Jeff Wilson Everyday DIY Blog

Let's talk DIY

This is the place to rant, rave, brag, belly-ache, crack a joke, procrastinate, and delve into the metaphysical aspects of the DIY mindset. We’re off the map, on a tangent, and frequently off topic. This is the stuff we don’t show on TV.

Waste Heat Recovery

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Waste heat recovery is a possible way to achieve net zero at home. Jeff Wilson investigates a holistic approach to residential waste heat recovery.

Living with Solar Energy

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Installing solar panels is becoming more feasible as various financial incentives become available. Jeff Wilson breaks it down into hard numbers to give an idea of what’s really involved with "going solar."

When my family decided to streamline our energy use at home, we first tackled our efficiency problems with a Deep Energy Retrofit. This effort included air-sealing and insulating the building envelope and replacing all of the windows and doors. Once we had our house sealed up tight, we added an Energy Recovery Ventilator to keep indoor air fresh while keeping the energy we use to heat and cool that air inside the house, where it belongs. Only after we completely exhausted energy efficiency measures did we decide to have a 4-kW photovoltaic solar array installed.

DIY Brick Bread Oven

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A backyard oven not only bakes good bread, it creates ambiance and provides a focal point for your outdoor entertaining area.

Sometimes you start a DIY project that defies any real explanation. It usually starts small – for example, I love really good bread. Not the soft, doughy, white bread you buy at the supermarket, but the crusty, pain au levain that a real French bakery would produce. Since very few bakeries do that right, I got into baking bread. Simple enough.

An Energy-Efficient Home Is Patriotic

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Jeff Wilson shares his views on how the ordinary DIYer can perform acts of patriotism while improving things around the house!

It’s not often that you pick up a hammer, get back to work on that DIY home improvement project, and consider it an act of patriotism, but that’s exactly what we should be doing – each and every one of us.

On the Floor at the International Builders’ Show in Orlando

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The NAHB International Builders' Show is the place to go to check out the latest building products. Jeff Wilson attended the 2012 show in Orlando and here shares his favorite finds.

There's nothing like escaping the Midwest and going to Florida in the middle of winter. That’s what I got to do recently in Orlando at the National Association of Homebuilders’ International Builders’ Show 2012. While I attended as a host and presenter for LP Building Products, I also got a chance to check out the booths and exhibits.

Home Automation

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Will home automation become something that we can’t imagine living without? Jeff Wilson takes us on a tour of a design showroom that highlights some of the time- and energy-saving benefits of automation.

Home automation sounds a little intimidating. Just the mention makes me think of the USS Enterprise on Star Trek – seamless integration of controls for everything from lighting and sound to heating and air-conditioning to security and energy-efficiency. Oh, and don’t forget to set those phasers to stun.

Sourcing Materials Locally

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No matter where you live, you are bound to find a unique building material that is made close to home.

Generally speaking, I’m not much of a shopper. Like a lot of guys, I like to dodge into a store, make a quick purchase, and then skedaddle. Things change a little when I head to my local home center or hardware store. More than once I’ve come home from what was supposed to be a short jaunt to pick up some lumber to hear my wife ask, “What took you so long?” OK, maybe I was perusing the new LED lighting or trying out a new multi-tool. I was definitely NOT shopping.

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