UPGRADES

2-hour DIY projects

Major home improvement projects, like tiling your bathroom or kitchen or tearing down a wall, take hours or even days to complete. But there are some meaningful home improvements you can finish in under two hours, according to Solatube.

1. Installing a video doorbell takes just a few minutes, and you can monitor visitors at your front door on your smartphone through an app.

2. Another product that installs quickly is an upgraded bathroom fan, which can dramatically reduce bathroom humidity and odors and run more quietly.

3. Maybe you want to bring daylight to a small place closet or laundry room. Or maybe you have a room with a window but not enough light. One solution is a daylighting system.

4. Try swapping out old bulbs for LEDs that last up to 20 years or more.

DECKS

Resurface in a weekend

For the same time and energy you would spend maintaining and repairing old, wood deck boards, you could replace them with a deck made of structurally superior composite material — and never again have to worry about upkeep. If the structural framework of your existing deck is intact and in good condition, you are a candidate for deck resurfacing.

Follow these simple steps from Trex to a new deck surface that you can spend less time maintaining and more time enjoying:

Step 1: Examine the substructure.

Step 2: Remove old deck boards.

Step 3: Level it out.

Step 4: Install new deck boards.

Step 5: Complete with railing.

For more guidance on deck resurfacing, watch a step-by-step video from Trex at https://youtu.be/ZI8CYwI0MYM.

KITCHENS

5 kitchen safety tips

Cooking equipment is the top cause of home fires, and the second leading cause of home fire deaths, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Follow these tips from First Alert to stay safe in the kitchen:

1. Properly equip your home. Install functioning smoke alarms throughout your home.

2. Keep an eye on your food. Staying in the kitchen while cooking is key to preventing oven or stovetop fires.

3. Clean your appliances. Keep appliances clean of grease and food debris that could potentially cause a fire.

4. Clear off kitchen countertops. Keep your countertops clean and clear of flammable objects.

5. Be prepared when disaster strikes. Over 70 percent of fire extinguisher owners say that they would not feel very comfortable actually operating one. Now there are options that work like spray cans.

STATS

Bathroom remodeling by the numbers

A recent item at thisoldhouse.com outlines important numbers every homeowner should know before starting that bathroom remodel. Their numbers are based on national building and design industry guidelines, according to the post, and can be adapted according to your size, circumstances and preferences.

* Robe hooks should be 60 inches from the floor.

* Vanity sconces should be 60 to 72 inches from the floor or at eye level.

* The distance between sconces should be 36 to 40 inches.

* Towel bars should be 48 inches from the ground.

* Pedestal sinks should be 32 to 36 inches high.

* Toilet seats should be 17 to 19 inches high.

* Showerheads should be between 77 and 81 inches from the floor.

* Shower seats should be 17 to 19 inches off the floor and have a depth of 15 inches.

* Grab bars in shower stalls and bathrooms should be between 33 and 36 inches from ground level.

* Toilet paper holders should be 26 inches from the floor, 8 to 12 inches from the rim.