Avoid flat-topped staples for running speaker wires along the walls — they can sever the wire's insulation. Cables that come with your home theater set aren't likely to be top-quality — plan to upgrade.
To get professional-looking splices in wiring without electrical tape, try head-shrinkable tubing. Slip a tube on one of the wires before splicing. After splicing, move it over the splice and apply heat with a heat gun. The tubing will shrink down for a neat, protective covering. You can buy tubes in multiple sizes, as well as shrinkable wire caps to use in place of screw-on wire nuts. They're perfect for work on vehicles, trailers, underground and pool wiring, or for outdoor lighting or sprinkler systems.
Designers recommend placing seats back at least twice the width of your screen, but also a few feet away from the back wall, so you can savor your surround sound. If you don't want the rest of the house to shake, invest in heavy carpet and padding to absorb sounds. Don't automatically assume basements are the best place for a home theater (they're prone to flooding). But if the basement is your only option, don't run wires or cables along the floor.
No matter what size your workshop is, there are some basic safety tools you should not be without. A smoke alarm, fire extinguisher, safety goggles, and first aid kit are absolute must-haves. Plus, all of your electrical outlets should be equipped with ground-fault circuit interrupters. If an emergency ever should ever arise, a telephone should be nearby to enable you to call for help.
When installing in-wall speakers, use a drywall saw to cut the hole. A utility knife will make the cleanest cuts in drywall, but a utility knife can be difficult to control by a non-expert. Electric rotary saws make cutting drywall physically easy, but they too can be difficult to control. A simple, inexpensive drywall saw (about $10 at your local hardware store) is the best bet for beginners. The speaker's frame will cover up any rough edges.
Keep a mound of modeling clay handy to your soldering equipment. You can use it to hold small pieces at odd angles to each other. Push the ends of the items into the clay and position them so they meet each other. The modeling clay will hold the pieces securely and eliminate any metal contact from a vise that can conduct heat away from the work.
If your planning a backyard pond, locate it where it is unlikely to attract unattended children. Check local safety ordinances to determine if a fence is required for the specific depth and size of your pond. Check local building ordinances for depth and safety restrictions and permits. Equip outdoor outlets with a ground-fault circuit interrupter. Unplug the pump before cleaning the filter.
Use outdoor lights with a photocell unit or a timer so they will turn off during the day.
During a power failure, a votive candle contained in glass can provide bright, continuous light for many hours and even days. A flashlight may only work for a few hours. The flame on a votive candle is also safe from drafts and sudden blasts of wind. Votive candle are widely available in grocery stores.
Electrical wiring should always be installed by a licensed electrician and inspected by your local wiring inspector. Your house or apartment may be inadequately wired if: Lights dim and motors slow down when an appliance goes on; Fuses blow or circuit breakers trip frequently; Toasters or irons fail to heat properly; The television picture shrinks.