socket. This all just screws right in!

u/hovpdx · 4 pointsr/HomeImprovement

I think the solution you're looking for lies in the switch not the light. I just recently switched my front outdoor lights to a timer switch that has 7 days of programming available. You enter where you live and adjusts for when the sun rises and sets. You can also program a particular time as well for it to shut off or turn on. So far it works great and was a fairly easy install.

Here's a Link:

It's the "Honeywell Econoswitch RPLS740B 7-Day Solar Time Table Programmable Switch for Lights and Motors"

u/McFeely_Smackup · 2 pointsr/HomeImprovement

I've gone through at least a dozen stud finders over the years, from cheap to expensive, and the one I've liked best is the Franklin 710

Magnetic stud finders are slightly better than guessing. they don't find studs, they find screws/nails that should be in the stud...but you don't know if it's centered, barely in one side or the other, or missed the stud completely.

u/73IRS · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

We have them from Leviton.

Another option is to upgrade your bathroom fan to a unit with it built in. With this fan get a quieter, higher CFM fan that has options like light/nightlight and humidistat built in. In our situation I ordered the Leviton switch and a separate Panasonic fan without the extra functions.

u/Gqueue · 0 pointsr/HomeImprovement

I use a Franklin

Which is very similar. Best and easiest stud finder I've ever used.

Only problem is that it is always going off whenever I walk by. :). Lol.

u/atistang · 3 pointsr/HomeImprovement

Depending on how good your windows are, you might consider covering them with a plastic film such as the one linked below. That could help your heat pump keep up in these cold days. You could also get a space heater of some sort to help out in the rooms you are in at the time.

u/trialbytrailer · 34 pointsr/HomeImprovement

Do it up real nice for some quality poop time. Get a $40 washlet/bidet kit from Amazon, a squatty potty, poo~pourri...hell, spring for some ambient string lights and a little zen water fountain.

Happy Black Friday, the Luxe Bidet is $25 today.

u/mp3three · 4 pointsr/HomeImprovement

One thing to keep in mind is your speed is going to be only as fast as the slowest point. Since you didn't mention it, I'd recommend physically connecting a computer to the router and seeing what kind of speeds you get you of that. If your ISP just isn't delivering on the high speed, going super fast inside the house won't get you anywhere (unless you do a lot of file transfers inside the house).

I don't know what kind of building materials are used in your house, but the majority of the time wifi will work just fine. For myself, I started with a set of Powerline Adapters, but was relatively unimpressed with them. Your wiring may work better though, try them out and keep your receipt.

I ended up using just regular wifi for my setup, and since I am only paying for 100 down, it is more than fast enough. The adapter I got has big antenna, and going through a few walls isn't an issue at all. Whole lot cheaper (and less effort) than trying to run some wires over to where my office is. Strangely, I get better / more consistant performance out of the regular wifi channels rather than the 5ghz too. Still goes faster than my internet, so I don't care

u/BaggedTaco · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

To buy some time on the windows, you can try using this. Most people equate this with heating in the winter but it will also help with drafty windows in the summer.

I didn't think to mention sunlight, are the rooms getting a lot of direct sun? Heavy window shades will help with that if that is an issue.

u/DesolationRobot · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

> better luck with a magnet to find studs

This little guy is my go-to stud finder. The only electronic studfinder I've used that wasn't garbage was a $90 model. It was still only ok.

u/heybrositsmeagain · 3 pointsr/HomeImprovement

Yep! It’s pretty cool. Turns off in the morning. Here’s the link:

Honeywell Home RPLS740B1008 Econoswitch 7-Day Programmable Light Switch Timer White

u/steinauf85 · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

alternately, if you have many light bulbs on your porch, this dusk to dawn switch:

you could also get an internet-connected smart switch if you plan on building out more of a smart home, but this is great as a standalone.

it's very nice to get home at night with the porch lights already on, and not have to keep adjusting a mechanical timer as the days get longer or shorter.

u/bloobal00 · 6 pointsr/HomeImprovement

my uncle gave me an old copy of his from the 80s when i moved into my house a couple years ago. some of the things like electrical are outdated but a lot of it is still relevant. it makes all of these big projects sound doable, even for someone like me who can’t drill a screw in straight.

i believe the most current edition on sale for only $24 on amazon right now.

u/jeffc7186 · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

Not exactly what you are looking for, but I have this and works great. Always when dark and I use LED bulbs so the electricity wont cost too much.

u/thatotherguy321 · 16 pointsr/HomeImprovement

first, you should be aware of everything that is using power. Turn off or unplug everything you know of. Go see if the meter is still running. If it's still running, that's your mysterious drain, figure out what it is.

To find out what single item is a energy hog, hookup a kill-a-watt and take note of the readings around your house.

Some cities or utility companies offer free energy audits. See if you qualify.

edit: also check on your bill what plan you are on compared to your previous. It is not necessarily a fixed amount per kWh.

u/AbsolutelyPink · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

These do. Friend bought one for her b/f and it worked just fine. That brand also makes other versions that also fit.

u/Eccentrica_Gallumbit · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

Ah ok, I have something similar then, just doesn't seem to work the greatest on BX wire.

u/ihitrecord · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

In the basement? Something like this.

In the wood? This.

If your basement is constantly humid, plumb in a dehumidifier. However, in doing that, you may want to wait for it to stabilize and then re-acclimate the wood.

Yeah, sorry, no good news from me.

u/Coochenator · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

There are devices called Powerline Ethernet Adapters that might mitigate your issues. I assume the wifi is a little slow upstairs. These plug into power outlets on either end and run internet through the power lines. Obviously this won’t work for every home but I’ve had luck on some congested rentals in the past where there are 20+ WiFi signals from neighbors and I’m trying to get through old plaster and brick walls. Might be worth trying it for less than $40 before getting a contractor.

TP-Link AV600 Powerline Ethernet Adapter - Plug&Play, Power Saving, Nano Powerline Adapter(TL-PA4010 KIT)

u/terrick · 3 pointsr/HomeImprovement

So, there is a bunch you can do. Some of it is dependent on how much you have to spend and what the owner (maybe you, maybe not) is willing to do.

Your most cost effective bet is to a product like this on your windows. This will really cut down on drafts.

You can add drapes that cover much of the walls, which will help, but only marginally. This would be more expensive and should be done on top of the plastic film.

If you don't own the apartment, you can ask your landlord to do something about it, including putting in new windows or blowing in insulation.

As others noted, keep the door opened and make sure your vents are open. You can also use ceiling fans to improve air circulation.

I would generally avoid heaters as they can be fire hazards, but if you have to use one, buy one that is the appropriate size.

u/mrsaukuma · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

I used this for our bathroom fan. Max is 30 min.

Enerlites HET06A-White 1-5-10-15-20-30 Minutes Preset In-Wall Countdown Timer Switch, w Decorator Wall Plate, White

Tire of the kids leaving the fan on all day and night. Didn't want to heat or A.C. the outside all the time. Went in quite easily.

u/bailtail · 3 pointsr/HomeImprovement

I just purchased the following book, and it's great. Highly recommended.

The Complete Do-it-Yourself Manual Newly Updated

u/YAMMYRD · 3 pointsr/HomeImprovement

Honestly a really good magnet, finds the nails that attach the lathe. I think I have this one

u/TheAmazingAaron · 2 pointsr/HomeImprovement

They make fans that sense moisture and turn off after the room/vent/ducts are dry.

Humidity sensing fans on Amazon.

Those are mostly over $100, but here's a switch that senses moisture and automatically turns on the exhaust. Pretty cool, I didn't know this existed until you asked! Now I'm totally getting one.

u/sunamonster · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

I use one of these for marking studs

Another comment said fiberglass fishing sticks, I use those extensively (cable installer) as well as using fish tape when you need something more flexible

Drilling up from the bottom is probably best, just take your time to scout out power lines and studs so you don't hit anything unexpected. Something I do whenever I cut in new outlets is cut the drywall first and stick a light in the hole, drill (everything is attics in SW Florida) and see if I can see the light. It's better to drill a couple times than cut extra holes in the drywall.

u/LeftistRedneck · 13 pointsr/HomeImprovement

Get a new stud detector. Even if you spend $50, I guarantee you it will pay off in saving your sanity by getting one like this or even better that senses any electrical or plumbing behind the wall:

u/waTabetai · 2 pointsr/HomeImprovement

I'm going to try this on my acrylic bathtub.
I have the same style sink as you in my kitchen, so I'm going to use that too. I think it's worth a try. Also, I would probably youtube a few videos before attempting it.

Edit: Seems like a few people have fixed cracks just like yours. (Check out the review pictures.)

u/Notevenspecial · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

If you can leave the house for a few hours, rent or buy an ozone generator. Pretty good at eliminating odors of all kinds:

You should not be in the house while it is running.

u/nileo2005 · 2 pointsr/HomeImprovement

Second the ozone machine. Get an industrial unit like this, not a crappy tower air purifier with ozone deal. Shut this in a room on high for 24 hours, turn it off, open a window to let the room air out and it will do wonders. I used this on my mom's place who roomed with a chimney and a car with so much cigarette ash embedded in the upholstery that it looked like a texture.

u/adapt2 · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

> Firstly, that ground wire must be sufficiently large

I am guessing I will have to measure the thickness of it with a caliper.

In terms of checking all the outlets to find which ones are truly grounded, would I use a tool like this?

u/fun_director · 8 pointsr/HomeImprovement

Best one that I know of... I use it all the time, very accurate!

CH Hanson 03040 Magnetic Stud Finder

u/kayladsmith · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

You can go to Home Depot or online and buy an epoxy finish for your bathtub, I did it for mine. You just have to sand down your tub first to make sure it’s smooth. Then you paint it, wait 6 hours, apply a second coat. And then let it sit for 24 hours. (If I remember correctly, it’s been about a year) and then it will be good as new! We also used it on a window seal in our shower to keep it from molding. epoxy paint

u/JimmyBuffalo · 4 pointsr/HomeImprovement

I don't think the stuff is that expensive.

This is what I suggest.

This is enough for 90 Square Feet.

You said you have a door to cover right? Assuming that the door is 36x80" you'd have enough film to cover (at least) four entry doors.

So I would say two boxes...that's like $25 plus the cost of painter's to be safe I would think you can do all of it for less than $50.

u/Kontu · 5 pointsr/HomeImprovement

I've been super happy with this one:

It only engages/disengages a clutch that allows the deadbolt to be turned, so batteries last quite awhile. You could install it yourself it's no harder than a normal deadbolt install. The downside to the one you linked is it uses the battery to turn the deadbolt itself, so I've only usually seen it last ~3-6 months of use with that style before the battery needs to be replaced. The other style lasts closer to 2-3 years in my testing

u/mikeofarabia17 · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

Use a 2 part finish because it will last a whole lot longer and generally be better. Something like this

u/antarcticgecko · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

Magnet stud finders will never steer you wrong. Excellent little gizmo.

u/val319 · 4 pointsr/HomeImprovement

Here’s what it looks like as suggested by u/bloodshotnipples 3M 2141BW-6 Indoor Window Insulator Kit, 5-Window you apply it with the adhesive and usually use a hair dryer to get it nice and sealed.

u/Mrconduct1 · 3 pointsr/HomeImprovement

I've heard mixed reviews on the 'humidity sensor' activating switches. I'd rather go with a nice selectable timer switch, I use something like these:

u/jdsmn21 · 2 pointsr/HomeImprovement

No problem!

If you ever need help, feel free to PM if you'd like. I like fixing electrical problems :) Sometimes you need a toner tracer to find where a wire goes. These work by clipping the toner box to the bare wire, which injects a signal into the wire, and the tracer will beep like a metal detector over the wire it's clipped to. Not saying it's a necessary tool, but can be very handy.

u/WhisperToARiot · 4 pointsr/HomeImprovement

Came here to say this, this was my best purchase all summer 👍 CH Hanson 03040 Magnetic Stud Finder

u/LXIV · 8 pointsr/HomeImprovement

I have a Schlage. I've had it for over 5 years, and I love it.

u/PerestroikaPal · 2 pointsr/HomeImprovement

Funny you mention that, I am going to be replacing the regular switch for the fan with this variable timer one

u/TaruNukes · 8 pointsr/HomeImprovement

Best dehumidifier on the market

Frigidaire 70-Pint Dehumidifier with Effortless Humidity Control, White

You also need this sensor. Keep the humidity
level between 35-45%

AcuRite 00613 Humidity Monitor with Indoor Thermometer, Digital Hygrometer and Humidity Gauge Indicator

u/alias_enki · 0 pointsr/HomeImprovement

An outlet tester jammed into the existing outlet might be a good idea. It can help diagnose WTF is going on inside that box. I know enough to diagnose that and get things straight, not sure if OP is in the same situation. I definitely recommend grabbing some white/black colored tape to mark the wire if OP is comfortable IDing the wiring. Dealt with cloth wire where I live, I feel the pain. 100% agree, pigtails to the outlets and wrap tape around the terminal screws to minimize risk of shorts. Tape is cheap.

u/bilged · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

This magnetic stud finder works very well. It has powerful magnets that will work through thick drywall and it will last forever.

u/trippknightly · 3 pointsr/HomeImprovement

In this electronic age, there are still some classic books worth having in the toolbox. I think if you want it to be useful and thorough it can't be small.

u/EmbarrassedSpade · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

Over 2000 kwh per month sounds way out of normal if you are not using electricity for heating or some huge A/C unit, even with electric stove and water heater. I got around 400 in a bit larger house, and have electric stove, water heater and air compressor running for wastewater treatment.

I know a similar case and it turned out to be a faulty/incorrectly installed water heater, that was heating up water and continuously letting it out through overflow pipe.

You could get something like this: and check your appliances one by one if you want to diy.

u/TSwizzlesNipples · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

I had a Soleus that I got from Menards and the pump quit on me in about 2 months. I threw it out and got this. Works great.

u/RebuildingABungalow · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

I recommend the For Pros by Pros book series for each trade.

I’d also recommend:

u/DrWangerBanger · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

I have this one and I'm very happy with it. I only recently found out you're not supposed to use extension cords with it (or any other dehumidifiers) so maybe keep that in mind.

u/LUF · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

>If switch B is off, then switch A can turn the lights on and off.

>If switch B is on, then switch A cannot turn off the lights. When you flick switch B (in either direction), the lights just blink for a second, but then immediately come back on.

How bizarre... I'm still trying to diagram this.

What if it's like this?

(B could also be a 3-way with one of the output nodes not connected to anything)

To diagnose, I would cut power and use a wire tracer like this:

u/KerNil · 2 pointsr/HomeImprovement

Just a thought... Have you considered using a fan that employs both a humidity sensor and motion sensor simultaneously (e.g.)?

Alternatively, you could use a standard exhaust fan, combined with a humidity-sensing switch (e.g.). The switch contains an on/off button, so you can still control the fan manually.

u/Cutlasss · 2 pointsr/HomeImprovement

The 2 principles you need to understand in insulating a house are conduction and convection. To (over) simplify, if you place your hand against something, a door, window, wall, ceiling, floor, and it is notably colder than the ambient air of the house, then it is conducting the cold. (Actually, it's conducting the heat out of the house, and leaving cold behind, but never mind the distinction.) But if you have an actual air transfer, there's a draft anywhere, then that's convection. Warm air is leaving, cold air is entering.

Windows and doors are considered the main culprits of heat loss not necessarily because of conduction, but because of convection. They don't seal the opening tight enough, and air leaks by them. So this is the first thing you look for, is places where the air is leaking past or through something. And it's not always the windows and doors. Finding and sealing them is your first priority. Now that may be the windows and doors if they are of poor quality, or not the best possible installation. But that's generally not true of a 10-15 year old window, and you've had them inspected. If a window is leaking air around the panes, then the interior glass may feel a lot colder not because it's conducting cold, but because the convection around it is cooling the interior of it.

Windows and doors will also conduct heat/cold. But so will walls, foundations, and ceilings. If someone in your area does an energy audit inspection, you might want to do that, in order to find which is your house's weakest points. And then concentrate your efforts and costs there first.

If your windows are leaking air, then the simplest, easiest, least costly, short term fix is clear window covering plastic. Which you put on in the winter and remove in the summer. If your windows are conducting cold, then heavy drapes, like the other user said, will reduce airflow past the window, and reduce the problem. That's less work and cost, and a less permanent change than what I think the shutters you're talking about would be. And then eventually change the windows.

But you should also be looking into other sources of heat loss. They may matter more.

As to your patio door, older sliding glass doors have a habit of not being very air tight. Having a closed porch beyond it would help. Switching from a sliding door to a hinged glass door would probably provide better air seals. Or you could put a plastic sheet over the whole thing for the winter.

Putting another 6-8 inches of insulation in the attic is often one of the cheapest improvements you can make. Reinsulating the walls can be costly, but in an older house can make a lot of difference. Sealing any gap where the house meets the foundation is an overlooked, but important step. As is insulating basement walls.

u/wowowowowow12 · 17 pointsr/HomeImprovement

It's called window insulation film, and sounds like you really need it!

You attach a sheet of plastic to the inside of the window frame using double-sided tape. Then you heat the film using something like a hair dryer so that it becomes more rigid and finishes the seal.

The stuff is sold online and of course and all the major home-improvement stores, here's an example:

u/beretta01 · 12 pointsr/HomeImprovement

Luxe Bidet Neo 120 - Self Cleaning Nozzle - Fresh Water Non-Electric Mechanical Bidet Toilet Attachment (blue and white)

u/Idunnowhy2 · 3 pointsr/HomeImprovement

"ozone generators remove odors by producing large/concentrated amounts of O3 (ozone) which oxidize and break down residual odor compounds in the surrounding air. Because the O3 is so highly concentrated, it is recommended that rooms be unoccupied during treatment. Once the air treatment is finished though, the O3 quickly converts back into O2 (oxygen) and the room is left with a "fresh air" smell."

u/dawiyo · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

Definitely look into an ozone generator. I have this one in my Amazon cart, just need to pull the trigger.

u/BornOnFeb2nd · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

This one is the apparently the top seller and it's on the cheaper side, and it does GFCI testing too.

Plug it in, you want to see two oranges. Nice and simple. It doesn't guarantee a true ground, but there's something that resembles one..

Other than that, you can pick 'em up anywhere... any will probably suffice If you've got a hardware store nearby, you can probably save a couple of bucks on 'em. the "official" name is a "Receptacle tester".

Careful though.. they're tricksy bastards! I've purchased something like 15-20 of them.. I couldn't tell you where a single one of them is right now....

u/Certain_Concept · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

You may want to buy a mousture sensor.

General Tools MMD4E Moisture Meter, Pin Type, Digital LCD

I have the same ceiling/texture. I have a big water spot from a fixed roof leak. While it was leaking it didnt necessarily feel moist but the meter was a good way to check.

u/bilbravo · 3 pointsr/HomeImprovement

greyam already covered how to get if off.

I'm not sure if you just don't like the timer in general or where this switch is, but I replaced a switch with one of these fancy timers that also has a simple on/off switch. It's nice and even has a "vacation" mode if you're into that sort of thing (randomly turns lights on and off during "on" times).

u/pjs32000 · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

The deadbolt hanging up and battery life are the reasons I got this one instead. Mine doesn't have it, but I think they also make one that has wifi and can manage codes remotely. I highly preferred the manual closure of the deadbolt, it gives me reassurance that it's actually closed when I lock up.

u/whfournier · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

I have one of these and it works very well, Costco sells the same thing in blue for about $40. Not the cheapest thing out there but I'm happy with it. Just keep in mind if you have thick plaster or double drywall and stud finder is probably going to have trouble.

u/distantreplay · 14 pointsr/HomeImprovement

Most of the time I use the CH Hanson mentioned by u/mikeperr or a rare earth magnet on a string and swing it like a pendulum.
If you are really into it and insist on determining the precise edge of every piece of framing (and fire blocking) the one gizmo I know works most of the time is the Franklin 710. I just never had any consistent luck with those zircon things.

u/iaurp · 6 pointsr/HomeImprovement

Assuming your windows are old/leaky and you can't modify or replace them, this is the way to go, OP.

It has clear plastic film that's a bit like shrink wrap and some double-sided tape. You basically stick a piece of the film over the entire window with some of the tape and then blast it with a hair dryer (optional) to tighten it up. It will stop any air from leaking through and be basically transparent.

u/_sch · 3 pointsr/HomeImprovement

For just finding studs, I find these to be better than any of the fancy ones:

u/three-one-seven · 3 pointsr/HomeImprovement

I've had good results with this, and it's waaaay cheaper than hiring someone: Epoxy Refinishing Kit

u/molo1134 · 2 pointsr/HomeImprovement

You don't need to pull the ground wire and connect it directly to the receptacle. Get one of these at your local hardware store to verify that the ground is correctly connected, and you should be good to go.

u/INTPx · 2 pointsr/HomeImprovement

10x better than any stud finder out there. You can get a blue rebadge at Costco for a lot cheaper

u/notadoktor · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

I got this one. I thought the time selection was better.

u/technicolormotorhome · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

Get a $5 outlet tester.

Worth its weight in gold. You'll be surprised how often it comes in handy - just testing if an outlet is live, e.g.

u/hobbykitjr · 3 pointsr/HomeImprovement

Buy one of these

Test all of them.

it will not tell you when you need an outlet replaced. It will only show you if the outlet is wired correctly or incorrectly. Make sure that when you push your GFCI back into the box that no bare copper is touching bare copper on the neutral/white conductor in the box. Also make sure that the conductors are tight in the terminal screws of your GFCI. You probably need to replace your GFCI with a new one if none of the previous suggestions work. Make sure that you turn the power off to the receptacle prior to removing it from the outlet box & working on the device

u/SJHillman · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

Motion sensors are probably the best way to go, as others have said, but I'll offer a different alternative. This switch has a built-in timer that you can set for 1, 5, 10, 15, 20 or 30 minutes. There's also other timer switches out there, some of which can even be programmed.

u/Kizartik · 5 pointsr/HomeImprovement

>Renovation by Michael Litchfield

Looks like a new edition is going to be released May 7, 2019.

u/johnkiniston · 2 pointsr/HomeImprovement

Air seal your windows with plastic if they are even a little drafty using something like a window sealing kit:

Get a electric blanket for your bed:

Put a blanket on the water heater too:

u/caseigl · 8 pointsr/HomeImprovement

Just use a powerline ethernet adapter to move between those locations. You won't have full gigabit speed, but they have come a long long way.

This link is for the 500Mb speed, but the 200Mb (which is fine for most stuff) is only $20!

u/Fake_account27 · 2 pointsr/HomeImprovement

It should not be super hot, and I would think if something was wrong the breaker would trip before it got super hot.
Something like this would let you know how many amps its pulling and it its too much.

u/jldude84 · 3 pointsr/HomeImprovement

Hmm...most useful things for $300. I would recommend Lowe's/Home Depot, but since you're limited to Amazon....

u/Lock142815 · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

I have an actual meter on it and I've gotten my power bill. Believe me it consumes 1200-1300 watts 24/7 all graphics card running OCed. The heavy duty extension cord I'm using is warm.

But you're saying the same thing someone has said, I might need a sub panel. Thank you for your advice. For now I might just ask them to do 3 20 amp breakers but my end of the year plan is to have 6 rigs running.

u/mikeperr · 20 pointsr/HomeImprovement

CH Hanson 03040 Magnetic Stud Finder

It's a magnet. Foolproof. Which I need because I've never had much luck with the electronic ones.

u/1new_username · 4 pointsr/HomeImprovement

I use one of these

You plug it in the outlet and push the button on top. If the outlet is on a gfci, it should trip it and the power at that outlet (and any others on the gfci) will go out.

u/tuctrohs · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

Except that the unit that is being recommended in the discussion here is actually 745 W. So u/ten-million could be right if it runs say 3/4 of the time or more.

u/bgalli · 3 pointsr/HomeImprovement

They sell plastic sheets with double sided tape... it goes around the window and use a blow dryer to take wrinkles out of plastic, done!

Adds a layer of air insulation. Really helps stop drafts


u/FlixFlix · 23 pointsr/HomeImprovement

Occupancy sensor (automatic light switch) in the basement, laundry, and walk-in closets. We got these Lutron models from Amazon for $20. Set them to 1 or 2 minutes for the closets, a little more for the laundry, and whatever works for you for the basement. Not having to reach for the light switch with your hands full is really convenient.

u/Tolookah · 2 pointsr/HomeImprovement

If I understand correctly, there's a chance that blackened bit is keeping that side of the connection to the dryer from being a good connection. (that black sooty carbon is a decent insulation when you don't want it to be). without pictures, it's hard to tell if the cord has problems, but that's where I would look first.

Related for others, do they make a receptacle tester for the 4 prong outlets? I'm thinking something similar to this

u/RugerRedhawk · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

>Two: Tried to hang a chain from my bookshelf to the ceiling because I already messed up trying to hang another support underneath the bookshelf and was trying to find an alternate solution. I ended up not having a screw large enough to secure the chain.

Shit if I considered every project where I needed to make a (or three or four) trips to the hardware store in the process a failure I'd never complete a damn thing.

>Three: I tried to mount a Monitor wall mount, but couldn't find the stud and gave up. Even with a stud finder.

Not sure if you have plaster/lathe or drywall, but I can attest to how well this unit works with drywall, I will never buy another:

u/AmateurSparky · 2 pointsr/HomeImprovement

>temporarily this winter

Install a window insulation film on the trim.

For permanent, that window looks fairly old. Do you have access under the deck if you want to seal it off, or to replace the window and seal it from the outside?

u/splitlip_jay · 9 pointsr/HomeImprovement

Get a moisture meter and check for moisture. It doesn’t look like recent water damage. Tough to tell without a moisture reading.

something like this

u/aaawwwyyyeeeaaahhh · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

moopos is right. your curry problem will seem puny after you introduce it to an ozone machine. I actually bought [this one] ( and it's dominated the smell form day one. I put it on for another day for good measure.

u/4br4c4d4br4 · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

I live in Texas where in February/March/April, it's humid AF but not hot enough to run the AC yet.

I solved the problem by buying this 70 pint Frigidaire dehumidifier.

If the humidity is over 70%, it'll fill up overnight and I empty it in the morning and let it rip until I get home and empty etc.

I suspect I really need two of them for my 2200 sqf house as it struggles to keep up because I turn it off when I want to watch TV etc. Still, it does a remarkable job of keeping mold out and the inside of the house pleasantly unmuggy.

u/compulsivehobbyist · 1 pointr/HomeImprovement

Hopefully just bad workmanship. Might be worth picking up a moisture meter to verify that you don't have water getting in through the roof/attic

General Tools MMD4E Moisture Meter, Pin Type, Digital LCD