Build a DIY Sandbox

child sandbox

We wanted to share a fun project for the summer months. Not all home repair and DIY projects have to be serious.

Today we will provide instructions on how to build a DIY sandbox for your children or grandchildren to play in at your home.


  • Tape Measure
  • Tightening Clamps
  • Power Circular Saw
  • Claw Hammer
  • Power Drill
  • Digging Shovel
  • Square & Level
  • Dust Mask
  • Caulk & Caulk Gun
  • Protective Eyewear
  • Mason’s Line
  • Hearing Protection
  • 8 1x6x8 Cedar Boards
  • 4 1x3x8 Cedar Boards
  • 1-1/4 in. Galvanized Screws
  • Sand

The first thing you need to do is decide where you want the sandbox. The total size of the sandbox will be 64 square feet. You need somewhere in your yard that can accommodate the entire size of the sandbox and you need to decide if you want the sandbox in direct sunlight or in shade.

Plan the layout of the sandbox using twine and garden stakes to create straight lines for the outline of the sandbox. You will then need a digging shovel to cut out the shape. Learn more about all of the types of shovels.

Dig out all of the loose soil and dump it into a wheelbarrow. You can use the soil for a garden bed or dispose of it later. You want to dig so the bottom of the sandbox is just below the surface level of the yard.

Lay landscape fabric in the opening to prevent grass and weeds from growing up through the bottom of the sandbox.

Now cut the 1×6 boards to 8 ft. lengths. You need to clamp two of the boards on top of each other four different times. This will create 1-ft. of total depth for the sandbox. You also need to cut eight different 10-in. pieces to create the inside support pieces. You will then screw these into each corner with your power drill and galvanized screws.

Now pour the sand into the sandbox. You need enough sand for a 64-square feet area. Leave a little room for the children to move around and for toys too. You should replace the sand each year.

You also might want to purchase a tarp to leave on top of the sandbox when it isn’t being played in. This will protect the sand and the wood from harsh weather.

Types of Shovels

dirt shovel

You will need various shovels to maintain your landscaping and gardens around your home. Like garden hoses, shovels are a staple of yard projects. There are many types of shovels and each one has its own purpose.

The goal of this post is to help you understand which shovel to use for each project around your yard. Home outdoor projects are much easier with the right tools.

Here are the different types of shovels:


The most common shovel for outdoor projects is a digging shovel. The purpose of this tool is very self explanatory as you will use it to dig holes in and around your yard. A digging shovel has a sharp and pointed tip for loosening soil and cutting buried roots and hardened sod. There are also digging shovels with a square tip for edging and harder soil.

You should purchase a steel digging shovel as it is more durable than an aluminum model. Handles are available in composite, wood and plastic.


A trench shovel is used for digging trenches and laying irrigation pipes. Their design is similar to digging shovels. The main difference is the squared sides which help prevent soil from spreading into other areas from where you intend to dig the trench or irrigation line.


A drain spade has a much narrower shape than trench or digging shovels. It is used for digging precise holes in garden beds where other planting has already been established. You can also use a drain spade to clear out loose soil from an existing trench. This tool is much more precise than the previous two shovels.


A trowel is a handheld shovel used for smaller gardening projects. A trowel has a very short handle and shape and is perfect for potting projects or reseeding. This is one of the more common shovels homeowners have in their arsenal.


An edger is an offshoot of a shovel. It features a long handle but the blade is a half-moon shape used along the borders of sidewalks and pavement to create a clear edge or barrier from the pavement and the garden bed or soil.

You now know the necessary types of shovel to become an expert in gardening and landscaping for your home.

Why Hire Carpet Cleaners

cleaning equipment

C.C.C. Home Repair advocates DIY projects for the most part. We believe homeowners can fix most damage in their home and perform most upgrades as well. You can install a toilet, paint a ceiling or room and more. But there are some jobs we don’t recommend DIY for. For example, we don’t recommend DIY carpet cleaning.

Typically, if we recommend hiring a professional service for a project its due to inherent health risks in completing the job. This isn’t necessarily the case with carpet cleaning. While the process is labor-intensive and can lead to severe back pain or discomfort, there is little risk of serious injury during carpet cleaning.

The reason we recommend professional carpet cleaning from companies like Chem-Dry of Bexar County is due to the results.

Your carpet is one of the largest investments in your entire home. To install new carpet can cost more than a new roof (depending the size of your home) or a new furnace, windows or air conditioning unit. You need to care for it to the best of your ability and that means you need to hire a company to clean it.

Why? Because carpet cleaning machines for rent are not powerful enough to sufficiently remove deep dirt and bacteria from carpet. These machines spray gallons of cleaning soaps and chemicals into the carpet as well as even more gallons of water. The machines saturate your carpet and then attempt to suction all of the dirt and moisture. Rarely is this successful. Oftentimes, there is still deep dirt afterwards and your carpet is still wet which can lead to further problems and sometimes permanent damage.

You might notice browning, bumps or returning stains after using these rental machines. These are all signs of saturation from too much moisture during the process. Too much water is very bad for the health and well-being of your carpet and its performance.

We often hear how homeowners will rent a machine from the hardware store or use DIY methods online for carpet cleaning and soon after still end up hiring a professional carpet cleaner to get the job done. You simply cannot match the performance of professional equipment, experience and solutions when it comes to carpet cleaning.

Professionals use truck-mount equipment that provides powerful suction able to extract deep dirt in the carpet fibers and pad. Their solutions are safer for your home and your carpet too. Their experience guarantees the proper techniques and equipment will be used on your specific carpet materials and stains. Each type of carpet requires a different type of care and no two stains are the same. There isn’t a “one-size fits all” solution to successfully cleaning carpet stains.

Homeowners should still vacuum on a routine basis. Most manufacturers recommend vacuuming once a day or 4-5 times each week. Homeowners should also perform immediate spot treatment on spills and stains and should try to reduce foot traffic or the presence of shoes indoors. But when it comes to deep cleaning the carpet, we highly recommend hiring a professional service near your home.

How to Repair a Garden Hose

garden hose

You need your garden hose for watering your yard and maintaining landscaping and a proper garden too. A garden hose should last for several years but oftentimes damage occurs that prevents it from working unless you buy a new one or repair your current one. A new hose can cost $50 or more and you don’t want to spend that much money if you don’t have to so you should try to repair the garden hose instead.


  • Utility Knife
  • Clamp Pliers
  • Couplers
  • Clamps
  • 6 inch of hose

All of the items you need to repair a garden hose can be found at your local hardware store and the clamps and couplers should only cost $5 or less. You will probably already have the pliers and utility knife at home but if not they shouldn’t cost more than $10 and you will still save money compared to buying a new hose.

First use the utility knife to cut about one inch below the cut and one inch above the cut on the garden hose. You want a clean, even cut to work with. Be careful during this process as the knife needs to be sharp in order to cut through the hose.

Now push one of the couplers into the top portion of the hose and another one of the couplers into the extra piece of 6-inch hose. Then push another coupler into the other end of the 6-inch hose piece and another coupler into the bottom end of the hose.

Then slide a clamp over the cut on the top end of the 6-in. hose and a clamp on the bottom end of the new piece of hosing. Then use your pliers tool to press down on each clamp to tighten them around the cuts and seal the cuts so that water will no longer leak from the cuts.

The entire repair shouldn’t require more than 10-15 minutes after you return from the hardware store. You can do this same repair two or three times on the same garden hose before you will want to consider purchasing a new one but if you are careful you should be able to use the same garden hose for 5-10 years or even longer.

Instructions for Installing a Dimmer Switch

To transition from fluorescent light bulbs to LED bulbs will require updating your toggle light switch to a dimmer light switch. This is a very easy DIY home repair project that won’t require too much of your time but can have a major impact on your energy and electric bill each month. A dimmer switch also helps to add ambiance and atmosphere to a room.

To install a dimmer switch won’t require much time at all. You can install a new dimmer switch in 15-30 minutes or less. You don’t need many tools or supplies either:

  • Non-Contact Voltage Tester
  • Phillips-Head Screwdriver
  • Flat-Head Screwdriver
  • Wire Strippers
  • Dimmer Switch
  • Wire Connectors

The first step in any electrical project, minor or major, is to ensure the power is off. You can not install a new dimmer switch, light fixture, ceiling fan or any other item that requires connection to your home’s electricity without turning off the appropriate circuit breaker first. Locate your circuit breaker box and flip OFF the breaker for the room(s) you will install the new dimmer switch in.

Now that the electricity is off, you can remove the plastic switch cover from the toggle switch (or the damaged dimmer switch). There should be a screw in the top and the bottom of the switch plate. Unscrew and remove the cover with a screwdriver.

Then remove the switch from the wall. First, test the voltage with the non-contact voltage tester. Place the tester on the screws attaching the switch to the wall. If there is no electricity, you can unscrew the switch from the wall. Then unscrew the cable wires from the terminals attached to the back of the toggle switch.

It is time to install the dimmer switch. First, connect the green wire from the electrical box to the base or ground wire of the dimmer switch. Then connect each black wire to each cable wire. Then connect the white wires together.

Then insert the installation screws from the dimmer switch into the electrical box and tighten until there is a secure fit. You can now replace the toggle switch cover with a dimmer switch cover.

This completes the installation of the new dimmer switch. Now it is time to test if the switch is working correct. Return to the circuit breaker box in your home and turn the power back on. Then return to the new dimmer switch and turn it on. If the light comes on, you have installed the switch correct. If not, you will need to unscrew the cover and ensure the wires are connected per our instructions.

Once complete, the dimmer switch will help reduce energy usage and energy costs in your home and add atmosphere with various lighting setting to suit the needs of you and your family. You can repeat this project for all of the toggle switches in your home for a truly energy-efficient home.

C.C. Home Repair is your #1 online source for DIY home repair projects and instructions. You can send us questions concerning this post or suggestions for new posts using our online contact form.

How to Paint Your Ceiling

ceiling paint

One of the easiest ways to spruce up a room in your home or update its style is to put on a new fresh coat of paint. You can use a bold color of paint or perhaps something more soothing or serene? The choice is up to you. You are probably familiar with how to paint the walls of the room. But do you know how to paint your ceiling?

If you paint your ceiling it will make a room feel warmer, bigger or cozier depending on the color of paint you choose. You want to determine your paint color by the function of the room.

Preparing to Paint Your Ceiling

To properly paint a ceiling, you need to prepare well first. You need to prepare the room first. This means you need to remove all of the furniture in the room. This includes couches, dining room tables and chairs, beds, etc. You also need to remove electronics and lamps and such. You don’t want anything directly below the ceiling.

You should also remove area rugs and rug runners and then lay a large cloth sheet or sheet of plastic across your hardwood floor or wall-to-wall carpet. You don’t want paint to drip on your carpet.

Place plastic over ceiling fans and lighting fixtures hanging from the ceiling.

You will also need a ladder for this job. You need to be careful using a ladder. Always practice ladder safety. Never climb higher than the second to last rung and always keep at least one hand on the ladder for balance.

You then need to purchase your paint. You should purchase ceiling paint. Ceiling paint is formulated to spatter less and has a flat finish that helps to hide imperfections. Be sure to purchase paint and primer in one can for less preparation and less necessary coats of paint. Each gallon should paint about 400 square feet.

Painting Your Ceiling

If the ceiling is extremely high, we recommend that you hire a professional painter in Texas. You can search “painter near me” to find services online or ask neighbors, friends and family members for recommendations.

You should paint your ceiling before you paint your walls.

Now cut in along the walls with a small handheld brush and a small “cut bucket”. You don’t want to get up and down from the ladder several times. Do not put too much paint on the brush each time to avoid dripping.

Paint in long strokes and always brush back into the wet paint to smooth and flatten it.

Do you want a flat coat of paint or something with texture? You can purchase different types of rollers based on the surface you want for the ceiling.

You can attach the roller to an extension pole to be able to reach further and move the ladder around less. This will save time.

Start in a corner of the room and paint in small overlapping rows. Paint back and forth. Roll slow so the paint does not spatter.

Continue the process across the entire ceiling. After the paint dries, inspect it to see if it needs a second coat of paint or not. If it does, repeat the process again.

For vaulted ceilings, start in the highest areas of the ceiling and paint downward.

Before you know it, your ceiling will have a beautiful, fresh coat of paint.

Under Construction

The blog is currently under construction. Future posts will feature helpful home repair tips, DIY projects, videos (like the one below) and professional service recommendations for local companies and repairmen in Texas. Come back soon!