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Decking 101

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Decking 101 is our quick guide to popular deck materials (like wood, composite and cellular PVC, and aluminum), installation, cost, and maintenance tips.

The Hoover Dam Bypass: A Modern Engineering Marvel

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The Hoover Dam Bypass is being described as a remarkable, magnificent, impressive, spectacular, and monumental engineering feat. Completed in October 2010, this $240 million civil engineering project took nearly a decade of intensive planning and preparation, required coordinated efforts among a six-agency management consortium, and consisted of a three-prong emphasis on design, safety, and economic considerations.

How to Install a GFCI Outlet

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What kind of electrical receptacle should you install in the kitchen or bath? The answer is a GFCI outlet, or a ground fault circuit interrupt outlet. A GFCI (or GFI) outlet should be installed in any place where electricity might come in contact with water; such as a kitchen, a bathroom, a laundry room, garage, or exterior space. Basically, a GFCI outlet will sense when electricity is going to pass through a person’s body and it will shut off before the shock is delivered. Installing this type of outlet is only slightly more complex than installing a standard three-pronged receptacle. Join the At Home channel’s host, Jeff Wilson, for a tutorial on how to install a GFCI electrical outlet.

Marina Bay Sands SkyPark: An Iconic Singapore Destination

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A rooftop observation deck spans three hotel towers and creates a dramatic element in the Singapore skyline.

The SkyPark is an architectural masterpiece that rests atop the three 55-story hotel towers of the Marina Bay Sands mixed-use resort in Singapore. Recognized as one of the world’s largest public cantilevers, the SkyPark defies gravity as it extends 213' beyond the towers and boasts incredible panoramic views of the Singapore skyline, the South China Sea, and Marina Bay.

Strait of Messina Bridge: Construction Will Begin on the World’s Largest Suspension Bridge

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After centuries of consideration, a bridge to connect Sicily and the Italian peninsula is scheduled to begin construction in December.

For hundreds of years residents of mainland Italy and the island of Sicily have discussed the idea of a bridge that would connect the two bodies of land by spanning the Strait of Messina. However, because of the two-mile width of the strait, its depth, its current, and the fact that it frequently experiences tremors and earthquakes, a bridge seemed to be out of the question. Because of these issues, a ferry system was developed and used instead. Still, the idea of a bridge that could support both cars and trains seemed ideal for commuters.

Build Your Own Man Cave for $8 per Square Foot

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With money tight and the economy sputtering along, you may be looking for affordable ways to add a man cave to your home. Finishing your basement is the least expensive way to get the space you need without breaking the bank. As a professional builder, I have learned several key measures that will keep down the cost of your new man cave while still keeping the cool factor. Let's explore some of these cost-saving secrets to help you get the best new space at the most affordable price.

Kitchen Design Trends and Ideas

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We’ve all heard the phrase “champagne taste on a beer budget,” right? This certainly applies to kitchen design and decorating. Our space is an integral part of our lives -- as we spend a good deal of life at home -- and it doesn’t take a Feng Shui expert to understand the value of creating a space that is personalized, practical, and, of course, positive.

Pritzker Prize Worthy: SANAA's Glass Pavilion at the Toledo Museum of Art

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By now you have probably heard that Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, partners of the Japanese architectural firm SANAA, have been awarded the 2010 Pritzker Architecture Prize. Renowned for their elegant compositions that emphasize transparency and lightness through explorations in material minimalism, Sejima and Nishizawa have emerged with an impressive body of work that includes the Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion. Inspired by the news of the Pritzker award, I scheduled a trip to see the Glass Pavilion so that I could experience the qualities of design that prompted such an honor.

Keeping up with Toronto’s Evolving Architectural Identity

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On the southeastern tail of Ontario, the 175-year-young city of Toronto is home to 2.5 million Canadians, making it the largest city in the country. Rodolphe el-Khoury, an architecture professor at the University of Toronto, said in a 2008 interview that he noticed an underlying rural tone in Toronto's architectural identity. “It’s a kind of tension between a cosmopolitan international culture and a more Ontario-based kind of heritage,” described el-Khoury. What Toronto is known for is its skyscrapers – it is second only to New York as having the most in North America. Along with the skyscrapers, progressive-minded young people who champion environmental friendliness inhabit downtown Toronto.

Green Homes vs Traditional Homes

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In recent years, the U.S. home building industry has undoubtedly seen its troubles. The downturn in the economy has forced many builders to rethink how they approach their market now that it is much smaller. In many cases those builders have chosen to address the increasing demand for green homes. By offering green homes, many builders are now meeting their customers’ needs for energy- and water-efficient homes with a healthier environment and financial benefits. What once was a niche can now be seen as mainstream. According to the United States Green Building Council, their LEED for Homes program has certified 10,000 homes since it started in 2008. This sounds very impressive, but what is a green home, and what are the benefits compared to a traditional home?

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.

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