THE LIBRARY SHELF: The Joy and Pride of DIY Projects | Local columnists


DIY projects! I love them. I’ve done so much, from removing carpet and laying laminate flooring to painting the interior of the house. Not only do I like to say “I did that”, but I like working with my family. Depending on the project, I may take on a supporting role and let someone else be the main handyman.

When my mom and I replaced the flooring in the house, I tore up the carpet and helped her install the wood laminate flooring. I would start in the corner of a room with a pair of pliers and start pulling the carpet until everything is in place. It worked great, except I had large rolls of carpet that I then had to move myself. After the first immovable piece, I started cutting it into smaller sections by pulling it up. I’m sure there was a better way, but it worked for me in the end. Removing the sticky strips was the least fun part as I had to crawl on my hands and knees the whole time. Laying the new flooring was a lot of fun! It didn’t fit as easily as I thought it would, but it wasn’t that hard either. And it looked great after I finished!

A few library books that can help with flooring installation include:

• “The Complete Guide to Flooring” by Black and Decker (690 COM) – Need to plan your new floor? This guide provides inspiration and instructions for removing old flooring, repairing subflooring and installing various types of flooring.

• “The Quick & Easy Home DIY Manual” by Matthew Weber (643.7 WEB) – This one is great because it covers so many types of home DIY projects.

• “Carpentry for Dummies” by Gene Hamilton (649 HAM) – While this book covers several carpentry projects, there is an entire section on laying prefinished wood flooring.

My mother and I also painted the walls of our house when we moved in. The pieces were painted in varying shades of green, teal, sea foam, and even dark forest green. We were so overwhelmed with the colors that we opted for completely opposite and neutral colors: sand walls and dark brown moldings. My grandmother and my cousin came to help me paint, and I liked having them to talk to while we worked. Before painting, it’s good to be inspired. Fortunately, the library has several titles to inspire and instruct. A few that I have found useful are:

• “1001 ideas for color and paint” by Emma Callery (698.14 CAL) – The title really says it all!

• “House Beautiful: 500 Makeovers, Great Ideas for Quick Changes” (747 HOU) – Provides lots of great ideas!

• “500 Kitchen Ideas: Style, Function and Charm” by Dominique DeVito (747.7 DEV) – Includes decorating examples for color, flooring, lighting and more from the editors of Country Living magazine.

Of course, the best part (apart from seeing completed projects) is planning everything out. I love going to the stores, browsing the internet and, of course, flipping through books for ideas. Some future projects I have in mind are raised garden beds and a craft cabinet. I want to make raised garden beds from cinder blocks with walkways in between so I can sit on a rolling stool and do some gardening without bending over and crawling. I haven’t quite decided what kind of craft cabinet I want, but I know I want to design it for all the crafts and hobbies I have.

If you’re anything like me, sometimes you can get ahead of yourself. I will often choose an idea, launch into the realization of said idea, then realize halfway through that I should have done some research. A useful distinction when looking for DIY books in the library is that most home repair books are in the 600s, 640s (home management), and 690s (building and construction). Most of the best inspiration books are usually found in the interior design section, which is in the 700s, or 747s, to be more precise.

To all my DIY friends, have fun, don’t get discouraged, and the next time you need some advice or inspiration, come to the library!

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