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

Money Pit Blogs

What do you get when you combine two popular rackets these days-identity theft and mortgage fraud? A totally new kind of crime: house stealing. According the the FBI, here's how it generally works: … The con artists start by picking out a house to steal-say, YOURS.  … Next, they assume your...

After last summer's high water bills, I'd like to make some changes to my landscaping that'll preserve its good looks without wasting water and costing me a bundle. Got any suggestions to get me started in my water-saving quest?  GP 3-20-08 12:33pm As you've discovered the hard way, keeping your...

A few members of my family are allergy-prone, and I'd like to add air cleaning systems to our home. Are individual units okay, or is a whole-house units a better value?Nanc521 02-29-08 12:16 p.m. When you consider that, in addition to naming indoor air pollution as one of the top five risks to...

Going green in a home lawn care program doesn't have to be a daunting task.  There are some easy, cost-effective steps homeowners can take to improve their lawns while enhancing the positive effects of lawn maintenance on the environment. A healthy lawn is not only beautiful; it provides great...

I'm about to tackle my first interior paint job, and don't want to wind up with the same rough-looking results I've seen in other DIYers' homes. What's the key to getting a great finish?firsthome08 2-29-08 6:47 p.m. When it comes to painting, preparation makes perfect. What you've probably seen...

The worn fixtures in my master bath are in need of an update, but I don't quite have the budget to replace everything at once. Is refinishing a viable option for some of the items? Basically, you need to go fixture by fixture and look at the costs involved in replacement versus refinishing. A...

I have several home improvement projects on my list for the coming year, and am wondering what the most popular categories are so that I can get on contractors' calendars in plenty of time. Also, is now too soon to plan for jobs to be done in late spring and summer? Now is actually the perfect...

My kitchen cabinets are looking pretty tired, and I'd like to give them a low-cost face lift. What kinds of finish should I use?nlvc 2-18-08 First, make sure your cabinets are eligible for DIY refinishing by examining their construction and material content. Solid wood and laminate are both good...

Consumer Reports tests show several brands should pay more attention to the product's purpose.  Latest tests of more than 60 upright and canister vacuums reveal that several brands have included innovative features in new models-including germ-killing claims-but several fell short in their...

I've lived in my 1928 DC Row/Federal Style home for over 30 years.  I would like to add a 2 or 3 story addition to the rear, as well as install Central AC, remodel the Kitchen, create a Master Bedroom, and a few other smaller projects.  I am a caregiver for both my mother and father.  Both...

On your home improvement radio show, I heard you warn that storing wood too close to your house can invite termites.  How should I be storing and maintaining my firewood supply this winter?lak720 2-1-08 12:22pm Circulation and safety are the two main things to keep in mind as you stack up and...

I'd really like to add radiant heating to the floors in my home. Is this possible with an existing structure, or is radiant heating technology only doable in a new build?allen343 1-26-08 4:23pm New builds are the best opportunity for installation of a super-customized, whole-house system, but...

It's about time for me to upgrade my home's HVAC components, and I've been hearing a lot about hybrid systems. Can they really keep my home comfy and cut my utility bills?jrocha 1-18-08 2:33pm Just like hybrid vehicles, hybrid HVAC systems have come a long way in the last few years, and now's a...

My tight-squeeze laundry area has turned into a disorganized mess I dread, and our family laundry volume shows no sign of letting up. Got any ideas on how I can create the extra space I need to get laundry day back under control? A laundry room often seems like an afterthought in home design,...

When state legislators in Florida, Pennsylvania and California convene for the next session, they may want to take a close look at the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) state ranking of the best and worst home inspection regulation laws in the United States.  In the last 10 years, 28...

What can I do about squeaky floors?  My house is about 20 years old, built over a crawl space.  The floor covering is vinyl in the kitchen and baths, and carpeting over the sub-flooring in the rest of the house.  The  squeaking occurs in both the vinyl & carpeted areas; e. g., when I installed...

My 18 year old wood roof shingles have algae here in Northern NJ. I got several quotes and they were all very costly (about $5,000) to clean the roof using diluted bleach.  Should I wait until need a new roof and replace with long life shingles?dsaks 12-9-07 8:31pm Algae and fungus on your roof...

I recently applied BEHR Premium 2-Part Epoxy Garage Floor Coating in my garage which looks terrific, but I would prefer a glossier finish.  Can I apply Behr Wet Look Sealer as a top coat or will this damage the integrity of the epoxy coating?  Do you have any suggestions?crwines 11-28-07 ...

With help from AARP, my co-host Leslie Segrete and I completed a home makeover project that delivered both safety and style for house that is home to three generations of a family in Miller Place, NY.  Check out cool before/after video of improvements to the kitchen, bath, foyer and get some...

I bought my first house a little over 2 months ago. During the home inspection the heat pump was old but operational. We had the seller purchase a Home Warranty. Our heat pump ran for a half a month as an air conditioner and worked for about a month and a half as a heater but just recently...