The Latest

January 2008

How green is my footprint?

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Have you ever wondered how many planets it would take to sustain all 6.6 billion humans on Earth at your rate of consumption? Yeah, me neither. But it’s an interesting [...]

The $20 contemporary-door-pull solution

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Richard Gomez was on a mission to build a contemporary 2,250-square-foot home in Long Beach’s East Village Arts District for less than $280,000, which is less than $80 [...]

The ADHD method of home maintenance

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If you’ve got even a slight touch of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (I’m raising my hand here), you’ve probably started one home maintenance [...]

Two new books on green building

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As the phrase "green building" becomes fixed in the American vocabulary, a big question arises: What exactly is it? The concept of green building has evolved over [...]

Stupid kitchen layout: Can you top this?

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Some kitchen layouts are awkward. Some without grace. But this one, in a Corona tract house, was flat-out stupid. You can see, in the top photo, the kitchen after the $7,000 [...]

Amid the storms, new windows sound good

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As wind slams against the old, rattling, leaky, single-pane windows in my house (not pictured here), a tempest brews inside about the merits of keeping the curtains closed in [...]

What would you do with the 600 bucks?

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As you may have heard, the federal government has a plan to stimulate the economy, and that could mean: Six hundred bucks coming at ya! Well, 117 million of us would get [...]

Upcoming SoCal home improvement events

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JANUARY 25: Frank Lloyd Wright: The Southwest Legacy, lecture, 7:30 p.m., Art Center College of Design, Padadena 25-27: Home & Backyard Living Expo, Ontario Convention [...]

New contractor laws for 2008

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Several new laws came into effect Jan. 1 that pertain to licensed contractors and their clients, according to the California State Contractors License Board. They include [...]

Ever been in over your head?

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There’s an interesting story by Michelle Hoffmann in today’s Real Estate section titled: Weekend wasters struggle with DIY home-repair jobs. The subhead says: [...]

Enlightened journeys

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I’ve been especially enchanted with several house photos in my collection, and I finally realized what they have in common: All of the homes use natural light to make [...]

Fire dangers during remodeling

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About a week ago, a remodeling crew set a strand of cypress trees ablaze in the San Diego area. It seems a worker’s propane torch got too close to the highly flammable [...]

Angie’s List?

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Has anyone tried Angie’s List to find workers and contractors for home improvement? Did you get your money’s worth? Would you recommend it to others? The website [...]

Before solar panels, a reality check

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Reader Rich W. has given me two good ideas regarding my quest for a solar-powered home: 1. Learn more about photovoltaic systems and design my own, then hire an installer. 2. [...]

A mod beach house for sis

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Sleek and customized, a ground-up remodel transforms a tiny ocean-view lot. When architect Robert Nebolon started sketching out ideas for his sister’s tear-down and [...]

2008 SoCal home improvement calendar

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JANUARY 8-March 11: Residential Remodeling, class, 10 Tuesdays, 3:45 to 6:45 p.m., $420, UCLA Extension 11-13: Pomona Home Improvement & Remodeling Show, Fairplex L.A. [...]

Thinking again about a backup generator

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The power is out where I live (and maybe soon where you live), and I have this to say: Hallelujah for daylighting (i.e. lots of windows), gas heat, gas stove, gas water [...]