Andersens Renovating series: Essential carpentry tools for renovating

At Andersens, we’re all about trying to help you make the most of your home and we hope you enjoy reading some of our hints and tips in our renovation series

Renovation for home improvement does not only require carpentry skills but you also need to have the right tools. If you are working on a DIY renovation, make sure that you have a well-equipped toolbox to help you do things properly and with safety top of mind.

Among the most commonly used carpentry tools is a hammer. A hammer helps in delivering an impact to an object such as driving nails and fitting up parts.

You’ll also need a selection of screwdrivers on hand. Quite obviously, a screwdriver is a tool used for driving screws by a rotating mechanism. Make sure that that size of the screwdriver matches the size and type of the screw. The two most common types of screwdrivers are the flathead and the Phillip’s head. Flatheads do have a straight tip while Phillip’s heads have a cross-shaped tip. Electric screwdrivers are also now available to save you from exerting too much physical effort in driving in and taking out screws.

Other important carpentry tools are saws. You can use a handsaw for cutting wood and a hacksaw when working with metals.

The use of a spirit level is also indispensable in carpentry. This tool helps you determine the accuracy of a particular surface in both horizontal and vertical surfaces.

For measuring great length, you will need a measuring tape. This also ensures accuracy of measurement before cutting objects. Most tape measures in carpentry can measure up to 25 feet distance.

If you are working with different sizes of nuts and bolts, a shifting spanner can be your very good friend.

In addition to the mentioned tools, you will also need: a chisel for cutting wood edges. Pliers, a combination square, a utility knife, clamping devices and a retractable blade should also come handy.

For safety purposes, you’ll need to have safety glasses, earmuffs, work gloves and dust mask. A hard hat is also necessary if you are working on the roof or anything overhead.

Read more in our blog series at


DIY Tips for Changing Old Flooring and Carpets

Changing the look of your home can be easily done by changing old flooring with new designs. But while the options for new flooring are endless, removing old carpets is rather a tedious task. Don’t despair though… flooring removal can actually be accomplished DIY with the right information and tools!

Foremost, keep in mind that removing a carpet in a dwelling built before 1978 can pose serious health risks to you and to the other residents of the house. Lead dust present in the carpet can be toxic so you will have to check with the local authorities first to determine the local rules for disposing a lead contaminated object. If all is well, it’s time to get the work done. Equip yourself with the right tools including:

  • Vacuum cleaner or broom,
  • Utility knife,
  • Needle nose pliers,
  • Hammer,
  • Safety glasses,
  • Pry bar
  • Mineral Spirits
  • Floor Scraper
  • Heavy work gloves

Clean the carpet from any debris using a vacuum cleaner or a broom. Remove any molding that holds the carpet in place by jiggling a utility knife under the trim until you can readily insert a pry bar between the surfaces of the wall and the baseboards. Continue until the baseboards have been completely removed – If you intend to re-use it later, make sure to label or mark each piece so you can put it back to its original position.

Always wear gloves when working as carpet tacks and the pinheads are extremely sharp. If carpet padding is attached to the subfloor with small staples, use the needle nose pliers to remove the staples. If the carpet padding is glued on wood flooring, use mineral spirits to soften the adhesive. If it’s glued on concrete, use a floor scraper instead. Always wear safety glasses to safeguard your eyes from harmful debris.

You should now be standing on bare subfloor and should be ready to install your new carpet, hardwood floors, tiles, laminate or vinyl floors!

Andersens renovating series: Pressure washing

Does your house need a facelift? A pressure wash could be a simple solution.

As part of the Andersens renovating series, we’re giving you some hints and tips to make your home beautiful. Whether it is for sale or for you to enjoy, we’re not just looking at flooring and blinds, we’re also giving you tips on beautifying the rest of the house.

The first thing that buyers see when they’re inspecting a house they’re interested in is, of course, the exterior of the house.  If your house’s exterior looks old because of the grime and the dust from pollution and natural dirt, then it loses its appeal and may affect the value of your home.  The most basic facelift that you can give the exterior of your house is a good cleanse.  Yes, a good wash may be all you need to make your house look brand new.

All you need is handy pressure washer much like that in use in a car wash.  Prior to actually washing the exterior, you need to make the necessary preparations to protect outlets from getting wet.  You don’t want to cause any short circuits in your electrical system.  Don’t forget to use your protective goggles for your eyes because the pressure from the washer may dislodge small particles of dust and grime that can get into your eyes.  It’s also necessary to take a few practice sessions with the pressure washer if this is the first time you’re handling one.  The force of the water needs some getting used to. Now, you have to understand that though a good wash is possible for most types of exterior material, you need to be extra careful with weatherboard as the paint can chip. In this case use a low pressure when hosing.

Once the precautions and other preparations are in place, mix some mild detergents in your pressure washer if you desire, for a much better result.  The nozzle of your washer needs to be about 3-4 feet away from the surface when you point it.  Move it from side to side in a sort of shaking motion to extricate the deep-seated dirt.  It’s important to remember to start from the top of the house so that the dirt simply drips onto the ground.  If you start from the ground up, you’re only going to make the lower portion dirty again.

Remember, people choosing to use this information assume all risk of use, damage, or injury. You agree that we have no liability for any damages. The use of this information indemnifies us from all claims. You are solely responsible for the use of any information given on this blog and accept that the use of any of the information will be at your own risk.