Tag Archives: remodel

Butt Marker? Flat Bastard File? 9 Weird Home Tools and What They’re Used For

weird toolsNA / Getty Images

There are a few key factors that set us humans apart from the other mammals out there: self-awareness, language, and empathy among them. But according to Live Science, “The way humans make and use tools is perhaps what sets our species apart more than anything else.”

What may differentiate us even further from our warm-blooded friends: the kooky names we come up with for some of those thousands of tools humankind has invented. You may know a Phillips head screwdriver from a flathead, but do you know what a double cat’s paw wrecking bar is used for? We sure didn’t.

To help introduce you to the wild world of tools at your disposal as a homeowner, here’s a rundown of the strangest we’ve found, and what they’re used for. Consider this your cheat sheet so you can confidently tell a butt marker from a flat bastard file!

1. Flat bastard file

Flat bastard
Perfect for baking into a cake

HomeDepot.com

It sounds like a slim, secret dossier someone might keep on people they don’t like—or an insult in a classic gangster movie. Yet this heavy-duty flat bastard file is used by machinists and engine builders who need to remove metal from anything from axles to lawn mower blades.

2. Butt marker

Butt marker
Is this tool just used in the bathroom?

HomeDepot.com

Where to begin with a tool called the butt marker? We don’t want to make it the butt of an easy joke, but it’s probably found in the rear of your local hardware store.

And what does the tool with a funny name do? It helps mark the correct hinge size and mortise depth for accurate door installation.

3. Double cat’s paw wrecking bar

Double Cats Paw Wrecking Bar
Is this used in a catfight?

HomeDepot.com

Adorable cats and utter destruction usually don’t go together. But somehow the double cat’s paw wrecking bar exists as a demolition tool used for prying up joists. And bonus for anyone doing a major demo out there: The claws are slotted to easily remove any type of fastener while you can remain comfortably in a standing position rather than stooping down.

4. Flute chucking reamer

Flute Chucking Reamer
Do not try to play this flute.

HomeDepot.com

Can this tool be found in the woodwind section of your toolbox? Or is it something breakout flute player Lizzo uses on her projects at home? OK, OK.

A flute chucking reamer is actually used primarily in machine shops to enlarge or finish an existing drilled hole to a more exact size to achieve a precision fit.

5. Pigtail hook

Pig tail hook
* Not a real pigtail

HomeDepot.com

Last time we checked, pigtails are a swine-y shade of pink. So what gives with this bright yellow? The pop of color is because this tool puts safety first and is used by roofers hauling buckets up from the ground. Adding the twisty pigtail hook to the end of a rope keeps the heavy buckets in place.

6. Spokeshave

Spoke shave
Don’t use this on your face.

HomeDepot.com

The spokeshave may sound like it’s meant to get rid of a guy’s 5 o’clock shadow, but the reality is it’s a woodworking tool designed to carve curves into wooden furniture, such as shaping chair seats and legs. While most DIYers won’t have this in a toolbox, many woodworkers will have a spokeshave in their shop.

7. Spud wrench

Spud Wrench
A spud is a narrow spade used for digging up root vegetables.

HomeDepot.com

You say potato, I say potahto. And still other people—mostly plumbers—say spud and buy this spud wrench instead. Yet it is not used on splitting taters, but for making radiator valve repairs.

8. Bull-nose rabbet plane

Bullnose Rabbet Plane
Do not put a ring through this bull nose.

HomeDepot.com

A rabbet—as opposed to rabbit—is a step-shaped recess cut along the edge of a piece of wood, typically formed to match the edge—or tongue—of another piece of wood. And the bull-nose rabbet plane? It has a blade flush with the edges of the plane, allowing a woodworker to trim right up to the edge of a piece.

9. Nail eater extreme

 Nail Eater Extreme
Much better than the regular nail eater!

Sunriseequipment.com

For all the nail biters out there who want to take their compulsion a step further, try the nail eater extreme!

OK, actually this bit is typically used by linemen to eat through existing nails in wood as it drills. But homeowners with tough remodel projects can also count on this bit to chew through multiple layers of material (think aluminum siding on top of wood siding).

The post Butt Marker? Flat Bastard File? 9 Weird Home Tools and What They’re Used For appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Source: realtor.com

10 Home Updates That Are Worth the Money

Homeownership is one of the most time-tested ways to build wealth in the U.S. It can help you build wealth thanks to home appreciation — but this isn’t always guaranteed (just ask anyone who bought a home right before 2008). 

Another way to build wealth through homeownership is by upgrading your home, thereby increasing its value. The idea is that when you eventually sell your home (or pass it on to your heirs) it’ll be worth even more than simply keeping up with basic home maintenance alone. 

And since you spend around 90% of your time indoors, you might as well enjoy your home a bit more while growing its value.

10 Impactful Ways to Raise Your Home’s Value

The opportunities for upgrading your home are endless. But if you’re aiming to boost your home’s value, some upgrades are better than others. You’ll also need to consider whether you feel comfortable with certain DIY projects, or if you prefer to hire a professional. 

You could rig-up a picket fence made of the leg lamps from A Christmas Story if you really wanted to, after all, but chances are it’d decrease your property value (if it didn’t burn down your house in the process, that is). 

Instead, try one of these investment-friendly upgrades, according to the 2020 Cost vs. Value Report from Remodeling Magazine:

  1. Stone Veneer
  2. Garage Door Replacement
  3. Minor Kitchen Remodel
  4. Replace Siding
  5. Replace Windows
  6. Deck Addition
  7. Replace Entry Door
  8. Replace Roof
  9. Remodel Bathroom
  10. Major Kitchen Remodel

1. Stone Veneer

Estimated cost: $9,357

It’s no secret that finding ways to add curb appeal is one of the quickest remodeling wins to increase your home’s value. Right now, one of the hottest trends is adding manufactured stone veneers to the exterior of your home, generally around the base or as accent walls. 

You can DIY this, but it might be better to hire a professional because the materials are expensive. Plus, if you do it wrong, you could waste a lot of money and end up with a wonky result. 

2. Garage Door Replacement

Estimated cost: $3,695

If you’re not keen on spending tens of thousands of dollars, a relatively quick win you can go for is simply replacing your garage door with a better model that includes a lifetime warranty. Again, this is one that’s better left to the pros because it’s an especially dangerous job for newbie DIYers. Besides, installing it yourself is likely to void the warranty anyway.

3. Minor Kitchen Remodel

Estimated cost: $23,452

If you don’t mind sitting around in some construction dust for a little while, doing your own minor kitchen remodel is definitely within the scope of DIYers. It’s also a common home remodel on HGTV and other media. 

To reach the value-add touted by the survey, you’ll need to replace your oven or cooktop, refrigerator, cabinet doors, countertops, drawer fronts, flooring, and add new paint and trim. It requires a lot of changes, but if you have time to watch a few YouTube tutorials, you can do it yourself fairly easily. 

4. Replace Siding

Estimated cost: $14,359 to $17,008

Another big curb-appeal booster is simply replacing your home’s siding. But not all siding is created equal. Fiber-cement siding costs slightly more and recoups slightly more of the cost. The difference, however, isn’t huge and might vary for your individual case. 

Vinyl siding is easier to maintain and install, but isn’t as fire-resistant as fiber-cement — an increasingly important consideration if you live in the arid West. No matter which type you choose, you might need to rent specialized equipment, like scaffolding, unless you’re an NBA athlete working on a single-story house.

5. Replace Windows

Estimated cost: $17,641 to $21,495

Old, leaky, rackety windows aren’t great for curb appeal or energy-efficiency. That’s why replacing them can also be a good idea. If you’re nervous about smashing them (and we wouldn’t blame you), you can hire a professional. Otherwise, it’s a job that’s possible for most DIYers. 

If you have standard-sized windows, you can get ready-made windows from a home supply store. But you’ll likely need to custom-order them to fit your own home. 

6. Deck Addition

Estimated cost: $14,360 to $19,856

Decks are one of the easiest home additions to DIY, as long as you have basic carpentry and tool safety skills. You can take your time with decks since they’re outside of your home and not directly in your everyday living space. Composite decks are slightly more expensive than wooden decks but have the advantage of longevity and less maintenance necessary over the years.

7. Replace Entry Door

Estimated cost: $1,881

Another easy and low-cost project, replacing the front door gives you an instant boost to your curb appeal. Just about anyone can do it with the help of YouTube video tutorials and a good, strong arm. 

8. Replace Roof

Estimated cost: $24,700 to $40,318

Your roof is literally the cap to your home. Replacing the roof is a big job, and although hammering in shingles seems easy (and it is), it’s generally best left to the professionals. A professionally-installed roof comes with a warranty, and takes a day or two to complete.

If you DIY this home improvement project, you’ll lose the warranty, and it could take you longer to complete the job. And the longer your roofing project lingers, the longer your home is vulnerable to damage. 

Another point to remember — metal roofs are far more expensive than asphalt shingle roofs, but they also tend to last longer and require less maintenance.

9. Remodel Bathroom

Estimated cost: $21,377 to $34,643

As long as you’re not making major changes to the plumbing and electrical systems underlying the fixtures, a bathroom remodel is possible on your own. This is an especially common remodel for many DIYers, because along with the kitchen and the bedroom, it’s a daily-use room. 

10. Major Kitchen Remodel

Estimated cost: $68,490 to $135,547

If you’re looking to bring a 1950s-style kitchen into the 21st century, it’ll take a bit more than some extra spit and glue. You’ll need to make big changes, like adding in a vented range hood for those blackened-fish tacos, new recessed and under-cabinet lighting, new cabinets, and even adding in an island for better cooking options. For that reason, it’s usually better to hire a professional team who can make sure everything’s wired up right. 

Your Mileage May Vary

Here’s something to consider: on average, you’ll only recoup a portion of your cost if you complete the upgrade and then sell your home in the same year. That might seem a bit disappointing — shouldn’t you be able to recoup all of the cost, and then some?

Remember, your specific case might be very different depending on a lot of factors, like what area of your home could use work. For example, if your exterior looks tired and the siding is falling off, upgrading that rather than adding a new deck might give you a better payoff. 

Another factor affecting your return on investment is how long you let your home’s value appreciate, before selling it. Adding a stone veneer can help you recoup 96% of your cost in the first year. However, in the second year, consider whether you can boost the value of your home by more than you paid for the upgrade. 

If you plan on selling your home in the future, asking a local realtor or real estate investor which upgrades are best for your particular home can be worthwhile. After all, market conditions vary dramatically cross the country and no two homes are exactly the same. 

The post 10 Home Updates That Are Worth the Money appeared first on Good Financial Cents®.

Source: goodfinancialcents.com

A September State of Mind

Hi friends. So sorry to go completely MIA on you. Between attempting online school with a five-year-old, much of California burning to the ground, and the general state total chaos in which we find ourselves, getting to the computer for any length of time has been a bit of challenge, to put it mildly. And then I blinked and summer is officially over.

But I had to finally get on here as I have big news for you!

They say you shouldn’t make major life decisions during times of extreme stress, right? Well, we decided to throw all caution to the wind and instead have purchased a coastal cottage in Washington State! Apparently a global pandemic, homeschooling a kindergartner and the most consequential presidential election of our lifetime wasn’t enough to keep me busy.

coastal cottage mood board on Apartment 34

In all seriousness, if the past seven months of Covid have taught us anything, it’s the importance of friends and family and so we decided to create a gathering place that can bring together those we love most for years to come. Nestled within the myriad of inlets and islands that dot the Puget Sound north of Seattle, the cottage enjoys sweeping views of the Olympic mountains and Hood Canal. I consider it my official respite from the impending doom. Sadly it looks nothing like the inspiration images I’ve collected here.

Instead, it is going to take a LOT of work to get our little coastal cottage visitor ready – and in a very short period of time. Over the coming weeks, I plan to take you along on the entire design journey. I will be sharing everything with you – from the cottage’s current state, to all of my design inspiration and through the remodel process. If all goes according to plan, I’ll share a major before and after reveal in time to spend the holiday season with our family rather than more than 800 miles away.

coastal cottage mood board on Apartment 34

Trust me, we’re going to have plenty to discuss, as I have to pick an entire household’s worth of things – from paint colors and kitchen cabinets down to dishware, bedding and everything in between. No design decision will be left unturned. It’s both exhilarating and incredibly daunting. These mood boards are just part my first ideation session for my dream vibe.

I’m hopeful sharing this process with you will offer you some fresh design ideas and positive inspiration as we all hunker down to weather what will undoubtedly be a stormy fall – be it literally or just politically. It’s been a rather dark year and I feel like this might be a way to share a little bit of light. I know I am very happy for the creative distraction. I hope you are too.

I can’t wait to share more very soon!

The post A September State of Mind appeared first on Apartment34.

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Source: apartment34.com