2012_Simonton_Lead video screen grab

Lead-safe window replacement keeps families safe

It’s the dust you can’t see that concerns us the most. That’s why we practice lead safe remodeling in our clients’ homes, and in our home. Friction caused by the opening and closing of a window sash painted with lead-based paint can generate microscopic “lead dust” that, if ingested, can be harmful to your family’s [...]

Mark installing a Simonton replacement window on the front porch

Choosing and Installing Vinyl Replacement Windows

As a home improvement contractor, I have installed just about everything there is to install in a house. Floors and doors, shingles and shoe molding, cabinets and crown among many other combinations of building materials and surfaces that I can rhyme or alliterate (feel free to add to my list.) What I’ve seen while working [...]

Installing a Simonton replacement window as part of a whole-house upgrade. No lead; no problem.

Get the Lead Out: Lead Paint and Dangers in the Home

Lead paint in our homes—just the presence of it—can be dangerous, especially to our kids. And the scary thing is, it’s the dust that you don’t see that can be the biggest danger. It has been thought for many years that the primary danger caused by lead paint was in kids eating the flakes of [...]

Easy Way to Paint Shutters

Paint Shutters Easily

Painting shutters is probably one of the most dreaded DIY jobs. A million nooks and crannies can be daunting even to the most intrepid painter. Here is a double-barrel solution — all it takes is a little ingenuity to outsmart that shutter. First: get a sawhorse. In this case, we used our Jawhorse, which is [...]

How to Install Skylights

Installing Skylights

Skylights are a terrific addition to most living spaces, especially if they open. The natural light they let stream in is better than anything that comes out of a bulb, the air they allow to circulate is fabulous, and—if you’re lucky—you get a nice view in the process. Assessing the Challenges There are four major [...]

MyFixitUpLife live show at the International Builders Show inside the DaVinci Roofscapes booth

MyFixitUpLife talk show: Tom Silva, Milgard Windows & More

Today Mark & Theresa are opening our eyes to the essence of Milgard windows that do just about everything. The talented Tom Silva from This Old House is stopping by, and we can’t wait to find out what’s on his honey-do list at his ‘old house.’ We’re learning about a Water Sense showerhead from Delta [...]

Making Door and Window Casings

Making Door and Window Casings on Site

Every so often, the forces of the universe conspire — and not in a nice way — to block people from success. If you’re a remodeler, it happens every couple of days, if not hours. It happened to me on a basement build-out, where the customer specced stain-grade, knotty pine trim. The base was 1-by with [...]

Mushroom factor

Prepare for the Mushroom Factor

As a professional carpenter, I have lots of tricks up my sleeve when working on projects. For example, before I dismantle a door opening, I examine the lay of the land—the door, whatever it shares a wall with, and any doors and windows nearby. That”s because in old houses, one thing is often connected to [...]

Kayleen McCabe

MyFixitUpLife talk show: Lowe’s, Kayleen McCabe, Solar

Mark and Theresa are supercharging inside Lowe’s home improvement at the International Builders’ Show. If you’re curious about how to get your energy use in better shape, this show was solar-generated just for you. We’ll also be getting rescued from unhappy renovations with the help from DIY Network’s Kayleen McCabe. The Stud Finder winner is [...]

10 common mistakes

Home Heating and 10 Common Mistakes

While there’s not much you can do to control the cost of oil, natural gas, or propane, you can save money this winter by avoiding a few common heating mistakes. “You can save 30 percent by using your home more efficiently,” says Maria Vargas, Brand Manager at Energy Star Program. And you don’t have to [...]

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