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March 2006

features

21 Ways to Save on Your Remodel

WORKSHOP

Ask This Old House

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features

21 Ways to Save on Your Remodel

BUSTING THE BUDGET IS EVERYONE’S BIGGEST FEAR WHEN IT COMES TO RENOVATION. And with good reason. Even if you follow the essential advice we’ve been doling out for years—build in a 20 percent cushion to cover the nasty surprises, get contractor references and check them, banish the words “while you’re at it” from your vocabulary—it’s hard not to end up shelling out more than you want to, even if you want to pen a check for a million bucks.

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WORKSHOP

Ask This Old House

Roger Cook replies: I suspect that your wall doesn’t have a proper footing, so it can’t resist the expansion and settling of the soil that happens with each freeze-thaw cycle. In other words, the soil is slowly pushing the wall over. The only way to install a proper footing is to demolish the wall, dig down to undisturbed soil below the frost line, and pour a thick concrete pad filled with rebar.
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HOMEOWNER’S HANDBOOK

overview

BIFOLD DOORS ARE MUCH LIKE ANY DOORS, only connected into pairs with hinges and hung on a track. What makes them look good and work well are a solid, heavy construction and sturdy and carefully adjusted hardware. The heft of the doors is what keeps them from shuddering when you open them.
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features

STONE FACED

Rock veneer adds depth and texture to walls, foundations, and chimneys

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LANDSCAPING

Prime Time for Pruning

Make a few key cuts now to shape up your landscape for the year ahead

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features

mining the past

ONE FUNKY, slice-of-pie-shaped piece of town property that would induce serious headscratching in any architect. Two rusted-out, bullet-hole-riddled coal sheds that the local preservation board says must stay. Dozens of town ordinances regulating setbacks from the road, a nearby creek, and an alley, as well as the dimensions of every window and door.

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WORKSHOP

Skill Building

Pruning is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your plants. So don’t sabotage that good deed by using dull pruning shears or loppers, which can leave ragged, frayed ends that may not heal properly. Not to mention all the extra effort each cut takes.
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SALVAGE

Old Doors, New Uses

Placed at an entry for security or between two rooms for privacy, salvaged doors add texture and character to a house

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GREEN HOUSE

Healthy Homes

Make your next remodeling project safer, more energy efficient, and better for the environment with the help of a green design consultant

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HOW IT WORKS

Physics of the Flush

A new generation of high-tech toilets may make plungers a thing of the past

JANUARY | FEBRUARY2006 April2006