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Super Handyman: Easier way to carry ladders

I have a couple of ladders so I can take care of the repairs and chores around the house. I have added a handle to each one to make them easier to carry. I just installed a simple, inexpensive screen-door handle to the center point of each one. The center point is the center balance point or the spot where it is pretty evenly balanced, so carrying it will be easier to do.

This allows you to carry it with one hand, leaving your other hand free to carry your tools.


Q: We have a standard attached garage. There is no insulation in the walls, but I didn’t think it was required. But I have found out that there isn’t insulation in the wall between the garage and the house. Is this normal, or should we add it?

The walls are drywall but not taped or painted. How would we add it? – N.F.

A: Yes, the wall should be insulated between the garage and the house. If the drywall is screwed on, the easiest way to insulate would be to remove the drywall, install batting and then replace the drywall.

The alternative is to drill holes in the drywall between every wall stud and blow in loose-fill insulation, but you are going to have unprotected areas in most cases with this method. You also won’t get a vapor barrier like you would with the batting.


Q: I need some help with loose and missing tiles from my swimming pool. These are around the top, just under the coping. I have them all but don’t know what type of glue will work best for this. I want them to stay on. What would you recommend? – T.S.

A: You need to clean the old adhesive from the back of the tiles as best you can. Then use a waterproof tile adhesive to glue them on.

After the glue has set up, you will need to reinstall the grout.

Tips from readers

I wanted to clean out my gutters to get ready for our spring rains. I tried a couple of different tools, but ended up using my kitchen spatula. It was the perfect size for scooping out the leaves and was easy to handle.

I also added a leaf guard to the downspout, since it was clogged full of leaves. – D.N.


I was gluing two large sheets of plywood together for a project for my son’s Boy Scout troop. I figured that squeezing it out of the tube would take forever, so I poured it onto the wood and used a paint roller to spread it around. This worked out well, and, after putting the two sheets together and setting heavy weights on it overnight, it is done. – M.L.


I painted a dresser to use in our guest room when I updated the linens. It looked all right, but very plain, and I wanted to jazz it up a little bit. I had used some wallpaper from a border in the room and some more coordinating wallpaper from the bathroom, so I took some of the leftovers and papered the drawer fronts to match. I used regular glue instead of wallpaper paste because I wanted it to stick forever. I trimmed the edges and then added new hardware. It looks great now and is the focal point of the room. – R.G.

Super HandyMom tip

My husband gives me flowers often, and I love it! I end up with a lot of those plain, clear vases, though.

I try to recycle them and create new things from them. I’ve glued beads, rocks, shells and even moss and flowers on them to upgrade them from plain to perky.

Got a question or a handy tip? Visit Those of general interest will be used in future columns.