Welcome to Bob Vila


Weekend Projects: 5 Easy Ways to Build an Outdoor Movie Screen

Turn your backyard into the neighborhood drive-in this weekend with inspiration from five easy-to-make outdoor projector screens.

Like fireflies and fireworks, movies under the stars make for magically memorable summer nights. But if your town or city doesn’t already host nighttime screenings, you can bring the drive-in to your own backyard—minus the Hollywood budget. To inspire your DIY outdoor movie screen, scroll down to see five of our favorite designs, any of which you can build in one weekend. Get the popcorn ready, lay a blanket on the grass, and enjoy the double feature!

 

1. SLEEP UNDER THE STARS

photo: welivedhappilyeverafter.com

“And the Oscar goes to” white bed sheets for being the least demanding of all DIY outdoor movie screen materials. If you’ve got spare linens, follow the lead of We Lived Happily Ever After. Hannah can show you how she simply clipped a queen-sized, ironed-flat sheet to sturdy bamboo sticks set in the ground.

 

2. POST YOUR SCREENING HERE

photo: instructables.com

For a larger, sturdier screen, build a pair of wooden posts with help from the step-by-step directions available at Instructables. To stabilize the posts, secure each one with ropes and stakes. Finally, stretch a white tarp (or a blackout cloth) between the two, before locking the material in position with either staples or nails.

 

3. LEARN THE ROPES

photo: the2seasons.com

In a woodsy backyard, use the trees to create a wonderfully whimsical DIY outdoor movie screen. First, suspend a rope from one tree to its most conveniently positioned neighbor. Next, hang the “screen” from the rope. The 2 Seasons then took it step further, framing the projection area between wine-colored drapes.

 

4. PIN UP

photo: mybarefootfarm.blogspot.ca

Structural elements of your home may provide all the support needed for a DIY outdoor movie screen. Here’s a look at what Sam (from My Barefoot Farm) managed to build in her backyard. She attached her screen (a 10′ x 20′ tarp with steel pipe framing) to the vertical supports beneath the second-story deck.

 

5. PAINT A BIG PICTURE SHOW 

photo: backyardtheater.com

Avid movie-goers, take note: A DIY outdoor movie screen like this one would last long beyond this summer. Just paint one side of a plywood panel and support it from behind with a framework of pipe (galvanized steel or PVC). At the end of the season, disassemble it and store the parts in your basement, garage, or shed.


Bob Vila Radio: Homemade Remedies for Driveway Oil Spots

The next time your car drips oil onto your otherwise pristine asphalt driveway, try one of these reportedly effective cleaning methods—unlikely though they may sound.

Oil spots on asphalt driveways certainly don’t add to a home’s curb appeal. Ask ten people what remedies they recommend for removing oil stains from concrete, and you’re likely to get ten different answers.

How to Remove Oil Stains from Concrete

Photo: shutterstock.com

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Listen to BOB VILA ON CLEANING ASPHALT STAINS or read the text below:

Here are some of the most popular ways to remove oil stains from concrete:

• Granulated cat litter gets a lot of thumbs up. It’s especially effective if you cover the stain while it’s still fresh.

• Powdered laundry detergent mixed into a paste seems to work well if you spread it over the stain, let it sit for awhile, then scrub with a broom and rinse.

• Grease-cutting dish detergents coupled with a stiff broom are another strategy.

• Other people swear by full-strength bleach.

• Still others douse the stain with soda.

Lots of companies tout commercial asphalt cleaning products, but reviews are mixed. In many cases, they don’t seem to perform any better than the household remedies. And forget about using a driveway sealer to hide oil spots; the oil will just eat its way back to the surface.

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 60 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.


Bob Vila Radio: Mower Air Filters

You're not the only one working hard these days. Your lawn mower has been busy, too. To improve its performance and extend its life, remember to clean the machine's air filter.

With all the turf you’ve been trimming this summer, now’s a good time to give your mower some well-deserved TLC. That includes servicing the air filter. Clogged filters drastically reduce your mower’s efficiency and if neglected long enough, can damage the engine.

Cleaning Lawn Mower Air Filters

Photo: shutterstock.com

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Listen to BOB VILA ON MOWER AIR FILTERS or read the text below:

Air filters are usually located in square-ish compartments mounted to either the top or the side of the engine. There are two main types—foam and pleated paper. Foam filters can be cleaned; paper filters need to be replaced.

To clean a foam filter, first pull the wire off your spark plug, then unscrew the cover of the filter compartment and remove the foam. Give it a bath in kerosene, then soak it in clean engine oil. Squeeze out the excess oil and reposition the foam in the filter compartment, before finally screwing the cover back on.

Paper filters are even easier. Just remove the cover, toss the filter, and replace it with a new one.

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 60 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.


Thrift Store Savvy: 10 Treasure-Hunting Tips from a Seasoned Shopper

You don't need a second mortgage to piece together a stylish home interior with finds from your local thrift stores. Learn the secrets of successful secondhand shopping from an insider who's been there and back again.

Tips for Thrift Store Shopping

Photo: shutterstock.com

As the force behind the home decor business and DIY blog Miss Mustard Seed, Marian Parsons knows a thing or two about spotting treasure among other people’s castoffs. Thrift stores have long been a favorite hunting ground for collectors like Parsons, but in recent years many establishments wised up on the value of their vintage merchandise, resulting in higher price tags on anything old. Nevertheless, she reports, bargans still abound if you know how—and when—to look. Read on for her hard-earned advice.

1. Take your time.
Gone are the days when you could make a thrift store trip a one-stop shop, filling up the entire back of a pick-up with furniture, textiles, and trinkets. But if you’re willing to put in the time and visit the same shop casually but regularly, your purchases will add up to a collected home that you love and that fits your budget.

2. Find out about a store’s schedule.
Ask the store owner if there is a day of the week when sales are typically held, or a day of the week when new donations are rotated in. Parsons has found that Mondays and Tuesdays can be good times to shop, after yard sale leftovers are brought in on the weekend.

3. Buy within your ability to fix.
A low price tag on a piece of furniture might seem tempting, but consider the feasibility of rehabbing the piece before you buy it. If you’re not ready to tackle a full upholstery job, resist picking up that reading chair in need of a total overhaul. Start small with simple fixer-uppers before tackling anything with significant damage.

Thrifted Dishes for Bulk Pricing

Photo: Shutterstock.com

4. Look for bulk pricing.
When it comes time to clear shelf space, thrift stores often offer bulk pricing—for instance, ten cents apiece for all dishes or cups. Watch for these sales on the your favorite collectibles (Parsons’ penchant is white ironstone) to scoop up deals.

5. Be discerning.
Don’t buy things simply because they’re bargains; otherwise, your house will fill up very quickly with odds and ends. Instead, choose only items that speak to you.

6. Pack a measuring tape.
Keep this tool handy to determine whether a larger item would fit in your house—and in your car—before you buy. Many thrift shops have no-return policies, even if you’ve only taken your purchase as far as the parking lot before realizing it’s too large.

7. Bring cash.
Not all thrift stores accept credit cards, so make a quick stop at an ATM before heading out for a day of shopping.

8. Don’t haggle.
Thrift stores often send proceeds to charities, so haggling down prices is generally frowned upon. The only exception might be if you are buying multiple items, especially any large or bulky pieces whose purchase would clear out space in the shop. Even then, Parsons stresses, ask politely and be prepared to take “no” for an answer.

9. Visit stores in new places.
While regular excursions to your local thrift store can uncover gems, it’s also fun to peek into shops in other towns, especially when on vacation, to see a new selection of thrifted items. Plus, whatever you pick up while out of town doubles as a travel souvenir.

10. Shop with an open mind.
For Parsons, this advice is the key to finding real treasure in a thrift stores. Sure, it’s fine to enter a shop in search of a particular type of item, but it can be more rewarding to stumble upon a great piece you weren’t expecting. Keeping an open mind makes you much more receptive to seeing the potential in any given furnishing.


IKEA Headboard Gets a DIY Makeover

An IKEA shelf gets reinvented as a DIY tufted headboard in this bedroom makeover.

Who doesn’t love IKEA? It’s affordable, flat packs make it easy to transport, and a breeze to assemble (well, usually). But when your IKEA furniture’s charm no longer suits your style, Aniko at Place of My Taste proves that there’s no need to throw it out if you can reinvent it. And she definitely reinvented her IKEA furniture into a whole new DIY headboard that blew us away—completed in a few hours and for $28, no less. Take a look to see how she got from her IKEA before to her custom-made after.

Before and After IKEA Hack DIY Headboard

MATERIALS

- IKEA shelving unit (or piece of plywood)
- (2) 2×4 wood pieces (4-feet tall)
- drill and screws
- staple gun and staples
- batting (2-inches thick)
- fabric (to cover headboard)
- buttons
- hot glue gun

Materials for IKEA hack DIY headboard

STEP 1 

IKEA Hack DIY Headboard step 1

First of all, we took apart our shelving unit. 

STEP 2

Using the drill, we screwed the 2 x 4 wood pieces onto the back of the bed. We put one piece of long wood on each side of the bed.

IKEA DIY Headboard Step 2

Eww—it doesn’t look very pretty, but this is the back of the bed and it won’t be visible. 

STEP 3

Then we lifted the bigger piece and attached it together with 6-8 screws on each side. This is how it looked after the two pieces were screwed together. Nice and tall.

IKEA DIY Headboard tall

STEP 4

We wrapped the batting around the headboard, and stapled it to the back of the huge piece. If you would like to have nice and thick tufted headboard, double the batting. Make sure you pull the batting out completely straight on each side. 

STEP 5

Once this step is done, you can add your fabric.

I chose white for my project. I am not sure what is with me and white  lately, but lots of times I am leaning towards white when it comes to color choices…

The nice thing  about this headboard is that if I ever want to change the look of it, I could take off the fabric and staple a new one on.

I wrapped the fabric over the batting , pulled the fabric out on each corner to make sure it is not wrinkled, and as a final step I stapled it to the back of the board.

Staple Gun Upholstering DIY Headboard

STEP 6

We measured 9 spots for the buttons, using a tape measure, counting equal distance from each side.

Then using a staple gun, we stapled each spot (9) for the buttons.

IKEA DIY headboard with stapled buttons

STEP 7

We glued each button to the headboard with a hot glue gun. I was hesitant to glue with a hot glue gun, but I was hoping to see the buttons stay on. They did!

DIY Headboard Tufted Buttons

I think it turned out just beautiful.

IKEA DIY Headboard Final

Thanks for sharing, Aniko! To see how she made the herringbone lampshade or sunburst mirror pictured here, or to see even more DIY inspiration, visit Place of My Taste.


How To: Install a Deadbolt

The easiest and cheapest way to improve the security of your home is to install a deadbolt. With the right tools, even the average homeowner can get the job done with relative ease. Here's how.

How to Install a Deadbolt

Photo: shutterstock.com

Automated security systems are nice to have, but the easiest and least expensive way to improve the security of home is to install a deadbolt lock. Even a high-quality lockset isn’t enough to keep out an experienced burglar; you’re a lot better off with both a lockset and a deadbolt. Since you really do get what you pay for, it’s best not to scrimp here. You’ll save on installation, because it’s so easy to install a deadbolt, you can do the job yourself within a couple hours. Here’s how.

MATERIALS AND TOOLS:
- Deadbolt
- Drill/driver
- Phillips-head screwdriver
- Tape measure
- Speed square
- 1″ chisel
- Marking pencil
- 2-1/8″ hole saw
- 1″ spade bit

STEP 1
Determine the ideal location for the deadbolt. Typically, a deadbolt lock appears 6″ or 12″ inches above the key lock (roughly 44″ from the bottom of the door). With help from your tape measure, pick your spot and mark it on the side of the door (the part through which the bolt is going to extend). Now break out your speed square and pencil a straight line at the mark point; it should extend all the way across the door’s side. Next, again use the speed square, this time to help you continue that line onto the front and back sides of the door. You should end up with a single line that runs continuously, at uniform height, around the door.

How to Install a Deadbolt - Drilling Door

Photo: shutterstock.com

STEP 2
On each side of the door, mark the point 2-3/8″ or 2-3/4″ from the edge (the measurement depends on the length of your latch bolt; for specifics here, refer to the template provided by the manufacturer of your chosen lock). Meanwhile, on the edge of the door, mark the midpoint. The three marks you’ve made represent where you’re going to drill. First up is the hole for the lock cylinder. Having attached the 2-1/8″ hole saw to your drill, address the mark on the front of door. Rather than drill all the way through, go about an inch deep, then move over and drill through the other side. The result should be a clean, circular hole through which you can easily see the other side. Finish with the 1″ spade bit; drill through the marked point on the side of the door, continuing until this hole meets the other.

STEP 3
Choose the faceplate from among the lock parts supplied with your purchase. Match the hole in the faceplate with the hole you drilled on the door’s edge. While holding the plate in position, trace around it with your pencil, marking its silhouette. Having done so, use a 1″ chisel to create a 1/8″-deep mortise within the tracing. The faceplate and bolt are likely attached, so you must install both simultaneously. After confirming which is right side-up for the bolt, slide the bolt through the latch hole, bringing the faceplate flush with the edge of the door (assuming you’ve mortised correctly). Secure the plate with the mounting screws provided before moving onto the key cylinder. When sliding the cylinder into place through the larger hole on the face of the door, be sure to fit the tailpiece of the cylinder through the corresponding holes on the bolt. Once it’s correctly positioned, screw the cylinder onto the door. Then repeat with the other half of the cylinder: Slide it into the door, join it to the bolt, then screw it in.

STEP 4
The hard part is over. After locking and unlocking the mechanism a few times to test its functionality, activate the bolt and shut the door as far as it will go. On the doorjamb, mark the point where the bolt hits. Here, using the 1″ spade bit, drill a hole to accept the bolt. Now look over to the unused lock parts you have left; the strike plate should be among the last remaining. Fit it over the hole, then trace around it with your pencil. As you did for the faceplate in step 3, proceed to chisel out a 1/8″-deep mortise. Once finished, set the strike plate into the mortise, making it flush with the jamb, then secure it in place with screws.

Test the door to be certain that it’s working properly. Assuming it is, you can now rest easier, knowing the average burglar would have a much, much harder time gaining entry to your most valuable investment—your home.


Innovative Closet Organizing System Means Less Mess

Powerfully built, easily affordable, and designed in no-frills modern style, EZ Shelf lives up to its name, bringing customizable storage well within reach of just about anyone.

EZ Shelf - Garage

Photo: thebestclosetorganizer.com

Clutter and disorganization are familiar foes to most, but a new shelving system promises to tame the turmoil once and for all. Whether your problem area lies in the garage, bedroom closet, the home office or elsewhere, EZ Shelf expandable products provide a versatile solution for a fraction of what custom shelving costs. With EZ Shelf, just about anyone, even novice do-it-yourselfers, can incorporate truly useful, durable, and stylish storage into their homes, quickly and easily.

EZ Shelf - Bedroom

Photo: thebestclosetorganizer.com

Installation couldn’t be more straightforward, as each shelving unit expands (3 sizes are available from 40″-73″, 28″-48″, and 17″-27″), with no cutting, no complicated measuring, and no drilling (into drywall) required. “The EZ Shelf system takes less than a third of the time it takes to install conventional wire shelving, and has fewer than half the number of parts,” says David Jablow, President and CEO of EZ Shelf. “Contractors and handymen will be able to charge consumers reasonable prices, or if you feel comfortable with a screwdriver it is an easy one-person installation.”

EZ Shelf products also give you the power to customize your own solution, as each unit allows for multiple handy configurations. Simply choose whichever one corresponds best to your needs. And when you combine units, the possibilities are nearly limitless, allowing you to custom-tailor a storage system that fits perfectly, even in a laundry room, pantry with awkward dimensions, or in a mudroom where nothing else has seemed to work in the past.

Further, you can always be safe in the assumption that your EZShelf installation isn’t going to fail unexpectedly. Powerfully built from tubular steel, the product provides significantly more strength than conventional wire shelving. Whereas conventional wire shelves hold 60 or 80 pounds, EZ Shelf can handle more than twice that weight, having been rated to securely support at least 200 pounds.

EZ Shelf - Walk In

Photo: thebestclosetorganizer.com

“EZ Shelf expandable products are the first economical alternatives to wire shelving that’s come out in the past 50 years,” explains Jablow. “So many people don’t like wire shelves—they look cheap and are hard to clean. So we asked an Italian design studio to help design EZ Shelf so that it is aesthetically pleasing, with a nice modern look.” Offered in white and silver, two classic colors that never go out of style, EZ Shelf looks good no matter what your decorating scheme. And though European-designed, over 75% of the product components are made in the U.S.A. and backed by a lifetime guarantee—a definite plus for those seeking maximum value.

EZ Shelf offers a selection of helpful closet organizing hints on its website, where we found a special closet makeover video that perfectly demonstrates why EZ Shelf is gaining popularity. Watch it now!

This post has been brought to you by EZ Shelf. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.


Bob Vila Radio: Drilling Through Tile

So long as you've got a power drill and the right assortments of bits, drilling through tile is a task every average homeowner can handle. Read on to learn how it's done.

Planning to install a new towel rack or grab bar in your bathroom? That may mean drilling through ceramic tile. It’s not a difficult job, but you do need to go about it the right way.

Drilling Through Tile

Photo: shutterstock.com

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Listen to BOB VILA ON SCREWS IN CERAMIC TILE, or read text below:

Start by using tape to make an X over the spot where you want to drill. The tape will protect the surrounding tile and also help keep your drill bit from wandering. Insert a carbide-tipped tile bit into the chuck of your drill and tighten it up. Dip the bit into cutting oil, then wipe off the excess. Position your bit on your mark and using light pressure, drill through the tape and into the tile (be careful not to push too hard; that could crack the tile). Once you feel the bit exit the inner side of the tile, remove it gently. If your tile’s mounted on drywall, switch to a drywall bit and finish the job, again withdrawing the bit carefully. Insert a screw anchor into the hole and mount your towel rack or grab bar.

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 75 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.


The Do’s and Don’ts of Window Fans

Though not a substitute for air conditioning on the hottest summer days, you can stay cool and comfortable for much less money month to month by learning how to use window fans strategically.

How to Use a Window Fan

Photo: shutterstock.com

Air conditioning is responsible for as much as one third of the electricity consumed in summer. These are energy-thirsty appliances, and energy ain’t cheap. That’s precisely why, instead of blasting the AC continuously, many switch to window fans when possible. Though powerless against humidity, fans are much cheaper to run and on many warm-but-not-miserable days, they can make you considerably more comfortable. No, there isn’t really a wrong way to use a fan; any breeze helps. But these tips can help you use fans more effectively, reducing your reliance on air conditioning and lowering your summertime utility bills.

Here’s the key: To maximize air movement in the home, you need both in-blowing and out-blowing window fans. These are not the oscillating fans you might place on a desk or bedside table. If you do not own and would rather not buy a specially designed window fan, a standard box fan does the trick—but you’ve got to set the unit securely into the window opening. And at minimum, you need two window fans: one whose blades are drawing air into the home, another whose blades are pushing air out. It’s not rocket science, but it is basic building science. Keep these do’s and don’ts in mind as you plan and tweak your fan strategy.

How to Use a Window Fan - Front

Photo: shutterstock.com

DO

Strength in Numbers. The more window fans you have working, the better. Aim to set up an equal number of in- and out-blowing fans. If you have an odd number, configure the extra one to pull air in. That creates a slight positive pressure indoors that may help discourage bugs from entering the space.

Prime Placement. Position inward-blowing fans on the shady side of your house, outward-blowing fans on the sunny side. Do this no matter how many stories your house is. But if there are multiple floors, the ground-level fans should pull air in, while the upper-level fans should push rising warm air out.

Size Matters. If you have a choice, always opt for the largest-size fans that can fit in your windows. Whether by fabric window treatments or panels of plywood, try to block the open-air cavities on either side of the fan unit (specially designed window fans come with integrated seals for this exact purpose).

The Stack Effect. Leverage what’s known as the stack effect. After sunset, set the ground-level fans to bring in cool night air, while trusting the upper-story fans to expel warm air. In the morning, when the house is at its coolest, remove the fans and shut the windows. The insulation in most modern houses can retain cool air for hours. Once the sun sets, re-open the windows and start your fans up again.

DON’T

The Nose Knows. Avoid situating in-blowing fans near waste bins or parking areas (your driveway included). That way, you won’t invite in unpleasant odors and toxic exhaust fumes.

Ups and Downs. Cooling with fans can lead to wide fluctuations in temperature, and in some cases such extremes can damage antique furniture or musical instruments made of wood. To be on the safe side, closely monitor items like this for signs of a problem.

There are always going to be days when air conditioning strikes you, not so much as an optional luxury, but more like a bare necessity. On other days, though, you may be able to get by just fine with the help of window fans, particularly if you position them strategically throughout your home. Stay cool out there!


How To: Mix Concrete

Even if your only experience with the stuff has been to walk upon it, you can mix concrete successfully on your first attempt by following these simple, fool-proof steps.

How to Mix Concrete

Photo: shutterstock.com

Everyone knows how concrete looks and that it lasts for years and years. What you may not have realized is that preparing a batch of the stuff is basically a “just add water” affair. Even if you’ve never done it before, you can mix concrete in under an hour. Of course, there’s more to working with concrete than simply mixing the material. But being able to do successfully is the first step towards building something to stand the test of time. Once you’re familiar with the technique, a bevy of DIY projects in and around the home fall squarely within your range of capabilities. These include creating a walkway, a durable countertop, or a stylish weather-resistant planter. To be on your way toward such rewarding home improvements, follow the simple steps to learn how to mix concrete like a pro.

MATERIALS AND TOOLS:
- Concrete mix
- Wheelbarrow
- Watering can
- Plastic cup
- Shovel (or garden hoe)

STEP 1
Concrete mix usually comes in a paper bag, on the front of which you’ll find the yield of the package listed in cubic feet. Know that for smaller DIY projects, you are going to need the entire bag. For larger projects (e.g., patios), you’ll need all that and then some. Several full bags are likely to be in order, though depending on the task at hand, you may choose not to mix all the concrete needed at one time. If you’re confused about how much concrete to buy, use a quantity calculator like this one from Quikrete. Whether you need the entire bag or only a portion of it, place the package into your wheelbarrow, cut it open, and by lifting the bag gently upwards, empty out as much of its contents as called for by the job. On a windy day, do this step indoors, perhaps in the garage, to avoid making a mess.

How to Mix Concrete - Texture

Photo: shutterstock.com

STEP 2
Having filled up your watering can in preparation for the project, pour a little of the liquid into the center of the mounded concrete mix. Continue pouring in water little by little until you’ve added the amount specified in the manufacturer’s instructions. Be careful not to put in too much water; you can always add more, but you can’t take any out. And remember that if you only need a portion of the concrete mix—half, for instance, or a quarter—then you must adjust the “recipe” accordingly. Worried about using too much or too little? Allay your uncertainty by employing a kitchen measuring cup to fill the watering can with a carefully pre-measured volume of water.

STEP 3
Combine the concrete and water, working the material in a back-and-forth motion, using either a shovel or garden hoe. The goal here is to evenly distribute the water across the powder. If you’ve used water conservatively, you may find that as the mixture stiffens, it appears dry and crumbly. In that case, add more water until you’ve achieved a relatively smooth, moldable consistency, with no standing puddles.

STEP 4
Test your concrete with the “slump” test. Here’s an easy way to do it. First, cut the bottom off a plastic or paper cup. Next, shape the container into a cone. Scoop up enough concrete to fill the cone, then empty the cone onto a flat surface. If the concrete collapses to about half the height of the cone, perfect—you’re ready to go. If the concrete loses none of its height—that is, if it doesn’t slump at all—go back and add some more water. If the concrete collapses considerably farther than half the height of the cone, you’ve added too much water and must compensate with additional mix (or in a pinch, dry sand can be used).

STEP 5
Your wheelbarrow should now be filled with usable concrete. Move it to wherever you’re going to be working. Meanwhile, leave any tools that have touched concrete (e.g., your shovel) in a bucket of water. That way, the concrete won’t set on the tool, and you’ll have the opportunity to clean it properly later on. To keep your wheelbarrow spic and span, aim to empty empty and clean it as soon as possible. Once the concrete sets, it’s going to be mighty difficult, if not impossible, to remove. Of course, strength and durability are selling points for concrete, but now that you’re working with the stuff, you are likely to find that you see concrete and its characteristics from a fresh perspective.