Home Health Hazards

Uncertified Lead Renovators Face EPA Fines, Exclusion

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Contractors who work in lead paint and fail to get EPA-certified can face sanctions. (Photo by Brandon Smith)
Contractors who work in lead paint and fail to get EPA-certified can face sanctions. (Photo by Brandon Smith)

EPA fines companies for violating its RRP rule, and Angie's List adds exclusion notices to contractors whose work requires EPA lead-safety certification.

Clearance evaluation provides most reliable lead test results

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Jeff Van Slooten, owner of Lead Detective Agency, performs a lead clearance test in a client's home. (Photo by Ron Nabity)
Jeff Van Slooten, owner of Lead Detective Agency, performs a lead clearance test in a client's home. (Photo by Ron Nabity)

Current EPA rules require only a visual examination after work is done in a home that contains lead hazards, but a clearance test provides the best results.

Your Contractor May be Giving You Unsafe Advice About Lead Paint

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Disturbing lead paint on any type of surface without proper containment and disposal can result in lead poisoning. (Photo by Brandon Smith)
Disturbing lead paint on any type of surface without proper containment and disposal can result in lead poisoning. (Photo by Brandon Smith)

Angie's List secretly shopped painters, remodelers, window contractors and hardware stores to test their lead-safety knowledge. The results may surprise you.

Who Needs Lead Certification?

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Experts say more awareness is needed about the EPA's lead-certification law for contractors. (Photo by Eldon Lindsay)
Experts say more awareness is needed about the EPA's lead-certification law for contractors. (Photo by Eldon Lindsay)

Lead-safe practices require contractors disturbing lead paint to hold both firm and individual renovator certification. Know what to look for and how to verify.

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Roofing

3 Roof Problems to Avoid this Winter

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It is recommended to have a professional inspect your roof flashing on a bi-annual basis, says Lindus. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Jennafer T. of Sacramento, California)
It is recommended to have a professional inspect your roof flashing on a bi-annual basis, says Lindus. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Jennafer T. of Sacramento, California)

When the summer months fade away, it's time to prepare your roof for winter. One highly rated provider shares three common roof problems and how to avoid them.

Charlotte Prepper Store Supplies Emergency Goods for Hurricane Season and More

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Removing dead branches or trees before a hurricane or tropical storm arrives can protect your home from damage. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member David S.)

Retail outlet rises on wave of survivalist culture, but sells much of its stock to homeowners preparing severe weather and power outages.

7 Unexpected Dangers of a Leaky Roof

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Most homeowners think that a leaky roof is just a structural problem, but it can actually pose many more safety and even health risks, says Lamy. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List Member Jon F. of Saint Francis, Minnesota)
Most homeowners think that a leaky roof is just a structural problem, but it can actually pose many more safety and even health risks, says Lamy. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List Member Jon F. of Saint Francis, Minnesota)

You may know that a leaking roof poses danger to the boxes in your attic, but there is much more damage that can come from water leaking in your home.

Is that roofer telling you the truth?

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roofing contractor
Know what questions to ask to find a trustworthy roofing contractor. (Photo courtesy of Bone Dry Roofing and Masonry, of Louisville, Ky.)

Do you know if you need a new roof or a roof repair? Different roofers may give you different answers. Know what to ask to find a trustworthy professional.

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Home Interiors

Impressive Customer Service Nets Bigger Sale for Countertop Company

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Stone Saver granite countertop installation included a fabricated piece to fit an existing pony wall. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Jeanne L. of Wesley Chapel, Florida)
Stone Saver granite countertop installation included a fabricated piece to fit an existing pony wall. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Jeanne L. of Wesley Chapel, Florida)

A Lutz, Florida granite countertop contractor helps a homeowner make a memorable investment in her kitchen and fabricates the countertop to fit a pony wall.

DIY or Hire a Painting Pro? Savings May Not be What You Think in D.C.

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Painted room in Arlington, Va.
Professional painter costs are often worth it for the quality and time saved. (Photo courtesy of member Clifford D., Arlington, Virginia)

Older houses and multi-story town homes are two challenges DIY painters face in the D.C. area when figuring out whether to turn to a professional for the job.

Chicago Furniture Company Reupholsters, Revives Family's Vintage Chair

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Here are before and after photos of the chair Angie's List member Sue Myers reupholstered chair. (Photo courtesy of Sue Myers of Glen Ellyn, Ill.)
Here are before and after photos of the chair Angie's List member Sue Myers reupholstered chair. (Photo courtesy of Sue Myers of Glen Ellyn, Ill.)

New fabric and decorative details by a Chicago upholstery and custom furniture business transformed, updated a grandparent's heirloom chair for a new generation.

Looking for the Paint Colors of Your Favorite Sports Team? In Charlotte, Call Him

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Frank Harrelson of Eastway Paint in Charlotte, N.C., matches paint colors to sports teams and schools from all over the country. (Photo by Courtney St. Onge)
Frank Harrelson of Eastway Paint in Charlotte, N.C., matches paint colors to sports teams and schools from all over the country. (Photo by Courtney St. Onge)

Eastway Paint in Charlotte mixes sports fans favorite hues, from Carolina Blue to Fenway Green, adding a splash of team spirit to bedrooms, man caves and more.

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Windows & Doors

When a Lock Problem Isn't a Lock Problem

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To prevent problems, it is a good idea to set aside one of the original keys for use in making future duplicates, says Campbell. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List Member Roy G. of Los Angeles)
To prevent problems, it is a good idea to set aside one of the original keys for use in making future duplicates, says Campbell. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List Member Roy G. of Los Angeles)

If you are having issues with your lock, the problem may not be the lock at all. Here are three causes of lock problems you can watch for that aren’t the lock.

Can Replacement Windows Increase My Home's Energy Efficiency?

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In addition to adding to your home's efficiency, replacement windows also offer safety and aesthetic benefits, says Sublousky. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Jan A. of Minneapolis)
In addition to adding to your home's efficiency, replacement windows also offer safety and aesthetic benefits, says Sublousky. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Jan A. of Minneapolis)

On this episode of Chat with the Experts, we talk with Jim Sublousky about the energy efficiency benefits of replacement windows and how to manage the project.

5 home improvement projects to tackle this fall and winter

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During the fall and early winter, homeowners can identify which windows allow drafts and replace them before the chill sets in. (Photo by Brandon Smith)
During the fall and early winter, homeowners can identify which windows allow drafts and replace them before the chill sets in. (Photo by Brandon Smith)

Many homeowners start home projects during the spring, but some projects are better left for fall and winter seasons when the weather gets a little colder.

The key to picking a trusted locksmith in the D.C. area

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Keys in D.C. door (Photo by Jason Hargraves)
The key to a good locksmith experience in D.C. is finding a reputable company. (Photo by Jason Hargraves)

Even when locked out, ask these questions before trusting your personal safety and home security to a just any Washington-area locksmith.

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Basements & Foundations

Heavy Chicago rains leave residents with huge flooding cleanup

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Wet carpet and drywall soaked with flood waters should be dried or removed immediately. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Jonjie S.)
Wet carpet and drywall soaked with flood waters should be dried or removed immediately. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Jonjie S.)

Two days of heavy rains in Illinois left residents in the western and southern Chicago suburbs flooded. Here's what to do immediately when your home floods.

How to find great home project ideas at Charlotte's Southern Ideal Home Show

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More than 175 builders, roofers, landscapers, designers and more will be at the Southern Ideal Home Show. (Photo courtesy of Southern Ideal Home Show)

Bring photos, ideas and an open mind to make the most of time with contractors, decorators and home improvement experts

Tips to create the perfect home gym

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Once you decide on a space for your home gym, there are considerations to be made for equipment, and how large the gym can be, says Pillow. (Photo courtesy of Moss Building & Design)
Once you decide on a space for your home gym, there are considerations to be made for equipment, and how large the gym can be, says Pillow. (Photo courtesy of Moss Building & Design)

Working out is great for your mental and physical health. Making room for a home gym is an easy way to make sure you fit in regular exercise.

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Home Security

How Secure is the White House? Fence Jumper Highlights Home Security

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White House fence (Photo by Jason Hargraves)
A man who scaled the fence around the White House was able to enter the executive mansion. (Photo by Jason Hargraves)

What many considered the safest residence in D.C. turned out not to be so secure after a fence jumper entered the White House. Just how secure can any home be?

When a Lock Problem Isn't a Lock Problem

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To prevent problems, it is a good idea to set aside one of the original keys for use in making future duplicates, says Campbell. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List Member Roy G. of Los Angeles)
To prevent problems, it is a good idea to set aside one of the original keys for use in making future duplicates, says Campbell. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List Member Roy G. of Los Angeles)

If you are having issues with your lock, the problem may not be the lock at all. Here are three causes of lock problems you can watch for that aren’t the lock.

In an emergency but can't talk? Some Chicago-area residents can now text to 911

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Some suburban Chicago residents now can text 911 emergency services for help. (Photo by Steven Jack)
Some suburban Chicago residents now can text 911 emergency services for help. (Photo by Steven Jack)

A northwest suburban emergency dispatch center in Cook County now allows residents to text 911 for urgent police or medical help when calling isn't possible.

Chicago lightning causes $35,000 in damage - here's how to protect your electrical

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Lightning strikes have the potential to destroy a home's entire electrical system, causing thousands in damages. (Photo by Steven Jack)
Lightning strikes have the potential to destroy a home's entire electrical system, causing thousands in damages. (Photo by Steven Jack)

Electricians say installing a whole-house surge protector may be the best way to prevent damage to appliances and electronics caused by a lightning strike.

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Chimneys & Fireplaces

That Lives in My Chimney! D.C. Sweeps Do More Than Keep Out Critters

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Keep the fire roaring all winter by having your chimney inspected in early fall. (Photo courtesy of member Cathleen F.)
Keep the fire roaring all winter by having your chimney inspected in early fall. (Photo courtesy of member Cathleen F.)

Interest in chimney cleaning and repairs heats up in D.C. during the fall. Hiring a sweep can help you keep your fireplace safe and working all winter.

Get a Chimney Inspection Before Lighting that Fire

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A chimney inspection covers every part of the structure, interior and exterior. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member David G. of Portland, Oregon)
A chimney inspection covers every part of the structure, interior and exterior. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member David G. of Portland, Oregon)

Chimneys, fireplaces and vents need to be inspected at least once per year. Even an unused chimney needs to be checked for possible animal nests or damage.

Give your fireplace a makeover with these updates

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Homeowners are updating their fireplaces for a more modern, clean look. (Photo  by Darcy Barrett)
Homeowners are updating their fireplaces for a more modern, clean look. (Photo by Darcy Barrett)

See how these homeowners upgraded their fireplaces by refacing or remodeling the surround. Granite, stacked stone and travertine tiles are popular options.

Is it legal to burn leaves in Indianapolis?

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leaf burning laws Indianapolis and surrounding areas
While burning leaves is illegal in Marion County, residents can burn sticks, twigs and branches that originate on their propeties. (Photo by Brandon Smith)

Wondering whether you can burn leaves or sticks in your backyard? Firefighters from Indianapolis, Fishers, Brownsburg and Noblesville explain local regulations.

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Household Lighting

How to purchase and install motion lights

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Adding motion-sensors to outdoor lighting can help reduce your monthly electric bill. (Photo courtesy of Angie’s List member Jason B. of Simsbury, Conn.)
Adding motion-sensors to outdoor lighting can help reduce your monthly electric bill. (Photo courtesy of Angie’s List member Jason B. of Simsbury, Conn.)

Motion lights can provide better visibility, safety and protection from burglars. Learn how to purchase and install sensor lights for your home.

Outdoor lighting trends improve security, boost curb appeal

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LED home exterior lighting
LEDs illuminate the exterior of this Indianapolis home. (Photo by Brandon Smith)

Looking to light up your home exterior? Angie Hicks reports the latest outdoor lighting trends, such as installing LEDS, and using lights to boost curb appeal.

Landscape lighting illuminates home features at night

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Landscape lighting can make outdoor living spaces a focal point. (Photo courtesy of member Karin L. of Tuscon. Ariz.)

Landscape lighting isn't just for home security. Check out the latest lighting trends, such as spotlighting home features and installing LEDs.

Lighting tips to set the mood for any space in your home

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Accent lighting can be used to highlight or emphasize specific objects or areas in your room, including artwork, says Marsh. (Photo courtesy of Kathryn Interiors, Inc.)
Accent lighting can be used to highlight or emphasize specific objects or areas in your room, including artwork, says Marsh. (Photo courtesy of Kathryn Interiors, Inc.)

Lighting is often overlooked, but is one of the quick changes that can transform a room. One highly rated provider shares lighting tips to light up your room.

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Construction & Remodeling

5 Things That Will Slow Down Your Home Renovation

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Accommodating requests by homeowners in the middle of a project is commonplace, but change orders will have a ripple effect throughout the project, says Rumbaugh. (Photo courtesy of Gary Rumbaugh Construction)
Accommodating requests by homeowners in the middle of a project is commonplace, but change orders will have a ripple effect throughout the project, says Rumbaugh. (Photo courtesy of Gary Rumbaugh Construction)

Plenty of factors can gum up your home renovation timeline. Here are five of the top agenda wreckers you can watch out for in your next home project.

6 Common Interior Design Questions

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Art does not have to match the colors in a room, but it should blend or harmonize with the other elements in the space, says Marsh. (Photo courtesy of Kathryn Interiors, Inc.)
Art does not have to match the colors in a room, but it should blend or harmonize with the other elements in the space, says Marsh. (Photo courtesy of Kathryn Interiors, Inc.)

Wondering whether the wood finishes all need to match in your living room? Here are answers to some of your most burning interior design dilemmas.

Impressive Customer Service Nets Bigger Sale for Countertop Company

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Stone Saver granite countertop installation included a fabricated piece to fit an existing pony wall. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Jeanne L. of Wesley Chapel, Florida)
Stone Saver granite countertop installation included a fabricated piece to fit an existing pony wall. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Jeanne L. of Wesley Chapel, Florida)

A Lutz, Florida granite countertop contractor helps a homeowner make a memorable investment in her kitchen and fabricates the countertop to fit a pony wall.

DIY or Hire a Painting Pro? Savings May Not be What You Think in D.C.

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Painted room in Arlington, Va.
Professional painter costs are often worth it for the quality and time saved. (Photo courtesy of member Clifford D., Arlington, Virginia)

Older houses and multi-story town homes are two challenges DIY painters face in the D.C. area when figuring out whether to turn to a professional for the job.

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Heating And Cooling

The Value of Maintaining Your Air Filter

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Dirty air filters are the biggest cause of failed heating and cooling systems, says Victor. (Photo courtesy of Air Conditioning & Heating Service Company)
Dirty air filters are the biggest cause of failed heating and cooling systems, says Victor. (Photo courtesy of Air Conditioning & Heating Service Company)

Air filters are an important part of your heating and cooling system and negligence of proper air filter maintenance is a leading cause of HVAC breakdowns.

How to Confidently Handle Contractor Upselling

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Whether it's about garage door, plumbing, HVAC or other home services, it pays to know how to handle contractor upselling. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Rich K. of Milwaukie, Oregon)
Whether it's about garage door, plumbing, HVAC or other home services, it pays to know how to handle contractor upselling. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Rich K. of Milwaukie, Oregon)

Worried about upsells? Here are tips to help you distinguish between a valuable home-service contractor recommendation and a sales pitch you're better off ignoring.

Furnace Gas Leak Suspected In Suburban Chicago Home Explosion, Fire

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If you detect a gas lead at your home, do not attempt to turn off the gas supply. Evacuate the area immediately. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Wayne S.)
If you detect a gas lead at your home, do not attempt to turn off the gas supply. Evacuate the area immediately. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Wayne S.)

Fire officials in Elgin urge routine furnace and water heater maintenance after a possible gas leak causes a large explosion and fire, injuring the homeowner.

2 Common Reasons Your AC Freezes Up

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A dirty filter like the one on the left is often the cause of an air conditioner freeze up, says Hubbert. (Photo courtesy of Champion AC)
A dirty filter like the one on the left is often the cause of an air conditioner freeze up, says Hubbert. (Photo courtesy of Champion AC)

Avoid that terrible moment when your air conditioner freezes up and stops working on the hottest day of the year by recognizing these common causes of a freeze.

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Contractor

Home health dangers you can avoid right now

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An indication of serious moisture being trapped behind masonry is efflorescence, which appears as a white powder or stain, says Rantanen. (Photo Courtesy of Jamison Home Services, LLC)
An indication of serious moisture being trapped behind masonry is efflorescence, which appears as a white powder or stain, says Rantanen. (Photo Courtesy of Jamison Home Services, LLC)

Even if your home looks safe from the outside, there are invisible hazards like moisture, radon and carbon monoxide you need to be on the lookout for.

Are shoddy gutters putting your masonry exterior at risk?

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Water spilling down the side of a building causes premature masonry failure by repeatedly soaking the wall, allowing freeze thaw cycling, says Bard. (Photo courtesy of Integrated Home Improvement)
Water spilling down the side of a building causes premature masonry failure by repeatedly soaking the wall, allowing freeze thaw cycling, says Bard. (Photo courtesy of Integrated Home Improvement)

Are bad gutters and downspouts putting your masonry exterior at risk? One highly rated provider explains why this happens and how to stop it.

6 tips to update your home with brick staining

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brick staining before and after
Brick staining changed the look of this fireplace in less time and with less dust than resurfacing. (Photo courtesy of Harry Brax)

An alternative to resurfacing or painting brick, use brick staining to transform the exterior of a home or fireplace while keeping costs affordable.

Modernize your masonry with brick staining

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Staining works on both interior and exterior bricks. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Susan W. of Oak Park, Ill.)

Highly rated masons who specialize in brick staining explain how it works for interior and exterior brick facades and provide pricing information.

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Insulation And Winterizing

Convert Attic Space Into a Room You Can Use

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Converting an attic creates an additional room in the house. (Photo courtesy Angie's List member of Peter K. and Melanie S. of Cleveland, Ohio)
Converting an attic creates an additional room in the house. (Photo courtesy Angie's List member of Peter K. and Melanie S. of Cleveland, Ohio)

Wish you had more room in your home? There might be usable space in your attic. Get tips to convert your attic space into a functioning living space.

Chicago airport noise complaints skyrocket amid new flight patterns

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Noise complaints from residents near Chicago's two international airports have dramatically increased in 2014. (Photo courtesy of the Chicago Department of Aviation)
Noise complaints from residents near Chicago's two international airports have dramatically increased in 2014. (Photo courtesy of the Chicago Department of Aviation)

There's little annoyed residents near Chicago's airports can do about the flight noise outside, but one soundproofing window company can help cut noise inside.

Is poor attic ventilation damaging your roof?

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Ideally, you want your attic temperature to be close to the outdoor temperature. (Photo courtesy of Jennafer T. of Newcastle, Calif.)
Ideally, you want your attic temperature to be close to the outdoor temperature. (Photo courtesy of Jennafer T. of Newcastle, Calif.)

What you don’t know about attic ventilation may cost you in possible roof damage. Roofing pros say many attics are insufficiently insulated.

3 ways to make your home more energy efficient

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Since you may not have enough attic insulation to begin with, it may be a good idea to add blown insulation on the top of the existing insulation, says Bagwell. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Lynn M. of Columbus, Ga.)
Since you may not have enough attic insulation to begin with, it may be a good idea to add blown insulation on the top of the existing insulation, says Bagwell. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Lynn M. of Columbus, Ga.)

Your existing home can be made more comfortable in ways that don’t have to be costly. One highly rated provider shares 3 ways to make your home more efficient.

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Electrical

Indianapolis Electricians Bring the Circle of Lights to Life

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Electricians hang lights at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Indianapolis
Each year, 150 volunteers from IBEW Local 481 spend six hours installing the lights display at The Indiana Soldiers and Sailors Monument. (Photo courtesy of Downtown Indy)

Learn how the Indiana Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 481 install the holiday lights on the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in downtown Indianapolis.

How to Confidently Handle Contractor Upselling

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Whether it's about garage door, plumbing, HVAC or other home services, it pays to know how to handle contractor upselling. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Rich K. of Milwaukie, Oregon)
Whether it's about garage door, plumbing, HVAC or other home services, it pays to know how to handle contractor upselling. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Rich K. of Milwaukie, Oregon)

Worried about upsells? Here are tips to help you distinguish between a valuable home-service contractor recommendation and a sales pitch you're better off ignoring.

Charlotte Prepper Store Supplies Emergency Goods for Hurricane Season and More

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tree - removal
Removing dead branches or trees before a hurricane or tropical storm arrives can protect your home from damage. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member David S.)

Retail outlet rises on wave of survivalist culture, but sells much of its stock to homeowners preparing severe weather and power outages.

Do Contractors Charge to Estimate a Job?

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One top-rated electrician offers free estimates on new installations, but usually charges for estimates to repair existing systems because on-site inspection and testing are required. (Photo by Steve C. Mitchell)
One top-rated electrician offers free estimates on new installations, but usually charges for estimates to repair existing systems because on-site inspection and testing are required. (Photo by Steve C. Mitchell)

Whether you must pay for an estimate depends on the project's scope and contractor's policies. But a few rules of thumb apply to quotes, consultations and bids.

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Landscaping

Mall Makeover? Landscaping Project to Improve National Mall in D.C.

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Constitution Gardens on National Mall
Plans call for Constitution Gardens at the National Mall to undergo a $150 million transformation. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. National Park Service)

A $150 million improvement project is planned for Washington's National Mall that will bring lush new landscaping and restaurants to Constitution Gardens.

Preventative emerald ash borer treatment saves 5,000 ash trees in Chicago

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A worker with highly rated Illinois Tree Service in Plainfield, Ill., removes a damaged ash tree from a customer's yard. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Ron L. of Carol Stream, Ill.)
A worker with highly rated Illinois Tree Service in Plainfield, Ill., removes a damaged ash tree from a customer's yard. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Ron L. of Carol Stream, Ill.)

Chicago officials say they've saved money, and thousands of trees, by treating ash trees for the emerald ash borer instead of removing and replacing them. Here's how.

New Chicago Area West Nile Virus Case Brings Advice to Prevent Mosquitoes

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The second Chicago-area human case of West Nile Virus for 2014 was reported this week. (Photo courtesy of Stephen Ausmus, USDA)
The second Chicago-area human case of West Nile Virus for 2014 was reported this week. (Photo courtesy of Stephen Ausmus, USDA)

A Naperville, Illinois, man is the 2nd case of West Nile in suburban Chicago this year. Here's advice to prevent bug bites and this potentially deadly mosquito-borne illness.

Trail Adds Serenity to Homeowner's Yard

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Poul’s Landscaping & Nursery creates a park-like setting in this yard with curved flagstone pathways, and an assortment of plants and bushes. (Photo courtesy of Angie’s List member Alice R. of Gurnee, Ill.)
Poul’s Landscaping & Nursery creates a park-like setting in this yard with curved flagstone pathways, and an assortment of plants and bushes. (Photo courtesy of Angie’s List member Alice R. of Gurnee, Ill.)

A landscaper uses curved pathways, edged with flagstone and flanked by an assortment of perennials and bushes to create a park-like oasis in homeowner's yard.

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Flooring

Which Flooring Type Is Best for My Home?

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It's important to understand the benefits of each floor type to know which area of your home it will fit best, says Kahn. (Photo courtesy of DirectBuy of Indianapolis)
It's important to understand the benefits of each floor type to know which area of your home it will fit best, says Kahn. (Photo courtesy of DirectBuy of Indianapolis)

On this episode of Chat with the Experts, we talk with Tom Kahn of DirectBuy about which flooring types are best for different areas of your home.

Minnesota flooring contractor lives up to Angie's List reviews

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Tom Becker Carpet & Floor Covering in Maple Grove, Minn. installed new laminate flooring and carpet in time for a pre-wedding party. (Photo courtesy of Angie’s List member Nicholas P.)
Tom Becker Carpet & Floor Covering in Maple Grove, Minn. installed new laminate flooring and carpet in time for a pre-wedding party. (Photo courtesy of Angie’s List member Nicholas P.)

New Angie's List member learns why Maple Grove flooring company received rave reviews when the contractor meets his installation deadline for half the price.

Chicago hardwood flooring company surprises new homeowners with quick work

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Chicago condo hardwood flooring refinished
Marc and Rosi Bodnar spent about $3,000 refinishing the hardwood floors of their Roscoe Village condo to a more modern look. (Photo courtesy of Marc and Rosi Bodnar)

A Roscoe Village couple had just one week to refinish their hardwood floors before moving in. One Chicago-area company made it happen with time to spare.

How to choose the best flooring for your kitchen or bathroom

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4 different types of flooring: carpet, bamboo, tile, and hardwood
It’s important to do your research and make careful considerations before moving forward with a material order or choosing a contractor for installation, says Wyant (Photo courtesy of DirectBuy of Indianapolis)

Not all flooring is made the same. Don’t make a decision you regret by reading these quick insights to the best types of flooring for your kitchen or bath.

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Outdoor Living

Charlotte Pools, Weather too Pretty for Full Winterizing, Expert Says

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aloha-pool
Carolinas weather allows for many fall evenings to enjoy an outdoor pool (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Tim S. of Charlotte).

Pool professional says don't completely cover up sparkling water, for better maintenance and for more enjoyment into the fall season.

Contractor Stamps New Design in Pool Deck

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Schraner Masonry only had to remove some grass to expand this pool deck. (Photo courtesy of Angie’s List member Sharilyn W. of San Diego, Calif.)
Schraner Masonry only had to remove some grass to expand this pool deck. (Photo courtesy of Angie’s List member Sharilyn W. of San Diego, Calif.)

A San Diego contractor extends a homeowner’s pool deck by building an adjacent concrete platform, then matches the surface with a stamped concrete pattern.

Why August in D.C. is the time to think about winterizing your pool

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Swimming pool in Maryland.
August isn't too soon to think about the condition of your pool cover. (Photo courtesy of Potomac Pool Service)

Mild Washington, D.C., falls may extend your swimming pool season, but August is when you should be making plans for pool closing, covers and winter chemicals.

Seminole pool contractor makes splash with remodel

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Pool Perfection of Seminole did a complete remodel of this pool built in 1971. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Matthew M. of Seminole, Fla.)
Pool Perfection of Seminole did a complete remodel of this pool built in 1971. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Matthew M. of Seminole, Fla.)

Homeowner describes the remodeled pool and cool deck as an amazing transformation and says Pool Perfection completed the work faster than she expected.

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Garages & Driveways

3 Easy Steps to Get out the Door Faster

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Eliminate piles by storing clothes and shoes in organized and easy-to-access spaces, says Nelson. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Joshua A. of New York)
Eliminate piles by storing clothes and shoes in organized and easy-to-access spaces, says Nelson. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Joshua A. of New York)

Need help getting your kids out the door in the morning? One highly rated provider shares three steps to help your family's morning routine run smoothly.

How Secure is the White House? Fence Jumper Highlights Home Security

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White House fence (Photo by Jason Hargraves)
A man who scaled the fence around the White House was able to enter the executive mansion. (Photo by Jason Hargraves)

What many considered the safest residence in D.C. turned out not to be so secure after a fence jumper entered the White House. Just how secure can any home be?

Fence Contractor Lives up to High Credentials

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Redman Fence & Wood Production installed the gate posts on the fence in larger, and deeper holes and added more cement to ensure the gate would open easily and quietly. (Photo by Angie’s List member Peter S. of Plant City, Florida
Redman Fence & Wood Production installed the gate posts on the fence in larger, and deeper holes and added more cement to ensure the gate would open easily and quietly. (Photo by Angie’s List member Peter S. of Plant City, Florida

Homeowner says virtual demonstration and material samples let him see the color style and grade of fence he was getting before he signed a contract.

3 Tips to Organize Your Kitchen after a Remodel

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One thing you don’t want is for your kitchen to turn into a storage place for rarely used items, says Pillow. (Photo courtesy of Moss Building and Design)
One thing you don’t want is for your kitchen to turn into a storage place for rarely used items, says Pillow. (Photo courtesy of Moss Building and Design)

All finished with your kitchen remodel? Now it's time to organize! One highly rated providers shares three tips to help you make the most of your kitchen space.

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Pests

Increase in Coyote Attacks Reported around Indianapolis

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According to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the coyote population in Indiana is higher than it was a decade ago. (Photo courtesy of IDNR)
According to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the coyote population in Indiana is higher than it was a decade ago. (Photo courtesy of IDNR)

Coyotes can thrive in urban environments, and interactions between coyotes and humans or pets are on the rise. Consider these tips to protect pets from coyotes.

New Chicago Area West Nile Virus Case Brings Advice to Prevent Mosquitoes

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The second Chicago-area human case of West Nile Virus for 2014 was reported this week. (Photo courtesy of Stephen Ausmus, USDA)
The second Chicago-area human case of West Nile Virus for 2014 was reported this week. (Photo courtesy of Stephen Ausmus, USDA)

A Naperville, Illinois, man is the 2nd case of West Nile in suburban Chicago this year. Here's advice to prevent bug bites and this potentially deadly mosquito-borne illness.

How to Take Down a Wasp Nest

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If you have any doubts, fears or, above all, allergies, play it safe and call in the professionals to deal with wasps, says Goodson. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List Member Jack A. of Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
If you have any doubts, fears or, above all, allergies, play it safe and call in the professionals to deal with wasps, says Goodson. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List Member Jack A. of Milwaukee, Wisconsin)

With proper precaution and protection, a homeowner is capable of removing a wasp nest, but don’t understand the danger posed by stinging insects.

3 Rat Diseases You Should Know About

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One mouse or rat may seem harmless, but they cause diseases deadly to humans, says Dorfman. (Photo courtesy of the National Pest Management Association)
One mouse or rat may seem harmless, but they cause diseases deadly to humans, says Dorfman. (Photo courtesy of the National Pest Management Association)

Aside from chewing your walls and leaving messes in your closets, rats and mice carry dangerous diseases that can easily be passed on to humans.

See More About Pests

Home Appliances

Should You Rent or Buy a Home? Depends on How Long You Stay in D.C.

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D.C. apartment leasing (Photo by Jason Hargraves)
Renting instead of buying may be the best option for those living in the District for only a few years. (Photo by Jason Hargraves)

The savings of owning your home versus renting in the Washington, D.C., area come down to how long you expect to live in the residence. Check out the numbers.

How to Clean Stainless Steel: 3 Tips From a Chicago House Cleaner

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Cleaning your stainless steel appliances might be as easy as applying some water, dish soap and the right kind of cloth.  (Photo by Steven Jack)
Cleaning your stainless steel appliances might be as easy as applying some water, dish soap and the right kind of cloth. (Photo by Steven Jack)

To keep stainless steel appliances shining, you don't need special cleaning products. We asked a house cleaner for her best buffing advice for shiny kitchen appliances.

Furnace Gas Leak Suspected In Suburban Chicago Home Explosion, Fire

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If you detect a gas lead at your home, do not attempt to turn off the gas supply. Evacuate the area immediately. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Wayne S.)
If you detect a gas lead at your home, do not attempt to turn off the gas supply. Evacuate the area immediately. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Wayne S.)

Fire officials in Elgin urge routine furnace and water heater maintenance after a possible gas leak causes a large explosion and fire, injuring the homeowner.

Appliance Repair Pros Share 5 of their Strangest Finds

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weird things appliance repairman find
(Graphic by Bruce Snow)

From live animals to wedding rings and toys: You won't believe some of the weird things appliance repair technicians find while repairing broken appliances.

See More About Home Appliances

Plumbing

#AskAngie: Why is My Toilet Gurgling?

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Don't ignore a toilet that's making weird noises. You probably have a blockage in your plumbing system. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Michele P. of Fresno, California)
Don't ignore a toilet that's making weird noises. You probably have a blockage in your plumbing system. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Michele P. of Fresno, California)

Does your toilet gurgle? Are you hearing a "glug glug" sound? Have it checked out; a noisy toilet often signals a blockage in your residential plumbing system.

4 Common Myths about Tankless Water Heaters

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Before you step up to a tankless water heater, make sure you understand the difference between fact and fiction, says Davis. (Photo courtesy of Day and Nite Plumbing and Heating)
Before you step up to a tankless water heater, make sure you understand the difference between fact and fiction, says Davis. (Photo courtesy of Day and Nite Plumbing and Heating)

Tankless water heaters are all the rage, but before you replace your current water heater, learn four common myths associated with tankless units.

How to Confidently Handle Contractor Upselling

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Whether it's about garage door, plumbing, HVAC or other home services, it pays to know how to handle contractor upselling. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Rich K. of Milwaukie, Oregon)
Whether it's about garage door, plumbing, HVAC or other home services, it pays to know how to handle contractor upselling. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Rich K. of Milwaukie, Oregon)

Worried about upsells? Here are tips to help you distinguish between a valuable home-service contractor recommendation and a sales pitch you're better off ignoring.

Furnace Gas Leak Suspected In Suburban Chicago Home Explosion, Fire

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If you detect a gas lead at your home, do not attempt to turn off the gas supply. Evacuate the area immediately. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Wayne S.)
If you detect a gas lead at your home, do not attempt to turn off the gas supply. Evacuate the area immediately. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Wayne S.)

Fire officials in Elgin urge routine furnace and water heater maintenance after a possible gas leak causes a large explosion and fire, injuring the homeowner.

See More About Plumbing

Home Exteriors

Looking for the Paint Colors of Your Favorite Sports Team? In Charlotte, Call Him

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Frank Harrelson of Eastway Paint in Charlotte, N.C., matches paint colors to sports teams and schools from all over the country. (Photo by Courtney St. Onge)
Frank Harrelson of Eastway Paint in Charlotte, N.C., matches paint colors to sports teams and schools from all over the country. (Photo by Courtney St. Onge)

Eastway Paint in Charlotte mixes sports fans favorite hues, from Carolina Blue to Fenway Green, adding a splash of team spirit to bedrooms, man caves and more.

Your Contractor May be Giving You Unsafe Advice About Lead Paint

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Disturbing lead paint on any type of surface without proper containment and disposal can result in lead poisoning. (Photo by Brandon Smith)
Disturbing lead paint on any type of surface without proper containment and disposal can result in lead poisoning. (Photo by Brandon Smith)

Angie's List secretly shopped painters, remodelers, window contractors and hardware stores to test their lead-safety knowledge. The results may surprise you.

Lead-Safe Practices Checklist

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Before disturbing lead paint, contractors must completely contain the work area. (Photo by Mark Wilson)
Before disturbing lead paint, contractors must completely contain the work area. (Photo by Mark Wilson)

The EPA requires all contractors disturbing a certain amount of paint in pre-1978 homes to follow these safety rules. Make sure they're following every step.

Why you don't own your D.C. front yard or have control over its fence

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front yard fence in D.C. (Photo by Jason Hargraves)
Washington, D.C., has strict guidelines for your front yard and the fences and gates that surround it. (Photo by Jason Hargraves)

Be careful when replacing or installing a front yard fence in D.C. because the city has strict rules for that space, which turns out you don't actually own.

See More About Home Exteriors

Real Estate

Should You Rent or Buy a Home? Depends on How Long You Stay in D.C.

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D.C. apartment leasing (Photo by Jason Hargraves)
Renting instead of buying may be the best option for those living in the District for only a few years. (Photo by Jason Hargraves)

The savings of owning your home versus renting in the Washington, D.C., area come down to how long you expect to live in the residence. Check out the numbers.

6 Tips for Making Your Rental Property Stand Out From the Pack

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Consider staging the rental space with items like plants and decor to give it a lightly "lived in" feel.  (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member, Traci M of Arlington, VT)
Consider staging the rental space with items like plants and decor to give it a lightly "lived in" feel. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member, Traci M of Arlington, VT)

If you're considering renting out a property or having trouble landing tenants, check out these six tips to help your property rise above the competition.

Moving to Chicago? You're Not Alone, Mover Sees Spike in Chicago Moves

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Chicago has become the No. 1 destination for people on the move, according to a study by the country's largest moving company. (Photo by Steven Jack)
Chicago has become the No. 1 destination for people on the move, according to a study by the country's largest moving company. (Photo by Steven Jack)

Industries like healthcare, finance, insurance and technology are enticing young professionals to move to Chicago in greater numbers than ever, study reveals.

Charlotte Realtor Helps Gay and Lesbian Couples Navigate Home Buying Challenges

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lodestone-for-sale (Photo by Courtney St. Onge)
Lodeestone Real Estate offers workshops aimed at helping gay and lesbian home buyers. (Photo by Courtney St. Onge)

Real estate agent offers advice to LGBT buyers facing complex legal issues because of state and federal marriage laws

See More About Real Estate


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