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January | February 2009

money savers

50 Nifty Tricks for Big DIY Savings


Engineered wood floors

ask this old house


money savers

50 Nifty Tricks for Big DIY Savings

Remember when the tightfistedness of relatives raised during the Depression was amusing? Our grandparents’ certificates of deposit and plastic couch protectors seemed downright quaint when our own home-equity and retirement portfolios were ballooning.


Engineered wood floors

It’s a dead ringer for solid wood, faster to install, and less prone to moisture damage. Our experts help you decide which high-tech, low-fuss boards are best for your application and style

ask this old house


Q Why does chalk-line chalk come in different colors? I've only used blue. PAT JONES, READING, PA. Different chalk colors A show up better on different surfaces, and they allow various trades to snap overlapping lines without confusing them. But the key difference between the colors is how long they stick around. Trim carpenters want temporary chalks, while roofers prefer ones that won't disappear in a downpour.
idea file

IT'S ALL IN THE details

An 1880s farmhouse gained function and flow with a period-perfect addition and other tweaks throughout

weekend remodel

Install wall frames

We'll let you in on a little secret: A lot of the fancy woodwork you see inside old houses is nothing more than deft layering, bits of simple molding combined to mimic ornate profiles. Consider, for example, the wall frame, the thin rectangle first used by the British in the 1750s to give the illusion of wood paneling after plaster walls came into vogue.

in every issue

reader mail

I was surprised the information in “Need to Know: Snow and Ice Removal” [December] didn’t include using a leaf blower. After watching my neighbor use one several years ago, I started using mine after most snowfalls. Here in Wyoming, the snow is usually dry and it works very easily on up to an inch or two.

behind closed doors

Ever wonder what’s inside those beautiful old rowhouses that line our city streets? Here’s a glimpse of one, a classic century-old Renaissance Revival—and the site of This Old House TV’s new project—filled with well-preserved architectural details

around my house

All in the family

What happens when contractors turn your home into reality TV

money savers

9 Ways to Add Charm & Save Cash

A home-renovation pro shares her tricks of the trade

green house

Health-conscious cabinets

Why a pediatrician mom chose nontoxic kitchen cabinets for her young family’s vintage home

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