Did you know that on December 23 each year, they celebrate the Night of the Radish, La Noche de Rábanos, in Oaxaca, Mexico? Local artists create sculptures out of radish roots as part of the festivities. They grow huge radishes to carve, bigger than you are likely to grow in your garden. You’re more likely top grow smaller spring radishes, but if you want, you can also grow fall or winter radishes, too!

Types of Radishes

There are two main types of radishes, spring radishes and fall or winter radishes.

Spring radishes

Spring radishes are the typical radishes you’ll find year-round in the grocery stores. They are usually small, round and red, and can be ready to harvest in as little as three weeks from sowing seeds. They grow best in cool, spring weather. Once the days are warmer, these radishes will bolt and send up a flower stalk. At that point, the radishes will no longer be good to eat. Varieties of spring radishes include:

  • Cherry Belle,’ the classic red radish.
  • Easter Egg,’ a blend of white, pink, red and light purple radishes.
  • French Breakfast,’ my personal favorite — which produces red cylindrical roots with white tips.

Fall or winter radishes

Fall or winter radishes are grown later in the year, have much larger roots, take longer to grow than spring radishes and can be stored for a longer period of time. They need the shortening days later in the season to produce good roots. They are often referred to as daikon radishes. Varieties of fall or winter radishes include:

  • Minowase,’ the classic daikon radish that produces long white roots.
  • Watermelon,’ a large round radish with a red interior.
  • Black Spanish,‘ a large round radish with a white interior.

How to Plant Radishes

All radishes are best grown from seed sown directly in the garden. Radishes need loose, loamy soil for good root development and prefer a sunny location. Spring radishes can also be grown in containers.

Spring radishes

Sow seeds for spring radishes four to six weeks before the predicted last frost in the spring. Sow in rows, spacing seeds one inch apart, covering with half an inch of soil. Once seedlings emerge, thin to two inches apart to allow room for roots to form. To make planting easier, you can also buy radish seeds on seed tape. Lay the tape in the row, cover, water and wait.

Fall or Winter Radishes

Sow seeds for fall radishes later in the summer, about eight to 10 weeks before the predicted first frost date. Because winter radishes vary in mature size, check the instructions on the seed packet for how far apart to space the seeds and how long they take to grow and mature.

How To Grow and Care for Radishes

Radishes growing in the garden nice sunny day beautiful.

Watering

The general rule for watering most vegetable garden crops applies to radishes, too. If your garden doesn’t get an inch of rain in a week, you may need to water it, but avoid overwatering, which can cause roots to rot.

Weeding

Start by removing weeds before sowing the seeds. For spring radishes, they’ll grow quickly enough that they’ll beat the weeds. For winter radishes, remove weeds carefully, so you don’t disturb the roots.

Thinning

Follow instructions on the seed packet to thin seedlings to allow for good root development. Fall or winter radishes will be spaced further apart than spring radishes. Spring radish seedlings are edible.

Fertilizing

If your garden has good soil with added compost, additional fertilizer is generally not required to grow radishes.

Preventing insects

Radishes may occasionally be bothered by a few insects, including flea beetles, cutworms and radish root maggot, the larval stage of a tiny fly. If you’ve had problems with these types of insects in your garden in the past, you can use a fabric row cover to keep the insects from getting to the radishes. Also, practice crop rotation by planting radishes in different parts of the garden each year.

How to Harvest Radishes

Spring radishes

You can harvest spring radishes sometimes just three weeks after sowing, depending on the variety. Gently pull out the entire radish plant to harvest. Wash them off, trim off the top and the bottom of the root and enjoy eating fresh, crunchy radishes.

Fall or winter radishes

Fall or winter radishes will be much bigger than spring radishes when ready to harvest, but are also harvested by gently pulling them out of the ground. If they don’t come up with a good tug, gently dig them out to avoid damaging the roots. Fall or winter radishes can be stored for up to a month in the refrigerator. The outside skin will be thick and tough and should be peeled off before eating.

The allure of old furniture comes partly from imagining its story, who used it and what they were doing. Sometimes those questions actually get answered.

While refinishing a chest of drawers with a butler drawer, antique restorer Marshall Young found a photo of a young man, the father of the person who brought it in. “Our customer was amazed at the transformation of the chest, and said he remembered his father sitting there, worrying over the bills,” says Young. “When we showed him the photo we found, he broke into tears.”

Restoring antiques is satisfying for many reasons, but can also be expensive. So when deciding if a particular piece of furniture is worth restoring, take into account its resale value plus intangibles, like your personal connection with the piece.

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” says Peter Triestman of Olek, Inc., an antique restoration company in Orange, New Jersey. “Because of this, some of your furniture decisions will probably be based largely off aesthetics and nostalgia. But also consider the environmental costs of buying new and disposing of the old. Virtually any wood piece is restorable, but the older the piece, the more repairable it is.”

Can I DIY Antique Furniture Repair?

Is antique furniture repair something that an intrepid DIYer can handle? Sometimes.

“Most pieces could just use a good cleaning and possibly an application of paste wax,” says Young, who runs Astonish Restoration in Roanoke, Virginia.

Other times, it’s more complicated.

With larger repairs, like loose chairs, it’s vital to put them back together in the same way they were made. “There should be no reason to attach screws, straps, wire, fiberglass or gum — yes, we have seen repairs attempted with chewing gum,” says Young. That’s because the furniture was designed with the technology of the day, and altering that will cause more structural harm than good.

Glue is another sticking point. Besides scraping off old adhesives before applying new ones, it’s crucial to learn what was commonly used in that period and apply a similar type. According to all three experts, epoxy, superglue and foaming polyurethane usually aren’t the best options.

Before launching into any antique restoration project, research techniques and materials and practice on some yard sale specials.

“And pick up a bunch of antique tools,” Triestman says. “They’re cheap and last forever.” When in doubt, ask a pro’s opinion first.

Should I Restore This Piece of Old Furniture?

According to Triestman, Young and Freddy Roman of The Furniture Repair Shop, in Acton, Mass., here is what to consider when contemplating a furniture restoration project.

Wooden antique furniture

To tell if a piece is an antique rather than a 20th-century reproduction, look at the drawers. If the dovetails are of uneven width, Triestman says, then it’s a true antique.

“Right now true antiques, those 200 years or older, are going for a bargain, high end or not,” says Roman. “The prices of antiques makes you wonder why people are buying factory-made furniture.”

Caned and wicker furniture

“Hand-caned and woven seats can be very expensive,” says Young. “But again, sometimes the sentimental value wins out over the market value.”

These can be less expensive if the restoration is done with machined cane sheets. Otherwise, Young says, “It can be hard to find craftspeople who are still hand caning and weaving. But it is something one can learn to do themselves, if interested.”

If you do try your hand at it, Triestman suggests adding a tablespoon of glycerine per bucket of water before soaking the caning. That keeps it supple.

Veneer furniture

Veneer gets a bad name, but really, veneer is amazing and showcases the beauty of the woods in the world,” says Roman.

Assessing it means considering the substrate the veneer is on, as well as how thick the veneer itself is. “Many historic antiques have plenty of veneer of great thickness that a restorer can repair, or even a DIYer with patience and understanding,” says Roman.

Make sure to buy the appropriate cut of veneer. Try to cut pieces with matching grain lines to the existing furniture. And, Triestman says, be sure to scrape out the old glue with a chisel before inlaying the new elements.

Upholstered furniture

DIYing any upholstery is tricky unless you have exceptional sewing skills. It’s also expensive.

“Upholstered pieces are a lot of work, compared to cheap prices to buy mass-produced pieces today, and generally have little value when done unless from a noted designer,” says Triestman. But once reupholstered, a piece should last longer than contemporary furniture.

Bent plywood furniture

Typically, bent plywood pieces must be taken to a professional. To figure out if it’s worth it, assess the quality of construction and stress the chair or table to see whether it’s splitting apart within the layers.

“If it is, that indicates that the glue is failing, and will progress rapidly with use,” says Triestman. “It’s not possible to put new glue over the old. It won’t hold.”

Mid-century modern furniture

“Right now, the clean simple lines of less-is-more is appealing to folks,” says Roman. To better understand a particular piece’s value, he recommends researching the big makers of mid-century and Danish modern furniture. “But that said, seeing a rosewood piece often tells you this piece is quality,” he says.

Painted furniture

“There is often more value under the paint,” says Roman. “It’s amazing what people paint these days. There are still treasures out there waiting to be found. And everything can be repaired. It’s wood, and it grows on trees.”

And there’s always a chance the repair will unearth a lost gem of humanity.

“My favorite stories are all of the fun things we find inside pieces, or maybe written on them,” says Young. “We had a small table that was our customer’s when she was a little girl. We found on the bottom where she had written, ‘I am so mad at mommy. She won’t let me go over to Patti’s. But I love my daddy!’ ”

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Hickory is a tough cookie. As one of the densest and strongest American domestic hardwoods, it has a reputation for being tough as nails and difficult to work. However, for experienced woodworkers, it still has a place in the shop. Here, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about hickory before your next woodworking project.

What is Hickory Wood?

Hickory is a hardwood — emphasis on the “hard.” Up to 12 species grow in the U.S. alone, though they’re often mixed together and sold simply as “hickory.”

The heartwood tends to have a light- to medium-brown color with a reddish hue, while the sapwood is a paler brown. It’s a durable natural material best suited for high-wear products, such as tool handles or flooring.

Types of Hickory Wood

In North America, you’ll find hickory trees grouped two ways:

  • “True” hickory: True hickories are, on the whole, slightly denser and stronger than their counterparts. The difference is mostly negligible for our purposes. True hickories grow in the Eastern U.S.

  • Pecan hickory: The softer of the two hickories grows in the Southern and Eastern U.S.

The hardness of wood is determined by its Janka rating, from a test that measures the density of wood species. Most North American species fall in the 1,800 to 1,900 pounds-force (lbf) range.  Hickory has a Janka hardness range of 1,550 to 2,140 lbf.

Pros and Cons of Hickory Wood

Pros

  • Strength: Hickory is one of the strongest and densest hardwoods native to North America. On the whole it is stronger than white oak or hard maple. If you’re concerned about durability, choose hickory.
  • Accessibility: Hickory is reasonably priced because it is native to North America and not highly desired for fine furniture. It’s not often available at big box stores so you’ll need to visit a hardwood dealer.

Cons

  • Workability: Due to its density, hickory is notably difficult to work with. It often tears out if blades are not kept sharp, and it dulls new blades quickly. It can be worked with hand tools, but it takes patience and frequent resharpening of tools often. Because of this, beginner to intermediate woodworkers should avoid hickory.
  • Inconsistency: Because multiple species are often sold together, it can be exceptionally difficult to find consistent grain pattern and color. That may not be a dealbreaker for projects like a new tool handle, but it can be frustrating for furniture designers and makers.

What Is Hickory Wood Used For?

You’ll find hickory in these products:

  • Tool handles: Its density is a plus where strength and shock-resistance are important.

  • Flooring: Hickory’s toughness and wear-resistance make it an exceptionally durable flooring material.

  • Chair seats: In some styles of chair making, like Windsor style, the carved seat is the structural keystone. So hickory is an excellent choice for a long-lasting chair.

  • Cooking: Hickory’s high thermal energy content works well for wood fires, charcoal and smoker fuel.

Hickory Wood Cost and Purchasing

Hickory is widely available in North America and reasonably priced compared to other hardwoods. It could be categorized with woods like red oak or soft maple as more “utilitarian.”

Expect to pay from $4 to $10 per board foot depending on board width and whether it’s pre-surfaced or in the rough. Most other furniture-grade domestic hardwoods cost from $5 to $15 per board foot.

Hickory is a tough cookie. As one of the densest and strongest American domestic hardwoods, it has a reputation for being tough as nails and difficult to work. However, for experienced woodworkers, it still has a place in the shop. Here, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about hickory before your next woodworking project.

What is Hickory Wood?

Hickory is a hardwood — emphasis on the “hard.” Up to 12 species grow in the U.S. alone, though they’re often mixed together and sold simply as “hickory.”

The heartwood tends to have a light- to medium-brown color with a reddish hue, while the sapwood is a paler brown. It’s a durable natural material best suited for high-wear products, such as tool handles or flooring.

Types of Hickory Wood

In North America, you’ll find hickory trees grouped two ways:

  • “True” hickory: True hickories are, on the whole, slightly denser and stronger than their counterparts. The difference is mostly negligible for our purposes. True hickories grow in the Eastern U.S.

  • Pecan hickory: The softer of the two hickories grows in the Southern and Eastern U.S.

The hardness of wood is determined by its Janka rating, from a test that measures the density of wood species. Most North American species fall in the 1,800 to 1,900 pounds-force (lbf) range.  Hickory has a Janka hardness range of 1,550 to 2,140 lbf.

Pros and Cons of Hickory Wood

Pros

  • Strength: Hickory is one of the strongest and densest hardwoods native to North America. On the whole it is stronger than white oak or hard maple. If you’re concerned about durability, choose hickory.
  • Accessibility: Hickory is reasonably priced because it is native to North America and not highly desired for fine furniture. It’s not often available at big box stores so you’ll need to visit a hardwood dealer.

Cons

  • Workability: Due to its density, hickory is notably difficult to work with. It often tears out if blades are not kept sharp, and it dulls new blades quickly. It can be worked with hand tools, but it takes patience and frequent resharpening of tools often. Because of this, beginner to intermediate woodworkers should avoid hickory.
  • Inconsistency: Because multiple species are often sold together, it can be exceptionally difficult to find consistent grain pattern and color. That may not be a dealbreaker for projects like a new tool handle, but it can be frustrating for furniture designers and makers.

What Is Hickory Wood Used For?

You’ll find hickory in these products:

  • Tool handles: Its density is a plus where strength and shock-resistance are important.

  • Flooring: Hickory’s toughness and wear-resistance make it an exceptionally durable flooring material.

  • Chair seats: In some styles of chair making, like Windsor style, the carved seat is the structural keystone. So hickory is an excellent choice for a long-lasting chair.

  • Cooking: Hickory’s high thermal energy content works well for wood fires, charcoal and smoker fuel.

Hickory Wood Cost and Purchasing

Hickory is widely available in North America and reasonably priced compared to other hardwoods. It could be categorized with woods like red oak or soft maple as more “utilitarian.”

Expect to pay from $4 to $10 per board foot depending on board width and whether it’s pre-surfaced or in the rough. Most other furniture-grade domestic hardwoods cost from $5 to $15 per board foot.

Hickory is a tough cookie. As one of the densest and strongest American domestic hardwoods, it has a reputation for being tough as nails and difficult to work. However, for experienced woodworkers, it still has a place in the shop. Here, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about hickory before your next woodworking project.

What is Hickory Wood?

Hickory is a hardwood — emphasis on the “hard.” Up to 12 species grow in the U.S. alone, though they’re often mixed together and sold simply as “hickory.”

The heartwood tends to have a light- to medium-brown color with a reddish hue, while the sapwood is a paler brown. It’s a durable natural material best suited for high-wear products, such as tool handles or flooring.

Types of Hickory Wood

In North America, you’ll find hickory trees grouped two ways:

  • “True” hickory: True hickories are, on the whole, slightly denser and stronger than their counterparts. The difference is mostly negligible for our purposes. True hickories grow in the Eastern U.S.

  • Pecan hickory: The softer of the two hickories grows in the Southern and Eastern U.S.

The hardness of wood is determined by its Janka rating, from a test that measures the density of wood species. Most North American species fall in the 1,800 to 1,900 pounds-force (lbf) range.  Hickory has a Janka hardness range of 1,550 to 2,140 lbf.

Pros and Cons of Hickory Wood

Pros

  • Strength: Hickory is one of the strongest and densest hardwoods native to North America. On the whole it is stronger than white oak or hard maple. If you’re concerned about durability, choose hickory.
  • Accessibility: Hickory is reasonably priced because it is native to North America and not highly desired for fine furniture. It’s not often available at big box stores so you’ll need to visit a hardwood dealer.

Cons

  • Workability: Due to its density, hickory is notably difficult to work with. It often tears out if blades are not kept sharp, and it dulls new blades quickly. It can be worked with hand tools, but it takes patience and frequent resharpening of tools often. Because of this, beginner to intermediate woodworkers should avoid hickory.
  • Inconsistency: Because multiple species are often sold together, it can be exceptionally difficult to find consistent grain pattern and color. That may not be a dealbreaker for projects like a new tool handle, but it can be frustrating for furniture designers and makers.

What Is Hickory Wood Used For?

You’ll find hickory in these products:

  • Tool handles: Its density is a plus where strength and shock-resistance are important.

  • Flooring: Hickory’s toughness and wear-resistance make it an exceptionally durable flooring material.

  • Chair seats: In some styles of chair making, like Windsor style, the carved seat is the structural keystone. So hickory is an excellent choice for a long-lasting chair.

  • Cooking: Hickory’s high thermal energy content works well for wood fires, charcoal and smoker fuel.

Hickory Wood Cost and Purchasing

Hickory is widely available in North America and reasonably priced compared to other hardwoods. It could be categorized with woods like red oak or soft maple as more “utilitarian.”

Expect to pay from $4 to $10 per board foot depending on board width and whether it’s pre-surfaced or in the rough. Most other furniture-grade domestic hardwoods cost from $5 to $15 per board foot.

Poplar is one of the workhorse materials of the modern woodshop. Readily available, relatively inexpensive and dimensionally stable, it’s used in everything from paint-grade cabinetry to high-end furniture. It works beautifully with hand tools, machines easily and finishes well.

We’ll walk you through everything you need to know about poplar so you can use it confidently in your next woodworking project.

What is Poplar Wood?

Poplar wood is a hardwood that comes from the tulip poplar. Poplar wood generally has light brown to creamy yellow heartwood. The sapwood is only slightly paler in color and often has no substantial differentiation from the heartwood. It’s lightweight and easy to work with, making it a great choice for interior furniture components like web frames and drawer sides.

Types of Poplar Wood

Variations of poplar exist around the world. Most are difficult to come by in the U.S., so we will focus on the two types of poplar wood readily available here.

  • Tulip poplar: Sometimes referred to as “yellow poplar,” this is notable for its workability and availability. The poplar tree grows large and fast, so it’s easy to find large, straight, knot-free boards even at your local big box store. As always, we recommend letting your lumber acclimate to your shop environment for a few days or weeks before working. But poplar is reasonably stable and will do well in many environments. It’s softer than most other American hardwoods, however, with a Janka rating of 540 pounds-force (lbf). The Janka hardness rating comes from a test that measures the density of wood species. For context, cherry has a Janka rating of 995 lbf and White Oak comes in at 1,360 lbf.

  • Rainbow poplar: You may occasionally see a board marked as “rainbow poplar.” That means it’s been mineral stained. This may occur due to high mineral levels in the soil where the tree grew. The result is a beautiful array of greens, browns, purples and reds throughout the wood. While beautiful when freshly milled, poplar is photo-reactive and has a tendency to brown quickly, so that lovely smattering of rainbow colors will fade a dull brown within a year. It’s one of Mother Mature’s crueler jokes on the beauty-seeking woodworker.

The Pros and Cons of Poplar Wood

Pros

  • Availability: Poplar is widely available throughout the U.S. and can be purchased at almost any big box store for a quick weekend project.

  • Workability: If you enjoy hand-tool woodworking, poplar is a joy to work with. Soft and often straight-grained, it planes well and cutting joinery in poplar is a delight.

  • Finishing: Poplar takes a clear coat well. It is also easy to paint, making it excellent for those among us who love to explore color.

Cons

  • Fading colors. While poplar sometimes starts out with beautiful greens and purples, it fades to a medium brown within months.
  • Durability. Though a hardwood, poplar is on the softer end of the spectrum. It can dent or scratch easily, making it undesirable for high-wear items.

What Is Poplar Wood Used For?

Poplar is used in a wide variety of applications, including:

  • Furniture: Due to its stability, light weight and low cost, poplar is often used for internal components in production furniture like drawers, sofa frames and cabinet parts.

  • House trim: High-end house trim and millwork often employs poplar because it is more durable than pine wood and easier to find without knots.

  • Casework: Many large case pieces, such as a chest of drawers or an armoire, utilize poplar for internal components to help keep cost and weight down.

Poplar Wood Cost and Purchasing

Poplar wood is cheaper than domestic hardwoods like cherry or walnut. That, and its availability, make it an excellent choice for beginner to intermediate woodworkers.

Expect to pay from $3.50 to $10 per board foot, depending on board width and whether it’s pre-surfaced or in the rough. For comparison, most other furniture-grade domestic hardwoods will cost from $5 to $15 per board foot.

Outdoor living spaces featured some of the hottest home improvements of the last few years, and the trend isn’t likely to stop soon. As people spend more time at home, they want a comfortable way to enjoy their outdoor space. But what happens when weather conditions make a patio inhospitable?

An enclosure, such as a sunroom or three-season porch, offers the best of both worlds. Sunlight, outdoor views and fresh air without the bugs, temperature and humidity. Perfect.

Wondering how to choose between a sunroom vs. screened porch? Here’s the scoop.

What Is a Sunroom?

Oak sunroom with ivy

A sunroom is fully enclosed with insulated walls and lots of windows, usually on three sides, and often with skylights. It can be temperature controlled and utilized year-round, even in the dead of winter.

Sunrooms are great for house plants since they let in so much natural light. Sunrooms allow people to enjoy the feeling of being outdoors without the associated heat, cold, humidity, precipitation and pests.

Sunroom vs. Screened Porch

Sunrooms and screened porches differ most in the way they’re constructed and insulated. While screened porches are often simple enclosures built on top of an existing patio or porch, sunrooms are true extensions of the home.

“While a sunroom may be somewhat less insulated than the rest of a house,” says Leonard Ang, CEO of iPropertyManagement, “it’s still sitting on the same foundation, under the same roof, and has essentially the same walls as the rest of the house (with more windows).”

A screened porch doesn’t offer the same level of protection from the elements. Essentially, Ang says, it’s a “porch that has been walled off. It will usually not have a proper floor built over a foundation and will often have little or no insulation.”

Many screened porches have windows or removable panels along with screens. That’s why screened porches are often called three-season porches. They offer enough shelter for fall and spring. But even when the screens are covered, they’re not really usable in really cold winters.

How To Choose Between a Sunroom and a Screened Porch

Screened in porch

While the main difference between a sunroom and screened porch is that fourth season, there are other things to consider before building a sunroom addition. The location of your home, goal of the space, permits required, utility cost, usable time and overall construction cost will all factor into your decision.

Location

Although sunrooms seem like the obvious choice for regions with extreme temperatures, they’re not necessarily the most common. Dillon Walker of Screenmobile, a family company founded in 1980 that specializes in windows, doors and enclosures, says screened porches are significantly less expensive to build. That’s why, he says, “three-season rooms are just as popular in those areas.”

In regions with mild winters, a screened porch is just fine for all four seasons. In regions with harsh winters, a sunroom is ideal, but a more affordable screened porch will do.

Goal of the space

If you just want a shaded outdoor space to spend time with friends and family in the summer, fall and spring, a screened porch may be enough. The porch enclosure doesn’t control temperature as well as a sunroom does, but it’s still pretty effective, and there are ways to give it a hand.

Many screened porches have ceiling fans even if they aren’t heated or air conditioned. And a little electric space heater is much less expensive than an outdoor patio heater.

If you want a space to keep house plants year-round, a screened porch isn’t it. A sunroom is the better option for keeping plants — and people — comfortable in the winter.

Return on investment

Consider the cost of a sunroom or screened porch and weigh it against the value you’ll get from it.

How often will you use it? Is having a sunny winter space worth the extra cost of permitting, constructing and heating a sunroom? Will you live in your home long enough to enjoy the sunroom, or do you plan to move? Is a sunroom a highly sought-after feature for potential buyers in your area?

Much like choosing between an above-ground or in-ground pool, the worth of a sunroom or screened porch worth differs with homeowner. And just as a pool doesn’t always increase your home’s value, a sunroom or screened porch isn’t guaranteed to, either.

A sunroom is generally more marketable than a screened porch, And unlike a screen porch, it can be included in your home’s square footage.

Costs of a Screened Porch or Sunroom Addition

Sunrooms are by far the more expensive option. The cost of a sunroom addition varies greatly depending on the square footage, materials used and house specifications. Walker estimates the lowest price would be around $20,000. However, costs add up quickly. Says Ang: “A proper sunroom with full insulation, foundation and roof can run up to $60,000.”

A screened porch will also vary in price, but even the high end of the range is much less than a sunroom. “Typically, it’s between $3,500 and $7,500,” Walker says. If the porch and roof are already in place, Ang says a screened porch “can be built for as little as $2,000.”

Permitting is another cost to keep in mind. Some municipalities require building permits for screening a porch, but you might be off the hook if you’re just adding screens to an existing structure. “Sunrooms have harder permitting because it is basically building a separate room with insulated walls and glass windows,” Walker says.

Building a sunroom addition is much more involved than enclosing a porch. You may need multiple building permits depending on the scope of the project.

Finally, consider the miscellaneous costs after construction is complete. How will you furnish the space? How will it affect your utility bills? A sunroom can have heat, air conditioning, electricity and even plumbing, which Ang recommends for plant lovers to make watering easier.

It might cost more up front to build a sunroom with energy efficient windows. But when the room is basically all windows, the wrong ones can waste a lot of heat — literally throwing money out the window.

What Are Sunroom Kits?

Prefabricated sunroom kits are a more affordable option for experienced DIYers, though they’re lower quality.

These kits have fewer options for customization, and they lack the seamless look and feel of a traditional sunroom addition. They’re simply attached to your home’s exterior wall so the siding is visible from within the sunroom. An existing exterior or patio door usually becomes the entrance to the sunroom.

“Sunroom kits walk the line between a fully-built sunroom and a screen porch,” Ang says. “In general, they have much more in common with screen porches than sunrooms.” Since they’re less likely to be heated or well-insulated, many sunroom kits are best suited as three-season rooms.

Walker advises caution when ordering a DIY sunroom kit. “Unless you know exactly what you’re dealing with, you may get something you didn’t want — and lots of gray hairs along the way,” he says. Consulting with a professional will help you find the right fit, whether that be a fully-built sunroom, a screened porch or a sunroom kit.

Family Handyman Approved: DeWalt Titanium Pilot Point Drill Bit Set 

DeWalt brings a lot of value to the table with their new DW1361 drill bit set. I knew these drill bits would do fine in wood, but I really wanted to see how well the larger diameter bits performed in something more difficult — acrylic, aluminum or brass.

The guide point should eliminate the need to drill pilot holes for large diameter bits, which saves a lot of time. I’m going to test that.

What Is the DeWalt Titanium Pilot Point Drill Bit Set? 

Dewalt Drill Bit Set Fh22d Approved Dewalt Drill Bit Set 02 11 002

This new drill bit set from DeWalt includes 21 titanium drill bits for a variety of materials. I was impressed with one thing right away — the case has a clear lid. Bravo. At a glance, I can see exactly what’s inside.

Included in this set: A small carrying case and bit sizes from 1/16-in. to 1/2-in., with doubles sizes of 1/16-in., 5/64-in., 3/32-in. and 7/64-inch.

How We Tested

I drilled multiple holes in plywood, hardwood, one-inch clear acrylic plastic and 1/4-in. brass stock.

In wood, I compared the entry and exit hole quality with that of a brad point drill bit, known for their clean cutting. These don’t perform on the same level as my fine woodworking brad point drill bits, but they’re not supposed to. Their strength lies in their versatility. I would never put my brad point bits into brass, but I won’t think twice using the DeWalts.

Dewalt Drill Bit Set Fh22d Approved Dewalt Drill Bit Set 02 11 006

In brass, the pilot point design provides two distinct benefits:

  1. It eliminates the need to pre-drill pilot holes for large diameter bits, which is more accurate and saves time.
  2. Instead of a long curl of waste material which can clogs the flutes, the design creates small chips which are quickly and cleanly ejected. To me, this is a primary reason these bits run as cool as they do.

Dewalt Drill Bit Set Fh22d Approved Dewalt Drill Bit Set 02 11 005

When drilling in acrylic plastic, heat is always the enemy. The plastic heats up, the flutes start clogging, and all of a sudden you’re melting things.

These drill bits cut clean and cool. Unlike the brass chips, the waste material was a stringy curl but it ejected cleanly. No clogging, no melting.

DeWalt Drill Bit Set Performance Review

I was impressed with the performance of these drill bits. The bits came sharp and chip ejection was fantastic.

Dewalt Drill Bit Set Fh22d Approved Dewalt Drill Bit Set 02 11 003

The anti-slip shank design did its job well in the drill press, even when I forgot to tighten the chuck during the photoshoot! However, I would prefer a quick-release hex shank design for easier integration into my cordless drill kits.

Dewalt Drill Bit Set Fh22d Approved Dewalt Drill Bit Set 02 11 004

Where this bit set really shines is the value-added features. It’s the little things, like how easily the case inserts pop out. My large fingers easily retracted and inserted even the smallest bits. I appreciate that.

Also included are the most commonly broken or lost bit sizes. Very cool.

This bit set comes packed in DeWalt’s new Tough Case, which turned out to be what I liked best. DeWalt has given a lot of thought to their new tool case system and it shows. Not only can the individual inserts be swapped out with other bit sets, the case itself is part of a larger interconnectable and customizable system. This really appealed to me.

Where To Buy It

Overall, this well-designed drill bit set can be found for less than $35 at The Home Depot. And at that price, there’s no reason you shouldn’t own two.

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