Water and electricity don’t get along – here’s what you should avoid installing where in your home



Chances are you already know that water and electricity don’t “play” well together. When they are mixed dangerous, and potentially deadly accidents can occur. Even though this is common knowledge thanks to the growing popularity of DIY television shows more and more homeowners are deciding that they have the knowledge and experience to install almost anything.

Since the chances of this trend ending anytime soon are pretty slim, I thought that I would devote this post to my DIY readers. I’m all for homeowners saving money and completing the projects themselves, but I do worry about safety. With this in mind, I want you to pay careful attention to what you really should avoid installing in certain places around your home. Accidents due to water and electricity combining are unfortunately common, and can also be easily avoided with just a little common sense.

When it comes to installing electric appliances in the bathroom, my best advice is “don’t”. Everywhere you look there is water from the sink to the toilet, shower, and tub. Even using a hair dryer or curling iron can be dangerous if you don’t pay attention to your surroundings. Besides, when you think about it do you need to install an electric appliance in your bathroom? The only one I can think of is an additional heater, and if you’re having problems with your furnace, I suggest you call an expert.

One area in a home where it is impossible not to have electric and water in the same room is the kitchen. In this case, I recommend extreme caution and careful attention. Electrical shocks and fires can be devastating and often prevented. If you’re installing an electric oven stay well away from the water lines to your sink. If you think about it do you want your oven next to your garbage disposal? You also want to keep electric appliances away from drips and leaks, which means once again stay away from water lines.


My final advice when it comes to not installing something in a particular place around your home only applies if you’re lucky enough to own a swimming pool. Do not attempt to install anything electric by your pool. You are only asking for trouble. This applies to outdoor stoves and even pool heaters. If your pool did not come with a heater chances are it’s not designed to support one, and the additional strain it will place on the system can result in expensive repairs. This of course only applies if you don’t electrocute yourself in the process.

If you have any thoughts or questions, I’d love to read them in the comment section below.

How much does it cost to renovate a small kitchen nowadays



Often my customers want to know how much it costs to renovate a small kitchen and I have to tell them that there isn’t a set answer. The cost of a kitchen remodel will depend on the size of the room, design details and if there are any problems along the way. Since it is rare to renovate any room, let alone a kitchen, without running into at least one minor issue this should be automatically factored into the budgets. I’ve seen a few renovation projects halted due to lack of financial planning.

An amazing gallery: http://www.countryliving.com/remodeling-renovation/home-makeovers/g1233/kitchen-makeovers/

Generally speaking homeowners spend an estimated $12,759 to $31,733 on a complete kitchen renovation, and I’ve have projects that ran even higher. Before you give up on remodeling, a small kitchen can look brand new for less than $5,000.

If you want to save on expenses so you can put more money into your kitchen, I have a few tips. Forego a designer, and do as much of the work as you can yourself. Install the cabinets yourself, or simply paint your old ones to save even more. If the walls are being painted you can probably do this without professional help. This way you have a little more to spend on turning the space into your dream kitchen.

With a renovation budget of $5,000 to $10,000 there are several ways homeowners can update their small kitchens. Some of my favorite ways to make the small space really stand out is to,


  • LED lighting is a great way to brighten up a dark kitchen, especially with it is combined with a new coat of paint on the walls. The eco-friendly lights also help you save money on your energy bills, which can eventually offset some of the reno costs. Running the lights underneath the cabinets is also a great way to give a small kitchen a modern appeal.
  • If you’ve always wanted more storage now is the perfect time to design the cabinets of your dreams. You can even stay budget friendly by choosing stock cabinets, instead of ones that are custom made. Add a few more drawers or even a lazy susan so you can finally have plenty of storage in your tiny kitchen. You might also want to consider pull out countertops if your budget allows.
  • Knock out a wall. This might be a little drastic and won’t work for all small kitchens, but it is a great way to make a small kitchen stand out. The cost for this will put you at the top of your budget, but for some homeowners it is well worth it.

Before you start knocking out walls in your home it is crucial that you speak with an experienced and licensed contractor. The last thing you want to do is knock down a load bearing wall. This will make the home structurally unsound, and cost more than your renovation budget to repair.

Installing a Home Pizza Oven

As I said in my first blog post to introduce myself, my job is to help people install all kinds of appliances in their homes. In this post, I will tell you about getting a home pizza oven to someone who wanted to have the pleasure of cooking their own pizza in their back yard. It is always important to appeal to a certified specialist when you purchase more complicated cooking devices, since there are things to keep in mind.

My client from this time got himself a pretty nice looking pizza oven. The model he chose was the Camp Chef Italia Artisan, a model particularly great for making pizza the Italian style, but without having to burn wood. While you may hear plenty of people talking about how wood burning ovens are the best when it comes to baking pizza, not everyone can afford such a complicated contraption to take care of when not in use and so on. I usually recommend my clients to get pizza ovens that are easy to use, so they can truly cook their favorite Italian dish without having to deal with all kinds of unpleasant task.

So, as I was saying, my client got himself this gorgeous looking pizza oven and wanted to use it outside. I need to mention that this is a model that works on propane, so a container for propane is needed. Again, I always recommend using a propane container that comes from a certified source; in this case, a one pound disposable propane bottle was used to get the pizza oven going. I was pleased to find out that the manufacturer also supplied a regulator and a 5 foot hose along with the purchase, so I had something to work on.


Together with my client, we found a place for placing the oven. It had to be a sturdy table, so that the oven does not get toppled over by accident. My client has small kids, so that was an issue we had to keep in mind. I also found a safe place for keeping the propane bottle and I used the hose to create the perfect setup for the pizza oven. I also told my client to be very careful and to respect all the rules about manipulating propane each time he would use the pizza oven, as well as when going on trips, since this is a portable model.


Safety is extremely important and this is something you should never overlook when you are working with cooking appliances. Ask a specialist to install the pizza oven for you, and, when you need to move the pizza oven from one place to another, follow the instructions offered to the letter. This way, you will be safe.

Why It’s Important to Have a Look at the User Manual of Any New Appliance, Whether You Technically Know How to Use It or Not



No matter what kind of new appliance you get for your home, it is essential that you read the user’s manual, regardless of whether you already know how to use it or not. This is a piece of advice I give to all my clients, as, after I install their appliance, I am soon gone and I cannot tell them what to do in order to operate the appliance properly. Unfortunately, there are cases when a new appliance owner does not care about reading the manual and accidents may happen. But I am not going to just scare you or offer you cautionary tales. What I am here for is to explain the advantages of reading the user’s manual, when you purchase a new appliance.

First of all, you will be able to save yourself a lot of frustration. Let’s say, for the sake of the argument, that you have just purchase a new dishwasher, and it is now installed in your kitchen. You take a look at it, place some dishes inside, but, when you are about to hit the buttons, you realize that the symbols there seem like a bit of Chinese to you. That is why I tell my friends and my customers alike to just read the instructions manual provided by the manufacturer. The best way to get the best out of an appliance is by reading everything about the features it comes along with. It will definitely make your use of the machine more efficient and you will also experience more satisfaction with getting a new product.

Another thing that you will be saved from by reading the manual is not having to ask for help any time you happen on some troubleshooting issue. There is no point in always be all over the phone and beg for advice, just because you have no idea what your machine is doing.

There is a lot of useful information to gather from the instruction manual. First things first, you will learn about warranty details and under what circumstances you can benefit from free servicing from the manufacturer. If you do not read the instructions manual, you will not be able to tell whether your unit is malfunctioning or it is something that you are doing wrong when you are trying to operate it. Another piece of information that you should find useful is that the manual tells you everything there is to know about the extra accessories provided with your purchase. Once you spend a bit of money on a new appliance, it would be for the best to just take advantage of all that is supplied for your hard earned dollar.

I hope this advice will determine you to read the manual and take advantage of everything that is offered with a new buy.

3 kitchen safety tips



As a professional handyman and installer of kitchen appliances I often find myself giving my customers lectures on safety. While statistics might show that the majority of home accidents happen in the bathroom, the kitchen comes in a close second. The accidents and injuries that occur in the kitchen are often more severe, and this alone is reason enough to pay attention to these 3 safety tips.


Electrical cords

Other than accidental cuts the most common cause for injuries in the kitchen is due to electrical cords. It is important to routinely check the cords, wires and plugs on all your kitchen appliances. This is especially true for countertop appliances that are typically see more use. While you don’t have to take time every day to check all of the cords, I do recommend that you look them over every four to six weeks. Not only will this help prevent electric shocks, but fires as well.

When it comes to using extension cords in your kitchen, I always say “don’t”. These electrical cords aren’t grounded and this can be dangerous. Electrical fires and painful shocks often occur. It can also damage your appliances if there is a power surge, and this will affect your wallet. If the electric cord on the appliance simply isn’t long enough, I recommend investing a few dollars in a junction box that comes with a ground fault interrupter.


Pay attention to how you leave the kitchen

I am often amazed at what people leave turned on or sitting out in their kitchens. In some cases I really am shocked that they haven’t had an accident. Before you walk out of your kitchen, take a few minutes to look around. I bet you’ll be surprised by what you see. Here are a few things I’ve had to remind my customers to pay attention to.


  • Do not leave scented and decorative candles burning if you are not in your kitchen. It is also important to use a flame proof container. You can find great scented candles that come in jars so you don’t have to look for a plate or container every time you light it.
  • You also want to make sure that all matches and lighters are put up, especially if you have small children.
  • Drawers and cabinets should also be tightly shut, and locked if child safety is a concern.


Consider what you are wearing

There is nothing wrong with being comfortable in the kitchen, but you don’t want loose sleeves to get in the way. Not only can the get into the food, but it also presents a fire hazard. This is especially true if you are cooking over an open flame.


Be prepared in the event of an emergency

The most important tip I give my customers is to always be prepared. This means have a small, up-to-date fire extinguisher nearby, along with a box of baking soda. In the event of a grease fire you will need the baking soda in order to effectively put it out. You also want to have emergency numbers nearby. Knowing 911 is a start, and Poison Control is another important number to have.