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Bob Vila’s 3rd Annual March Mower Give-Away from John Deere: Official Rules

Bob Vila’s “3rd Annual March Mower Give-Away from John Deere” (the “Sweepstakes”) is sponsored by BobVila.com, LLC, Post Office Box 835, West Barnstable, MA 02668 (“Sponsor”).

The Sweepstakes consists of one (1) random drawing (the “Drawing”). The Sweepstakes begins at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (“EST”) on February 28th, 2015 and ends at 11:59 a.m. EST on March 31st, 2015 (the “Sweepstakes Period”). One Drawing will be held during the Sweepstakes Period. The entry period for the Drawing shall begin at 12:00 p.m. EST on  February 28th, 2015  and ends at 11:59 a.m. EST on March 31st, 2015 (the “Entry Period”). NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. MAKING A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. ODDS OF WINNING WILL DEPEND ON THE TOTAL NUMBER OF ENTRIES RECEIVED. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. ONLINE ENTRY ONLY AND INTERNET CONNECTION REQUIRED. AFFIDAVIT OF ELIGIBILITY AND RELEASE OF LIABILITY FORM MAY BE REQUIRED.

Open only to permanent legal U.S. residents. Void in all other geographic locations. Employees of Sponsor and its respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, and advertising and promotion agencies and any other entity involved in the development or administration of this Sweepstakes, and their immediate family members or household members are not eligible to participate in or win the Sweepstakes. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any person who fails to meet the eligibility requirements or any person it determines, in its sole discretion, to be sufficiently connected with the Sweepstakes such that such person’s participation could create the appearance of impropriety. Entries generated by script, macro or other automated means are void, and Sponsor expressly reserves the right to disqualify any entries that it believes in good faith are generated by an automated program or via scripts. Entries that are determined, in the sole discretion of the Sponsor to constitute advertisements, commercial messages, or “spam” will be disqualified and deleted. Void where prohibited by law. All applicable federal, state and local laws apply. No purchase is necessary to participate in the Sweepstakes. You may enter any given Drawing one (1) time per household per day by visiting the BOB VILA website at http://www.bobvila.com and submitting your name and email address using the online Bob Vila’s “3rd Annual March Mower Give-Away from John Deere” submission form.

Each entry submitted in response to the Drawing and in accordance with the Official Rules will constitute an official entry. Duplicate entries within one day will be deemed void.

If you do not have internet access, alternative means of entry for the Drawing is available by faxing your name, address and phone number to the Sponsor at 508-437-8486 during the applicable Entry Period. One (1) alternative entry per household per day. Any additional entries submitted via fax within one day will be deemed void.

Entries received after the end of the Sweepstakes Period will be deemed void. Normal time, toll, connection and usage rates, if any, charged by your Internet Service Provider will apply. All entries become the property of the Sponsor. By entering the Drawing during the Sweepstakes, you will be agreeing that any information collected in connection with the Sweepstakes may be used by Sponsor in accordance with BobVila.com, LLC’s Privacy Policy, a current copy of which can be found here. By participating, all entrants agree to abide by these Official Rules.

At the end of the Entry Period, there will be one (1) drawing in which one (1) potential winner (“Winner”) shall be selected from all eligible entries received during that Entry Period by employees or representatives of the Sponsor to receive the prize designated for the Drawing. The winning entry will be chosen at random. The number of eligible entries received during the Entry Period for the Drawing determines the odds of winning. The Sweepstakes will be conducted under the supervision of the Sponsor. If the Winner is determined to be ineligible, forfeits or does not claim the prize, the prize will be re-awarded, in Sponsor’s sole discretion based on a subsequent drawing from the pool of eligible entries. Other restrictions may apply. Decisions of the Sponsor are final and binding with respect to all matters related to the Sweepstakes. All prizes (or in the event of a lost, misdirected, or otherwise unavailable prize, a prize of equivalent value ) will be awarded. In no event shall the Sponsor be obligated to award more prizes than the number of prizes stated in these Official Rules. Winner shall be responsible and liable for all federal, state and local taxes on the value of their prize. To receive a complete list of winners or a copy of the Official Rules, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Prize Fulfillment, BobVila.com, LLC, PO Box 835 Barnstable, MA 02668. Specify winner’s list or rules on your request.

The Winner will be notified by email, or in the case of alternate entry, by phone; Sponsor reserves the right to determine the method of notification. Winner must claim their prize within twenty-four (24) hours after the date of notification of their prize. A Winner’s failure to respond to the prize notification within the specified twenty-four (24) hours will be considered such Winner’s forfeiture of the prize and an alternate Winner may be selected from the pool of eligible entries. If an entrant is found to be ineligible, an alternate Winner may also be selected from the pool of eligible entries. Sponsor reserves the right to ship prizes directly to the mailing and/or email address (as applicable) provided by Winner during their entry to the Drawing.

The prize for the Drawing during the Sweepstakes Period shall be 1 (one) S240 Sport Lawn Tractor with 42-in. Edge™ Cutting System, with approximate retail value $2,499 (MSRP). Prize is not transferable. Limit one prize per entrant. Actual retail value may vary. Winner will not receive the difference between actual and approximate retail value.

An entrant or winner may be disqualified from the Sweepstakes, and his or her entry may be deleted, if he or she fails to comply with each provision of these Official Rules, as determined in the sole discretion of the Sponsor. Participation in the Sweepstakes is at entrant’s own risk. Sponsor shall not be liable for (1) failed, returned or misdirected notifications based on inaccurate information provided by the winner on the Drawings entry forms, (2) entries and responses to winner notifications which are lost, late, incomplete, illegible, unintelligible, postage-due, misdirected, damaged or otherwise not received by the intended recipient in whole or in part or for computer or technical error of any kind, (3) any electronic miscommunications or failures, technical hardware or software failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections, or failed incomplete, garbled or delayed computer transmissions which may limit an entrant’s ability to participate in part or wholly in the Sweepstakes, (4) any technical malfunctions of the telephone network, computer on-line system, computer equipment, software, program malfunctions or other failures, delayed computer transactions or network connections that are human, mechanical or technical in nature, or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to entrant’s or any other person’s computer related to or resulting from downloading any part of this Sweepstakes or (5) any warranty of fitness or merchantability of any prize or the function or operation thereof, which shall be the sole responsibility of the manufacturer of the prize. Sponsor does not make any, and hereby disclaims any and all, representations or warranties of any kind regarding any prize. Unless prohibited by applicable law, your entry constitutes your permission to use your name, photograph, likeness, voice, address (city and state) and testimonials in all media, in perpetuity, in any manner Sponsor deems appropriate for publicity purposes without any further compensation to such entrant.

By entering or accepting a prize in the Sweepstakes, Winner agrees to be bound by these Official Rules and to conform to all federal, state and local laws and regulations. When applicable, the Winner (or, if the Winner is a minor, the Winner’s parent or legal guardian) may be required to execute and return to Sponsor within three (3) business days an Affidavit of Eligibility, a Liability and Publicity Release and relevant tax forms to be eligible for the prize or an alternate winner may be selected. Winner may be required to furnish proof of identity, address and birth date in order to receive a prize.

By entering, an entrant agrees to indemnify, release and hold harmless Sponsor and each of its respective parents, subsidiaries and affiliated entities, directors, officers, employees, attorneys, agents, and representatives (collectively, the “Released Parties”) from any damage, injury, death, loss, claim, action, demand, or other liability (collectively, “Claims”) that may arise from their acceptance, possession and/or use of any prize or their participation in the Sweepstakes, or from any misuse or malfunction of any prize awarded, regardless of whether such Claims, or knowledge of the facts constituting such Claims, exist at the time of entry or arise at any time thereafter. Released Parties are not responsible or liable to any entrant or to any Winner or any person claiming through such Winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action, regulation, order or request by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action, regulations, order or request proves to be invalid), equipment failure, threatened terrorist acts, terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond the Released Parties’ sole control. The Released Parties are not responsible for: (1) any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by entrants, printing, electronic or human errors or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Sweepstakes; (2) viruses or technical failures of any kind, including, but not limited to malfunctions, interruptions, or disconnections in phone lines or network hardware or software; failed, incorrect, incomplete, inaccurate, garbled or delayed electronic communications or entry information, any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, failures or technical malfunction of any computer online systems, servers, providers, computer equipment, software, email, players or browsers, whether on account of technical problems, traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website, or on account of any combination of the foregoing; (3) the unavailability or inaccessibility of any transmissions or telephone or Internet service; (4) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Sweepstakes; (5) technical or human error which may occur in the administration of the Sweepstakes or the processing of entries; (6) any injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from entrant’s participation in the Sweepstakes or receipt or use or misuse of any prize; or (7) late, lost, misdirected, illegible, incomplete or mutilated entries or for theft, destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of entries. These indemnification and release provisions shall survive expiration of the Sweepstakes.

Persons found tampering with, abusing, or otherwise disrupting any aspect of this Sweepstakes, or otherwise attempting to defraud Sponsor, as solely determined by Sponsor, will be disqualified and their entries will be deleted. If disqualified, Sponsor reserves the right to terminate the entrant’s eligibility to further participate in this Sweepstakes and future promotions and sweepstakes of Sponsor or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates. Any attempt by an entrant or any other individual to undermine the legitimate operation of this Sweepstakes may be a violation of criminal and civil laws. Should such an attempt be made, sponsor reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law.

This Sweepstakes is strictly for promotional and entertainment purposes and may not be used in connection with any form of gambling. In the event this Sweepstakes is challenged by any legal or regulatory authority, Sponsor reserves the right to terminate the Sweepstakes, or to disqualify entrants residing in the affected geographic areas. In such event, the Sponsor shall have no liability to any entrants who are disqualified due to such an action. Sponsor reserves the right to modify these Official Rules in any way or at any time. Sponsor reserves the right, in their sole discretion, to cancel or suspend this Sweepstakes should viruses, bugs or other causes beyond their control corrupt the administration, security or proper play of the Sweepstakes. In the event any portion of this Sweepstakes is compromised by any non-authorized human intervention, actions of entrants, or other causes beyond the control of Sponsor which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, corrupt or impair the integrity, administration, security, or operation of this Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to suspend, modify, abbreviate or terminate the Sweepstakes without further obligation. If Sponsor elects to abbreviate the Sweepstakes, Winner(s) will be determined from all eligible entries received for Drawing(s) prior to the action or compromise giving rise to the suspension or termination of this Sweepstakes. In the event of cancellation, abbreviation or suspension, Sponsor shall promptly post a notice on the Sweepstakes entry page to such effect.

This Sweepstakes shall be governed by New York law. By participating in this Sweepstakes entrants agree that New York courts shall have jurisdiction over any dispute or litigation arising from or relating to this Sweepstakes and that venue shall be only in New York City, New York. The failure to exercise or enforce any right or provision of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of such right or provision. If any part of these Official Rules is held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unenforceable, that part will be enforced to the maximum extent permitted by law, and the remainder of these Official Rules will remain fully in force.

Enter Bob Vila’s 3rd Annual March Mower Give-Away from John Deere!

Enter today and every day in March to win a John Deere riding lawn mower!

3rd Annual March Mower Give-AwayIt’s almost spring—and none too soon, either! Chances are you’re ready to get back outside to greet warm weather, gardens, and green lawns. In order to help you do just that, we’ve partnered with our friends at John Deere to bring you this month’s incredible give-away and the chance to win a riding lawn mower from one of the most trusted names in the industry.


Starting today and everyday in March (from noon EST Saturday, February 28th, through 11:59 a.m. Tuesday, March 31st) you can enter to win a John Deere S240 Sport Lawn Tractor (MSRP $2,499). See Official Rules below.

Photo: deere.com

The John Deere S240 Sport Lawn Tractor combines the best of power, comfort, and convenience, for a machine you’re sure to love. Below are just a handful of its incredible features:

  • 18.5 hp V-Twin Kawasaki FS Series engine makes this one seriously powerful machine
  • 15-inch open back, adjustable seat for maximum cooling and comfort
  • Larger tires designed with a premium tread pattern for easier steering
  • 3 year, 200-hour bumper-to-bumper warranty
  • Compatibility with attachments, such as mulchers, snow blowers, and tow-behind tools to turn your mower into the ultimate all-season tool

Photo: deere.com

So welcome spring and a picture-perfect lawn by entering the 3rd Annual March Mower Give-Away! ENTER TODAY and every day through 11:59 a.m. Tuesday, March 31st to increase your chances of winning.

Learn more about the John Deere residential line of mowers and equipment at JohnDeere.com/Residential.

Bob Vila’s 3rd Annual March Mower Give-Away from John Deere is open only to permanent legal U.S. residents of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Void in all other geographic locations. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. The Contest Period will begin noon EST Saturday, February 28, 2015 through 11:59 a.m. EST Tuesday, March 31, 2015. One entry per household per day on BobVila.com. Alternative means of entry for Drawing is available by faxing your name and address to 508-437-8486 during the applicable Entry Period. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. By entering, all entrants agree to the Official Rules.

Cabin of the Week: Outpost in the Idaho Desert

Architect Tom Kundig designed the Outpost not only to withstand the brutal conditions of the desert, but also to witness its beauty.

Outpost - Exterior 1

Photo: olsonkundigarchitects.com

In the Idaho desert, the Outpost sits at the end of a half-mile-long driveway. Designed by architect Tom Kundig, the house belongs to an artist who lives and works inside its boxy concrete form, and who collaborated with Kundig over the course of what became a quite lengthy process. For nearly a decade, a series of unanticipated constraints forced Kundig and his client to scale back and refine the original plan, over and over, until nothing beyond the essentials remained.

Outpost - Main Floor

Photo: olsonkundigarchitects.com

Making up much of the interior is a large, open space that includes the kitchen, living, and dining areas. A staircase leads to a mezzanine bedroom, which looks over the undivided volume below. On the very bottom level is a utility room and the homeowner’s office and studio space. Windows—some as large as eight-by-eleven feet—interrupt the concrete exterior walls on all sides of the structure. Through these panes are sweeping views of the desert and its undulating hills.

Outpost - Inside Out

Photo: olsonkundigarchitects.com

Kundig has described the Outpost as a Tootsie Roll, “hard on the outside and soft on the inside.” In response to the climate and its extremes, he chose durable, low-maintenance materials, beautiful in their utilitarian simplicity. No surfaces have been unnecessarily modified. Even indoors, one sees mainly raw, unfinished wood and natural, unpainted plaster. Several elements—the exposed steel beams, for instance—recall the farm and mining buildings seen nearby. This is the region where Kundig grew up; reportedly, he took the job in part to reconnect with the land and architectural vernacular that had fascinated him as a youth.

Outpost - Exterior 2

Photo: olsonkundigarchitects.com

However artful, the interior excels in one respect most of all: It focuses attention out towards nature, the seasons, and the ever-stunning desert landscape.

5 Things to Do with… Drop Cloths

Drop cloths deserve more than to be spilled and walked upon. Contrary to their self-effacing reputation, these affordable, neutral, and sturdy canvas sheets lend themselves to a number of eye-catching DIYs.

With any number of do-it-yourself projects, be it wall painting or window replacement, a prudent first step is to spread drop cloths over the flooring and furniture. What you may not have considered: These sturdy sheets of canvas can do so much more than protect against damage. With creativity and some elbow grease, you can take drop cloths out of their supporting role and recast them as a star of your decor. Scroll down for five favorite ways to repurpose drop cloths!



Uses for Drop Cloths - Place Mat

Photo: lovelyindeed.com

Though you may never have heard of shibori, a Japanese dyeing technique, you’re going to love its results. For anyone wanting to experiment with the process, drop cloths are ideal, since the canvas material doesn’t cost much. Visit Lovely Indeed for a step-by-step guide to making the indigo-inflected placemats above.



Uses for Drop Cloths - Area Rug

Photo: welivedhappilyeverafter.com

At the midpoint of a home renovation, paint-covered drop cloths are a common sight. This time, however, the look was deliberate. To create a small area rug, Hannah at We Lived Happily Ever After folded a drop cloth in half and stitched up the edges before decorating the floorcovering with a chevron pattern.



Uses for Drop Cloths - Curtains

Photo: diyshowoff.com

From DIY Show Off, here’s a wonderful way to make your own inexpensive yet sophisticated window treatments. All you need to complete the project are a few drop cloths and a Sharpie. Simply adorn cut-to-size fabric with quotes from a favorite work of literature, then use clips to hang the sheets from your curtain rod.



Uses for Drop Cloths - Headboard

Photo: nashvillepug.blogspot.com

Using your staple gun and a rubber mallet, add together a basic set of materials, including fiberboard and drop cloth, and then finish things off with sold-by-the-yard nailhead trim. Yup, that’s how astoundingly easy it can be to build your own elegant headboard. For step-by-step instructions, head over to Nashville Pug.



Uses for Drop Cloths - Hammock

Photo: mymagicmom.com

The epitome of summer relaxation, hammocks are a must for any outdoor space. While elaborate store-bought options can be a tad expensive, making your own minimalist version with clothesline, dowels, and drop cloth won’t cost you any more than $20. Interested? Check out My Magic Mom for more information now!

Bob Vila Radio: The Lowdown on Upflushing Toilets

Whereas gravity is normally a given in home plumbing, waste removal may need to be achieved by other means in one particular area—the basement.

Adding a toilet to your basement not only adds convenience, but it can also boost the value of your home. But before you proceed, it’s wise to do your research.

Basement Toilet

Photo: shutterstock.com

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Listen to BOB VILA ON BASEMENT TOILETS or read the text below:

The big thing you need to know is whether the sewer or septic lines are buried deep enough in the ground for gravity to do most of the work getting rid of the waste. For the answer, check with your municipality or the contractor who built your home. Note that even if you can count of the force of gravity, you are still going to need a one-way valve to keep wastewater from backing up into the basement.

If the lines are above the level of the toilet, you’ll need to install an upflushing toilet. These generally have a pumping mechanism hidden inside the toilet or behind it. Upflushing toilets are not cheap, but since installation would likely not require cutting through the basement slab, you’ll save some money there. Some models even allow you to tie in the waste water lines from sinks and shower stalls—a definite plus.

In any case, don’t start the job before you check local building codes. Most installations will require a permit.

Bob Vila Radio is a 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day carried on more than 186 stations in 75 markets around the country. Click here to subscribe, so you can automatically receive each new episode as it arrives—absolutely free.

The World’s First and Only $99 Light Bulb

Would you pay $99 for a light bulb? For a product that so completely redefines a familiar technology, you just might.

Lifx Light Bulbs

Photo: lifx.co

Light bulbs didn’t change for decades—arguably for a full century. But then, somewhat all of a sudden, a confluence of scientific, cultural, political and technological factors combined to create a special set of circumstances permitting the advent of this—a $99 light bulb. No, it’s not glazed in gold or encrusted with jewels; the jaw-dropping sticker price owes only to an impressive array of features. And people are really excited about the whole thing. When LIFX, the maker of the bulb, set out to raise $100,000 in funding through Kickstarter in 2013, it wound up generating, in just six days, well over $1 million. A year later, the LIFX bulb had gone on sale at Amazon, and the most tech-savvy homeowners began to experiment with this WiFi-enabled, multi-color, energy-efficient LED.

Even when it’s off, the LIFX looks like no other light bulb you’ve ever seen. There’s no glass orb, but rather a flat-topped disc atop a textured plastic body. But the single most noteworthy thing about LIFX is that you can control the bulb from your smartphone or tablet, modulating not only its brightness, but also its color. At a swipe, you can settle on a standard LED color or pick any of the millions on the spectrum between warm white and cool. What saves the color options from being a mere novelty is that you can temper your selection with a layer of white light, thus creating a tinted hue that flatters your home decor while creating an appealing atmosphere, be it buoyant or serene. LIFX even includes a number of pre-sets allowing you to transform the mood in your house at one touch.

Lifx Light Bulbs - Multicolor

Photo: lifx.co

To get started with LIFX, there’s no peripheral hardware to set up; the bulb can be used as soon as you take it out of the box. You simply screw it into the socket and connect it to your home network using the free LIFX app. Whereas many other smart home products on the market excite with their possibilities but intimidate with their complexities, LIFX bulbs are inviting and immediately useful to anyone, tech geeks and Luddites alike. However, if you’ve been closely following the Internet of Things movement, what you may find most interesting are the third-party integrations. For example, LIFX syncs with the Nest Learning Thermostat and Nest Protect smoke detector, and it even has an IFTT channel. That means you can program the lighting to dim after 10pm or to pulse when an email arrives from a certain someone. Any number of configurations are possible. It’s all up to you—if you decide limitless lighting options are worth $99.

Purchase LIFX WiFi Enabled Multicolor Dimmable LED Light Bulbs, $99

So, You Want to… Install Wainscoting

Careful planning leads to getting the look you want with wainscoting, be it crisp or ornate.

How to Install Wainscoting

Photo: shutterstock.com

The term “wainscoting” refers to any type of paneling that covers the lower portion—usually the lower third—of an interior wall. Originally, wainscoting was meant to protect plaster walls from dings and dents, but today it’s primarily decorative. Whether it’s elaborate and elegant or simple and casual, wainscoting adds warmth and character, making a room look more inviting. If you’ve ever seen a beautiful wainscot, you might think it’s not possible for a do-it-yourselfer to re-create the look. But the fact is, if you’re comfortable working with wood and handling a few basic tools, you can install wainscoting yourself over a long weekend.

How to Install Wainscoting - Beadboard Painted

Photo: shutterstock.com

Wainscoting took off in the 19th century, when industrial milling made low-cost wood products widely available. These days, although many homeowners continue to install wainscoting made of solid wood, newer and cheaper materials like MDF and PVC are perhaps the most commonly used.

If you’re planning to paint, not stain, the wainscoting, give due consideration to MDF. Because it comes with no knots, it’s easy to cut and work with. Plus, MDF resists the sort of warping and splitting that solid wood might undergo due to seasonal expansion and contraction. One caveat: Standard MDF fares poorly if exposed to moisture, so if you’re wainscoting a bathroom or mudroom, be sure to purchase (and expect to pay more for) the moisture-resistant variety.

Alternatively, for wainscoting that stands up well to both heat and moisture, think about opting for PVC. No, you might not think of PVC as the most stylish stuff for a home interior, but once painted, it looks no different from more traditional materials, and it lasts a long time without maintenance.

There’s one major downside to inexpensive sheet wainscoting products: As easy as they are to install, they can accentuate an uneven or wavy wall. If yours is an older home that’s fallen out of plumb, it’s probably worth it to spring for tongue-and-groove solid wood wainscoting. Here, you can use furring strips to correct for minor imperfections, and you can sand down any protrusions.

When you set out to install wainscoting, don’t underestimate the importance of planning. To a large extent, the installation process hinges on the design decisions you make early on. In fact, some people choose to create cardboard stencils and mount them on the wall in order to test different looks.

One key question: Do you want the wainscoting to have decorative panels? Know that eschewing panels tends to make for easier installation. Unlike panels, commercially sold tongue-and-groove strips simply need to be snugged together and nailed (or otherwise adhered) directly to the wall.

That said, frame-and-panel wainscoting is by no means beyond the skilled amateur. Get ready to use your tape measure, though. For the installation to look right, you must figure out a design that allows the wainscoting panels to be of equal size. If uniform panels are simply not possible given the size or shape of the room, there’s a compromise: Only panels on the same wall technically need to share the same dimensions. So if you are adding wainscoting to multiple walls, different walls can have panels of a different set size.

During the planning stage, it also helps a great deal to settle on a finish. If you decide to stain or clear coat the wainscoting, it’s easiest to do so prior to installation. Another reason to get your ducks in a row before getting to work: You can buy prefinished wainscoting products, which can save you significant time.

Yes, it’s easy to install wainscoting, but there are some complexities. Perhaps the hardest part is ensuring that the wainscoting gets along with the door and window trim in the room. Depending on the thickness of the wainscoting that you’re adding, it may even be necessary to replace the door and window casing.

Also, remember that wainscoting must be notched to fit around electrical boxes. And because building codes normally require electrical boxes to be flush with wall paneling, you may need to extend the boxes. Luckily, box extensions are inexpensive, widely available, and easy to fit behind either switches or receptacles.

Whether your home was recently built or has been around for more than a hundred years, wainscoting imparts depth and texture, giving any interior space a three-dimensional appeal that no mere coat of paint could possibly achieve, no matter how striking the color.

Bob Vila Thumbs Up: The DIY Planter Competition Starts Today

Vote now—and vote daily—to choose your favorite among the DIY planter projects competing to win this month's Bob Vila Thumbs Up competition!

Spring is on the way. And after this winter, many of us couldn’t be more relieved. If you have spring fever, one of the best projects to DIY is to make your own planter box. But you need not stick to traditional wood window boxes. This month’s Bob Vila Thumbs Up competitors take the DIY planter to fresh and new places.

Whether you like the look of wood, concrete, or stone, this month’s bloggers have something that will surely interest you. They all require different levels of skill—but they all deserve points for creativity. And they’re all eligible to be this month’s Bob Vila Thumbs Up winner and take home the prize—a $250 gift card from True Value.


Each of these projects gets the Bob Vila stamp of approval, but only one can win. That’s why we need you to vote now and each day this month for your favorite projects. After all, it’s your vote that will determine who will be this month’s winning Bob Vila Thumbs Up blogger.

Congrats to last month’s winning blogger ——. Read more about winning Bob Vila Thumbs Up project right here.

Would you like to recommend a blogger for the next Bob Vila Thumbs Up? Tell us about it on Facebook or Twitter!

Bob Vila Radio: Keeping Concrete Floors Clean

It's official: Concrete flooring has moved out of the garage and into the home. Though it's undoubtedly a durable material, cleaning its finish requires finesse. Here's what to know.

Concrete floors are no longer found only in garages and basements. With elegant finishes now available—like stenciling, staining, and texturing—they’re also showing up in kitchens, bathrooms, and even living rooms.

How to Clean Concrete Floors

Photo: shutterstock.com

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Listen to BOB VILA ON CLEANING YOUR CONCRETE FLOORS or read the text below:

Even though concrete itself is durable, its finish may not be so tough. So when you set out to clean a concrete floor, you need to take care. For routine upkeep, a soft dust mop or vacuum is usually fine. To get at more stubborn messes, try using a sponge saturated with water and dish detergent.

When you’ve cleared the mess, rinse with plain water and dry the floor immediately to avoid any discoloration. Cotton cloths are best for drying, as synthetics might scratch the finish.

If you need to pre-treat a particularly tough stain, use a pet stain-and-odor remover; these products contain organic compounds that will dissolve the stain without harming the finish). Before applying your chosen solution, remember to test it first in an inconspicuous spot.

Bob Vila Radio is a 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day carried on more than 186 stations in 75 markets around the country. Click here to subscribe, so you can automatically receive each new episode as it arrives—absolutely free.

How To: Remove Mold from Wood

Unsightly fungus doesn't have to mean peril for your home or health. Provided the mold has not spread far and wide, you can remove it from wood by following these steps.

How to Remove Mold from Wood

Photo: shutterstock.com

Wood, which naturally soaks up and retains water, makes an ideal environment for mold and mildew. To remove mold from wood, the key is to act fast, not only to minimize the scope of your cleaning project, but also to be sure the mold does not compromise the health of the allergy sufferers in your family. So long as the mold has not spread over an area larger than ten square feet, you can remove mold from wood without help from a professional. Here’s how to get it done.

- Air mask
- Rubber gloves
- Safety goggles
- HEPA-filtered vacuum
- Soft-bristled scrub brush
- Dishwashing detergent
- Distilled vinegar in a spray bottle (optional)
- Bleach
- Sponge
- Sandpaper

Take the appropriate safety measures to keep yourself safe. Wear rubber gloves and safety goggles and importantly, don an air mask to prevent mold spores from getting into your lungs. If you intend to use a cleaning solution that contains bleach, wear protective outerwear in order to safeguard your clothing against stains.

How to Remove Mold from Wood - Paneling

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Using a machine equipped with a HEPA filter, vacuum the affected area of wood to remove any loose mold spores (along with any other accumulated dirt and debris). Once finished, empty the vacuum bag or canister into a plastic bag outside the house. Tightly seal the bag and dispose of it.

If the wood you’re dealing with is either painted or stained, that means the mold has not penetrated. You can therefore stick to a mild cleaning solution—a simple mixture of dishwashing detergent and warm water. Dip a soft-bristled scrub brush into the soapy water you’ve prepared, then gently go over the moldy area. If you get unsatisfactory results, opt for vinegar, an effective mold killer. With a spray bottle filled with vinegar, spritz the mold and then let the vinegar sit for an hour to work its magic. Once enough time has elapsed, proceed to wipe down the wood with a clean, damp towel. Inspect the wood for any remaining mold, and if you don’t see any, wipe the wood down with a rag.

Whether the wood is finished or raw, if mold has penetrated, you are going to need a stronger solution, one that’s capable of killing spores beneath the surface of the material. To that end, mix 1 part detergent, 10 parts bleach, and 20 parts warm water. Apply your solution to the moldy area by means of a scrub sponge or a stiff-bristled brush, then allow the solution to air-dry on the wood.

If mold remains even after scrubbing in step 4, it’s time to reach for the sandpaper. Laborious though it may be, sanding offers the only way to reach the mold deep within the wood. Work the sandpaper slowly around the affected area until you see no more signs of mold. After sanding, it’s a good idea to refinish the wood, not only for appearances’ sake, but also to prevent a future outbreak. Finally, get rid of all the rags and such that came into contact with the mold, and start trying to figure out how to limit the amount of moisture present in the area where you’ve been working.