keyless door lock

Keyless Lock Systems – The Pros and Cons

Are Keyless Locks The Answer?

When it comes to keeping your home safe and secure, traditional keys have one fundamental flaw: they tend to have a mind of their own.

Losing keys completely is a relatively rare occurrence but temporarily misplacing them and being unable to leave the house until you have tracked them down is something that happens to us all on a regular basis.

Advantages of Keyless Entry Locks

The main advantage of a keyless entry system is the convenience of never having to worry about where your house keys are ever again. Doors are unlocked by typing a code into a keypad or by using a remote control device similar to that used to open a car.

With keyless entry, it is impossible for you or members of your family to lock themselves out of your home and you no longer need to hide a spare key somewhere a burglar might find it. You also need never worry about leaving your keys hanging from the lock overnight.

Keyless locks are particularly handy if you have friends or trusted workmen coming to your home as you do not have to wait in for them. Simply give them the code and they can let themselves in and out. You can then reprogram your keypad with a new code to maintain your level of security.

More advanced systems allow you to issue temporary codes just for visitors. Most keyless entry systems make use of deadbolts which are much more secure than traditional cylinder locks, affording you far greater peace of mind when you are away from home.

Problems with Keyless Entry Systems

Keyless systems do have some disadvantages though. They tend to be significantly more expensive than traditional locks and may need to be installed by a professional, further increasing the cost.

Electronic systems can be problematic in the event of a power failure so need to be backed-up by batteries, though care needs to be taken to ensure these do not wear out.

Should you forget your PIN, it will be far more difficult for a locksmith to open your doors and should someone discover your PIN they will be able to enter your home at will. For the same reason that you should hide your PIN while entering it into an ATM, you should also ensure no one can see you type in your PIN when you enter your house.

Similarly, while using a remote fob to open the locks is extremely convenient, especially if you are carrying shopping into your home, the devices are expensive to replace if they are lost and represent a potential security threat. High Quality Keyless Locks The quality of a keyless system can also affect your level of security.

Keypads on the cheapest units may fade over time, giving potential burglars a clue as to which digits are being used most.

Cheap push buttons systems can also be problematic as the resistance of the most-used buttons can decline over time. The best systems will sound an alarm if too many incorrect attempts at entering a pin are made and in reality, the chances of anyone being able to guess correctly are extremely slim.

A certified, Professional Locksmith Chula Vista Ca | Low Rate 24/7 Services | (619) 407-9609 can help you with all your keyless entry lock installations, repairs, and replacements.

Posted in DIY
Platform bed finished

How to build a platform bed from scratch!

A few months ago Mary and I had finally had enough of our old, lumpy bed. I was waking up with back pain so bad I had trouble getting into my car and we both were getting lousy sleep. I got out the measuring tape and found my side of the bed dipped 2 inches from the foot to the middle and Mary’s side was worse. After talking it over we decided if we were getting a new mattress we might as well upgrade to a king size.

King size is pricey and we didn’t want to spend the money on a bed frame that wasn’t going to match our dressers so we looked into Ottoman and platform beds. I found a few plans online, but the basic design was so simple that I decided to just wing it and make my own plans using standard construction lumber.

We made the trip to our local furniture store and fell in love with the ottoman beds at Archers Sleepcentre and a foam mattress. We placed our order, took some measurements and after Thanksgiving I built our new bed in a busy afternoon. Here’s how I did it.

First the materials;

  • 2 x 4 x 96 – 10 pieces ($2.11 ea)
  • 2 x 10 x 8 – 6 pieces ($7.99 ea)
  • 3/4 x 49 x 97 MDF – 2 pieces ($22.99)
  • deck screws
  • wood glue (optional)

The tools;

My basic idea was to build 2 frames and stack them on top of each other. The framing is much like framing a wall. The bottom is smaller so you don’t stub your toes (like kitchen cabinets) and taller (so the bed fits over our radiator and flush to the wall – no headboard!). I topped it all off with the MDF. Here’s the step by step photos.

Platform bed base

build my own bed

For my base I used 2x10s. This gave me enough height to get my second tier over the radiator and allow us to push the bed flush to the wall so we didn’t need a headboard. In retrospect, 2x8s would have been better. The foam mattress was thicker than we expected and our bed is slightly taller than our old standard height bed.

To determine the dimensions I added 1 inch to the height and width of the mattress we purchased. I then subtracted 12 inches from each dimension to give us the inset to protect our toes and enough space for the radiator to do its thing. For example a standard King size mattress is 80 x 76. The bottom frame would be 69 x 65.

There is a lot of room for adjustment her since you never see this layer. The important thing is that your frame is level. All lumber was screwed together using some old 2 1/2″ deck screws. I drilled pilot holes to prevent splitting and used a little wood glue to create a strong bond.

build a bed base

Platform bed base

Next I used my scrap pieces of 2×10 to create blocking. This prevents my frame from twisting over time as the wood dries. This is the same technique used in floor joists.Make sure to offset them like I did so you are able to screw in from both sides. No exact science here, just make sure they fit tightly in the spaces. This might have been overkill, but I figured it was better to overbuild with an extra $20 of lumber than take the bed apart later and fix it.

Platform bed second tier

Platform bed second tier

For the top layer I used 2x4s. I followed the same strategy, but this layer will be slightly larger than the mattress. Once again I screwed and glued everything taking care to keep everything square and level. This layer is very visible so take the time to do it right.

Platform bed assembly

Platform bed assembly

Next I placed the top layer on top of the bottom and centered it. I toenailed the top layer into the bottom at all intersections with the deck screws (remember to drill those pilot holes first).When I was done I was surprised just how solid the hole thing was. Ethan immediately declared it was a pirate ship and start climbing all over.

Platform bed finished

Platform bed finished

The last step was attaching the mdf to the top. I had these pre-cut at Lowes. Their sheet cutter is more accurate than I can be with a circular saw and it saves me time. I attached these with 2 inch deck screws about every 12-16 inches. Overkill again. The end result isn’t very glamorous, but I plan on using the scrap MDF to side the upper tier of the bed and create a lip to keep the bed in place. This is why I made the platform slightly larger – to give us room to put the sheets on when the lip is in place.

There you have it. The sturdiest bed you’ve ever seen for about $100 and an afternoon. I was worried it might tilt when you sat on a corner, but it does not budge at all. It is HEAVY and will need to be taken apart if it every needs to leave the room.

Stevie also loved playing in the framing. There is plenty of room for adding storage, but we decided against it. We were more interested in having a bed where toys, tissues, dog hair, dishes, etc could NOT get lost underneath.

 

There was one frantic step I did not photograph. Notice the open framing in this picture. If I left it this way it would be possible for someone to reach into the framing from below and deposit something INTO the bed frame. To prevent this I used some scrap MDF and plywood to block all the spaces between the outer edges of the top and bottom frames. In a couple places, however, I screwed the plywood over the bottom frame, but left an opening.

This created a hidden shelf. I have one on my side of the bed where I keep a book and my book light. One at the bottom of the bed is used by kids as a cave where their toy frogs live.

We’ve been very happy with the end result. The bed frame is incredibly solid and our new mattress is wonderful! My back aches are completely gone and we are sleeping so much better. Feel free to post any questions on the bed and I’ll help where I can. I also plan to post an update after I get the sideboards on and the whole thing painted.

Posted in DIY
How to Clean Hardwood Floors

How to Clean Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are beautiful. They make a statement and are particularly easy to clean and maintain, compared to other floor types. Cleaning and maintaining your hardwood floors regularly can ensure they last longer. Here are the steps for how to do just that:

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

  1. Give your floor a thorough sweep with a soft broom with fine bristles to get the small detritus and dust out of the way. You can also use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment.
  2. Use a very dry damp mop when cleaning your hardwood floors. You can use a mixture of half a cup of vinegar to a gallon of water. If you’re worried about leaving a smell, don’t worry: vinegar will not leave any odor after it has dried. You can also use lemon oil for stains and more shine.
  3. Use only a minimal amount of water, and make sure to dry the floor up quickly, especially with the older type of hardwood floors. The older type of hardwood floors don’t have the polyurethane seal that keeps out wood-damaging water.
  4. Use a floor polisher for that extra shine. You should also wax regularly to make sure that the hardwood floors are always sealed. Mop up spills immediately to prevent stains or damage to the hardwood floors.

 

Removing Stains and Spills

There are different methods for you to remove different kinds of stains. Since you are dealing with hardwood floor types, it’s best that you use cleaning agents that will not cause too much damage with the hardwood material.

  • For blood, you can simply use cold water, and for tougher-to-remove blood stains, you can use a bit of ammonia in the water.
  • Lipstick stains can be removed with a mixture of detergent and warm water, using light pressure with a scouring pad.
  • Liquor or alcohol stains can be treated with a cloth dampened with cold water with detergent. You can also alternate the water with another cloth dampened with denatured alcohol.
  • To remove grease, you must first cause it to congeal by using a disposable cold press or a bag of frozen vegetables, like peas. Scrape it off with a dull knife or a bread knife. If there is any residue left, put a rag on top of the grease stain and iron it carefully for the cloth to absorb the grease fully.
  • For ink, warm water and detergent will usually do the trick. If not, commercial ink removers are available in most home supplies shops.
  • Dye can be removed with a solution of 1:3 bleach and water. Do not soak the area.
  • Crayon marks can be removed using mineral spirits. If this does not work, try using toothpaste and rubbing against the marks using a dry rag.
  • Remove fruit stains with a mixture of warm water and detergent. You can also use a solution of water and oxalic acid to rub against the stain.
  • Scuff marks can be removed by a pencil eraser. For stubborn scuff stains, use a fine steel wool with floor liquid wax. Rub gently until the stains are removed.
  • To treat oil spills on your floor, immediately try to soak up the spill using newspapers or paper towels. You should then cover the spill area with a cloth saturated with a dry cleaning fluid for around five minutes. Wipe dry and clean the rest up with detergent.
  • Shoe polish spills can be removed by rubbing a fine steel wool gently against the spill until it is completely removed.
  • If a tar spill is your problem, you should first apply a disposable cold compress or a bag of frozen vegetables to the spill, to make it solid and brittle. Gently scrape it off with a plastic spatula. For the remaining stain, use a detergent.
  • To remove pet urine, soak up the spill using newspapers and towels. Immediately rub the area with a hot damp cloth and scouring powder. Use a 10:1 solution of bleach and water for stubborn stains, and since you are using bleach, make sure that you rinse well with clean water, as bleach can discolor your wood, especially if it seeps through the hardwood’s finish. You can also use vinegar if you do not wish to use bleach.

For any kind of spill and stain, you must make sure that you thoroughly rinse and dry the area. Make sure the area is completely dried and not left to air-dry. If the process of cleaning has stripped off the hardwood’s finish, recoat with the finish or wax.

 

Posted in DIY
how to refinish hardwood floors

How to Refinish Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are a beautiful addition to any home, but they can wear out after some years, losing their lustrous appearance. When this happens, you can refinish the floors to bring back their shine.

What You’ll Need:

  • Wide brooms
  • Light and heavy sandpaper variety
  • Brushes
  • Polyurethane finish
  • Floor sanders and edger
  • Rags
  • Vacuum
  • Wood stain
  • Gloves
  • Rollers (preferably long-handled types)
  • Trash bags
  • Masking tape

Preparation

You have to prepare the floor and the whole room before you start this. Really read this check list to understand the amount of work involved, it will help you plan out your job as far as time needed. Here are some tips:

  • Clear the room. Furniture, wall hangings, rugs, carpet, décor, and window treatments must all be gone.
  • Cover your light fixtures with trash bags and masking tape.
  • Shoe moulding must also be removed, but baseboards can stay, unless you plan on replacing them.
  • Vent ducts, electrical outlets and light switches must be taped.
  • Seal the room from other areas of the house by hanging up plastic sheeting. Cracks under doors must be covered with masking tape.
  • To remove debris and dirt, vacuum the floor before you begin sanding.
  • See if there are tacks, carpet staples and nails and remove them. They can rip the sandpaper and ruin the sheet.

Sandingsanding a wood floor

To bring back the grain and level the floor, you’ll have to sand it properly. You’ll need to do several passes, to get a smooth finish. Before you begin, properly ventilate the room by opening a window.

  1. Rent a drum sander from an equipment rental shop. It’s large and noisy, but very efficient, since it can remove plenty of material quickly. Remember that you can easily gouge the floor with this tool, so be careful. Start it while it’s not in contact with the floor or tilted. If it’s your first time to use it, try it on a sheet of plywood first. Keep it moving, working slowly, but allowing the machine to do its job.
  2. Start sanding while in the middle of the room. Make sure you sand with the grain, going from one end of the room to another. You can overlap passes by one or two inches. Repeat the procedure on the other part of the room, sanding the whole center.
  3. When you’re through with the main floor area, use an edge sander to sand the areas the drum sander didn’t reach. A detail sander or hand sand can help you reach corners.
  4. When you’re done with the whole floor, vacuum and repeat the process with a smaller grit sandpaper. Vacuum in between sandpaper changes. Finish by using a 120 grit sandpaper.
  5. When you’re done, vacuum again, then wipe with a dry rag.

Staining

If you want the floor to keep its natural tone, you can skip this part, but if you want to give it a better hue, here’s what you should do.

  1. Use a floor broom to brush away the sawdust.
  2. Get a tack rag or vacuum to pick up finer dust particles. If the floor looks cleaner, the better the finish looks.
  3. Using a rag, apply wood stain to an obscure part of the floor, such as at the back of a closet, to see if its the right one you want. Wait for five minutes, allowing the stain to dry. If you like the color, proceed.
  4. Put the first coat to the rest of your floor. For more controlled and lighter applications, use rags. For a darker and heavier coat, a brush is better. Go with the grain as you apply long and even strokes.
  5. Let the first coat dry. If necessary, apply a second coat.
  6. Before you move on to applying the finish, make sure the stain is thoroughly dry.

 

Putting On The Finish

  1. Stir the polyurethane finish first. Don’t shake, or air bubbles might show up in the final finish.
  2. Apply it on the floor with a roller or brush, using even and smooth strokes with the grain. This will prevent putting marks on the finish.
  3. Let the finish dry. This can take up to three hours.
  4. Add a second coat. Let it dry overnight. After three days, you can move the rugs and furniture back on the floor.

Refinishing hardwood floors is messy and challenging, but definitely worth it. Keep these tips in mind as you proceed with this chore.

Posted in DIY