The Latest

November 2007

Aging wood with coffee, dirt and wax

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 [...]

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Remodeling and indoor air pollution

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 [...]

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Big challenges in a little bathroom

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 [...]

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What I learned: This amazing table

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 [...]

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Video: Green Claremont fire rebuild

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 [...]

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Table makeover

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. [...]

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Happy Thanksgiving

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 [...]

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Remodeling and the single woman

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 [...]

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Want to be a guest blogger?

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 [...]

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Workshop table transformation underway

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 [...]

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Affordable green prefabs

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 [...]

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Book Report: ‘Affordable Remodel’

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 [...]

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DoItYourself.com goes green

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 [...]

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Wanted: Engineer for tile roof

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 [...]

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

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 [...]

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Should this table be saved?

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 [...]

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Casting Call: Rate My Space

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 [...]

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What I learned

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 [...]

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Contrary about contemporary

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 [...]

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Wanted: O.C. green contractor

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 [...]

3 Comments

Too much weird green?

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 [...]

8 Comments

One cool tool

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 [...]

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Everybody’s got an opinion

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 [...]

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Evil ivy

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 [...]

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Solar Christmas lights

***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 [...]

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Succulent salvation?

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 [...]

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My Remodel: Getting started

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 [...]

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A union-made remodel?

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 [...]

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Seeking sanity amid chaos

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 [...]

3 Comments

It’s a man’s toilet

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 [...]

1 Comment