Philip Schmidt

Philip Schmidt

Philip lives in Colorado with his wife, two daughters, and too many leftover building materials. He has been teaching readers how to do things for almost two decades. A former carpenter, project designer specializing in houses and everything we do with them and longtime writer and editor, he is the author of 24 books, including PlyDesign: 73 Distinctive DIY Projects in Plywood (, Little Free Libraries and Tiny Sheds: 12 Miniature Structures You Can Build to Enhance Your Yard or Neighborhood (, Black and Decker the complete guide to treehouses: Design and Build Your Kids a Treehouse (, The Complete Guide to Greenhouses & Garden Projects: Greenhouses, Cold Frames, Compost Bins, Trellises, Planting Beds, Potting Benches & More (, The Complete Guide to DIY Greenhouses, Install Your Own Solar Panels: Designing and Installing a Photovoltaic System to Power Your Home, DIY Solar Projects - Updated Edition: Small Projects to Whole-home Systems: Tap Into the Sun, The Complete Guide to a Clutter-Free Home, The Complete Guide to Contemporary Sheds: Complete plans for 12 Sheds, Including Garden Outbuilding, Storage Lean-to, Playhouse, Woodland Cottage, Hobby Studio, Lawn Tractor Barn, Schaum's Outline of Elementary Algebra, Decorating with Architectural Details, Install Your Own Solar Panels: Designing and Installing a Photovoltaic System to Power Your Home, Ultimate Guide: Trimwork, Upgrade Your House: 100 DIY Repairs Improvements For Under $100, The Complete Guide to Attics & Basements, The Complete Guide to a Green Home: The Good Citizen's Guide to Earth-Friendly Remodeling & Home Maintenance, Craftsman Router Techniques; A Comprehensive Guide to Using Routers, Molding & Medallions: Four Easy Weekend Projects (eHow Easy DIY Kindle Book Series), McGraw-Hill's 500 College Algebra and Trigonometry Questions: Ace Your College Exams: 3 Reading Tests + 3 Writing Tests + 3 Mathematics Tests, Black Decker The Complete Photo Guide to Treehouses: Design and Build Treehouses for All Ages, Don't Sweat It... Hire It!, The Complete Guide to the Green Home, Decorating with Architectural Details, and The Complete Guide to Treehouses.

Photo: John Lodder/Flickr

Home Radiators are Leaking

Posted by Philip Schmidt | Mar 18, 2014

The story of home radiators begins in the 19th century and features a motley cast of characters, each with its own temperament and vulnerabilities. There are steam radiators, relics...

Photo: Boa-Franc/Flickr

Hardwood Floor vs Engineered Floor

Posted by Philip Schmidt | Mar 13, 2014

On the surface, a traditional solid hardwood floor and an engineered wood floor are pretty much identical. They look the same. They can be made with the same wood species. They're...

Photo: Steven Johnson/Flickr

Help, My Air Conditioner Is Rattling!

Posted by Philip Schmidt | Mar 13, 2014

Virtually everything in the world with moving parts eventually starts making a mysterious and troubling sound. Cars tend to be the worst culprits for this, but around the house HVAC...

Photo: Aleksey Gnilenkov/Flickr

Does Orange Oil Work for Termites?

Posted by Philip Schmidt | Feb 10, 2014

Yes, orange oil kills termites. Few pest control experts would dispute this basic claim. But ask the more loaded question, Does orange oil really work for termites? and you'll likely...

Photo: Randall Degges/Flickr

Estimating Concrete Walkway Cost

Posted by Philip Schmidt | Feb 06, 2014

The same characteristics that make concrete an ideal material for public curbs and sidewalks also apply to your own walkway: It's cheap, it goes down fast and it pretty much lasts...

Photo: lizzardo/Flickr

Why Do I Need Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters?

Posted by Philip Schmidt | Jan 30, 2014

There are really only 2 reasons why you need ground fault circuit interrupters, or GFCIs, but they're both very, very good reasons. First of all, it's the law. Most local building...

Photo: John Morgan/Twitter

Can You Lay New Roof Shingles Over Old?

Posted by Philip Schmidt | Jan 23, 2014

The answer is yes, you can lay new roof shingles over old ones. Now that we've taken care of the primary question at hand, we'll consider a couple of reasons why you might want to...

Photo: pnwra/Flickr

Convert Flat Roof to Pitched

Posted by Philip Schmidt | Jan 16, 2014

Are you thinking of converting your flat roof to a pitched roof? A pitched, or sloped, roof can add curb appeal and storage or even living space, it reduces maintenance in many cases,...

Good Tiles for the Shower

Posted by Philip Schmidt | Jan 09, 2014

To get one common question out of the way, there's no such thing as "shower tile." Many types of ceramic, porcelain, stone, and glass tile are perfectly suitable for a shower environment....

Photo: Ben Husmann/Flickr

Matte vs Glossy Paint

Posted by Philip Schmidt | Dec 20, 2013

Which sheen of paint to use is the eternal question of DIY painters (not to mention conscientious painting pros looking to make sure clients get exactly what they want). And if you've...