Maintenance and Repair

Repointing Old Brick Using Lime Mortar

Mike Senese always brings it on his Do It blog. Here he’s shared this great video for repointing brick using lime mortar from preservationworks.us. Lime mortar has been used for over 3,000 years and was an adhesive for almost every old brick building in the United States. These buildings continue […]

Beware: Unclogging a Bathtub Drain with Zip-It Can Be Disgusting

The Zip-It is one of the easiest tools around to unclog drains especially in a bathtub. It won’t damage pipes like Draino and other snaking devices. But the results can be a bit disgusting as the above video shows. At least you’ll have a tub that drains!

7 Deadly Sins that Lead to Hoarding

7 Deadly Sins that Lead to Hoarding

We love our stuff. That might be one of the reasons we moved from NYC, there just wasn’t enough room for our stuff. Fortunately in New York we had a loft area and became adept at re-arranging our closets and kitchens to suit the seasons otherwise we would have been […]

Spending the Day With Habitat for Humanity

Spending the Day With Habitat for Humanity

In an effort to give back a bit this year I’ll be spending today with Habitat for Humanity in Los Angeles. As part of their “A Brush with Kindness” program my tasks could range from painting, landscaping, cleaning or any other type of outdoor job. Unfortunately the forecast in LA […]

5 Ways to Survive the First Snowstorm of the Season

5 Ways to Survive the First Snowstorm of the Season

We’re only getting rain today in LA but many of you throughout the country have just had your first significant snowstorms and are guaranteed a white Christmas. Here are 5 tips to get you through the first storm and how to deal with freezing temperatures for the next few months. […]

A Brush with Kindness in Los Angeles

A Brush with Kindness in Los Angeles

Helping others this time of year seems natural. Previously I’ve donated time to Americare’s but this year I’m volunteering with the Los Angeles chapter of Habitat for Humanity. I will be joining their “A Brush with Kindness” program on Friday, Dec. 11th. It’s a locally-operated program serving low-income homeowners who […]

Remove Ivy and Vines for the Health of Your Home

Remove Ivy and Vines for the Health of Your Home

Ivy covered buildings and homes may be pleasant to look at but the damage they can cause by trapping moisture, harboring insects and averting exterior maintenance. Vines not only spread out but they grow in girth and can continue to grow unabated for years. Old House Web shares the basics […]

Give the Gift of Home Improvement Help This Season

Give the Gift of Home Improvement Help This Season

A curious sector of society actually enjoys doing taxes. In fact, they do it for a living. They are called accountants. I do not understand them. I can’t relate to their passion. I break into a cold sweat when they unexpectedly call in April with grave news. But, alas, they […]

Maintaining Granite Countertops: Polyester and Permanent Ink

Maintaining Granite Countertops: Polyester and Permanent Ink

Granite countertops are a beautiful and versatile material for kitchens and baths, but even stone surfaces will develop visible wear and damage over time. Homeowners can perform preventative care for stone countertops, and, when an unsightly chip or scratch appears, even some repairs and patches. Hiring a professional isn’t always […]

How to Care for Brick Flooring

How to Care for Brick Flooring

While brick flooring has been around for millenia as a building material, once it moves inside it does require more maintenance, despite its reputation for strong durability. Brick flooring for indoors is made of various materials ground up to form tiles. Depending on the quality of the materials, brick flooring […]

How To Remove Water Stain Circles from Wood Furniture

How To Remove Water Stain Circles from Wood Furniture

Inspired by last night's season finale of Curb Your Enthusiasm in which Larry David is blamed for leaving a water circle stain on Julia-Louis Dreyfuss' heirloom table. I figured we should finally get to work on removing the water stains on our dining room table. Laura and I enjoy entertaining […]

How To Lay Down a Mean Caulk Bead

How To Lay Down a Mean Caulk Bead

Featured writer Deren S. Monday wants to pass along 4 DIY skills to his kids. The first was building a fence that rots before it falls. The second is laying a caulk bead properly. I never appreciated the wonders of caulk until adulthood. I thought caulking was as simple as […]

What to Look for When Buying a Stepladder and How To Use It Properly

What to Look for When Buying a Stepladder and How To Use It Properly

A tool left off many lists that every household should have is a 6-foot stepladder. That height is useful for most interior jobs and working on the lower portion of the exterior of the home such as the roof line. Don’t skimp on quality. A good ladder should last a […]

World Toilet Day – November 19th

World Toilet Day – November 19th

Somehow we missed the news that yesterday was World Toilet Day. We want to stop and reflect on the most underrated of home necessities. Sinks and refrigerators continue to get all the glory but without the toilet, well let’s not even go there. Honor your toilet by keeping it operating […]

How To Check for Drafts Around Doors

How To Check for Drafts Around Doors

Over time a door placed in a wood frame will begin to sag causing air leaks around the door and space between the weatherstripping and door frame. Checking the hinge attachments is the first thing you should look at but if everything looks tight give these two tips a try […]

7 Tips to DIY Carpet Pulling

7 Tips to DIY Carpet Pulling

Pulling carpet yourself can save a few bucks and here are 7 tips to make the process go smoothly. 1. Pulling up carpet is a labor-intensive activity, so while you can do it by yourself, it’s a lot easier, and a lot less heavy, if you bring in at least […]

Melt Snow Without Damaging Your Walkway from Salt

Melt Snow Without Damaging Your Walkway from Salt

A reader wrote in this question: What is best to use to melt snow on different kinds of surfaces? We did some damage on our slate steps last year by using rock salt. We polled some experts including Deren S. Monday and the consensus is that slate is definitely not […]

How To Install a Secure Deadbolt Lock

How To Install a Secure Deadbolt Lock

Not all dead bolt locks are equal, therefore not all dead bolts will protect you and your property to the same degree. Here are some tips to make sure your dead bolt lock is securely fastened. 1. Stick to Grade 2 or 1 Strength – Dead bolt locks are graded […]