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Thursday, Nov. 2, 2006 04:11 pm

Stability and durability are key

Dear Jim: I am getting rid of wall-to-wall carpeting because of the kids’ allergies. I want to replace it with hardwood floors. Will hardwood insulate as well as the carpet? Which woods are best...
Thursday, Nov. 2, 2006 04:39 pm

A few inches isn’t enough to keep you warm and tingly

Dear Gene: Our house, built in the 1960s, has several inches of insulation in the attic. The upstairs rooms get warm in summer and cold in winter. Should we add new insulation to improve the comfort? ...
Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2006 02:33 pm

Ultrasonic alternative to poison sprays

Dear Gene: Our basement is infested with crickets, and for years they have resisted our efforts to control them with sprays. We are considering trying an ultrasonic device because we do not like to us...
Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2006 01:24 pm

Properly designed, it can capture the sun’s warmth year-round

Dear Jim: My family needs additional living space. I want a sunroom, but I cannot afford to have one built. Are there any do-it-yourself kits available? Can I build one from scratch? What design is be...
Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2006 02:39 pm

Techniques for building a hot fire, and reducing creosote build-up

Dear Jim: I plan to use my fireplace often this winter to lower my heating bills, but I have never been very good at getting a fire started and keeping it going. Is there a proper method of building a...
Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2006 02:33 pm

You can’t go wrong with polyisocyanurate foam

Dear Gene: I want to insulate a cinderblock basement wall. I want to avoid any moisture problems in the insulation and thought of using foam panels, but I’d like the highest possible R-value. Ca...
Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2006 06:26 pm

How to use and install zinc strips

Dear Gene: I have heard that zinc strips can keep mold from forming on asphalt-shingled roofs, but how are the strips installed and where can I get them? Zinc strips are available in 3-foot lengths a...
Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2006 04:27 am

How to tuckpoint your home

Dear Gene: I live in a 50-year-old brick house. The material surrounding some of the bricks has disintegrated, and the surface of some bricks also shows damage. How can this be fixed without replacing...
Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2006 05:59 pm

Dozens of special products are made for this purpose

Dear Gene: Is it really impossible to patch a concrete driveway? A couple of contractors want to replace the entire driveway, at high cost. The largest crack is about 8 inches long and 1 inch wide. I...
Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2006 02:33 pm

When the regulator valve fails, it’s time to adjust the pressure

Dear Gene: A few years ago the pressure-regulator valve on our main water line failed and some water pipes in our home burst, causing considerable damage. We have a new valve, but I worry that it will...


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