DIY Network – My New Favorite Channel

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Posted on 5th February 2010 by Ben Krasner in Day to Day Goodies | Home Improvement

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I am completely hooked on watching DIY Network all of a sudden.  I’m sure this has a lot to do with the fact I have been working around the house and getting into tasks that at one time I would have never tried – if for no other reason than simply not wanting to step out of a comfort zone.  Life has a funny way of changing that, however, as I again found out when I stepped through my ceiling following a bizarre turn of events in the attic while up there to investigate potential causes of ice damming.  No worries, though, between my area hardware or home centers and DIY Network, I’m feeling more and more comfortable taking on more daunting tasks.

The best part of DIY is the demystification process I go through while watching others dig in and either succeed or screw up.  When I look at an area of my house I want to fix or improve, I can easily find many reasons to put that task off or even walk away from it altogether.  But when I watch others take on the task, even in an example like watching DIY Network on TV where you’re only going to pick up bits and pieces in each show or segment, I start to easily find many reasons why I should dive right in.

Great TV shows that the DIY Network puts out there, include: Ask This Old House, Kitchen Impossible, Sweat Equity and 10 Grand In Your Hand.  These are shows where I can pick up tips and techniques throughout the episodes that I can apply to the tasks I’m either in need of completing or might want to take on.  I’ve already learned why I need certain tools (and why I don’t need other tools) and how to use tools I didn’t even know were out there.  Not to mention all kinds of projects that once seemed impossible without the help from a contractor or an army of friends that now seem like great weekend warrior items for me to tackle.  All I need now is the house that we’re going to live in for the bulk of the rest of our lives so I can get to these items and get maximum enjoyment out of the investment.

Thanks DIY Network, and keep pumping out the great projects.  I’ll keep watching.

Stepped My Foot Through The Ceiling Last Night


Posted on 29th January 2010 by Ben Krasner in Day to Day Goodies | Home Improvement


Accidents Happen During Home Improvement

As part of a seemingly never-ending list of related home improvement tasks, I was up in my attic searching for air leaks that might need sealing.   I found plenty of such leaks where heated air from my living levels was escaping into my attic and therefore keeping my attic too warm – thereby heating my roof which is leading to significant ice damming conditions.  While focusing around my upstairs bathroom (which is also allowing moisture to escape into my attic – always a bonus) I had identified what I felt was plenty of work sealing up gaps and drafts that I could do to improve the situation.  Little did I know I was about to give myself some extra work and learning experience.

Just before I could leave the attic for the night, I created more work for myself

Just before I could leave the attic for the night, I created more work for myself

I pivoted to walk back in the direction I had come and placed my hand on a support beam so that I wouldn’t truly be on one foot in the attic, for fear of risking being off-balance and damaging the ceiling below me.  In actuality this became a huge mistake as the support beam pulled right out from the ridge beam of the roof as if it hadn’t been attached at all, therefore leaving me on just one foot regardless of my efforts.  Now I am drastically off balance and somewhat shocked that this beam is now falling towards me because I had no real grip on it, either.  I grab the beam and of course realize that it’s not going to help me secure my position, so I quickly take a stab with my foot into insulation and pray I feel a stud.  With no stud to be felt, I took another shot at getting my foot back on solid structure by heading towards one of the OSB boards I was using to travel in the attic – and I hit it.  The problem: these boards were not yet screwed or nailed down as I thought I would be traveling much farther out into the attic space.  Consequently, the weight I put on the board just tipped it over and into the cavity between two rafters, where my foot immediately went through the ceiling and I was knee-deep into my living area before I could pull myself back out.

Natalie was almost asleep at this time – she was in the bedroom just moments away from fast-forwarding about 8 hours – when she heard the awful crash and subsequent cussing-at-nobody-but-myself coming from the attic.  Obviously, she was … upset… okay she was drastically more than upset…  and was verbalizing to me how much she felt this was going to cost us.  I told her to relax, that I would fix it, that I wanted to learn how to do drywall anyway and that from what I’ve seen it wasn’t that hard.  Of course, I knew nothing of what I was talking about, but I was determined to fix my mistake on my own.

Now it is up to me to learn how to drywall to patch a fairly sizable hole that is irregular in shape and on a ceiling that is textured just to make me go that one step further.  I was planning on doing some drywall work in order to learn on the topic, this summer.  Obviously, this task has been given a higher priority and I will be involved with drywall much earlier than expected.

Look for a follow-up or two… or three… on how I fix it.  I might even make it a step-by-step instruction guide in case any of you out there run into the same kind of scenario.

Take care!