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Share ideas and learn about the latest in home improvement and décor from Tom and Leslie.

Money Pit Blogs

Filed under: Bargains, Home, Recession If you've got a few big home improvement projects to tackle but not enough time, tools or muscle finish them, you may want to consider starting a home improvement club with fellow frustrated DIYers. This clever concept is gaining popularity in communities...

Filed under: Home, Real Estate, Recession, Investing As common as foreclosure news is these days, both buyers and sellers tend to have major misconceptions regarding their rights, responsibilities and the overall process. No matter which side you're on, here are a dozen myths demystified. For...

Filed under: Bargains, Home, Real Estate, Recalls Owners of Florida homes built between 2004 and 2005 have discovered dangerous Chinese drywall to be behind heating and air conditioning system failures, as well as air quality issues in their homes. With the home building industry already in a...

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Across the country, most homes have between 10-50 devices that consume electricity whether they are in use or not. These devices, called vampire electronics, are everyday household appliances like microwaves, phone chargers and home computers which consume electricity, even when they are turned...

I'm self-employed and with the economy being tight, I'm spending a lot more time at home and thinking converting my garage to a workshop that I'd use to tackle projects from car repair to woodworking.  In reviewing the floor options, I'm trying to decide between adding a locking floor tile or...

Help!  We own a 121 yr old Victorian home in Galveston, TX.  She survived another hurricane, standing strong once more; however, we have lots of moldy upholstered furniture.  We've hauled it up to own other home in Arlington to clean it up... any suggestions???  What about our two leather and...

I am selling my house.  At the home inspection the inspector found that the plywood in my attic had black mold.  I have contacted two companies that deal with this.  My question is how much of a deal breaker can this be when selling or buying a house?Mike P 9/23/08

Mike, first…don't panic. ...

We bought a new house directly from the builder and have only been in it for eight months, so we're still covered by the warranty. Our basement recently filled with 16 inches of water, and our pump never shut off. The builder installed another pump, and said that was all we needed; meanwhile I...

The home we just purchased was in need of updates, so we've done a few things already, but would like to do more as long as we can sell it at a much higher price in two or three years. My hope is to finish the basement, update the cabinets, build a master bathroom and closet, and update the...

I live in a new townhouse community in Myrtle Beach, SC, where we have 256 units and the roads were paved about 18 months ago. My question is, do we need to sealcoat surfaces now, as the pavers who do this work say we should? The cost is over $20,000. When I lived in New Jersey, the company that...

We live at the shore between the bay and ocean. At times, the winds are horrendous and can drive into the windows at an angle. The problem is at our sliding glass door and inside, where we have a leak affecting the ceiling of our gable roof where the inside wall of the sliding glass door meets...

My daughter has a real sense of style. Unfortunately, her dorm room doesn't. We want her to be comfortable but have obvious limitations on what we can change.  Any tips to spruce up her space without adding to our already sky-high college costs? Lisa V.

Memories of my college dorm room are...

Summer is a popular time to build a deck or a patio so that you can spend time enjoying the great outdoors.  But which surface is really the best? Deciding whether a deck or patio makes the most sense is part structural and part personal choice.  If your back door is close to the ground (within...

Hoping you can shed some light on this concern of mine. I recently went into a bidding war on a century-old home and won─however, it wasn't disclosed until after the deal was signed that the home has asbestos siding. After much internet research, I've seen many different responses, all of...

Can you explain what I need to do to clean and restore or replace the grout in my tiled shower? The tile is 4" x 4" with white grout, and despite my cleaning it gets black and moldy every week.MarvA 7-12-08 The place to start in this case is with the overall moisture situation in your bathroom....

I listen to your show on WABC in NY and understand you spent many years as a home inspector.  We are buying a ten year old house in Fishkill NY. We had the house inspected last week; however the home inspector would not check the septic system with color dye. He stated that the fields 'looked...

My son lives in Athens, Georgia, in an apartment complex that houses mostly college students. Since he moved in, he has been sick almost constantly with lung issues─up to and including coughing up blood! We recently found that the AC/heating unit in his apartment is covered in mold and mildew...

Filed under: preventative maintenance, remodeling, Exteriors & Facades, Outdoors

Your roof is wearing out - right now. Thanks to the UV radiation that bakes roof shingles until they are brittle, the summer sun takes more years out of a roof's life than any other environmental factor. If your...

My 6-year-old roof has some nasty black staining that I believe is a moss or algae. Can you suggest a product to get rid of this and prevent it from returning? Also, is this a do-it-yourself project?Mark F.Westfield, NJ Sounds like your asphalt shingle roof has been marked by blue-green algae or...