Nothing announces the arrival of summer like firing up the grill. Unfortunately, nothing sours a summer party faster than a grill that won't light, smokes too much, or cooks unevenly. Grease, marinades, and sauces wreak havoc on gas burners, while charcoal grills suffer the corrosive properties of charcoal.
Grills of all kinds, from simple kettles to stainless steel restaurant-grade infrared grills, require maintenance to ensure that they perform and last.
Here are 3 tips to keep your grill in shape.-Sal Vaglica, This Old House
Don't miss all of our expert advice on grill maintenance on THISOLDHOUSE.COM.
MORE: Get to Know Your Gas Grill
1. Inspect the Chassis (Cart or Frame)
Grills with welded joints or connections with pop rivets can rust. Scrub rust off with a stiff wire brush or coarse steel wool, apply a rust-inhibiting primer, and paint the grill's exterior with rust-resistant metal paint. Keep fasteners tight to ensure the base is stable and safe. Replace damaged grill
Blog Posts by This Old House Magazine
Nothing announces the arrival of summer like firing up the grill. Unfortunately, nothing sours a summer party faster than a grill that won't light, smokes too much, or cooks unevenly. Grease, marinades, and sauces wreak havoc on gas burners, while charcoal grills suffer the corrosive properties of charcoal.Read More »from How to Keep Your Grill Cooking All Summer Long
- This Old House Magazine | Fourth of July – Wed, Jun 29, 2011 11:39 PM EDT
Summer means dining outdoors, one hand wrapped around a cold drink and the other hovering over a sizzling grill. We homed in on two gas models sized just right for hosting a crowd or whipping up breakfast, lunch, and dinner during a kitchen renovation. Both performed well in a test just short of a Bobby Flay smackdown. The big-ticket grill proved more substantial and less prone to flare-ups; the lower-priced one preheated quickly and kept an even heat. -Deborah Baldwin, This Old House magazineRead More »from Splurge vs. Steal: Which Gas Grill is Right For You?
See all the details on these grills at THISOLDHOUSE.COM
MORE: Cook Up a Great Outdoor Kitchen
Weber Genesis-310 three-burner propane grill
Is it for you?
If you are willing to pay for a handsome, heavy-duty high performer with a long life expectancy.
Weight: 180 pounds
Primary cooking area: 507 square inches"
Warranty: 10 years for burners; 5 to 25 years for most other parts
About $650, Weber
MORE: The Most Expensive Grilling Products Ever
Cool Feature: Heavy-duty stainless-steel
Painting, pruning, mowing, manicuring: A lot goes into upgrading the exterior of your house, and you seem to have done it all. We asked our readers to submit remodel projects for our fourth annual Reader Remodel Contest, they responded with renovations that showed just how talented and hardworking they all are. Here's a look at your top picks for curb appeal revamps chosen by TOH editors and your fellow readers.Read More »from Our Reader’s Best Curb Appeal Before and Afters
See all of our top reader curb appeal transformations at THISOLDHOUSE.com!
After you've browsed these amazing examples of curb appeal, you can see all the entries to our annual Reader Remodel Contest at Your Old House.
1. BEFORE: Fixing Up a Fire-Damaged Cottage
Who: Brian and Julie W.
Where: Oxford, MD.
The owners of this cottage always dreamed of fixing up an old house, but waited until our three sons were old enough to help out. When they bought this house, many of the clapboards were rotted or ruined as a result of a fire, and overgrown holly trees obscured the facade.
- This Old House Magazine | Work + Money – Mon, Jun 27, 2011 6:16 PM EDT
Go outside and get to work on these gorgeous garden structures that you can enjoy all season long. TOH brings you detailed step-by-step instructions, shopping lists, and tool lists to do it all yourself.
See all 19 Beautiful Backyard Building Projects on THISOLDHOUSE.COM!
1. Fire Pit
Outdoor fires are so hot right now. Seriously. Mankind has called the hearth home for the centuries, it's true, but these days people are going ultra-retro and getting their heat from stone-walled pits set into the earth. If you really want to light up right, do it in style. Take a few days to build your very own ring of fire.
See How to Build a Fire Pit for full step-by-step instructions.
MORE: Best Yard Before and Afters 2011
2. Garden Tool Shed
Your garden tools need a clean, dry, and accessible locale to keep safe from natures elements. A smart option is to build a handsome wood lean-to shed against the house near the patio or garden. If it's made from cedar, a naturally rot-resistant wood, it will
Everyone knows zombies are hot right now. But would you decorate your flowerbeds with them? Keep reading for this handmade garden sculpture, and more garden accessories that you're probably ashamed to admit you actually want. -Tabitha Sukhai
SEE ALL 13 WACKIEST YARD AND GARDEN PRODUCTS OVER AT THISOLDHOUSE.COM
Pine Cone Picker-Upper
Take it easy on your back this summer! With help from the Coneivore, you'll never have to bend over again. As the product page says, "Using your hands is difficult and pine cone barbs hurt!" Enough said.
About $40; Clean Air Gardening
This wacky hybrid looks like an ordinary flower pot, but unscrew the top and you have a fully-functional charcoal grill. It may seem silly, but just think of all the closet carnivores out there who are masquerading as vegans to impress their friends. There's a larger market for the covert barbecue than you think. Maybe.
About $125; Lumens
Your home has it's surprises, and unfortunately the occasional bad smell is one of them. Here are 6 offenders and tips to get rid of them.Read More »from Tips to Nix the 6 Most Unpleasant Household Odors
1. That New Paint Smell
Hate the smell of fresh latex paint? You can cut down on the odor by mixing a tablespoon of vanilla extract or a drop of lemon extract into every gallon.
MORE: Cleaning Up Lead, Asbestos, and Other Hazards
2. Disgusting Disposer
A stinky garbage disposer probably has build-up of grease and ground food on the underside of the rubber splash baffle that covers the drain opening. Clean with a scrubby sponge and dish detergent. Then run a lemon through it for a fresh scent.
MORE: 10 Uses for Vinegar
3. Go Away Gas!
A closed-up kitchen with gas flowing from an open unlit burner can create a combustible atmosphere in as little as 10 seconds. So if you smell gas-we mean really smell gas-do not turn on the lights or use a telephone, cell phone, flashlight, or computer, all of which could create a spark, blowing the place sky high.
- This Old House Magazine | Work + Money – Fri, Jun 17, 2011 10:46 PM EDT
Before you head out for that hard-earned trip to the shore or mountains, take a moment to batten down the hatches at home. Summertime is peak season for house thefts, according to the Burglary Prevention Council, which keeps statistics on where intruders break in. The good news: You don't need an expensive high-tech alarm system. A few well-placed (and well-priced) locks and security devices will do the trick. Here are the top target areas and forced-entry points, and how to secure them.Read More »from Going on Vacation? Here's How to Prevent Break-Ins and Keep Your Home Safe While You're Gone
See other ways to protect your home from break-ins at THISOLDHOUSE.COM.
Target #1: Front Door, 34% of Break-Ins
Most break-ins occur here, so invest in a solid, pick-resistant deadbolt lock (and remember to lock it!). An added step: Keep your outdoor entry light on a timer so it illuminates your house at night.
Smartkey, $30; Kwikset
MORE: All About Entry Locksets
Target #2: First-Floor Windows, 23% of Break-Ins
You'll need sash locks, of course, but easy-to-reach windows should get double
Saying goodbye to older children who are fleeing the nest can be hard, but saying hello again a few years later-after you've turned their old room into a home gym and are accustomed to spending 20 uninterrupted minutes in the bathroom-can be even harder. As the economy continues to worsen, many adult children, from twenty-somethings to middle-aged sons and daughters with children and spouses of their own, are returning home. In fact, the AARP recently surveyed more than 1,000 adults over the age of 18 and found 33 percent of respondents ages 18 to 49 live with their parents or in-laws. The most common reason cited for those who were likely to move back home was loss of income, followed by a change in job status.Read More »from Is Your Adult Child Moving Back Home?
If you find yourself welcoming back your son or daughter, you'll have to make sure your home is ready. Even small upgrades can make this transition easier-you may even find yourself enjoying it. See all our tips for prepping your home for a boomerang kid at THISOLDHOUSE.COM
Two-Toned: If you're looking for a way to give the hub of your home a new look with maximum impact for minimum hassle, consider a double dose of color, as shown in the kitchens we've rounded up here. "Paint allows you to put your personal stamp on cabinetry," says Brian Yahn of Plain & Fancy Custom Cabinetry in Schaefferstown, Pennsylvania, whose clients often request a custom hue-or two. With upper cabinets in one shade and base cabinets in another, island and perimeter cabinets in contrasting colors, or simple pantry units painted to stand out like furniture, "it's not your mother's kitchen," he notes. Case in point: the mix at right. For more on this and other lively pairings, check out the rest these spicy kitchen color pairings on THISOLDHOUSE.COM. -Deborah Baldwin, This Old House magazineRead More »from Color Combos That Spice Up a Kitchen
Shown: Carefully plotted fields of color, including citrus shades of yellow and green, define prep, storage, and lounging spaces-and guarantee an upbeat mood. Cabinets: Plain & Fancy Custom
Read More »from The Amazing $967 Kitchen Remodel
With kitchens, simple does not necessarily equal streamlined. For these homeowners, the kitchen that came with their Atlanta condo fell short on both frills and function. Builder-grade cabinets and white laminate counters set a cheerless, monotonous tone in an open space that can be seen from the front door. And washing dishes meant looking at a worn wood cabinet, as the window didn't line up over the sink. Opening the dishwasher blocked the oven door and vice versa. "It was a sad-looking space," says homeowner Eduardo Perez.
Shown here: The green walls of the adjacent dining room inspired the kitchen's new backsplash.
See the entire amazing $967 Kitchen Remodel at thisoldhouse.com
Before. A bland color scheme and an awkward layout made this kitchen boring and inconvenient. So after a year-and with some DIY know-how passed down from his contractor dad-Eduardo spent two weeks removing the oak cabinets, refinishing and reinstalling them, then putting in new counters. The sink and the