Archive for the 'Home Improvements' Category

Hangin a Wheelbarrow on the Wall Cheaply and Conveniently

It has been a long while since I have posted.  I just moved into a new house and have been busy, but I thought better to put up a quick post than nothing.

Basically, nothing wastes space like things with huge footprints.  You are always tripping over them and working around them.  Wheelbarrows are a great wall candidate because they are huge, light for their size, and used only a few times a season.

Here is what I did.

First, I got a couple of hooks, with a lag screw on one side and a hook on the other.  I drilled a hole into the end of the each handle on the wheel barrow, and screwed the bolts in.  Make sure the hole you drill is big enough, otherwise you will split the wood on the handles.  You can see that in the pictures below.  Also, I turned the hook on the right 180 more degrees, so the hook would be facing outward and less likely to snag me while I was using the wheelbarrow

Here is a picture of the wheelbarrow laying upside down, with a 2×6 beneath it.  I chose a 2×6 because I had one lying around of about the right size, and a 2×4 would work just as well.  Make sure the handles of the wheelbarrow come up the same distance on the board, and then drive a nail through each hook.  I used 20 penny 4″ nails and they worked great.

Wheelbarrow upside down on the floor

Wheelbarrow upside down on the floor

Take the board and nail or screw it to the wall at the proper height, being sure to hit studs. The drywall mud indicates where the studs are here, or you can use a studfinder.  If you don’t hit the studs, you will end up with holes in the drywall and a wheelbarrow on your foot.

You can see from the doorknob visible on this picture that I but this wheelbarrow pretty high, giving space to store more yard stuff beneath.  Use a level if you need to, or eyeball it if you are feeling brave.  This was a pretty quick and easy project, and it sure frees up a lot of floorspace.

Wheelbarrow hanging on Garage Wall

Wheelbarrow hanging on Garage Wall

Good luck and have fun.


Lessons From Laying Carpet on Your Own

I just laid carpet in my bedroom and wanted to share some things I learned in the process. This is the first time I have actually participated in laying carpet in a capacity other than that of a dumb worker. Given my thrifty mentality, I would definitely do this again, given the money saved and the quality of craftsmanship around where I live (the work done on our house before we moved in was just sloppy). Here are the lessons learned, and below is a description of the process.

  1. Measure the rooms carefully, and take the measurements to the store. Before you buy anything, compare the measurements in hand to those on the roll.
  2. Do not bend rolls of carpet. It will cause you pain and suffering for which you won’t even be able to sue. Man, I thought this was America.
  3. Carpet store employees are generally really salesmen or laborers. The salesman just wants to sell you product and get his commission. The laborer is someone who couldn’t cut it laying carpet and so they took a big pay cut and started doing basic labor. There is no good reason to go to either of these sources for advice, if you can help. Stores that are operated by actual owners tend to offer much better advice and service, based on pride in their service and desire to build a long term relationship.
  4. Make sure you aren’t cutting the carpet out backwards.
  5. The grid on the carpet padding isn’t square to the edge. Don’t let it guide your cuts.
  6. Harbor freight sells a very adequate knee kicker.

I wanted to get the job done as inexpensively as possible, so I went and bought remnants. The closer you live to Dalton, GA, the better deal you can get on remnants, as a rule. Carpet rolls generally come in rolls 12 ft wide, with some rolls 15 ft wide. Our room is 12’6″ by 12’6″. Thank you builders. We had to buy a 15 ft wide roll that was 18ft long for our room. Our sons’ rooms both measure 13 ft by 9’6″. When I was at the store, I somehow deluded myself into thinking that the rooms were actually only 12 ft long. Don’t ask me how I did that, let’s just say I have some carpet for sale on craiglist right now. That is lesson number one.

Much to my dismay, I do not own a pickup, and have to use my minivan for all hauling. It should be clear to anyone that a 15 ft long roll of carpet will not fit in minivan if you want the windows to remain intact. I was thinking I could ask a friend with a truck or bend the roll and put in in my minivan. I asked the help at the store if it hurts a roll if you bend it. As I laid the carpet, I realized I had made two mistakes in one (mistakes 2 and 3). Carpet rolls that have been bent in half have creases and lumps in them that require excessive work to remove.

I ripped out my old carpet and used the old carpet as a pattern to cut out the new carpet, leaving an extra inch or so on all the borders for final trimming. This can be done in a larger room or outside, and leaves you with a lot more room to work with the stiff heavy carpet. I almost made a mistake by not having both of the pieces of carpet facing the same way, i.e. both upside down or both right side up. My wife was pretty pleased with herself when she saved me from massive error. Thank you honey. I will still call that mistake 4 so others will not repeat my near mistake.

A friend of mine wanted to learn how to lay carpet, and would rather do it at my expense than his own (smart guy). He helped me and is very handy. When we were putting down the new pad, I tried to cut the end square with the grid of webbing on the padding. That was mistake number 5. Apparently, the grid on the padding is not aligned with the direction of the roll. Luckily, it made me cut too long, so I just ended up having to trim off a little more.

I bought a knee kicker at Harbor Freight. The knee kicker performed it’s job well, and at $30, it was by far the cheapest available. I rarely buy from Harbor freight, preferring Makita/Milwaukee/Dewalt tools, but I knew this knee kicker would only be used a few times. It firmly gripped the carpet and did not ever damage it.

The actual carpet laying went fairly smooth because I had a smart worker with another set of eyes to prevent me from making any ridiculous mistakes. I still need to lay the carpet in my boys’ rooms, and I plan to do that. After the furniture was removed from the room, the whole process took about 5 hours. I would expect it to take around 3.5 hours next time. I will let you know how my sons’ rooms go. Please leave any questions as comments so I can answer them when I blog about doing my sons’ rooms.

Schactya vam!