Best Cockroach Trap - Cheap and Effective

Cockroach or roach infestation in your apartment unit is something you definitely need to worry about. They say that for every single roach you find crawling on your apartment's kitchen floor, six others are hiding in your cabinets, closets and walls. Roaches have been on earth for eons and that tells you how resilient they can be.

So how do you get rid of them? Generally, sanitation in the apartment building plays a big role to preventing an infestation. Of course, there needs to be a concerted effort among the building tenants to make sure this happens.

In an apartment building, there's one thing you definitely share with other tenants and that's general sanitation in the apartment building. Even if you keep your eating and cooking quarters immaculately clean, there's no saying how other tenants dispose of kitchen or dinner trash. And when sanitation is a problem in the apartment building, you may be having rodents - that's rats and mice - passing through or visiting your apartment unit.

After installing an outdoor antenna for your apartment, you have to find a way to secure the antenna cable coming from the antenna. You wouldn't want the cable dangling all the way from the top of the antenna pole all the way to its connection to your TV set inside your apartment unit.

A dangling cable isn't only unsightly, it's generally unsafe. People could easily trip over cable wires on the ground. Bringing tall items like ladders for instance could catch and snag the cable, pulling the antenna out of position or worse, result in an injury to you or other tenants. Check with your landlord if you have doubts on how to secure the cable.

As a tenant, you may encounter several restrictions on your lease contract pertaining to installation of outdoor structures like an antenna. Cable TV isn't a viable alternative for a tenant on a budget. So an oudoor antenna for the home TV may be your only choice for inexpensive entertainment in the apartment.

A rooftop antenna is the probably the best and cheapest way to get good TV reception. Some landlords though may not cherish the idea of having structures on the apartment's roof that utlizes antenna poles, guy wires and antenna cables. Check your lease contract and with your landlord for alternatives.

If you're a tenant on a budget and with limited space in your apartment, seating furniture can sometimes be a problem. This is especially so, if you have unexpected guests dropping by your apartment unit. An easy solution to this is to have stools to augment your apartment's limited number of chairs.

Here's an easy to do project requiring just a few used materials and some construction adhesive.

This is the continuation of the previous post on using wood epoxy as a wood filler.

After preparing the wood epoxy and filling it into the screw holes, you have to work fast enough to ensure that the screws are in place BEFORE the epoxy completely hardens. Otherwise, the epoxy becomes hard and doesn't bond the screw with the wood. Read the curing times of the epoxy and be aware of them as you work.

  • Prepare the new set of screws. The new screws should be a bit longer than the old ones. The new screws are 3/4" long (shown below, left) while the old screws are 1/2" long (shown below, right). The new screw length is about right because the kitchen cabinet wall is 3/4" plywood. Any screw that is longer may protrude to the other side.

In a previous post, I discussed the usual problems with kitchen cabinet doors and that's vulnerability of the concealed hinges getting pulled out. In most cases, the problem manifests itself with the hinge screws getting loose and the kitchen cabinet door misaligning from the cabinet and sagging.

Here are the procedures to readjust the cabinet part of the concealed hinges and effectively reattach them to the cabinet. The kitchen cabinet door being described by the procedures below is the right door (door swings right)
  • With a Phillips-type screwdriver, completely remove the hinge screws in the cabinet part of the concealed hinges. Do this for both of the concealed hinges. Usually, the screws of the door part of the concealed hinge don't easily come off so there's no need to unscrew them.

    You'll notice how one of the concealed hinges has loosened. The scratched paint on the cabinet wood resulted from the constant wiggling of the metal loose hinge in its place. You'll also notice how the door sags by the misaligment of the door edge relative to the cabinet. The gap between door and cabinet appears wider at the top.

The most common items requiring repairs whenever tenants leave are the kitchen cabinet doors. The typical problems are sagging doors, doors that don't close, pulled out cabinet door hinges or any combination of these.

Concealed Hinges for Kitchen Cabinets

The hinges used for the cabinet doors are called concealed hinges, sometimes called european hinges. Unlike the traditional butt or mortise hinges, concealed hinges can be seen inside the kitchen cabinet only. They give a neater appearance for the kitchen cabinet doors on the outside.

There are three type of concealed hinges: inset, full overlay and half overlay. The type of kitchen cabinet door hinges we have is the half overlay like the one shown below.

While waiting for the wood block's adhesive and finishing to completely dry as mentioned in the previous post, you can do a bit of refurbishing on the other side of the damage - and that is the PVC door itself. With the door now detached, you can easily work on it by resting it on the side where door knob is installed.

The refurbishing required on the PVC door is basically covering the unsightly screw holes that remained after the PVC door hinge was relocated. I decided against putting another block of wood on this one because the door's construction and material seem stronger than that of the PVC door jamb.

In the picture below, you can see 2 sets (not just 1) of screw holes in the previous location of the hinge.

In the previous post, I stated the problem I had with the PVC bathroom door. The solution I mentioned was to remove the damaged part of the PVC door jamb and replace it with a block of wood.

In this post, I'll discuss the materials, tools and procedures required to replace the damaged part.

Materials and Tools
  1. Block of wood to fit into the damaged area. In this case, the block measures 3" x 1 1/4" x 1/2". Optionally, you can treat it with a termite-proofing solution. Prepare this beforehand.
  2. Construction adhesive or glue. I used Selley's Liquid Nails.
  3. Sealant or Glazing Putty
  4. Quick Dry Paint (White, oil-based)
  5. Paintbrush (3/4")
  6. Sandpaper (#80 - 100)
  7. Pencil
  8. Ruler
  9. Sharp Cutter or Razor Blade
  10. Phillips type Screwdriver
  11. Flat Screwdriver or Spatula

Many of the bathroom doors nowadays are made of PVC material. Yes, these are PVC doors for bathrooms. Gone are the days of wooden doors that ultimately warp or rot due to the inherent moisture of bathrooms. This is especially if the bathrooms aren't big to start with, and water gets splashed around frequently.

The plastic door is certainly waterproof and the problems associated with wood doors are now non-existent.

Durability is, however, another story.

One of the our PVC doors wasn't as durable as we thought. The PVC door now binds to the PVC door jamb at the latchbolt side. When opened, the door drops slightly to an angle, and when you close it you have to lift the door knob a bit so the PVC door fits into the PVC door frame.


Free Trash Bags

In a preceding entry, I wrote some considerations on the use of plastic grocery bags as trash bags. I've devised a way where you could have the convenience of using ordinary plastic grocery bags as effective trash can liners.

Plastic grocery bags nowadays have tabs or "ears" by the sides of the plastic bag. The purpose of these tabs is to allow grocery baggers to easily close the contents of the grocery bags by tying them together instead of the grocery bag handles.

The photo below shows a plastic grocery bag's handles and tabs.

One of the problems to getting rid of household trash is being able to transfer the trash from the trash can or trash receptacle to a trash bag quickly and cleanly. It is important that the trash doesn't spill out and, if wet, doesn't drip out of the trash bag.

Trash that isn't secured properly tend to invite flies, ants, rats and other pests you don't want to have in the apartment. And there is a way to dispose of trash without spending too much.

What do you use for Trash Bags?

Some people just do it the old way - use an ordinary plastic trash can, as is. When it's filled to the brim, they just pour the trash contents to a cheap trash bag, maybe a plastic grocery bag, and then tie up the trash bag. Trash, however, even if you call it "dry trash" usually isn't dry at all.


Clean-As-You-Paint Tip

In a recent entry, I wrote what you could do to easily remove paint from your fingers when painting. This article addresses a very basic and straightforward problem and that is how to deal with smudges.

In painting jobs where you need to finish intricate parts, it is seldom where there won't be accidental smudges. This is especially so if you mistakenly used a bigger paintbrush for the job.

When to Wipe Paint Smudges

The best time to wipe clean these paint smudges or smears is as soon as they happen. It is so easy to miss several spots if cleaning up is done after a long painting job. The longer the paint smudge is left uncleaned, the harder it will be to remove. Left long enough, the paint dries thoroughly and may be impossible to remove.