Category: Other Rooms

Genius! A Space-Smart Drying Rack Hack

Save money and space while extending the life of your clothes with this simple laundry hack! How can you resist?

DIY Drying Rack - Wall-Mounted and Open


Americans may not agree on political issues, reality television, or eating their vegetables, but we do share one sentiment: We hate doing laundry. A recent PopSugar poll put laundry in the top-three tier of most-hated household chores. Washing and drying clothes in a small space makes this must-do even more of a hassle, as DIY blogger Melissa of Two It Yourself was quickly learning. It was hard to be happy about the laundry closet in her new place when her old house had a whole room for laundry, complete with plenty of space for folding. Melissa knew her laundry situation was getting desperate when, after washing a load of delicates, she was “forced to to hang all of [her] unmentionables all over the door knobs on the second floor.” So, using her old wooden drying rack, she crafted herself an ultra-slim, wall-mounted version.

The magic of the retractable rack is simple: Like nesting tables or a desktop that folds down, it expands only when needed. When your clothes are finished drying, it folds back up. And when it’s closed, the rack extends only an inch or two from the wall. Because it never touches the ground, this DIY rack saves floor space and sanity!

If you’re in need of a quick and functional solution like Melissa, begin by turning a standard drying rack on its side. Starting at the bottom, pull out the bottom four dowels and and four legs by hand, one at a time. You’ll then use a jigsaw to shorten the bottom two front legs, leaving the two back legs long for securing to the wall with plumber’s tape. The rest of the rack stays as is and pulls out at eye level so you can drape delicates over the remaining dowels. For detailed diagrams and instructions on cutting and mounting the drying rack, check out Two It Yourself‘s full tutorial. Even if you’re not short on space, a functional drying rack is well worth having—not only for items that require hang drying, but also because going pioneer-style once in a while saves you some bucks on your electric bill.

FOR MORE: Two It Yourself

DIY Drying Rack - Wall-Mounted and Closed


Boost Laundry Room Efficiency in 3 Steps

A cluttered space and neglected appliances can cut down on your laundry room’s productivity and possibly create a household hazard. Follow our instructions for proper maintenance to keep your laundry room as safe and efficient as possible.

Laundry Room Tips - Washer and Dryer


It’s one of those little ironies: The laundry room often gets next to no TLC, even though we rely on it for the care and cleaning of so many of our other possessions. In addition to being the hub for dirty clothes, laundry rooms also act as a catchall for everyday items, which can quickly lead to a disorganized space. But laundry room clutter doesn’t just affect the room’s aesthetic; it can also impair the functionality of your appliances and lead to some real safety hazards. Here are some guidelines to help ensure that your laundry appliances and the space itself are in tip-top shape.

Laundry Room Tips - Cleaning


Get Organized 
Take note of all the nonessentials that have gradually accumulated in your laundry area and dispose of what’s not useful. For instance, if you’re collecting an Everest-like pile of rags, keep only enough to fill a small grocery bag and pitch the rest. Consider how you actually live, and not the special, sometime-in-the-future circumstances.

After you’ve removed the obvious excesses, evaluate your stash of cleaning supplies. There’s a reason household chemicals are labeled with so many warnings. Minimize the danger by keeping only what you use, and trashing any products that have passed their expiration date. Organize what remains on shelving or in cabinets, being careful not to store reactive chemicals, such as ammonia and bleach, near each other. Also, be aware that flammable liquids must never be kept near a gas-fired appliance, such as a water heater, boiler, or furnace.

Check Up and Clear Out
Today’s washers and dryers are so user-friendly that homeowners often forget that they, like any other heavy-duty machine, need at least occasional—if not regular—maintenance. Proper upkeep will be rewarded with excellent performance, a longer product lifespan, and even peace of mind: According to the National Fire Protection Association, one out of every 22 house fires starts in the laundry room. But it doesn’t take much time or energy to stay safe. Here’s what to do.

First, carefully inspect the washing machine hoses—both the hot and cold inlet hoses and the drain hose—for signs of wear. If they’re rubber, consider swapping them for more durable, braided-metal hoses. You should also consider equipping the drain hose with a strainer to keep debris from clogging the outflow. The component most likely in need of attention is the gasket around the washer door; its rubber needs to be intact and flexible to form a proper seal, so keep an eye out for cracks or tears. Depending on the age of your appliance, you may be able to find a suitable replacement at your local hardware store or home center. If not, contact the manufacturer.

When it comes to the clothes dryer, you already know the lint trap needs to be cleaned after each use. To remove stubborn lint, try using either a damp cloth or fabric softener sheets. Rinsing with warm water helps, too. Next, clear the exhaust by disconnecting the hose from behind the appliance and vacuuming out the buildup. To do a thorough job, consider purchasing a dryer vent cleaning kit—ideally one with a rotary brush that extends up to 12 feet. If your exhaust hose is made of either flexible plastic or foil, don’t hesitate to replace it with rigid or flexible metal ducting. Metal ducts have smooth interiors that resist the clogs that create so many problems, including fires.

Wash the Washer
Believe it or not, the washing machine needs to be cleaned every so often, particularly if you own pets. When the interior drum is completely dry, vacuum using the brush attachment and then wipe down the walls. Residue from detergent and fabric softeners can accumulate over time, which can result in performance issues—and a foul odor. To combat this problem, periodically run the empty washer with a cup of white vinegar or liquid chlorine bleach instead of detergent.

Finally, check the filters that sit where the hot and cold water inlet hoses meet the washing machine—you may discover dirt and limescale that need to be removed. To clean these filters, first unplug the washer and turn off its water supply. Next, disconnect the inlet hoses and, with a careful twist, remove the filters. After a soak in white vinegar, they should emerge good as new. Rinse them in cold water, put them back in place, reconnect the lines, and restore the water supply.

You should notice a performance improvement, but that won’t be the only payoff—with this little bit of regular maintenance, you can also expect your washer and dryer to last longer and cost less to run. Now, with your laundry area decluttered and your washer and dryer cleaned up and humming along, resolve to keep this hardworking space organized in the future for a safer, more-efficient laundry room.

Bob Vila Radio: The Return of Murphy Beds

It was in the early 1900s that William Lawrence Murphy invented the fold-away bed that still bears his name. In recent years, the design has improved by leaps and bounds, becoming a convenient, space-saving solution for a home of any size.

If you need an extra bed in your abode but don’t have the space for an additional bedroom, why not choose a Murphy bed?


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Listen to BOB VILA ON MURPHY BEDS or read the text below:

Murphy beds are great space-savers, helping single rooms to perform multiple functions. For example, with a Murphy bed, an office or den can double as a small bedroom.

Hinged to the wall on one end, a Murphy bed can be stored upright when not in use. The mattress is attached to the bed, usually with straps, to keep it in place during storage. When you’re ready to use the bed, built-in springs and counter-balancers help you lower it into place.

Since the early models, numerous options have been introduced, such as integrated shelves and lighting. Some recent models also give you the option of hinging the side of the bed, not the end of it, to the wall. And if you need bunk beds, there are options for that too.

If you do decide to go the Murphy bed route, be sure you get a well-built model counterbalanced to operate smoothly. That way, you won’t end up spending the night under the bed rather than in it!

Bob Vila Radio is a 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day carried on more than 186 stations in 75 markets around the country. Click here to subscribe, so you can automatically receive each new episode as it arrives—absolutely free.

Now You Need Only 1 Remote—Your Cell Phone

Rather than put up with the chaotic gaggle of remote controls on your coffee table, you can switch to using a single sleek device (hint: it's probably in your pocket right now)!

Blumoo Universal Remote


Though a half dozen remote controls clutter your coffee table at any given time, doesn’t it always seem like the one you need is nowhere to be found? With a new smart home product, the Blumoo Universal Remote, you can once and for all eliminate the unsightly arsenal of clickers bringing down the look of your living room or den. The quietly revolutionary Blumoo and its companion app manage to pack the power of all your many different remotes into a single device—your smartphone. If you’re like me and always carry your phone all the time, you’ll never again need to go hunting in the sofa cushions; the remote is in your pocket!

Blumoo Universal Remote - Companion App


It’s impressive technology. Although it doesn’t work for every television, stereo amplifier, and DVD player in the history of electronics, Blumoo recognizes an ever-expanding group of more than 200,000 models. Once you’ve downloaded the free Blumoo app, you can then begin to use your iPhone or Android mobile device to perform the most useful functions of your regular remotes—switching gear on and off, for instance, or turning the volume up and down—from up to 150 feet away. On the app, you can even scan local TV listings and take advantage of an option that enables you to create a single-screen custom remote for all your A/V equipment.

Blumoo Universal Remote - Device Close-up


Another neat trick Blumoo can do: So long as you hook it up to your stereo system, you can stream music from your mobile device to your speakers. The necessary RCA cable comes with your purchase. Of course, Blumoo isn’t cheap, but if you’re sick and tired of traditional remote controls, it may be well worth the cost.

If any of your system components are not among the 200,000 currently supported, you can request that the model be added to the Blumoo database. According to Blumoo, additions are possible within a couple days. Also note that not every mobile device has Blumoo-compatible hardware and software. You need an iPhone 4S or newer; fifth-generation iPod Touch or newer; third-generation iPad or newer; or a device running version 4.0 (or later) of the Android operating system.

Purchase the Blumoo Home Theater Universal Remote Control, $129.99

Would You Buy a Mattress on the Internet?

The convenience and ease of ordering your next mattress online may mean farewell to the ritual of lying on a dozen different mattresses at three different showrooms.

Casper Mattress


It would be an exaggeration to state that mattress shopping provokes as much stress as, say, losing your job or getting a divorce. But if you’ve ever replaced a mattress, you know how utterly confusing, inexplicably time-consuming, and overall unpleasant the process can be. Why does it have to be so hard?

Casper, a “sleep startup” less than one year old, seeks to do away with the many hassles involved with buying a mattress, simplifying the often trying process. The company’s methods are unusual: Unlike other manufacturers who offer a dizzying variety of options aimed at people with different budgets and sleeping preferences, Casper sells one model at an affordable price. Although the company does operate one showroom, in New York City, most customers make their purchase where mattresses have rarely been sold before: the Internet. Within days, your new mattress arrives at your door, compressed inside of a large box.


The popular wisdom has always been to test a mattress before you buy it. If you don’t happen to live near the Casper showroom (most customers don’t), you can still test the mattress, and not just for a few minutes, but for up to 100 nights in the comfort of your own bedroom. If you decide—after one night, two weeks, or even three months—that you want something different after all, Casper refunds your money in full and sends a courier to retrieve the mattress. So, as the company says, “even if you insist on shopping around, why not try Casper while you do it?” It’s hard to disagree, even if you have doubts about buying a mattress this way.

Casper believes that once you try its made-in-the-U.S.A. mattress, you won’t want to bid it farewell. Extensive research and development went into the product, and its design has been carefully tweaked to be comfortable for the greatest possible number of people. While the support layer is made of medium-firm memory foam—the stuff that made Tempur-Pedic a household name—there’s also a soft and springy comfort layer on top, composed of premium, nonallergenic latex. Through this combination of layers, the mattress achieves a happy medium. It’s bouncy, but not too bouncy. It’s enveloping, but not at all smothering.


Pricing is simple: the twin size is $500; full is $750; queen is $850; and king is $950. And because foam mattresses do not need a box spring, there are no surprise hidden costs. Plus, Casper offers a 10-year full replacement limited warranty that covers any product shortcomings resulting from normal wear.

For more information, visit Casper.

Why Isn’t the Dryer Drying?

Don't let a lengthy dry time get you down: Check out and tend to these five problem zones to remedy what might be slowing down your appliance, and your schedule.

Dryer Not Drying


Are you stumped by the fact that your dryer seems to take forever these days? If your clothes dryer needs more time to dry a load now than when you first purchased it, don’t jump to replace the home appliance just yet. There are several common reasons these machines become poky. First, take a peek at these five possible problem areas that could be messing with your dryer’s efficiency.

1. Check the lint filter.
The filter is the first line of defense against fabric lint, dust, and hair. Sure, you’ve heard this before, but you really do need to empty the dryer’s lint filter after every load. Some types of clothing—socks, especially—shed more than others. But no matter the load, getting into the habit of wiping the filter out after every wash and dry will put you ahead of the game.

Problematic Dryer


2. Inspect where the dryer vent exits the house.
When the dryer’s running, there should be a steady, unhindered stream of warm air passing through the vent exit. If you have mesh screening stretched across it, you’d do well to remove the mesh, which can catch lint and obstruct airflow. Instead, install a proper louvered door that opens only when the dryer’s running. You can purchase one at your local home center.

3. Clean the inner reaches of the vent.
If the lint filter and the exit of the vent are clear, you probably need to clean the inner reaches of the vent. This cleaning job isn’t that big a chore, especially if you use one of the widely available kits made for this express purpose. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends wiping the innards out at least once per year.

4. If possible, shorten the exit.
Keep in mind that the exit vent on your dryer should be as straight and as short as possible. If the air exiting the dryer has to be pushed too far or make its way around kinks or sags in the hose, drying times can significantly lengthen. That’s not only a nuisance, but it’s also a waste of energy (and money). If you can, consider moving your dryer to a position that allows for a shorter hose.

5. Tape all joints in the dryer vent.
Duct tape can and will melt when exposed to heat. And while screws and rivets usually make good fasteners, they’re sure to snag lint if they’re holding together joints in dryer vents—avoid using them.

An important word of caution: If you’re using one of those exit hoses that looks like a Slinky covered with vinyl, replace it. Now. Choose a foil-type hose or, even better, an aluminum flexible duct. A ridged, Slinky-like tube can more easily trap lint, and a buildup can lead to overheating. Since vynil is flammable, you could have a lot more to worry about than poky dryer.

While problems with exit vents aren’t the only factors that can cause your dryer to take forever, they’re by far the most common. Scope out these issues before you ring the repair folks, and you might just save yourself the price of an expensive service call.

DIY Pallet Desk

Transforming a stack of old pallets into a sturdy new desk takes effort but the results are worth repeating.

Bob Vila Thumbs Up - Wood Pallet Projects

DIY Pallet Desk - Completed Desk


What do you get when you mix a designer with a stack of pallets? A pallet desk, apparently. Rob Loukotka, artist/designer of Fringe Focus had acquired a bunch of pallets in his workshop and decided it was time to put them to use. But it wasn’t easy. He quickly learned that pallet wood has its limitations, but with his inventive work arounds and this stylish desk’s $0 price tag, we think this project deserves a big thumbs up. Read on to see how you could make your own!

- Wood pallets
- Claw hammer
- Work gloves
- Crow bar (optional)
- Hack saw (optional)
- Jointer, planer, or table saw (choose one)
- Stain (optional)
- Wood glue
- Wood clamps
- 2x4s (for clamping)
- 1x4s (for trim)
- Miter saw
- Orbital sander
- 200-grit sandpaper
- Dust mask
- 4x4s
- Steel brackets
- Danish oil
- 0000 steel wool


DIY Pallet Desk - Ripping


Use a claw hammer and wedge it beneath the board. Slowly rock the hammer to peel the board up, but be careful not to snap the board (pallets are brittle). I suggest moving across the entire board, slowly lifting it up by fractions of an inch at different locations.

Many nails will be rusted or break—WEAR GLOVES. A crowbar helps for leverage, if you have one. If your pallet is particularly difficult, use a hack saw, jig saw, or whatever saw to detach the end points first! You lose about 1 inch on either end, but then you only have 3 nails to remove, instead of 9-10.


DIY Pallet Desk - QA


You’ll want to chuck out severely damaged boards. I found that half of my boards were very dark, and the other half were light (two different pallets). So I chose to lay out the most interesting looking boards in this stripe pattern. Yours could be a lot cleaner, I was aiming for a dirty look.


DIY Pallet Desk - Planning


Plan your desk size. I’m not gonna give exact dimensions here, because pallet furniture by nature is going to vary a lot. But I wanted a very deep and wide desk. I decided on an angled design, as that allows the edge facing me to be a tad longer. Even though the desk is 69″ wide, the edge facing me is around 76″ because it’s at an angle. This also gives a wild forced perspective look, as I’m using progressively skinnier boards as they approach the shallow side.


DIY Pallet Desk - Plane Boards


If you are lucky, your pallet boards will be exceptionally straight, blemish free, and without warps. I was not lucky. Many of the boards absolutely required jointing or planing so I could lay them flush to form a table top. But I do not own a jointer or a planer.

Solution? I ripped these boards on the table saw. Many boards I just ripped freehand or with the saw fence. It was NOT perfect, but it was much better than attempting to build a desk surface with warped boards. You could also use hand planes on the surface, but the risk of damage is high with so many hidden nails and staples in pallet stock.


DIY Pallet Desk - Stain Boards


Stain your pallet boards. Because I had half dark boardsand half light boards, I wanted to accentuate the contrast. I took all of my dark pallet wood, and applied a custom pickling stain to it. (To make your own custom pickling stain, click here for the recipe.)


DIY Pallet Desk - Glue


So it might be good to add joints & biscuits in your boards, but I just laid my pallet boards flush and glued them up. There’s a lot of surface area (and a lot of glue) so it worked. I clamped the wide boards in pairs, and I clamped the smaller boards in threes as seen above.


DIY Pallet Desk - Clamping


As I said, I chose very warped pallet boards. So without a planer I had to rely on some trickery to ensure a level table top I can actually work on. This was done by clamping (and gluing) several 2x4s on the underside of the desktop. The desk surface is flush with my workbench, but the underside has unevenness. Each 2×4 is secured with steel brackets on ANY board that was warping. Make sure you keep your clamps on until the glue is fully dry. Also, I put like 5 million screws through the 2x4s into the pallet boards for extra rigidity. Maybe overkill.


DIY Pallet Desk - Cutting to Size


Using the 2x4s as a guide, the desk top can be cut down to size. The ragged edges need to be cut flush. If you made a rectangular desk you could maybe skip this step, but since my desk has a 10 degree angle I had a lot to cut! If you have a large table saw, you could cut the entire desk top flush there. My saw and shop are simply too small, so using a handheld power saw (ideally circular saw) like a jig saw can work in a pinch.


DIY Pallet Desk - Border


Add a border to the desktop. I had some 1x4s leftover from another project, and stained them dark brown for this desk. I used a miter saw to cut the 1x4s at the appropriate angles, and wrapped this 1×4 edge around the entire perimeter of the desktop. Basically 4 boards (each a different length). 45 degree miters on the back (straight) edge, with different angles for the front edge. Glue up the 1x4s (or whatever edge you like), and clamp like crazy.

Sand the pallet desk top. I used an orbital sander with roughly 200 grit sandpaper on the entire surface of the desk. Pallet wood dust can be dangerous, so wear a mask and vacuum up all the dust.


DIY Pallet Desk - Adding Legs


Add legs to the desk!  had some 4x4s laying around, so that informed my leg choices. You could easily use steel rods, or 2x4s, or even traditional lathed legs. But I used a 4×4 in each corner, with steel brackets securing it to both the 2×4 support beams AND the 1×4 edge beams. The 4x4s are placed directly under the 2×4 supports, to ensure the weight is distributed across the whole surface. Don’t just plop your legs under the thin pallet wood. For stability, I cut 45 degree angles with the miter saw on some 4×4 braces. These braces are secured with 2″ screws.


DIY Pallet Desk - Finished Top


For finishing woodworking projects, I use Danish oil for most surfaces. I mix the Danish oil myself. (You can find the recipe for Danish oil here.) I added a final layer of brush-on (oil based) polyurethane a day after the Danish oil had dried. I applied a glossy polyurethane to the pallet desk top and edges, but NOT the legs, to give some contrast. Depending on your desired finish (and quality of your wood) you can sand the desk with 0000 steel wool between coats, or 320 grit sandpaper for the polyurethane. Let the poly cure for at least a day before use.

Thanks, Rob! To check out some of the art and design he’s crafting at his pallet desk, or to see more DIYs, visit Fringe Focus.

DIY Pallet Bed

See how one blogger, in only a few simple steps, turned unassuming scrap wood into a handsome DIY pallet bed that demands attention.

Bob Vila Thumbs up - Wood Pellet Projects

DIY Pallet Bed - Before and After


Ah, the humble pallet. You often see them on roadside curbs or lying by dumpsters in back alleys. And while they tempt many a DIYer to salvage and repurpose them, your first impulse might not be to lay your head there. Fortunately for Ashley Ann, though, she’s lucky enough to have a friend who works at a packing company and was willing to make these pallets from sturdy, untreated boards. And once she had the pallets, a DIY day bed for the nursery was only a few simple steps away. Here’s how she created this fantastic project.

- Untreated wood pallets
- Palm sander
- Sandpaper (80-grit and 200-grit)
- 5 large caster wheels
- 4 hinges
- Thick foam


DIY Pallet Bed - Sanding


Sand the pallets good and smooth.

Bolt the two together on the tops and bottoms.

Add caster wheels to all 4 corners and one in the very center (for extra strength). The wheels on mine are locked, except for the center one.


DIY Pallet Bed - Finished


I used an old door to sit behind it – just because I liked how it looked. Simple enough.

Thanks, Ashley Ann! To read more of her incredible DIYs or to check out her photography, visit Ashley Ann Photography.

How To: Clean a Dryer

By adding only 30 seconds onto your laundry routine—and performing a deeper clean four times a year—you can keep your dryer in tip-top condition.

How to Clean a Dryer


Sorting, loading, folding—doing laundry is a tiring chore not only for you, but also for your appliances. What drags down the dryer, in particular, are the bits of fluff and fuzz that sometimes interfere with component parts. Allowing too much lint to accumulate can result in malfunctions or less-than-ideal energy efficiency. To avoid problems—and to pay no than is strictly necessary to run the machine—clean the dryer regularly. Hey, it only takes about 30 seconds! Here’s what to know.

After Every Load
After each use of the dryer, remember to unclog its lint screen. This detachable piece is usually located along the rim of the door (consult the manual for its location on your specific model). Once you’ve removed the screen, gently scrape away the material that’s collected there. On occasion, especially if you’re in the habit of using dryer sheets, it may be wise to actually wash the screen with soap, water, and a scrub brush. Replace the screen once it’s good to go. Why is this so important? Maintaining a clean trap dramatically reduces the risk of lint finding its way into parts of the machine where it’s not supposed to be.

How To Clean a Dryer - Open Appliance


Once Every Three Months
Your dryer needs a deep cleaning about four times a year. All it takes is a vacuum, all-purpose cleaner, and a microfiber cloth. So as the seasons change, make a point to spend 30 minutes providing a little TLC to a machine that you count on and hope will last for years and years:

1. Unplug the dryer, then remove the exhaust hose from the back of the machine. You can expect the tube to full of lint and debris. Use your hands to clear out as much as possible. For the rest, rely on a bent metal clothes hanger. Finally, follow up with a vacuum to suck out the leftover dust.

2. Before you reattach the exhaust hose, unscrew and remove the back panel of the dryer. Vacuum up any lint you discover within the machine, particularly in the part that connects to the exhaust vent. Your best bet here is the small nozzle vacuum attachment, as it can reach into the crevices.

3. Clean the lint catcher more thoroughly than usual. First, remove the screen, then vacuum its housing. If possible, proceed to unscrew the housing, lift it out, and vacuum the space beneath it.

4. Vacuum inside the dryer drum to remove any lingering dust bunnies. Next, wipe down the drum, along with the door rim, using an all-purpose cleaner along with a clean microfiber cloth.

5. Replace the lint trap, the back panel, and the exhaust hose. Having completely reassembled the dryer, feel free to plug it back in and give it a test run. Your clean dryer should now run more efficiently, dry your clothes more quickly, and leave them fresher!

Bob Vila Radio: Installing a Laundry Chute

By installing a laundry chute, you can harness the power of gravity to make one of life's dreaded chores much less strenuous.

Tired of lugging laundry down the basement stairs? Maybe you should consider installing a laundry chute. Kits are available at home centers, or you can build the chute yourself.

Installing a Laundry Chute


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Listen to BOB VILA ON INSTALLING A LAUNDRY CHUTE or read the text below:

To construct the chase—the passage through which you drop clothes to the basement—you have several options for materials: a galvanized heating duct, wood, drywall or melamine. Chutes work best when the chase is larger, say 1 by 2 feet. And make sure any joints are smooth, so clothing articles like socks do not snag on the way down.

Location is key. You’ll need to find a stud bay with unobstructed access to the basement—that is, no electrical wiring, no plumbing. Hallways are often a good bet, especially if their walls run parallel to underlying floor joists.

Use a stud finder to locate two adjacent studs, then cut a small hole in the wall to check for obstructions. If the bay is clear, use a reciprocating saw to cut an opening for the bottom of the chute, downstairs. Once you’ve double-checked that there are no obstructions upstairs, create the hole for the top of the chute.

Upstairs you’ll also need to remove the base plate between the two studs and cut a hole through the plywood flooring to make room for the chute. Assemble the chute, fit it into the bay, then finish up by trimming out the upstairs end of the chute and installing a door.

Before you start the job, be sure to check local building codes.

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.