Download SketchUp For Free

When it comes to renovation, visualization is everything. If the client and the project manager are not on the same page, it’s just a matter of time before big problems arise. That’s what is so great about the free program called SketchUp. You can make 3D renderings with a relatively small learning curve. What used to be solely the domain of architects and engineers is now available for everyone.

Below are a few videos to get you started.

Here is a download link. Remember you want the free version not the Pro selection. http://www.sketchup.com/download

Have Fun!

Make Ideas Real with SketchUp

Getting started with SketchUp – Part 1

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The Art Of Screwing – That Squeaky Carpeted Floor

Nails Italiano: Chiodi Ελληνικά: καρφοβελόνες

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Tonight that pie is mine!” Host Bob Schmidt declares. The squeak next to his bed that would wake up his wife every time he tried to tip toe to the fridge for a midnight run has been silenced!

Now, every self-respecting carpenter knows that to fix a creaky floor you have to pull up the carpet. Right?

“Wrong!” Says the Bobilator. He attacks the problem in a unique and borderline mystical way.

When the video starts out he shows the tools you need. A wire coat hanger? A roll of tape? Metal snips? Who is this guy? I thought this was going to be the attack of a renovation hack, flaying away in some fantasy world for ill gotten gains.

But quite frankly this video was a lot of fun to watch. Granted if you are in Paris and if your place  is 300 years old with a ‘point de hongrie’ hardwood floor under the carpet, with this technique you are out of luck. But if you have press-board or plywood as a subfloor this move is so crazy it just might work!

Tip: We think a twenty-penny nail whose head you grind off would work better than the coat hanger but hey, it’s his video.

We had fun watching this. We hope you do too. Enjoy!

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A Shout Out On How To Clean Grout

Grout (drying)

Grout (Photo credit: The Facey Family)

The problem with professional grout cleaning products is they are focused on power and speed.

‘CLEAN YOUR GROUT LINES IN 5 MINUTES!!!’, they’ll proclaim. But read the label and you’ll see why they say what they say.

The problem is where ever there is tile there is usually water, bare feet, mouths, food, kids, along with people and stuff. To clean grout lines fast you need something caustic and dangerous to get into the pores and to cut through the grime to remove it quickly.

However there IS another way.

Q: Did you hear about the doctor that had to leave the practice of medicine.
A: He lost his patients!

Well, if you are not like the doctor above; if you can get into a groove,
turn on your favorite music and be one with nature for a few hours, you can get dramatic effects using cheap, everyday household products when it comes to renovating those pesky, love to get discussing, grout lines.

The video below is really a lot longer than it needs to be but it’ll prepare you to get in to that ‘go with the flow’ grout groove! The presenter is fun and informative. Here she uses baking soda to get the job done. We recommend for more cleaning power you can add a bit of white vinegar to make a paste. But you have to add the vinegar slowly. It will react and bubble all over the place if you add too much at once.

So take an afternoon, turn on the radio and as the band ‘Tears For Fears’ might say.

“Grout! Grout! Scrub it throughout!

The grime in these lines we can do without.

C’mon, I’m talking to you… C’mon!”

🙂

Tears For Fears – In Paris!

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Caulk Removal: This Tip Will Blow You Away

Removing caulk is a pain in the neck. Literally! You have to bend over the tub, sink or counter top and assume this position for as long as it takes you to get the job done. And all the while you have to be meticulous and remove every tiny spec because if you don’t you won’t be able to reapply the caulk properly. There are products designed to remove silicon and acrylic caulk that will work in some applications but many times there are instances where the surface you’re working on is just too delicate to risk damaging it with an industrial strength solvent. Solution?

English: Woman styling her hair with a blowdry...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here Home Repair Tutor Paul Mitchell comes up with a great idea. He uses a hairdryer as a heat gun. A standard heat gun would be too hot. Where a hairdryer set on ‘High’ is not. Ingenious! Just heat a small section (8 to 10″), use a sharp utility knife to scrap off the caulk and Voila! You’ll be done in no time.

Gentlemen, if you are going to try this at home be sure you don’t forget the most important part. Make sure you ask the wife BEFORE you use her hairdryer.

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Demolition Mission – Les Déchetteries De Paris

Ull lilaYou’ve got the eye of the Tiger! You’re gonna do it!! You’re going take down those old shelves, tear apart those tired kitchen cabinets, disassemble that worn out furniture or renovate that space into something more wonderful and amazing! You are Monsieur or Madame DIY. You have your tools dusted off and you are ready to go.

But before you can do anything your mission is the demolition of the old to bring in the new. What are you going to do with all the debris? Stuff it in the building garbage can and the concierge will freak out. Wait until the middle of the night and stack everything up by one of those public plastic green garbage bags? Not very glamorous.

It’s Paris. Style is everything and in this case the French language is your friend.

“Honey, I’m off to the garbage dump. Should I come back with some breakfast?”

Yeah, ok… But it just doesn’t have the ring of,

“Honey, I’m off to les déchetterie. Should I come back with a few croissants?”

Much better! If you are not a professional builder, Paris provides the public with a place you can go and get rid of heaps of debris for free.

Tips:

  • Keep like materials together. There are bins for different types of rubbish.
  • Don’t borrow a vehicle from a friend that’s in the trades. They may hassle you or prevent you from dumping if they think you are a Pro. Rent a van.
  • If your a woman pretend you are damsel in distress. They guys working there will love to come to your rescue!

Below is a listing of ‘les déchetteries’ in and around Paris. Hours and more detailed maps are also listed in the links

You’re Welcome.

Bon courage.

Now get to work! 😀

Les dechetteries

Par arrondissements

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Steel Studliness

Superman: The Man of SteelEspecially in Paris where wood is so expensive, steel studs are a great way to frame out walls.  Fire resistant, easy to use, light weight; the list goes on and on. Although the Grindcore music track is somewhat annoying, this video is a good short and sweet intro into the world of steel studs. It answers the question, ‘Why just be a woodworker when you can be a Man of Steel?’ 🙂

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The Art Of Screwing – Rock It Fast

In French it’s called BA 10 or BA 13. In America it’s known as drywall. But in the trades it has a nickname: ‘Rock’. So when it comes to common phrases like: ‘ready to rock’, ‘let’s rock’, etc… in Carpentry they have their own special meaning.

So let’s say you’ve framed out a space and you are in fact, ready to rock. SOP’s (Standard Operating Procedures) dictate you always rock the ceiling first. This is the least glorious of all the rocking maneuvers. The reason is you have to get up on a ladder, lift the drywall over your head, position it properly on the ceiling joists or rafters, then you have to load your screw gun with a screw and then screw it to the rough framing. This move you rinse and repeat until the drywall is attached to the point it won’t fall down.  If there are only two guys rockin’ this is preformed while the one with the gun holds the drywall in place with his head as he reaches into his pouch to grab a handful of screws.

Now in in the good ol’ USA, we usually make a few T braces out of wood that we use to hold the drywall in place. But this is Paris. France was deforested hundreds of years ago. When it comes many building situations here, using wood just ain’t no good.

Harry Callahan, played by Clint EastwoodSo there you are huffing, puffing and juggling your way toward your rockdom. Like we said, not very glorious…until now! Enter the Auto Feed Screw Gun. Now, the video below features Bosch which is somewhat of a Pro-sumer quality brand, nothing special. But the video is out standing. Check it out!

No more fumbling around for screws, no more holding the rock up with your head. You just point and shoot like Clint Eastwood. With your auto feed screw gun in one hand and drywall in the other, you get to look up at the ceiling and say ‘Go ahead, Make my day!…’

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