Last year was my daughter’s first winter in her first house — a two-story colonial built in the 1930s — and she and her husband experienced a bit of an energy shock. The two 275-gallon oil tanks in their basement were full at the beginning of the heating season, but by the end of September, one tank had to be refilled. During the coldest month, they ordered 400 gallons. All told, they went through 1,500 gallons of oil over the course of the winter. Ouch!
This year that same amount of oil will cost 32 percent more, according to some estimates. If they used natural gas — as do 55…
Minimize outlet extenders or plug-in power bars; these can overload an electrical circuit.
Repair or replace worn, frayed, or broken electrical cords.
Use only extension cords that match (or have a larger capacity than) the wattage of the appliances that you plug into them.
Make sure receptacles and appliances are properly grounded.
Check the maximum size of bulb allowable for lighting fixtures and don’t exceed the maximum wattage. Be especially careful not to use improperly sized bulbs in recessed light fixtures because of heat buildup.
Never replace a blown fuse…
CHARLOTTE, NC.– Bank of America anunció hoy que igualará el 5% de todos los ahorros de las tarjetas de débito de los consumidores que resulten del programa Keep the Change™ antes del 23 de diciembre y donará esos fondos a Habitat for Humanity International. Habitat usará esos fondos para continuar con su campaña de construcción de casas en los estados del golfo.
Cuando los consumidores se inscriben en el programa de ahorros Keep the Change, la cantidad de cada compra que hagan con la tarjeta de débito de Bank of América se redondea automáticamente al dólar entero más…
The unrelenting rise in oil and natural gas prices is about to run headlong into the steady approach of winter. Oil prices have roared to fresh record highs each time the U.S. government reported another fall in heating fuel stocks ahead of winter. World prices have surged on fears that the United States is running out of time to build winter fuel supplies. The Energy Information Administration forecasts that households in the Midwest could spend 71% more this winter for natural gas and 40% more for propane than last winter; those in the Northeast that use heating oil could spend 33% more;…
Owning a house is expensive, which is why so many homeowners procrastinate on repairs. Real-estate agents have a euphemism for this condition: It’s called “deferred maintenance.”
Some fixes, however, should never be delayed. Ignoring these problems can result in much more expensive repairs later on—or even injury and death.
Here’s what home inspectors around the country say you should be on the lookout for:
A water leak—anywhere
A stain on your ceiling. A toilet that rocks. White powdery stuff that grows on your bricks or foundation. A musty smell in your…
Ever wake up in early September and notice that the air smells different? School begins, days get shorter, and a sense of responsibility begins to creep up on most of us. We’ve always wondered why “fall cleaning” isn’t as popular as “spring cleaning.” The air on brisk September mornings inspires us to dutifully button up the home in preparation for cooler days and longer nights.
Add weather stripping
to doors and windows
Weather stripping can be plastic, foam, felt or metal; its job is to seal small gaps, keeping moisture and cold air outside where it belongs….
When you buy a house, you also invest in the neighborhood that surrounds it. The identity of a neighborhood may be as important to property values as the individual properties themselves. In a planned community, strictly controlled architecture governs a carefully crafted identity block after block. In a rural town, tree-lined streets and an old-fashioned town square preserve a disappearing way of life. In a large city, an older neighborhood’s ethnic history has shaped its character and often drives its rejuvenation. It’s important to know where a neighborhood has been—and where it’s…
Every day that you put off repairing or replacing deteriorated shingles can mean further damage. Here’s how to get the job done.
Curled or loose shingles are the most common problem. Look for them especially after a windstorm. In areas where shingles overlap, flashing should also be checked with care. To fasten down a loose shingle, lift it gently and apply a plastic roofing cement underneath it.
Small cracks should be repaired with roofing cement. Trowel it into the cracks; if you make any smears, dip a cloth in solvent and wipe them up.
Torn or split shingles should be patched…
If your ceiling is tall, you should have plenty of room on the back wall for cubbyhole cabinetry and wall-hung wire racks. Build plywood cubbies to span the wall; attach them to studs. Add adjustable shelves so they can accommodate camping gear and other bulky items, while smaller stuff, such as seasonal knickknacks and holiday ornaments, can be packed in stackable containers.
To reach the lofted storage, add a bunk-bed-style ladder, with hooks on the top that attach to a metal rail running along the front of the cabinets.
Include a compact workshop in your garage by building a…
Andy Carnahan was in his mid-20s when he began developing townhomes in the Oak Lawn area in 1998. Now 32, he has shifted his focus to boutique condominiums — think “Melrose Place” — and has grown his business, Foresite Development Ltd., into a $35 million operation.
Carnahan’s third condo project, Vallera, a Tuscan villa-style complex on Holland at Oak Lawn Avenue, will break ground in 30 days. Nine of the 27 units, which range in size from 1,300 square feet to more than 1,800 square feet and in price from $199,000 to $355,000, have already been sold.