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Troy Bilt FLEX Yard Care System Pressure Washer Review

Fred | August 26, 2015
Troy Bilt FLEX Yard Care System Pressure Washer Review

Late last month, Troy Bilt reached out to us and offered a sample unit of their new Troy Bilt FLEX Yard Care All-in-One System for our review. The concept behind the FLEX system is straightforward: use one engine system to power a number of large yard tool attachments (e.g., lawnmower, pressure washer, snowblower)  instead of owning each of these tools as standalone machines. The FLEX’s value proposition is two-fold: (1) save space and reduce clutter in your garage or shed by storing attachments (which are mostly smaller... Keep reading...

Comments on Troy Bilt FLEX Yard Care System Pressure Washer Review
  • Gary responds...
    I think it's a ok concept just not very well executed. Cost of the attachments are priced to high. S... (more...)

Chamberlain 1-1/4 HP MyQ WiFi Garage Door Opener Review

Fred | June 9, 2015

About a month ago, Chamberlain contacted us about their new MyQ WiFi-connected garage door opener and offered to provide us two sample units for review in our garage workshop. We love internet-connected gadgets, so we accepted the offer hoping the MyQ would live up to our expectations for how a device like this should work. This past weekend we finally got around to assembling, installing, and connecting the units in the shop, and this article is our independent review of the MyQ. (Spoiler alert: Despite the... Keep reading...

How to Install Board and Batten Wainscoting (White Painted Square over Rectangle Pattern)

Fred | January 1, 2015
How to Install Board and Batten Wainscoting (White Painted Square over Rectangle Pattern)

For the last few months, we’ve been contemplating how to spruce up our relatively small upstairs hallway (below). We had installed wainscoting in our prior home’s living room, and thought that might add the visual interest we were looking for here. Then, inspired by Wilker Do’s recent board and batten video tutorial, I started gathering ideas on Pinterest for an elegant but simple design that could take this space up a notch. We settled on a 48″ high square-over-rectangle  board and batten design.... Keep reading...

How to Paint an Epoxy Concrete Floor Coating (Quikrete Example)

Ethan | October 18, 2014
How to Paint an Epoxy Concrete Floor Coating (Quikrete Example)

Our garage workshop floor was in need of some serious TLC.  We applied an epoxy garage floor coating to cover the ugly oil stains and give the shop a nice, polished look. I’m amazed at the difference the floor makes and would recommend an epoxy coating for anyone looking to class-up their garage, basement or other concrete surface. Read on to learn how we did it and a few tips to remember when you start this project. Editors Note: A lot of readers have found this article helpful in transforming their own basement or garage.... Keep reading...

How to Build a Shed (with a Record 100+ Pics, Vids, and Diagrams!)

Ethan | May 22, 2014
How to Build a Shed (with a Record 100+ Pics, Vids, and Diagrams!)

This article is part of our library of DIY and expert Project Guides that share step-by-step explanations for a wide range of home improvement projects. As part of building this library, I follow expert contractors to the job site, documenting their steps, tips, techniques, and tools. We’re striving to be the best on the web! If you like what you read, please subscribe to our feed to keep up with all of the latest projects! Most of last week, I followed expert general contractor and carpenter Steve Wartman and his crew as they built... Keep reading...

How to Build a Wall-Mounted Lumber Storage Rack

Ethan | December 18, 2013
How to Build a Wall-Mounted Lumber Storage Rack

We’ve finished building three heavy-duty work benches and one of two folding wood sawhorses. Another important part of a workshop is good lumber storage. Up until now we’ve been piling boards on the floor, and it’s been a pain to keep moving them to make room for projects. Our solution is a simple wall-mounted wooden lumber rack. This article shares the instructions for building this rack. I found the idea on Woodsmith Shop, and with a few modifications, built one that fully meets our needs. Tools & Materials I... Keep reading...

How to Install a Tile Floor (Complete Guide)

Ethan | November 27, 2013
How to Install a Tile Floor (Complete Guide)

This is a comprehensive guide for how to install a tile floor (ceramic or porcelain). Below you’ll find tutorials for every step of the process, with expert knowledge and tips from professional tile contractors. Read on for links to the individual articles and recommended tools for laying tile. We hope you enjoy the series! This series covers everything for installing a ceramic or porcelain tile floor, including leveling the floor, installing underlayment, marking guides, laying tile and grouting joints. Just follow the steps below,... Keep reading...

How to Paint a Three-Piece Crown Molding

Ethan | November 23, 2013
How to Paint a Three-Piece Crown Molding

Today we’re featuring a guest article by Ken from The Joy of Moldings Jennifer’s kitchen is getting a top to bottom molding makeover. I just installed the crown molding and door trim (a Greek Revival eared architrave style), but still have the baseboard and wainscoting to go. Since I get so many questions at The Joy of Moldings.com about how to paint crown moldings, I thought I’d share my painting techniques with One Project Closer readers. Project Price & Materials Crown Molding Materials From Lowes: $211.75 Primer:... Keep reading...

How to Repair a Medium-Size Hole in Drywall

Ethan | November 7, 2013
How to Repair a Medium-Size Hole in Drywall

Repairing drywall is a great do-it-yourselfer task because tools and materials are cheap, and there’s very little risk (to you or the house). Plus, if you can master the repair, it’s a skill that will serve you well no matter if you own or rent. So before you call the local handyman next time, give yourself a chance to tackle this basic, home improvement project. Editors Note: This is a great tutorial that I put together in March of 2012, and you can find this along with other top-notch articles in the Best of OPC section found... Keep reading...

How to Build Shed Storage Shelves

Fred | August 22, 2013
How to Build Shed Storage Shelves

It was murderously hot here in the Charm City suburbs last weekend. The heat index topped a full 115 degrees on Saturday! But fear not, the heat didn’t deter us from tackling our long-awaited shed storage shelves project. We’re excited about this project because we’ve been looking forward to sharing a plywood shelving article for some time now, and this article gives us the perfect avenue for that. In case you’ve forgotten (or more likely if you’ve just started reading here), here’s the new shed. It... Keep reading...

Beware of Using R-Values Alone to Compare Insulation

Fred | June 21, 2013
Beware of Using R-Values Alone to Compare Insulation

Several years ago we wrote a whole series on installing spray foam insulation in our basement. As part of the research for that project, we compared a variety of basement insulation options, including closed cell spray foam, rigid foam board insulation, cellulose, and the staple of most homes — fiberglass batts. Insulation options are generally compared by “R-value”, which is a measure of heat transfer. R-value is always proportional to the thickness of the insulation, usually as described in inches. For example, most... Keep reading...

Milwaukee New Product Symposium 2013

Ethan | June 18, 2013
Milwaukee New Product Symposium 2013

Last week I had the privilege to attend the Milwaukee Tools 2013 New Product Symposium. If you’re not familiar, just about every year, Milwaukee gathers online and print media from all over the world to check out their most recent innovations. This year was a top-notch event with a lot of cool tools and accessories. To get real-time updates from media events like this one (and the JET / Powermatic event coming up), be sure to follow OPC on Twitter. I’m constantly tweeting pictures and info about what users can expect to see... Keep reading...

Installing Garage Accent Lighting

Ethan | June 7, 2013
Installing Garage Accent Lighting

Editors Note: Today we’re featuring a guest contribution by Joe, one of our regular readers. Originally, our house had landscape lighting and a sconce next to the front door, and the garage lacked any decorative lighting. I recently replaced the fixture next to the front door, and it looks much better. Unfortunately, we rarely use that door so the light isn’t used too much. We like having the landscape lights on at night (when we remember to turn them on and off) so we decided to install a timer and LED bulbs (to keep energy usage... Keep reading...

5 Minute Project: Fix a stripped outlet

Ethan | June 5, 2013
5 Minute Project: Fix a stripped outlet

Editors Note: Today we’re featuring a guest contribution by Jeff from Tool Box Buzz. My wife and I had our first kid 3 months ago and since then we’ve been working room by room doing some minor baby proofing. In a couple of rooms there are outlets with stripped screws so that they are not secured to the junction box anymore. Instead of opening up the wall and replacing the box, it’s way easier and faster to drill and tap the holes up to the next larger size bolt. So in the interest of keeping our baby from using the outlet... Keep reading...

Workshop Companion Bench

Ethan | June 3, 2013
Workshop Companion Bench

Today we’ve got a guest contribution from Ross, one of our regular readers. Ross built the OPC workbench, and then he followed it up with a terrific companion workbench of his own design. When setting up my garage workshop after a recent move, I first made the heavy-duty workbench following the tutorial Ethan wrote. It’s already seen a fair bit of usage and I’m sure it will be used for many years to come. If you haven’t made one already, I recommend it! If you follow the plans to make the heavy-duty workbench,... Keep reading...

Fix a Noisy HVAC Return Duct

Ethan | May 31, 2013

Does your HVAC return duct make noises when the air handler starts and stops? Does your return duct “buckle” from the increased pressure when the supply is active? If so, your return duct may be slightly undersized for the rest of the system. This was the case for me after replacing a few components, and after the swap, I could hear the ductwork when the unit kicked on or off. One perk of hanging with contractors on Pro-Follows is that I can get their advice, and fortunately it’s easy to fix a noisy HVAC return duct. Pro... Keep reading...

Fred & Kim’s Basement Remodel Completed

Ethan | May 29, 2013
Fred & Kim’s Basement Remodel Completed

It’s finally time to close the book on Fred & Kim’s basement remodel. I’ve been holding off on this recap because a few minor elements were on back-order and have just now been installed. In case you weren’t with us when we started this Pro-Follow, Fred and Kim hired Joe Bianco, professional contractor and president of SDG Home Solutions, to finish their basement. Joe has been involved in a number of Pro-Follows, tackling projects ranging from bathroom remodels to kitchen makeovers and more. All of our Pro-Follows... Keep reading...

Building a Custom Fire Pit

Ethan | May 24, 2013
Building a Custom Fire Pit

Today we’re featuring a guest contribution by Matt from the DIY Village on building a custom fire pit. If you don’t know Matt and Jacque, hop on over to their site. It’s chock full of awesome DIY articles! When it comes to transforming a back yard, an outdoor fire pit rates high on everyone’s DIY to do list. When my wife, Jacque and I purchased our new home a few years ago, we were moving from a townhouse. One thing that always bugged me about living there was that we were restricted on what we could modify outside... Keep reading...

Performing a Professional Home Energy Audit

Ethan | May 21, 2013
Performing a Professional Home Energy Audit

Recently a friend was having a professional home energy audit performed, and I asked to tag along. I was curious to learn what tools and techniques a professional uses to analyze the efficiency of a home. I also wanted to learn what actions an auditor would recommend. The audit was performed by James from Energy Services Group, a local business specializing in residential energy conservation since 1981. If you live in central Maryland, Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE) is probably your energy provider. The state of Maryland requires... Keep reading...

Rust-Oleum Deck Restore Review

Ethan | May 17, 2013
Rust-Oleum Deck Restore Review

Update May, 2014: After a full year, our deck continues to look great and we are very happy with Rustoleum’s product. However, other users have had a poor experience with this product and that is reflected in many of the comments. It is important to note that people visiting who do leave a review are more likely to write a negative review than a positive one. This happens because people only look for reviews on sites like ours after they use a product when that product didn’t perform well. We have not taken the time to analyze... Keep reading...