Don’t pay cash and other remodeling mistakes to avoid

Don’t pay cash and other remodeling mistakes to avoid

While there are plenty of honest remodeling contractors out there, the field has its share of bad apples. We asked our Facebook fans to tell us the craziest thing their contractors told them. “Well, all windows leak a little,” a poster wrote. “Don’t worry about water coming through the electrical fixture,” another wrote. Our favorite: “It would save time just to send you a court transcript.” This checklist will help you avoid similar experiences with your kitchen remodel:

Don’t chase … (read more)

Avoid buying the wrong paint with these color-choosing apps

Avoid buying the wrong paint with these color-choosing apps

A growing list of free websites and smartphone apps can help you narrow your choices of paint colors, figure out how much paint you’ll need—and even “paint” your house before you open a can. When you’re ready to buy make sure you get a paint that can weather the elements. Not all do, as Consumer Reports discovered in its exterior paint tests.

Guessing gallons. The Paint Quality Institute has a helpful paint calculator for gauging how much … (read more)

Two high-flying toilets and five stinkers to avoid

Two high-flying toilets and five stinkers to avoid

If you think squeezing a toilet into your narrow powder room is hard, imagine what it’s like designing a bathroom for a commercial airplane. We’re seeing more compact toilets for the home, including the space-saving Gerber Viper toilet. Now airlines are benefiting from smaller commodes as well that can withstand high velocity while using minimal water, according to The Wall Street Journal. As demanding as those conditions are, they’re nothing compared to the tests we put toilets through in … (read more)

Avoid generator risks by following these safety tips

Avoid generator risks by following these safety tips

A good generator can get you through a power outage but it also poses safety hazards of its own including carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock or electrocution and the risk of fire. Every year, people die in incidents related to portable generator use, reports the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Most of the incidents involve CO poisoning from generators used indoors or in partially-enclosed spaces. Here’s how to stay safe, with tips from the CPSC.

Carbon monoxide hazards

Never use a … (read more)