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With gas prices rising and instability in the Middle East, the thought of an electric car in the garage might be getting more appealing. Before you jump for the new technology, though, make sure your garage is ready to be a refueling station.
Our house is in a constant state of home improvement. It’s a veritable ode to unfinished projects. I marvel when friends say they painted their living rooms or stained their decks over the weekend. “You mean it’s done? Finished? Completed?” I ask. I painted my dining room last fall, but ran out of time, energy and impetus by the time I reached the kitchen. So half of the large room is Desert Sand and the other half is Aging Apricot.
Q. The paint on my wood-framed basement windows is peeling on the outside and the wood has some cracks. I want to repair and repaint. How do I go about it? A. Many homeowners will be repairing and repainting wood window frames this spring. These frames are a perennial maintenance problem.
It’s spring, and a homeowner’s thoughts turn to home improvement projects. If you’ve got a big one coming up, you’ll be thinking of hiring a contractor. Few relationships can be so fraught with conflict or misunderstanding – or even liens and lawsuits. But homeowners who’ve had successful relationships with contractors say if you take time on the front end, you can avoid a lot of the problems down the road. “When I would tell people, ‘I think we’re going to remodel,’ I heard nothing but war stories, horror stories,” said Emily Sue Pike, a retired high school teacher who had the main floor of her North Side home remodeled last year. “I had a good friend who builds homes, and I asked him, ‘If you were remodeling your home, who would you ask?’ ”
Q. My plastic porch railing has become unsightly with dirt and stains. Is it possible to paint it and if not, how can it be cleaned? A. It is possible to paint plastic, but special paint is usually needed to insure good adhesion to the slick surface.
It seems like every spring, I take on what should be a completely innocuous home project. Usually, this is far enough removed from my last innocuous home project that I have forgotten how badly it went. So it was recently, when I decided to convert a small bedroom into a TV room. Eventually, I planned to outfit the room with comfortable chairs and some pictures, but I began by shopping for paint, which I pretty much shopped for the way I shop for anything: I went into the store with a vague idea, found something I didn't hate, and bought it. I also purchased blue masking tape for covering woodwork, new rollers in two sizes because I didn't wash my last ones well enough, some spackle, a sanding block, and a small brush for painting the corners.