STORMS & DISASTERS

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Staying Safe: 5 Home Must-Haves for Storm Emergencies
The old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is especially true when it comes to storm emergencies...
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How To: Install a Sump Pump
In an ideal world, there'd be no basement flooding. But in reality, despite our best efforts to address the underlyin...
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Quick Tip: Stormproofing Your Roof
Loss of the roofing causes the greatest amount of damage from hurricanes. Construction techniques have been developed...
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Planning for the Next Flood
Late on October 29th, 2012, Hurricane Sandy pushed seawater across the 800 yards that separate Long Island Sound from...
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How To: Make Your Home Storm-Resistant
No matter where you live, chances are there is some kind of weather or geologic condition, such as hurricanes and hig...
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Weatherproof with Paint
Extreme heat or cold, moisture, and prolonged exposure to the sun all take their toll on the exterior of our homes. W...
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Storm-Proof Your Garage Doors
In the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew’s devastation in 1992, the building codes in many coastal counties and storm-thr...
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How To: Select Storm Shutters
There are growing number of businesses in coastal areas selling and installing storm shutters. As all shutters are no...
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Be Prepared for Natural Disasters
If a disaster strikes, will you be ready? Here’s how to prepare and respond to most natural emergencies. "Emergencies...
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Hurricane-Proof Your House with Impact-Resistant Windows
Impact-resistant windows consist of impact-resistant glass surrounded by a heavy-duty frame that is securely fastened...
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Impact-Resistant Windows Installation
Hurricane winds deliver force to building exteriors and elements. It is by far the debris these winds carry that most...
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7 Ways to Avoid Basement Flooding This Spring
Follow these simple guidelines from the National Restoration Network to reduce your risk for basement flooding this season.
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Bob Vila Radio: Emergency Kit
Natural disasters can occur anywhere, any time. No matter where you live, you should keep a stash of emergency suppli...
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Bob Vila Radio: Home Inventory
It's heartbreaking enough to lose your home or possessions in a natural disaster. Then there’s the stress of having t...
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After the Storm: Bob Vila's 12 Hurricane Sandy Cleanup Tips
Hurricane Sandy may have passed, but the cleanup has only just begun. If your home saw flooding, here are a dozen ways to manage the storm damage.
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Riding Out the Storm
If you are riding out the storm in a single-family home, make sure you have a plan for the worst-case scenario. A blo...
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Waiting for Hurricane Sandy
[Editor's Note: At time of posting, Hurricane Sandy is still hundreds of miles off the Atlantic coast and has yet to ...
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Hurricane Sandy: Disaster Preparedness
If you are among the estimated 50 million people in the path of Hurricane Sandy, you are hopefully heeding the warnin...
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Checklist: A Safe and Insurable Yard
To be sure that the outside of your home is safe and insurable, review the exterior for overall safety. Aside from al...
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A New Generation of Fabric Storm Shutters
Lightweight, strong, and easy-to-install, today's fabric storm “shutters” are manufactured to withstand the force of ...
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Bracing for Irene—Hurricane Preparedness
The ending days of summer mean our outdoor lives are still in full swing so a weather event like Irene—at the time of...
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Tour a Salvaged Home with the Latest Green Technologies
Architect Mary Kennedy and Bob tour her Georgian Colonial family home in Westchester County, NY. After a flood ruined the house, the challenge was to salvage and ...
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Keep Water Out of the Basement
Basement drainage systems are installed to control moisture and humidity and to eliminate rot and mildew.
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Installing and Explaining a Basement HVAC System
Bob meets with the installer of the new HVAC system to discuss how it filters air and reduces energy costs.
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Touring a Neighborhood in Melrose
Bob meets with a local real estate broker and with homeowner Sarah Monzon, whose basement will be finished to create additional family space.
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Basement Remodeling Update and Installing Subfloor to Prevent Water Damage
Bob discusses the installation of a plastic subfloor to prevent water damage and the selection of a basement dehumidifier.
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Wiring an Electrical Box to Support a Backup Generator
Bob meets with Electrician Harry Cunningham to install a backup generator.
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Impact-Resistant Windows and PGT Factory Tour
Bob visits PGT Industries to learn what it takes to make impact-resistant windows.
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Finishing the Impact-Resistant Windows
Bob works with Dave Olmstead on final stages of creating an impact-resistant window.
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Pouring Reinforced, Solid-Pour Concrete Walls
Bob meets Mark Newton of Solid Wall Systems to learn about the solid-pour walls that will frame a storm-resistant home.
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Inspecting the Steel Reinforcements Before the Concrete Pour
Bob meets with Jesse Gonzales to learn more about steel reinforcements and storm-resistant roofing.
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Hurricane-Resistant Roof Tiles
Bob meets with Bart Cox and Dave Peck to explain how to create a storm-ready roofing system.
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Homes That Can Survive Hurricanes
Bob joins Leslie Chapman-Henderson from FLASH -- Federal Alliance for Safe Housing -- to look at two homes on the same street. One was completely destroyed the o...
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Building a Reinforced, Solid-Pour Concrete Wall
Bob is joined by Jim Crain who will take him through the process of pouring cement walls. Mark Newton joins Bob as the pour begins.
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Building a Gunite Cement Swimming Pool
Bob joins Tom McNealy to excavate and pour a gunite cement swimming pool.
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Builder-Grade Cabinets in the Kitchen
Bob meets with Jack Ballantine to discuss and install Maple kitchen cabinets.
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Discussing Hurricane Resistant Building and Stem Wall Construction
Bob meets with FLASH—Federal Alliance for Safe Housing and FEMA—Federal Emergency Management Agency, to learn how homeowners can protect their homes from damaging...
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Installing an Impact-Resistant Front Door, Electric Wiring with Metal Studs, Plumbing with Metal Studs and a Concrete Slab
Bob meets with Jesse Gonzales to install an impact-resistant front door, electrician Jose Rodriguez to install wiring and plumber Dan Gerry to learn how to work w...
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Building Reinforced Concrete Storm-Ready Homes in Florida
Bob works with Scott and Aaron Renfroe to install impact-resistant windows and sliding doors.
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Applying Durable Exterior Paint Formulated for a Subtropical Climate
Jim McLaughlin and Bob spray a finish coat of Flex Lox Masonry coating on the exterior.
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Removing the Concrete Wall Forms and Planning the Plaster Finish
Mark Newton and Jesse Gonzales explain what happens when the metal frames are removed from the poured walls, then they apply a three-coat plaster.
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Reviewing the Work Involved in Building a Hurricane-Resistant Home
Bob meets with Leslie Chapman-Henderson from the Federal Alliance for Safe Housing (FLASH) and Randy Shackelford to discuss an assortment of storm-resistant roof ...
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Setting Aluminum Forms for Concrete Walls and Foundation
Cameron Parker shows Bob the Solid Wall System and explains how it works. Bob recaps the foundation process.
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Storm-Ready Vinyl Roof Soffits
Leslie Chapman-Henderson from the Federal Alliance for Safe Housing (FLASH) discusses storm-resistant soffit details with Bob. Todd Davison from FEMA is with Bob ...
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Hurricane Protection for Porches, Windows, and Doors
Ted Gower shows Bob how to install a screen that can make the lanai a hurricane shelter.
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A Sustainable Yard and Landscape
Bob does a walkthrough of the finished Punta Gorda home. He discusses sustainable gardening, water conservation and low-maintenance plants. Then he joins Leslie...
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Kitchenware for Easy Living and Stylish Outdoor Furniture and Grill
Bob tours the open-plan family room and meets with Cecile to discuss cookware and accessories. Then he meets Meg Tarvin they move to the poolside lanai and the f...
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Installing a Home Back-Up Generator
Ron Ford from Kohler Power Systems joins Bob to talk about the 22-kilowatt backup generator that has been installed.
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Hurricane-, Flood-, and Earthquake-Resistant Building
Bob meets with Beth Judge (of Clemson University) to review hazard-resistant building techniques at a demonstration house used to teach builders and architects in...
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Roof Sheathing
Bob discusses the advantages of hazard-resistant building techniques, specifically sheathing the roof, with Bryan Readling (from the APA).
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Roof Framing for Hurricane Safety and Energy Savings
Bob meets with Brian Redding (from the APA) to learn more about roof framing techniques for resisting hurricanes and high winds.
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Securing Load-Bearing Columns
Installers tie steel straps down to the band joists in order to secure the load-bearing columns newly installed on the porch.
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Final Tour of the Restored "Bench" Porch House
Bob tours the finished house, the fifth in the Elmwood neighborhood project. Better grading and gutters have been added to prevent future water damage.
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Building for Hurricane Safety
Bob and contractor Ed Weller tour of another work in progress, a home being built using construction techniques unique to tropical climates.
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Tour of the Biltmore Hotel
Bob tours a remarkable concrete building that's survived some of Miami's worst hurricanes: the majestic Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.
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Plaster Cornice Reconstruction
Bob surveys the plaster cornice in the project home. Water damage has ruined a large section and much of the remaining plaster needs repair. Bob and restoration c...
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Adding Detail to the Plaster Cornice
Bob observers the expert plasterer add detail to the cornice, which is under reconstruction due to water damage.
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Installing a Grade Beam
Bob oversees the installation of a grade beam in the garage, which is in compliance with California seismic code.
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Incorporating California Building Code
Bob and contractor Joe Fitzgerald discuss the structural work taking place at the Malibu beach house, as well as California's tough building codes for earthquake ...
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Installing a Lightning Rod
J & G Lightning Protection, Inc. installs a lightning rod system that will draw lightning toward the two copper rods, which perch on the garage roof. The copper p...
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Constructing the Stem-Wall Foundation
Bob meets with Askia Aquil of the St. Petersburg Neighborhood Housing Services to talk about the upcoming project, taking place in a revitalizing area. Next, Bob ...
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Securing the Roof Truss System
Bob talks with Bill York and Rob Davis of FLASH (Federal Alliance for Safe Homes) about the storm-resistant roof truss system. Bob explains how the roof is constr...
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Installing Impact-Resistant Windows
Window installation is underway. Bob talks with Stephen Hugh of Clearwater Window to learn more about the installation process, and Dave Olmstead of PGT Industrie...
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Building a Hurricane-Resistant Home
Bob talks with Leslie Chapman-Henderson from the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) about the technologies involved in securing a roof. Chapman-Henderson exp...
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Finished Exterior of the Container-Built Home
The front of the home is complete and looks like the exterior of any home in the American suburbs. Bob talks with Ray Price, the project manager for the St. Peter...
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Installing Non-Slip Exterior Tiles and Impact-Resistant Windows
Bob discusses finishing touches with general contractor Buba Barrow. On the front porch, a non-slip, mildew-resistant tile is being installed. The installation of...
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Touring the Interior of the Container-Built Home
General contractor Buba Barrow joins Bob for a tour of the finish work and interior layout, starting on the tiled front porch, moving through the open-plan family...
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The Future of Building with Steel Shipping Containers
Bob talks with David Cross (formerly of Tampa Armature Works) about the future of home construction with steel shipping containers.
If you're not crazy about the idea of commingling plants and pool, this modern variation may be more to your liking. The s... Reused steel windows create an eye-catching splashguard in this walk-in shower. The vintage factory windows bring an inter... A galvanized steel tub is a surprising but charming fixture in this bright and breezy screened patio. It's perfect for was... Edging formed with upside-down wine bottles is a refreshing change. Cleverly and artistically involving recycled materials... Even earthbound, this stunning, colorful egg chair would be an eye-catching accent for any room. Suspended off the ground,... If you lack plumbing skills but have a good sturdy tree, here's the easiest outdoor shower solution of all: Simply attach... Need a window and a door in a tight space? A Dutch door with a window may be your answer. These useful doors are split hor... How do you like this smart use for an old bottle? Clamp an empty wine bottle to a fence or wall near your outdoor deck or ... Simple and striking, a couple of pieces of "lovingly used" furniture creates a special kind of charm. A weathered chair fo... Twine lanterns add pops of crafty—but sophisticated—flair to any outdoor setting. Wrap glue-soaked twine around a balloon ... When securely fastened to a tree or the ceiling of a porch, a pallet and some cushioning make the ideal place to lounge. V... Incorporate nature into your lighting scheme by securing a dead tree in a concrete mold and draping your pendant lamp from... For the cost of a can of exterior paint , you can totally transform your porch. Paint the floor a hue that complements yo... Chalkboard labels are available for sale. You can also apply chalkboard paint to pretty much any surface to create your ow... This garden shed has been decked out to the nines. Designer Orla Kiely created the intimate home for a flower trade show, ...
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