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Money Matters

Free and Cheap Decorating

At the tile store some time ago, salivating over the $30-per-square-foot tile, I asked the clerk a brilliant question: “Do you have any free stuff?” I was with a [...]

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Does it pay to remodel your home?

Each year, following the release of Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report, we see a slew of headlines telling us “It Doesn’t Pay to Remodel [...]

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The Secrets of the Spider Webs

Here we have two identical windows on the same wall in a bathroom. A spider has built a web on one window (top), but not the other (bottom). Do you wonder why? It’s [...]

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Why Competitive Bidding Doesn’t Work

Perhaps you’ve heard this quip when a spacecraft is launched: “There goes the lowest bid.” In my mind, trying to get the lowest bid for a remodeling project is just as [...]

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Top 10 projects that add home value

From HGTV's Front Door: #10: The kitchen is one room where upgrades almost always bring a large return on investment. However, you don't have to gut your kitchen and [...]

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Energy tax credits tempt homeowners

From Bank Rate: Federal tax credits are helping to fuel demand for energy-efficient, "green" home remodeling projects. Few people undertake major home remodeling [...]

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It’s official: barter works

So what do you do when your prized market umbrella goes flying off in the wind and breaks two spokes? And what do you do when your avocado trees are putting out so much fruit [...]

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The new world order: SoCal style

My entry into the world of barter — the new world order referenced above — is the result of a perfect storm consisting of (1) a broken Pottery Barn market umbrella, (2) [...]

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The new cool: a debt-free renovation

The solarium above, once rotted to the studs, was lovingly restored by a couple in Akron, Ohio. What makes this story newsworthy enough to land in the New York Times is that [...]

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Is this a good time to remodel?

When the housing bust started and home prices began their slide, some homeowners thought the cost of remodels might slide proportionately. That did not happen because the [...]

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Do-it-yourself solar-powered fountain

After countless vain attempts to locate a solar-powered fountain similar to the one I stumbled upon at my local Home Depot, I’ve decided the better way is to find the [...]

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