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Do It Yourself or Not: Plant an herb garden

Ask anyone with an herb garden who enjoys cooking, and they’ll tell you that freshly picked basil, rosemary – or most any herb – can make an ordinary dish extraordinary. You’ll hear them predict that once you plant a few herbs and use them, you’ll get carried away because it’s so enjoyable, not to mention productive. You’ll use the...Read more

Do It Yourself or Not: Replace exterior shutters

To ventilate a room and make it more comfortable, the louver shutters in many older homes were designed to open allowing air to circulate inside. The louvers were adjustable to protect the interior from too much sun and rain. Today, however, shutters are mostly made of vinyl and used more as decoration to frame windows and add texture and ...Read more

Do It Yourself or Not: Install a door closer

It’s not easy to open a screen door if your hands are carrying a package or child. You may not notice the opening and closing mechanism of your storm door until you open the door with your hands full. You might manage to wedge the door open with a little hip action while struggling to maintain your balance. And if you want to move a large ...Read more

Do It Yourself or Not: Tuckpoint a chimney

Loose crumbling mortar between the brick joints of a chimney indicates its exposure to weather extremes have taken its toll so it’s a good idea to inspect it once a year. Tuckpointing is the process of repairing mortar brick joints and it’s an important preventive maintenance project. If mortar is left unchecked and continues to ...Read more

Do It Yourself or Not: Resurface a patio with pavers

If you have an old concrete patio, you can resurface it with pavers and transform the surface. You may get away with covering it up with an outdoor rug, but for a more permanent solution consider pavers designed with a thinner profile and light enough to go over the existing surface while being permeable for water filtration.

At home and lawn ...Read more

Do It Yourself or Not: Install an LED night light

Anyone who stumbles in a dark hallway knows the value of a sensor night light. Sure, you can use a plug-in version, but having one wired into your electrical system is a nice upgrade.

We’ve enjoyed the safety of having one that combines an electrical receptacle with an LED (light emitting diode) night light. The night light element is ...Read more

Do It Yourself or Not: Install a wooden window cornice

A cornice board valance as a window topper is a handsome addition to a window treatment, whether it covers a window shade, blind or draperies. It’s a decorative element that makes a window appear larger, and it can be a nice coverup for the top of ordinary hardware. It’s a relatively inexpensive detail that adds architectural interest to ...Read more

Do It Yourself or Not: Install ceiling crown molding

It’s hard to deny the character of an old home with crown ceiling molding outlining the room. And it’s a popular feature in new homes, as builders know new homebuyers are looking for that striking distinction in rooms. You can add that to an ordinary room by installing wooden crown molding and finishing it with paint or stain it to fit your ...Read more

Do It Yourself or Not: Install a multi-pass door

When most of us were staying home during the height of the pandemic, homeowners found ways to reuse one large space for different uses. Often two parents needed their own separate workspace, and kids of different ages required a desk and laptop for schoolwork.

For example, in a family room separated from the rest of the house by a wall opening,...Read more

Do It Yourself or Not: Install a digital peephole

Everything is going digital, including a standard door peephole viewer. It’s an upgrade to the standard and often distorted one-eye peephole viewer found in many old doors. The digital unit uses an LCD panel to display a large and clear image of the person on the other side of your door. To operate, press the power button on the viewer and an ...Read more

Do It Yourself or Not: Install a tin ceiling

Designers call a ceiling the “fifth wall” that can attract attention in a room. And a tin ceiling with pressed panels in an intricate pattern definitely does the trick of transforming any ordinary room to one with personality. The panels also do wonders to conceal a hodgepodge of repair patches in an old ceiling.

You’ll find 2-by-4-foot ...Read more

Do It Yourself or Not: Install a backup sump pump

A flooded basement or crawl space because of a power failure is something homeowners dread, but an ounce of prevention like a backup sump pump is the solution. The pump operates on batteries and does not rely on the local electric utility company for power like a pedestal or submersible pump. A backup pump uses a 12-volt battery kept at full ...Read more

Do It Yourself or Not: Hang a flat panel TV

Today’s new streamline flat panel TVs are designed to be suspended from a wall with a mounting device attached to a wall. The mounting device makes the TV screen a part of the wall, eliminating the need for a piece of furniture to hold it. The mounting device is a permanent installation on the wall; some designs allow the screen to swivel, ...Read more

 

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