The Latest

November 2007

Aging wood with coffee, dirt and wax

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I’m awfully proud of myself and thought I’d take this opportunity to brag a little. The boasting has to do with some 3-inch long wooden corners I wanted to create [...]

Remodeling and indoor air pollution

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We hope our remodels will beautify our homes, not pollute them. But that’s exactly what happens when the various glues, paints, fabric finishes, formaldehyde and other [...]

Big challenges in a little bathroom

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I’ve often suspected that the house I live in (built in the 1970s?) was made from "found materials." We have ceiling beams of different thicknesses, various [...]

What I learned: This amazing table

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The table is done and I’m blown away. In the words of Bernie Van De Yacht, who said the same thing about his North Hollywood kitchen remodel, “I can’t stop [...]

Video: Green Claremont fire rebuild

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We first met this wonderful couple — Vern and Deb Jahnke — earlier this year when they gave me a tour of their Claremont home for a Pardon Our Dust feature. You [...]

Table makeover

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UPDATE: See the finished table I feel like quite the artist as I transform an old workbench destined for the dump pile into a dual-purpose buffet and work table for my patio. [...]

Happy Thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving from me and Seva (a.k.a. Seva Bean), age 4, who is visiting this holiday with her family. And remember . . . home is [...]

Remodeling and the single woman

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The low-cost remodel of this 1948 Long Beach house has so many things going for it I don’t know where to start. While the hardwood floors were already in pretty good [...]

Want to be a guest blogger?

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Do you have a project or remodel you’d like to share with the Pardon Our Dust community? In preparation for my vacation from Nov. 30 to Dec. 9, I’m looking for a [...]

Workshop table transformation underway

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I’ve got plans set for transforming the workshop table on my patio. Thanks in part to the suggestions you offered here and here, this table won’t end up in a dump [...]

Affordable green prefabs

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When it comes to green building, some professions and industries get it, and some don’t (yet). Those who get it are architects and manufacturers. Those who are playing [...]

Book Report: ‘Affordable Remodel’

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Remodeling contractors can be infuriating, especially when they stand in your house and respond to your ideas by saying things such as: "That’s really going to [...]

DoItYourself.com goes green

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The Los Angeles-based website DoItYourself.com has gone green by offering a series of articles on green DIY projects. They include: Installing bamboo floorsHow to install a [...]

Wanted: Engineer for tile roof

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Reader Martin L. sends this request: I need to re-roof my wood shake canyon home in Los Angeles. We are considering Japanese ceramic tile, and that requires an engineering [...]

One, two . . . skip a few . . . 99, 100

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I'm looking for a new attitude for this table project and all projects to come. Up until now, my favorite parts of a project have been the moment I decide to do it, and [...]

Should this table be saved?

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I'm a hypocrite when it comes to the "dump pile" out behind Bill's workshop. While I've been critical of that pile over the years, and begged Bill to [...]

Casting Call: Rate My Space

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Here’s a casting call from Pie Town Productions: Pie Town Productions is currently casting fun and energetic homeowners for an exciting new HGTV series, called Rate My [...]

What I learned

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Thanks for all the advice on my exterior paint. I feel much better about the weird green trim. And by that I mean: I know I can change it and it's not the end of the [...]

Contrary about contemporary

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This Pacific Palisades house, a rebuild designed by L.A. architect John Sofio, is pretty good-looking, don’t you think? I love the boxy shapes, banks of windows and the [...]

Wanted: O.C. green contractor

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A reader named Kimberly sent me this e-mail: Hi, I just read an old article of yours in the L.A. Times about green remodeling. I was wondering if you have any referrals for [...]

Too much weird green?

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The red I’ve chosen for my house is absolutely awesome. Perfect. Fills me with joy. But the green trim? I’m not sure it’s the perfect color. But [...]

One cool tool

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If you have a deserving DIY-er on your holiday gift list, one of these new small cordless screw guns is a cool way to go. Bosch came out with its little 10.8-volt Pocket [...]

Everybody’s got an opinion

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In the days or weeks between the time you choose your house colors and the day the paint goes on, doubt can creep in. “Oh, man, that’s bright,” the painting [...]

Evil ivy

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What’s the deal with ivy? It climbs where it’s not wanted, chokes and kills most other greenery in its path and harbors bugs and spiders. Why would anybody plant [...]

Solar Christmas lights

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***UPDATE*** I got a response from Gaiam and these lights are, indeed, LED lights, which means they will last for many years. And now the original posting: Here’s what [...]

Succulent salvation?

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As you think about new landscape choices during this fall planting season, consider the story of Suzy and Rob Schaefer, whose Rancho Santa Fe home (pictured) seems to have [...]

My Remodel: Getting started

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Let me be blunt: My house looks like a crack house. How else do you explain the peeling paint, drafty single-pane windows, leaky fixtures, falling-down fences and overall [...]

A union-made remodel?

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Speaking of the striking writers’ union, are you pro-union, anti-union or somewhere in the center? I’ve got my own pro-union bias because my dad was a union [...]

Seeking sanity amid chaos

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As far as I can tell, half the battle in remodeling is maintaining some semblance of sanity during the chaos. In a tragic coincidence, the people most likely to remodel are [...]

It’s a man’s toilet

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Ever notice how designer toilets are so curvy and sensuous? Not this toilet, by Toto, which is going in the opposite direction. It’s big. It’s solid. It’s [...]