• Why and How to Paint Your House's Exterior

    Updated: Tue, Jan 27, 2015

    Painting the exterior of your home will give your property a tremendous lift ... if it's done the right way. Read this description to find out the whys and hows -- the best reasons and correct methods to paint your house's exterior. WHY PAINT YOUR HOUSE Cost A well done exterior paint job is a relatively cheap whole-house fix. It is true that the amount of preparation work required will cause the cost to paint your whole house's exterior to vary quite a bit. Still, tasks such as pressure washing, scraping, mold removal, caulking, lead paint remediation, and priming are well advised to keep your house in good shape, as well as to help the new paint adhere. Don't skimp on prep work, as it is usually the most important pa

  • 8 Tile Floor Repair Tips

    Updated: Mon, Jan 26, 2015

    Tile floors have a lot going for them. They're handsome, durable, and easy care. To add even more to their appeal, individual floor tiles are also relatively simple to repair or replace if they become damaged. This means that you'll avoid the bother -- and the expense -- of installing a new floor. Here are 8 common tiled floor problems and their solutions: Small chips in tile. Find a shade of nail polish to match the tile (with today's range of offbeat polish colors, that shouldn't be too difficult -- and you can mix shades to get the hue you're looking for). Dab it delicately onto the chipped spot. The color of the tile floor repair may darken over time; if so, remove with acetone and redo this quick fix. Larger chips or holes

  • Build Wood Decks/Porches/Ramps Good-Looking and Safe

    Updated: Sun, Jan 25, 2015

    Nothing beats the look of real wood. Natural woods add eye appeal to any part of your home, but are especially important in highly visible outdoor decks, porches, and ramps. Of course, these structures will also need to conform to building standards so you and your family can enjoy them in comfort and safety. Here are some questions to consider when you are planning to build a ramp, porch, or deck. Is a permit necessary when you are planning to build a deck, porch, or ramp? That depends. According to where you live, you are likely to need a permit if the structure will be more than 30 inches above grade at any point, or constructed on top of a part of your home (such as a basement).

  • 18 Steps to Ladder Safety

    Updated: Sun, Jan 25, 2015

    Ladder safety would seem to be a matter of common sense. However, among construction professionals, high importance is placed on teaching workers the correct procedures for minimization of risks to life and limb while using a ladder. Lost-time injuries and even fatalities due to ladder-related accidents are disturbingly widespread. As a home handyman, you can learn a lesson from the pros; follow these 18 basic ladder usage tips to work safe.    Basic Ladder Safety Tips: Don't replace a ladder with a straightback or, even worse, a swivel chair.Make sure that your ladder is in good shape, without any treads that are worn, loose, or missing. Other parts to check include the feet, stiles, platform, and locking me

  • Build a Garage to Add Value to Your Home

    Updated: Thu, Jan 22, 2015

    Are you thinking of adding a garage to your home? There are a great number of advantages to this idea. You'll be protecting your vehicle -- not only from weather damage due to snow, hail, or strong sunlight, but also from theft. In addition, you stand to gain extra storage, much-needed room to work at crafts or hobbies, perhaps a cozy retreat (man cave, anyone?), a convenient home office, or even additional living space. The key to a successful garage construction project is careful planning before you begin to build. Here are 7 important steps to take. Look into zoning laws, setback rules, and homeowner's association stipulations. Make sure that local regulations will allow you to build the garage of your dreams.Think about your

  • How to Clean and Maintain Your Roof

    Updated: Wed, Jan 21, 2015

    Protect one of the largest parts of your home -- the roof -- with regular cleaning and inspection. This should be done at least twice a year, in fall to get your roof in shape for the cold weather and again in spring to see how it has held up to winter's hardships. More frequent checkups may be necessary after windstorms or heavy snowfalls. Read the terms of your homeowner's insurance policy and your roofing warranty carefully to see what roof maintenance is required. For the best care, set up a professional maintenance plan through your roofing contractor. Roof Safety Tips If you are planning to clean your roof yourself, start working from the top downward.

  • Tile Beautifies a Kitchen or Bathroom Wall

    Updated: Tue, Jan 20, 2015

    Kitchens and bathrooms are a major focal point in 21st century home design. And no wonder! The modern trend is to transform these once-humble rooms into highly personal spaces that nurture body and soul. With this end in mind, we're seeing more and more exciting ideas for tiles to adorn the walls of kitchen and bath. Take a peek at today's tile styles and care. Wall Tile Styles Tile shapes: they're not just rectangular anymore. Choose from contemporary contours like circles, diamonds, hexagons, or marquises. Texture is also important.

  • ID a Faulty Garage Door Spring

    Updated: Tue, Jan 20, 2015

    How often do you use your garage door? Even if you open and close it only when you're leaving for work or coming home, that's a total of approximately 500 times per year. All that wear and tear puts a lot of strain on your garage door springs, which act to counterbalance the door and hold it in place. If one of these springs breaks, you are stuck ... literally ... until you can get it replaced. Worse, malfunctioning springs are dangerous to cars and, scarier still, to humans. About Garage Door Springs Springs maintain the equilibrium of your garage door, and are essential for its proper functioning and security. There are two types. Torsion springs, either singly or in sets of two, are used to hold a wide and/or heavy garage

  • Heat Pumps Provide Cheaper Heating *and* Cooling

    Updated: Mon, Jan 19, 2015

    The name "heat pump" is misleading. This appliance actually does an efficient job of both heating and cooling your home. Unlike conventional HVAC systems, a heat pump functions by moving heat, rather than generating hot or cold air. This heat may be sourced from the air (the most common type, also known as "air-to-air"), water, or earth (geothermal). In winter, your heat pump will transfer warm air into your home, while in the summer, it will move warm air out. Whether used alone or in conjunction with your existing HVAC system, a heat pump will reduce your energy consumption and save you money on utility bills.

  • 6 Tips to Make Hardwood Floor Installation a Success

    Updated: Thu, Jan 15, 2015

    Hardwood floors are always in fashion. It's no wonder -- they are both handsome and functional. What's more, long-lasting hardwood is uncomplicated to repair and has the kind of good looks that only improve with age. To get your wood floor installation off to the right start, follow these 6 tips. 1. Choose Where to Install Hardwood Flooring Hardwood flooring brings a touch of coziness and class to your living room, dining room, bedroom, study, den, and man (or woman) cave. Folks who are in love with the look of real wood may also want to put these floors in the kitchen or bathroom. While this is possible, it's tricky: the wood must be sealed around its perimeter and protected with a special finish that is highly water-resista

  • Who Can Fix My Whole House Fan?

    Updated: Wed, Jan 14, 2015

    A whole house fan is an efficient home cooling device, suitable for anyone who likes to save money and reduce their carbon footprint -- and isn't that just about everyone? Inexpensive and uncomplicated to install, a whole house fan also features amazingly low electrical consumption. But as with any appliance, things can occasionally go wrong. Learn to troubleshoot common problems and find the right person to fix your whole house fan. What is a Whole House Fan? As its name suggests, this type of cooling system is basically an oversized fan, which is usually installed in your attic.

  • Pay a Fair Price for Chain Link Fence

    Updated: Wed, Jan 14, 2015

    One of the most widely popular types of fencing is chain link, also known as wire mesh or cyclone fence. It is woven out of tough steel wire, which has been either galvanized or coated with linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) for extra durability and low maintenance. Although chain link fence is instantly recognizable by its standard diamond pattern, it comes in a variety of gauges, lengths, and heights. As a result of these differences, the cost to install a chain link fence can vary by a substantial amount. Find out more about this fencing material to make sure you will pay a fair price for both materials and labor. Chain Link Fence Advantages If you're looking to build a barrier that is strong, long lasting, and weathe

  • Water Features Add Charm to Your House and Garden

    Updated: Wed, Jan 14, 2015

    1. Rustic Backyard Pond with Watering Can A gorgeous water feature installation completes the picture of Jamie D's charming rural home. Powered by a pond pump, water filters into the spacious pond through a galvanized watering can for a uniquely rustic effect. 2. Pond in a Box If you're not blessed with a big backyard or are not able to dig on your property, try the Empress of Dirt's ingenious pond in a box. That's right -- container ponds are the natural successors to container gardens. Add some bright flowers for a splash of color. 3. Bubbling Rock Water Feature Kid-friendly pondless water features are safe and low-maintenance.

  • Electrical Panel Upgrade -- When and Why

    Updated: Tue, Jan 13, 2015

    Your electric panel is Command Central for the electrical system in your home. From there, power may be turned on and off and sent to outlets throughout your residence. Also known as a breaker box, the panel contains breakers or fuses which will "trip" or "blow" in response to a short or overcurrent. A panel's capacity is measured in amps. Sixty amps used to be the norm for residential electricity needs. However, with today's plethora of supersized appliances and electronic devices undreamed of just a few decades ago, chances are that you may need to upgrade your old breaker box. When There are four obvious indications that the time to replace your electric panel has come. First, your homeowner's insurance may demand install

  • When Your Electric Baseboard/Wall Heater Needs Repair

    Updated: Sun, Jan 11, 2015

    When it's winter and co-o-o-o-ld, the last thing you want is for your heating system to fail. Electrically powered baseboard/wall heaters are normally extremely efficient, converting nearly 100 percent of their energy to produce heat and warming only the parts of your house that you choose. Still, as with any household appliance, you will occasionally encounter problems. If your baseboard heater needs repair, there's a natural tendency to assume that an electrical issue is at fault. However, although this is the commonest reason, it is not always the case. Be an informed homeowner and learn the difference between a minor bug that can be taken care of with a simple DIY fix and one that will require a professional HVAC technician to repair

  • Nothing Says Welcome Like a New Wooden Door

    Updated: Sun, Jan 11, 2015

    A brand new wooden door gives that special feeling to your front entrance. It welcomes you and your family home after a long day at work or school, greets your visitors, and projects an elegant, well cared for look that increases curb appeal. But besides adding a generous measure of inviting style, a new exterior door installation has a number of other distinct advantages. Versatility Wood doors are suitable for every taste, home style, budget, and doorway size and shape. They can be planed to fit into a doorframe of irregular dimensions. Select a door manufactured from a sustainably grown and harvested type of wood which is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Choose from among pre-hung, stock, or custom doors

  • What Every Homeowner Should Know About Roof Inspection

    Updated: Sat, Jan 10, 2015

    Which part of a house is the source of over one third of all homeowner's insurance claims? If you answer "the roof," you're right on the money. A leaky roof is not just annoying, but can also lead to all sorts of problems. For example, dampness and mold resulting from a leak will threaten your home's structural soundness, as well as your physical health. Water leaks can even get into your electrical system, where it may cause power outages and fire hazards. Professional roof inspection will pinpoint potential problems before they become serious.

  • Concrete Retaining Wall Pros and Cons

    Updated: Thu, Jan 8, 2015

    Retaining walls built of stone or brick are the traditional style and usually blend nicely into their surrounding landscape. The question is, though: are these really the best materials for the job today? The purpose of a retaining wall in a residential setting is to “correct” the natural slope of the grounds, leaving a level area for gardening, building a patio, or otherwise enjoying more of your property than you would otherwise be able to. This function calls for a huge amount of strength, endurance, and resistance to the elements. Nowadays, concrete may be the material that best fits the bill. Let’s look at the pros and cons of installing a concrete retaining wall on your land. Pro Choice.

  • Natural Stone Tile: What Makes It Unique

    Updated: Wed, Jan 7, 2015

    What’s new in tiling? A substance that is actually very, very old. For centuries, installation of natural stone tile has been used by human beings to embellish their homes. And with good reason. This kind of tile is strikingly beautiful, as well as durable and fire safe. Be aware, however, that one of the traits of natural stone, as opposed to ceramic or glass tiles, is that they exhibit variations of color and thickness. Every stone tile is unique in its appearance and therefore, careful matching is required. 5 Popular Types of Stone for Tile There are five types of stone which are widely used in tile manufacture for residential purposes: marble, granite, slate, limestone, and basalt.

  • My Fridge Is Leaking Inside! What Should I Do?

    Updated: Wed, Jan 7, 2015

    A major leak of water inside your refrigerator is certainly dramatic-looking and possibly even scary (as in, “I’m afraid for the wellbeing of my wallet if I have to shell out big bucks for a repair”). On the other hand this type of leak does not tend to have a noticeable effect on the functioning of your fridge or freezer – besides making refrigerated food soggy -- so you may be tempted to hide your head in the sand and ignore the problem. Not such a good idea, as the leak will not go away by itself. However, it is actually quite easy to fix. I’ve done this particular fridge repair myself, and lived to tell the tale. Dampness to Full-Fledged Leak My refrigerator is a fairly new frost-free, freeze