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Expert Home Improvement Tips

Here is a list of Dave's do it yourself home-improvement and remodeling articles.

Basics 1: Power Tool Safety

Power tool safety including how to keep your power tools maintained.

Basics 2: Lumber Dimensions, Wood Grades and Engineered Wood

From Logs to Lumber, Grades of Lumber, Plywood, Plywood Grades for Cabinetry and Other Engineered Woods.

Basics 3: How to Read a Tape Measure

Explains how to read a tape measure and includes a drawing and a video showing the breakdown of the fractions of one inch. The importance of accuracy is discussed.

Basics 4: How to Make a Straight Cut with a Circular Saw

How to use a circular saw to make a straight cut includes a drawing of the detail of the set of the blade, as well as a drawing of the saw cut in relation to your cut line.

Cabinets 1: Frameless Kitchen Cabinets

How to frame modern kitchen cabinets with their European design using the different fiberboards common in the kitchen cabinet industry. Includes the following drawings: kitchen cabinet frame of the base module with detail of a dado, the frame of the wall kitchen cabinet module, European hinge detail and detail of a kitchen cabinet drawer. The following subjects are discussed: terminology of kitchen cabinet parts; laying out the kitchen cabinet gables; supporting kitchen cabinet shelves; applying wood edging tape; drawer slides; fastening the kitchen cabinets to the wall; attaching the formica counter top to the kitchen cabinets; the European hinges; constructing drawers and installing the drawer fronts.

Cabinets 2: How to Build Face Frame European Cabinets

The framing of modern cabinets with their European design which incorporates the best of the Euro look with the 70s design of the wider face frame cabinet. The article includes the following pictures: Amerock style hinges; a face frame cabinet; face frame cabinet hinges; cabinet drawer slide packing. The following subjects are discussed: terminology of cabinet parts for the face frame cabinet design; special cabinet hinges for the face framecabinet; packing out the cabinet drawer slides to be flush with the cabinet frame.

Cabinets 3: How to Make Cabinet Doors

This article explains how to make your own cabinet doors for a kitchen cabinet or china cabinet. The article includes the following drawings: MDF profile cabinet doors; an elevation and section of a home made panel cabinet door; an elevation and section of a glass paneled cabinet door with muttin bars. The following subjects are discussed: how to make different styles of cabinet doors; moldings on cabinet doors; installing glass in cabinet doors; tips on sanding before staining and discussion on various finishes for cabinet doors.

Cabinets 4: How to Make a Formica Counter Top

How to make a formica counter top includes the following drawings: choices of formica counter top edge profile; introducing oak or other hardwoods into the counter top; the L-shaped formica counter top. The following subjects are discussed: edge profiles of tops using a combination of formica and hardwoods; eliminating the joints that come with formica tops; materials used in making the formica tops; attaching the formica splash; sizes of formica material; how to contact the formica to the top base material and a joint fill product for various formica brands.

Concrete Work 1: Exposed Aggregate Driveway

How to make an exposed aggregate driveway for your home.

Deck 1: Raised Backyard Wood Deck

How to build a raised backyard wood deck including the following drawings: elevated backyard wood deck or balcony floor plan and backyard wood deck support. The following subjects are discussed: attaching the backyard wood deck to the house or keeping it independent; laying out, forming and pouring the footings; the beams and floor; the sheathing and finish.

Deck 2: Deck Railing

How to Build a Deck Railing includes the following drawings: securing deck railing posts; the 2x2 baluster deck railing; an alternate 2x2 baluster deck railing; a detail of the 4x4 corner post notch and a photo of the pales and deck railing of my deck. Discussed are: the requirements of the building code with dimensions of the deck railing; the terminology of deck railing parts; securing your deck railing into the posts; different designs of deck railing and how to cut a corner post notch with a circular saw.

Deck 3: Deck Design

This article is more about how to design a backyard wood deck than the structure of the backyard wood deck.

Deck 4: Deck Stairs

How to build backyard wood deck stairs and includes the following drawings: an elevation of deck stairs; tapered deck stairs; extended stair treads on deck stairs; a floor plan of deck stair returns; an elevation of the side and front of deck stairs to an above ground pool; a section of a pool enclosed by a deck and deck stair stringers on a slope; The following subjects are discussed: examples of deck stairs off a raised backyard wood deck showing dimensions and naming their parts; discussion of special deck stairs which are angled around a corner or returned on themselves; deck stairs that could be built to access a pool or hot tub and deck stair stringers on a slope.

Deck 5: Deck Stairs with Returns

How to build deck stairs with returns includes the following drawings: an artist conception of deck stair returning on three sides; deck stair returns floor plan; the foundation plan; a section of an anchor bolt in a foundation wall; plan of the stringer layout; a detail of the stringer on a 45 degree angle; a detail of the stringers coming into the one on the 45. The following subjects are discussed: I portray an analogy of a set of deck stairs with returns to a hip roof; the concrete foundation to supports these deck stairs; support of the stringers; putting it all together.

Electrical 1: Electrical Safety

Electrical safety for homeowners dealing with their own electrical wiring with ways to incorporate backup checks.

Electrical 2: How to Wire a Three Way Switch

How to wire a three way switch with the difference in where the power is introduced in the circuit.

Electrical 3: Home Wiring Tips

How to wire a three way switch with the difference in where the power is introduced in the circuit.

Fun 1: Construction Quiz

A short, fun, informative quiz on how much you (and your friends) know about construction and home improvement.

Fun 2: Construction Words Quiz

Are you smarter than a Second Year Apprentice? Here's a short quiz on construction words and home improvement terminology.

Fun 3: Contest

Participate in our monthly draw and win a free subscription to our site!

Going Green 1: Tips

Some tips, incentives, rewards, recommendations, ideas and information on how builders, homeowners and do-it-yourself people can help make our planet fit to live in for our grandchildren.

How to Build a House 1: House Lot and House Plans

Building a house starts with the house lot and house plans, which should be considered together. The following subjects are discussed: the house lot and house plans as a unit; the set of house plans and their various views; a house plan's scale; the common drawings in a set of house plans; the house lot survey; safety advice for building your own house.

How to Build a House 2: The Concrete Foundation

How to build a house foundation and excavation, including: excavation with batter boards; forms for the concrete footings and wall; a detail of a concrete key; the house foundation wall and concrete footing showing the drain rock and the concrete slab. The following subjects are discussed: laying out the excavation with batter boards; the concrete footings; rebar in the concrete; making the concrete footing and concrete wall forms; the concrete pour; stripping the concrete forms.

How to Build a House 3: Services, Concrete Slab and Backfill

How to waterproof the house foundation, install the piping used to drain away surface water around the concrete foundation and roof of our house, prepare for pouring and finishing the concrete basement slab and finally backfill the excavation around the concrete. Some areas in our country require different procedures in dealing with this phase of construction.

How to Build a House 4: Install Aluminum or Vinyl Soffits

One of our how to build a house articles that explains how to install aluminum or vinyl soffits with drawings and photos including three ways to frame and finish soffits at the eave to rake intersection of a house.

How to Build a House 5: How to Install Vinyl Siding

How to install vinyl siding with cedar trim shows actual pictures of the steps to install the vinyl J-molding around the windows of your house.

Jigs 1: Table Saw Feather Board

How to make a feather board jig with the following drawings: the feather board in relation to the saw blade on a table saw and how to keep it tight against a table saw fence.

Jigs 2: Table Saw Push Stick

A full size template is included with this article on how to make a table saw push stick. Instructions are given to print the full size template on your home computer.

Jigs 3: Dado Router Jig

Rather than using dado blades on a table saw, a router can be used with a jig to cut dadoes for shelves. This article shows a drawing of this router jig as well as instruction on how to make it.

Jigs 4: Feather Wedge Table Saw Jig

Sometimes we need a thin feather wedge to lift a cabinet or shim something. Here is a quick way to make up some thin feather wedges on your table saw using a jig. This article contains two drawings. One is the dimensions of the thin feather wedge table saw jig itself and the other is an example of using the thin feather wedge jig on a table saw.

Jigs 5: Table Saw Tapering Jig

When we want to make a cut on a table saw that is not parallel with an edge, one way to do it is with a table saw tapering jig. We could make a simple table saw tapering jig with the exact angle we need for this project or make a little more complex one that can be adjusted for whatever tapering angle you might need in the future as well. We'll call it a table saw tapering jig. This article has two drawings. The first shows the table saw tapering jig and the second shows how to set the table saw tapering jig up on a table saw.

Jigs 6: Circular Saw Guide

This article on how to use circular saw jigs has 3 pictures. The first shows the circular saw guide with a circular saw mounted on it. The second shows a close up of the first picture. The third shows the stop block on the circular saw guide. This circular saw guide would be very useful for someone who does not have a power cut off saw to cut off the repetitive lengths of boards.

Jigs 7: Woodworking Compass

Scribing the trim for a 6' wide circle head window or making a template for rounding off the corners of a curved archway is easy as explained in this article by an expert carpenter.

Jigs 8: Circular Saw Cutting Jig

To cut or rip large pieces with a circular saw, a handy jig helps keep the circular saw cuts straight. I use my circular saw cutting jig mostly for cutting gable ends for cabinets to length, as well as, trimming doors, etc. This article shows two pictures of my circular saw mounted on my cutting jig and gives instructions to make your own.

Plumbing and Ventilation 1: Plumbing Rough-in Dimensions and Instructions

The usual heights and dimensions for plumbing fixtures, drains, plumbing vents, plumbing cleanouts and plumbing supply lines for rough-in for toilets, countertop or drop-in lavatory, pedestal lavatory, bathtub, shower and kitchen sink. Includes the heights for shower curtain rods, toilet paper holder and towel bar.

Plumbing and Ventilation 2: How to Remove and Replace Plumbing Fixtures

How to remove a the toilet, the bathtub and sink faucets or just a valve stem to replace its washer. In this article I explain how to remove plumbing fixtures.

Plumbing and Ventilation 3: Questions on Plumbing and Ventilation

Here's a list of Dave's answers about plumbing and ventilation.

Remodeling 1: Mold and What to Do About It

This report is mainly for contamination in large commercial buildings; however, its information can be helpful if problems arise in your own home as well as the office. This includes the following topics: Introduction to Mold - What is Fungi or Mold, Health Effects, Molds of Health Concern, Investigating Potential Contamination, The building history, Present state of construction or deterioration, Present environment of building, Impact of renovations or additions, Biocontamination Remediation Procedures - Introduction, Hiring a Consultant to Help, Where Do You Look?, and Defining the Work to Be Completed.

Remodeling 2: Moisture and Humidity Problems in the Home

Your home's worst enemies are dampness, high humidity and lack of ventilation. I'll discuss ways in which the average homeowner can attend to moisture and humidity problems in the home, without spending a fortune. I touch on the following topics: Caulking, Bathroom and kitchen fans, Dampness in the basement and crawlspace.

Remodeling 3: Home Improvement Ideas

Dave shares some of his ideas of home improvement he got when he built his house. Each remodeling idea comes with a picture. Dave discusses the following home improvement topics: window curtains; window sills; window seats; mantle piece; ceramic hearth; hardwood steps; oak handrails and curved handrails. With a little care, some advice and work, you can do wonders. There's a great sense of accomplishment when you can tell your friends, 'I did my remodeling myself'.

Remodeling 4: How to Frame a Wall

How to frame a wall of a house is not that complicated, if one learns a few basic principles. In this home improvement article, I explain the terminology of the parts of a house wall, framing in doors and windows, headers, laying out the walls of a house, studs for an intersecting wall and for a corner, straightening and squaring the house walls, wall sheathing for a house, basement walls. The following home improvement drawings are included: how to frame a window; house plan measurements; corner stud layout and an intersecting wall.

Remodeling 5: How to Install a Window in an Existing Wall

How to install a window in an existing wall. It discusses what is on the outside and inside of a wall with a drawing showing the parts. I discuss the stock sizes of windows, as well.

Remodeling 6: How to Make a Drop Ceiling

There are different reasons for making a drop ceiling. Some home improvement people put a drop ceiling in the basement so it's below the pipes, ducts, etc. Other remodeling experts may have a 10' ceiling in an old house and want to drop it down. It's very common in a bathroom to put in a drop ceiling if the house is built with a 10' ceiling. This home improvement article goes on to explain how to build a drop ceiling in a room and shows a home improvement drawing to make it very clear.

Remodeling 7: How to Install a Skylight in an Existing Roof

We will talk about a 2'x4' skylight, so if you have a larger skylight, just adjust the numbers. I also discuss location of a skylight in a truss or rafter roof, the skylight tunnel, the skylight curb, cutting the skylight roof opening, roofing and flashing and the finish.

Remodeling 8: How to Install a Laminate Floor

How to get started, laying out a laminate floor, the doorway and the stair nosing when installing laminate floors. Details covered include which direction to lay the grain of the laminate, how to start the layout of the laminate floor boards, how to secure the laminate floor boards to the floor, and tips on how to cut the laminate floor boards when they encounter the edges of the room or obstacles.

Remodeling 9: How to Install a Hardwood Floor

How to get started, laying out the hardwood floor boards, the doorway and the stair nosing when installing hardwood floors. Details covered include which direction to lay the grain of the hardwood, how to start the layout of the hardwood floor boards, how to secure the hardwood floor boards to the floor, and tips on how to cut the hardwood floor boards when they encounter the edges of the room or obstacles.

Remodeling 10: How to Lay Ceramic Tile

How to lay ceramic tile over wood and concrete includes selecting the adhesive or mortar, grouting and cleaning up. A drawing is included showing the layout of ceramic floor tiles.'

Remodeling 11: How to Cope and Install Crown Molding

COPE: To cut or shape the end of base molding or crown molding so it will cover and fit the contour of an adjoining piece of base molding or crown molding. In this article I explain how to install crown molding by coping the joint with a drawing and a picture.

Remodeling 12: How to Cut Crown Molding

How to cut inside and outside corners for crown molding using compound miter saws or cutoff saws. This article explains how to cut crown molding with the use of 3 pictures.

Remodeling 13: Cutting Wide Crown Molding and Cove Molding

When cutting wide crown molding to length, we have to lay the crown molding face down rather than upright on the turn base of a slide compound saw. I explain how to do this in simple language with the use of a drawing of crown molding angles.

Remodeling 14: How to Install an Arch in an Opening

How to start with a square opening and end up with a rounded one with a drawing to help. The focus is on a drywalled wall.

Remodeling 15: How to Build a Door

How to build your own door a little wider or taller than a conventional door. The door framing shown is for a 4' x 6'-8" door, perfect for a large storage shed. A drawing with dimensions shows the frame of the door. Pictures show the hinge, the threshold, the weatherstrip and the door sweep. How to keep the door from warping is also discussed.

Remodeling 16: How to Hang a Door

This article is about how to hang a door if the jamb is already in place.

Remodeling 17: How to Install a Prehung Door

Rough openings for prehung doors. A drawing explains the details of how to hang the door and where to shim and fasten it to the door framing. Step by step instructions walk you through the procedure.

Remodeling 18: How to Install a Pocket Door

A pocket door slides into the wall and disappears. The framing of a pocket door is a bit more involved than a regular door. How to install the hardware and hang the pocket door. A drawing is included which shows the pocket door frame.

Remodeling 19: How to Replace a Sliding Patio Door

Here are the steps to remove and replace a sliding patio door unit with the same size unit. Included is a drawing of a sliding patio door with trim.

Remodeling 20: How to Hang and Finish Drywall

How to install and finish drywall, also known as gyproc, Sheetrock, plaster board, gypsum board. How to apply drywall joint compound, we call drywall mud, and sand it down smoothly, includes a drawing showing the angles to start and finish with the drywall trowel.

Remodeling 21: How to Build a Wheelchair Ramp

The Building Code in simple layman's terms for building residential wheelchair ramps for the disabled. Includes the desired slope and width of the wheelchair ramp, as well as height of handrails and curbs.

Remodeling 22: Wood Framing Answers

Here's a list of Dave's answers about home improvement and home remodeling about wood framing, shed foundations, installing a window, headers, etc.

Remodeling 23: Remodeling Finishing Answers

Here's a list of Dave's answers about home improvement and home remodeling about finishing kitchen cabinets, doors, ceramic floors, and drywall.

Remodeling 24: Remodeling Answers

Here's a list of Dave's answers about home improvement and home remodeling about house framing, foundations, installing a window, headers, etc.

Roof 1: Rafter Tables on the Framing Square

The rafter table on a framing square and how we determine the length and cut of a common rafter. I explain the terminology of the framing square, the roof pitch, the parts of the roof and rafters and how to layout roof rafters with the rafter square (framing square).

Roof 2: Calculating a Roof Pitch

Carpenters don't refer to the angle of a roof, such as 30° or 45°, but to the pitch of the roof, which is just the ratio of vertical to horizontal measurements. A drawing is included showing the relationship between the rafter and the framing square.

Roof 3: How to Build a Hip Roof

How to build a hip roof explaining the terminology, including: the common rafters in a hip roof, dropping a hip, the layout of an intersecting hip and valley roof. I also explain how to shorten the span of rafters in a roof.

Roof 4: How to Install Roof Trusses

What to look for when the roof trusses arrive, how to install the roof trusses, including bracing the roof trusses temporally and permanently, hurricane clips and final inspection.

Roof 5: Re-Roofing a Roof

This article explains how to re-roof an existing roof and how to replace roof flashings.

Roof 6: Insulation and Soffits

This article explains estimating and installing fiberglass batt insulation. It mentions caulking and vapor barrier as well as installing aluminum or vinyl soffits. Construction terms are highlighted and linked to our Construction Dictionary.

Roof 7: Roof Framing Tips

Answers and tips about roofs; Angle of a Roof, Framing a Gable End Overhang and Number of Shingles to a Roof. In my answer in Angle of a Roof I give a table of angles for different pitches. In my answer in Framing a Gable End Overhang, I show a drawing of a typical lookout and explain how to install them in a gable roof. In my answer in Number of Shingles to a Roof, I focus on how to estimate the quantities of shingles for a roof, including the starter shingles, ridge and hip caps, and valley flashing.

Seasonal 1: Fall

The six points a homeowner should follow when preparing his or her house for Fall.

Seasonal 2: Winter Proof Your Home

Seven points to remind the homeowner to do before Winter.

Seasonal 3: Christmas

Some safety tips and suggestions to keep the holiday season happy.

Seasonal 4: Spring

Some points a homeowner can follow when preparing his or her house for Spring.

Stairs 1: How to Build Stairs

How to Build Stairs includes the following drawings: Correct and Incorrect Steps; Total Rise; Parts of a Step; Slope of a Stair; Headroom; Deck Stairs showing pickets, post and beam support, footings stairs and handrails; Handrail Heights. This article discusses how to start off the calculations of a set of stairs, explaining construction definitions such as total run and total rise. It explains the relationship between run and rise and how to calculate the exact number and size of the risers. The article continues with topics such as: Enough Room?; Width of the Stairs; Outside Stairs; Putting it All Together; Stringer Support and Handrails.

Stairs 2: How to Cut a Stair Stringer

How to Cut a Stair Stringer discusses choosing the size of the stringer board; the layout using the steel framing square; the bottom riser and installing the stringer. The following drawings are included in this article: The Stringer; The square on the stringer; stair gauges; the bottom of the stringer and stringer with strip.

Stairs 3: Stair Calculator

This stair stringer calculator is downloadable to a laptop or home computer to run independent of the Internet. The builder types in his total rise into the stair calculator and clicks on calculate to find a breakdown of the size and number of stair rises, the size and the number of stair runs and the length to purchase of the material for the stair stringer. An optional size of floor opening calculation is also included with the height of the floor space inserted.

Stairs 4: Installing a Landing in a Staircase

How to install a landing in a set of stairs including: the stringer on the landing and the landing framing. The article discusses changing the direction in a set of stairs; how to place the landing in the set of stairs; constructing the landing and supporting the stringer on the landing.

Stairs 5: How to Install an Inside Handrail

How to install an inside handrail on a set of stairs including around a landing and the floor opening. Diagrams include: Spindles and Newels; Stair parts; the scroll assembly and rail connection; different rail profiles; securing spindles; securing newels and spindles on the stairs; components in a staircase. The following pictures of the staircase in my home are also included: base of the newel post and spindles; spindles on a step; front view of the bottom of the stairs; side view of the bottom of the stairs; view from the top; a curved top rail and newels and spindles around the floor opening.

Stairs 6: Installing Hardwood on Stairs

How to install hardwood on stairs including: top and bottom risers; inspect your stringers; install risers before treads; installation details.

Stairs 7: How to Build Concrete Steps

How to Build Concrete Steps by an expert carpenter. Drawings included are: Concrete Stairs Forms with a riser detail. The article relates to a story of my first job forming concrete stairs and how I did it.

Stairs 8: Lapeyre or Alternating Tread Stairs

How to build lapeyre or alternating tread stairs used for lofts and areas with limited room for conventional stairs. Two pictures are included of finished lapeyre stairs, one of wood and one of steel. The following drawings are included: the working triangle; stringer detail and tread detail. This article gives the building code points for these stairs as well as a math lesson on figuring them out.

Stairs 9: Answers about Stairs

Our final article consists of 33 questions from members of our site and my answers on the general subject of stairs.

Tables 1: Rafter Table

The rafter table as commonly found on a steel square (carpenter square, rafter square, framing square). This is a handy reference.

Tables 2: Span Tables for Joists

Joist span tables from the National Building Code of Canada. Consult the building inspector in your local area. There are two tables for spans of dimension lumber for two common species hem, fir and spruce, pine, fir. The first table gives values for spans for floor joists in living quarters. The second table gives values for spans for ceiling joists in attics not accessible by a stairway.

Tables 3: Span Tables for Rafters

These span tables include spans for dimension lumber in the species hemlock, spruce, pine, fir for snow loads of 20 to 60 pounds per square foot.

Tables 4: Common Conversions

Here are some of the more common conversions that are used in the building trades, including Centigrade to Fahrenheit, metric to US or Imperial, energy, power and insulation values.

Tables 5: Conversion Calculator

This metric conversion calculator converts the most commonly used measurements in the building trades, work or school. Simply plug in your values, click on Compute and you have an answer.

Tables 6: Nail Table

The length and number of nails recommended for a particular joint in house construction.

Tables 7: Penny Nail

This table converts the inch length of nail to the penny size. It also includes an estimate of the number of nails in a pound of common and finish nails.

Tables 8: Cutting Crown Molding

Miter and bevel angle settings of a cutoff saw in degrees for a wall to crown molding angle of 38°/52° and of 45°/45°.

Tables 9: Concrete Volume Calculator

This concrete volume calculator gives an answer in cubic yards or feet; meters or liters or number of 80, 60, 55 or 40 pound bags of pre-mixed concrete with the Metric equivalent.

Tables 10: Fractions to Decimals and Decimals to Fractions

The common fractions and decimals used in the building trades. To convert a decimal to a fraction, find its nearest match in the decimal column and see what the fraction is for that decimal. Decimal equivalents are included from 1/64th to 63/64ths.

Tables 11: Inches to Decimal Foot

This is both a calculator and a table of conversions from inches to decimal feet, useful for surveying. For simplicity this table starts off with 1 to 12 inch equivalents in decimals of a foot. Included also is the 1/8 inch conversion to decimals of a foot from 1 inch to 2 inches. We also include a calculator which does the math for you.

Tables 12: Construction Estimating Checklist

A checklist I used when estimating a new or renovated building before giving a client a price quote. I found it useful to prevent me from forgetting to charge for a certain material or stage of the construction. I hope it is useful to you, as well.

Tables 13: Weights of Materials

A table and calculator giving the different weights of various common materials on a building site.

Upholstery 1: Upholstery Answers

Some answers and tips about upholstery from Frances.

Useful Stuff 1: Simple Steam Box

How to build a steam box to bend wood to rounded shapes without breaking the fibers of the grain. Steaming wood softens the fibers, making them bend around a mold easily. I needed three pieces of molding bent around a staircase when I was building my house. This is how I made a simple steam box. A drawing of my steam box is included.

Useful Stuff 2: Cleaning Vinyl Siding

Here is a mold mildew cleaning solution (notice the pun) to help remove mold mildew from your vinyl siding and make your siding come out like new.

Useful Stuff 3: Dave's Basic Tools

The most used and useful woodworking tools in my tool box with a link for you to look at each one through Amazon.com. This way you'll be familiar with what I'm talking about.

Useful Stuff 4: Home Improvement Tips

Remodeling and home improvement tips I've collected over the last 45 or so years.

Useful Stuff 5: The National Building Code

'Authority having jurisdiction' refers to the municipality or regional district of building inspectors who interpret each country's National Building Code. Here are some questions a new homeowner should ask his inspector.

Useful Stuff 6: How to Renovate an Old Camper

We were about to embark on a camping holiday when my wife noticed a musty smell in the truck slide-in camper. We decided to do a renovation on the poor old thing, a 1975 vintage.

Useful Stuff 7: Home Safety Tips

This is a letter from the Fire Chief of Dave's local volunteer fire department.





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