Home Art

Handy home adviser – Solutions to common household problems and ideas for making your home a better place to live. Home repair encyclopedia…

Protect Yourself Against Home Improvement Scams

There are a few common-sense rules for hiring a home-improvement contractor. Following them practically guarantees you won’t be defrauded: Check your contractor’s references and contact the Better Business Bureau and the state consumer-protection office to find out if there are any complaints. About half of all states have licensing laws; be sure to get a look at your contractor’s license before work begins. Ask for …

Substituting Inferior Products

Substituting Inferior Products Some remodelers sell homeowners one product and install another. When they write the contract, they “forget” to specify the exact brand and model. They may even refuse to put that information in, citing changing model numbers or some other excuse. Then they can get away with installing something that’s less expensive, substandard, or even used. Products that are out of sight, like …

A Deal Too Good to Be True

A Deal Too Good to Be True One afternoon, a contractor stopped by a woman’s home in Topeka, Kansas, and told her he had noticed cracks in her driveway. He offered to apply a fresh coat of asphalt at a good price, since he had some material left over from another job in the neighborhood. The woman agreed and, once the work was finished, paid …

The Top 10 Home Improvement Scams

It’s not that contractors are inherently dishonest, but con artists sometimes pose as contractors. Here’s how to recognize trouble when it comes knocking at your door. BY TOM PHILBIN One home-improvement contractor from Milwaukee had an easy way to make money: He took deposits and never showed up to do the work. According to Glen Lloyd of Wisconsin’s Division of Trade and Consumer Protection, the …

Eye on design – Bathing beauty

A simple makeover transforms an out-of-date bath into a bathing beauty. When seeking a house in the suburbs in which to raise a family, many young couples are faced with a distressing scenario. The neighborhood may be wonderful, the commute easy, and the house they fall in love with lovely to behold from the curb. But behind the perfect front door, the charm of this …

Types of Wall Coverings – How to Re-Create Wallpapers

There are three types of historic wall coverings. Replica papers copy the originals in all aspects, using historically accurate color, ink, paper, and even the original manufacturing technique. But this types of wall coverings are costly, especially if the original was painted or block printed by hand — often more than $300 per 36-square-foot roll. Instead, most museum houses offset the initial costs of reproducing original …

You Can Use Wallpaper With a Past for Your House

Use reproduction wallcoverings to add an instant — and affordable — touch of history to your home. Above: The sumptuously papered study of The Wren’s Nest, the Atlanta home of Joel Chandler Harris, author of the Uncle Remus books. Left: Mt. Diablo Handprints’ reproduction, ”Study,” ($86/31-square-foot roll) of the 1897 original. In 1795, Sir Peyton Skipwith, an American-born baronet, spared no expense when it came …

Secrets of Ordering Door Hardware

Hardware makes a house work. Without it, everything falls apart; drawers, doors, and windows won’t open or close; and visitors must rely on their fists instead of door knockers to announce their presence. But door hardware is much more than utilitarian — it’s ornate, whimsical, decorative, or quietly elegant, depending upon how much creativity is applied in making each piece. Using appropriate period hardware in …