While many of us were eagerly awaiting spring, for the 60 million Americans suffering from allergies, now-with its mold-friendly moisture and pollen-bearing blossoms-is one of the toughest times of the year. Experiencing sneezing, a runny nose, or itchy, watery eyes? Follow these guidelines to minimize your exposure to allergens outdoors and to avoid bringing them home. --Danielle Blundell
MORE: 13 Essential Home Tips for Allergy-Sufferers
Garden Smart. Pollen levels peak between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m., so save yard work for later in the day. Keep grass cut short, and consider wearing an air-filtering mask, goggles, and gloves while mowing the lawn. Avoid planting high-pollen-producing flowers such as amaranthus, juniper, and peonies, especially near windows or doors.
MORE: Entry Upgrades to Keep Pollen Out
Clean Your Gear. Don't hang fresh laundry out to dry, and shake out clothes after they've been worn outside. Shower as soon as possible after spending time outdoors. Pets can bring
Blog Posts by This Old House Magazine
While many of us were eagerly awaiting spring, for the 60 million Americans suffering from allergies, now-with its mold-friendly moisture and pollen-bearing blossoms-is one of the toughest times of the year. Experiencing sneezing, a runny nose, or itchy, watery eyes? Follow these guidelines to minimize your exposure to allergens outdoors and to avoid bringing them home. --Danielle BlundellRead More »from Easy Ways to Allergy-Proof Your Home
If the slew of recent TV shows, movies, and books are any indication, zombies are everywhere these days. So whether they're fast, slow, or riddled with rigor mortis, here's a few ways to keep the undead out of your house. But three tips won't be nearly enough to stop the undead masses, so check out the rest of our zombie-proof strategies at thisoldhouse.comRead More »from How to Protect Your Home From a Zombie Invasion
1. Install Doors of the Dead
When dealing with old-school, Night of the Living Dead-type zombies (also known as "Romero zombies," after that 1968 film's director) keep in mind that-since rapid muscle deterioration is par for the postmortem course-these guys have less muscular strength than Keith Richards on a bad day. One of the simplest ways to combat them is to retrofit your house with stainless-steel doors. Affordable and impenetrable, steel doors can be a living-dead dude's worst enemy. Best of all, any dents or dings caused by your heathen invaders can be pulled and puttied with an auto-body repair kit. For added security,
Who doesn't enjoy the sight of a brightly colored bird, or a passing butterfly? These natural visitors add appeal to our landscapes, help control pests, and seed and pollinate our gardens. But we're in danger of losing them through our own actions. According to the National Audubon Society, the 20 birds on the Common Birds in Decline list have lost at least half of their populations in just four decades due to residential and industrial development.Read More »from Attract Birds and Butterflies to Your Summer Yard
It's not too late to coax fine flying friends into our yards, though. This summer-with skyrocketing fuel prices putting the squeeze on your vacation plans-instead of going to visit nature, why not bring nature to you? Encourage birds and butterflies to come to your place and stay awhile with these easy habitat gardening tips (and check out our guide to building the ultimate butterfly garden at thisoldhouse.com). And, don't forget to keep your birdhouses and feeders out in the cold season, when native and migrating birds need your help
Not very many of us can afford to live like Hollywood stars. But, for those of you with an extra few million dollars hanging around, it just so happens that Ozzy Osbourne's beautiful European-style villa and Ben Stiller's sprawling 1929 Spanish-style estate are up for grabs. Here, 3 mind-blowing celebrity properties currently listed with real estate search engine extraordinaire trulia.com. Check out all 8 celebrity homes on the market at thisoldhouse.comRead More »from 3 Stately Celebrity Homes For Sale
1. Christina Aguilera
Beverly Hills, CA - The pop icon and vocal triller recently listed this Spanish-style mansion for $13.5 million. The Genie in a Bottle and Beautiful singer's property features a pool with a water slide and grotto spa, an outdoor kitchen, and a custom-built pagoda-inspired outbuilding. See what's inside!
2. Ozzy Osbourne
Malibu, CA - You might not expect the Prince of Darkness to live in such a light and bright beachfront property. But the infamous Black Sabbath lead singer actually does own this La Costa Beach
Recently, news about devastating earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, wildfires, and tsunamis around the world had us wondering: What's the worst that can happen in the United States? Turns out it's pretty bad. We're not talking about a couple of feet of water in your basement or a tree down in the yard. We're talking about your home obliterated. And not just your home, but whole metropolitan areas. As This Old House found out, no matter where you live, you can't escape from the forces of nature. Read on to see how, in just the blink of an eye, entire American cities could be wiped off the face of the Earth. See all 10 cities at thisoldhouse.com.Read More »from 5 U.S. Cities That Could Disappear Tomorrow
1. New York, NY
Think the 2006 Indian Ocean tsunami, which killed 250,000 people, was the worst wave that could ever hit mankind? Think again. Off the coast of western Africa sits Cumbre Vieja, a volcano in the Canary Islands that scientists believe is in imminent danger of collapse. The falling rock that results would send a wall of water
- This Old House Magazine | Work + Money – Thu, Apr 14, 2011 6:54 PM EDT
Here at This Old House, our readers never cease to amaze us. It's amazing what they've accomplished with some good old-fashioned elbow grease! Get inspired by their results, and perhaps, steal an idea or two for your spring remodel. -Tabitha Sukhai
Italianate Before and After: A Community Saves an Old House
Vic and Cindy Young never planned on ending up back in Ohio. Sure, the Buckeye State was dear to their hearts-Vic grew up in Cincinnati, and Cindy spent many years in nearby Lebanon-but after moving to Colorado and then living abroad, the couple figured their heartland days were far behind them.Read More »from Top 3 This Old House Reader Remodel Before and Afters
But when their four children ended up settling in the Midwest, coming home started to look like a pretty good idea. "We decided to find a place where they would all be able to come down in just one day to visit us," Vic says. But not just any place. They wanted a historic house in a historic town. And since Vic, a full-time restorer of old houses, was hankering for
- This Old House Magazine | Work + Money – Wed, Apr 13, 2011 6:00 PM EDT
Who says you have to leave the comfort of your home to see the world's most brilliant sights? Kick back and get clicking for the most fun (and affordable!) world tour you'll go on-without actually going anywhere. See all 10 Wild Houses at thisoldhouse.comRead More »from Elephant-Shaped House, and More of the World's Wildest Houses
1. Pachyderm-Shaped Pad
James Vincent de Paul Lafferty, Jr., the original owner of Lucy the Elephant, thought his whimsical design might lure property buyers to his nearby land holdings back in the 1880s. She didn't, but some 130 years later, she's still awesome! Read more about Lucy
2. Beach House Party
Venice Beach, California
This Frank Gehry-designed beach house seems tame compared to the postmodern architect's curvilinear creations for the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. Read more about The Norton Beach House
3. Teahouse Treehouse
Architect Terunobu Fujimori designed this house for his personal use in 2004-and he may not see too many eager visitors, for physical reasons. The treehouse teahouse rests on
We love our homes because they keep us warm, safe and sound. But the same forces keeping us happy can turn on us and cause us harm-whether it's creating a hospitable environment for dangerous predators, or leaky gas lines that turn lethal. Here are five dangers to look out for. See all 10 Ways Your Home Can Kill You at thisoldhouse.comRead More »from 3 Ways Your Home Can Kill You
1. Deadly Odorless Gas We all go to sleep at night, but each year 170 of us never wake up thanks to this silent killer. Carbon monoxide poisoning caused by malfunctioning fuel burning appliances such as furnaces, ranges, water and room heaters poses a dangerous threat to you and your family. One way to protect yourself is to make sure you vent the exhaust of these appliances properly, angling pipes up, not down, as these folks have done. Hot air rises, you know-and checking that vents are free of cracks and gaps is another good way to be sure the pipes aren't the problem. Most importantly, install a standard carbon monoxide detector. They only cost 20
If you're like most people, you've got a sad-looking, post-winter hedge bordering your yard. Rows of thickly planted shrubs can be a handsome way to define borders and boundary lines, keep children and pets in (or out), and give birds shelter and even food. But like all shrubs, hedges need regular watering, feeding, and pruning to look their best. Though folks may forget to give roots a good drink in hot weather or to fertilize in early spring with a good 10-10-10 formula, the last area is where most of us really lose it. "A lot of people are intimidated by pruning, but it's a science anyone can master," says This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook. "You just have to learn a few basics."
Mistake #1: Shearing hedges without hand-pruning them
Using shears-whether hand-held pruners with long scissorlike blades or a power trimmer-to take off branch tips keeps hedges neat and tidy, and also stimulates bud production near the plants'Read More »from 3 Ways to Absolutely Ruin Your Hedges
- This Old House Magazine | Work + Money – Tue, Apr 5, 2011 9:17 PM EDT
An essential for any cleanup, these thirsty cellulose rectangles boast an absorbing array of other uses.
MORE: See all 10 Uses for Sponges at thisoldhouse.com
1. Sprout Seeds
Embed flax, radish, or other fast-growing seeds in a damp sponge and place it under an inverted glass bowl in a sunny location. Moisten occasionally. Once you notice seedlings, transfer them to soil.
Make a shovel or rake more comfortable to hold by wrapping it with a flexible sponge secured with rubber bands.
Cut damp sponges into small squares and place between breakables. As they dry, they'll conform to the contours of whatever they surround.
Make a bar of soap last longer betweenRead More »from 5 clever uses for sponges that you haven't thought of yet