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July | August 2009


Stone countertops

ask this old house

great neighborhoods

The best places to buy an old house



Stone countertops

Nothing elevates the appearance of a kitchen like a handsome, hard-wearing slab of stone. The experts at This Old House explain how to find a quarried countertop that suits your home, your budget, and your cooking style


ask this old house

Q I’m told that the gas I keep in a can for my lawn mower goes bad the longer it sits there. Is there any way to prevent that? —VIOLETTA PORRAZZO, MAHOPAC, N.Y. Gasoline is volatile stuff and will degrade after a couple of months. One option is to buy only a two-month supply at a time. But it's easier just to add a liquid fuel stabilizer, such as Sta-Bil, when you fill up the can. An additive will keep gas fresh for up to a year.

great neighborhoods

The best places to buy an old house

The housing boom is over. But we've tracked down 51 great neighborhoods that have promising futures and homes that truly deserve a long-term commitment


idea file


It started life as an outbuilding, with old shutters nailed down for a floor. Then, over its 300 years, it grew into a breezy summer cottage. Finally, thanks to a smart remodel, it’s now a comfortable family home


weekend remodel

Build a sitting wall

Make a patio or garden border that does double duty as extra backyard seating


low-cost kitchen and bath updates

28 ways to customize your kitchen for less

Who wants to settle for a cookie-cutter cook space? Not us. But these days we're all looking to improve on what we've got without forking over fistfuls of cash. Coming up on these pages: how to use fresh paint and paper, vintage finds, and other smart buys to get made-to-order looks at off-the-shelf prices



Design ideas for sheared shrubs

Shrubs clipped into geometric shapes can set off areas in your yard and solve a multitude of problems. Here, tips and tools for shearing success


low-cost kitchen and bath update

19 ways to dress up your bath on a budget

We all want a luxe-looking washroom to suds up and shower in. The challenge is creating that spa-like space without getting soaked. Read on to see how bargain-bin tile, secondhand furniture, and selective use of high-end finishes can give you the polish you want at a price you can afford



Schoolhouse lights

Having graduated from the classroom long ago, these milky white orbs remain a quick way to add vintage style to your home


before+after: kitchen

Simple design, timeless style

A square layout, classic white cabinets, and neutral stone counters add up to a kitchen that will stand up to decades of use without looking dated

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