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Building Industry

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Hours before I began to write this column, I was backing my car into a parking spot at church. Just ahead of me was an older garage on the church campus that was being remodeled. New vinyl siding is being installed, and my guess is all of the trim is going to be wrapped in pre-painted aluminum coil stock.

Q: I just finished your article on water sensors and was disappointed you did not mention whole house water shut-off valves. I recently experienced water damage that required 90% of my wood floors to be replaced at an insured cost of about $55,000.

The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University reports“ red hot remodeling growth expected to ease into 2023.” So, if you’ re considering an upgrade, you won’ t be alone. One of the best improvements we made to a basic bedroom was replacing an old sliding closet door with a new sliding mirror door. The new bypass doors were a stylish improvement, and the new...

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In this column I want to inspire you as dark financial storm clouds form on the horizon. Over the past few months, we’ve all been alarmed at the steep rise in the prices of food, gas and, well, everything. That, of course, includes building materials and the prices contractors charge — if you can even get them to bid your job.

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For anyone living in an apartment or condo, having a balcony is a major perk. Although it’s not as luxurious as a sprawling backyard, even a tiny balcony provides a private outdoor space where you can kick back and take in some fresh air. And with a little extra attention to the design, your balcony can serve as a cozy outdoor hangout that’s well equipped for dining, entertaining, gardening and unwinding. These balcony decorating ideas demonstrate how you can turn even a sliver of space into a relaxing outdoor retreat.

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Before I got married, I was invited to lunch with my future wife and her parents at a restaurant on a floating barge tied up on the north shore of the Ohio River. At the time, in the early 1970s, I had no idea restaurants like this existed in Cincinnati. In fact, my future father-in-law had built this restaurant with a business partner and had subsequently sold it.

Summer is a great time for home improvement projects and DIY updates around the house. Set some time aside this summer to give your home some TLC. Plus, you can use your earnings toward other home repairs.“ It costs nothing except a week or two of your time, and the ability to let go and part ways with unneeded clutter that no longer brings you or your home joy,” says Emilie...

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You’ ve heard the wise saying,“ Good fences make good neighbors.” It’ s been around in one form or the other for hundreds of years and Robert Frost immortalized it in one of his poems just over a century ago. The advice is solid and you can take it one step further, should you desire. Attractive and one-of-a-kind fences make great and appreciative neighbors.

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Climate change is causing a big divide in the U.S.: The eastern half of the country is getting a lot wetter and the western half is getting a lot drier. If you’re a homeowner, and you live east of Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico, you’ve probably spent some time thinking about how to prevent water infiltration.

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The old dark knotty pine paneling of the’ 50 s covering many basement and rec room walls can be lightened and revitalized by removing the varnish. But it’ s a lot of work. We think it’ s worth it, because when the dark varnish is gone, the natural beauty of the wood shows up, giving new meaning to“ lighten up.” You can even add color with a whitewashing finish and transform the...

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Ande lives in Puyallup, Washington, and reads my weekly column in her paper. She’s got a very common problem. In fact, tens of thousands of people suffer from it in places where there’s abundant rainfall for many months during the year.

Grout is porous, making it tricky to keep clean. And because the grout lines between tiles are often slightly deeper than the surface, simply wiping down your tiled surface often isn’ t enough for tough stains or grime. On tile floors, crumbs, dirt and other debris can be left behind along the grout lines, even after sweeping.

My guess is you don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the roof over your head. You simply want it to be free of leaks, and if it can look good at the same time, that’s a big plus.

To ventilate a room and make it more comfortable, the louver shutters in many older homes were designed to open allowing air to circulate inside. The louvers were adjustable to protect the interior from too much sun and rain. Today, however, shutters are mostly made of vinyl and used more as decoration to frame windows and add texture and contrast against the...

Loose crumbling mortar between the brick joints of a chimney indicates its exposure to weather extremes have taken its toll so it’ s a good idea to inspect it once a year. Tuckpointing is the process of repairing mortar brick joints and it’ s an important preventive maintenance project. If mortar is left unchecked and continues to disintegrate, you'll need...

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If you have an old concrete patio, you can resurface it with pavers and transform the surface. You may get away with covering it up with an outdoor rug, but for a more permanent solution consider pavers designed with a thinner profile and light enough to go over the existing surface while being permeable for water filtration. The Azek pavers measure 4 by 8 inches and...

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