House hacks: Creative things you have done around your home?

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I assume people on this forum are full of great ideas having mathematical minds.

I use a 60w incandescent worklamp as a heater in winter. Like if im all rugged up but a certain part of my body is cold like my ankles or hands. I use it once an hour to warm up my hands or ankles. Sometimes the central heating can be too hot and it's a pain to change clothes. I grab it and turn it on straight away when I get up in the morning. It's much safer than a space heater imo.

I piled about 12 eva type garden kneeling mats on top of eacthoer on my computer desk. It's actually really stable to increase the monitor height by nine inches.

My computer desk comprises a small heavy three drawer, a metal box and then 12 eva garden mats on top of that. It is really stable. I have a separate platfor altogether for my keyboard and mouse. I bought a foldable table. I cut 4 inches off the front of it with a hacksaw and put duct tape on it. This means I can sit about one foot from the screen and my computer glasses work best at close as possible range.

The original problem I had was I had the lcd monitor with a flat base and my keyboard on a standard desk.

Every time I types my screen would shake so i needed a separate platform for the monitor and keyboard. The box sits on the floor.

So the top of my lcd screen sits about five feet off the ground.

I got this really good Balans kneeling chair that is very high which is why I needed the computer screen to be so high. Id end up with a straight back but my neck would lean forward to look down at the computer screen.
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House hacks! I love the idea! The only thing I can think of is my series of 3 water barrels and how they are connected. I'll get a photo soon. I bet @OmCheeto has something to share!


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I bet @OmCheeto has something to share!
Ummm.... Shaving cream makes an excellent bathroom mirror de-fogger.

Not sure if the other odd things I do, and have created, count as hacks.
I would describe most of them as failed science experiments.
But that's ok. I think failing is one of the best teachers.
Don't know if this qualifies, but years back I had to replace my deep well jet pump. Didn't realize the pipe connection flange was a separate item as was the gasket between them. With a bit of flat-filing the existing flange was salvageable, but for the gasket (here's where the hack comes in) since I didn't have any gasket stock on hand that was large enough, and it was two in the morning, ended up using cardboard from a cereal box.


I'm not able to find a picture of it right now, but in the first house we owned (single story), I made a climbing rope that attached to the rafters inside the roof and came straight down through the attic access panel in the hallway.

I had a set of pullup pegs that I attached to the door frame in the hallway next to the attic access panel, so I could hop up and grab the pegs, move the access panel out of the way with one hand, reach up into the attic and grab the rope and pull it out to hang down through the open access panel.

I would then do a few sets of climbing the rope up to touch the rafters under the roof, and back down to the floor. After I was good and worn out, I'd grab the pullup pegs, put the rope back in the attic and slide the access panel shut.

Ah, the good old days! :smile:


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While refinishing the inside of my rather large garage (~45 ft by 50 ft by 9.5 ft high) for more interesting uses (fish room, shop, photo studio), I insulated, vapor sealed and put up drywall in it.
To get the dry wall on the ceiling (by my self) I built a drywall sheet lifter since I was too cheap to buy one (several hundred bucks).

I had to make its height adjustable since the ceiling height was not the same everywhere (where the C-clamps are in this picture, I would put some screws through when I had it at the desired height and remove the clamps, since the screws are easily removable, I could readjust the height).

The drywall would go on the lip at the bottom of the "tray" part.
I would then lift it up and the support at the bottom end would flip down to hold it up, thusly.

The hinge is a piece of pipe through some holes in the 2x4's.
The design could have been improved by using 2x2's for the tray part, this would have made it lighter for lifting.
Overall, it worked well.

For a while I wanted to repurpose the frame to make a trebuchet, but eventually decided it was not that well suited for that purpose.
...I think failing is one of the best teachers.
True Dat! I'm just glad that my ex-wife got the house where I received most of my 'education.'
I had a drippy cistern in my downstairs loo, upon exploratory surgery, the sealing washer dropped out, heving split. It was a sunday, I had no replacement washer, we couldn't turn the water back on, and I couldn't move the pipe away from the cistern to fit a washer if I had one. So I got an elastic band, cut it, and wrapped it around where the washer sat. It sealed perfectly, and it was still in there when we moved out.

I also improvised a "drawer" for shoes to be stored under the stairs. it was actually a skateboard with a sheet of plywood on top, but it made getting to our shoes easier.
House hacks? I removed the rear interior stair well that went between the two main floors and the basement, the top floor got the space for an office, with oversize floor joists, I then tied three of those joists together with a 2x2 x 1/4 wall tube and 3 big plates, this distributes the load from the 2 ton chain falls, which now services the 8x8 access shaft that allows me to lift heavy things in and out of the basement work shop.


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I sledgehammered out a piece of garage floor to make a stairway directly from the attached garage to the basement. That was my best house hack ever - the young woman living across the street came over to see what all the noise was about. We have been married for over 26 years now.
I built my own place and it's got a few things that might be considered hacks. One of my favorites is that I wired some of the office and living room outlets into motion sensors so they turn off after not detecting movement for 20mins. The idea is to help eliminate phantom load from things like TVs, computers, cable boxes, etc. The sensors pay for themselves in electricity savings within the first year.
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