Vacation DisastersA summer getaway is supposed to be a time for rest and relaxation. But if your heart is on vacation while your head is worrying about home, you won't get much out of your time off. That's why we've brought you this handy guide of some bad things that can befall your house when you leave it alone. Don't fret-we also share with you expert advice on how to avoid these pitfalls. That way, you can take off worry-free, and know that there will still be a house standing when you pull back into the drive. -Jeanne Baron, thisoldhouse.com
SEE ALL: Top 10 Disasters That Can Hit Your House While You're on Vacation
House Fires. One of summer's many lightning storms can start a fire, and with no one to call 911 it can take out a whole house. The best defense, says TOH general contractor Tom Silva, is lightning rods. "This is not by any means a homeowner job," he warns. "You need a pro to install them." Any highly placed metal protrusion on your house should be grounded, in fact, including weather
Blog Posts by This Old House Magazine
- This Old House Magazine | At Home – Tue, May 29, 2012 3:53 PM EDT
Vacation DisastersA summer getaway is supposed to be a time for rest and relaxation. But if your heart is on vacation while your head is worrying about home, you won't get much out of your time off. That's why we've brought you this handy guide of some bad things that can befall your house when you leave it alone. Don't fret-we also share with you expert advice on how to avoid these pitfalls. That way, you can take off worry-free, and know that there will still be a house standing when you pull back into the drive. -Jeanne Baron, thisoldhouse.comRead More »from Disasters that Can Hit Your House While You're on Vacation (and How You Can Avoid Them)
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.
Don't get caught with your tongs down! Before the season really heats up, give your barbecue an annual checkup. Follow our how-to advice to get your grill up to snuff for the big Memorial Day cookout.
A charred coating on a grate doesn't add flavor, it's just dirt, says Barry "C.B." Martin, Char-Broil's CGO-that's chief grilling officer. Any shiny black flakes on the underside of the hood are unlikely to be chipping paint; they're burned-on residue, a fire risk. Here, Martin's step-by-step for gunk removal.Read More »from Get Your Grill Ready for Barbecue Season
The Interior: Dry-scrub crud from grates, burners, and inside surfaces with a nonscratch sponge or a nylon brush. You can even use an emery cloth or a wire brush on uncoated steel or
11 Ways Your House is Making You FatDid you know that your weight gain might be less about your willpower and more about how you've decorated your home? Factors like the colors of your walls, how you store your food, or whether your bedroom is comfortable enough can all contribute to your eating habits and stress levels. Read on to learn about the dozen ways your home could be tricking you into chowing down and gaining weight.
SEE ALL: 11 Ways Your House is Making You Fat at thisoldhouse.com
1. You Painted The Dining Room Red
According to the Pantone Color Institute, the color red increases blood pressure, heart rate, and appetite. Yellow increases energy, happiness, and-you guessed it-appetite. If any of the rooms in your house are painted in the warm colors of red, orange, or yellow-especially the kitchen or dining room-you are subliminally urging yourself to eat more.Read More »from 3 Surprising Ways Your House is Making You Fat
On the other hand, the color blue has been shown to be an appetite suppressant. Because blue rarely occurs as food in nature (more often
- This Old House Magazine | At Home – Fri, May 18, 2012 1:29 PM EDT
Lounging on the patio, deck, or in the yard will be even more satisfying if you've built the furniture! See these 5 great projects from ThisOldHouse.com!Read More »from 5 Outdoor Furniture Pieces to Build and Enjoy All Summer
1. Classic Westport Chair
You know the Adirondack chair. What you may not have known is that the ubiquitous lawn lounger is based on an earlier design like this one-less refined, more rustic-called the Westport chair.
Thomas Lee was bent on comfort when he built the original, back in 1903, and the hallmarks of that vision remain. A deeply pitched seat and slanted back practically demand that you recline, and gratuitously wide arms easily host a good read and a cool drink, not to mention a lazy limb.
See how to build it!
See also: 28 Easy Summer Weekend Projects
2. Adirondack Chair
Anyone who's ever sat in the low-slung seat of an Adirondack chair and sunk into the curve of the fanned back knows there's no cushion-free seat like it. The beauty of the Adirondack chair--which takes its name from the New York mountain camps that
Who said you have to keep things neutral? Your living room isn't Switzerland-there's no need to play it safe. If you like it loud, don't be shy about turning it up. That's right, go ahead and hoist a flag in your favorite hue, no matter how bright. And a coat of paint is the quickest route to a bright space. Pick the color that floats your boat the most, whether it's marigold, pomegranate, cobalt, or emerald. Sound hard to pull off? Take a look at this gallery to see some of our favorite vibrant gathering spaces, which might just inspire you to take your own living room from comatose to colorful.Read More »from Colorful Living Room Ideas
By: Penelope Wood
If you love bright colors but can't narrow it down to one, try painting your wall with stripes of all of your favorite hues.
See More of Our Favorite Colorful Living Rooms
Also See: Add a Pop of Color With Wainscot Stripes
Love pink? Don't be shy about it: paint your gathering space in your best and brightest.
See More of Our Favorite Colorful
Take advantage of the warmer weather and spruce up your outdoor space!Read More »from 5 Spring Weekend Yard and Garden Upgrades
1. Build a Pyramid Trellis
Whether you call it a pyramid, an obelisk, or a tuteur trellis, this distinctive garden structure is a hallmark of cottage style. Trellises have a long history of supporting climbing and vining plants, and the tapered, freestanding version shown here remains a fixture of many an English garden, where it gives clematis and other flowering climbers a sturdy platform and a chance at sun. But we wouldn't fault you for using a trellis in a purely decorative way, either. See step-by-step how to build one!
Related: Flowers that Climb
2. Lay a Stepping-Stone Path
Stepping Stone Path
A pathway made of stone pavers is a great way to save your lawn from being trampled and compacted by foot traffic. And it certainly is an easy, one-day project for most DIYers. The hardest parts of the process are the labor of mixing the wet stone dust that serves as the pavers' base and then lifting and moving the stones. See
A plateful of pretty blossomsRead More »from 10 Edible Flowers for Your Spring Garden
In the past three years, spending on vegetable gardening has risen 20 percent, while flower sales have dropped. But why choose one over the other? Add color to your garden-and plate-by planting these bright, edible bloomers. -Gillian Barth, This Old House magazine
See all 10 flowers to grow for a plateful of blossoms!
Plant these springtime annuals in a spot that gets full sun but isn't too hot, and skip commercial fertilizer; bed them with compost material instead. Then, cool off plucked buds by dropping them in ice trays and freezing them into cubes for a festive look in a drink glass. They'll add a perfumed flavor to cocktails and seltzers alike.
RELATED: Easy Upgrades for Weekend DIYers
Add color to an herb garden with these annuals, which are closely related to violets and enjoy similar growing conditions. Harvest their large flowers for pretty desserts. Brush delicate buds with egg white and dip them in sugar for a candied effect that will enhance their
With the weather warming up, everyone here at TOH is dreaming about relaxing out on the lawn, deck, or patio. Hosting a cook-out or barbecue is probably the most fun (and tasty!) way to enjoy your backyard. (For more on the outdoor space shown above, see Cook Up a Great Outdoor Kitchen). -Karen Ziga for thisoldhouse.com
Prepara Oil Mister
Salads are a fresh, cool, and healthful addition to warm weather menus. If you aren't a fan of gloppy dressing and wilted greens, try using the Prepara Tabletop Oil Mister (about $20). Create your own flavored oils and mist a thin layer of flavor on salad or veggies off the grill. Everyone will want to know where you nabbed these tabletop accessories, available in bright, contemporary colors that'll jazz up any picnic table.
Prepara Chef's Baster Set
Brushing on yourRead More »from Outdoor Party Must-haves from Prepara
Mayo is more than a condiment.Read More »from 3 Uses for Mayonnaise Around the House
Mayo: More Than a Condiment! Who knew that our favored BLT condiment was so versatile around the house? In a pinch, use it to help you tackle these everyday tasks. -Sal Vaglica, This Old House Magazine
See all 10 Uses for Mayonnaise on Thisoldhouse.com!
RELATED: 10 Uses for Vinegar
1. Erase Crayon from Walls
Erase crayon marks from walls.
Coat doodles on surfaces covered with scrubbable paint. After a few minutes, wipe off the mayo and crayon marks with a damp cloth.
RELATED: 15 Decorative Paint Ideas
2. Remove Sticker Residue
Remove Sticker Residue
Dab mayo on stubborn price tags and the like, let sit for a few minutes, then rub off. The oil dissolves adhesives.
RELATED: 30 Down-and-Dirty Tricks for Big DIY Savings
3. Rub out Water Rings
Rub Out Water Rings.
Cover water rings on wood furniture with mayo. Let sit for a minute or two. Wipe off and buff with a soft, clean cloth.
See all 10 Uses for Mayonnaise at Thisoldhouse.com.
More tips on Thisoldhouse.com:
10 Uses for Aluminum Foil
10 Uses for Yogurt Cups
10 Uses for Foam Packing Peanuts
10 Uses for
Be a Medicine Cabinet MacGyver: Use Dental Floss, Toothpaste, Makeup Brushes and More as DIY Problem SolversBy This Old House Magazine | At Home – Tue, Apr 10, 2012 5:01 PM EDT
Lipstick for home improvement? Yup. These items, commonly found in your toiletries bag, can come in handy during your next DIY project. See more advice on how to be a medicine cabinet Macgyver on thisoldhouse.com. -Amy R. HughesRead More »from Be a Medicine Cabinet MacGyver: Use Dental Floss, Toothpaste, Makeup Brushes and More as DIY Problem Solvers
1. Dental Floss
Fill in fissures. Pull a length of thin and sturdy dental floss taut and use it to work glue into splits and cracks in woodwork.
Photo: Jessica Kaufman
RELATED: Wood Glue Guide--Which Goes Where?
Polish metal. Make brass and silver shine with a non-abrasive toothpaste. Apply the polish with an old, soft-bristled toothbrush and rub it in with a lint-free rag.
RELATED: Surprise Spring Cleaners
Nail Polish Remover
3. Nail Polish Remover
Clean up glue. Put some acetone nail polish remover on a rag to wipe off insulating foam sealant before it dries permanently.
RELATED: Kitchen-Drawer Essentials
4. Baby Oil
Save stone. Baby oil is just your basic mineral oil with a little added fragrance; rub it into a soapstone countertop to hide a scratch and to