• Interior House Painting: Curing the 5 Most Common Mistakes

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    By Marie Proeller Hueston for BobVila.com

    In his role as the “Paint Doctor” for Purdy — longtime makers of handcrafted paint brushes and roller covers — Bruce Schneider fields queries from intrepid do-it-yourselfers on a regular basis. Who better to ask about the most common problems that homeowners encounter in their interior painting projects?

    No. 1: Choosing inferior applicators
    Solution: “To get the job done right, you need good quality tools,” Schneider says. “It always boggles my mind that people are willing to spend $40 or $50 on a gallon of premium paint but decide to go cheap on the applicators. Later, when they see a hair on the wall or lumps of roller lint under the paint, they’ll realize the mistake. Investing in good brushes or rollers up front is worth the extra expense.”

    No. 2: Improper preparation
    Solution: “It may seem obvious, but you always want to do repair work first so that your walls are smooth, clean, dry and free of loose debris before you begin painting,” Schneider advises.

    No. 3: Overextending each dip of the brush …read more  

  • How to Make Walkways Safe in Icy Conditions

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    By Mary Boone

    With the National Weather Service reporting bone-chilling temperatures below 14 degrees Fahrenheit for one major city and massive amounts of snow affecting many others, safety is top of mind for many Americans. Preparing your home for snow and ice can help prevent the slips and falls that account for 300,000 serious injuries and 20,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. Reduce the risk of falls by following some of these simple steps.

    Indoor tips: Prepping the areas around the entryways of your home can help prevent the chance of a fall during the colder months.

    o. Place skid-resistant door mats near entrances to dry your footwear.
    o. Check the bottoms of your feet each time you enter the home, and clean off the accumulated ice, snow or water.
    o. Keep floors as dry as possible.

    Outdoor tips: Clearing walkways and treating the surfaces with salt or sand is key to preventing falls. Wooden porches, decks or steps have a tendency to become especially slick in winter. Be prepared with adequate supplies …read more  

  • Why You Should Give Storm Windows a Look

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    By Michael Franco for BobVila.com

    If your windows let in anything other than a view, you may be thinking it’s time for replacement windows. But, not so fast! You may want to consider storm windows, which offer the insulating properties of replacement windows for a fraction of the cost. Some experts even argue that when laid over existing windows in decent condition, storm windows insulate better than replacements do. One group in particular has favored the use of storm windows over the years — owners of old houses. Why? Because storm windows allow improved insulation without harming the original windows or, by extension, the home’s architectural character.

    Exterior vs. interior: Storm windows install either outside or inside. In choosing between these approaches, aesthetics are perhaps the main consideration. Exterior storm windows alter how your home looks from the curb. Interior storm windows, in contrast, are virtually invisible from the exterior but are plainly evident indoors.

    Window operability is another distinguishing factor between exterior and interior storm windows. Exteriors enable the …read more