The Do It Yourself Trend and DIY Books

Do it yourself or do-it-yourself (DIY) is the phrase used for methods of installing, building, modifying, or repairing something without the aid of trained professionals. DIY is often termed as a form of “behavior” in which individuals who are amateurs engage into activities that only professionals perform. DIY behavior is often triggered by certain motivations such as economic benefits (saving money on professional work), lack of immediate available professionals within the area, need for customization, or the need to learn a new craft or empowerment. Do-it-yourself can be learned by reading DIY magazines or reading DIY books sold in bookstores or online. No less than 4 websites carry the name “do it yourself” or “DIY” either on .com or .org domains. Historically, many do it yourself instructions in stone tablets and parchments can be traced as far back as ancient Greece, ancient Egypt, and during the Roman Empire.

However, the term do-it-yourself, though finding regular proliferation in the 18th and 19th centuries, began to be used in 1912 to describe people who prefer to do home improvements and construction on their own. By the 1950’s, the term came into common usage in reference to an emerging trend of people undertaking small crafts, construction projects, creative and recreational crafts, and home improvement for cost-savings. The growth of do-it-yourself home improvement really began picking up in the 1970’s. This trend was spurred by the lack of professional home improvement companies in suburban and localized areas. Another reason for the trend was the need to renovate many suburban homes from the 1950’s and 60’s that was beginning to fall into disrepair. Since the 1950’s, many newspapers and science magazines began publishing home improvement and creative craft DIY projects.

By the 80’s and 90’s, DIY magazines, television programs, and even radio shows were proliferating all over the country, even with the increasing number of home improvement companies. Today, many DIY websites cater even to specific DIY subjects such as DIY carpentry, DIY welding, and DIY masonry. DIY instructional and tutorial videos on YouTube has furthered increased the proliferation of DIY home improvement trends.   Compared to the internet however, DIY books have a slight advantage. For instance, a book can be left nearby, always ready to be opened for reference. While the DIY work is going on, the book can be handy nearby for quick verification. The book can then be put away after use and easily retrieved later without any powering up or web searching. Of course, even if the book falls off your work table, you just pick it up and dust if off. If that happens to your laptop, things might be a little different.

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Taking Care of Your Drain Spouts and Extended Downspouts

Anything underground like a basement attracts water like a magnet attracts iron filings. Keeping your gutters and downspouts clean and making sure you maintain the grading in your yard will break up that magnetic attraction. More important, it will help keep your basement dry. Even with a good gutter system installed, you need to take care of the drainage spout system. If needed, you can install extended downspouts. A longer downspout is in order to avoid water seeping through the foundation of your home. Fortunately, extending the downspout is an easy and simple remedy.

Check the Attachment Points

Make sure the gutters are firmly attached. A loose or broken fastener can change the slope and prevent the water from draining out of the troughs.

Seal the Joints

Sectional gutters need to have the seams resealed with caulk or a sealant specially designed for gutters.

Clean the Channel

Gutters can plug up with leaves, seeds, and needles from nearby trees, so it’s important that you keep them clean. Use a hose or a pressure washer to clear them out at least once a year, or more if there are lots of trees.

Protect Your Windows

Rain coming down on your house doesn’t just hit the roof. Some run down the sides and into your window wells. Covers will keep this water out of the wells, and stop it from soaking into the ground.

Extend the Downspout

Purchase a new length of downspout pipe that matches your downspout’s appearance. Measure the diameter of your existing downspout to make sure that you get the right size. If the area where you will be placing your extension rarely gets foot traffic, you can add a simple extension of downspout pipe. Use a hacksaw to cut a length from the new section of downspout pipe. Six to 8 feet is probably a good length, provided enough room exists. Attach this piece to the existing downspout and use a galvanized gutter elbow to attach it securely.

Use a Splash Block

If you decide to use a splash block, place it underneath the downspout. Splash blocks help to direct the water onto the lawn and away from the house. You can decide to place a permanent splash block underneath the downspout, but a removable downspout allows you to remove it if necessary.

Attach a Roll-Up Sleeve

For areas with a lot of foot traffic, a roll-up sleeve placed at the end of your existing downspout will sufficiently extend it to allow for drainage away from the home. Roll-up sleeves are perfect for those areas that need to remain uncluttered and free for foot traffic. Roll-up sleeves fit snugly on the end of your downspout. When it rains, the sleeve unrolls to allow the gutter and downspout to channel the water away from the roof and foundation of your home. Once it has stopped raining and the water has stopped draining from your roof, the sleeve automatically rolls back up again.

Install a Hinged Elbow

If you install a swing-up elbow to attach your new downspout extension, then you can flip it up and out of the way. When it rains, simply flip the downspout back to the ground to allow the rain to drain away from the home. You can allow the downspout to remain on the ground during any time that the area is not going to be used.

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