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Custom Home Building, Design

Why buy an over-priced concrete coffee table when you can make it yourself? 

High-end retailers make great stuff, but the prices are extremely high. Instead of paying hundreds of dollars for an item, follow these instructions and make it yourself. 

Kim from The Kim Six Fix fell in love with a coffee table from high-end retailer, but it had a price tag of $1250. She knew that she could never pay that amount for a table, so she decided to take matters into her own hands and make one herself. She purchased all of the materials that she knew that she would need and set herself to work. 

When she was finished, she was more than satisfied with her result. If you want to see the building plans that Kim used, check out The Kim Six Fix.

Source: Knock Off Decor


Cleaning, Design

A change in perspective can totally reinvent this white-bathroom classic

Subway tile is a tried-and-true classic, whether it’s on the backsplash of your kitchen or the walls of your bathroom. And it has gained that status for good reason: It’s timeless, a chameleon for all design styles, and very affordable. However, it’s become such a classic that we’ve nearly hit our threshold for finding subway tile interesting. There are lots of great, still-classic alternatives for white subway tile if you want to try something different, but if you want stick with the original, we’ve discovered a great hack for reinventing subway tile in our bathrooms. If you want to completely change the look of original subway tile, turn it on its head—literally. Rotate the pattern of the tiles so they run vertically instead of horizontally. We’re so used to seeing subway tile laid in a brickwork layout—also called the running bond pattern—that simply changing the direction of the tiles creates an entirely new look

Another non-white example: Gray glass tile with white grout is a winning color combination. We love how the tile pattern corresponds with what it’s near: horizontally above the edge of the tub and vertically in the shower


Custom Home Building, Design

If you’re working on a room’s design, that last thing you may think about is an ugly AC vent or other air vents. However, they can often detract from the style of the room. AC vents have a way of looking too modern for rustic or retro styles, too industrial for more whimsical artistic styles and too outdated for those sleek modern styles. This is especially true in older homes, where vents tend to have ugly grating or outdated panels on them that clash with nearly every home style. But rather than replacing those HVAC vents, why not try to hide them? There are several ways to hide AC vents without obstructing airflow. Take a look below for ways to hide those vents.

Find a doormat covering for AC vents

Probably one of the neatest hacks you’ll find is covering air vents with doormats. This sounds counterintuitive, but it’s actually a wonderful way to add some style and class. The photo above shows how a basic open-design doormat fits right over an ugly AC vent. All the homeowner had to do was spray paint the mat to give it a more metallic texture. That helped it look like a stylish and more expensive grate. Two small nails on the top of the mat were all it took to hang the piece. And with that, the vents leading from the air conditioner cooling system are an eyesore no more

Spray paint air vents to match

Another simple idea is to remove the AC vents and spray them to match the surrounding paint. You can usually remove vents easily enough by undoing two screws. Then a can of spray paint turns that previously ugly vent leading from AC units into a color or finish that can match any home style. You might try the styles you see in the photo below. The vents actually just blend in with the surrounding wall paint. You could also get artsy and creative with the idea. Try painting the vent the same color as a bold accent shade in the room, like a bright cherry red. Or, go for a more metallic shade that stands out if you have an industrial theme. Feel free to get creative while painting those vents

Use a stock cover

There are also plenty of attractive covers that can fit right over the AC vents, or even larger vent eyesores, like this radiator cover in the photo above. A style like this is a creative way to add some geometric classiness to the space. But the open design still means that you’re not obstructing air flow. You can also paint an item like this to fit in with any room’s color scheme. See how the white cover in the photo above fits in with the light color scheme on the wall. The piece is so well designed that it looks like it belongs there

Go for shelving

For a more comprehensive approach, add some piece of carpentry over ugly wall vents that lead from the HVAC system. An example is the gorgeous piece in the photo below. You can see the air vents are sitting behind the open diamond-shaped pattern. The added shelving on the top makes the pattern part of a cohesive piece. Plus, there’s the benefit of adding usable shelving in your home this way. You may need a carpenter to complete this project if you’re not one yourself. But it may be well worth it to cover those ugly vents leading from the air conditioning or heating system.

Put a piece of furniture in front of the AC vent

This idea may seem counterproductive. After all, putting pieces of furniture in front of AC vents seems like it would restrict air flow in the room. However, there are pieces of furniture with open doors at the bottom. An example is the cabinet in the photo below. You can see how the doors at the bottom have an open design to them. All you would need to do is remove the back of the cabinet so that air from the air conditioning could come up through the doors. Any piece of furniture with an open element where the vent sits would work. Remember while decorating to make sure your HVAC system is in working order. It may be time to do routine maintenance, filter replacements, repairs or total system replacements. Schedule an inspection with your local HVAC professional to be sure your system works properly


Custom Home Building, Design

Go Rustic

Whether the rustic aesthetic suits your existing home style best, or you would prefer a more natural holiday look, opting for rustic decor can make a subdued statement in your home.

source: SAS Interiors

Fill Your Home with a Golden Glow

Creating a welcoming ambience for the holidays can be super simple and easily achieved. By opting for golden lights on your tree, garland, and more, you are instantly setting the mood for festivities while crafting a cozy atmosphere.

Gift With Greenery

Ditch the usual ribbon and top your gift with a pretty piece of greenery. It’s an unexpected but beautifully rustic look, as shown in these gift wrappings

Use Presents as Decor

Why spend all that time on wrapping gifts to perfection if you aren’t going to show them off? Line your staircase with presents in various fun patterns for a simple but chic decor idea.

Make It Magical With Light

Wrapping evergreens and leather straps on tiny strings of lights that you never have to plug in. The light’s so much more magical when it floats.”

Source: elledecor.com


Custom Home Building, Design

You love the holidays, but let’s face it: you have neither the time, nor the desire to actually decorate your home for the holiday season. At the same time, you don’t want to be mistaken for Ebenezer Scrooge. Is there a middle ground? Yep. Here are some holiday decorating tips for busy people.

Use everyday items

“For quick and easy ways to decorate for the holidays I recommend using what you may already have in your décor and layering holiday items in,” advises Karen Otto at Home Star Staging in Dallas, TX. “For example, you can adorn pottery, bowls, boxes, shelves and vases with fresh or faux-real looking evergreens.” In the photo above, homeowners gathered sticks on their property, and decorated with white clay tags and lights.Otto also recommends using holiday cards (past and present) in holiday decorating to create super easy and stylish scenes for your Christmas setting.

Another idea for easy holiday decorating is to simply add holiday colors, such as pillows and throws that are red, green, silver and/or gold, Otto says. These items not only add holiday cheer, but also warmth.

Decorate once for the season

You can also kill two birds with one stone. “Go double duty with your Christmas tree: by positioning your tree in the front window of the house, it can act as a decoration for both the inside and the outside,” according to Brandon Stephens, president of Christmas Decor.”

Nothing looks more festive than a beautiful tree dressed in lights, and this one trick can make your house look full decorated and cozy from inside and out.” He also recommends using garlands and wreaths to decorate simply. “Most grocery stores and garden centers have fresh garland and wreaths ready to hang,” Stephens says. “For an even simpler option, head to your local retail store and buy the imitation version—these are sure to brighten up your home.” He says you can add a couple of Christmas bows and your home will be ready for the season.“Blow up Santa’s, snowmen and reindeer are a fun and quick one and done decoration,” says Stephens. “These festive light-up lawn ornaments are sure to be a hit among the neighborhood and are low maintenance.”

Don’t overthink holiday decorating

Kymberlyn Lacy, principal designer at International Flair Designs, has some additional tips. “Place holiday ornaments in a decorative bowl or vases,” she recommends. “Fresh fruit such as cranberries, oranges, and nuts can also be used.” The baskets above were sprayed red and then filled with ornaments and birch wood logs. “Create an ambiance to your room by adding holiday candles,” Lacy says. “Some of my personal favorite fragrances are Pomegranate Noir, Cranberry, and Festive Fir, to name a few. She also says you can put an oversized Poinsettia on your coffee table, dining room table, or cluster them around your fireplace.

source: https://freshome.com/holiday-decorating-busy-people/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+FreshInspirationForYourHome+%28Freshome.com%29


Custom Home Building, Design, Uncategorized

When you have a small home, it is important that you find enough space to store all of your things. Many families have so many things that they can’t find space for everything and end up with a lot of clutter. This is why we have put together some tips on how you can increase the storage space in your home. Keep reading if you’d like to find out more

Make Use Of Any Space

Our first tip for those who want to increase the storage space in their home is to make use of any possible space. Many people have hallways that are empty, places behind larger pieces of furniture, and spaces below their stairs that they could be using for storage space. You should think about rearranging your home to see if you can find any extra space and make your home a lot less cluttered looking.Making storage efficient underneath your bed is a great place to start.

Build An Outdoor Storage Space

If you fancy a bit of DIY, then why not try building your own outdoor storage space? You can purchase steel building kits which are really easy to order, and you will be able to assemble your own steel building in no time at all. You can then use this building to store whatever you want and maybe even turn it into a new room to make your home feel bigger. Try adding a steel building to your property if you want and efficient way to increase your home’s storage space.

Use The Walls

When it comes to finding that extra bit of storage space in your home, you need to look up and try to use your walls. You might find that you have a lot of storage solutions that sit on your floor, but do you have any shelves? Shelves can look great in many different rooms and can come in really handy when it comes to finding space to put things. Always think about hanging things on your walls in your kitchen or bedroom if you want to be able to fit a lot more in these areas where quick-and-easy access is more important.

Our final tip for those who want to increase the storage space in their home is to invest in some multipurpose furniture. If you have a spare room that you don’t use all of the time, then why not swap the bed out for a sofa bed or day bed?This means that you can use this room as an extra bedroom and living space depending on what your current needs are. You should also think about getting a bed with some storage space underneath it or other multipurpose furniture for items like shoes.


Custom Home Building, Design
If replacing a kitchen sink, you’ll think about style, size, and—perhaps most importantly—material. Some materials are highly durable and resistant to stains, scuffs, and scratches, while others are more delicate, better suited to light to medium use. So read on for the strengths and potential drawbacks of seven best kitchen sink materials so you can make the right choice for your kitchen remodel.  
The 7 Best Kitchen Sink Materials

1. Stainless Steel

Best for: All types of use; kitchens with stone or granite countertops Pros: Affordable; easy to clean and maintain Cons: Can be noisy; shows water spots Price: $-$$ Stainless steel is the most popular material for modern kitchen sinks, providing a sleek, contemporary look, especially when paired with granite, stone, or wood countertops. Undermount models lend a more elegant look than drop-in sinks. For a tough, sturdy sink, aim for 16 to 18 gauge (the measure of thickness) steel. Also check the series number, which pertains to how the steel was manufactured and whether or not it’s magnetic; 300 series stainless steel is not magnetic and so favored for structural products, like kitchen sinks. Plus, 300 series stainless contains both chromium and nickel to prevent corrosion and damage at high temperatures. A quality stainless steel sink ranges in price from about $110 to $850 (including faucet fixtures). Read more on Amazon about the top-rated stainless steel sink pictured above: Kraus Standart PRO Series Undermount Stainless Steel Sink.  
The 7 Best Kitchen Sink Materials

Photo: amazon.com

2. Copper

Best for: All types of use; farmhouse-style kitchens Pros: Antimicrobial properties; beautiful finish Cons: Expensive Price: $$$-$$$$ A bright, warm, rosy-colored copper sink will be a kitchen’s focal point, attractive as a standard undermount or drop-in model as well as farmhouse style. You can also choose between a smooth or hammered finish and a range of patinas. Copper also boasts the natural ability to kill 99.9 percent of bacteria. Scientists have found that copper molecules “punch holes” into bacteria membranes, inhibiting their metabolisms and halting growth—an asset that makes this one of the best kitchen sink materials when you consider that the cook space can be a breeding ground for germs. But a quality model that’s 99 percent copper and 1 percent zinc, that ranges between 14 and 18 gauge, will be pricey—starting at around $600 and going up to $1,200 depending on size, style, and brand. Be wary of lower-priced copper kitchen sinks that may contain thinner gauge metal, which damages more easily. Read more on Amazon about the top-rated copper sink pictured above: Sinkology Angelico Drop-In Copper Sink.  

3. Enamel

Best for: Light to medium use; traditional and contemporary kitchens Pros: Classic; adds to home value; long lifespan Cons: Heavy; requires special cleaning and care Price: $$ This old-fashioned, timeless kitchen sink is constructed of cast iron with a glass-based glaze, available in a variety of colors. Enamel has a softer, quieter look and feel than stainless steel, and its style can also increase home value—if it’s well maintained. Enamel sinks are heavy and need the support of reinforced countertops and cabinetry. They are also prone to staining and chipping, so use non-abrasive sponges to avoid surface scratches and a mild acid like vinegar to treat stains. If damaged, the enamel surface can be refinished with a DIY kit or by a professional. While new enamel sinks run between $300 and $600, a savvy shopper can find a good-condition salvage or vintage model for about $200 to $300. Read more on Amazon about the top-rated enamel sink pictured above: Houzer Porcela Series Porcelain Enamel Undermount Sink.  
The 7 Best Kitchen Sink Materials

4. Fireclay

Best for: Light to medium use; farmhouse and spacious modern kitchens Pros: Highly durable; easy to clean; long lifespan Cons: Limited colors; heavy and expensive; professional installation required Price: $$$-$$$$ Fireclay is a type of enamel that’s molded from white clay fused with glaze and heated to very high temperatures. These kitchen sinks resemble traditional cast-iron enamel sinks yet are more resistant to staining and scratching. (Over time and depending on use, the finish may require re-glazing.) And like their old-fashioned counterparts, they’re heavy and need reinforced countertops and cabinetry to support them. Fireclay is most common in white and off-white shades, though dramatic black and blue fireclay are available. The most striking model is a deep, single-bowl farmhouse style. Each fireclay kitchen sink is handcrafted, one reason for their higher price—between about $570 and $1400, not including installation. And because there will be slight variations in size and shape, pro install is necessary. But if splurging on a fireclay sink, buy the best: Rohl, Blanco, and LaToscana are recommended brands. Read more on Amazon about the top-rated fireclay sink pictured above: LaToscana Fireclay Farmhouse Sink.  
The 7 Best Kitchen Sink Materials

5. Solid Surface

Best for: Light to medium use; small, contemporary kitchens with lighter-weight cabinets and countertops Pros: Affordable; durable; customizable Cons: Shorter lifespan; discoloration over time; sensitivity to extreme heat; prone to scratches Price: $-$$ This manmade acrylic resin that goes by various brand names, including Formica and Corian, is used for both countertops and kitchen sinks. It has the look of enamel without the high price or the heavy weight. Be wary of selecting the least expensive option in this category: Costlier versions contain better-quality acrylic resins retain their glossy finish and white tone despite daily use, while cheaper solid surface sinks may contain a calcium powder filler and appear dingy and yellowed within a year. Prices start at $155 for acrylic-based solid surface sinks. Read more on Amazon about the top-rated solid surface sink pictured above: Swanstone Double Bowl Kitchen Sink.  
The 7 Best Kitchen Sink Materials

6. Stone

Best for: All types of use; kitchens with natural stone or wooden countertops Pros: Heat-resistant; long lifespan; adds value to your home Cons: Very heavy, extra reinforcement needed; proper sealing required Price: $$$$ Stone sinks—such as granite and marble (you can even find them made of petrified wood!)—bring a wow factor to the kitchen. Thanks to natural variegations and pigmentation, every stone sink is unique, and because they are carved from a single block, subtle variations in tone and texture are preserved. Stone, while durable, is also porous. Proper sealing is required to prevent scratching, staining, and damage from cleaning products and other chemicals. Stone sinks are also very heavy, requiring reinforced cabinetry. A pure quartz, marble, granite, or slate kitchen sink will cost at least $1000, not including installation. Read more on Amazon about the top-rated stone sink pictured above: Native Trails Slate Farmhouse Kitchen Sink.  
The 7 Best Kitchen Sink Materials

7. Composite

Best for: All types of use; large contemporary and traditional kitchens Pros: More affordable than stone; no sealing required; wide range of styles Cons: More expensive than steel and solid surface sinks; can be damaged by extreme heat Price: $-$$ This blend of quartz dust and acrylic resins offers the appeal of stone for less—quality composite models go for between $200 to $400. Composite also provides a uniform look, which some people prefer to stone, and it comes in a wide spectrum of colors, sizes, shapes, and styles. Composite kitchen sinks are extremely durable and need no additional sealing. While it stands up to heavy-duty use, be mindful of exposure to extreme heat, which may crack or damage the surface.   Source: https://www.bobvila.com/articles/best-kitchen-sink-materials/  

Custom Home Building, Design

Buyer’s Guide: Drywall Anchors

Get the right drywall anchors to safely, sturdily hang artwork, shelves, and other items without damaging your walls

The Best Drywall Anchors for Safely Hanging Items Up

Photo: istockphoto.com

Drywall—comprised of compressed gypsum (a soft sulfite mineral)—creates wonderfully smooth walls. Yet insert a nail or screw into it and it’s likely to crumble, often resulting in the fastener working loose and the hung item falling to the floor. The solution is to use drywall anchors, which are designed to spread within or behind the drywall panel, creating pressure that locks the anchor in place. Before you pick up any old anchor, shop smarter by considering the support you need for the wall-mounting project at hand and selecting the type of drywall anchor—sold on their own or in sets with screws—to match it. There are four different types of drywall anchors, largely distinguished by the weight of items to be hung. Keep reading to understand what’s available and check out our picks for the best drywall anchors in each category.

Know the Holding Power You Need

Drywall anchors come in various designs, sizes, and holding power (maximum weight of an object you can safely hang). While manufacturers are not required to list their anchors’ holding power, many do, either on the package or in the included literature. Additionally, basic drywall anchor types are associated with a range of holding power (see individual anchor descriptions below). Always use an anchor with a holding power that meets or exceeds the weight of the item you want to hang.
The Best Drywall Anchors for Safely Hanging Items Up

Photo: istockphoto.com

Selecting the Right Size for Screws and Drill Bits

Drywall anchors can be purchased separately from the screws they hold in place, but it’s wise to buy anchors that come packaged with the correct size screws if you don’t have a wide variety of screws handy. If you prefer to purchase the anchors and screws separately, you’ll find the required screw size on the package. If the type of anchor you select requires a pre-drilled pilot hole, you will also find the corresponding drill bit size on the package.

Understanding the Types of Drywall Anchors


The Best Drywall Anchors for Safely Hanging Items Up

Photo: istockphoto.com

True to their name, expansion anchors spread to create a tight bond with the wall and are designed to hold lightweight items. The anchor’s shank (tapered end) is split in half. To install, a pilot hole is drilled in the wall, the anchor is fitted into the hole, and then a hammer is used to lightly tap the anchor head flush with the wall. When a screw is inserted into the anchor, the split ends of the shank spread, expanding and putting pressure on the inside of the drywall to hold it securely. Expansion anchors are:
  • Often made of plastic but may also be made of nylon or zinc-coated metal.
  • Affordable, averaging $.03 to $.20 per anchor, depending on size.
  • Easy to install and DIY friendly.
  • Able to hold between five and 25 pounds, depending on brand and size (larger anchors hold more weight).
  • Not suitable for use on ceiling drywall as downward pressure could cause the anchor to slip out.


Also called “self-drilling” or “self-tapping” anchors, threaded drywall anchors are made from hard nylon or metal and are able to hold heavier items. They feature sharp, pointed shanks that can be screwed into the wall without a pre-drilled hole by using a screwdriver or a screw gun. Once the anchor is in the wall, the screw is inserted, which forces the sides of the anchor to flare and wedge the anchor tightly against the drywall. They have the following attributes:
  • Holding power of 25 to 75 pounds, depending on size.
  • Self-drilling; no pilot hole necessary.
  • Cost $.25 to $.40 per anchor, depending on brand and size.
  • Easy to install with screwdriver or screw gun.
  • Not suitable for use on ceilings.


Known as “molly bolts” or simply “mollies,” these metal sleeve-type hollow wall anchors provide medium-weight holding power, but offer a unique feature—the ability to remove the screw and reinsert it if necessary in the future. Here’s how it works: A pilot hole is drilled into the drywall and then the anchor is inserted into the hole. The underside of the anchor’s head features sharp metal tips that pierce the drywall surface. When the screw is inserted in the anchor, each twist of the screw forces the shank of the anchor to compress (lengthwise) while it expands sideways. When correctly inserted, the screw can be removed from the anchor, which remains securely in the wall and then reinserted. This makes it handy if you’re replacing items in the same spot—such as toilet paper holders. These anchors:
  • Have a holding power of 25 to 55 pounds., depending on size.
  • Require a pre-drilled hole.
  • Have a permanently attached shank, but the screw can be removed.
  • May be used in ceiling drywall for lightweight items, such as smoke alarms.
  • Cost $.25 to $.40 per anchor, depending on brand and size.


When you need serious holding power, opt for toggle anchors, which come in a variety of sizes, designs, and materials, including metal and plastic.
The Best Drywall Anchors for Safely Hanging Items Up

Photo: istockphoto.com

Traditional metal toggle bolts are the strongest of the bunch, but they’re not the simplest to install because they require drilling a hole that’s approximately three times wider than the diameter of the bolt (necessary to insert the anchor). With these, the anchor features one or two bars (or wings) that fold flat against the bolt during insertion. Once inserted, a quick twist of the bolt loosens the wings, causing them to flare outward. As the bolt is tightened with a screwdriver, the wings draw inward to form a strong perpendicular brace along the backside of the drywall. The installation challenge comes in keeping the bolt centered in the hole while tightening it. It takes some practice and patience to get it right, but once you do you’ll be impressed by the strong holding power. It’s more likely that the wall itself will fail before the toggle bolt does. Winged plastic anchors (the new kids on the block) feature plastic “wings” that fold tightly together so the anchor can be inserted into a pre-drilled hole. Once the anchor is in place, a wand (included with the anchor) is pushed through the hole to expand the wings on the backside. A screw is then inserted, which draws the wings snugly against the back of the drywall. Toggle bolts at a glance:
  • Maximum holding power for metal toggles is 100 pounds, depending on size; plastic wing toggles have a holding power up to 20 pounds, depending on size.
  • Both metal and plastic toggles can be used on ceilings at 1/3 the holding power listed for walls, up to a maximum of 15 pounds. Drywall may pull away from ceiling joists at heavier weights.
  • Metal toggles can be difficult to keep level in the wall during installation.

Our Top Picks

Our top four drywall anchor picks consistently excel in home use and are favorites among DIY customers. Unless noted differently, holding powers listed are for standard, 1/2” thick drywall.
The Best Drywall Anchors for Hanging Medium to Heavy Items on a Wall

Photo: amazon.com

BEST EXPANSION ANCHOR: Qualihome Ribbed Plastic Drywall Anchor Kit ($10.99)

For reliable support in light-duty situations (up to 15 pounds), rely on the Qualihome Ribbed Plastic Drywall Anchor Kit. It comes with 201 pieces (100 pairs of anchors and screws), so you’ll have plenty of anchors on hand. The anchor shanks are split, allowing them to expand (with screw insertion) for snug attachment. Amazon buyers give this kit 4.5 out of five stars for ease of installation and for the included drill bit (no need to hunt for a bit in your toolbox). Available from Amazon.
The Best Drywall Anchors for Hanging Medium to Heavy Items on a Wall

Photo: amazon.com

BEST THREADED ANCHOR: TOGGLER SnapSkru Self-Drilling Drywall Anchors with Screws ($17.08)

Manufactured from glass-filled nylon, TOGGLER SnapSkru Self-Drilling Drywall Anchors are rigid enough and sharp enough to screw into drywall without a pre-drilled hole. Amazon buyers give these anchors 4.3 out of five stars, citing ease of use and hefty holding power, securely hanging items up to 45 pounds. The pack of threaded anchors contains 50 anchors and 50 screws. Available on Amazon.
The Best Drywall Anchors for Hanging Medium to Heavy Items on a Wall

Photo: amazon.com

BEST SLEEVE-TYPE ANCHOR/MOLLY BOLT: Glarks Heavy Duty Zinc Plated Steel Molly Bolts ($14.87)

For versatility in the molly bolt category, go with the Glarks Heavy Duty Zinc Plated Steel Molly Bolt Assortment Kit. It comes with 42 anchors in six sizes, and is intended for use on 1/2”, 5/8”, and 3/4” drywall (two anchor sizes for each drywall thickness). Made of zinc-plated carbon steel, the largest of these sleeve-type wall anchors will safely hold items up to 50 pounds when installed in 3/4” drywall. The smallest anchors hold up to 18 pounds in 1/2” drywall, and the medium-size anchors hold up to 25 pounds in 5/8” drywall. You’ll find these mollies suitable for hanging coat racks, mirrors, and other medium-weight items—no wonder reviewers gave them 3.8 out of five stars! Available on Amazon.
The Best Drywall Anchors for Hanging Medium to Heavy Items on a Wall

BEST TOGGLE ANCHOR: Hillman Group Toggle Bolt (pack of 50) ($12.47)

With a holding power of up to 55 pounds, it’s tough to beat Hillman Group Toggle Bolts for installing shelving and other medium-weight items. You can also use these toggles to hang items that weigh up to 13 pounds from the ceiling. Amazon buyers give Hillman Toggle Bolts 4.5 out of five stars for their exceptional strength, noting that they’re the “best anchors if you can’t find a stud.” Available from Amazon. Source: https://www.bobvila.com/articles/best-drywall-anchors/

Custom Home Building, Design
Fire pits are a hot commodity! These attractive additions can dress up a drab yard with mesmerizing flames while serving as a gathering place for afternoon barbecues, evening drinks, and late night s’mores. Before building a fire pit, however, you should become fully informed as to local regulations, construction requirements, and potential hazards. So study up here with these dos and don’ts so you won’t get burned!

DON’T build a fire pit without approval from local authorities.

Your local government, homeowners association, and house deed may impose restrictions on the size, location, material, and fuel type of home fire pits—or forbid them altogether—due to the potential for fire-related property damages. If your fire pit flouts these rules, you may be fined. Contact your municipality’s planning office and homeowner’s association, and review the deed for your house, to ensure that you comply with all restrictions and obtain any permits required for fire pit installation.

DO consider accessibility when choosing a fire pit size.

Building a fire pit yourself offers room for customization on every detail, size included. Local ordinances permitting, your fire pit should ideally measure between 36 and 44 inches wide (including the width of the walls) to accommodate multiple people around it while maintaining an intimate setting. Aim for a fire pit height of 12 to 14 inches from the base of the walls to the top of the walls if you want guests to be able to prop their feet on it while seated around it on standard 18-inch-tall dining-height patio chairs. Increase the pit height to 18 to 20 inches tall if you want to be able to comfortably sit directly on the edge of the pit.

DON’T position fire pits in hazard-prone zones with unfavorable winds.

Plan to install your fire pit on a patch of level ground in an open area of the yard that’s at least 15 feet from other residences and at least 10 feet from property lines, flammable structures such as wooden sheds, bushes, and trees. In addition, use the National Water and Climate Center’s Wind Rose tool to identify the prevailing wind direction in your location; you want to ensure that you won’t have smoke blowing into your home through open doors or windows.

DON’T use flammable or non-porous, water-retaining building materials.

Fire pits commonly consist of an inner wall, an outer wall, a “cap” (i.e., a flat tabletop-like surface around the opening at the top of the pit), and decorative stones or rocks in the center of the pit. The inner wall must be made of fireproof building materials, optimally fire brick; the outer walls should still be heat-resistant but can be made of traditional brick, stone, masonry blocks (consisting of brick, concrete, granite, etc.), concrete pavers, or even heat-resistant outdoor stucco or tile. Flagstone and crushed stone are ideal materials for the fire pit cap, and the stones in the center of the pit, respectively. No part of the fire pit should be made with flammable materials (e.g., plywood shipping pallets) or non-porous materials that hold water, such as pea gravel, river rocks, or compressed concrete blocks; these materials can trap steam and eventually explode. RELATED: How To: Build a Basic Backyard Fire Pit  
8 Top Tips for Building a Fire Pit

DO install a steel ring in the fire pit.

When building a fire pit, lining the innermost wall with a steel fire ring (available on Amazon from brands like Sunnydaze Decor) will prevent the wall material from drying out from regular exposure to the heat of the fire. As a non-combustible material, the steel will ward off heat and keep the wall itself from prematurely dehydrating and crumbling; this will preserve the looks and structural integrity of your fire pit longer.

DO consider fuel supply equipment and emissions when determining fuel type.

Ethanol, propane, and natural gas are all sound fire pit fuel options as they emit no smoke, sparks, or embers, and leave no ashes to clean up. Ethanol, the cleanest of all fuel types (it additionally burns without odor), must be supplied via an ethanol tank or tray and propane-fueled pits require a connection to a liquid propane tank. Natural gas-fueled fire pits have a more involved setup, however, as they require the gas company to install a supply line (do-it-yourself gas line installation isn’t recommended). While wood-burning fire pits require no gas lines, they kick up a high volume of smoke, sparks, and embers; call for frequent ash removal; and make large flames difficult to extinguish—all reasons why city planning departments commonly forbid them.  
8 Top Tips for Building a Fire Pit

DO factor in return on investment when weighing building costs.

While a basic fire pit costs $700 on average, prices run the gamut from $300 for a DIY install of a homemade fire pit, to $1,400 or more for a professional install of a pre-built fire pit. That said, fire pits are such a coveted architectural feature nowadays that you can expect to recoup 78 percent of your investment when you sell your home.

DO invest in fire safety gear.

If going forward with a fire pit installation, keep a fire blanket (a fire-retardant sheet usually made of fiberglass or Kevlar; available on Amazon from brands like Hot Headz) within reach to help smother the beginnings of a fire on nearby objects or people. Similarly, store a fire extinguisher in a nearby outdoor grill cabinet, shed, or garage. The extinguisher should be a multipurpose dry chemical model, which means it can effectively extinguish Class A (involving combustibles), B (involving flammable liquids), and C (electrical) fires. Source:https://www.bobvila.com/articles/building-a-fire-pit/  

We at Spectrum Building & Restoration want to express our gratitude and admiration for the brave and determined men and women who have served or are currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Thank you for the great sacrifices you have made to serve abroad and at home to defend our safety and liberty. We also recognize and appreciate the sacrifice and dedication of your families. We celebrate and honor you today—and every day.   A little History about Veterans Day: The United States Congress adopted a resolution on June 4, 1926, requesting that President Calvin Coolidge issue annual proclamations calling for the observance of November 11 with appropriate ceremonies.[2] A Congressional Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U.S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made November 11 in each year a legal holiday: “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day’ In 1945, World War II veteran Raymond Weeks from Birmingham, Alabama, had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans, not just those who died in World War I. Weeks led a delegation to Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, who supported the idea of National Veterans Day. Weeks led the first national celebration in 1947 in Alabama and annually until his death in 1985. President Reagan honored Weeks at the White House with the Presidential Citizenship Medal in 1982 as the driving force for the national holiday. Elizabeth Dole, who prepared the briefing for President Reagan, determined Weeks as the “Father of Veterans Day.”[4] source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veterans_Day