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

Money Pit Blogs

In the back corner of our yard we have a lot of standing water.  I would like to drain that so the kids can utilize this space.  How do I go about draining out this space?Steve 4-20-07 4:38pm In a perfectly graded world, the land around your home would slope away from the exterior walls...

My wife and I are in dire need of your advice on how to properly remediate a mold problem in our home. In short, coffee colored blotches began appearing and spreading in our 4 year old son's bedroom ceiling approximately 4 months ago. Concerned that there was moisture and possibly mold...

I am considering putting down a new floor over the concrete floors in my garage and breezeway.  I'm thinking about hiring a company who which uses a "hybrid polymer" as the new floor.  The price is about $5.95 a square foot which amounts to $3,100 based on the size of my garage and breezeway. ...

I'd like to change the lighting in my home over from incandescent to the newer energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), is there a reasonably priced dimmer that can be used? Jntatbeach 3-31-07 8:49am Good question.  To find out, I checked with the leading manufacturer of dimmers...

I was just wondering what kind of land I would need if I planned on building a baseball complex. Could I build it on just farmland, residential land or would it need to be commercial? Thank you for your time.reedz1 4-8-07 11:14pm Wow…so you want to build your very own Field of Dreams?  We'll,...

I do home inspections in Alaska and have had several people (mostly contractors) tell me that it is an absolute no-no to open the attic access hole in the cold of winter. What is your take on this? My clients have been more relieved and in many cases financially relieved of future expenses...

I have a problem with my basement flooding.  A waterproofing company charged me $14,219 to correct. Two of that firms inspectors insisted underground water was being forced up into the cellar via hydrostatic pressure and only a "French" drain would correct it.  Hence, they installed a long deep...

Can you give me advice on how to remove the bathtub mildew in the caulking?  Is their a product that will keep it under control? Or do I need to remove it completely and start over again?   We have at least 4 showers going on a day so it is constantly moist in there.  Thanks for your...

I just finished laying down ceramic tile on my kitchen floor.  Once the grout was down, my wife and I looked at it and decided we don't like the color.  I would hate the work, not to mention the mess, of having to remove the old grout and put down new.  Am I able to grout over what's there with...

I very much enjoy your show on 77 WABC, NY.  I have a well and the water pressure is very low, especially on the 2nd floor where the showers are.  It affects the dishwasher as the dishes usually don't come out clean.  Is there any possible fix for this?  The house is a bit over 50 years' old -...

We want to convert our wood burning fire place to natural gas.  Natural gas service is readily available in our home as we use gas for our stove.  How do we do it and who do we call?Nanajdp01  3-18-07 11:58pm Even though I'm a do-it-yourself proponent, this is definitely one area where you DON'T...

I've heard you say many times that using an attic fan is just sucking your cooled air right out of the house and that it's better just to rely on the soffit and ridge vents.  My question is this:  is that still true if you ONLY have soffit vents?  We don't have ridge vents and my husband reminds...

Greetings from Auburn Alabama!  My daughter is in a wheel chair and I need to replace a sliding glass door from the house to the patio/deck.  I have looked around and all the sliding doors have a 1" area at the bottom with rail slots.  Do you know of any door that is relatively smooth at the...

We are in the process of converting an existing lavatory to a full size bathroom within an in-law-apartment. We are limit on the amount of space to expand but need enough room to accommodate a handicap person using a walker. The contractor suggested installing a corner toilet which will allow...

I just purchased a new home with a solid poured concrete wall foundation.  I am not looking to "finish" the basement, but would like to paint the walls to brighten up and make the basement look clean.  Is there a material that I can use that would also fill in all the little holes in the...

What is the maximum depth that you can safely sand a standard ¾ inch thick hardwood floor before affecting its strength and structural integrity?keytie 2-28-07 5:39pm Generally you can sand a hardwood floor until the top layer of the groove is gone, which is about ¼ inch.  However, you don't...

We recently replaced carpeting with laminate flooring in one room of the basement. Yesterday the pipe disconnected on the sump pump and flooded the basement. (that problem is solved) We're pulling out the rest of the carpeting and replacing it. The question is do we have to pull out the new...

I found your column on-line while searching for information.  My house was constructed in 1986 and I have a finished family room/play room in the basement.  I do not know when this room was constructed-whether it was original or not but assume that it was constructed close to this year.  We just...

I have window gates (guards) and am putting up locks on them for the safety of my children.  Where do I put the keys? They'd need to be somewhere where the children can use them in case of fire, but I don't want it them to be lost susanc 2-20-07 3:08pm Stop!  Think!  Locking window guards is a...

Are there any whole house on-demand electric water heaters capable of supplying sufficient hot water for a 3 bath house or is point of use or a combination of the two a better alternative?trldunedin 2-18-06 6:03pm Tankless water heaters powered by electric do exist but they are really...