how to fix a leaky garden hoseHow to Easily Fix a Leaky Hose

A garden hose is a valuable tool around my yard in the summertime. It’s vital to keep my yard looking beautiful, keeping plants watered, and occasionally for a fun water fight with my kids. But what happens when that very useful hose springs a leak? Not only is it frustrating to use but it is a complete waste of water (not to mention that you get wetter than the person you intend to soak in a water fight.) It may be tempting to throw it out and buy a new one, but did you know it’s fairly simple to fix a leaky garden hose? It is! I have the solution for you in this tutorial on How to Fix a Leaky Hose!

Ready to save money and water? Great! Let’s get to it!


(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)


The first step is to cut off the leaky end of the hose using your heavy duty snips. Be sure to cut perpendicular to the hose.

Remove the two screws from the hose repair coupling clamp using your screwdriver.

Insert the threaded coupling piece into the cut end of your hose.

Have patience, this can be the hardest step. Push it down against a hard surface until the coupling is completely inserted into the hose.

Next, take the two parts of the clamp and put one piece behind the hose, as pictured. Hold it in place while you add the second clamp piece. Line up the screws with the holes on the back piece.

Tighten the screws. It may be easier to set it on a hard surface, as shown here.

Now connect your sprayer to the end and give it a test try!

Hooray! No more leaky hoses. Now where are those crazy boys of mine? Time to start a water fight on this hot summer day. ;-D

This was a simple fix to a frustrating problem and it only cost a few dollars. Definitely worth it! I hope you liked this tutorial and it comes in handy should you need it. Do you have a leaky hose you need to fix? Or have you repaired a leaky hose with this method?

If you liked this post, you’ll love:

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How to Hire Great Contractors! Plus: Free Printable Questions You Need to AskHow to Hire Great Contractors and Questions You Need to Ask

Hiring a great contractor can be a tough task. The actual experience can be so paralyzing that some people ultimately give up on their dreams of a renovated space. I have a good friend who felt completely overwhelmed by the challenge of hiring a contractor to renovate her master bathroom. With media stories of people getting ripped off by bad contractors, I could understand her trepidation. Today I want to give you some tips on How to Hire Great Contractors. Plus, you can download the printable with the Questions You Need to Ask both the contractor and their references.

Recently I’ve been vetting contractors to work on the Saving Etta project. I know first hand how difficult and scary it is to hire a stranger to work inside your home. When you factor in the amount of money you will be paying this person, it’s enough to lose sleep over the decision. Let me break down the steps to hiring a reputable contractor so you can finally have that renovation or addition you’ve always dreamed of.

How to Find a Contractors:

I am of the belief that you should start with recommendations from people you know or at least people in your circle (neighbors, social groups, or friends.)  I love using to look for referrals for contractors. (Especially if there are multiple neighbors who used the same contractor and were all pleased with the work.) Another reason I like finding contractors through neighbors is because I know the contractor is familiar with renovations on homes that were built around the same time frame as our house. This is important, especially if you have an old home.

If you can’t get any recommendations from neighbors, ask your friends who just had a renovation completed.

If you’re still striking out, go visit a local kitchen and bath showroom and ask if they have any contractor recommendations. Oftentimes, the designer can tell you who they work with.

As a last resort, search for contractors on Google, Facebook, Yelp, Angie’s List, Craig’s List, or the Yellow Pages. It may be daunting to find contractors through this route, but hopefully the rest of this article will help weed out the dishonest and disqualified contractors.

How to Use the Web to Look for Reviews:

After acquiring a list of names, I like to perform some online sleuthing. Search for the company name in the Better Business Bureau database and read all the complaints. If they’ve had one or two, you don’t need to completely eliminate that business. But, if the contractor has numerous complaints, it’s probably best to remove them from the list of contractors to consider.

Next, perform a google search for the business name (be sure to include the city and state they are located in) and or the business owner to see what pops up.

Contacting Contractors:

When you call the contractors you have selected, be upfront and honest about your project, the time frame, and your budget. Oftentimes good contractors may not be able to take your job right away or may charge more than you can afford.

Ask for References:

Get at least three recent references. (Ask for references within the last 3-6 mos. And ask for recommendations from clients that had similar projects to your’s.)

Questions to Ask Contractor’s References:

This is probably the most valuable resource for you. Many people will call a reference and simple ask “were you happy with XYZ contractor?” But, you can get a lot more information about the contractor if you know the right questions to ask.

    1. Were you happy with the job the contractor did? Was the work performed to your standards?
    2. Did the contractor hire any tradespeople to help complete the job?
      • If so, what was the quality of the tradesperson’s work?
    3. Did you have to manage the tradespeople or did the contractor oversee their work?
    4. Were there any errors or mistakes that happened during the process?
      • If so, how did he or she handle them?
    5. What was the condition of your home (or job site) after the work was complete?
      • Was it cleaned up or was anything left behind?
    6. Anything you wish the contractor had done better?
    7. Was the contractor upfront with any cost changes?
    8. How accurate was the contractor’s timeframe?
    9. Did he/she show up on time or let you know of any delays?
    10. How were the inspections? Did he/she pass the inspections easily or were there any issues?
      • If there were issues, how were they handled?
    11. Did the contractor need to pull a permit and if so what for?
    12. Have you needed him/her to come back and fix or finish anything?
      • If so, how timely was that accomplished?
    13. Was the contractor open to your design preferences?
    14. Anything you want to add or any suggestions you have for me moving forward with this contractor?

Feel free to download this printable questionnaire to use when contacting references. (For personal use only.)

Update on Backyard Landscaping | Pretty Handy Girl

What to Get from the Contractor BEFORE Work Begins:

Always get quote before you hire a contractor (this can be a ballpark quote, but be sure to ask the contractor to alert you if they need to go over the quoted amount.)

If the contractor is a general contractor, electrician, plumber or a tradesperson that requires licensure, ask for their license number. Call the licensing board to verify that their license is up to date and the information matches their records.

Ask for a general liability insurance certificate (have your name and address included in the certificate holder’s field)

Ask for their workman’s comp insurance if they have anyone working for them. And call the insurance company to verify that the policy is still active. 

Ask for a lien waiver release. This will protect you should the contractor fail to pay his or her subcontractors. If you don’t have a lien waiver and the subcontractors are not paid, a lien can be placed on your house until they receive payment.

Have a contract signed by yourself and the contractor that details the work you are expecting them to accomplish and the amount they quoted.

Red Flags to Look Out For:

  • Was the contractor forthcoming with the above information?
  • Ask the contractor if you need a permit. If they say no, be sure to ask more than one person if a permit is needed. And maybe even call your city permit office to verify that information.
  • Regarding the quotes, you will undoubtedly receive a range of quotes for your project. Be very wary if one contractor’s quote is significantly lower than the others. There is truth in the old adage, you get what you pay for.

During the project, occasionally ask your contractor if you are still on target and within budget. It’s better for everyone involved to keep the lines of communication open. Always allow 15 – 20% over the budget for surprises or incidentals. You never know what you might find in your walls when they are opened up.

More Information about Hiring Great Contractors (Video Chat):

A few weeks ago, I hosted a Facebook Live to talk more about how to hire great contractors and avoid getting burned. Here’s the Facebook Live video:

Good luck and remember, you can do this!

Now that you are one step closer to getting started with your project, you need to read this article: Are you Sure You’re Ready to Take on a Home Renovation?

Are You Sure You're Ready to Take on a Home Renovation? | Pretty Handy Girl

If you are thinking about renovating your kitchen, I have some great tips for Surviving without a Kitchen during Renovation:

9 ways to make your home warmer social media

We are excited to share these Energy Friendly Ways to Help Your Home Feel Warmer this Winter today.

Winter brings many fun things with it each year, but one thing that isn’t fun are the cool drafts, cold floors, and wasted energy while trying to stay warm. Recently I created a mini-series on Instagram sharing home tips to keep your home warm during these frigid temperatures. (If you aren’t following me on Instagram, you are missing out on a lot of behind the scenes information.) Today I have 9 ways to make your home feel warmer without turning up the thermostat! With very little effort, you can make your home more energy efficient this winter. Please let me know if you find any of these hints helpful or if you have some tips of your own.

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Insulate Garage Door:

Energy Friendly Ways to Help Your Home Feel Warmer this Winter

Are there gaps on the sides of your garage door? Do you see light coming through? If so, you can add foam rubber weatherstripping to your garage to keep it warmer in the winter. Weatherstripping prevents drafts from entering your garage. Use it to block gaps between doors and the door frame. In about an hour you can put an end to those cold air leaks. This trick will also help keep your garage cooler in the summer. Believe it or not, it can improve the temperature in adjacent rooms. After installing the weatherstripping we noticed a huge difference in the comfort of our bonus room that sits on top of the garage. Read my full tutorial on Installing Weatherstripping to the Garage Door.

Seal Doors and Windows:

Energy Friendly Ways to Help Your Home Feel Warmer this Winter

Did you know that doors and windows can be a major source of energy loss? Take a peek, can you see daylight seeping through your door? If so, you are likely throwing away money on heating and cooling your home. The solution is as simple as buying a roll of adhesive foam weatherstripping. To check for drafts, wet your hand and run it around the window or door edges to see if you feel any cool air. If you do, go ahead and add some weatherstripping.

You can use the same adhesive weatherstripping on the bottom of an old window that doesn’t seat properly. Most windows and doors should have some form of weatherstripping, but some may not.

Don’t forget to inspect your exterior doors and storm doors for a door sweep. If it’s missing, add a new one. Did you know you can add a door sweep without using power tools? Check out this self adhesive door sweep.

Engage Deadbolts:

How to Replace Door Knobs | Pretty Handy Girl

Did you know that simply engaging the deadbolts on your doors can instantly stop drafts? If you have a weatherstripped door, the deadbolt will tighten the door against the weatherstripping. Check to make sure the weatherstripping is in good shape. If the door doesn’t seat firmly against it you may need to adjust the strike plate closer to the jamb.

Single pane windows:

Newer windows are typically double-pane with a layer of gas between the two panes. This helps insulate your house. But, instead of budgeting for new windows, invest in good storm windows. Or if you have storm windows, use them! Good fitting storm windows provide the same double layer of protection but costs less than new windows! Just be sure to close your storm windows in the winter. In the summer you’ll want to add a screen so you can open it and let the cool evening air in air, or use a fan to draw that hot daytime air out.

Add Curtains:

Energy Friendly Ways to Help Your Home Feel Warmer this Winter

Add lined curtains in front of  windows to cut down on cold air drafts. Get solid curtains with a liner and keep them closed on cold winter nights. During the day open the curtains to let the warmth of the sun shine in. You’ll be amazed at how much a good pair of curtains will limit drafts (especially if your curtains extend to the floor.) Need help hanging curtain rods? Read my tutorial on Hanging Curtains (and a no-iron solution!)

Fireplace Inserts:

Create an insert for your fireplace by cutting some rigid foam (or foam board) to the size of your fireplace opening. Then wrap it with batting and cover them both with decorative fabric. Push the foam board into your fireplace opening (it should fit snuggly on all sides.) This DIY fireplace cover will keep drafty chimneys from ruining a Netflix and chill evening in your living room. Want something a little fancier? Follow the full tutorial to build a beautiful draft stopper for your fireplace.

Seal Pipes and Vents:

Seal the spaces around your pipes and vents with Great Stuff. Not only will this keep drafts from coming through but it also stops unwanted critters from entering your home. Did you know the holes around pipes, wiring, and ducts are the most common places for bugs to enter a house? One can of Great Stuff can seal up those voids and prevent entry! Read my article on using GREAT STUFF to seal gaps around pipes for tips and tricks.

Insulate Attic Doors:

Lucky for you, there are a few options for insulating pull down attic steps. You can add weatherstripping around the door or you can add rigid foam insulation glued to the attic side of the access door. This works for both walk-in attics and pull-down doors. Another easy solution is an Attic Stairway Cover. There are several options on Amazon, and many are quick and easy to place and remove.

Warm Up Your Floors:

Adding a rug to a cold room (whether it be a bathroom, kitchen, or any room in your house) is like adding a layer of insulation on your floor (add more insulation by using rug pads under your rugs). Tile or wood floors can feel cold underfoot, adding a rug in your traffic area can keep your room warmer and make a big difference on the comfort level in your home. It’s such a simple tip, but it really can make a big difference.

I hope these Energy Friendly Ways to Help Your Home Feel Warmer this Winter helped and will make your home feel extra warm this winter. Please share your favorite tips in the comments below!

Pin this image to help a friend:

9 ways to make your home warmer pinterest image

How to Repair a Dishwasher: Control Panel

The holidays are here and your kitchen will surely be getting a work out! Now is NOT the time for your dishwasher to break. Recently we found ourselves with a non-functional dishwasher. The control panel buttons stopped working and nothing I did would start it working again. You may recall that I fixed our grill igniter a few months ago by ordering the parts from Sears Parts Direct. As smoothly as that repair went, I knew exactly where to turn to order parts for our dishwasher. Once again I’ve partnered with Sears Parts Direct to bring you this tutorial for Repairing Your Dishwasher – Replacing the Control Panel.

How to Repair a Dishwasher - Control Panel Replacement

Before we start, let’s talk real quick about how much you think it would cost to hire a repairman to come fix your dishwasher. If the average appliance repair person charges $75 per hour, the initial diagnosis visit fee would be $75. When the repair person diagnoses the issue as the control panel, he or she will have to order the part and come back a second time. Automatically you are in for $150 for the two visits. Now, factor in the cost of the part ($125 – $200 depending on any mark up that may be added.) In the end you are looking at repair costs in the range of $300 or more.

At this point many homeowners will make the decision to buy a new dishwasher instead of paying $300. But, what if I told you that you can repair your own dishwasher for only the cost of the part?  You are probably excited to hear that, and are ready to get fixin’.

Diagnosing the Problem:

To diagnose the problem, visit the Sears Parts Direct Repair Center and answer a few questions about your dishwasher problems. You can also view these 5 Easy Dishwasher repairs to see if the symptoms match your problem. You may end up with a few suggested fixes, but hopefully you can narrow down the issue with some logic. For our dishwasher, I knew it was likely a control panel problem since the buttons had been acting up a few weeks before it stopped working all together.

To order the part for your dishwasher, locate the model number. (Hint: It’s usually located inside the door.) If you have any problems locating the model number, Sears Parts Direct has some recommendations. Write down the model number and head over to Sears Parts Direct to order your part.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

After entering the model number, you’ll get a list of parts for your dishwasher. Locate the control panel and order it. The panel will usually arrive in a week. Hopefully you can suffer through hand washing dishes for a few days. (Don’t complain too much, I suffered through it for 4 months when we were without a kitchen.)

How to Replace Your Dishwasher Control Panel:

Preparation: Hooray, you have the part in hand. Now send the spouse away with the kids and tell them you need complete concentration for 2 hours while you repair your dishwasher! (Truth: It’s going to take you less than 10 minutes! So enjoy the rest of your hour and 50 minutes by binge watching Grace & Frankie on Netflix.)


How to Repair a Dishwasher


Always start by turning off the circuit breaker for your dishwasher.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Open your dishwasher and locate the torx screws securing the door panel.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Remove the screws using a torx head screwdriver. Place the screws in a cup or bowl to prevent from losing them. (Yes, I started a timer to show you how long this repair will actually take.)

How to Repair a Dishwasher

For simplicity, you may be able to remove only the control panel and set it on a stool while keeping all the parts wired.

Remove the door latch wiring by lifting it off one side at a time.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Use a flathead screwdriver to gently release the electronic control board.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Lift the control board off the control panel.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Gently disconnect the control board from the control panel by sliding off the ribbon wiring.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

You might need to wiggle it back and forth a few time to release.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Check for any other parts that need to be removed from the control panel (like the handle) and remove them.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Set the new control panel in place of the old panel on the stool.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Work in the reverse order of the parts removed. Add the handle onto the new control panel.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Attach the ribbon wiring from the new control panel to the electronic control board.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Press the control board into place in the new control panel.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Reset the door latch wiring in place.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Set the new control panel onto the door.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Drive the torx screws in place to secure the new control panel. And, BADABOOM, you are done! Let’s check that timer please: 8 minutes and 37 seconds!

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Go ahead and turn the power back on for your dishwasher.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Check the buttons to see if it works. YES! We have a working dishwasher again.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Didn’t that take a lot less time than you originally thought? Plus you are richer because you didn’t have to pay a repair person or replace your dishwasher! What are you going to do with that money you saved? Why not go ahead and buy yourself that present you really want.

Now that your dishwasher is working, did you know there is a right way to load your dishwasher? Or that there are items you should NEVER wash in your dishwasher?

If you haven’t already, you really need to check out to find that part to fix all your broken appliances and more! Follow Sears Parts Direct on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube to see a variety of repair articles and videos.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

I’m ready for the holiday baking rush now that our dishwasher is working, how about you? I’m also feeling relieved knowing that when my Mom visits for Christmas, she won’t feel guilty about our broken dishwasher and try to wash all our dishes by hand. Moms will always be moms, won’t they?!

Have a Happy Holiday y’all! I’m off to clean the baseboards around our dishwasher. I’m so embarrassed to see dirt and dog hair in that photo above. Ack!

Save your friends $$$ on dishwasher repairs by pinning this image:

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Sears Parts Direct. I was not told what to write. All opinions are my own. I was compensated for my time and efforts to create this tutorial. I am very particular about the brands I represent. Because I value your trust, you will always be notified when you are reading a sponsored post on

Installing Cabinet Handles the Easy Way | Pretty Handy Girl

After installing my fair share of cabinet knobs and handles over the years, I’ve made my own templates out of cardboard or scrap wood. But, after trying this new gadget, I can honestly say this is how you too can Install Cabinet Handles the Easy Way.

I was given the Kreg Cabinet Hardware Jig (affiliate link) to test last year, but I never opened it until now. I’m so glad I finally tried this puppy out. Just so you know, Kreg may have given me the jig, but I was not paid to write about it. I’m sharing this with you because I really liked this tool.

When you use this jig, not only will you install cabinet knobs and pulls easily, but each handle will be perfectly lined up with the others guaranteed!

2 Ways to Fix a Knob Screw that's Too Long | Pretty Handy Girl

If you have knobless cabinets in your home, now is the time to update them immediately. Grab a few things and meet me back here in a minute.


(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Assembling the Kreg Cabinet Hardware Jig:

Remove the pieces from the packaging.

Add the non-slip pads to the edge guide. (Locate the indented circles and place pads here.)

Feed the hex head bolts into the edge guide and insert into slots on the jig.

Thread the knobs onto the front side of the Kreg Cabinet Hardware Jig.

Insert the drill guides into the slots on either side of the center hole window as shown below. Line up the drill guides with your handle posts. If you only have one post knobs to install, insert it in the center hole.

Flip the jig over and secure the drill guides with the provided nuts.

Now you’re ready to Install Cabinet Hardware the Easy Way.


Line up the drill guides with your handle posts making sure the numbers match on both sides. (Or insert the drill guide in the center hole for single post knobs.)

Hold your handle up to the location you wish to install it. Secure a strip of painter’s tape to the cabinet door in the same location.

Mark the center of the handle on painter’s tape on your cabinet drawer (or door.)

Line up your jig over the center line.

Set the edge guide to the desired depth from the top of the drawer. Clamp the jig in place. Feed a 3/16″ drill bit into your drill and drill through the two drill guides.

If your pulls are thicker than 3/16″, measure the depth of the pull posts and transfer that measurement onto a larger bit. Mark that depth with a painter’s tape “flag”.

Drill to the painter’s tape flag for an exact depth.

This jig works the same for cabinet doors with a single knob. The difference being you will line up the edge guide on the side of the cabinet door and only one hole is drilled.

After your hole is drilled, remove the painter’s tape from your cabinet. You should have a nice clean hole with no splinters.

Secure your knob or pull to the door and admire your handy work.

If you run into a situation where the screw is too long, I have two ways to deal with that long screw.

Disclosure: This is a product review. I was given a complimentary Kreg Hardware Jig to try. I was not paid to mention Kreg or told what to say. I will always let you know if you are reading a sponsored post or product review.

2 Ways to Fix a Knob Screw that's Too Long | Pretty Handy Girl

Have you ever put new knobs on a cabinet only to find out that the screw is too long. It’s a pain for sure. That little project that you thought would take a few minutes is now going to require a trip to the hardware store — or will it. Not today! I have a tutorial to show you Two Ways to Fix a Knob or Pull Screw that’s Too Long.

2 Ways to Fix a Knob Screw that's Too Long | Pretty Handy Girl

1st Way to Shorten a Screw that’s Too Long:

First things first, let’s discuss the quickest way to deal with a screw that is almost the right length. Simply add a washer or two to the inside of the screw.

2 Ways to Fix a Knob Screw that's Too Long | Pretty Handy Girl

Then reattach the knob. Bam, perfectly tight knob.

2nd Way to Shorten a Screw that’s Too Long:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

2 Ways to Fix a Knob Screw that's Too Long | Pretty Handy Girl

But what do you do if you would need more than two washers to make the screw fit? This tip will blow your mind.

First measure the excess screw length.

2 Ways to Fix a Knob Screw that's Too Long | Pretty Handy Girl

Mark that distance + 1/16″ more on the screw.

2 Ways to Fix a Knob Screw that's Too Long | Pretty Handy Girl

Use a pair of wire strippers (affiliate link to the strippers I own and love) and thread the screw into a hole on the pliers (the one that fits best.) The mark should be inside the pliers before you continue.

2 Ways to Fix a Knob Screw that's Too Long | Pretty Handy Girl

Squeeze firmly on the pliers.

2 Ways to Fix a Knob Screw that's Too Long | Pretty Handy Girl

And boom, your screw is cut but still able to be screwed into the knob!

2 Ways to Fix a Knob Screw that's Too Long | Pretty Handy Girl

You’re knobs and pulls can be perfectly installed on cabinets now. Was that mind-blowing? Did you know that trick already?

2 Ways to Fix a Knob Screw that's Too Long | Pretty Handy Girl

I’ll be back soon to show you a new gadget I used for installing the knobs!

Two Ways to Fix a Screw thats Too Long

How to Make an Old Water Heater More Energy Efficient | Pretty Handy Girl

At the beginning of 2016 government standards dictated that new tank style water heaters must be more energy efficient. In response, manufacturers added internal insulation to new heaters. Unfortunately for those of us with tiny crawlspace water heaters, it meant we had to give up 10 gallons in storage to accommodate the added insulation. For a family of four, that is a big deal when our tank only holds 50 gallons to begin with.

In anticipation of the new rules, I purchased one of the last “less energy efficient” models to replace our 15 year old unit.

Although it’s true that an older water heater has less insulation, you can help your tank be more energy efficient. How? Simply add a water heater insulation blanket. It’s an easy DIY home improvement you can accomplish in thirty minutes or less. Want to learn How to Make a Tank Style Water Heater Energy Efficient? Great, let’s get cozy.


(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)


For your personal safety, turn off the power supply to your water heater.

Suit up if you have to go into a crawlspace. I always wear work pants and knee pads because even the most pristine crawl space might have an occasional rock or dropped nail or screw that you don’t want to kneel on.


Measure the height and circumference of your water heater.

Transfer the measurements onto your insulation blanket and cut to size*. (The low boy water heaters that fit in crawlspaces are usually wider than their taller cousins, so you may have to rotate the blanket or piece it together to make it fit.)

*As a side note, I didn’t have enough to go all the way around with the Frost King water heater insulation blanket I used. After reading reviews, I realize I wasn’t the only one. Therefore, I linked to another insulation blanket with better reviews in the materials list.

Add some tape to the tank to secure the insulation blanket (the fiberglass insulation side facing in.) Then wrap it around the tank.

You must keep the access panel and pressure release valve uncovered. Cut those sections out of your blanket.

Add duct tape to secure the blanket around the water heater.

If you have additional insulation blanket material, cut a piece and attach it to the top of your heater (only for electric water heaters.)

Doesn’t your water heater look cozy and warm? It may not be the prettiest makeover, but it will save a pretty penny! 😉

Don’t forget to turn the power back on and enjoy hot water on demand.

Hope you have a great weekend and check out some of these home maintenance repairs you can do yourself!

How Energy Efficient Is Your Water Heater? | Pretty Handy Girl

Let’s talk more about energy efficiency today. Did you know that your water heater can be one of the biggest energy hogs?

How Much Energy Your Home Uses

It’s true! That conventional storage tank water heater works all day to keep your water hot. If the thermostat senses the temperature dip below the set temperature, it turns on to heat the water again. This goes on all day and night regardless if you are home or not. And until recently, water heaters had very little insulation. This meant that cold air in your garage or crawlspace would wreak havoc on the water heater making it work that much harder to keep that tank of water hot. It makes sense that this is one of the least efficient systems in your home.

New government guidelines have been established to require all conventional water heaters (tank storage style) to be more energy efficient. To achieve these higher standards, newer tanks have built in insulation. Sounds great, right? Not entirely. If you are replacing your old water heater with a new one, the same gallon capacity water heater takes up more space and may not fit in the same spot. This means you may have to purchase a new water heater that doesn’t hold as many gallons. This is a real problem if you have a crawl space water heater. It’s a good idea to plan ahead and replace your water heater before it dies. Your new water heater may even pay for itself by being more energy efficient than your old one.

What’s a homeowner to do? Well, first and foremost you need to determine if it’s time to replace your current water heater. Take this simple few question quiz to help you determine if you need to think about replacing your water heater. Go ahead, I’ll wait right here. Read more

11 Ways to Keep Your Home Warmer This Winter | Pretty Handy Girl

That bugger, Old Man Winter is peeking around the corner. He’s ready to put the chill in your bones and push drafts through every little crack in your home. But, you can be ready for him with these 11 Ways to Keep Your Home Warmer this Winter. Is your home truly as energy efficient and secure from drafts as you think it is? Here are 11 Ways to Keep Your Home Warmer this Winter! And, not one of them involves raising the thermostat! Click on the links to be taken to a more detailed tutorial.

Adding Foam Weatherstripping | Pretty Handy Girl

Weatherstrip Your Doors and Windows


Protect Spigot from Frozen Burst Pipes | Pretty Handy Girl
Protect Your Spigots


Make Sure Your Heat Pump is Working at Full Capacity Read more

Protect Water Pipes from Freezing | Pretty Handy Girl

In the same vein as Monday’s post about adding insulation, let’s continue preparing for winter. While you are under the house looking at insulation, take notice of your water pipes. Are they insulated too? If not, it’s important to protect your water pipes with foam insulation to prevent them from freezing.  Here in North Carolina, we’ve been experiencing more winters with temperatures dipping below freezing and sometimes in the single digits.

Having a water pipe freeze and burst is not a disaster I wish to experience. Water leaks, mold, termite damage and asbestos are plenty of experiences for one handy girl. Given my experience with water leaks, I will do everything I can to prevent future leaks (including installing water leak detectors.)

Ready to learn How to Protect Water Pipes from Freezing? This is one of the easiest tutorials I’ve written. Honest.

(contains affiliate links)

Protect Water Pipes from Freezing | Pretty Handy Girl


If you are venturing into the crawlspace, protect your knees. As a brand ambassador for Duluth Trading Company, I was overjoyed to try these Duluth Trading Company cargo pants with knee pad sleeves. They are now my favorite work pants and I wear them with the inserted knee pads anytime I have to go under the house.

Protect Water Pipes from Freezing | Pretty Handy Girl

Locate any unprotected water pipes (look for copper, white, red, blue or gray pipes about 3/4 – 1 inch in diameter).

Protect Water Pipes from Freezing | Pretty Handy Girl

Measure the length of the exposed pipe. Read more