Kobalt ½” Electric Impact Wrench – Brute Force


I have a small shop, and in that small shop I have a small compressor. For the woodworking side of the shop, it is plenty big enough to run finish nailers and staplers. But, for those occasions when I want to work on a rusty old farm implement or rotate the tires on my ancient Chevy Blazer, I borrow my buddy’s pneumatic impact wrench. It works okay, but my poor little compressor really can’t keep up with that mondo air tool. I have long considered buying an electric impact wrench for those occasions, but have always heard from friends that most models on the market fall short in the power department. Recently, HomeFixated was sent a new Kobalt ½” model to take for a spin, and I was pleasantly surprised at the power it packed. [Read more…]

How the Heck Do I Get Rid of Termites?


Termites. Even the mention of the word is enough to make wood tremble with fear. They could be in your home right now, munching away on your walls, ceilings and floors like stoners at a free Taco Bell buffet. So what do you do when you have them? How do you even know you have them? Once they’re gone, how do I keep them away for good? Don’t worry HomeFixated fans; I’ll share all these answers and more. Use the following tricks for discovering, destroying and preventing termites and you can rest assured in knowing that your home is going to be free and clean (mostly?) from these wood-chomping insects from hell. [Read more…]

Milwaukee Fuel 7-1/4” Circular Saw – Full Size Blade, Meet Brushless Motor!

milwaukee fuel 7-1/4

Earlier this year, our fearless leader Marc reviewed the Milwaukee Fuel 6-½” circular saw. After putting it through a James Bond supervillain-inspired workout, he was impressed with the power, features and run time. Many users, though, want the capabilities and convenience of a full-size blade. In response, Milwaukee recently upped the ante, and introduced a new version with a standard 7-1/4” circular blade: the Milwaukee Fuel 7-¼” Circular Saw. We’ll take a look at how it stacks up against the earlier version, and whether it’s a contender to replace your corded saw. [Read more…]

Ermergersh! It’s an Indoor Herb Garden!

healthy sage plant

There comes a time in every gardener’s life when they face some tough decisions. Like when to start indoor herbs for the inevitable transition to the long winter. OK, maybe it’s not that tough of a decision. But if you start too late, you risk running out of living herbs to propagate new ones from. If you start too early…uhhh… never mind. There is not a single negative consequence that comes to mind for starting your indoor herbs too early. Except that you might have a supply of indoor herbs AND outdoor herbs to enjoy for a few weeks too! Ew! Shut up! How great is that?! That shouldn’t be a problem even for the most dramatic of folks, right? Here’s how to start a totally darling little indoor herb garden from the outdoor herb plants you already have- before the outdoor herbs go dormant for the year. [Read more…]

Sweep your own Chim-Chimney from Below – DIY Chimney Sweep

High, steep and windy. Ech.

As the old song from Mary Poppins goes: Chim, chimney. Chim, chimney. Chim, chim, cher-ee, a sweep is as lucky as lucky can be! And I gotta say, yes, you better be pretty darn lucky if you are going to sweep MY chimney! An 1870’s Victorian farm house with a 14/12 pitched roof, it is a lot less fun to climb up there now that I’m over 50. With a ladder and a ridge-hook, it’s not terrible, but even the professional sweeps that have come out don’t like to work up there. None of them are spring chickens, either! If you are spending a lot to have your chimney professionally swept, but don’t savor the thought of going top-side yourself, I’ve got a few pointers that might make the job more appealing. [Read more…]

Ryobi Phone Works – Level Up Your Tool Geek Cred


Ryobi has always struck me as a company that is as much about tech as it is about tools. Unsurprisingly, Ryobi is a subsidiary of TTI, a Hong Kong-based technology firm that produces industrial electronics as well as power tools. Now, Ryobi has merged smartphone tech with building science to produce a nifty line of measuring and monitoring tools that utilizes your iOS or Android phone as a platform for doing “real” work!! Step aside, Candy Crush and Angry Birds…We have a job to do!! [Read more…]

DIY Roman Blinds – Not Just for Fancy Pants Anymore

roman blinds

If “Roman blinds” sound overly lavish to you, it’s time to emerge from behind the bed sheet that is doubling as your current window covering. Roman blinds CAN look like they cost a million dollars. And while you might spend close to that if you have them custom made by a professional, Roman blinds do not need to be untouchable for the average Joes out there. [Read more…]

Intro to PEX Plumbing


I’m no plumber. So, when my dad asked me to hook up their toilet and sink in their cabin, I said “sure, it’s easy to be a plumber.” After all, you only need to know two things – hot water valves go on the left and poop flows downhill, right?! But when you’re using PEX, it’s even easier than that, or so I thought. [Read more…]

Ikea Hacking – How to Build a Window Seat With Stock IKEA Cabinetry

window seat

I think my children and I are part feline. We love to stretch out on the floor in the sunshine. Or better yet, we love to find a nice little perch and just curl up. And, the cat woman in me has always dreamed the fanciful dream of a window seat. What kitty doesn’t love a seat to look out at the world while being perfectly safe and warm? When I started to redecorate my bedroom in my mind, my window seat fantasy kept meowing out to me. I really wanted to make this vision a reality. The only way to make this little dream come true was to make sure it was as practical as it was exciting. [Read more…]

Irwin Goes For Major Impact

Irwin's new Tapcon rig.

The cordless “Impact Driver” has made a huge splash on the power tool scene over the last several years. I bought my first one about 7 years ago, going with an inexpensive and slightly under-powered Black and Decker 12 volt model, thinking that I didn’t want to spend a lot on a “specialty” tool. Well, that tough little unit has proven to be very versatile and is still going strong in the shop, replaced on the jobsite by the 18 volt Bosch model, which I use every day. What was a “specialty tool” is now my “go-to” tool! [Read more…]