• Build Stunning, Safe Wooden Stairs

    Updated: Wed, Feb 11, 2015

    Wood stairs and railings are workhorses – built to get you where you want to go. But beyond this basic purpose, there are many different types, which can help to make your home a more efficient, safer, and even a more attractive place. If you are building or helping to design a new home, give careful thought to the installation of your stairs and railings, because you will probably have a certain amount of flexibility as to where and how they’ll be positioned. Stair or railing replacement should also be approached with care – it’s a tricky business, and you will need to be very familiar with the International Code Council's Stair Building Code, as well as any other requirements for your locality.

  • Laminate Flooring Repair How To's

    Updated: Tue, Feb 10, 2015

    Laminated flooring has been taking the home decor market by storm for two decades now. And no wonder, with all it has to offer -- durability, low maintenance, and glowing good looks, all for a modest outlay of cash. Yet, although the typical warranty is 20-30 years, laminate floor is not indestructible. Especially if you have children and/or animals in your home, laminate is subject to both wear and tear and occasional damage. An advantage of this type of flooring, however, is that in case of damage, a small section can be repaired -- you do not have to replace the whole floor. REPAIR PREPARATION AND PREVENTION Clean the floor with a microfiber mop before attempting any repair.

  • Successful Sod Installation Starts with the Right Prep

    Updated: Mon, Feb 9, 2015

    Even in mid-winter, you can still dream of spring ... and your hopes for a deep green, luxuriant lawn this year. If you'd like to get a head start on the gorgeous grass of your fantasies, why not install sod instead of growing from seed? While it may be a bit of an investment, using sod is an easy shortcut to the good-looking, lush lawn you want. Make sure the installation is a success by preparing your yard in advance. Here are 11 preparation tips. Choose the right season. If you live in a southerly state, you may be able to lay your sod in late winter. Otherwise, spring and fall are the best times, due to their generally mild weather and occasional rain showers. The heat of summer tends to be too harsh for a freshly sodded lawn to t

  • Why Efficient Ductwork Matters

    Updated: Mon, Feb 9, 2015

    True or false? When it comes to heating and cooling equipment for your home, your HVAC system itself is what's important; ductwork and vents play an insignificant role. The answer is: False! Simply put, if you install ducts and vents incorrectly, you will end up paying big bucks to heat or cool the great outdoors ... and even worse, you may put your family's health at risk. Ditto if you fail to maintain your ductwork in good shape. Potential Problems Reduced air distribution efficiency. Duct and vent installation is a complex business, which is best left in the hands of a reliable HVAC contractor. If it is not performed properly, the efficiency of your HVAC system, no matter how new or expensive, will be greatly reduced.

  • Concrete Driveway Installation: Get the Facts

    Updated: Sun, Feb 8, 2015

    Concrete construction will produce a driveway that is sturdy and enduring at an affordable price, with the extra advantage of an attractive range of possible finishes. Just make sure that you follow the crucial steps of properly preparing your site, having the concrete installed in a professional manner, and allowing sufficient time for the curing process. Here's what you need to know. Advantages of a Concrete Driveway Concrete is both durable and low-maintenance. It will require just an occasional scrub plus an annual resealing as per the manufacturer's instructions to prevent staining and increase weather resistance. If it is installed and maintained correctly, your concrete drive will have a long useful lifespan,

  • Install Closets and Built-ins to Save Space, Add Charm

    Updated: Sat, Feb 7, 2015

    An acquaintance of mine has just embarked on what promises to be a great adventure. She and her husband recently bought a new home and before they move in, plan on remodeling from the ground up. Having lived through more than one hair-raising remodel myself, I am happy to report that they are working closely with an experienced designer, who is also a creative, think-out-of-the-box professional. One of her suggestions was that they install good-looking custom closets and built-in furniture in several rooms to make the most of their floor space. Advantages and Disadvantages of Built-ins Ordering furniture and closets built in to suit your own individual needs and your home's layout offers a number of benefi

  • Save on Solar Panel Install: Incentives and Tax Credits

    Updated: Wed, Feb 4, 2015

    Setting up solar (photovoltaic) panels on your property is well known as a way to produce inexpensive and clean electric power. You may have been hesitant, though, to install a solar panel system due to its initial cost. Happily, a number of financial incentives, rebates, and tax credits are being offered that make converting to solar energy both ecologically sustainable and affordable. Because programs vary according to where you live and which power company you deal with, it is important to check with your local tax consultant to see which of the following apply to your situation. In addition, solar panel installation must conform to the building energy code for your state or region.

  • Understanding Electrical Inspection

    Updated: Wed, Feb 4, 2015

    What is the purpose of a residential electrical inspection? The inspection is designed to verify that your installation meets minimum requirements for electrical safety, according to current codes. In other words, its purpose is to protect you, the homeowner, as well as anyone else who will be occupying the premises from fire or electrocution. When is a building permit required for work on your home's electrical system? When you plan to alter your existing electrical system or retrofit an entirely new installation in an older home, you will need a building permit. This is also the case when you are having the electrical system installed in a newly constructed home.

  • Landscape Lighting for Beauty, Safety and Value

    Updated: Tue, Feb 3, 2015

    Light up your landscape ... and your life. Add lighting to your outdoor space for all the very best reasons -- beauty, safety, and increased property value. Find out all about the "whys" and "whats" of lovely landscape lighting. Why Safety. The No 1 reason to install landscape lighting is for safety's sake. You and your family, and especially guests who are not familiar with the layout of your yard, will be gently guided as to the location of pathways, steps, and abrupt slopes. Specialized lighting for your pool and its surround will enable you to swim more safely at night (just make sure any lights which come into contact with water conform to the local safety code). Security.

  • How to Combat Condensation on Your Windows

    Updated: Tue, Feb 3, 2015

    Oh no! You just installed energy-saving (and expensive!) new windows, and now all of a sudden you see that they’re covered with drops of water. Even worse, this condensation is dripping down your walls. The problem is that your double glazing may be too efficient for its own good. Both double glazing and today’s super home insulation can actually contribute to your condensation problem by restricting the circulation of air. And unfortunately, unchecked condensation could easily lead to even bigger headaches like mold, peeling paint, and rotten wood, which threaten the structure of your home. Here are 13 tips to combat issues with condensation. Window condensation’s worst enemy is ventilation.