Home Improvement Archives - Decor At Home

This post contains affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. This is how we help to make money so we can continue to bring you amazing content.

Choosing And Installing a Carbon Monoxide Detector

Choosing And Installing a Carbon Monoxide Detector

Kidde Carbon Monoxide Smoke AlarmCarbon monoxide detectors are imperative in any home. These devices save lives. However, many homeowners shy away from purchasing a carbon monoxide detector due to misunderstanding. Many people are under the assumption that installing such a carbon monoxide detector is hard and requires the help of a professional. This does not have to be a complicated task. It can be a do it yourself job. In fact, the information and steps below will make installation a breeze.

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas which is derived of improper burning of certain fuels. It may be created from wood, coal, charcoal, kerosene, heating oil, natural gas, or propane. This gas is dangerous and hard to detect without a proper carbon monoxide alarm. The fumes are without color or odor.

What is a carbon monoxide detector?

This is a life saving device which is similar to a smoke detector. However, it will alert home occupants of the presence of carbon monoxide with in the dwelling.

What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?

Carbon monoxide symptoms can range form mild to severe. If you feel you have been exposed to these toxic fumes seek medical attention. Here are some possible symptoms to watch for.

• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
• Sudden feelings or tiredness or unexplained fatigue
• Nausea
• Feeling light headed or dizzy
• Headache

More severe symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may include:

• Harsh vomiting
• Mental confusion
• Passing out
• Poor coordination

Choose the right carbon monoxide detector for your home

There are two basic types of detectors to choose from. You may go with a simple AC plug in model. You may also opt for a battery operated detector. If you choose the battery operated version make certain to test battery strength often. As well, keep in mind that many plug in detectors fail with power is outages. Some do have a battery back up. These are always a good option.

[phpzon keywords=”carbon monoxide detector” num=”4″ country=”US” trackingid=”diy-do-it-yourself-20″ templatename=”default” paging=”true”]

How to install your carbon monoxide detector

Installing a carbon monoxide detector is not complicated. This can be done with ease if one knows the correct steps to take. Below are steps which will make installation an easy process.

Before beginning installation you will need to gather some supplies. Here are the things you will need to install your carbon monoxide detector.

• Carbon monoxide detector
• Screwdriver
• Pencil
• Wall Punch
• Hammer
• Batteries

Step 1
The first step is to choose which detector you will be using.

Step 2
Next, you will need to choose a location for the carbon monoxide detector. Choose a location which is not near any heating or cooking source. It is best to space the alarm at least 15 feet from such areas. As well, make certain the alarm is free of debris and any type of covering such as curtains or drapes.

Step 3
Determine if the detector is battery operated of AC plug in ready. Plug in detectors need simply to be plugged in. However, battery operated units will require a bit more work.

Step 4
Mark the installation spot. Use a pencil to place a mark on the wall where the detector will be placed. Hold the base of the carbon monoxide detector to the wall. Darken in the screw holes with your pencil. This will leave circles on the wall where the screws should be placed.

Step 5
Take care to make holes in the wall where the pencil dots exist. This should be done using a wall punch. Make certain the holes you create are no larger than the screw anchors. They should fit tightly.

Step 6
Take a hammer and tap the screw anchors into the wall.

Step 7
Screw the base into the wall.

Step 8
Place a new battery inside the detector.

Step 9
Secure the detector to the wall.

Step 10
Test the batteries inside the detector. This will ensure that the unit is properly working. As well, it will allow you to became familiar with the alarm sound.

Your new carbon monoxide detector is now installed and operating properly. Installation was easy and performed with great success. You did not need the help of a professional. Your home is safe and your family is protected from the harmful and poisonous effects of carbon monoxide. You should be proud of the job you have accomplished.

This post contains affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. This is how we help to make money so we can continue to bring you amazing content.

How to Buy a Ceiling Fan for Your Home and Install It

How to Buy a Ceiling Fan for Your Home and Install It

Hubbardton Ceiling FanCeiling fans should be correctly fastened to an electric ceiling box that is designed to sustain a heavy ceiling fixture. It must not only hold the wiring, but the total weight of the fan must be supported. If the ceiling fixture you had previously was of light weight, the box will probably have to be replaced with one manufactured for ceiling fans.

Determine Your Usage

If you prefer a ceiling fan to circulate heat during the cold months, known as reclaiming heat, and keep you cool during the summer months, a ceiling fan with reverse remote control is best. During summer months the fan blade should rotate in a counter-clockwise motion. For winter month the blades should turn in a clockwise motion.

Featured: Fanimation HF7600DS Hubbardton Forge Presidio Tryne Ceiling Fan, Dark Smoke Finish, 5 Slate Blades, Opal Glass

Will Fans go Outside or Inside?

If your fan will be on your patio, porch, or in a screened area, outdoor fans will be the most accommodating. Outside ceiling fans are UL classified for damp and wet areas. Wet ceiling fans can stand-up to direct weather changes and damp-rated ceiling fans can be inside covered outside areas like patios.

Where to Place Your Ceiling Fan

When purchasing your ceiling fan, be aware of which room and the size of the room your fan will be installed. Air movement is the mix of a number of factors. A large room or living room ceiling fan should be large, and bedroom fans should have a quiet motor with a minimum four star rating for great uninterrupted sleep.

Recommended Installation Heights

  • To decide the correct height for your ceiling fan, measure the length from the precise point in the ceiling where it is in conjunction with the floor right below.
  • Ceilings under eight feet, should utilize a flush-mount ceiling fan. Codes require that ceiling fan blades are not lower than seven feet from the floor which makes flush-mount ceiling fans your best bet.
  • For ceilings below eight feet consider hugger ceiling fans minus any lights, since they are inclined to be the lowest profile-fans.
  • Ceiling fans should hang eight to nine feet from the floor.
  • Fan blades must be at least seven feet away from the floor.
  • Fan blades must be a minimum of 8.5 inches from the ceiling.
  • If you have very high ceilings, lowering the ceiling fan would be practical. This will improve cool-air circulation or heat reclamation.

Ceiling Fans and Your Home Decor

There are a number of basic rules applied when selecting a ceiling fan finish for your home. Ceiling fan etiquette states that fan motor finishes are normally selected to match additional metallic hardware in a room such as door knobs and table lamps. Fan blade finishes are normally made from wood and should match door, flooring, and furniture. The style of your room has plenty to do with your choice of ceiling fan as well.

These three styles of ceiling fans are the most popular:

  • Contemporary-for sleek architectural styled rooms.
  • Traditional-for more formal type rooms.
  • Exotic-for bright, sunny rooms with rattan and palm-leaf materials.

Tools you will need:

  • Wire cutters/strippers
  • Side-cutting pliers
  • Crescent wrench
  • Voltage tester or multi-tester
  • Drill with long bit
  • Long nose pliers
  • Hammer
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Lineman’s pliers
  • Metal-cutting keyhole saw


Examine the joists for wiring or plumbing pipes that may be a hindrance prior to installing your fan.  Be sure the electrical box that keeps the fan in place is classified.  Check all parts and instructions prior to beginning your installation.

The installation process itself is quite simple; the steps go as follows:

  1. Slip In the brace
  2.  Tighten the brace
  3. Attach the box
  4. Install the mounting plate
  5. Put together the down-rod and canopy
  6. Wire the fan
  7. Fasten the canopy to the mounting plate
  8. Attach the blades

Recommended Ceiling Fan Brands:

Ratings are 1 to 5 with 5 being the best.

Hunter Fan Company 23856 52in. Classic Original Ceiling Fan

This ceiling fan is an American legend and the strongest Hunter ceiling fan on the market.
Rating: 4

Fanimation HF7600DS Hubbardton Forge Presidio Tryne Ceiling Fan

The Hubbardton collection is expensive but produced with superb quality materials. This design is created to work with the existing Hubbardton Forge lighting collection.
Rating: 5

This post contains affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. This is how we help to make money so we can continue to bring you amazing content.

What is an Ammeter?

What is an Ammeter?

AmmeterAn ammeter is an instrument that measures the current in an electric circuit. The principle that governs the operation of the ammeter was discovered in 1820 by the Danish physicist Hans Christian Oersted, who found that a compass needle is deflected when it is placed near a current-carrying conductor. In 1882, Jacques Arsene d’Arsonval of France devised a moving-coil, permanent-magnet galvanometer similar to the ammeter now most commonly in use.

The moving-coil ammeter consists of a horseshoe-shaped permanent magnet, a moving coil, hairsprings, a pointer, and a scale. The movable coil of fine wire is suspended in a cylindrical air gap between the permanent-magnet poles.

This lightweight coil is pivoted on bearings so that only a small force is required to rotate it. The hairsprings, which are attached to the coil structure, establish the static, no-current position of the coil. The pointer, which is attached to the coil, moves over a calibrated scale to display the meter reading in units of amperes.

Direct current (d-c) passing through the coil produces a magnetic field that interacts with the permanent-magnet field. This interaction produces a torque that drives the coil against the hairsprings. The pointer stabilizes when the magnetic force is balanced by the spring force.

In most ammeters the pointer deflection is directly proportional to the coil current. For measuring alternating current (a-c), moving-coil ammeters have a rectifier that converts a-c to d-c. Many commercial ammeters are designed for both a-c and d-c measurements.

An ammeter can measure a wide range of currents because it has a device that allows only a portion of the current to pass through the coil. In d-c ammeters a shunt is used for this function; a-c ammeters use a current transformer.

Besides the moving-coil ammeter, there are moving-vane, electrodynamometer, and hot-wire types of ammeters. These types are used mainly for a-c measurements. Where a-c measurements must be made and it is not practical to open the circuit, clamp-on ammeters are used.

Technicians use ammeters to measure the current drain of household appliances to determine that the capacity of house lines is adequate and to troubleshoot household appliances.

[phpzon keywords=”ammeter” num=”4″ country=”US” searchindex=”Tools” trackingid=”diy-do-it-yourself-20″ sort=”none” templatename=”default” paging=”true”]

Image credit

This post contains affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. This is how we help to make money so we can continue to bring you amazing content.

Makita 5007MG Ergonomic Industrial Motor Magnesium 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw Review

Makita 5007MG Ergonomic Industrial Motor Magnesium 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw Review

Makita Circular SawA Tool for Every Need
There are carpenter tools and then there are professional carpenter tools and the latter is radically different from the other when it comes to proficiency and efficiency.  One of the best professional level tools is the Makita 5007MG Magnesium 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw. The 5007MG is the essential carpenter’s tool when it comes to cutting wood and it is designed to give out optimal cutting power without requiring a lot of effort from your end. This is the tool that helps you make the most of your time cutting wood and is designed for easy accuracy so that you won’t make any errors or spend too much time making adjustments to your measurements.

Good Design Points
There are a lot of good points to talk about when it comes to the Makita 5007MG and most of it draws from the ergonomic design and the powerful motor that drives this machine. Unlike other tools that hard to hold, hard to see with, and hard to make an accurate cut without exerting too much effort, the 5007MGis a tool designed for easy gripping, easy measuring and requires very minimal effort on your end. Here is a brief but detailed look at the top reasons why this particular circular saw rests on top of the crowd.

First of all you will notice that the Makita 5007MG is run by a powerful 15 AMP, 5,800 RPM motor. This guarantees that you get the most precise cuts without the need to push down hard or to exert a lot of effort just to get a minimal cut on the wood. This kind of power means you can expect to use the circular saw on just about any kind of wood material and still feel like you’re cutting butter with a hot knife.

For a tool this strong it is incredibly light and easy to hold. Older models from Makita used to be built of steel and other heavy materials but now they have turned to a decent mix of light but durable metal materials such as magnesium. This places the entire tool weighing a total of only 10.1 lbs. This goes well with the ergonomic design that makes the back and front grips easy to hold even for people with large hands or those who tend to wear thick gloves while working. The design of the grips also allows you to get a clearer view of the cutting area. Other circular saws block your vision and you usually have to rely on pure instinct to get an accurate cut. To further remedy this problem you are provided with two LED lights that function as guide lights when working. This is a tremendous help especially if you are making millimeter-precision cuts.

The warranty for the Makita 5007MG Magnesium 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw is another good thing to look into. For the first thirty days you can give back the 5007MG for a replacement or for a complete refund if you find yourself unsatisfied with its performance. After that you still get a full one year warranty in case any of the parts break due to a poor design or any failure on behalf of Makita. This is the perfect warranty for this kind of product because you never can be sure of the quality during the first thirty days and it may take some time to notice whether a part of the saw is not on par with the superior quality that the products are known for.

The Cons
If there is any complaint to make about this product it is concerned with the included saw blade. True, they do advertise that the blade is coated with materials that will guarantee it can bite through anything without getting damaged but the truth is that after some time you can expect to start losing blade teeth. This is not a major concern however as you can easily replace these with other top of the line saw blades that easily fit into the Makita 5007MG.

[phpzon asin=”B000N5SVEY” country=”US” trackingid=”diy-do-it-yourself-20″ templatename=”asin”]

The Verdict
So how does the 5007MG live up to the standards of Makita? For a device that greatly empowers the user with its easy and effective ergonomic design and its motor that ensures you can use this tool for any kind of wood material and any wood cutting job.

This post contains affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. This is how we help to make money so we can continue to bring you amazing content.

How to Remove Old Wall Paper

How to Remove Old Wall Paper

Wall paper steamerWallpaper is notoriously difficult to remove if you don’t know what you’re doing. Simply peeling it off results in half the thickness coming off, and you’re left with the pattern being removed, with the backing still firmly attached to the wall. Worse still, is the wallpaper that doesn’t even allow that to happen, and you’re left picking at the small bits that provide you with slow peeling, and no satisfaction of taking a big chunk off at a time. But thankfully, there are several effective and easier ways how to remove old wallpaper and leave a good flat surface as a result.

Featured: Wagner Power Products 282018 1-Gallon Wallpaper Steamer

The first way is to score the wallpaper with a knife and then soak it with a stripping solution. These special prepared solutions are available for purchase, but be sure to follow its own guidelines for application. Often it can help to add some hot water to the solution to speed up the process and make it more effective. Apply this special solution to the wall and allow it to soak in for several minutes. The scores allow this solution to penetrate behind the wallpaper and this helps loosen the adhesive between paper and the wall.

Next use a wide putty knife to lever up the paper and gently pull it up and everything being equal, you should be able to pull off big pieces of paper at a time.

A second solution is to use a wallpaper steamer. These are great tools that really aid the removal of old wallpaper. The steamer is filled with water which is boiled. The hot vapors travel down a long tube and out to a rectangular plastic cup. Apply this cup to the wall, and hold it against the wall for several seconds. Then move to an adjacent section, and do the same again. Repeat four or five times, and then you should be able remove old wallpaper easily. If any paper is still being resistant, then simply apply the steamer to it and try again.

Steaming is a great technique especially for plastered walls, but on drywall, more care should be taken because it is more suceptible to water damage, as well as the possibility of being gouged by the putty knife. Although any gouges and holes can be filled and sanded after, this will increase your workload. Also, don’t forget to be careful as the steam can easily burn you if you’re not careful.

Putty knives or paint stripping tools can now be bought in plastic versions instead of metal. These are just as effective, but are also less likely to leave gouges or cuts in the wall, especially drywall board. It’s a useful tip to know.

These two methods are the most effective ways on how to remove old wall paper. Once you have mastered the amount of solution or steam necessary for application, you should be able to quickly and easily remove the wall paper. With both methods, the aim is to reduce the effectiveness of the original adhesive used to fix the paper to the wall, and once this has been effected, removal of the paper should be simple.

[phpzon asin=”B000BQMUQK” country=”US” trackingid=”diy-do-it-yourself-20″ templatename=”asin”]

This post contains affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. This is how we help to make money so we can continue to bring you amazing content.



HammerWhoever conceived the idea of cracking a nut with a rock unknowingly invented a tool. When a later genius tied a stick to the rock, he invented the first hammer. There have been many improvements since that humble beginning.

A claw hammer is the best choice. A well-made hammer with curved claw opposite the striking face of cast steel is a good investment.

Keep the striking surface clean and never put it away when it is wet. If the hammer head works loose, drive a wooden wedge at the top of the hammer head. Some people soak their hammers but this only swells the wooden handle temporarily and is apt to cause rust later. A sharp blow on the head will apparently tighten it, but a few moments of use will only loosen it again.

To use a hammer, grasp the handle at the end-never near the head-and be sure to strike the nail squarely and at the same angle as the direction you wish to drive the nail. Hold your hammer level with the nail-never at an angle up or down. Otherwise, the nail will bend or may come out through the wood. Use light taps until the nail is well started. Don’t hurry.

The nail set is used to sink the head of the nail below the surface of the wood.

Do not use your nail hammer to work metal, or pound cold chisels, or to drive rivets. Use it only to drive nails and brads.

The metal-working hammers divide themselves into two classifications- hard-face and soft-face. One of the best general-purpose hammers is the ball peen hammer; this is often called a machinist’s hammer.

[phpzon keywords=”claw hammers” num=”4″ country=”US” searchindex=”Tools” trackingid=”diy-do-it-yourself-20″ sort=”none” templatename=”default” paging=”true”]

This post contains affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. This is how we help to make money so we can continue to bring you amazing content.

Werner MT-22 300-Pound Duty Rating Telescoping Multi-Use Extension Ladder Review

Werner MT-22 300-Pound Duty Rating Telescoping Multi-Use Extension Ladder Review

Werner Heavy Duty Telescoping Extension LadderIf you are a serious do it yourself person, then you need a serious extension ladder.  A good ladder is necessary for so many jobs, especially indoor jobs like painting near a ceiling, changing light bulbs, installing lighting, and repairing molding, and also for outdoor jobs like siding, painting, repairing brick, and anything on the second story of your house or garage.

My husband and I live in a older home, about 60 years old, and we are constantly repairing our garage roof, fixing siding, and filling in cracks in old plastering jobs.  This year we will probably take on the task of filling in grout around some of the bricks on the outside of our house.

I also use a ladder at different heights constantly in my retail store, because I have a high ceiling with track lights.  I need a 22 foot ladder for that job, and need a shorter step ladder to replace lighting in our front windows.  I also have to patch and repaint walls a lot because I am consistently moving wall art around in the shop.

I have been borrowing the big 26 foot ladder that belongs to my landlord, but I decided that it was time to buy one for myself.  I wanted a ladder that I could use for a lot of different jobs at home and at work, and one that would be flexible and sturdy, so that I didn’t feel like I would fall off any minute.  Going up a ladder is NOT one of my favorite things to do, but it is necessary to get some jobs done.

After much research and comparison, I decided to buy the Werner MT-22 300-Pound Duty Rating Telescoping Multi-Ladder, 22-Foot which is the second longest ladder in this model. One of the reasons that I bought this ladder is that I was able to get a tremendous price on this model from Amazon.  I love shopping on Amazon for some items because they have some great deals on products, that even with shipping, I get a better price than stores in my area.  And if you have a Prime Membership, you can get free shipping on most items.

I also liked that the Werner MT-22 300-Pound Duty Rating Telescoping Multi-Ladder is a professional grade ladder meant for a lot of use.  That means that it is a good investment that will last me for many years of indoor and outdoor usage.  If it is good enough for professional contractors, then you better believe it will be good enough for me, even with my multiple uses and needs.

One of the coolest features of the MT Series ladder is that it can be easily transformed into a twin stepladder, extension ladder, stairway stepladder, or two scaffold bases.  This means that my new ladder will replace all of the old rickety ladders that I currently have.  It scares me half to death every time I climb up on those to change a light bulb, and I will be much more secure on the Werner MT series.

I don’t have too many jobs that weigh 300 pounds, but if I needed to I can set up the Werner MT-22 300-Pound Duty Rating Telescoping Multi-Ladder as a stepladder, and it will hold a load capacity of 300 pounds per side, including myself and any materials that I might use.  That means that the ladder will hold just about any size person, including a big burly guy, and a load of cement or bricks if necessary.

One of the biggest problems I have had in the past when I borrow my landlord’s tall ladder is that it takes up so much room in my office.  This problem is eliminated with the Werner MT, because the ladder’s inner section allows it to be folded into three set positions: extension ladder, twin stepladder, and storage. I can store this ladder out of the way when I don’t need to use it.  I can fit it in my car trunk to take it too and from home and work. It is also quite easy to adjust the height because it has spring loaded J-locks. Simply disengage the J-locks on either side, telescope the section out to the desired length (in one-foot increments), and then reengage the J-hooks.  I can go easily from changing lights in my store windows to changing the lights in my raised ceiling without having to drag out another ladder.

I get a little dizzy when I have to go on a ladder.  If my husband is around, I always ask him to climb the ladder for me.  But often, I am in my shop or at home and need to climb a ladder when he isn’t around.  I am thrilled with the safety rating of the Werner MT Telescoping Multi-Ladder.  Double-riveted steps provide long-lasting durability, and an extra wide flared bottom provides firm support while smooth curved side rails provide comfort and safe climbing, and best of all, heavy duty non-marring feet provide slip resistance.  The ladder moves less, I slip less, and it doesn’t put marks or scratches on my hardwood floors.  I feel a lot safer on this ladder.

When you get this ladder, it is important to read the instruction manual.  I am the kind of person who usually learns through mistakes, and doesn’t like to read manuals, but for using this ladder, you should.  You will understand better how to manuever the ladder and extend it.

You can buy the Werner MT Telescoping Multi-Ladder in more than one length; it comes in 13, 17, 22, and 26 feet.  There are also some accessories that you can buy for this ladder that will help with some specialized jobs including a Werner AC96 Standoff Stabilizer for all Werner Aluminum Extension Ladders and Multi-Master Articulated Ladders, and a Werner AC-18MT 3-Way Tray Attachment for MT Ladders.  The stabilizer is great for cleaning gutters on the outside of any building, home or office.

There are lots more reviews of the Werner MT Telescoping Multi-Ladder on Amazon.  Click through any of the links on this page to read more about the features and uses of this ladder.