Fast Fix Friday: Weatherstripping

Happy New Year!

Weatherstripping 11

If you haven’t already, why don’t you add frugality and environmental responsibility to your list of New Year’s resolutions? I actually did this back in November, but didn’t have a chance to post it until today – and that’s crazy because the whole project took me a whopping ten minutes to complete. And it’s going to save me some serious money on my heating bills. You see that white line in the picture below? That’s daylight showing in from under my front door. Yup. There’s a gap there of about half an inch, right next to a heating vent in my entryway. YIKES.

Weatherstripping 1

So I bought me some weatherstripping. The nice man at Home Depot told me that this stuff worked well for wooden and metal doors (mine is aluminum), and that it was quick to install. And folks, he wasn’t lying.

Weatherstripping 3

All you need for this quick job are a measuring tape, a Phillips head screwdriver (the weatherstripping comes with its own screws), a drill and small bit for pre-drilling holes, and a pair of scissors. That’s it. Nothing fancy, save perhaps for the drill. But you could probably improvise holes with a hammer and nail if necessary.

Weatherstripping 7

Step one: measure the width of your door.

Weatherstripping 2

Step two: cut the vinyl weatherstripping down to size with your scissors. It wasn’t even hard.

Weatherstripping 4

Step three: open your door and slide the strip onto the bottom, with the holes facing the inside. This is when I discovered that my door came with pre-drilled holes … on the OUTSIDE. They didn’t match up anyway.

Weatherstripping 5

Step four: close the door to make sure it actually closes. Adjust the vinyl so it fits where you want it.

Weatherstripping 6

Step five: use the small bit to pre-drill holes in appropriate places, starting in the middle of the vinyl. Screw in your included screw. Keep going outward until you’re all done. Don’t you love the hideous printed fake marble tiles I have? Lovely. I cover them with mats.

Weatherstripping 8

This is it all done.

Weatherstripping 9

And from the outside. I will not be singing Auld Lang Syne to those drafts, let me tell you!

Weatherstripping 10

Packing Tips: Last Out, First In and the Bits and Bobs Box

Last Out First In 1 I have one last packing tip for you (and thanks to everyone who has contributed their own packing dos and don’ts). You already know when packing that you need to pack up the stuff you rarely use first, and as you get closer to moving day, you start packing up the more often-used items.  But what about the things you’re going to use on moving day?  For this, you need a Last Out, First In box.  This is the stuff that you need in order to actually unpack and move into your new home.  It’s the last box that leaves your old house and goes into the truck last because it’s the first box that enters your new home. A typical Last Out, First In box will probably include some of the following:

  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Toilet Paper & Hand Towels
  • Tools (Hammer, Screwdrivers, Allen Keys)
  • Box Cutter (more than one would be useful)
  • Documentation (Rental Agreement, Proof of Insurance, etc.)
  • Shower Curtain (there is never a shower curtain when you move into a new apartment, or the one that is there has seen better days)
  • Bedding (gotta sleep somewhere that first night)

And most importantly, your Last Out, First In box will include all the little pieces you carefully saved when you dismantled all your furniture before you moved: the casters from chairs, picture hooks, screws from your table … all those pieces.  I put all these things in separately labeled baggies in my Bits & Bobs Box.  I have done this for three moves now and it’s the smartest thing I have ever done.  Many people will just tape the screws or nuts and bolts or whatever to the actual furniture from which it came, but the number of times I’ve seen those come off and get messed around on the floor of the truck is just sad. So if you put them all in the same box, into your most important box, then you will know where they all are at any time. As I take apart my shelving and my tables and desks and whatnot, I put all the little pieces that hold them together in a baggie, label it, and shove it in this box. Last Out First In 2 If I grab little random pieces from around the house and don’t have a second to sort them properly, they go into this box-within-the-box so that I can sort them later and not worry about them getting lost in the interim. Last Out First In 3

The Leaky Faucet Gets the Love

Leaky Faucet
As I’ve said before, elementary plumbing is nothing to be afraid of, and knowing your way around your bathroom fixtures can save you a lot of money and time.

When the Pie and I first moved in together, we had a massive apartment in Ottawa’s Little Italy: fifteen hundred square feet.  Three bedrooms, each with its own sink, two bathrooms, and of course the kitchen sink.  And every single faucet dripped.  Not only was this loud and annoying, but a complete waste of water.

When confronted with this conundrum, my landlord, whose grasp of English was rudimentary at best, thought hard for a minute before telling me to “just-a turrrn eet reeeel a-hard.”

Not surprisingly, this rather simplistic solution had already occurred to me.  And of course simply turning the tap “reeeeel a-hard” did nothing.

Fixing a leaky faucet is probably one of the more simple things you can do yourself, however, so I was able to fix the six sinks myself in no time.

Faucets usually leak because the washer in the faucet needs to be tightened or replaced.  In most cases, a simple tightening will do.  Each tap handle has a little cap on it, usually the thing that tells you whether the tap is HOT or COLD.  Use a putty knife or other flat object to pry these caps off.
Leaky Faucet

Underneath you will see the screw that holds the washer in place.
Leaky Faucet

If the washer needs replacing you can just unscrew it and stick a new one in, but most of the time you just need to stick the screwdriver in and tighten the screw as far as it will go.
Leaky Faucet

Replace the caps, maybe after cleaning around the hole a bit first, and there you go.  No more leaky faucet.  Five minutes of love gives you so much peace.
Leaky Faucet

And speaking of getting the love, today is our second wedding anniversary.  Love you Pie!  Seven years along and still going strong …
Photo by Mike Andreyechen