Building a better bathtub: the pros and cons of 9 bathtub materials

Building a better bathtub: the pros and cons of 9 bathtub materials

When it comes to bathtubs and materials, you might be surprised by how many options you have....
By Paul Bianchina | Friday, July 6, 2018
5 drywall texture techniques to create the perfect vibe

5 drywall texture techniques to create the perfect vibe

From the lightest of stipples to the heaviest of Mediterranean swirls, the texture on your walls and ceilings does a lot to create your home's specific look and feel. It can also be a fun way to change your home's appearance....
By Paul Bianchina | Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Thumbnail Dryer vent do’s and don’ts

Dryer vent do’s and don’ts

It sometimes happens that one of my columns will spark lots of questions from readers, as was the case with a past column on dryer venting. Judging from the questions I've received, there's apparently a lot of confusion and misconceptions about th...
By Paul Bianchina | Friday, March 29, 2013
Thumbnail Work smarter, not harder, on DIY projects

Work smarter, not harder, on DIY projects

Do-it-yourself projects can be extremely satisfying, and the savings can add some much-needed cash to your wallet. But they can also be a lot of work, and they take time away from family and leisure activities. So why make them any harder than the...
By Paul Bianchina | Friday, March 22, 2013
Thumbnail When to file a home insurance claim

When to file a home insurance claim

Natural disasters from blizzards and tornadoes to Hurricane Sandy have been in the news a lot lately. Add to that the more common, everyday occurrences like frozen pipes, leaking appliance water lines, stove and flue fires, and other problems that...
By Paul Bianchina | Monday, March 18, 2013
Thumbnail 4 musts when hiring a home improvement contractor

4 musts when hiring a home improvement contractor

Q: I'm now getting estimates to add a front porch to my house. What is the standard way to check on the licensing and insurance of the contractor, and the standard method of payment, such as certain percentage paid upfront or at the finish? --C...
By Paul Bianchina | Friday, March 8, 2013
Thumbnail Know your appliances’ operating costs

Know your appliances’ operating costs

Needless to say, there's nothing better than finding a way to save a little bit of money on your electric bill. And the first step in doing that is knowing where your electricity goes each month. Once you know all of the places, large and small...
By Paul Bianchina | Friday, March 1, 2013
Thumbnail Ceiling fan provides relief in 2 ways

Ceiling fan provides relief in 2 ways

One of the basic things we all understand about heat is that it rises. As air molecules warm up, they expand and become lighter, and that causes them to head up toward the ceiling of a room, which isn't necessarily where you want them. This na...
By Paul Bianchina | Friday, February 22, 2013
Thumbnail Are your vapor barriers helping or hurting?

Are your vapor barriers helping or hurting?

Since my column on vapor barriers first appeared, I've gotten more reader questions on this topic than on any other that I can remember. I've had the opportunity to talk with several experts in the field as well, and here are some questions and...
By Paul Bianchina | Friday, February 15, 2013
Thumbnail 5 aesthetic issues that turn off buyers

5 aesthetic issues that turn off buyers

Are you thinking of selling your house this year? You'd obviously like to get top dollar for it, but it may be looking a little tired and worn, and maybe you don't have a lot money to sink into renovations before the "For Sale" sign g...
By Paul Bianchina | Friday, February 8, 2013
Thumbnail There’s more than one way to hang a shelf

There’s more than one way to hang a shelf

Whether it's a single decorative shelf in the living room or a set of rough shelving in the garage, we all love shelves. We display our prized collections and toss our messy paint cans on them. We'll put them high and low, and just about anywhe...
By Paul Bianchina | Friday, February 1, 2013
Thumbnail How not to vent your clothes dryer

How not to vent your clothes dryer

Q: I have heard of people venting dryers into their garages with a vent bag at the terminating end. Is this a safe thing to do? If so, where can I get the vent bag? --Mike R. A: All the bag does is collect the lint so it doesn't fly all over th...
By Paul Bianchina | Friday, January 25, 2013
Thumbnail Programmable thermostats enter the mobile age

Programmable thermostats enter the mobile age

It certainly comes as no big surprise to anyone that the heating and cooling systems in our homes consume huge amounts of power, and typically account for the lion's share of our utility bills. So anything we can do to conserve on the amount of...
By Paul Bianchina | Friday, January 18, 2013
Thumbnail Unventilated crawl spaces gaining favor

Unventilated crawl spaces gaining favor

I received an interesting question from a reader recently. He had a crawl space that was ventilated, but was also heated and cooled. He wanted to know what the best way was to insulate that space: floor insulation or insulation on the crawl spa...
By Paul Bianchina | Friday, January 11, 2013
Thumbnail Quality tools that do-it-yourselfers will appreciate

Quality tools that do-it-yourselfers will appreciate

If you're thinking about what to get the avid do-it-yourselfer as a special gift this year, here are 12 suggestions for some interesting, quality tools worth considering, listed in order of the manufacturer's suggested retail price. Find them at ...
By Paul Bianchina | Friday, January 4, 2013
Thumbnail Is insulation upgrade a good investment?

Is insulation upgrade a good investment?

We often talk about the importance of energy upgrades for your home. But if you're thinking about an upgrade this winter, such as adding more insulation to your attic, you may be wondering exactly how to calculate whether that's a wise financia...
By Paul Bianchina | Friday, December 28, 2012
Thumbnail One-piece tub-and-shower units challenging for remodelers

One-piece tub-and-shower units challenging for remodelers

Q: We have three bathrooms, which are in need of remodeling. The tub/shower unit seems to be made of acrylic, has no lines and looks like it is only one piece. I would like to replace it with a newer version with higher walls. Is this possible ...
By Paul Bianchina | Friday, December 21, 2012
Thumbnail Signs your roof is vulnerable to ice damming

Signs your roof is vulnerable to ice damming

Q: I have a question about attic insulation. I was under the impression that attics should remain ventilated and uninsulated to prevent the buildup of ice dams. Can you clarify? I have a walk-up attic with floorboards. There is insulation unde...
By Paul Bianchina | Friday, December 14, 2012