How To's

How to Properly Tape and Flash a New Construction Window

If you are like me, you understand that a little bit of prep work on a job will eliminate headaches that will creep up down the line. A great example of that situation comes when installing a window.  If you flash the window improperly, you might be allowing water to seep in for years to come.  That seepage can cause rot, or worse, damage due to insects.  You could see a water spot on your wall or floor 2 years down the line only to find that a poor window flashing job allowed water to trickle in and destroy everything.

This video is nothing more than a 2 minute animation that displays (very clearly) the proper sequence for house wrap, flashing, caulk, and tape.  Follow the sequence and your window flashing jobs should hold up for decades.

How To's

How To Frame a New Window in an Old Wall

If you are a weekend warrior, you will inevitably need to install a window in an existing wall at some point.  If you have a house that is vinyl siding on the outside, and you have a non-load bearing wall, the following is a step by step that you can follow to the letter.  If you haven’t ever cut a new window opening, this article / guide will answer some questions even if your situation is a bit different.

new window existing wall

Here are some of the questions that I had going into this project.  Keep in mind, you could answer some of these with a little thought, but if you are like me, you will appreciate a little confirmation of your technique.

  • Should I cut open the interior wall or the exterior wall?
  • Do I need to frame in an header?
  • How much sheathing should I cut away?
  • What if there are power lines nearby?
  • When do I make my cuts on the interior / exterior side.

I am sure that many of you will find this helpful and you will be able to apply some of the basic techniques to your own project.

Good luck putting that new window in.

New Window in an Old Wall – Fine Homebuilding Article.

Direct link to PDF

How To's

Surfacing Rough Lumber with a Router

router as a planer


If you have an item that you need to plane down, but the wood is too large for your planer (if you even have one), consider using your router as a planer to get the job done.  Take a look at the image in this post and you can see how relatively simple this method is.  This is a perfect way to smooth a large slab table that is is rather trendy today.  Obviously, you can simply adjust the size of your jig to handle your lumber piece.  If you are doing something rather wide, you should consider adding side pieces to your jig so that there isn’t flex in the cross member.  Just the weight of your router across 30″ would be enough to cause quite a bit of deflection, not to mention the deflection caused when you start reaching across your piece and white knuckling it.

Good luck building this jig.  It is a nice (and cheap) alternative to a planer.

Free Design Plan Woodworkers Journal : Jig Based Joinery : Surfacing Rough Lumber with a Router.

How To's

How to Build a Workbench: Super Simple $50 Shop Bench

I have a friend who is in need of a simple workbench.  A simple bench with a classic pegboard back is all that he requires.  You could just go over to Sam’s Club and pick up a bench for about $120.  This would be just fine, but if you are going to be building things on your bench, you might as well build the bench first.

The following is a simple workbench that you can build for less than $50.

simple workbench plan

How to Build a Workbench: Super Simple $50 Bench | The Family Handyman

How To's Interior Projects

Hall closet conversion to an entry bench with storage

entryway closet makeover

If you have a traditional “new build”, you probably have a standard entryway closet.  If that is the case, it is about 4-5 feet wide on the inside with a single door (likely a 32″ or 36″ door).   The following is a free project plan/demonstration that shows the steps to take to turn your regular old closet with a single door into an attractive storage space with cubbies and a boot bench.

Best of luck with your closet conversion project.

Free Plans Convert a Hall Closet to a beautiful entry space.

How To's

Free Rain Barrel Plans

rain barrel plan single

Build your own rain barrel.

Admittedly, rain barrels have come down in price and have gotten much more attractive.  However, if you are like me, you might just want to build your own rain barrel. This barrel is built from a common “garbage can” that will cost you about $30.  You could probably go less expensive, but be sure that you select a strong design/material.

Rain barrels have come down to the point that you can purchase a stylish version at stores like Sam’s Club for about $70.  So, you really have to weight the idea of building your own, or buying an off the shelf version.

If you decide to build it on your own, check out the following plans.

Full Rain Barrel Plans IMG_0008.pdf – Google Drive.

It turns out that I shared a rain barrel plan a little while back (HERE).  I suppose you can never have too many plans to review before jumping into any project.  Good luck!