Michael Franco


A creative director with Reader's Digest for ten years, also formerly serving as site editor for a division of About.com, Michael Franco has spent over a decade covering science, technology, hospitality and home improvement. His writing credits include Angie's List, Good Housekeeping, Consumer Reports, and National Geographic. A graduate of Ithaca College and Manhattanville College, with a BA in English and an MA in Creative Writing, Mr. Franco once owned and operated a bed and breakfast in Amish country. Today, he lives and works in Asheville, NC. Michael Franco on LinkedIn | Google +

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Planning Guide: Patios

Patio. The word itself calls to mind an image of splendid sun-drenched days spent sipping chilled drinks under the welcome shade of an umbrella. From simple concrete slabs to colorful til...

JULY 1, 2013 | MONDAY
Stucco 101

Animal hooves and horns. Wheat paste. Urine. Beeswax. Rye whiskey.  No, these aren't the makings of a potent witches' brew. Rather, at one time or another in history, each was used in stu...

5 Old House Features Worthy of Resurrection

Popcorn ceilings. Shag carpets. Avocado green. Yes, we were probably right to leave behind many hallmarks of yesterday's home, but there are some that we may have been wrong to abandon. M...

JUNE 25, 2013 | TUESDAY
How to Fix a Running Toilet

Nowadays, we don’t give much thought to our toilets, but there was a time when answering nature's call involved such things as porcelain pots and crude outhouses. The modern flushing toil...

New Tech for Old Homes: 5 Easy Upgrades

There was a time when someone who loves old homes would have found it tough to satisfy his inner high-tech geek. But with the proliferation of all things wireless, achieving a bit of the ...

JUNE 17, 2013 | MONDAY
Composite Decking 101

For what is meant to be a relaxing outdoor refuge, a deck can sure be a lot of work. Sanding, power-washing, refinishing: The demands are enough to make some homeowners wonder whether hav...

JUNE 3, 2013 | MONDAY
Vinyl Siding 101

Sometimes you’ve got to hand it to prehistoric man. Not because he discovered fire, and not because he invented the wheel. But rather because, so early in history, he struck upon one impo...

MAY 22, 2013 | WEDNESDAY
5 Unexpected Ways to Use a Vintage Coat Rack

For the most part, free-standing coat racks are a thing of the past. They belong to a time when closets were only deep enough to hold a couple of suits or a few dresses. As the American h...

MAY 14, 2013 | TUESDAY
For Every Hue, a Mood: Use Color to Make the Most of Every Room

We often choose colors we believe to be an expression of ourselves. But the science of color psychology suggests that we might successfully select paints based, not on who we actually are...

MAY 5, 2013 | SUNDAY
10 New Uses for Old Doors

With imagination and elbow grease, you can transform that old door into a one-of-a-kind piece that's both useful and beautiful.