12 Months of Home Improvements

I’ve now been in my house for two years and can proudly say I have started and finished many projects. I confess, many of these projects …

I’ve now been in my house for two years and can proudly say I have started and finished many projects. I confess, many of these projects were must-dos — after all you can’t go without a shower, right? Now that the must-dos are compete (for the time being, fingers crossed) I’m anxious to get to those somewhat pesky improvements that I’ve managed to ignore. Setting a goal of completing one project per month seems realistic to me. We’re not talking about full renovations; just those silly little things that make you cringe every time you walk by but never really make time to do. Just think, by the time it’s 2013 you’ll be home (repair)-free. Don’t forget to take before and after pictures!
My Year of Home-Improvement Goals

  • Replace chandelier in dining room (check)
  • Paint kitchen trim (complete after two years!)
  • Install ceiling fan in guest room
  • Build a pull-out, rolling drawer for the pots and pans
  • Paint the wrought-iron railing on front steps
  • Sand and repaint mantle
  • Paint one wall downstairs an unexpected color
  • Move perennials around to have proper sun/shade
  • Finish brick edging in front garden
  • Plant small herb garden on the porch
  • Re-caulk tub and fixture in bathroom
  • Replace old heat vents downstairs

How to Replace a Ceiling Fixture

  1. Turn off the power source at your electrical box (be sure to test the switch before you begin work).
  2. Remove the bulb(s) from the old fixture.
  3. Unscrew the old fixture base and have your assistant hold it away from the ceiling so you’re able to disconnect the wiring.
  4. Remove the electrical tape or wire nuts from the black (power) wires, the white (neutral) wires and green (grounding) wire. Remove the old mounting unit from the ceiling. This step should allow you to completely remove old fixture.
  5. Attach the mounting unit that comes with your new fixture to the ceiling.
  6. Wrap the grounding wire to the ground screw on the mounting bracket.
  7. Using the wire nuts, connect the wires from the new fixture to the corresponding wires inside the electrical box — black-to-black, white-to-white — secure with electrical tape.
  8. Push connected wire slack up into the ceiling.
  9. Raise and position the new base plate (the piece of the fixture that sits flush with the ceiling) and secure.
  10. Insert bulb.
  11. Turn the power back on and voila!

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