Archive for the 'DIY Weekend Special' Category

Rosarito Beach condo remodel

How did Don Maurizio puzzle out the cabinet installation in his Rosarito Beach kitchen? Click here to read the whole story.

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Hanging your own drywall? Please, I’m begging you, learn from a master

So you’re doing some remodeling and it occurs to you that, hey, you can hang the drywall yourself and save some money. How hard could it be? You just nail some paper-covered chalk board to the studs and voila! You’re an expert. Whoa! Hold on there. I want you to hear me out. I think [...]

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New Product Review: KILZ Clean Start Primer

One day, when I wasn’t looking, my once-charming front porch went from shabby chic to just plain disgusting. I waited for the crew from HGTV’s Curb Appeal to show up. When they didn’t come, I decided to take on the job. Here’s the porch I started with: As you can see, I had many challenges: [...]

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Jennifer Aniston’s sumptuous bed: DIY instructions here

When Jennifer Aniston’s home turned up in Architectural Digest last month, the bed in the master bedroom really caught my eye. As you can see above, it’s an oversized platform with two “ears” for low-slung night stands. I can imagine one of those ultra-comfortable memory foam mattresses sitting atop this platform. It’s just too yummy. [...]

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Kitchen renovation under $1,000 in 2 weekends

Above: After Below: Before See the whole story. Tip of the hat to The Kitchen Designer.

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Joni’s condo kitchen: Choosing cabinet color and backsplash tile

After the overhead cabinet came down in Joni’s kitchen, and sunlight from the back yard flooded in, she said: Ten years! I’ve wanted to do that for 10 years! With a $1,000 budget, she wants to update and brighten the kitchen, giving it what she calls a coffee-house feeling of comfort. Now, it just looks [...]

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DIY paintings: Hot or not hot?

For a cool contemporary home, these DIY paintings might be fun and flexible. These look so sophisticated. But actually, they’re simply canvases stretched on wood frames covered liberally with gesso-thickened paint. And where in the world would artists be without the miracle of gesso? Just moving one colored canvas in or out of a scene [...]

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Guest Blogger: Colleen jazzes up her kitchen for less than $10,000

Today’s Guest Blogger is Colleen, a stay-at-home mom from Lake Forest, who finally gave in to my pleading for Guest Bloggers. (Was it the praying cat that put her over the edge?)Here’s her story: When we bought our Lake Forest townhouse, everything was perfect except the kitchen. It was beige laminate everywhere (applied over the [...]

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Learn how to install laminate flooring from comedian Steve Harvey

Well, why the heck not learn home improvement from stars? This is SoCal, after all. Home Depot refers to its new celebrity workshop series as "where Hollywood meets how-to." And personally, I could watch the Los Angeles-based Steve Harvey all day long. Anyone see him in "The Original Kings of Comedy"? In a video on [...]

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Unpermitted additions negate fire insurance?

Should you add square footage with your own hands, hire subcontractors to do it or pay a licensed contractor to oversee the project? The upside to doing it yourself, as evidenced by this Westchester addition designed and built by an aerospace engineer and his brother, is that you get a bunch of new space for [...]

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Retrofitting for fire protection: dollars and cents

Thanks to reader Jeannie for sending a link to this online booklet: Is Your Home Protected From Wildfire Disaster? A Homeowner’s Guide to Wildfire Retrofit. It was produced by the Institute for Business & Home Safety, with input from government and insurance agencies. Of interest to me is an estimate of how much fire-protection retrofits [...]

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Man, it’s hot out there!

At this time of year, a home improvement writer’s interest typically turns to wet-weather topics like replacing the roof and cleaning out the gutters. But here we are in the heat of fire season. This graphic in today’s L.A. Times (click on graphic to enlarge) gives advice on increasing a home’s ability to survive a [...]

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A DIY concrete countertop that looks pretty good

I found this DIY concrete countertop on the Instructables website, which bills itself as: "the world’s biggest show and tell." The DIY-er, screen name "doubleabattery," shows step-by-step how he created some handsome counters. Why did he choose concrete? He writes: So I wanted to redo the kitchen in my 1916 Foursquare and I was bored [...]

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Think your house has issues? Be grateful it’s not stuck on the freeway

Sustainably speaking, it’s probably a good idea to move a house rather than tear it down and haul it to the landfill. But when your house hits a bridge on the way and gets stranded on the Hollywood Freeway, well, there’s got to be some regrets. According to the story, the owner, Patrick Richardson, was [...]

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A mother, a son, a door and a drill: One family’s adventure

You never know when a home-improvement project will find you. Here’s the recent experience of The Times’ own Real Estate section editor, Lauren Beale: I had been warned. The night before I left town to take my son, Mike, back to college, his friend Kyle — arriving at the fraternity house a day ahead — [...]

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American Clay plaster kit: Do try this at home

One of the most compelling products to be displayed at the upcoming West Coast Green building conference (San Francisco, Sept. 20-22) will be American Clay plaster, a natural clay application that can give otherwise ordinary walls depth and a warm glow. Manufactured in and using materials from the United States, American Clay, based in Albuquerque, [...]

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The $1,400 Ikea bathroom remodel

Here’s one of the latest creations posted on Ikea Hacker blog, where clever people find ways to create cool environments on a budget and mostly with Ikea products. The coolest thing in this $1,400 bathroom, from my perspective, is the simple wall-mounted sink set into a wooden shelf with a hole cut in it. This [...]

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SoCal tile-installation expert like a rock star in the industry

If you attend remodeling industry conferences (as I often do), you’ve see Buellton, Calif.-based tile-installation expert Michael Byrne in action. With his calm, methodical, knowing attitude, Michael demonstrates for attendees (mostly contractors and tradespeople) how to set tile. Sounds pretty mundane, right? But Michael, the author of many books and videos on the subject, is [...]

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Throw a do-it-yourself party? Here’s one way it could work

As I was browsing the Be Jane site — where Los Angeles handywomen Heidi Baker and Eden Jarrin encourage their sisters to take on home improvement projects — I came across an essay called “Throw a Do-It-Yourself Party!” that suggests you ask friends to come over and help you paint or install shelves or do [...]

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When architecture alone is not enough . . .

After a Claremont homeowner designed her new master bathroom and had it built, she felt the dramatic octagonal recess in the room needed a little more drama. So she brought in Dan Gallagher of Gallagher’s Decorative Painting and Design (Lic. No. 733972) to add more dimension. First Dan applied paper-thin sheets of copper to the [...]

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