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Porcelain or Ceramic: Which Tile Type Is Right for You?
When considering a tile refresh for any floor, wall, or countertop, keep porcelain and ceramic tiles top of mind for ...
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Solved! The Best Decking Material
Q: I’m putting a new deck on my house and I want to make sure it is constructed properly. What is the best decking ma...
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Buyer's Guide: Hammocks
During the summer months, nothing beats kicking back in a hammock and swaying gently on a warm breeze with a paperbac...
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Buyer’s Guide: Solar Path Lights
Many homeowners like to enjoy the warmer months by entertaining in the backyard, dining on the patio, and playing law...
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Buyer’s Guide: Portable Grills
Homeowners who host frequent outdoor gatherings tend to have strict opinions about what kind of backyard grill keeps ...
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Buyer’s Guide: Lawn Fertilizers
Whoever said, “The grass is always greener on the other side” probably wasn’t using the right stuff. When it comes to...
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Buyer’s Guide: Weed Whackers
If your lawn features a lot of “interruptions”—trees, shrubbery, pavers, and pathways—odds are that you struggle with...
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7 Types of Saws Every DIYer Should Get to Know
Whether you want to build a rustic bench, install trim molding, or plumb a new sink, odds are that you’ll need to cut...
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Buyer's Guide: Bathroom Fans
Nothing beats a hot shower at the end of a long day. But while the steamy water works wonders on your nerves, it has ...
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How To: Choose the Right Scraper for the Job
Removing old wallpaper, filling nail holes, and prying off hardened putty all rely on one simple and supremely handy ...
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Buyer's Guide: Mini Fridges
A space-smart decision for dorm rooms and tiny spaces alike, the mini fridge keeps food and beverage close at hand wi...
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5 Types of Screws Every DIYer Should Get to Know
Though they’re not much to look at, screws hold a place of honor in the construction, hobby, and furniture-making ind...
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Buyer's Guide: Robot Vacuums
Nobody enjoys dragging a heavy vacuum across all carpeted floors of the house and repeating the job only a week later...
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Get a Grip: Choosing the Right Wrench for the Job
If you’ve ever tried to remove a stuck nut with a pair of pliers in a pinch, you know how easy it is to scrape and da...
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Buyer's Guide: Air Mattresses
We’ve all got friends and relatives, but we don’t all have a guest room for their overnight visits. On that safe assu...
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All You Need to Know About Paint Types
A hardware store’s paint department presents an overwhelming number of options to any homeowner looking for a color r...
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Buyer's Guide: Air Purifiers for Allergies
Nobody wants to breathe in dust, dander, pollen, and mold. Unfortunately, though, the air in our homes is loaded with...
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Buyer's Guide: Garage Heaters
If you’re an avid DIYer, you know how miserable it can be to work on a project, or even perform routine car maintenan...
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Buyer's Guide: Space Heaters
Ever-rising utility costs can make it difficult to heat an entire house during the coldest months of the year. To kee...
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Buyer's Guide: Standing Desks
Sitting at a desk all day had long been associated with “secretary’s spread,” but doctors at the Mayo Clinic point ou...
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Buyer's Guide: Snow Blowers
When Old Man Winter blows into town, home improvement stores roll out their snow blower displays—rows of shiny red, b...
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Bob Vila Radio: Selecting the Right Stove for Your Home
No kitchen stove is perfect. Both gas and electric models offer advantages and disadvantages. Here are a few consider...
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Buyer's Guide: Room Humidifiers
Heating and air conditioning strip your home’s air of its natural humidity. The result: An uncomfortable dryness that...
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Buyer's Guide: Wireless Doorbells
Among the many advantages of high-tech home accessories is their ability to let us untangle ourselves from old-fashio...
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So, You Want to... Install a Screen Door
Breezes in, bugs out—functionally speaking, the screen door hasn’t changed much in the past hundred years or so. Diff...
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Buyer's Guide: Power Hedge Trimmers
The shape and tidiness of your shrubs is a crucial component of curb appeal. Whether you’ve got a densely landscaped ...
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All You Need to Know About Fence Materials
From the zigzag post-and-rail of the Colonial era to the elaborate molded vinyl styles of today, fences have always b...
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Buyer’s Guide: Lawn Edgers
Whether your yard is large or small, minimally landscaped or filled with flower beds, one of the easiest ways to keep...
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Buyer’s Guide: Lawn Sprinklers
While your yard may take its fair share of work to maintain and manicure, it can actually be pretty easy to keep it f...
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Buyer’s Guide: Pressure Washers
Nothing says “clean” like a great pressure washing! Everything from decks and driveways to patio furniture and window...
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Buyer’s Guide: Showerheads
There’s nothing quite like the sense of clean and calm that comes with a great shower after a long day’s work. One of...
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All You Need to Know About Stainless Steel Countertops
Fancy yourself an at-home chef with serious skills? Then you may be interested in upgrading your cooking space to one...
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The Right Glue for Every Repair Job
If you’re confused by the wide array of options in the adhesives aisle at your local hardware store, you’re not alone...
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Hardwood or Laminate: Which Is the Right Flooring for You?
Whatever your home's style may be, flooring is quite literally its foundation—and often the first design element visi...
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Is Varnish or Polyurethane the Right Finish for You?
A coat of durable wood finish on your hardwood floors, fine furniture, and outdoor decking can mean the difference be...
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Is Milk or Chalk Paint the Right Finish for You?
It’s not how you start, but how you finish, as the adage goes. But when it comes to painting, the materials you choos...
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A Cheap and Easy Way to Slash Your Water Bill
With a single tiny change to the faucets in your kitchen and bathrooms, you can achieve significant savings on your w...
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How To: Choose a Skylight
Picture the average lightbulb. Now picture sunlight streaming into a room in your home. There's no comparison, right?...
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Editors' Picks: Today's Top 7 Vacuum Cleaners
Decisions, decisions: Buying a new vacuum cleaner used to be a fairly straightforward and simple process, but today’s proliferation of purchasing options may leav...
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What Type of Door Is Best for Your Entryway?
You put a great deal of trust in your front door, counting on it to form a good first impression of your home for any...
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Gas or Electric? Choose Your Next Stove Wisely
There are two main types of stoves—gas and electric. Each type has its devotees, and its detractors. Which stove you ...
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The 9 Rules for Rugs That Everyone Should Know
There are many questions to grapple with before settling on any particular rug: How big should it be? Is it durable enough? What do I need to know to clean it? Fo...
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Buyer's Guide: Best Refrigerators
The kitchen plays host to more appliances than any other room in the house, and the king of them all is the refrigera...
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Do You Need a Dehumidifier?
Air quality can suffer in myriad ways. Excess humidity ranks among the least desirable effects. Left unchecked, moist...
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Buyer's Guide: Best Cordless Drills
Just as cellular technology freed the telephone, the advent of lithium-ion batteries forever altered the landscape of...
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How To: Choose an LED Bulb
If you've gone out to buy a light bulb recently, chances are you've hesitated over the unfamiliar selection. Traditio...
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Buyer's Guide: Chainsaws
As much as chainsaws hold appeal for tool geeks and aspiring lumberjacks, they are also quite handy for the average h...
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Your Guide to Navigating the New World of Light Bulbs
January 2014 signaled the final stage in the phaseout of standard incandescent light bulbs in the United States. As of January 1, traditional incandescents are no...
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Buyer's Guide: Best Dishwashers
When you're planning a dinner party, it's not long before you start picturing the pile of plates that will await you ...
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The 10 Commandments of Buying the Right Tools
Whether you’re a veteran weekend warrior or a newcomer to home improvement, you’ll get nothing done without reliable tools you can wield with confidence. But rath...
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Bob Vila Radio: Fend Off the Power Surge Scourge
These days, we're increasingly sharing our homes with electronic devices. Many of them are pretty pricey, and that in...
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Buyer's Guide: Portable Generators
The storm hits. Power lines topple. And your home loses electricity for an hour, a day, or even a week. These inconve...
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5 Steps to Hiring the Right Roofer
Whereas other home upgrades are purely elective, roof repairs aren't a choice; they're essential.  Besides being crit...
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5 Things to Consider When Choosing a New Roof
Every homeowner knows that a sound roof is an absolute must to protect your investment. That's why routine roof maint...
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5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Wood Floor
Homeowners evaluating new flooring owe it to themselves to consider the benefits and beauty of wood. Wood floors are ...
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Couch Surfing: Top 10 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Sofa
A new sofa is an investment—not just of your hard-earned dollars, but of your time. You hope to spend many years with your sofa, so it's worth your while to seek ...
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11 Things to Know Before Visiting the Lumber Yard
Choosing the right wood for a home improvement project can be tricky for experienced woodworkers and novice DIYers alike. Luckily, knowing a few key lumber facts ...
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How To: Choose the Right Gutters
Gutters are a critical component of a home’s drainage system, and like many exterior features, they're subject to wea...
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The Do's and Don'ts of Choosing a New House Color
When it comes to picking exterior paint colors, there are a number of things to consider before making a final decision. Here are some basic do’s and don’ts to he...
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Talking Toilets with Chip Wade (or, How to Choose a Toilet)
"With subtle style differences and various makes and models available, a toilet is a pretty simple machine designed t...
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Buyer's Guide: Tubs
Equal parts meditative and functional, today’s bathroom has been transformed into a spa, a place to unwind and refres...
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How To: Choose a New Boiler
Feel that chill in the air? Winter is coming. Now is the time to assess your heating system and replace any aging or ...
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How To: Choose the Right Rug
Nothing can draw the elements of a room together quite like a rug. It can make a cold room cozy and inviting, define ...
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Buyer's Guide: Replacement Windows
It's difficult to overstate the importance of windows in home design, not least because they have an impact on both t...
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Basement Flooring 101
Surprise! It's all right to install virtually any type of flooring in your basement. Although hardwood should be avoi...
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Keep Cozy in Cool Weather with an Outdoor Patio Heater
Now that it's fall, chilly weather chases you indoors after dinner al fresco, and low temperatures in the morning kee...
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Quick Tips: Drywall vs. Blueboard
When choosing wallboard, remember the difference between drywall and blueboard. Drywall panels are covered with paper...
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Bob Vila's Guide to Kitchen Countertops
Kitchen makeovers are among the most popular of home improvements. They can be costly—a mid-range minor kitchen remod...
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Bob Vila's Guide to Roofing
Whether you are building a new house or renovating your current home, the roof will be one of the most important choi...
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Bob Vila's Guide to Exterior Siding
The exterior of your home faces a ceaseless barrage of threats from the hot sun, strong winds, precipitation in all i...
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Shower Heads 101
Gone are the days of the utilitarian shower head. Today's spigots are anything but standard. From sleek handheld unit...
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The Perfect Paintbrush—and How to Choose It
Not all paintbrushes are created equal, nor are they all the right fit for every job. Use this guide to determine the best brush for your project.
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Bathroom Floor Tile: Which Is Best for You?
Don't miss Bathroom Floor Tile: 14 Top OptionsBathroom floor tile is available in a surprising number of materials. C...
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Counter Intelligence: Choosing the Right Countertop
Countertops pull double duty as a visual design element and a hardworking surface. Cost depends on materials, with pr...
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How To: Choose a Paint Finish
In her new book, Black & White (and a Bit in Between), designer Celerie Kemble reviews the classic appeal of blac...
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How To: Choose the Right Saw for the Job
Muscles or electricity are required to power a saw, but the sawteeth really do the cutting, reducing the fibers of th...
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Top 5 Tool Buying Tips
1.   Less is more: While having the 628-piece tool set is an impressive thing to tell all of your home-improvement bu...
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Choosing Major Kitchen Appliances
Choosing major kitchen appliances can be fun, but homeowners should think of family and lifestyle first. If hiring a ...
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Pick the Right Grill
Whether you like charcoal or gas, a single grill or a cooking station, how and where you use a grill will help you de...
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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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How To: Select a Paint Color
The most personal decision involved in any interior or exterior painting project is color choice. If green is your fa...
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How To: Find Affordable Housing
In most areas of the U. S. , housing costs are rising faster than wages. To meet the federal government’s definition ...
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Adding Custom Moldings
Molding profiles tend to represent eras in building design. As architectural details, they often serve to pinpoint a ...
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Choosing Custom Windows
There is more to replacing windows than choosing the glass and the frame. Existing openings may need to be changed to...
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Choosing the Right Floor
Floors must withstand your lifestyle. They get nicked by high heels, crusted by muddy boots and crushed by furniture ...
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Green Machines: Eco-Friendly Electronics
The green movement is in full swing: from organic foods to energy-efficient appliances to greener cleaning products, ...
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Selecting Handcrafted Furniture
A piece of handcrafted furniture is at once a practical and aesthetic purchase. It graces your home, reflects who you...
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Choosing a Whole-Home Audio System
Whole-home audio, or distributed audio, is an increasingly popular way for homeowners in new and existing houses to e...
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Choosing an HVAC System
If you’re considering a new system for your home, talk first to your architect or designer. Conversations with HVAC c...
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Buying Home Building Materials
If your designer has specified all the fixtures, appliances, and home building materials needed for the job, you may ...
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How To: Choose a New Roof for Your House
Whether you are building from scratch or choosing a new roof for your existing home, a wide range of materials are re...
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All Garden Hoses Are Not Created Equal
Let's talk garden hoses. Every home needs at least one, whether to water the lawn, wash the car, or run the Slip 'n S...
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Area Rugs Set Fashion Free in the Great Outdoors
Thanks to modern advances in fabrication, outdoor rugs have never featured more extensive design options. A favorite ...
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How To: Choose a Programmable Thermostat
Looking for a small home improvement that yields big results? A programmable thermostat, properly installed and confi...
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How To: Choose a Ceiling Fan
Choosing a ceiling fan is enough to make any homeowner’s head hurt. With so many variables and options, what should y...
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How To: Choose a New Bathroom Faucet
In the overall scheme of a bathroom, the sink faucet might seem like an incidental detail, but its design can set the...
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How To: Choose Carpeting
Whether you’re remodeling the whole house or freshening up only a few rooms, new floor coverings can revive spaces th...
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Prefinished vs. Unfinished Wood Flooring
I’ve looked at flooring from both sides now. . . and it’s the horrors of applying polyurethane I recall. Apologies to...
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How To: Choose a Wheelbarrow
With planting season around the corner, it’s time to hit the garage and take inventory: what have you got, and what d...
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How To: Choose a Lawn Mower
If your current lawn mower was built to last, it's probably been a while since you've shopped for a new one! When you...
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How To: Choose an Exhaust Fan
Indoor air quality can be problematic at any time of year, but it is especially a concern during the winter months wh...
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Bit of Knowledge: Choosing the Right Drill Bit for the Job
Drill bits are designed to do one thing: make holes in stuff. That is, except when they are intended to drive hardwar...
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Ordering Custom Window Treatments Online
One of the most exciting things about building a new house was seeing how much natural light we were going to get wit...
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The New Wave of Programmable Thermostats
Aside from the price of your own renewable energy, the cost of anything used to heat or cool the home is largely non-...
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Shop for a Snow Blower Before First Flakes Fall
Winter’s chill is in the air, and that means it may be time to shop for a snow blower. There are a number of factors ...
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Bob Vila Radio: Picking a Christmas Tree
Did you know that each holiday season 2,600 people are injured in fires in the US?Listen to BOB VILA ON PICKING A CHR...
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Bob Vila Radio: Choosing Tile
Choosing your tile is not as easy as walking into a showroom and picking a color or pattern. You have to consider how...
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Using a Pressure Washer Around the House and Yard
What a difference the right tool or appliance can make! For instance, we were late arrivals to the pressure washer pa...
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Bob Vila Radio: Buying Furniture
So you repainted the living room and now you can’t stand your old furniture.  Before you shop 'til you drop, do some ...
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The Right Rake for the Job
Autumn leaves are falling, which means pumpkin donuts and lattes are available at your favorite morning pit stop. And...
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Selecting the Right Front Door
Almost no other part of your home gets as much exposure as the front door. It’s where you greet friends and family, s...
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Shopping for a Swing Set
One thing we miss about living in New York is the awesome city playgrounds. You could walk to a different one every d...
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Quick Tip: Hiring a General Contractor
The Bidding Process Is Telling By now, most homeowners know that you need to get quotes from several contractors befo...
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Quick Tip: Choosing Child Safety Gates
Important Safety Tool If you’re a parent, one of your many important jobs is making your home safe for your child. As...
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Bob Vila Radio: Choosing Outdoor Furniture
Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 60 stations around the country (and growing)...
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Top Tips for Choosing Kitchen Cabinets
The first things we chose during our eight-hour selections appointment for our new construction home were our kitchen...
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How To: Save Money and Electricity with Fluorescent Light
Give Fluorescent Lighting Another Chance We all know that switching to fluorescent lighting saves energy and money. B...
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Engineered vs. Solid: Selecting Wood Flooring
There are a lot of decisions to make when constructing a new home. Having a large production builder as our contracto...
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How To: Choose the Right Furnace Filter
As far as home improvement gear goes, furnace filters are admittedly among the least, um. . . exciting. There's none ...
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How To: Choose Tile
Evaluate Your Needs Choosing tile is not as easy as walking into a showroom and picking the right color or pattern. F...
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Quick Tip: Choosing Sandpaper
Sandpaper isn't made of sand, of course, but of fine grains of the natural mineral garnet, or of synthetics like sili...
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Choosing a Paint Sprayer
It's estimated that a paint sprayer can apply a coating ten times faster than brushing and four times faster than rol...
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Top Tips for Choosing a Rain Shower Head
I hate my shower! Well, actually, it’s my shower head that I don’t like. Granted, it's better than the standard fixtu...
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Quick Tip: Choosing Drywall
Drywall History Before drywall, builders nailed lengths of wood, called lath, to the studs and then applied several c...
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Quick Tip: Buy and Install a Room Air Conditioner
What to Look for Room air conditioners are rated by the number of BTUs, or British thermal units, of heat that they c...
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