The Right Window Shade Equals Lower Energy Costs

Right Window Shade Settings

If I asked you to list five ways to save energy in your house, I’ll bet that window shades would never be on your list. Make it a list of twenty energy-saving tactics and they still wouldn’t make the list. We tend to think of window shades as only providing privacy and decor. But the right shade…

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Kitchen Countertops Can Make a Kitchen Beautiful

Kitchen Countertops

There are many types of kitchen countertops to choose from. It’s not always easy to decide what’s best for you. The high-end market practically demands granite or solid surface tops. But your budget and personal preference may make plastic laminate a better choice. Maybe a solid surface or even wood might suit your kitchen. To…

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A Fireplace Will NOT Heat Your Home!

Fireplace Heating Facts

A nice fire in a fireplace is a great way to warm up your house in the winter. Right? That would seem logical. After all, when you sit by the fire, you get warmed up. But sometimes what seems logical is not really logical, at all. Let me help you separate fireplace fact from fireplace fiction.…

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Choosing Paint Colors

Home Design Color Swatches

Recently I was asked for tips to help homeowners navigate the ocean of paint swatches at the home improvement store. Selecting colors can be a daunting task. With so many colors to choose from it seems it would be easy to find just the right one. The fact there are millions of colors in the world with very…

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Dealing with High Ceilings in Small Spaces

High Ceiling Small Space

The dreaded “elevator shaft” effect. That’s what you can end up with in small rooms with high ceilings.  In high-end houses, ten-foot high ceilings, and above, have gotten to be standard. High ceilings make rooms feel larger and more spacious. But in small rooms, such as a powder room, a room that might only be…

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Do I Need a Building Permit?

Building Permit Requirement

If you are planning a home improvement project such as finishing your basement or rearranging your bathroom or kitchen, you might be wondering if you need a building permit. The jargon in the construction world is to “pull a permit.” I’m not sure where you pull it from, but that’s a discussion for another blog…

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A Welcoming Holiday Entryway

Holiday Entrance Design

Who among us does not like a front door and entryway that’s been decorated for the season? We know how important first impressions can be. The entrance to your house is a visitor’s first impression. Seeing nicely decorated front doors reminds us that the design of your front door, front porch or portico, and the…

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Printable Light

Printable LED Lighting

If you need more light at home, in the near future you might be able to print some out on your computer printer. It seems that a start-up company in Idaho is nearly ready to put their paper-thin, printable LED light on the market. Rohinni, the company behind this unusual light, has created a planar,…

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Adding an In-Law Suite

In-Law Suite House Plans

Today we are featuring a guest blogger, James Wentling, of the James Wentling/Architect firm in Philadelphia, PA. He is discussing the in’s and out’s of the in-law suite. I found myself in the exact situation James describes when my father died and my mother needed to live with us. We built on an “in-law suite,” just as James…

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Bleaching Oil for Cedar Siding

Cedar Siding Cleaning

I was on a job site the other day and we were reviewing the transformation that occurs when you add a bleaching oil and stain to cedar siding. The contractor had built a sample wall and we were discussing the process. He indicated that the siding would be stained, and then stained again six weeks…

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