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HOME > HINTS, HACKS, AND FAQS

Hints, Hacks, and FAQs

Make the most of your time with tried-and-true techniques and the latest advances in DIY.

Understanding the Types of Siding

 

When you’re looking for a big boost of curb appeal to your home, you can’t go wrong with a refresh to your siding or starting out in your new home with great siding. But where do you begin? Choosing the right type of siding for your home doesn’t have to be a chore. Instead, at McCoy’s we help you understand the benefits of each type of siding so making the best choice for your home is easy.
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Home Fire Safety Tips Everyone Should Know

 

Even if you've taken all the preventative steps and have built a home to the highest safety standards, fire can still strike. However, you can put your mind at ease by following these five home fire prevention tips to lessen the likelihood of a fire. We’ve also outlined six tips to keep your home and family safe in the event a fire does occur.
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Pest Control Tips: How to Keep Them Out

 

No one wants to deal with bugs or other pests spoiling a quiet night at home. Ants, wasps, bats, squirrels, and all other things great and small should stay outside and be admired… from afar. On the flip side of that, dealing with pest chemicals all the time is a hassle. The best way to deal with pest problems is to prevent them from moving in. Follow along with our top pest control tips to avoid unwanted pests.
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Make DIY Project Planning Easy

 

As the new year approaches, we start to plan our DIY lists with projects for a spruced-up home. With everything you want to accomplish, knowing how to plan your DIY projects will set you up for success and bring your ideas to life. Whether you plan to spend that end-of-year bonus check on a big upgrade or finally get to those small upkeep tasks you’ve been putting off, follow these helpful tips when planning your next DIY project.
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How to Find Your New Water Heater

 

Cold showers? Weird popping noises? Rusty water? Odds are you might need a new water heater. When it comes to water heaters, you have many options to choose from. Do you need a bigger tank? How about even a tankless option? Let us help you determine your new water heater for reliable hot water.
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The Eternal Debate: Cement vs. Concrete

 

Who hasn’t entered their opinion in the classic debate: is that cement or concrete? From admiring a new patio to sneaking your initials into a fresh sidewalk, good cement (or is it concrete?) is a key ingredient for many home improvement projects. But first you must decide what you need, cement or concrete.
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Electrical Boxes: Know Your Power

 

Need a new outlet for your DIY shop or a new light fixture for your bathroom? You’ll likely step into the world (or aisle) of electrical boxes. Electrical boxes are an integral part of your home’s electrical system and choosing the right one helps ensure that system remains safe. A major remodel like adding on to a room or a smaller job like adding in some new switches, each require different boxes. Let us help you narrow down the options before you head to the electrical aisle.
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What’s Going on Up There? Check Your Attic and Roof

 

The old adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” definitely applies to your home’s roof and attic. We can sometimes take for granted what problems a well-built, and well-maintained attic and roof can prevent. But just a little regular attention can save you a lot of effort and money in the long run.
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Backyard Lighting That Shows Off Your Whole Property

 

Adding backyard lighting is about more than just enabling you to see your way at night. The right lighting can make an artistic statement in your favorite relaxation spot and even improve your home’s security. You can choose to add backyard lights to illuminate your home’s architecture, your favorite trees and landscaping, to add some mood lighting, or, yes, to make sure you don’t stumble in the dark. Here’s how you can make backyard lighting work for your home.
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Home Fire Safety Tips Everyone Should Know

 

Even if you've taken all the preventative steps and have built a home to the highest safety standards, fire can still strike. However, you can put your mind at ease by following these five home fire prevention tips to lessen the likelihood of a fire. We also have six tips to keep your home and family safe if a fire does occur.
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7 Home Window Upgrades for Old Windows

 

Installing new or replacement windows can be an expensive project, not to mention the headaches that come with the current supply chain problems. Fortunately, you can upgrade your home windows on a budget to spruce up the interior and exterior of your home. Follow these wallet-friendly improvement tips to get added curb appeal and new life into old windows.
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Wildfire Protection and Home Safety Tips

 

Wildfire safety is essential and with dry, hot weather making them a possibility, wildfires or their smoke can pose a risk to your home and family. Taking precautions in advance like limiting the amount of flammable material around your home, having emergency procedures in place, and knowing how to deal with smoke will help keep your home and family safe.
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The Top 12 Tips for Working Safely in the Heat

 

Here in the McCoy's states, it gets hot. Really, really hot. In fact, heat is the top weather-related threat to your health. Yet, most DIYers spend a lot more time prepping their homes for the surprisingly less dangerous events of floods, tornadoes, lightning, and winter storms than they do prepping themselves for hot-weather projects. And for those who make their living outside, an early heat wave may be a nasty surprise.
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Your Guide to Exterior Wood Stain

 

Exterior wood stain is a great option to spruce up a shabby backyard deck or help weatherproof your fence. Not only will staining your exterior wood surfaces make them look nice, but most products will also protect the wood against the elements. Even a big job like a fence can be easier that you think with the right tools. Before you start staining, make sure you have what you need to make your deck, fence, or even siding look great and stay protected.
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10 Simple Steps for Preparing Concrete for Painting

 

You can dress up just about anything with a coat of paint. Yet, many homeowners hesitate to bring new life to a porch or entryway because it’s concrete. The truth is, you don’t have to settle for a stained, chipped, or just bland entry. Preparing concrete for painting is the key to great results in updating your concrete porch or entryway.
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Holding Tight: Nails vs. Screws

 

Nails or screws: the random one in your junk drawer may not work for your project. Fortunately, McCoy’s can help you find which one is right for your next DIY.
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Why You Should Prime Before You Paint

 

Have you ever wondered how professional painters get that incredible coverage with paint, even if they are painting a light color on top of a dark wall? There is one key ingredient to their success that can take your DIY paint project...
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Gas vs. Electric Chainsaw: Which One for Your Project

 

If you have a job that requires a chainsaw, you might be wondering: is a gas or electric chainsaw better? Chainsaws are great power tools to cut down trees, cut up firewood, or prune back that tree limb hanging a little too close to your roof. Whatever your outdoor project, ensure you have the right chainsaw for the job to stay safe and get the most out of your tool.
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Shine the Right Light on Your Home Security Lighting

 

Proper home security lighting deters unwanted visitors and lights up the night. Discover the right way to set up your security lighting system with McCoy’s.
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Good Subflooring is Key

 

If you want beautiful and quiet floors, get to know your subfloors. For pier and beam foundations, whether in your new garden shed or in your home, no one wants a squeaky or sagging floor. If you’re building a new floor or renovating what you have, understanding what is beneath your feet is the key to getting squeak-free comfort for years to come.
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How to Measure for Replacement Windows

 

You won't be replacing the windows in your home often, but it can be a BIG expense when you do. One way to keep the cost down is to tackle all or part of this home improvement project yourself. While it is a big job, it may not be as daunting as you think!
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Light Bulb Types: How Do You Choose?

 

Light bulbs are a household essential. You’d think buying them would be simple! But, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the large number of different light bulbs available. How do you choose the light bulb type that's right for you?
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Tips on Installing a Screen Door

 

If you want a breeze without the bugs, a screen door offers a perfect solution. If your home lacks a screen door, you can easily install one yourself in an afternoon. Same goes for when you already have a screen door in place, but it’s in need of some repair. We’ll show you how this DIY is an easy one to cross off your to-do list, with a little help from McCoy’s.
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Is Your BBQ Area Ready to Grill?

 

Before spending thousands on a new deck or extensive landscaping, consider giving your backyard a new look with some new outdoor hardware. Just like changing the knobs on your cabinets can give your kitchen a quick update, new hardware can make your backyard the envy if the neighborhood. Don’t just grab any hardware, check out this buying guide.
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Outdoor Hardware: Gates, Pergolas, and More

 

Before spending thousands on a new deck or extensive landscaping, consider giving your backyard a new look with some new outdoor hardware. Just like changing the knobs on your cabinets can give your kitchen a quick update, new hardware can make your backyard the envy if the neighborhood. Don’t just grab any hardware, check out this buying guide.
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Create a Backyard Escape With a Wooden Pergola

 

Are you thinking about building a wooden pergola and creating a backyard escape? Wooden pergolas are one of the most versatile outdoor structures you can build. They are fairly easy to construct and can be used for everything from shade for your hot tub to an outdoor kitchen.
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Repainting Outdoor Furniture

 

Repainting outdoor furniture can give new life to your worn out, faded, or rusty chairs, tables, and benches. It’s easy and inexpensive to make drab furniture look brand new again with a fresh coat of paint. Follow these easy steps for repainting outdoor furniture to make your front porch a welcoming place you can enjoy with your neighbors.
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10 Herbicide Safety Tips to Control Weeds

 

Herbicide safety is of the utmost importance when controlling unsightly crabgrass or dealing with that dandelion farm in your front yard. Herbicides contain chemicals that are effective in controlling weeds but require care when using around your family. Improper use can also harm or at the very least, be ineffective, on your grass and plants, making the process more expensive in the long run. For a safe and healthy lawn and garden, know the varieties of herbicides and follow these tips.
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What Fertilizer to Use for a Beautiful Yard

 

With a little planning, a beautiful and healthy yard can be yours this year. The first step is figuring out what fertilizer to use and understanding when and how to apply it. McCoy’s has the products and information you need for a yard your neighbors will envy. So, what is fertilizer and why is it important?
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Assessing Tornado or Wind Damage to Your Home

 

When a tornado touches down in a neighborhood, the effects are often clear. Less newsworthy--and obvious--is the damage caused by straight-line winds. Even a home in good condition is susceptible to high wind damage.
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High Winds or Tornados: What You Can Do to Prep Your Home

 

If you live in “Tornado Alley” you’ve seen the damage tornadoes and high winds can cause. In fact, if you live anywhere within the McCoy’s states, you’ve likely experienced high winds occasionally.
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Creating the Ultimate Workshop for Your DIY Projects

 

Having a reliable space to work on DIY projects makes getting the job done a whole lot easier. Having the ultimate space makes it a pleasure. Follow these pro tips to create the workshop you’ve always wanted so you’ll have a DIY haven to work on all your masterpieces, big and small.
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Different Types of Cleaning Products

 

Whether you are looking to deep clean your home or wanting to keep your newly re-modeled kitchen spotless, deciding which of the different types of cleaning products to get can seem like a chore itself. After all, how all-purpose is all-purpose cleaner anyway? Choosing the right cleaner gets the job done on the first try without spending money on a bunch of different products and making that carpet stain worse.
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How to Prevent and Fix Warped Wood

 

Don’t let warped wood derail your DIY project. Prevent misshapen and twisted lumber with proper storage and these tips and tricks to fix those crooked boards.
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7 Quick Tips to Get Your Home Ready for a Freeze

 

If you’re one of those people who has a never-ending to-do list (and hey, how many of us born-to-builders don’t?!) then you probably know that feeling of waking up in the middle of the night, realizing there are projects still waiting. Usually, that’s not a problem. After all, there’s always tomorrow. But, if you skipped your regular home winterizing, don’t just hope that the weather will continue to be mild!
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PVC Hacks to Make Your Project Easier

 

PVC pipe is a popular choice for a wide range of projects as it is easy to work with, long-lasting, and cost effective. However, as any avid DIYer knows, you must get creative when projects don’t go as planned. Before your next project, add these PVC tips of the trade into your back pocket.
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Preparing Your Home for Winter

 

We may not get long-term freezes and deep snow drifts like our friends in the north; however, it is still important to prepare for the colder weather and the occasional freeze to help you save on energy costs and keep your home comfortable all winter long. Follow these helpful checklist items to get your home ready for the winter.
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Your Emergency Readiness Kit: What to Have on Hand

 

Recent events highlight that being prepared for emergencies is critical to the safety and comfort of your family. Even if you never need an emergency readiness kit (and we certainly hope you won’t!), the peace of mind that comes from being prepared is priceless.
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11 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Flooding

 

According to the National Severe Storm Laboratory in Norman, OK, flooding is the most common of all weather-related natural disasters. Even people who live in areas that have never flooded should have a plan in place. That’s because flooding can result from something as simple as a storm drain that typically diverts water being blocked.
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Hurricane Damage: Dos and Don’ts for Restoring Your Home

 

Even if you’ve done everything possible to prepare, a hurricane can still surprise you. The sustained winds may be stronger than expected, the storm could linger longer than planned with more inches of rain, and the storm surge could be higher than predicted. While every situation is unique, there are some basic first steps...
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Beat the Heat with an Energy-Efficient Home

 

Saving energy and keeping your home comfortable go hand-in-hand. Fortunately, there are many ways to maximize your home’s efficiency in the summer. Keep your home comfortable and save money, too, with these energy-efficient tips.
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Flood Cleanup: First Steps to Reclaiming Your Home

 

It feels devastating when floodwaters enter your home. Still, the truth is flooding is pretty common in the McCoy’s states. While there’s no denying that flood cleanup is work, in most cases you CAN reclaim your home if it’s been flooded. What you’ll ultimately need to do depends not only on the amount of actual damage to your home...
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7 Paint Roller Tips the Pros Use

 

Painting a room in your home is a project most people tackle at some point. It might seem a bit daunting but with the right tools and techniques, you can get a beautiful, smooth finish. One of the most important tools is your paint roller.
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Hurricane Preparation

Hurricane Preparedness: Boarding Up Windows

 

If you're new to coastal living, this may be your first time boarding up windows in preparation for a hurricane. Yet, even old salts may be surprised to discover the best method depends on the materials used on your home's exterior. Find out about the options and the steps you can take to keep your home protected during a hurricane.
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How to Prepare for a Hailstorm

 

Along with the wildflowers and warm temperatures of spring comes the downside: hail season. While hailstorms can happen at any time of year, they are most common in McCoy’s states from March to May.
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Concerned About Hail Damage? Here's What to Do.

 

The strong winds, flying debris, and the wind-driven hail of a fast-moving hailstorm can result in real damage to your home — particularly to your roof, siding, and gutters.
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How To Get the Greenest Lawn

 

It can be frustrating when your neighbors’ lawns look lush and green while yours is struggling. But the grass doesn’t have to be greener on the other side! Let’s break down how you can get the greenest lawn and keep it that way all year long.
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9 Tips for a No-Fail Ceiling Fan Installation

 

Got an outdated fan in your living room, your kitchen, or maybe on your porch you look up at (or try not to look at!) and think, "I've got to get rid of that thing?" Now's the time. Replacing a ceiling fan is a quick and easy project that instantly updates any room.
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Garage Organization Systems for Messy Garages

 

Storage area? Workshop? Play space? A parking spot? If your garage is serving double -- or even triple -- duty, then you've probably got A LOT of stuff in there. And it can get out of control fast.
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4 Steps for Fixing Water Damage

 

You’ve identified the source of the water—a burst or leaking pipe and shut it off. Now what do you do? Water damage can be a big deal, but try not to panic. You’re not alone, and you can get help.
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3 Signs It's Time to Re-Caulk

 

Caulk is one of the most important elements in your bathroom or kitchen. It prevents water from ending up where it shouldn’t be. Often, though, caulk is one of those things we set and forget. Here are a few ways to know when it’s time to replace your caulk.
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De-icing Your Walkways: Tips and Tricks

 

We may not get many ice days here in the McCoy’s states, but we learned last year to be prepared. If your driveway froze over last February, you might have found that it turned into your own personal ice rink and just walking to your mailbox became an arctic adventure. To prevent slips and falls, proper application of de-icing salt or a DIY mixture can help melt ice and provide traction.
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