Do It Yourself: Fix a Hole in the Wall

Just about every homeowner at some point will have a hole in the wall that needs repair. Repairing a hole in the wall can be inexpensive and easy.

The whole process should only take about 30 to 45 minutes but will need to be done over the course of a couple days.

Follow these instructions and you will be well on your way to your wall looking like new.

You will need:

• Sandpaper
• Putty knife
• Drywall patching compound (spackle or plaster)
• Wall hole patch
• Wet sponge or spray bottle
• Wall texture spray
• Paint
• Paintbrush


1. Clear and remove loose drywall around the hole. Look inside and around the edges of the hole for pieces that are still attached.

2. Smooth the edges around the hole to create a surface the drywall patching compound can adhere to.

3. Remove the backing paper from the sticky side of the wall patch. Apply the sticky side of the patch around the edges of the hole, leaving at least a ½” on each side of the hole. Smooth the edges of the patch around the hole.

4. Apply the patching compound with a putty knife liberally around the edges of the wall patch. Work your way in from the edges before getting to the middle of the wall patch.

5. Don’t finishing covering the rest of the hole until the compound is dry (about 15-20 minutes). This allows the compound to partially dry so that the wall patch does not move when applying patching compound to the center of the patch.

6. Apply compound until the entire wall patch is covered. Smooth out as much as possible. The patch will still be sanded so it doesn’t need to be perfect. Allow to dry overnight.

7. Sand until smooth making sure the edges are even with the rest of the wall.

8. Wipe the area down with a wet cloth and allow it to dry for 10-15 minutes.

9. Paint as needed.

Your wall won’t look exactly like it did before but it will be close.

Keep the Invasive Pests Away Naturally with These Tips

planting flowersWe all want our yard to look perfect, or at least better than the neighbor’s. But taking care of the yard takes a lot of work and many of us come to depend on harsh weedkillers or insect deterrents to keep the yard looking pristine. What many don’t know is that there are other, more eco-friendly options that will keep the pests at bay. Better yet, many of these solutions are easily made from household items. Follow these tips to keep your yard looking great without filling the ground and air with chemicals.

Killing weeds

What is a weed? Ralph Waldo Emerson lovingly describes a weed as “a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” While this may be true, it doesn’t mean we have to let them take over our grass each year. Weeds are invasive because they spread–quickly–and kill off the plants and grasses we want in their place.

To combat weeds there’s no need for harsh chemicals that harm your yard and break your wallet. Instead, try diluting some white vinegar with water and pouring it on the weeds. This should take care of most of the weeds. However, the vinegar will drastically change the pH of your soil, so you don’t want to rely on this for the rest of the season. The next time you see a weed popping up, pour some boiling water directly on it. It will kill the weed but keep your soil healthy so your grass or flowers can keep growing normally.

Insect deterrent

Having bugs in your yard is a good thing. They’re part of the natural ecosystem that helps maintain your soil and pollenate your plants. Sometimes, however, insects can become invasive and destructive to the vegetation in your yard. If you notice beetles eating all of your plants’ leaves, dilute some plain Dawn dish soap with water and spray it onto the infected leaves. The soap won’t harm your plants but it will drive the beetles crazy, sending them off to someone else’s yard.

Nature has its own insecticides that few of us take advantage of. Plant marigolds, for example, around the perimeter of your property to deter scores of insects and other pests from ever entering your yard. See this helpful list for many other pest controlling plants.

Bug Repellant

We’ve talked a lot about protecting your yard from invasive pests. But what about protecting yourself? Whether it’s pesky flies or biting mosquitos, there are many natural ways to keep the bugs away when you’re out in the yard.

Most effective commercial insect repellants contain DEET, a strong smelling chemical insecticide. We’ve all heard about the dangers of DEET, which was developed by the U.S. Army in the 1940s for use in warfare. The chemical compound has been approved and re-approved for use by the EPA since then, but studies have raised questions of its safety. Many people object to using DEET based on its potent smell alone. So, what are the alternatives?

Many have taken the bug spray conundrum into their own hands, mixing various herbs and essential oils to keep the bugs away. Check out these recipes and let us know which one works for you!

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180-A River St,

Waltham, MA 02453






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Saving Energy Suggestions

With a bit of preplanning and working closely with your architect and builder, it is easy and efficient to incorporate eco-friendly, money saving methods and materials into your home building plans.


Throughout North America, spring frost heave and subsequent settlement can cause substantial structural damage to a home. Many savvy builders avoid this potential situation by installing frost-protected shallow foundations (FPSF), which raise frost depth by directing the home’s heat loss back to the foundation.

Pre-Cast Insulated Wall Panels

Aesthetically appealing and thermally efficient, pre-cast wall panels use concrete and insulating foam to deliver superior insulation values for enhanced thermal efficiency. Moisture-resistant, mold-free, non-combustible and ultra-durable, pre-cast wall panels provide excellent insulation and soundproofing through the walls while providing a home interior free from irritating outside noise. The neighbor’s barking dog or after midnight street traffic no longer prevents a good night’s rest.

CarbonCast Insulated Wall Panels and CarbonCast Insulated Cladding are popular green products that will provide stellar insulation, enhance the value of your home and provide decades of quiet. The CarbonCast line of commercial products includes CarbonCast High-Performance Insulated Wall Panels, CarbonCast Insulated Architectural Cladding, and CarbonCast Double Tees.

Pre-Assembled Structural Insulated Panels

Now a staple of the green home construction industry, pre-assembled structural insulated panels, commonly known in the trade as SIPSs, replace conventional framing materials and methods and offer greater energy efficiency and sound-damping properties. They differ from pre-cast insulated wall panels in they do not contain concrete.

SIPS are manufactured from polystyrene foam sandwiched between oriented strand board to provide insulation, framing, and exterior sheathing all in one piece. Employed in roof, wall and floor construction, SIPs provide greater energy efficiency than insulation placed in stud walls; offering an R-value improvement of 15 to 40 percent.

Incorporating Energy Saving Products And Practices With Smart Home Technology

The positioning and layout of your new home can have a major impact on energy efficiency and operational costs. The strategic location of operational skylights and savvy window placement helps improve natural ventilation, reduce heating and air conditioning use and captures the warmth of the sun during cold winter days.

Low-emissivity window coating, know as low-e, employs a thin metallic coating on window glass that permits the majority of the sun’s short-wave (light) radiation to enter the room, while blocking greater than 90 percent of long-way (heat radiation). Low-e window coatings boost a home’s R-value and reduce its U-factor resulting in an overall energy savings.

Smart home technology allows operational skylights, wind turbines, and windows equipped with rooftop monitors to passively lower energy bills and increase occupant comfort. With a fast click on an app on your smartphone, tablet or laptop you can turn down the heat, turn on the air conditioning, close the blinds and draw the drapes, control interior, and exterior lighting, activate the attic fan, warm up the hot tub, activate the alarm system, program dishwashers and laundry appliances to run at off-peak times when rates are low, water the lawn, or program your entire heating and cooling system to automatically respond to room occupancy, preset temperature preferences and sleep schedules.

Coping With Old Man Winter

Heat tape with remote/automatic temperature controls installed under sidewalks, patios and driveways eliminate the need for winter snow removal. Just think of all the hours and aching backs you can avoid with this wise trick. If you typically pay for someone to shovel you out all winter, it won’t take but a couple of winters to pay for the inclusion of this feature. If geothermal is an option, pipes installed before the concrete is poured can warm the garage floor, basement and all exterior areas that require snow removal. Again, all electronic functions are easily controlled remotely with a smart home technology app on your mobile device.

Thermostatically controlled heat tape installed along the ridgelines of roof segments and in conjunction with rain guttering will keep roofs free of roof damaging snow accumulations and prevent dangerous icicles from forming. Installing heat tape is a cheap fix for a big problem.