Home & Leisure

Here's How: Repair Old Wooden Windows

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: The wood frame windows in my vintage house are pretty deteriorated. I want to repair them, not replace them, to maintain its character. What repairs to them can I do myself? -- Don H.

Dear Don: People are often surprised by the significant impact of window style on the overall appearance of an older house. Unless the frames are ...Read more

Here's How: Install a New Bathroom Vent Fan/Light

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: I want to add a bathroom vent fan with an overhead light. The window does not provide enough light. What are some tips for installing one and venting it up through the the roof? -- Kathy T.

Dear Kathy: Although having a window in a bathroom with its natural light is great for putting on makeup, it is not always the best ventilation ...Read more

Here's How: Considerations When Building a Healthy Home

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: All my children have allergies. We are planning to build a new house and I need to avoid the "sick house syndrome" from poor indoor air quality. What things should I consider for it? -- Lisa T.

Dear Lisa: Sick house syndrome refers to much more than just allergies and can be a serious problem in today's newer airtight homes. The ...Read more

Here's How: Learn how to Use Measuring Tools for Precise Project Results

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: I am not the most accurate with projects. My measurements are often off just enough so things don't fit. Do you have advice regarding which measurement tools/techniques to use? -- Sal L.

Dear Sal: If you don't make accurate measurements, even the best materials and power tools cannot salvage the job. It is not difficult to measure ...Read more

Here's How: Add a Cedar Closet to your Bedroom

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: I have always liked cedar closets and want to add a small one in my bedroom. How do I build a closet with cedar wood and how do I maintain the cedar scent for years? -- Jamie P

Dear Jamie: Cedar closets are wonderful for storing clothing because the scent repels moths and other insects that may damage the clothes. Cedar also gives ...Read more

Here's How: Build a Shower Seat for Convenience, Safety

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: My balance is worse than when I was younger so I want to build a seat for my shower stall. What are some basic construction and sizing tips for making one myself? -- John A.

Dear John: A shower seat is a wonderful convenience feature for any age group. While you are building and installing the shower seat, you should also install ...Read more

Here's How: Typical Kitchen Wallpapering Problems

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: We decided to install wallpaper in our kitchen. It installed easily and looked great, but started coming loose in less than a year. Could it be from bad wallpaper or our application? -- Sharyn K.

Dear Sharyn: If the problems occurred in only one small area, it may have been a bad roll of wallpaper. If it is happening in many spots ...Read more

Here's How: Where to Locate a Fireplace to Minimize Backdrafting

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: Our old fireplace always made the room smoky. Will the location of the fireplace in our new house we are now planning affect the amount of smoke? - Ron V.

Dear Ron: A smoky fireplace can completely spoil the ambiance and pleasure of a crackling fire. In many cases, the cause of smoke being drawn back down the chimney into the house ...Read more

Here's How: Typical Drywall Mistakes When Finishing a Room

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: I am converting my garage into a playroom. I watched videos on how to hang drywall, but I want to avoid mistakes. What common problems arise when hanging drywall for the fist time -- Brad S.

Dear Brad: Watching a video of a professional is a good first step to get the project basics. It is impossible for any video or book to list ...Read more

Here's How: Install New Upper Kitchen Cabinets

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: I have made many cosmetic improvements to my kitchen. Adding some new upper cabinets would be the finishing touch. What is the best way to install them for a professional look? -- Gloria T.

Dear Gloria: Installing new upper cabinets can really improve your kitchen decor and function. Also, you can pick cabinet sizes to fit the items...Read more

Here's How: Install a Motion-Sensing Outdoor Light

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: We need more security that just the three floodlights we now have. I thought about getting some motion-sensing ones. How difficult is it to install these new lights myself? -- Elaine H.

Dear Elaine: Adding motion-sensing lights is an excellent security option for every home. Many kits are also reasonably priced as compared to ...Read more

Here's How: Stop Water Bang Noise in Your Plumbing

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: Whenever I shut the water off quickly, there is a banging sound. I am building a new house and want the plumbing to be quiet. What can I do to stop the banging noise? -- Kenny T.

Dear Kenny: A banging noise in plumbing has several possible causes and you should be able to avoid it in the house you are building and stop it in your ...Read more

Here's How: Tips for Installing an Additional Half Bathroom

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: We could use an additional bathroom in our house. Installing a small lavatory in a closet off the dining room might work. Are there any suggestion for designing a small one? -- Ronald T.

Dear Ronald: This is a significant remodeling project which will probably take quite a few weekends to complete. Once the toilet and sink in your ...Read more

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