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

Money Pit Blogs

I'm shopping for a new roof and learning that there are a lot more choices for shingles these days. I've decided against using composite asphalt shingles. Natural slate and shake are out of the question for cost and safety reasons. I'm seriously considering synthetic slate or shake and like the...

While getting a home inspection done for a potential purchase, the inspector pointed out a light blue/grey mold throughout the attic, but he refused to extrapolate on the problem.  Could this be an expensive problem to fix?cdmerch 6-12-07 4:08pm Home inspectors should point out signs of...

What adds more value to a home a wooden deck or a patio of pavers?  We are making some improvements to our home over the next year and want to sell it once the market gets better.  Can you compare and contrast the two options as far as cost, labor, dyi-ability or contract it out, etc.? annasz...

After a season of heavy grilling last year, my gas grill needs an extreme makeover of its own. Do you have any tips for a mid-season grill cleaning? The same char broiling action that flavors ribs, chick, steaks and burgers you cook on grills all summer long, can really cause problems if you...

Hi Tom.  My parents are considering a new home in retirement community. My question is what are the pros and cons of a home built with particle board, and specifically OSB?  OSB was used throughout the house and my parents worried about the glue that the glue used could have negative health side...

I have a question about outdoor storage. I need a space that is weatherproof.  Do you have any suggestions?  yunna 5-14-07 12:22pm Homeowners are always looking for more storage space in and around the house.  Often items like lawn mowers, power tools, and pesticides are kept in the garage, and...

I would like to install air conditioning on the 1st floor of my 2 story home.  I have casement style windows that swing out so I can't install a window unit. I could install central air, but I don't use the 2nd floor of the house.  The windows are 10 yr old Anderson.  Should I replace 1 window...

We are planning to list our home for sale in the near future. We will, of course, open the pool before that time but we know that the cement around the pool is older (22 years) and is being to show signs of age. We have always power washed the cement after winter to remove stains and moss....

I have mold on my ceiling and behind the shower wall. There is black stuff coming through the plastic wall covering in the shower wall too. What should I do? SNeeKersnook 4-27-07 7:47pm Mold in a bathroom is about as common as mold in last-week's refrigerated leftovers.  Most of the time this...

I am trying to purchase a condo and during my inspection of the home, I noticed water standing in the basement near the center of the basement floor.  I was told that the water was caused by improper grading on the outside of the condo, but I did not see the waters entry point through the...

We bought our home, new, when it was first built. We had an inspector about a month before closing. Our home will be eleven years old.  Would it be a good idea to have it inspected now just so we can prevent problems?  What if the inspection uncovered something that would cost a lot of money,...

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...