Chimneys & Fireplaces

Time Running Out for Good Wood to Burn

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Experts recommend stacking wood off the ground, preferably where it can get some sunshine. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Robert F.)
Experts recommend stacking wood off the ground, preferably where it can get some sunshine. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Robert F.)

The best firewood may be gone, says one Charlotte provider, but you can still get wood that will burn. Here's how to stack it so you can stay warm this winter.

4 Questions to Ask a Fireplace Installer

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Before converting to wood, check out products in person. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Paul M. of Cleveland Heights, Ohio)
Before converting to wood, check out products in person. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Paul M. of Cleveland Heights, Ohio)

Ready to cozy up to a new fireplace this winter? Before you hire someone for the work, make sure to ask your potential contractor these four questions.

How Do I Convert a Gas Fireplace to Wood-burning?

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Converting to wood-burning is a simple process for fireplaces with gas-log inserts. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Chad O. of Orlando, Fla.)
Converting to wood-burning is a simple process for fireplaces with gas-log inserts. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Chad O. of Orlando, Fla.)

Do you love the smell of wood burning while you're curled up next to a fire? Consider converting your gas fireplace to wood. Here's how much it costs.

Chimney Sweeps Share 5 Bizarre Flue Finds

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Chimney sweeps say soot isn't the only thing they find in chimneys. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member James C. of Minneapolis)

There's nothing better than an evening by the fire, but have you ever wondered what's hiding in your chimney? Three chimney pros share odd things they've found.

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Household Lighting

Chicago's Brightest Holiday Light Displays Twinkle with LEDs

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Lincoln Park's Zoo Lights is lit with mover 250,000 LED holiday lights. (Photo courtesy of Lincoln Park Zoo)
Lincoln Park's Zoo Lights is lit with mover 250,000 LED holiday lights. (Photo courtesy of Lincoln Park Zoo)

Organizers of Lincoln Park Zoo Lights, Brookfield Zoo's Holiday Magic and Wonderland Express understand the value of LED lighting in holiday displays.

LED Lights Keep D.C. Zoo Burning Bright This Holiday Season

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Evenings at the zoo are colorfully lit during the month of December. (Photo courtesy of Smithsonian's National Zoo)
Evenings at the zoo are colorfully lit during the month of December. (Photo courtesy of Smithsonian's National Zoo)

LED lights are popular for holiday decorating because of their low electricity use and heat output. Find out if it's a smart year-round choice for your home.

Charlotte-area town keeps travelers’ homes safe. Some tips for the rest of us

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A variety of security systems are available to help protect your home. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Angela A.)
A variety of security systems are available to help protect your home. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Angela A.)

Town of Davidson offers security checks for residents who will be traveling over the holidays. For others, tips can help keep trouble away.

Choosing the Right Holiday Lights to Hang

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Outdoor holiday lighting, LED holiday lighting
These LED Christmas lights were installed on the front roofline of this Florida home and on 19 huge trees. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Gregory N. of Delray Beach, Florida)

Holiday lights come in all shapes, sizes and energy requirements. Learn which ones are the most energy efficient and what to look for in lights.

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Construction & Remodeling

Renovation Work Begins on Chicago's Walt Disney Birth Home

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The Disney home as it appeared earlier this year, and how it appeared recently after outside renovation work began. (Photo courtesy of The Walt Disney Birthplace)
The Disney home as it appeared earlier this year, and how it appeared recently after outside renovation work began. (Photo courtesy of The Walt Disney Birthplace)

The current owners of the Disney home in Chicago's Hermosa neighborhood hope to one day open it as a museum and headquarters for a community nonprofit agency.

Looking for Faulk Brothers Hardware? Store Has New Charlotte Home

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After 50 years in business on North Tryon Street, Faulk Brothers Hardware has moved to a new location. (Photo by Courtney St. Onge)
After 50 years in business on North Tryon Street, Faulk Brothers Hardware has moved to a new location. (Photo by Courtney St. Onge)

Fifty years in business have brought a lot of changes to Charlotte’s Faulk Brothers Hardware. This year brought one of the biggest.

With the construction of Charlotte’s light rail Blue Line headed his way, co-owner Gerald Simpson decided to beat the impending disruption to business by moving his store from its north Charlotte home since 1964.

Bathtub Refinishing: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Your bathtub can go from shabby to sparkling in one day after being professionally refinished. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Ellen C. of Cape Coral, Florida)
Your bathtub can go from shabby to sparkling in one day after being professionally refinished. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Ellen C. of Cape Coral, Florida)

Bathtub refinishing can be an affordable alternative to a full-scale bathroom remodel. Here are the steps that go into making your tub like new in just one day.

Historic D.C. House Granted $1M Makeover

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The long-neglected Lockkeeper's House in D.C. will be restored in 2015. (Photo courtesy of the National Park Service)
The long-neglected Lockkeeper's House in D.C. will be restored in 2015. (Photo courtesy of the National Park Service)

The Lockkeeper's House on the National Mall will be restored in 2015 after receiving a $1 million grant from a major U.S. corporation. Find out what's in store.

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Heating And Cooling

Is It Time to Replace Your Old Gas Furnace?

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New furnaces also have more safety controls and sensors than older furnaces, says Unsdorfer. (Photo courtesy of Central Heating & Air Conditioning Co.)
New furnaces also have more safety controls and sensors than older furnaces, says Unsdorfer. (Photo courtesy of Central Heating & Air Conditioning Co.)

Learn how to know when it's time to replace your furnace, and to determine what type will replace it. Expect to see higher efficiency and lower heating bills.

Heating Bill Still High? New HVAC System May Be Improperly Installed

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Without proper installation, your HVAC system will perform well below rated energy-efficiency levels. (Photo courtesy of the National Institute of Science and Technology)
Without proper installation, your HVAC system will perform well below rated energy-efficiency levels. (Photo courtesy of the National Institute of Science and Technology)

You may not be getting the most out of your energy-efficient HVAC system. Find out how improper installation can cause your heating bills to skyrocket.

Want a Smart Thermostat? 4 Questions to Ask

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A smart thermostat will cost you a few hundred bucks plus installation, says Contreras. (Photo courtesy of Lex Air Conditioning and Heating)
A smart thermostat will cost you a few hundred bucks plus installation, says Contreras. (Photo courtesy of Lex Air Conditioning and Heating)

Should you buy a smart thermostat, such as the new Nest or Lyric models? These questions will help you decide if high-tech heating and cooling is right for you.

Chicago Carbon Monoxide Deaths a Reminder to Protect Your Family

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A carbon monoxide detector can alert homeowners to odorless but potentially deadly gas leaks. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member James T)
A carbon monoxide detector can alert homeowners to odorless but potentially deadly gas leaks. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member James T)

Two recent incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning on Chicago's South Side highlight the importance of home detectors and annual professional inspections.

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Contractor

Chicago Park District Faced with Costly Lakefront Path Repairs

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Waves crash into Chicago's lakefront path at Fullerton Avenue during the storm of Friday, Oct. 31. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Stenzel)
Waves crash into Chicago's lakefront path at Fullerton Avenue during the storm of Friday, Oct. 31. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Stenzel)

High winds and 20-foot waves battered Chicago's lakefront from Streeterville to Lincoln Park, leaving the city with a huge concrete and asphalt repair job.

Is Cracked Brick Always a Foundation Issue?

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 If your home has clay brick, this cracking could simply be caused by moisture in the environment, says Pruett. (Photo courtesy of Brick Doctor Corp)
If your home has clay brick, this cracking could simply be caused by moisture in the environment, says Pruett. (Photo courtesy of Brick Doctor Corp)

Are the bricks on your house cracking and you fear there is a problem with your foundation? That may not be the case. Learn why your bricks may be cracking.

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.

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Insulation And Winterizing

Polar Vortex Heading for Chicago, Use These Tips to Winterize Your Home

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Winter-like weather is heading for Chicago next week. Make sure your home is prepared. (Photo courtesy of  Adam Alexander Photography via the city of Chicago)
Winter-like weather is heading for Chicago next week. Make sure your home is prepared. (Photo courtesy of Adam Alexander Photography via the city of Chicago)

Below average temperatures are predicted for Chicago this week. Now is the time to complete these home-improvement projects to keep you cozy all winter.

6 Things to Consider Before Installing Your Own Insulation

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With insulation technology always advancing, you’ve got choices to make when it comes to the material you pick, says Lindus. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Lynn M. of Columbus, Georgia)
With insulation technology always advancing, you’ve got choices to make when it comes to the material you pick, says Lindus. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Lynn M. of Columbus, Georgia)

Thinking of installing your own insulation? One highly rated provider shares six things that every homeowner should be aware of before attempting to DIY.

Attack These 3 Attic Problems to Boost Energy Efficiency, Comfort

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Before winter arrives, ensure your attic is sealed properly and has both adequate insulation and ventilation. (Photo courtesy of member Kitty Jones of Columbus, Ohio)
Before winter arrives, ensure your attic is sealed properly and has both adequate insulation and ventilation. (Photo courtesy of member Kitty Jones of Columbus, Ohio)

A comfortable, energy efficient home starts at the top. Those hot spots and cold rooms may relate to problems in your attic. Beyond adding insulation, what's a homeowner to do?

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

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Electrical

Chicago's Brightest Holiday Light Displays Twinkle with LEDs

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Lincoln Park's Zoo Lights is lit with mover 250,000 LED holiday lights. (Photo courtesy of Lincoln Park Zoo)
Lincoln Park's Zoo Lights is lit with mover 250,000 LED holiday lights. (Photo courtesy of Lincoln Park Zoo)

Organizers of Lincoln Park Zoo Lights, Brookfield Zoo's Holiday Magic and Wonderland Express understand the value of LED lighting in holiday displays.

LED Lights Keep D.C. Zoo Burning Bright This Holiday Season

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Evenings at the zoo are colorfully lit during the month of December. (Photo courtesy of Smithsonian's National Zoo)
Evenings at the zoo are colorfully lit during the month of December. (Photo courtesy of Smithsonian's National Zoo)

LED lights are popular for holiday decorating because of their low electricity use and heat output. Find out if it's a smart year-round choice for your home.

Charlotte-area town keeps travelers’ homes safe. Some tips for the rest of us

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A variety of security systems are available to help protect your home. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Angela A.)
A variety of security systems are available to help protect your home. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Angela A.)

Town of Davidson offers security checks for residents who will be traveling over the holidays. For others, tips can help keep trouble away.

Choosing the Right Holiday Lights to Hang

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Outdoor holiday lighting, LED holiday lighting
These LED Christmas lights were installed on the front roofline of this Florida home and on 19 huge trees. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Gregory N. of Delray Beach, Florida)

Holiday lights come in all shapes, sizes and energy requirements. Learn which ones are the most energy efficient and what to look for in lights.

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Landscaping

Holiday Wreaths Honor Those Buried at Arlington Cemetery

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An Air Force airman helps lay Christmas wreaths on graves at Arlington National Cemetery. (Photo courtesy of the Department of Defense)
An Air Force airman helps lay Christmas wreaths on graves at Arlington National Cemetery. (Photo courtesy of the Department of Defense)

Wreaths Across America donates holiday wreaths to veterans cemeteries nationwide. Their goal is to have one placed on each grave at Arlington National Cemetery.

New Year, New You: 15 Ideas for 2015

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Follow these 15 tips to be a better you in 2015! (Illustration by Leslie McFarland)
Follow these 15 tips to be a better you in 2015! (Illustration by Leslie McFarland)

Struggling to come up with a New Year’s Resolution you won’t abandon? Skip the diet, and resolve to be a better you. Check out our 15 ways to do so in 2015.

5 Tips to Keep Pavers Looking New and Elegant

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Grab a broom and sweep the dirt and debris off of your paving stones as often as you can. (Photo courtesy of Go Pavers)
Grab a broom and sweep the dirt and debris off of your paving stones as often as you can. (Photo courtesy of Go Pavers)

Pavers are low maintenance. Keep your paver walkway or patio clean with regular sweeping and some soap and water. Use a sealer to keep pavers looking like new.

Keep Your Fresh-Cut Tree Looking Great Throughout the Holiday

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Fraser firs are the most common type of Christmas tree sold in Charlotte.  (Photo by Courtney St. Onge)
Fraser firs are the most common type of Christmas tree sold in Charlotte. (Photo by Courtney St. Onge)

Tips for keeping your Fraser fir tree green until Christmas Day from the owner of Mountain Greens Inc. of Charlotte include the right stand and water.

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Flooring

Take Steps To Ensure Best Carpet Installation

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Carpet next to wood floor
Do some research before choosing a carpet installer so you avoid surprises and hidden fees. (Photo by Katelin Kinney)

There's more to picking carpet than choosing style, color and manufacturer. Here's what to know to be sure the installation goes well and you avoid hidden fees.

Charlotte Company Has Vision for What Flooring Can Do

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New flooring gave new life to a home built in the 1970s. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Anita W. of Charlotte.)

Couple replaces decades-old carpeting with laminate and hardwood options, creating a fresh look they love in their east Charlotte home.

Avoid Unsightly Stains with These Carpet Cleaning Tips

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Chris Stone cleans carpets at a Northwest Indianapolis home. (Photo by Brandon Smith)
Chris Stone cleans carpets at a Northwest Indianapolis home. (Photo by Brandon Smith)

On this episode of Chat with the Experts, we talk with Chris Stone about choosing the right carpet for your lifestyle and avoiding unsightly carpet stains.

3 Steps to Make Your New Carpet Installation Go Smoothly

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Be sure all other remodeling projects are completed before the new carpeting is installed. (Photo by Action Carpet & Floor Covering)
Be sure all other remodeling projects are completed before the new carpeting is installed. (Photo by Action Carpet & Floor Covering)

Who will move the furniture and rip up the old carpeting? These simple preparation tips will make your carpet installation go smoothly, and can save you money.

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Outdoor Living

Renovation Work Begins on Chicago's Walt Disney Birth Home

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The Disney home as it appeared earlier this year, and how it appeared recently after outside renovation work began. (Photo courtesy of The Walt Disney Birthplace)
The Disney home as it appeared earlier this year, and how it appeared recently after outside renovation work began. (Photo courtesy of The Walt Disney Birthplace)

The current owners of the Disney home in Chicago's Hermosa neighborhood hope to one day open it as a museum and headquarters for a community nonprofit agency.

Indy Senior Citizens Targeted By Contractor Scams, AG Says

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Indianapolis homeowner Robert Adams says his deck remains unfinished because he can't afford to replace it again. (Photo by Steve C. Mitchell)
Indianapolis homeowner Robert Adams says his deck remains unfinished because he can't afford to replace it again. (Photo by Steve C. Mitchell)

Indiana attorney general accuses four Indianapolis home improvement contractors of scamming elderly residents for promised repairs that were never delivered.

A Porch Where Everything Goes As Planned

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Exterior Additions made this porch addition easy. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Dale S. of Charlotte.)

Indian Trail company's addition is just what Charlotte homeowner had hoped to replace aging deck

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

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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.

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Garages & Driveways

New Year, New You: 15 Ideas for 2015

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Follow these 15 tips to be a better you in 2015! (Illustration by Leslie McFarland)
Follow these 15 tips to be a better you in 2015! (Illustration by Leslie McFarland)

Struggling to come up with a New Year’s Resolution you won’t abandon? Skip the diet, and resolve to be a better you. Check out our 15 ways to do so in 2015.

Hiring for Snow Removal? What to Know

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cleared driveway with snow
When it comes to clearing snow from your driveway, take care if you DIY and ask questions if you hire. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Lisa C. of St. Paul, Minnesota)

Planning to shovel that snow yourself? Here are steps to take to protect your health. Prefer to hire a snow removal pro? Here are questions to ask first.

Finding Safe Power Sources for Holiday Lights

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Outdoor holiday lighting, LED holiday lighting
The closest outlet is the safest option when plugging in outside holiday lights. That’s just one safety tip for homeowners. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Linda P. of Libertyville, Illinois)

When hanging holiday lights, the safest power source is the nearest outlet. If that’s not possible, look for an appropriate extension cord or a power stake.

Hang Holiday Lights on Your Garage Door Safely and Securely

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holiday lights, outside holiday lights
When putting lights up around a garage door, it’s important to know what kinds of hooks and clips to use. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Timothy M. of Grove City, Ohio)

Learn how to safely and effectively put up holiday lights around your garage door by using the correct fasteners to hold the lights securely.

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Pests

How to Rid Your Pantry of Pests

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Store all food in airtight containers. A pest can't nibble through plastic and glass the way it can through a thin cardboard box. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Jeremy G. of New York)
Store all food in airtight containers. A pest can't nibble through plastic and glass the way it can through a thin cardboard box. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Jeremy G. of New York)

Pests can enter your pantry via birdseed or groceries. Infestations from contaminated products can spread quickly. Learn to prevent and deal with pantry pests.

Bed Bugs a New Foe for Chicago Police

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A red or brown stain on your mattress is one sign of bed beg infestation.  (Photo courtesy of Eric Erikson
A red or brown stain on your mattress is one sign of bed beg infestation. (Photo courtesy of Eric Erikson

Chicago's bed bug problem is the worst in the country. Now, the Police and Fire Departments are battling their own infestations at two separate facilities.

Hog Wild: Feral Pigs Pose Problems for Southern States

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Feral pigs root up valuable lands to get the food they need. (Photo courtesy of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission)
Feral pigs root up valuable lands to get the food they need. (Photo courtesy of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission)

Wild hog populations are on the rise throughout the Southern U.S. and California. Learn how feral pigs destroy agricultural land and cause damage to property.

Bald Eagle Rescued in Virginia Euthanized

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A bald eagle similar to this one recently was captured after being injured in Fairfax County, Virginia. (Photo courtesy of Wildlife Prairie State Park)
A bald eagle similar to this one recently was captured after being injured in Fairfax County, Virginia. (Photo courtesy of Wildlife Prairie State Park)

Professionals can be the best choice for animal rescue or removal. Fairfax County workers recently tried to save an injured eagle, but it was later euthanized.

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Home Appliances

Chicago Carbon Monoxide Deaths a Reminder to Protect Your Family

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A carbon monoxide detector can alert homeowners to odorless but potentially deadly gas leaks. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member James T)
A carbon monoxide detector can alert homeowners to odorless but potentially deadly gas leaks. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member James T)

Two recent incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning on Chicago's South Side highlight the importance of home detectors and annual professional inspections.

Is a Central Vacuum System Right For You?

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The best option is to choose a vacuum that best cleans your carpeting and offers an attachment for hard floors, says Clark. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Sophia K. of Houston)
The best option is to choose a vacuum that best cleans your carpeting and offers an attachment for hard floors, says Clark. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Sophia K. of Houston)

Vacuum shopping: Will you be cleaning carpet or hard surfaces at home? If your answer is "Both," a central or whole-house vacuum system can be a good choice.

How to Care for Your Kitchen Appliances During the Holidays

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Ovens and dishwashers often undertake a heavy workload during the holidays, making proper maintenance vital. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Joanna W. of Washington)
Ovens and dishwashers often undertake a heavy workload during the holidays, making proper maintenance vital. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Joanna W. of Washington)

On this episode of Chat with the Experts, we talk with Chris Sublett of Vogel Appliance about how to care for your kitchen appliances this holiday season.

Charlotte Aims to Help, House Homeless Veterans

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Charlotte and Mecklenburg County are working with community groups to help veterans find housing. (Photo courtesy of City of Charlotte)
Charlotte and Mecklenburg County are working with community groups to help veterans find housing. (Photo courtesy of City of Charlotte)

Charlotte mayor says city will work with community to help find housing for homeless veterans in coming year.

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Plumbing

How to Clean a Glass Shower Door

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A glass shower door is one of the hardest things to keep clean. Be sure to wipe it clean after every use to help prevent hard water stains. (Photo by Brandon Smith)
A glass shower door is one of the hardest things to keep clean. Be sure to wipe it clean after every use to help prevent hard water stains. (Photo by Brandon Smith)

Tired of hard water stains clouding your glass shower door? It takes diligence, but it is possible to keep a glass shower door clean. Find out how.

Should You Hire a Plumber for D.C. Gas Lines?

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Plumbers can help with more than just water pipe problems. Some also work on natural gas lines. (Photo courtesy of member Chris S.)
Plumbers can help with more than just water pipe problems. Some also work on natural gas lines. (Photo courtesy of member Chris S.)

Hiring a specialty plumber for your natural gas lines can be a smart move, but it's best to first check with your local gas company to see if they allow it.

How to Find Frozen Pipes in Your Home

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frozen water, frozen faucet, bad water valve
It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure out something’s gone wrong with this faucet in Minnesota. It turned out to be a bad valve, and a plumber fixed it. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Kimberley L. of Brooklyn Park, Minn.)

One of the most common winter home problems is frozen pipes. Warming up the pipes is the easy part, but actually finding where the pipe is frozen can be hard.

Water, Winter Can Be Costly Combination

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faucet (Photo by Courtney St. Onge)
Experts recommend homeowners leave a faucet dripping inside on nights when the temperatures could cause pipes to freeze. (Photo by Courtney St. Onge)

Winter weather can be a bad mix with water. Utilities, experts recommend special care for pipes, plumbing and irrigation systems as cooler temperatures arrive.

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Home Exteriors

Renovation Work Begins on Chicago's Walt Disney Birth Home

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The Disney home as it appeared earlier this year, and how it appeared recently after outside renovation work began. (Photo courtesy of The Walt Disney Birthplace)
The Disney home as it appeared earlier this year, and how it appeared recently after outside renovation work began. (Photo courtesy of The Walt Disney Birthplace)

The current owners of the Disney home in Chicago's Hermosa neighborhood hope to one day open it as a museum and headquarters for a community nonprofit agency.

How to Clean Vinyl Siding

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Especially if your home's vinyl siding is in the shade, it will require regular cleanings to prevent mold and mildew from appearing. (Photo by Katelin Kinney)
Especially if your home's vinyl siding is in the shade, it will require regular cleanings to prevent mold and mildew from appearing. (Photo by Katelin Kinney)

Vinyl siding is durable and easily cleaned. It just takes some elbow grease, or a high-powered pressure washer! Either way, read up on how to best clean vinyl.

Overcoming the Fear of Color in Home Decor

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bold copper accent wall
Consider a bold color for an accent wall to create a dramatic impact without overpowering the entire room. (Photo courtesy of Paint Color Help.com)

Brighten up your home with paint and accessories. Don't live with a beige interior design because you're scared of color. This expert gives some decor ideas.

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Real Estate

D.C. United Stadium Expected to Revitalize SW

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D.C. City Council OKs plans to help build a new soccer stadium in the city. (Photo courtesy of D.C. United)
D.C. City Council OKs plans to help build a new soccer stadium in the city. (Photo courtesy of D.C. United)

D.C. United will have a new soccer stadium to call home by 2017. City officials approved using $140 million in public funds to secure the Buzzard Point site.

What Type of Home Loan Should I Choose?

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The type of loan you qualify for relies heavily on your credit portfolio. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Mark R. of Atlanta)
The type of loan you qualify for relies heavily on your credit portfolio. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Mark R. of Atlanta)

A home will likely be the most expensive purchase you make. Learn about the types of home loans available and the loan requirements you'll need to meet.

For Many, Buying May Be More Affordable Than Renting in Charlotte

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for-sale (Photo by Courtney St. Onge)
A recent survey shows buying a home may be more affordable than renting for many people in Charlotte. (Photo by Courtney St. Onge)

Real estate database company Zillow reports that in the most recent quarter of 2014, buying a home in Charlotte was about twice as affordable as renting.

Which Illinois Towns are Best for Families? Top 10 Are Chicago Suburbs

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Oak Park is the best town for families in all of Illinois, according to one recent study. (Photo courtesy of the village of Oak Park)
Oak Park is the best town for families in all of Illinois, according to one recent study. (Photo courtesy of the village of Oak Park)

According to one recent study, Oak Park is Illinois' top town for families based on statistics like crime, education, unemployment, child care and parks.

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Home Health Hazards

9 California Companies Agree to Lead-Safety Settlement with EPA

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Dr. Nicholas Newman of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center says the miniscule amount of lead dust in this vial is enough to raise blood lead levels if inhaled or eaten. (Photo courtesy of Newman)
Dr. Nicholas Newman of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center says the miniscule amount of lead dust in this vial is enough to raise blood lead levels if inhaled or eaten. (Photo courtesy of Newman)

Nine companies in California pay civil penalties for violating EPA's RRP rule governing lead safety. The EPA says it's cracking down on lead-safety violators.

4 Signs That You Need Mold Remediation

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Most molds, when allowed to grow in abundance, are visibly seen in certain colors, says Cascone. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Teresa K. of Beachwood, Ohio)
Most molds, when allowed to grow in abundance, are visibly seen in certain colors, says Cascone. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Teresa K. of Beachwood, Ohio)

Mold may be present in your home and affecting your life even if no actual mold is visible. Here are four things that may indicate you need mold remediation.

4 Unusual Sources of Lead in Your Home

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When most people think about exposure to metallic lead, they typically focus on lead-based paint, but lead can be lurking in many other household items, says Dalsing. (Photo courtesy of Testudo LCC)
When most people think about exposure to metallic lead, they typically focus on lead-based paint, but lead can be lurking in many other household items, says Dalsing. (Photo courtesy of Testudo LCC)

If you are looking for lead in your home, you need to be suspicious of more than just that peeling paint. Here are four unexpected sources of lead.

How to Keep Your Family Safe from Lead Poisoning

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It's vital to hire an EPA-certified contractor to handle remodeling projects that involve lead paint, says Wright. (Photo by Brandon Smith)
It's vital to hire an EPA-certified contractor to handle remodeling projects that involve lead paint, says Wright. (Photo by Brandon Smith)

On this episode of Chat with the Experts, we talk with Dollis Wright about how to protect your family from lead poisoning and how to handle lead in your home.

See More About Home Health Hazards

Roofing

Don’t Fall Prey to These Rookie Roofing Mistakes

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Getting the maximum lifespan out of your roof comes down to both the materials and the crew applying them. (Photo courtesy of Lindus Construction)
Getting the maximum lifespan out of your roof comes down to both the materials and the crew applying them. (Photo courtesy of Lindus Construction)

Hiring an experienced roofer will not only ensure a quality product; it will help you avoid expensive problems that could threaten the structure of your home.

Polar Vortex Heading for Chicago, Use These Tips to Winterize Your Home

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Winter-like weather is heading for Chicago next week. Make sure your home is prepared. (Photo courtesy of  Adam Alexander Photography via the city of Chicago)
Winter-like weather is heading for Chicago next week. Make sure your home is prepared. (Photo courtesy of Adam Alexander Photography via the city of Chicago)

Below average temperatures are predicted for Chicago this week. Now is the time to complete these home-improvement projects to keep you cozy all winter.

Attack These 3 Attic Problems to Boost Energy Efficiency, Comfort

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Before winter arrives, ensure your attic is sealed properly and has both adequate insulation and ventilation. (Photo courtesy of member Kitty Jones of Columbus, Ohio)
Before winter arrives, ensure your attic is sealed properly and has both adequate insulation and ventilation. (Photo courtesy of member Kitty Jones of Columbus, Ohio)

A comfortable, energy efficient home starts at the top. Those hot spots and cold rooms may relate to problems in your attic. Beyond adding insulation, what's a homeowner to do?

No Roof Left Behind? Mooresville Roofer Replaces 3 Roofs for Homeowners in Need

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Angie’s List members reported paying an average of $8,900 to replace an asphalt shingle roof in 2013. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Michael J.)

What if a "roof over your head" seems out of reach financially? A national roof donation program replaces roofs for homeowners in need, including 3 near Charlotte, N.C.

See More About Roofing

Home Interiors

How Much Does it Cost to Hang Wallpaper?

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Angie's List member Erin D. of Ashville, N.C., hired a wallpaper professional to hang this accent wall in her child's nursery.

Wallpaper is back in style. Looking to wallpaper a room or hang a wallpaper accent wall? Find out how much it costs to buy wallpaper or hire a wallpaper pro.

How to Choose the Right Interior Shutters

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Interior shutters boost privacy and allow you to control how much light comes in. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Melissa B. of Chandler, Ariz.)

Interior shutters attach to your windows and let you control how much light comes in or out. Learn about shutter styles, materials and installation costs.

Overcoming the Fear of Color in Home Decor

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Consider a bold color for an accent wall to create a dramatic impact without overpowering the entire room. (Photo courtesy of Paint Color Help.com)

Brighten up your home with paint and accessories. Don't live with a beige interior design because you're scared of color. This expert gives some decor ideas.

Paint a Damaged Ceiling like a True Professional

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Make sure you buy enough paint to apply two coats; you can always take back any extra, says Cavagnaro. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Clifford D. of Washington)
Make sure you buy enough paint to apply two coats; you can always take back any extra, says Cavagnaro. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Clifford D. of Washington)

Have you ever had a leaky roof leave a water stain on your ceiling? Has your home settled over the years and you are starting to see stress fractures and nail heads popping out of the drywall?

These are the most common problems with ceilings, and unless they are addressed, they can be quite an eyesore. If you are ready to tackle the project yourself, follow these simple tips and you will have a freshly painted ceiling in no time.

See More About Home Interiors

Windows & Doors

Change in Illinois Law Requires Home Seller Disclosure for Windows and Doors

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If you're selling your Illinois home in 2015, make sure to check the condition of your window and doors. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Grace M. of Chicago)
If you're selling your Illinois home in 2015, make sure to check the condition of your window and doors. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Grace M. of Chicago)

Illinois' Residential Real Property Disclosure Act now will require sellers to list whether their home has material defects in the window and doors.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a New Front Door?

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A lot of glass surrounding an entry door will increase the cost of installation. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Gary A. of Cleveland)
A lot of glass surrounding an entry door will increase the cost of installation. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Gary A. of Cleveland)

An entry door can change the way a house looks and lower energy use. Learn about the most popular types of doors and how much it costs to install a front door.

Renovation Work Begins on Chicago's Walt Disney Birth Home

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The Disney home as it appeared earlier this year, and how it appeared recently after outside renovation work began. (Photo courtesy of The Walt Disney Birthplace)
The Disney home as it appeared earlier this year, and how it appeared recently after outside renovation work began. (Photo courtesy of The Walt Disney Birthplace)

The current owners of the Disney home in Chicago's Hermosa neighborhood hope to one day open it as a museum and headquarters for a community nonprofit agency.

What are the Pros and Cons of Keyless Locks?

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Before purchasing keyless locks, consider the pros and the cons. (Photo by Eldon Lindsay)
Before purchasing keyless locks, consider the pros and the cons. (Photo by Eldon Lindsay)

Keyless locks work by pushing in a numbered code on a keypad. They are convenient, but are they a secure? Check out the pros and cons of keyless lock systems.

See More About Windows & Doors

Basements & Foundations

Faulty Foundation? Repairs Not Always an Option

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FEMA is stepping in to provide financial relief after several homes were left uninhabitable due to a recent landslide. (Photo by Jason Hargraves)
FEMA is stepping in to provide financial relief after several homes were left uninhabitable due to a recent landslide. (Photo by Jason Hargraves)

Finding problems with your foundation early may save thousands of dollars and your house itself. Mudjacking is one option for homes resting on concrete slabs.

Sealed Basement Means a Warmer Winter Home

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This replacement basement door was sealed to keep out the cold and water. That’s just one way to make a basement more energy efficient and your home warmer during winter. (Photo courtesy of Angie’s List member Michael R. of Pennington, N.J.)

Want to cut your energy bill and increase your home’s comfort? With a little work, you can create a tightly sealed basement that will make winter more pleasant.

Water Shutoff Valve Key to Stopping Damage

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dc sink (Photo by Jason Hargraves)
Knowing where to shut off your water supply could save you time and money. (Photo by Jason Hargraves)

Broken water valves can make shutting off water a problem for plumbers in an emergency. Find the location of your home valve to save time and repair bills.

Chicago Park District Faced with Costly Lakefront Path Repairs

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Waves crash into Chicago's lakefront path at Fullerton Avenue during the storm of Friday, Oct. 31. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Stenzel)
Waves crash into Chicago's lakefront path at Fullerton Avenue during the storm of Friday, Oct. 31. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Stenzel)

High winds and 20-foot waves battered Chicago's lakefront from Streeterville to Lincoln Park, leaving the city with a huge concrete and asphalt repair job.

See More About Basements & Foundations

Home Security

5 Tips for Dealing with a Home Repair Emergency

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Before, during and after your project, don't hesitate to ask your contractor questions, says DeLancy. (Photo by Jennica Abrams)
Before, during and after your project, don't hesitate to ask your contractor questions, says DeLancy. (Photo by Jennica Abrams)

When water damage, wind or hail strikes, being prepared can save time and ensure quality home repairs. Follow 5 steps for dealing with damage in an emergency.

Charlotte-area town keeps travelers’ homes safe. Some tips for the rest of us

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A variety of security systems are available to help protect your home. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Angela A.)
A variety of security systems are available to help protect your home. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Angela A.)

Town of Davidson offers security checks for residents who will be traveling over the holidays. For others, tips can help keep trouble away.

Cops Help You Shop Till You Drop

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Christmas shoppers are advised to be on alert this holiday season as thefts often rise this time of year. (Photo by Jason Hargraves)
Christmas shoppers are advised to be on alert this holiday season as thefts often rise this time of year. (Photo by Jason Hargraves)

Police officers in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., are hanging out at the mall this holiday season in an effort to keep you and your Christmas purchases safe.

What are the Pros and Cons of Keyless Locks?

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Before purchasing keyless locks, consider the pros and the cons. (Photo by Eldon Lindsay)
Before purchasing keyless locks, consider the pros and the cons. (Photo by Eldon Lindsay)

Keyless locks work by pushing in a numbered code on a keypad. They are convenient, but are they a secure? Check out the pros and cons of keyless lock systems.

See More About Home Security


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