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Feb 23,2007
Q: We can have either a living room and a dining room, or we can have a dining room and a family room. My husband votes for the latter - no "formal" living room, just a big playroom, I guess you could call it. We will be moving next year when our youngest goes to college. Will it hurt our resale value when we show the house? A: That's then - now is when you ... [full story]
1025 times read - No comment posted

Feb 16,2007
In these gray days of winter, indoor plants can brighten our homes and lift our spirits. "When the Christmas decorations are put away, a home can look pretty colorless," said Lisa Hoerr-Grandstaff of Green View Nursery, a Midwest chain of six retail nurseries. "You look outside and everything is brown and lifeless. Houseplants bring life and something green indoors." Florists and garden centers offer a wide variety of indoor plants. Some of the most common are African ... [full story]
1612 times read - No comment posted

Feb 16,2007
Washing away fireplace smoke and soot, or cleaning the smoke off the glass in wood in wood stove door, is easy and safe using washing soda. [full story]
993 times read - No comment posted

Feb 16,2007
Having a sturdy deadbolt on your front door doesn't do a whit of good if you don't take the time to lock it. Statistics show that, although burglars are three times more likely to break into a house without a deadbolt, only 50 percent of homeowners have them, and only 25 percent of those deadbolt owners use them daily, according to Safety By Design, a Missouri lock manufacturer. Furthermore, FBI crime statistics report that 60 ... [full story]
2681 times read - No comment posted

Feb 16,2007
Q: We've bought a country place that is simple contemporary in style. We wanted to add a wood-burning fireplace, but it turned out to be too expensive for our budget. My husband thinks we should install a stove - easier and lots less money - so we've been shopping. There are a lot of modern styles available. Our question is, can we put it in the center of the space, kind of like a room ... [full story]
1490 times read - No comment posted

Feb 16,2007
Q: I have some seeds left over from my green peppers and beans from last year's garden. I want to plant them early, so they will be ready as plants, not wait to plant them in the garden. I also want to plant tomatoes and some other plants early. What do I need to do to have them ready on time? A: One of the reasons it is good to buy garden seeds is the ... [full story]
2337 times read - No comment posted

Feb 16,2007
New Valve Stops Running Toilets for Sure A new valve stops running toilets immediately. The valve measures the exact amount of water needed after each flush. Once the tank is full the valve shuts off any additional water. A leak is quickly detected and stopped, says Robert Easter founder and CEO H20Guard. Slow leaks often go unnoticed costing hundreds of dollars in water bills. Catastrophic breaks in the toilet tank cause thousands of dollars in ... [full story]
2210 times read - No comment posted

Feb 16,2007
Spring cleaning tips on how to keep your garbage disposal odor-free As spring fever spreads, homeowners will begin the spring cleaning process. But there's one area homeowners often forget to include on their to-do lists -- the garbage disposal. "Your garbage disposal may start to smell when food debris builds up," said Mary Kennedy Thompson, president of the Mr. Rooter Corporation. "It may be a lingering odor or an overpowering stench, but a good dose ... [full story]
1814 times read - No comment posted

Feb 16,2007
As gardeners across the country salivate over seed catalogues and begin to prepare the soil for the next go- round, Bay Area book author and eco-gardening columnist Annie Spiegelman (aka the dirt DIVA) is sharing inspiring ways to sow blooms and change the world. Spiegelman is unveiling a treasure trove of principles and techniques for today's gardening divas via her new "The dirt DIVA Royal Horticultural Society." The dirt DIVA Royal Horticultural Society is Spiegelman's initiative ... [full story]
1505 times read - No comment posted

Feb 09,2007
Toilets may have a variety of problems, from clogging to running incessantly. Above are some of the most common problems associated with toilets. [full story]
2368 times read - No comment posted

Feb 10,2007
Q: We love our country house, but are so naive about many things. (We think the working title for the book we should write would be "Survival of the City Slickest.") Our neighbors have been very helpful, but I'm bringing this decorating problem to you. It's about the huge windows in our great room. They go practically from floor to ceiling, cathedral ceiling. At first, we wanted them bare for the view of the lake, ... [full story]
1771 times read - No comment posted

Feb 09,2007
Q: My doctors said I should take up gardening, at age 79. I'm interested in learning to propagate some plants: crotons, red tie and schefflera, for starters. A: I like your doctors. Gardening indoors or out is an excellent way to get the mind and body moving. Plant propagation can occur in many ways. Seed production involves the transfer of genetic information, while other forms of propagation do not and, therefore, produce a clone, or ... [full story]
2323 times read - No comment posted

Feb 09,2007
Have you got an ugly stamped-metal grille covering your air vents? Flimsy metal slats can get scraped and bent, sometimes bowing or drooping, and they are difficult to keep clean. And since they require central, unobstructed locations, those beat-up grilles are hard to miss. Metal grilles can easily be replaced with more stylish wooden ones that can be painted to match your wall or ceiling trim, and they will retain their finish just like any ... [full story]
892 times read - No comment posted

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