Homeowner Guide to Home Improvement Tools and Techniques

There are many home improvements the average homeowner can do themselves, provided they have the right home improvement tools and do proper research. When it comes to home remodeling, many people have projects they want to complete but have no idea where to begin. Home improvement tools and techniques vary and having a basic knowledge of hand tools and common power tools are essential.

This post is meant to be an interactive guide on completing home improvement and remodeling projects with ease and success. Readers are encouraged to post comments or ask questions about home improvement tools, methods, and instructions. I will respond with detailed information on the materials, tools, and specific steps to complete home improvement projects and renovations.

I have been a construction contractor for over 15 years before the economic fallout in the housing market. I will be sharing my knowledge with readers on my pages and showing how to get the most from your home improvements.

Basics DIY Home Improvement or Remodeling Project

I will list basic “how-to” information here now, and the more detailed posts will come in response to reader inquiries. The first steps to any project are the same, so I will list them here, and they will not be included in future steps.

First, you must make a detailed plan of the project. This should include as much detail as possible, and in many cases, a drawing or schematic can be helpful.

Second, create a material list for the project. Once you have a plan and drawing, you should have no problem calculating the materials needed. Always estimate an extra 10% for material waste when dealing with lumber, roofing, siding, or similar products that must be custom cut for the project.

Third, have the required home improvement tools. There are many homeowners who start projects only to find they do not have the proper tools. Tools are not cheap, and if there are tools you will need only once or twice, tool rental stores will be a good option. Plan your project around this so that you rent the tools when you need them to keep from paying extra rental fees.

Fourth is the Budget for the project. Many people think this should be the first step. I disagree because it is unrealistic to create a budget without having these first three factors.

You should have an idea of how much you can spend on your home improvement or remodeling project before you begin, but setting a detailed budget requires knowledge of the materials and expenses that will come with your DIY home improvement project.

Our First DIY Home Improvement for the Average Homeowner

Now that we have the first few steps that are required of every DIY home improvement project, we can take a look at the first of our DIY home improvements an average homeowner can do with little effort and are not overly difficult.

How to Replace a Door

Tools required for this project are a hammer, drill, screwdriver, pry bar, and shims. This is an easy project but may require an extra set of hands.

1: Measure the opening.

Most doors are standard sizes of 28, 30, 32, and 36 inches. There are some doors that are custom sizes, and that is why it’s important to measure the opening. When measuring your opening, you should remove any trim from around the door to get an accurate measurement.

2: Check the new door for the correct size.

If the door is too large or small, you will need to either enlarge the opening or add framing to reduce the size. Enlarging the opening will not be done here as it is a bit more complicated and calls for making a new header and some advanced framing techniques. To reduce the opening size, you can simply add 2×4 or 1×4 lumber to reduce it to the correct size.

3: Place the door in the opening.

Shim the bottom of the door so it is about ½ inch off the floor. This allows plenty of clearance for any flooring such as carpet or laminate and will allow the door to open and close easily.

4: Check the door with a level both horizontal and vertical.

Be sure that the door is square in the opening, and place one screw on the hinge side of the door. Recheck for level and plumb and insert shims where needed. Drive screws through the shims and only on the hinge side of the door.

5: Check for level and plumb again for the top of the door and the side opposite the hinges.

If everything is level and plumb, close the door and check the reveal (space or gap all the way around between the door and the frame). If everything looks good and even all the way around, fasten the other side and top of the door frame.

6: Reinstall your door trim and your door hardware.

This is the final step, and you should now have a new door that looks great and functions properly.

Remember to leave a comment or ask questions about any DIY home improvement or remodeling projects you are interested in, and I will give step-by-step details on how to complete them successfully. I can also give you information on the best home improvement tools for your project.

DIY Home Improvements do not have to be overwhelming, and my goal is to make every home improvement or remodeling project easy for average homeowners to complete themselves and save some money.

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