DoItYourself's administrators are all publishing professionals and experienced DIYers. Our writers and forum contributors are all experts in one or more home improvement skills, from gardening to plumbing to electrical wiring. Many have legal certifications and have spent their lives working in the fields they write about.
Meet our team!
Caleb Mayo- Editor
Caleb Mayo has edited DoItYourself since 2019. He leads a team of talented writers and home improvement professionals to deliver fun, actionable articles and manage ongoing upgrades to DIY's large archive of useful information. Caleb grew up in Marblehead, Massachusetts in a family of nature-loving do-it-yourselfers. He's worked on gardens and carpentry projects his whole life, including helping build a cottage studio where he lives in the summer.
Caleb holds a BA in Drama from Vassar College and has written for digital publishers including Dun and Bradstreet, SciFutures, and Wild Sky Media (formerly RockYou). He's also a classically trained actor with extensive Shakespeare credits, and has performed in TV and film, and on stage in Boston, DC, Los Angeles, Lewiston, Milwaukee, and Cincinnati.
Marc Catalan- Project Manager
Marc is the project manager for DIY. He was trained as a developer at California State University, Northridge where he earned a bachelor of science degree in computer science. As a frequently appointed team leader for class projects and group activities, Marc is used to managing tasks and hurdles while working with different kinds of people.
Marc believes in solving problems from the root cause rather than providing a band-aid solution as well as making sure that quality is ensured over speeding through tasks. Moreover, Marc employs an empathetic approach to management, placing emphasis on people's needs when deciding which and how issues are addressed.
Andrew Luu- Product Manager
Andrew Luu is the product manager for Doityourself.com. He holds a BA in Economics from UCSB and has worked on three startups, as well as with established companies including Nike, Adidas, and Uggs. He’s eager to make DIY a better place to foster creativity.
His favorite DIY project has been building his own work/gaming setup at home. He built his own PC by looking up tutorials and buying the parts online. He set up his own floating dual monitors and created a space to help him focus on his work and hobbies. In his free time, he likes to go onto forums to look for the newest and latest parts while helping out the PC building community.
Jason Pelmont- Videographer
Jason Pelmont is a videographer for Do It Yourself. In the home repair and home improvement space, he’s a big fan of quick fixes and small maintenance projects that save you the headache and cost of massive repairs down the line.
Jason’s earliest DIY projects were what you might expect: using a couple playing cards to steady a wobbling table leg, jewelry crafting, and installing tile and wood floors. He also picked up crafting, whittling, and woodworking skills as a Boy Scout.
Around the time he graduated from paper clips and chewing gum to hammer and nails type solutions, Jason discovered a love of filmmaking and pursued an education in this field throughout high school and college. As a teen he won awards for short film projects, performed comedy, acted in dramatic roles, and won the Martin Roth Memorial Screenwriting Award. He earned a degree in Cinema & Television Arts from California State University, Northridge before transitioning to work behind the camera full time.
Jason has worked as an assistant director on independent and studio feature films, written and directed short films, and has had scripted work optioned by multiple production companies. He has worked in the studio television system on programs for the Disney Channel, reality and documentary programming for the E! Network and A&E. With a background that includes work for marketing and advertising firms, Jason has also worked on commercials and music videos in an on set capacity and in post-production.
Jason’s favorite DIY project is the likely unsafe but surprisingly smooth dolly track he and his crew improvised on one of his early feature film shoots.
David Thomas- Senior Web Developer
David Thomas is a senior web developer of DoItYourself.com. He started in early 2012 as an intern and worked his way up to lead a team of developers who maintain a number of sites at Internet Brands along with DoItYourself.
David has a true passion for technology and often finds himself experimenting with new concepts. For DoItYourself, he has worked with the development team on ways to help improve the site’s speed while optimizing many of the underlying services that are used behind the scenes that make this site wonderful.
David's favorite DIY project was replacing the head gasket on his 1992 Nissan D21 pickup truck. While he does not have professional mechanical experience, he had the guidance of his father, who has a history of working on cars, and his grandfather, who used to work as a mechanic. If he can give any words of advice for those who would like to work on their own cars, it would be to always get the Haynes manual, as it contains every detailed nuance for all automobile make and models.
Tyson Yen- Community Manager
Tyson Yen joined Internet Brands in 2012, starting out in the travel division as a community specialist. In 2018 he assumed the role of community manager for the Home vertical and now uses what he’s learned over the years to support the Doityourself.com community.
As a father of two sons, Tyson is very busy in his off-hours, spending time having fun with his family and challenging his children with educational, and occasional DIY, projects. His family’s latest DIY project involved making homemade slime. The project was simple, safe, and super fun.
Tyson recently relied on the expertise of the DIY community when attempting to tackle the replacement of a window screen in his oldest son’s bedroom. He had no idea how to perform this task, but found an article on doityourself.com explaining how to do it. After purchasing all the needed tools and equipment, he followed the steps outlined and was surprised at how easy it was. The screen needed replacing for a while and he was so impressed with how good the new screen looked that he decided to replace the screens on the entire house. His wife thought he went a bit overboard, but he’s proud every time he views the outside of their home.
Mike Baker is currently a professional plumbing inspector for the state of Idaho. He holds a Journeyman Plumbers license, and a Plumbing Contractors license as well. Mike has been plumbing for 18+ years.
Mike is also a Veteran and lives on his 4.5 acre hobby ranch in Idaho with his wife, Brenda, where they raise cows, rabbits, chickens, Alpine goats, and a couple of grumpy Alpacas. Mike is the father of five sons and grandfather of eight grandchildren at this time. Mike has written two books and hosts a podcast as well.
Shanga Bess is a writer, a tinkerer, a motorcycle and car crasher, fixer, and crasher again.
He grew up in a "you don't grow or raise it, you don't get to eat it" household and learned sustainable gardening and tricks of taking care of animals from a very early age.
As an adult, he worked as a custom furniture and timber frame builder for more years than he cares to admit.
In his free time, he works on keeping older cars and motorcycles running and looking good, having a nature that does not allow him to let other people put their hands on his gas-guzzling favorites.
Right now, he is in process of finishing up a custom house in the middle of North Dakota prairies, adding a bermed greenhouse and surrounding it with three acres of a food forest, a sustainable garden, and as many Nigerian dwarf goats as the place will fit.
Refurbishing, rediscovering, upcycling, and reinventing—all things Maddison can do with a pair of scissors or a can of paint. A Brigham Young University grad with a degree in English and communications, Maddison has worked with small and large businesses alike, developing creative marketing strategies.
Maddison is also a seasoned photographer whose work has been featured on ESPN and in several magazines in the US. After several years as a sports photojournalist, Maddison primarily focuses on product photography and capturing families, newborns, and kids with her camera.
As a DIY writer of 5+ years, with a decade more of experience, Maddison has a knack for turning trash into treasure and convincing her friends it came from Anthropologie. In the last few years, Maddison has begun consulting as an interior design specialist, working with corporate spaces and homes.
Emily grew up in a household where there was always a summer garden, and a room being renovated. This influence followed her into adulthood as she has worked in various trades for more than a decade, specializing in tile and trim carpentry. She owns and runs MLE Renovations and has over 15 years of professional renovation and landscaping experience.
Emily has a Bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Guelph, a Masters in Creative Writing from Humber College, and a Journalism diploma from Conestoga College, so writing about DIY projects is her dream job! She’s particularly interested in green design, re-purposing items, and creating environmentally-friendly outdoor landscapes. She always has a project in mind. Next on the list: creating a rain garden on the front lawn, and turning her garage into a working office and guest suite.
Emily lives just southwest of Toronto, but grew up in Chicago, and has family across Canada and the United States. She currently works in a Lowes garden center and has an orange tabby cat who helps her decide where plants should go - without getting his paws dirty.
Dawn Hammon has thrived in freelance writing and editor roles for nearly a decade. She has lived, worked, and attended school in Oregon for many years. Dawn currently spends her days convincing her children she is still smarter than them while creating new experiences with her husband of 24 years.
Her multiple interests have led her to frequently undergo home improvement projects. She enjoys sharing the hard-earned knowledge that comes with it with the audience of DoItYourself.com. Dawn and her sister make up a power-tool loving duo that teaches classes to local women with the goal of empowering them to tackle their fears and become comfortable with power tools.
Tapping into her enthusiasm for saving money and devotion to sustainable practices, Dawn has recently launched a passion project aimed at connecting eco-friendly products and socially-responsible companies with consumers interested in making conscientious purchases, better informing themselves about products on the market, and taking a stand in favor of helping to save the planet.
When she is not providing stellar online content for local, national, and international businesses or trolling the internet for organic cotton clothing, you might find her backpacking nearby hills and valleys, traveling to remote parts of the globe, or expanding her vocabulary in a competitive game of Scrabble.
Dawn holds a bachelor's degree in psychology, which these days she mostly uses to provide therapy for her kids and spouse. Most recently, I worked for a small local professional organizing and estate sale company for four years where I learned a ton about organizing and/or disposing of just about anything.
She was raised in a tool-oriented, hands-on, DIY family. Her dad worked in the floor covering business and owned local floor covering businesses, so of course selling floor covering was one of her first jobs. Her brother was a contractor for about 30 years and site supervisor for Habitat for Humanity. I worked with him often, building decks, painting houses, framing in buildings, etc. With her sister, she holds power tool classes to empower women who are scared or have never used them.
Not quite a homesteader, she did grow up with a farm, tractors, motorcycles, expansive gardens, hay fields, barns, and lots of repairs to do. Plus she and her family preserved foods, raised cattle and pigs, chopped and hauled firewood, and performed regular maintenance on two households, outbuildings, fencing, etc.
As an adult, she has owned two houses. The first one she personally ripped out a galley kitchen and opened it up to the living area, plus updated every door, floor covering, and piece of trim in the place. In her current home, she's tackled everything from installing real hardwood flooring to revamping the landscape.
H.R. Helm is an accomplished DIY craftsman. He has been DIY since childhood and is now a septuagenarian. He is experienced in wood and metal construction, having designed and built several houses and metal buildings. He built every permanent building on his current homestead and did all the plumbing and electrical work.
He has several years experience as a professional cabinet builder, and he is an accomplished auto repairman, having operated an auto repair business for many years. He currently has a home shop where he sharpens and rebuilds saws, repairs lawn mowers, mobility scooters, hydraulic jacks, and anything else that comes along. He also builds custom tools for metal working.
Invention prototypes are another of his many accomplishments. He owned and operated a manufacturing business building Compact Utility Vehicles for homeowner use. H.R. enjoys making jams and jellies during fruit season along with cooking meals. He is committed to outdoor cooking in a Bar-B-Q pit he welded together several years ago. He maintains fruit and nut trees along with helping his wife with a vegetable garden. He farmed commercial garden produce for several years. It helps to have over 50 years of farming and ranching experience.
KC Morgan has been a professional freelance writer since 2006. Over the last decade, KC has published thousands of articles and blog posts that have been read by millions. KC has written how-to articles, guides, and tutorials on different DIY ideas and home improvement projects. And KC doesn’t just write about DIY projects, she does them too. KC shares her DIY passion by creating original articles, so others can pursue their own home improvement goals and ideas too.
KC’s articles have appeared in Popular Mechanics, and have been featured on DIY guru Bob Vila’s website. KC has written in-depth DIY articles for Sears.com and Overstock.com, as well as dozens of other websites. KC combines research and hands-on practice to provide useful tips and techniques for all sorts of DIY projects so that anyone can find ways to improve their own home and get the living space they want. KC works on her home every single day to learn new cleaning hacks, find DIY new projects, and discover new techniques to share with readers.
When she’s not writing or DIYing, KC enjoys watching college basketball, playing with her cats, and experimenting with new cupcake recipes.
Charles Ouellet was born on January 22, 1952, in a French Canadian community of northern New Brunswick. In 1970, he moved to Campbellton where he married his wife Linda as he got into a lifetime DIY project in 1980 of designing and building his own two-story house, including plumbing, electricity, moldings, furniture, cabinets, and cupboards, and making his own decorative woodwork. Charles and Linda always maintained a very active involvement within their community as their son Luc grew up. They joined various organizations where he went coaching hockey and President of the local Minor Hockey Organization, President of the Sugarloaf Park Ski Club along with Patrol Leader of the Canadian Ski Patrol, while also actively involved in the coaching of the local ski racing team, and taking on Snowboarding.
A self-taught and accomplished Cabinet Maker and Furniture Maker, he earned his Certification as a Journeyman Cabinetmaker from the Province of New Brunswick, and he also obtained a certification in Computer Aided Design II (CAD). As a cabinetmaker / furniture maker in the industry, he was very much an All-Round man, performing all sorts of duties as a Millwright, Machine/Tool Operator, Toolmaker/Sharpener, Jigmaker, Set-up man, Assembler, Finisher, and Painter, and Training Instructor. During that period, he complemented his mechanical skills with Hydraulics. He began getting his woodworking experience at age 18 working for West Hartford Stairs and Cabinets, then at Northeast Pine Furniture and Craftique Furniture in Northern New Brunswick. He spent over 16 years as operator, general manager and training instructor for MQ Windows, with one of their main accomplishment being the improvement of the 70-MM series of window and door production modified to withstand Hurricane-force winds, with impact-resistant construction which awarded the company the Dade County Approval in Florida.
Charles is also a Certified Electronics Technician from the Campbellton Trade School, and Technician for disabled patients Equipment, certified from Bruno Independent Living Aids and also from Pride Mobility Products, both manufacturers of equipment for disabled patients. As a Technician, he spent a few years working at Radio Engineering Product as he excelled at calibrating, testing, troubleshooting, and repairing electronics for a company producing components and electronic devices for the military. At times he did work as a service technician for local electronic shops. As a technician for disabled patient types of equipment, he did the installations, programming, setups, modifications, troubleshooting, and repairs on mobility scooters and power chairs lifts for vehicles, platform lifts for the homes, straight and curved stairlifts, electric wheelchairs, mobility scooters, power lift recliners, articulated beds, patient lifts, and ceiling lifts, and other related equipment.
As a Certified Teacher in adult education, Charles spent 12 years teaching and elaborating a woodworking program in cabinetmaking and furniture making, simultaneously teaching both in French and in English and elaborating all the course content in both languages. It was during his teaching career when a whole new perspective of industrial woodworking was emerging, giving him the opportunity to develop his own theoretical teaching contents, and later on, to revise all the outdated modules, tests, and exams of the Block Release program and the Journeyman Certification at the Provincial and National levels.
It was during that same period that he learned the use of various computer software such as Lotus, MS Word, Excel, Access, and Auto CAD, the Computer Assisted Design that he incorporated into his classes. All his research and elaboration gave him the opportunity to further expand his knowledge and expertise in electronics and electro-mechanical controls, toolmaking, Kiln Drying, joinery, machining, assembly, and finishing techniques, as well as planning and organizing production and production lines in an orderly and productive manner.
All this rewriting and elaboration for many years somehow triggered in him a copywriting interest which he was to pursue later on. Semi-retired since 1980, Charles, always a teacher at heart, looked into another passion of his where he could pass on his experiences and knowledge to benefit others and got into freelance copywriting, which he absolutely loves to do, as much a hobby as part time-work from home.
Charles and his wife Linda rekindled another interest of theirs by taking classes in social and ballroom dancing since 2006. They now both teach their dancing skills and knowledge at their local Dancing Club, organizing dance classes and Social/Ballroom dances through the year for the members of their club, in order to encourage a more healthy and affordable social and active lifestyle for their friends and other retired couples of the surrounding communities.
DIY Forum Moderators
Dixie2012 AKA T. C. joined DIY in 2012 and was promoted to moderator in 2015. He lives in northeast Louisiana where he has resided all of his life. Raised in the country on a small farm of cotton and various farm animals. He loves dogs of almost all breeds.
He grew up where getting his hands dirty was just as normal as getting out of bed. He got paid for his first job in the 1960s before he was 10 years old—picking up sticks & pine cones at his grandmother's country home for a quarter before the yard man came to mow.
In the mid-1970s he began working for local hay farmers to get himself through welding training at the local trade school. He quickly became the “go to guy” for those farmers to call when they needed their hay out of the field. They depended on him to put together a group of guys & make sure they were there to get the job done & make sure it was done right. At 16 years old, this became his first “management” position.
After 11 months in trade school, he went to work welding at a large ship manufacturing supply company building ladders for ships & running an automatic welder.
He went back to trade school for a period of months & took auto mechanics, although he had been working on family vehicles since his mid teens. He overhauled his first car engine when he was 16.
In his early years, he was young, full of energy & had his hand in many things. He worked in a fiberglass boat factory & was a prison guard for a couple of years. Worked for a pest control company & dabbled in construction in the late 70s. In 1982, he got into live radio part-time as a DJ.
In 1978 he worked as a firefighter until 1990. This opened many doors. Working two days per week left a lot of time for an eager young man to take on part-time jobs including, attending EMT school & working on an ambulance for eight years, owning a small sales & service fire protection equipment business, auxiliary deputy sheriff and DJ/assist mgr of a hotel lounge. In 1993, leaning on his experience as a driver at the fire dept, he took a job as a local truck driver for 11 years. In 2005, he started his own small trucking outfit for a couple of years. After that, he continued a career in driving/trucking that has spanned some 30+ years in various capacities.
T.C. owned & operated a part-time/weekend mobile DJ business with his wife for 17 years from 2002 – 2019.
His favorite projects have been in the construction field, having built two of his own shops from the ground up, and finishing out to completion two other framed-up buildings.
In March 2016, he and his wife experienced the great flood of that year, which caused them to gut and remodel their flooded home. Once it was gutted, and while holding down a full-time trucking job, he acted as a general contractor, hired every subcontractor, and supervised the reconstruction of his home. With some decorating advice from his wife and daughter, the remodel was completed in the fall of 2016. In 2017, they sold the home & moved from the flood zone. Once the home was on the market, the first person to look at it bought it, despite the many other homes for sale in the area after the flood. It was very satisfying to him that he planned and managed the reconstruction of a gutted home and how well it turned out. While stressful to say the least, involving interviewing, hiring, then firing/replacing some contractors, the outcome was more than satisfying.
He loves to work on and oversee his properties, which consist of a 5-acre home place near the lake, a 20-acre, a 40-acre & a 60-acre tract. He enjoys being on his tractor after a week of sitting in a truck seat for 2000 – 3000 miles. Taking the four-wheelers for a tour of his properties.
While there are no major projects in his immediate plans, he enjoys piddling with anything that comes up which needs attention. Fabricating with mainly metal, some wood & tinkering with gasoline vehicles and engines.
You may hear him say regularly that two things he won't do are “the two Ps”.... painting or plumbing. Everything else is fair game. He'll try his hand at most anything else at least once.
His first computer was a Commodore 128 in 1985. He got his first Windows-based OS computer in the mid-'90s and taught himself to perform general repairs on both computers & software applications, eventually upgrading and rebuilding computers until the mid-2000s when technology outran his self-taught abilities.
John Street, AKA The Tow Guy (TG) has been a DIY forum member since 2001. He’s been an avid motor vehicle tinkerer ever since buying his first car, a 1966 Austin-Healy Sprite, in 1971. He began his on-the-job training as a DIY homeowner-handyman in 1983 and has been fiddling with computers as far back as Windows 3.1. A dedicated disciple of Bob Vila & Norm Abrams, TG has dabbled in woodworking for over 30 years and in 2017 took home a Best of Show for a Florida State Fair entry.
TG’s favorite DIY project was the design, construction, and installation of built-in bookcases in his daughter’s first house in 2016 which he recently duplicated during a living room/dining room renovation in his own home. When not in his tow truck or “making sawdust”, he can often be found on the golf course, usually looking for his ball in the rough. He retired from the Marine Corps in 1999 as a Master Gunnery Sergeant, having spent 27 years in the aircraft maintenance field working on power plants (Pratt & Whitney jet engines) and fuel systems. TG has been sole owner/operator of his towing company in southwest Florida since the untimely death of his business partner in 2006. His siblings like to refer to him as “Obi-John”.
John is a retired Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sergeant, having served 27 years worldwide in the aircraft maintenance field of jet engines and fuel systems. His travels took him to such far-flung places as Australia, Italy, Iceland, Norway, the Philippines, and the Far East. He is currently owner/operator of an automotive towing and roadside assistance company in southwest Florida originally founded by his late business partner and best friend.
John is an avid woodworker and has won several Florida State Fair awards for his work including a Best of Show in 2017 for his wooden music stand. As the designated handyman in his extended family, he has mastered a vast array of DIY skills. He likes to say he owes much of his talents to Bob Vila and Norm Abram as a Jack of All Trades, Master of a few.
In addition to woodworking, John has a working knowledge in most of the building trades as well as a wide range of other areas such as computers, automotive matters, and life in general, often being self-taught either out of necessity or by a desire to learn something new. His sister dubbed him “Obi-John” many years ago in reference to his being able to use The Force to fix most anything. His favorite pastimes are “making sawdust” and going 18 holes on a golf course with his younger brother.
As a member here at doityourself.com for over 20 years, and a Moderator for nearly as long, he likes to think he has gained as much knowledge and expertise as he has dispensed.
Mark started painting as a youngster working on family homes. He blew through being an apprentice painter in the early 70s and has painted professionally his whole adult life. While he's painted commercial, industrial, and residential buildings, the majority of his work was new residential. He was a foreman on several crews before starting up his own painting company in the early 90s.
Mark's DIY experience started young, mostly as a cost-saving measure. As a young homeowner, he learned both by trial and error and by gleaning info from the pros on various job sites. He's built several additions for himself and family/friends. He also built the house he lives in.
While retired now, he still enjoys helping family and friends with their DIY projects, from a simple paint job to major home renovations including building cabinets.
Mike (aka Lawrosa) has been a moderator on the DoItYourself.com forum since 2010 and has been a plumber since the early 1980's. He did rough-in work on homes for 10 years when he first began moderating for the site, but these days he does mostly service work. With new time constraints he is always trying to stay active in the forums and help out anyone he can with his knowledge of plumbing and heating (and everything else in between).
Mike moved from New Jersey to Myrtle Beach in 2018 because of the warm weather, and, of course, golf! He has been through some health scares in recent years and still trying to mull through it. His free time is spent at the beach, camping, gardening, golfing, and just plain fixing stuff. His motto is "Just have to tinker. Always in search of the better mouse trap."
His favorite DIY project was designing add-on equipment in his new RV for off-grid camping. Camping off-grid with no electrical or plumbing hook ups allows you to experience much more secluded places in our great country, for example, Bureau of Land Management areas.
It was a self taught project and a true DIY experience. From solar panels, deep cycle batteries, inverter, to all the wiring, he did it all by himself. This allowed his family to enjoy the great outdoors with a bit of comfort, such as running an electric coffee pot, microwave, or watching TV, all running 120volts from the sun and batteries. Inner circles call this "glamping", not camping. This allowed him and family to keep the memories in their hearts from these secluded camping spots that very few have ventured to, or have even seen.
Mike (aka Zorfdt) has been involved in home renovations since he found a hammer and nails in the basement of his home. Though his first few projects probably were not code-compliant, he's been renovating, flipping, and landlording homes for the past 25 years. Most of Mike's professional career has been in the software engineering realm following an education in electrical and computer engineering.
When he's not working behind a computer he is out enjoying nature with his wife and puppy, playing softball, or trying any new sport. Mike's favorite DIY project was a full renovation of a 1920s house that was stuck in the 70s, complete with wood paneling everywhere highlighted with floral curtains. Renovations included a new kitchen, opening up 4 rooms into an open-concept first floor, adding a full bath, as well as the electrical, plumbing, and mechanical that went with it. It is very rewarding to see the improvement from the tired house it was to a current functional house that still maintains its original 20's charm.
MrRonFL joined the forum in June 2000. He's been an electronics technician for over 40 years of combined Navy and civilian experience, with the last 20 years primarily focused on life-safety and security electronics technologies. He is a level II NICET-certified fire alarms technician, and a senior technician for a large regional fire protection company.
He’s lived and worked in North Central FL for the last 30 years, but has worked in a variety of technical and construction industries across a chunk of the southeast. Over the years his technical skills have been used to service power generation systems, HVAC controls, access control systems, CCTV, and audio systems.
He is active in an international medieval historical society, and enjoys researching the arts and technologies of bygone ages, as much as puzzling out the quirks of modern technology.
He’s spent much of his life learning the skill sets to be a self-reliant homeowner, and enjoys the challenge of helping others learn their own skills. He has an extensive accumulated technical library, and a practiced set of research skills.
His favorite DIY project is the historical charcoal-fired metal casting setup that he uses for demonstrations and teaching. Several times a year, he spends several weekends casting dozens of small parts for further use in his historical projects, while teaching the public about a craft that’s become seldom seen on a day-to-day basis.
The most useful revelation he’s ever found has been the understanding that knowing the right question to ask is often as valuable as having an instant answer.
At age 18, Sam went into the Army and served a tour in Vietnam. When he got out at 20, he started learning to install flooring, a trade where you never stop learning. Through the years, Sam worked as a line mechanic for a car dealer. He also worked as a welder, but always did flooring at least on the weekends. After he turned 30, he switched to flooring full time. He has managed two stores but spent most of his career as an independent installer.
Sam has installed flooring in residences, churches, apartment buildings, stores, etc. He installed turf in a mini golf course and a football stadium, rubber flooring for an indoor track in a YMCA, and even installed flooring in RVs. He's done the measurements for almost everything he's have installed.
Sam went to the Armstrong Vinyl school and became certified to install vinyl, and has completed numerous other training sessions for various kinds of flooring. He has installed carpet, vinyl, ceramic, VCT, rubber, and wood.
At 65, Sam semi-retired because of health issues. He enjoys helping others with my experience.
Sam has been married for 40 years, and has 5 children, 12 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren.
Shadeladie joined the forum in January 2005 and became a super moderator in 2007. She used to own a small drapery workroom and has been sewing since she was a little girl. She’s self-taught in sewing home décor through reading lots of books and watching videos. She was also a bookkeeper, beauty consultant, baker and cake decorator, and a bodybuilder.
She’s an animal lover and loves nature, the beach, listening to rock, soap operas, musicals, and walking her dog. Her hobbies include computers, sketching, reading, watching supernatural horror movies and of course, helping out on the forum!
Her favorite DIY project was making a small patio outdoor oasis. She, together with her husband, removed an above ground pool that left a large empty hole in her yard. They filled it with sand and got some leftover pavers from a friend and made a small patio. Since it was a circle, the rest was filled in with small stones. They built a curved retaining wall using wall blocks on one side and filled in the dirt beyond that with mulch and decorative rocks. They planted a couple of bushes on one side and strung them with lights, and also put some path lights around the patio along with an outdoor bench. A frog theme was used by putting some decorative frog and turtle statues here and there along with some planters. They then dug a small hole, put a small tub in, and filled it with water. Some flat stone were placed around the opening along with a small garden fountain. She placed a patio set on the pavers and now enjoys sitting in her oasis!
Tolyn Ironhand joined the DoItYourself.com forum in November of 2007 and became a moderator July 2009. An electrician by trade, he can be found mostly answering questions in the electrical forums, but as an avid DIYer he will try to help anybody in any department he can.
There are many projects Tolyn has tackled including demo, moving walls, framing walls, electrical (of course), plumbing, installing drywall, finishing drywall, painting, staining, installing trim, laying tile, laying hardwood floors, auto repair, small engine repair, woodworking, welding, metal working, building decks, building sheds, replacing windows, etc. Really, if there is a project to be done, Tolyn will tackle it!
In his free time Tolyn enjoys hunting, shooting, building firearms, disc golf, RC airplanes and quads, and of course helping people on the Doityourself Forum!
It’s hard to choose the DIY project he’s most proud of. One that tops the list is a custom fabricated fireplace insert for his 70's era wood burning fireplace. The fireplace would use house air for combustion which was very inefficient as the air needed to be replaced and would come from outside. The outside air in Minnesota can get down to -35 degrees in the winter!
With the help of his father-in-law, he designed a prototype out of wood and took those measurements to order the steel to build it. The insert was made out of 1/4" steel and was complete with a firebox, heat tubes to transfer heat to the room, a door with heat-proof glass, and fans to move the room air through the insert. The worst part was when he needed to drill through the side of the firebox to install a 4" duct for the outside air. That required him to sit in the fire box to drill! It took about two weeks to finish and exceeded his expectations. They use it every winter and are amazed how well it works, it really helped to warm up the lower level of our drafty house!
XSleeper is a longtime member at doityourself.com, first joining in 2004. He is a licensed contractor and has worked professionally in the carpentry trades for over 30 years, starting as a window installer in 1991 before expanding into related building trades. He especially enjoys challenging finish work, such as installing wainscoting, crown moulding, beams, and coffered ceilings. His father was into DIY long before the internet was invented, building two houses for their family. And he credits him for his interest in carpentry.
XSleeper's first question on our forum was related to a difficult project opening up a loft ceiling, and his question was answered by one of our professional moderators who offered him suggestions on how to construct the large two-story floor-to-ceiling opening. The suggestions he received here worked perfectly and his employer and customer were both very impressed with the result.
Thanks to this good experience, he has since decided to give back to the DIY community by answering questions for others and he now assists as a moderator in several of our forums.
XSleeper also does volunteer work from time to time. In 2015, he spent 4 months as a volunteer worker on a large commercial project for a non-profit in SE New York State, and he has shared in Disaster Relief work after hurricanes in Louisiana, Texas, and Puerto Rico, and after local flooding in his home state of Nebraska.
A DIY mentality has helped him take on a variety of projects he might not have otherwise attempted, such as tearing down the engine of his work truck to fix a vacuum leak on the intake manifold, or replacing all the fuel injectors on his wife’s car when the check engine light indicated a repair was needed. He also put a new engine in a skid loader he inherited from his grandfather and feels proud to have figured out how to do all these repairs on his own. The money saved by doing things yourself is a nice bonus in addition to the feeling of satisfaction you get from a job well done.