Articles filed under Home Improvement

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  • The outside of your home needs as much attention as the inside Feb 22, 2014 6:00 AM
    More people will see the outside of a home than will ever see the interior. Beyond pure vanity, though, maintaining a beautiful home exterior will keep the structure sound and ensure a healthy resale value. It’s puzzling, then, how it can be so easy to neglect the home exterior.

  • A common winter hazard: frozen pipes in your home Feb 21, 2014 5:45 AM
    With record cold in much of the nation this winter, many homeowners have had (or will have) to deal with pipes freezing — and then bursting. Winter storm-related insurance losses “will be more this year due to the extreme cold and the breadth of the territory that is being affected by it,” said Peter Foley, vice president of claims for the American Insurance Association.

  • Choosing a home security system is an important but daunting task Feb 15, 2014 6:00 AM
    Choosing the right home security system is an important but daunting task. New options sprout up every month, but which type of protection system will be best for you?

  • Don’t let ice, snow damage your home Feb 14, 2014 12:43 AM
    The recent frigid weather has brought homeowners a host of problems. Manypeople have come home in freezing temperatures to an ice-jammed gutter or the dreaded sound of dripping water because of a burst pipe.

  • Homes can create high-tech safety net for elderly Feb 7, 2014 1:00 AM
    As more baby boomers enter retirement, many may see their homes get a high-tech makeover. The Department of Veterans Affairs, which was one of the first in the country to roll out a broad tele-health program that used videoconferencing and smart monitors, has seen a dramatic improvement since it was launched in 2003.

  • Give your kitchen faucet new life Feb 7, 2014 12:41 AM
    Last week we talked about simple, quick and inexpensive things you can do to upgrade your kitchen. One of the things we suggested was to replace your kitchen faucet. It really can be fairly easy to do. Here are the steps you need to follow for that simple and quick replacement.

  • Remodeling project abandoned by unlicensed contractor Feb 7, 2014 12:21 AM
    Q. We hired a contractor to remodel our home, but we didnít know that he was not licensed. When the project was about 90 percent completed, he disappeared. What do you think we should do?

  • Vinyl replacement windows put technology to work for you Feb 7, 2014 1:45 PM
    One of the first areas of a house to deteriorate from age are the windows. Rotting wood frames or corroding metal frames and hardware are virtually unavoidable in the Midwest climate. The continuous change of seasons with extremes of heat and cold accelerate the deterioration process.

  • Teacher crafts a design-and-building camp for girls Feb 1, 2014 1:00 AM
    Emily Pilloton first discovered the rewards of teaching kids to design and build things while co-founding Studio H, an innovative high school shop class in Bertie County, N.C., that was featured in “If You Build It,” a recent documentary that will soon to tour the country.

  • A room without a closet can still be called a bedroom Jan 31, 2014 12:13 AM
    Q. Our house was built in 1970. We are about to put it on the market, but one of our bedrooms has no closet. According to our Realtor, a room without a closet cannot be advertised as a bedroom.

  • A faux marble house built from corrugated paper Jan 24, 2014 1:00 AM
    Mattias Lind has designed a little shack in Gothenburg, Sweden, whose facade is covered in glossy black-and-white corrugated paper not even an inch thick. The marble pattern on the paper pays homage to this age-old stone, used in building though the centuries.

  • Gas service is vital during home inspection Jan 24, 2014 12:02 AM
    Q. We are buying a foreclosed home from a bank, and the home inspection is scheduled for next week. Our Realtor says the bank is not willing to turn on the gas for the inspection, and she seems to think we should accept this refusal. Is it really OK to do a home inspection without gas service?

  • Wall-hung kitchen sink doesnít offer storage space Jan 19, 2014 1:02 AM
    Q. Iím looking for a wall-hung kitchen sink and so far Iím having no luck finding serious information. Most people Iíve spoken with donít understand what I want and move on to show me more standard kitchen sinks.

  • New kitchen is functional but set to entertain Jan 18, 2014 1:00 AM
    Cynthia and Jon live in a 1970s-era home that has been undergoing endless renovation. Theyíve just about had it with home improvements, so we agreed to tackle one of the biggest projects on their list: the kitchen.

  • How many electrical outlets in a bedroom Jan 17, 2014 12:50 AM
    Q. What are the requirements for electrical outlets in a bedroom? We are renting a two-bedroom apartment, and the second bedroom (11-by-13 feet) has only one outlet in the entire room.

  • 3 fatal suburban fires show precautions the disabled, immobile must take Jan 11, 2014 8:00 AM
    Itís a tragic story that has replayed three times -- in Arlington Heights, Naperville and South Elgin -- in recent months. House fire strikes. Firefighters arrive. But low-mobility residents canít make it out alive. Those with disabilities or decreased mobility can face challenges in trying to escape fire. ďFirst of all, you need to prepare,Ē said Bill Sohn, assistant fire chief in South Elgin.

  • Toilet duel between dual-flush and single-flush option Jan 5, 2014 1:02 AM
    Q. My wife and I are in a disagreement over the new toilet we plan to purchase. We both want to install a high-efficiency toilet, but we have not decided on the flushing system.

  • Faulty information printed in real estate listing Jan 3, 2014 12:25 AM
    Q. We plan to sell our home and just discovered that it was misrepresented when we bought it three years ago. The listing on the Realtorís website inflated the lot size by more than 10 percent. We contacted the listing agent to ask about these issues. She said the listing clearly states at the bottom that the Realtor is not responsible for the accuracy of the information on the listing. Do we have any recourse?

  • Ask the plumber: Shower bench could be the best seat in the house Dec 29, 2013 1:02 AM
    Q. Weíre looking to install a larger shower stall in place of our bathtub. Since weíre still in the planning stages, what information can you give us about adding a bench to a larger shower stall?

  • Roof damage can go deeper than shingles Dec 21, 2013 1:00 AM
    Q. I had a tree limb fall on my roof, but I could not see any damage to the shingles. There wasnít a leak in the last rains, but when I went into the attic I found some of the rafters were pulled loose.

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