Archive for the 'Green Remodeling' Category

Report: ‘Green’ product claims are often misleading — USA Today

More than 95% of consumer products marketed as “green,” including all toys surveyed, make misleading or inaccurate claims, says a report today. The number of products claiming to be green increased 73% since 2009, according to a survey by TerraChoice,an Ottawa-based marketing firm owned mostly by Underwriters Laboratory of Canada. The UL network does independent [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Weatherstripping Doors and Windows: Fall Maintenance – DIY Life

The shortening days of autumn are a hint that winter is just around the corner. They’re also our cue to start considering ways to keep the house warm and toasty – without going broke. What’s eating up your energy bill? Often, the major culprits are as simple as your home’s doors and windows: prime escape [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

After two years of eco-living with composting toilets and chickens, what works and what doesn’t

 From the L.A. Times: It started with gray water, then escalated to chickens, composting toilets and rain barrels. I’m talking about the two years I’ve spent transforming my humble California bungalow into a test case for sustainable living — an experience that’s cost me hundreds of hours of my time and thousands of dollars, an [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Protect your family from lead-dust poisoning during remodeling

If you live in a house older than 1978, there’s a chance it contains paint with lead in it. Now don’t freak out. Even though lead when ingested or inhaled can cause brain damage, the paint itself is not dangerous unless it’s chipping off or is turned into dust by sanding and cutting. In a [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

American Clay makeover winners announced

Michelle Kolb of Nantucket, Mass., won Grand Prize in the DIY category of American Clay’s Second Annual Makeover Contest. See her room before and after below: After: Before: The judges for the competition included Mary Cordaro, president of Mary Cordaro Inc. a certified Bau-Biologist; Eric Corey Freed, LEED AP, Hon. FIGP, author, green building expert [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Did you hear the one about the rhino ‘doing his business’ on the Mohawk carpeting?

Somehow I missed this whole spectacle last year when Mohawk lined Ricko the rhino’s pen at the Birmingham Zoo with SmartStrand carpet and let him do his thing for a few weeks. Chip Wade, the hunky carpenter from HGTV’s Designed to Sell and Curb Appeal, hosted the event. Apparently there was a 24-hour webcam directed toward [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Hot or Not Hot? — Chairs made from recycled street signs

I dunno about this. Maybe I spend too much time on the road. Or maybe I’ve gotten too many tickets. Or been cursed at by too many irate drivers. Whatever the reason, these chairs made from recycled street signs don’t give me any good juju. At all. See the whole story here On the other [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

The greenest remodel in America?

If you can’t sell your parent’s former home, why not turn it into a showcase for green remodeling? That’s exactly what Jay DeChesere and his wife did with a ranch style home in Wilmington, N.C. that his parents moved out of and into an assisted living facility. You could say the collapse of the housing [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

New Product Review: KILZ Clean Start Primer

One day, when I wasn’t looking, my once-charming front porch went from shabby chic to just plain disgusting. I waited for the crew from HGTV’s Curb Appeal to show up. When they didn’t come, I decided to take on the job. Here’s the porch I started with: As you can see, I had many challenges: [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

A light bulb that lasts 17 years

A soon-to-be-released light bulb developed by General Electric uses cutting-edge technology to last — get this — 17 years!  Let’s put it into perspective. Imagine you have a baby, and you install the soon-to-be-available Energy Smart LED (light-emitting diode) bulb in the baby’s room. That baby will grow up and graduate from high school before that light bulb burns out [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

New: A non-toxic primer from Kilz

 Q: What’s even better than blocking stains with KILZ primer-sealer? A: Doing so without poisoning yourself. I’ve been a fan of KILZ stain-blocking primer for years. It’s one of those rare products that lives up to its hype. And now it come in a formulation with no volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. That word “organic” [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Downed walnut tree milled into kitchen cabinets

The cabinets in this South Dakota home were milled from a felled black walnut tree. If you’ve ever had to cut down a tree around your house, you know how sad that can be. On one hand, the tree might cause you trouble. It might be dying and in danger of falling. It might shed [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Owners of pre-1978 homes may soon have a better pool of contractors to choose from

Own an older home? Beginning April 22, only contractors who have been trained in safe handling of lead-contaminated paint dust can legally work on your home. And that’s a good thing for you. If you’ve been keeping up with contractor-type news, you know that contractors are not happy at all with a soon-to-be enforced EPA [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Fake gas-powered alarm clock wins Energy Star label

Does a “gasoline-powered alarm clock” qualify for the Energy Star label, the government stamp of approval for an energy-saving product? Like more than a dozen other bogus products submitted for approval since last June by Congressional auditors posing as companies, it easily secured the label, according to a Congressional report to be issued Friday. So [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Case study: First LEED for Homes Silver on West Coast

Tom Kelly is president of Neil Kelly Company, a design/build firm that his father founded 60 years ago in Portland, Oregon. Neil Kelly has supported sustainable building practices long before “green building” was in vogue and has taken a strong leadership position with the construction of Tom’s home in Parkdale, Oregon. The house is the [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Recession hits ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’ — No more McMansions

You aren’t the only one feeling the pinch. In an exclusive interview with WalletPop’s Jason Cochran, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition‘s resident carpenter, Paul DiMeo, reports that the tough times have hit his popular ABC show, too. One of the first things to change was the size of the homes. In years past, families would be [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Ask an Expert: How can pregnant homeowner avoid remodeling hazards?

From the Contra Costa Times: Q I’m pregnant and will be remodeling my home soon. Is there anything I should be aware of (off-gassing, asbestos, glues, etc.) that could hurt my unborn baby or me? A There are two points during a remodeling project that are critical times at which to consider the impact of [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Tired of heating and air conditioning your attic space?

The video below shows the hands-on basics of sealing your ducts. I like the part where this HVAC expert uses toilet paper to find leaks in the system. Then, he shows you how to seal them up. This is not just theory or book learning, folks. This is the real thing. So will you spend [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

The Future: Machine makes toilet paper from recycled office paper

The Japanese are at it again in the bathroom. This time, we see a large machine that shreds recycled office paper, mixes it with water to make a pulp and then turns it into rolls of toilet paper. This newfangled contraption is currently as large as a bathroom, but I can see a day when [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Remodeling with allergies in mind

 Photo: Remodeled house in Southern California. For allergy sufferers, hardwood floor are the way to go. From the Indianapolis Star: Question: How can I make sure the materials I use in my remodeling project are safe for a family member with allergies? Answer: The best place to start is by talking with an allergist. Details [...]

Read the rest of this entry »