At Home / DIY

How to Paint a Masonry Fireplace

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Many older homes have brick masonry fireplaces that can date a room. Short of removing the brick, what can you do to create a more modern look? One common method is to give the fireplace a new coat of paint. Join our host, Jeff Wilson, and guest Joe Grywalski, of JNG Painting, for a tutorial on painting a brick masonry fireplace.

Plumbing with PEX

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Are you working with your builder to plan construction for a new home or remodel your existing home? Maybe you are just contemplating your next move. Chances are you have heard about PEX plumbing and have wondered if it's a suitable option for your residence as compared to the more traditional piping material, copper. Although PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) is a relatively newer piping material than copper or even chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC), it has a successful history of use in residential applications. PEX has been used in Europe since the 1960s and has experienced significant growth in the United States since its introduction in the 1980s. In a highly regulated industry, PEX piping undergoes extensive testing and certification to meet strict performance requirements to ensure a quality material that provides healthy drinking water.

How to Repair Drywall

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Finding a big hole in your drywall isn’t much fun, but fixing it isn’t a big problem. Whether you have a hole to fix or you are just prepping to paint, a few supplies and tools are all you need for the job. Join our host, Jeff Wilson, for a demonstration of how to repair a variety of different size holes and divots in drywall.

House of the Month: Combs Point Residence by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

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Looking at a photograph of the waterfall that provides a launching point for the Combs Point Residence he designed for a lakefront in New York, Peter Bohlin says, “There’s nowhere else quite like it in the world.”

Ask anyone who has ever fallen in love with a piece of land and they will say that it is, in fact, a place unlike any other in the world. And Bohlin, Principal in Charge at Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, designs with that distinctiveness in mind. Bohlin says, “Our work is always noted for thinking and feeling how a place is. It is intellectual and well reasoned but also takes into account that we are emotional beings.“

How to Fix a Leaking Toilet

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Repositioning and Replacing a Wax Ring

If you have noticed water damage near the base of your toilet, chances are your toilet’s wax ring has failed. Although toilet leaks have several common causes, only a bad wax ring will require the removal and resetting of the toilet. When this problem occurs you could call a plumber or you could arm yourself with a little know-how and fix the leaking toilet yourself. To complete the job you will need towels, a flathead screwdriver, a crescent wrench, gloves, a putty knife, and a hacksaw.

How to Install Engineered Wood Siding

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If you are thinking about installing new siding on your home, engineered wood siding is becoming a popular choice for residential cladding due to its life expectancy and its ease of use. Although installing engineered wood siding may seem like a complicated project, a few tips and tricks can make it a job many experienced do-it-yourselfers can accomplish. Join our host, Jeff Wilson, as he describes the benefits of engineered wood siding and demonstrates a few installation tips and techniques.

Maintenance Tips: Garbage Disposals

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A food waste disposer, commonly called a garbage disposal, was invented in 1927. According to the 2009 American Housing Survey (AHS) published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), over 50% of homes have a garbage disposal. Also, the Study of Life Expectancy of Home Components that was prepared in 2007 by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) suggests that a residential kitchen garbage disposal has an anticipated life expectancy of 12 years. A garbage disposal can be maintained to achieve its full lifetime with proper use, ensuring it is operating efficiently and safely.

Exterior Design Trends and Ideas

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With the coming of 2011, we’re not only seeing the beginning of a new year, but a new decade as well. Many things have changed over the course of the last ten years -- politically, economically, and culturally. We spoke with architects and designers nationwide to see what design trends and ideas are here to stay and what recent events have shaped the exteriors of residential building.

Interior Design Trends and Ideas

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The interior space of our homes is where we will spend a considerable portion of our time in the coming months -- perhaps poising it for a bit of scrutiny in our traditional time of making fresh starts. Here we talk with experienced interior designers and architects about the trends and ideas that they expect to have an impact in 2011 -- an appropriate way to start your year.

How to Maintain a Furnace

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The old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” couldn’t be truer when it comes to your furnace. Whether you have an oil, gas, or electric furnace, it’s important for your health, safety, and even your home budget, to perform regular checks and maintenance. Join our host, Jeff Wilson, for a review of some simple tips and tricks to keep your furnace operating safely at its highest efficiency.

How to Install a Ceramic Tile Backsplash

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Installing a ceramic tile backsplash is a great do-it-yourself project and a nice introduction to working with tile. Join our host, Jeff Wilson, as he talks about choosing tile for a backsplash and what tools and supplies you’ll need for the job and then demonstrates how to get the job done right.

How to Refinish a Wood Deck

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Refinishing your wood deck every few years is necessary maintenance. Learn when and how.

When is it time to refinish your wood deck? Sometimes it’s hard to tell. Use the “splash test” to see if your wood deck needs attention. Take a glass of water and splash it on the most heavily traveled areas. If the water beads up and sits on top of the wood, then refinishing is not required. If the water soaks in and darkens the wood, then it’s time to get on that deck maintenance before any serious damage is done. Join our host, Jeff Wilson, as he demonstrates how to refinish a wood deck.