DIY Installation Projects for Your Home

By: Danny Lipford
Danny Lipford installing a lockset on refinished entry door.

Danny Lipford installing a lockset on refinished entry door.

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Here are six do-it-yourself projects that can solve some common home improvement problems around your home. When using or installing any tool or product, remember to follow the manufacturers’ directions and observe all safety precautions.

How to Finish a Garage Floor

Finishing your garage floor with an epoxy coating, such as Epoxy Shield from Rust-Oleum can make your garage look better than new. Each kit contains everything you need to coat a one-car garage including cleaner, epoxy coating, decorative paint chips, and even an instructional DVD.

  • Start by testing to see if the floor has already been sealed by pouring a few drops of water on it in several spots. If the water beads up, the coating may not adhere properly.
  • Test to see if the floor has a moisture problem by taping a two-foot square piece of plastic to the floor for 24 hours. If the area under the plastic is damp, the coating may not adhere properly.
  • If your floor passes these tests, clean it using the supplied packet of cleaner and a long-handled scrub brush. Rinse the cleaner off with a hose, and allow the floor to dry. Remove any oil or grease stains with mineral spirits.
  • Fill any cracks or holes with concrete repair caulk and allow to set.
  • Mix the two-part epoxy coating and apply with a roller within the time specified.
  • Allow the floor to cure thoroughly before parking on it.

How to Replace an Outdoor Security Light

Replace your existing yard light with one that has a motion sensor.

  • Turn off the power to the light.
  • Remove the old fixture.
  • Attach a center bracket to the box to accommodate the new fixture.
  • Attach the wires to the new fixture with wire nuts. Make sure the fixture is grounded as well.
  • Mount the fixture using the rubber gasket for a waterproof seal.
  • Set the sensitivity and light duration of the motion sensor.
  • Turn the power back on and test light.

How to Install Bifold Closet Doors

Replace hard to use sliding closet doors with bifold doors.

  • Remove the old sliding doors, and cut a board to cover the recessed track.
  • Find a set of bifold door that fit the opening.
  • Attach the track to the top door jamb.
  • Mark the location of the floor brackets using a plumb bob.
  • Align and screw the floor brackets to the door frame.
  • Insert the bottom door pins in the floor brackets and top pins in the track.
  • Adjust the fit of the door.
  • If desired, attach the aligning brackets to the inside of the doors.
  • Paint or stain the doors and attach the knobs.

How to Refinish an Entry Door

Give your front door a facelift by refinishing it and replacing the hardware.

  • Remove the hinge pins, and take the door down.
  • Place it on padded sawhorses, and remove the old hardware.
  • Strip and sand down the door, starting with coarse followed by finer grits of sandpaper.
  • Stain the door and apply several coats of exterior polyurethane, or prime and paint it.
  • Rehang the door.
  • Install new hardware, keying the lock to other doors in the house.

How to Replace a Showerhead

New low-flow showerheads use less than half the water of old models.

  • Remove the old showerhead by turning it counter clockwise.
  • Wrap Teflon tape around the pipe in a clockwise direction.
  • Thread the new showerhead on in a clockwise direction.
  • Tighten up the showerhead using a strap wrench to keep from marring the chrome.
  • Turn on the showerhead and check for leaks.

How to Tile a Floor

Tiling a floor is a bit more ambitious DIY project.

  • Start by leveling the subfloor if needed.
  • Tile can be laid directly on concrete, but wood or plywood floors should be covered with cement backer board first.
  • Mark the midpoints of each wall, then pop a chalk line on the floor in both directions to locate the center of the room.
  • Mix up thin-set adhesive and apply to the center section of the floor with a notched trowel.
  • Set and level the tiles in the adhesive, using plastic spacers between them.
  • Cut border tile to size with a scoring cutter or wet saw.
  • After the adhesive has set, apply grout to the cracks with a rubber float.
  • Use a sponge and water to remove any excess grout.
  • When the grout has cured, apply a sealer to keep it from staining.

For more information, check out our article on How to Lay a Tile Floor.

Other Tips from This Episode

Modeling Clay Clamp

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini: Modeling Clay Clamp

When repairing small, irregular objects, it can be hard to clamp them while gluing. To solve this problem, apply glue to the parts, then mold modeling clay around the pieces, and use it to hold the pieces securely in place until the glue sets.
(Watch This Video)

MaxxGrip Pro Wire Brushes

Best New Products with Jodi Marks: MaxxGrip Pro Wire Brushes

The MaxxGrip Pro series of wire brushes from Hyde Tools feature an ergonomically designed polypropylene handle that fits your hand to a tee. They come in a variety of styles and sizes that are perfect for any project. The MaxxGrip Pro is available at The Home Depot. (Watch This Video).

Programmable Thermostat

Thinking Green:
Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats save energy by automatically adjusting the temperature in your home when you’re away. Simply set the program to your schedule, and the thermostat does the rest. This can reduce your energy bill by up to $180 a year.
(Watch This Video)



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One Comment on “DIY Installation Projects for Your Home”

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  • BJ Says:
    July 7th, 2009 at 7:55 am

    As an alternative to the replacement bifolds that you installed, may I suggest a way to recycle the existing doors? I’ve done this on many renovations: take the hollow core doors, cut them to fit the width of the opening, have local glass store put mirrors on them (& deliver for you–a must!) Purchase some HD hinges & stick-on mirrored handles. These gorgeous mirrored doors will swing out, into the room, giving full closet access, but also allowing you to hang ties, scarves, hats, etc. on back of the doors. The mirrors open up the room visually and it is a good green alternative.

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