Keep on budget by using luxury material sparingly. Reserve the island for an expensive granite countertop, for example, while using more affordable materials elsewhere. Don't overlook butcher block and stainless steel.
One way to fix a loose screw in wood is to remove it and then insert toothpicks or burned wooden matches with a coating of wood glue into the hole. Allow the glue to cure, then cut flush and re-drive the screw. You can also insert a plastic wall anchor into the screw hole. When you put the screw back in, it will expand the anchor and will hold solidly.
The problem: you don't have a mortar box or wheel-barrow to mix up those small batches of concrete. Instead, use the ring method on a slab or sheet of plywood. Put down coarse aggregate on the bottom, followed by layers of sand and cement. Reserve the center for a mixing well. Then add water to the center and pull the ingredients into it with a garden hoe.
To resist cupping, install wood flooring with the growth ring's arc highest in the center and lowest at each edge.
When making repairs or taking apart equipment, be prepared for the occasional dropped part. Clean off a section of your workbench and spread out a smooth shop or dish towel. The towel will keep errant small parts from rolling around on the floor and getting lost. For small jobs, even square shop rags will work; for larger jobs cover the bench with salvaged carpeting.
Water trickling in copper pipe can make soldering a joint almost impossible because you can't get the fitting hot enough. Stuffing a wad of bread into the pipe will absorb the water and you can get done before it dissolves. But use white bread; whole grains can get caught in valves. Before turning water back on, temporarily remove faucet aerator.
When assembling furniture or other larger projects, some pros don't use either the tops of their workbenches or the floor. Instead, they use two or more wooden boxes about 18 in. high, 24 in. wide and 32 in. long, set upside-down on the floor to span the project's length. The project boxes don't need to be fancy, just provide enough height to cut down on back strain. The boxes can also be stacked, or set on their sides or ends, to provide for varying heights.
Warm vinegar will generally soften the most stubborn old glue on old furniture. Dipping the parts to be reglued in warm water, and then letting them dry out completely, will help to open up the wood pores and allow the new glue to enter the wood more freely. Warming the parts on top of a heater or in the sun will also help open up the pores of the old wood before regluing.
To keep tools rust-free, keep them clean and dry by wiping them off with a dry clean cloth before you put them away. To combat rust and corrosion that is caused by humidity, occasionally coat all metal surfaces with light oil. If you live in a humid climate or keep your tools in the basement, a dehumidifier will help.
When installing roof shingles, do not nail above the sealant strips or the mid-section of the shingle.