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Home & Leisure

Here's How: Replace a Front Door

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: I have an old wooden front door with sidelights. The door is in bad shape and leaky, but the sidelights are fine. Is it possible to replace just the door and not the sidelights to save money? -- Noelle S.

Dear Noelle: Front doors with decorative sidelights are very popular today. As you have found, the sidelights, which are fixed in...Read more

Here's How: Build Quick and Easy Shelving

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: My kids use the garage for all their junk. There is barely room for the standard garage stuff like paint cans, tools, etc. How do I design some simple shelves and how big should they be? -- Dennis H.

Dear Dennis: Shelving for the garage is the easiest type to build because its appearance takes a backseat to strength and rigidity. ...Read more

Here's How: Have the Ductwork Properly Sized for Your House

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: The bedrooms on the north side of our house are always chilly. We are planning a new house now. What causes this and what should we do to avoid the same problem in our new house? It will be two stories. -- Ron H.

Dear Ron: There are several possible causes of the chilly conditions in these bedrooms. They are on the northern side of ...Read more

Here's How: Strip Wallpaper Like a Pro

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: I remodeled the kitchen and have damaged the wallpaper in spots, so I thought I would just go with painted walls. What is the best way to strip the wallpaper without damaging the drywall? -- Michelle C.

Dear Michelle: It can be difficult to repair the damaged wallpaper without it being obvious. Even if you have saved some of the ...Read more

Here's How: Install and Modify Entertainment Center Cabinets

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: I am in the final stages of remodeling my house and I am working on the entertainment center. What size and type of cabinets should I use, and how can I modify them myself inexpensively for an elegant look? -- Carolyn K.

Dear Carolyn: Selecting an entertainment center is important for both its functionality and its appearance. As ...Read more

Here's How: Add a Second Floor

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: I need a larger house, but my budget is limited and I want to stay in the same school district. Is it possible to add a second floor to my existing ranch home? The lot is too small to build outward. -- Zina G.

Dear Zina: It certainly is possible to add a second floor to your existing single-floor ranch house. Since your lot is too ...Read more

Here's How: How to Heat and Finish a Slab Floor

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: I need an extra bedroom for my kids. It will be built on a slab and utilize floor radiant heating. I would like to install hardwood flooring over it. Is this OK over a heated slab? -- Carrie K.

Dear Carrie: Building a room addition on a concrete slab is the least expensive construction method and a good choice for your new bedroom. ...Read more

Here's How: Platers Walls Can Look New

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: Our home has real plaster walls. There seem to be quite a few cracks that need to be repaired. We were wondering if we should try to repair all the cracks or replace it all with drywall? -- Larry J.

Dear Larry: It is almost impossible to avoid cracks in a real plaster wall, but don't remove it and install drywall. This would be a ...Read more

Here's How: Repair a Burned Laminate Countertop

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: I have an attractive laminate kitchen countertop which is only one year old. My daughter burned two small spots on it that look bad. Is there a way to repair this type of countertop myself? -- Paul P.

Dear Paul: Plastic laminate countertops are attractive and very durable, except for one thing: high heat. If your daughter placed a ...Read more

Here's How: Roof Stains

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: My house has a light-colored roof and it needs to be replaced. It has always had a problem with dark stains on it. What is causing the stains and how do I avoid them on the new roof? -- Peggy K.

Dear Peggy: The staining problem is very common and unattractive, but it can be eliminated. Don't switch to dark shingles to hide the ...Read more

Here's How: Maintain Your Septic System

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: We just moved into a house with a septic tank system. Should we change any of our water usage habits now? How to do we keep it maintained and can we still use a garbage disposer as always? -- Steve M.

Dear Steve: Septic sewage system are excellent for purifying home wastes and they do it naturally without dangerous chemical such as ...Read more

Here's How: Install Decorative Hardwood Flooring

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: I have always liked decorative inlaid hardwood flooring in older homes, but it is not used much today. I would like to install some in my dining floor. Can it be done in an existing floor? -- Kathy G.

Dear Kathy: Inlaid hardwood floors are actually more commonplace today than you might realize. The new computerized design and ...Read more

Here's How: Install a Glass Shower Enclosure to Enhance Bathroom

Consumer / Here's How /

Install a Glass Shower Enclosure to Enhance Bathroom

Dear James: My master bathroom could use an upgrade. The space is somewhat tight. Would installing an expensive shower enclosure give it upscale decor and make it appear more spacious? -- Ken M.

Dear Ken: Remodeling a bathroom is usually full of compromises between wish lists and budgets, so...Read more

 

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