Home Upgrades to Help You Age in Place

DoorwayLindus.jpg

Levered door knobs are a good choice for accessibility, because they are more easily opened and closed. (Photo by Lindus Construction/Midwest LeafGuard)
Levered door knobs are a good choice for accessibility, because they are more easily opened and closed. (Photo by Lindus Construction/Midwest LeafGuard)

As you age, you may prefer to remain in your own home. By making a few additions and doing some remodeling, your home can remain accessible as you grow older.

Sun Room Contractor

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

homeshow.JPG

home-show
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

3 types of pavers to upgrade your patio

pavers.jpg

Pictures of three types of pavers: Textured pavers, smooth pavers, and tumbled pavers.
When in doubt, it is always a good idea to ask your contractor to provide you with samples of different pavers, says Browning. (Photo courtesy of Go Pavers)

Choose the perfect pavers for your patio with these inside tips. Learn the difference between paver styles and which one is right for your family’s patio.

No husband, no go? What to do when contractors want both spouses present to seal the deal

Unknown.png

Service providers say it’s important to clarify who the decision-makers are early in the process. (Photo by Brandon Smith)
Service providers say it’s important to clarify who the decision-makers are early in the process. (Photo by Brandon Smith)

Angie's List members say some companies decline their business when they learn only one spouse will be present for an estimate. Is it sexism or practicality?

See More About Sun Room Contractor

Handyman Service

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

Chicagowinterweather.JPG

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.

#AskAngie: Does a Whole House Fan Help When it's Humid?

wholehousefan1.jpg

Big windows in lovely home
A whole house fan lets you open your windows and allow fresh air to be pulled through your home. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member James W. of Clemmons, North Carolina)

Want to bring fresh air into your home? Learn how a whole-house fan can augment, and in some climates even replace, your home's air conditioning system.

No Pink Power Tools to be Found at D.C. Hardware Store's Ladies Night

ladiesnight_dc.jpg

ladies night
Food, drinks and prizes were all part of the recent Ladies Night at Annie's Hardware in Petworth. (Photo courtesy of Annie's Hardware)

D.C. hardware store in the Petworth neighborhood celebrates their female customers with a Ladies Night to show that power tools aren't just for the guys.

See More About Handyman Service

Home Improvement Stores

Retailers Beginning Black Friday on Thursday This Year

pier1.JPG

Though many retailers are opening on Thanksgiving, some stores, including Pier 1 Imports, are waiting until Friday. (Photo by Courtney St. Onge)
Though many retailers are opening on Thanksgiving, some stores, including Pier 1 Imports, are waiting until Friday. (Photo by Courtney St. Onge)

Charlotte-area malls and stores are opening earlier in the evening on Thanksgiving Day, offering more hours of sales for shoppers and employees.

No Pink Power Tools to be Found at D.C. Hardware Store's Ladies Night

ladiesnight_dc.jpg

ladies night
Food, drinks and prizes were all part of the recent Ladies Night at Annie's Hardware in Petworth. (Photo courtesy of Annie's Hardware)

D.C. hardware store in the Petworth neighborhood celebrates their female customers with a Ladies Night to show that power tools aren't just for the guys.

4 tips to make furnace filter shopping in D.C. more efficient

filter_dc.jpg

HVAC filter in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Jason Hargraves)
HVAC filters come in all shapes and sizes so it's important to use the right one for your system and area. (Photo by Jason Hargraves)

A dirty air filter makes your HVAC system work harder, which costs you money. Finding a filter for your Washington condo or house can be hard. Some shopping advice.

After fire, beloved Frager's Hardware rises from ashes, plans to rebuild in D.C.

dc_fea_hardware_1114_fragers-06.jpg

After a fire closed Frager's Hardware long-time building, the D.C. staple opened several smaller pop-up shops. (Photo by Gene Carl Feldman)
After a fire closed Frager's Hardware long-time building, the D.C. staple opened several smaller pop-up shops. (Photo by Gene Carl Feldman)

Capitol Hill's favorite hometown hardware store, Frager's, has three new "pop-up" locations a year after a fire destroyed the original building, which was founded in 1920.

See More About Home Improvement Stores

Interior Designer

Accessories: Essential to Stylish Room Decor

Accessories.jpg

Without accessories a room lacks personality and feels unfinished, says Marsh. (Photo by Kathryn Interiors, Inc.)
Without accessories a room lacks personality and feels unfinished, says Marsh. (Photo by Kathryn Interiors, Inc.)

Don't forget the accessories when interior decorating: they are essential elements of style and powerful components for creating beautiful, personalized rooms.

How to Design a New Floor Plan to Refresh Your Room

floor plan.jpg

floor plan design
Room to move around and furniture that's proportional create an open, welcoming room. (Photo courtesy of member Ali P. of Dayton, Ohio)

Your room needs an overhaul, but not sure where to begin? Start with a measuring tape and paper. Follow this guide to create a functional floor plan and cohesive design.

See More About Interior Designer

Home Automation Contractor

Who Should I Hire to Install a Home Automation System?

thermostat_automation.jpg

A reliable HVAC company can also offer advice on the best brand and specific home automation products for your situation, says Brown. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Jeffrey C. of Washington)
A reliable HVAC company can also offer advice on the best brand and specific home automation products for your situation, says Brown. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Jeffrey C. of Washington)

There are many things to consider when getting a new home automation system. One highly rated provider explains the ins and outs and who you should hire.

Charlotte couple invents hands-free home automation with paper towel dispenser

110629_innovia_silver.jpg

Innovia Paper Towel Dispenser
The Innovia Automatic Paper Towel Dispenser takes technology often seen in businesses and makes it work for residential kitchens. (Photo courtesy of Johana Troutman/Innovia)

These Charlotte inventors bring home automation into the kitchen with a smart-sensor paper towel dispenser that helps prevent cross-contamination in kitchens.

Tempted to cut the cable cord in Charlotte? 3 questions to ask first

DSCF9095.JPG

Antenna_Charlotte (Photo by Courtney St. Onge)
Many Charlotte residents are turning to antennas and the Internet for TV programming, rather than paying ever-increasing cable bills. (Photo by Courtney St. Onge)

TV watchers in the Carolinas must review over-the-air antenna and Internet streaming options, including sports, to calculate the true costs of canceling cable.

See More About Home Automation Contractor

Basement Remodeling

Where to Splurge and Save on Your Basement Remodel

basement_remodel_design.jpg

Depending on the natural light in a basement, artificial lighting can be really important to the atmosphere and utility of the space, says Pillow. (Photo courtesy of Moss Building and Design)
Depending on the natural light in a basement, artificial lighting can be really important to the atmosphere and utility of the space, says Pillow. (Photo courtesy of Moss Building and Design)

Planning a basement remodel? One highly rated provider shares tips for where to trim your budget during the remodeling process and where you can splurge.

Chicago Home Remodeling Company Joins Fight Against Breast Cancer

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 3.44.34 PM.png

An Archway Construction employee works on a recent kitchen remodel. The Chicago company is offering to make a $10 donation to the American Cancer Society for every in-home consultation in October. (Photo courtesy Archway Construction)
An Archway Construction employee works on a recent kitchen remodel. The Chicago company is offering to make a $10 donation to the American Cancer Society for every in-home consultation in October. (Photo courtesy Archway Construction)

Highly rated Archway Construction in Chicago's Lincoln Park is taking a unique approach to help in the fight against the No. 2 killer of women in the U.S.

See More About Basement Remodeling

Garage & Shed Construction

In Charlotte, Little Libraries are a Big Way to Grow Community

library.JPG

library (Photo by Courtney St. Onge)
Little free libraries are popping up in neighborhoods across Charlotte. (Photo by Courtney St. Onge)

A carpenter can help, or you can build your own box of books to share and join Charlotte's little free library list.

Amazing treehouse designs: They’re not just for kids

fea_treehouse_treetop06_0414.jpg

Treehouses aren't just for kids. Builders can customize an adult treehouse that can range in size and scope, having everything from windows to electricity. (Photo courtesy of Tree Top Builders, West Chester, Pa.)
Treehouses aren't just for kids. Builders can customize an adult treehouse that can range in size and scope, having everything from windows to electricity. (Photo courtesy of Tree Top Builders, West Chester, Pa.)

Looking for unique treehouse designs? Take a look at some amazing treehouses, and learn how much you can expect to spend for a custom treehouse of your own.

Adding a backyard barn or shed for extra storage

shed-snow.jpg

The member painted the storage shed herself. (Photo courtesy of Angie’s List member Ellen W. of Eau Claire, Wisc.)
The member painted the storage shed herself. (Photo courtesy of Angie’s List member Ellen W. of Eau Claire, Wisc.)

A shed or barn can house things like lawn and garden equipment, dangerous chemicals and items you don’t always need immediate access to, like seasonal equipment and decorations.

See More About Garage & Shed Construction

Modular Home Remodeling Contractor

Learn about your homeowner's association before you buy

If you drive through a development and don't see any RVs or basketball hoops, odds are they're not allowed by the homeowner's association, and judges aren't sympathetic.

Must-do home repair projects

Angie's List talks with contractors about repairs no homeowner should avoid.

4 ways to remodel and reduce utility costs

Learn how you can incorporate energy efficiency into your next home remodeling project.

4 bathroom remodeling ideas to transform a boring bathroom

Learn about four remodeling projects to transform a boring bathroom.

See More About Modular Home Remodeling Contractor

Home Builder

Home Builders Find Bigger Still Better

house.jpg

house
The size of new homes being built in Mecklenburg County continues to grow. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member David M.)

Charlotte-area house sizes continue to grow, according to Urban Institute study. Realtor says families like more room and more rooms.

U.S. Capitol Dome Repairs Alter D.C. Skyline

dc_capitol.jpg

D.C. capitol dome (Photo by Jason Hargraves)
Scaffolding goes up around the U.S. Capitol Dome as repairs are made to the iron structure. (Photo by Jason Hargraves)

Two years of renovations will keep scaffolding around the U.S. Capitol Dome. Work delays, however, could see D.C.'s dome under construction for much longer.

See More About Home Builder

Bathtub Restoration

Watch out for Scams When Searching D.C. Area for a Bathtub Refinisher

bathtub-refinishing-dc.jpg

Bathtub refinishng in D.C.
Skill and quality products are key to successfully refinishing a bathtub. (Photo courtesy of Porcelain Tub Restorations)

Bathtub refinishing is popular in Washington, D.C., but beware of scammers who promise cheap work but then disappear instead of standing by their warranty.

Is it better to refinish my bathtub or buy a new one?

pink_tub_refinished.jpg

A professionally refinished bathtub looks, feels and cleans like brand new, so be sure to use only mild, non-abrasive products when cleaning, says Sharp. (Photo courtesy of Sharp Refinishing)
A professionally refinished bathtub looks, feels and cleans like brand new, so be sure to use only mild, non-abrasive products when cleaning, says Sharp. (Photo courtesy of Sharp Refinishing)

Is it better to purchase a new bathtub or refinish your existing one? One highly rated provider breaks down the options and the answer may surprise you.

Should I refinish or replace my bathtub?

refinished_bathtub_before-after.jpg

Member John M., of Minnetonka, Minn.,  uploaded these "before" and "after" photos along with his report in the "Bathtub Refinishing & Liners" category. (Photo courtesy of John M.)
Member John M., of Minnetonka, Minn., uploaded these "before" and "after" photos along with his report in the "Bathtub Refinishing & Liners" category. (Photo courtesy of John M.)

If your bathtub is looking a little dated and you’re weighing your options, our experts answer your questions on whether you should refinish or replace your tub

See More About Bathtub Restoration

Woodworking

In Charlotte, Little Libraries are a Big Way to Grow Community

library.JPG

library (Photo by Courtney St. Onge)
Little free libraries are popping up in neighborhoods across Charlotte. (Photo by Courtney St. Onge)

A carpenter can help, or you can build your own box of books to share and join Charlotte's little free library list.

Charlotte cabinet company designs creative way to store books, vinyl records

chr_ms_done_0314.jpg

The design featured Plexiglas armrests to prevent water spots. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Lisa Wagstaff of Charlotte, N.C.)
The design featured Plexiglas armrests to prevent water spots. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Lisa Wagstaff of Charlotte, N.C.)

Ever get the feeling that your stuff is taking over usable space? Check out this Charlotte member's new storage space for her books, records and art.

See More About Woodworking

Cabinet Maker

Chicago Homeowner Paints Kitchen Cabinets for Fresh New Look

Chicagocabinetpainting2.png

Susan Kalell of Chicago had her cabinets painted a bright white after two years of thinking she would have to live with the dark stained look. (Photo courtesy of Susan Kalell)
Susan Kalell of Chicago had her cabinets painted a bright white after two years of thinking she would have to live with the dark stained look. (Photo courtesy of Susan Kalell)

Susan Kalell lived with her stained-wood kitchen cabinets for two years before discovering a bright factory finish could be achieved with some primer and paint.

Charlotte Cabinet Painter the Right Choice for Choosy Customer

cabinet-2.jpg

cabinets
Wood Artistry and Restoration refinished these cabinets to brighten up a 1970s kitchen. (Photos courtesy of Angie's List member Tara D. of Charlotte.)

Refinishing cabinets with special glaze brightened couple's kitchen just as they'd hoped.

From stock to custom: How to choose the best cabinets

tips_customcabinets_0414_web3.jpg

True Grain Woodworks owner Steve Medeiros (left), builds and installs custom cabinets, such as these for member Scott Marks. (Photo courtesy of Marks)
True Grain Woodworks owner Steve Medeiros (left), builds and installs custom cabinets, such as these for member Scott Marks. (Photo courtesy of Marks)

Custom, semi-custom or stock? Cabinet experts discuss the pros, cons and costs to help homeowners decide what’s best for their space and budget.

See More About Cabinet Maker

Marble And Granite

What Color of Granite Counterops Should I Choose for My Kitchen?

brown_granite_counterop.jpg

Dark granite can look very high-end when paired with stainless steel appliances, says Bloxham. (Photo courtesy of Luxury Home Solutions)
Dark granite can look very high-end when paired with stainless steel appliances, says Bloxham. (Photo courtesy of Luxury Home Solutions)

Granite countertops can be a great addition to your home. One highly rated provider shares tips for how to choose the right color of granite for your kitchen.

Granite, Quartz or Marble? Discover Popular D.C. Countertop Options

granite_dc.jpg

D.C. granite countertop (Photo by Jason Hargraves)
Granite has been the go-to countertop for the last few years, but changes could be on the horizon. (Photo by Jason Hargraves)

Granite countertops remain popular in D.C., but products, such as quartz and marble, are now trendy. Options are endless depending on your style and budget.

What Is the Difference Between Porcelain and Marble Tile?

porcelain_tile_kitchen.jpg

Porcelain tile countertop
Porcelain tiles do not chip easily and are also hard wearing, meaning that they are resistant to harsh cleaning products, stains and fading. (Photo courtesy of Grout Works of Central NJ, of Lakewood, N.J.)

An experts contributor explains the pros and cons of installing porcelain tile and marble tile in your home and how to decide which is best for your space.

SBA winners include well-rated Angie's List businesses

Three people named top business owners in their states are also highly rated on Angie’s List. They are contenders for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2013 national award, part of Small Business Week.

See More About Marble And Granite

General Contractor

See More About General Contractor

Home Architect

4 Rules of Great Home Design

HomeDesign.jpg

Your home should fit you, not the other way around. Good design is almost always simple, neat and uncluttered. (Photo by Richard Taylor Architects)
Your home should fit you, not the other way around. Good design is almost always simple, neat and uncluttered. (Photo by Richard Taylor Architects)

With a thorough knowledge of what you want in your home design, you can work with an architect to help create a house from the inside out to meet your needs.

Angie's List Expansion: 1,000 New Jobs by 2019

Angie's List to create 1,000 new jobs in the biggest expansion of its Indianapolis headquarters. The growth is partially funded by city and state incentives.

Chicago-Area's Most Expensive Home Sells for $19.5 Million

glencoehomesale.png

This Glencoe, Illinois home recently became the priciest sale in Chicago-area history, closing for $19.5 million. (Photo courtesy of the Cook County Assessor's Office)
This Glencoe, Illinois home recently became the priciest sale in Chicago-area history, closing for $19.5 million. (Photo courtesy of the Cook County Assessor's Office)

It’s the kind of sale most Chicago real estate agents dream about. 

Reports surfaced recently that the most expensive home ever sold in the Chicago market closed in early August for $19.5 million.

See More About Home Architect

Tile Installation

5 Tile and Grout Cleaning Tips

TileCleaning.jpg

If you have tile and grout stains that won’t go away, it may be time to call in the professionals to remove the dirt and grime that build up over time.  (Photo by Cornerstone Chem-Dry)
If you have tile and grout stains that won’t go away, it may be time to call in the professionals to remove the dirt and grime that build up over time. (Photo by Cornerstone Chem-Dry)

Want to keep your tile and grout looking clean and shiny? Homemade cleaning solutions and regular wipedowns can make your tile floors and backsplashes sparkle.

5 Stylish Subway Tile Design Ideas

subwaytile_shower.jpg

subway tile bathroom
Simple white subway tiles can give a bathroom a timeless, classic style. (Photo courtesy of member Anthony V. of Tempe, Arizona)

Classic subway tiles create a polished look that can work for any bathroom remodel. With many colors, sizes and textures, here's how to pick your tile style.

See More About Tile Installation

Kitchen Remodel

Chicago Homeowner Paints Kitchen Cabinets for Fresh New Look

Chicagocabinetpainting2.png

Susan Kalell of Chicago had her cabinets painted a bright white after two years of thinking she would have to live with the dark stained look. (Photo courtesy of Susan Kalell)
Susan Kalell of Chicago had her cabinets painted a bright white after two years of thinking she would have to live with the dark stained look. (Photo courtesy of Susan Kalell)

Susan Kalell lived with her stained-wood kitchen cabinets for two years before discovering a bright factory finish could be achieved with some primer and paint.

How to Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets in 6 Steps

white_kitchen_cabinets.jpg

Paint is an inexpensive way to give your kitchen a new look, says Hudnall. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Kelly D. of Los Angeles)
Paint is an inexpensive way to give your kitchen a new look, says Hudnall. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Kelly D. of Los Angeles)

How to paint your kitchen cabinets to perfection
Want to update your kitchen on a budget? Painting the existing kitchen cabinets costs much less than replacing them. Learn to paint your cabinets the right way.

See More About Kitchen Remodel

Installing Countertops

Second Opinion Saves Charlotte Couple's Countertop

granite.jpg

countertop
The uneven seam in the granite countertop was repaired and a new top installed on a kitchen island. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member L. Wolowiecki of Charlotte.)

Granite countertop seam could be repaired after all, leaving money and creativity for other improvements in the couple's new Charlotte home.

5 Bathroom Remodel Trends With Staying Power

UndermountSinks.jpg

Undermount sinks and the color gray are popular bathroom trends. (Photo courtesy of member Susan S. of Vashon, Washington)
Undermount sinks and the color gray are popular bathroom trends. (Photo courtesy of member Susan S. of Vashon, Washington)

Want to update your bathroom without leaving it outdated in a decade? Consider these bathroom remodel ideas for counters, colors and style that transcend time.

Granite, Quartz or Marble? Discover Popular D.C. Countertop Options

granite_dc.jpg

D.C. granite countertop (Photo by Jason Hargraves)
Granite has been the go-to countertop for the last few years, but changes could be on the horizon. (Photo by Jason Hargraves)

Granite countertops remain popular in D.C., but products, such as quartz and marble, are now trendy. Options are endless depending on your style and budget.

See More About Installing Countertops

Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Chicago Homeowner Paints Kitchen Cabinets for Fresh New Look

Chicagocabinetpainting2.png

Susan Kalell of Chicago had her cabinets painted a bright white after two years of thinking she would have to live with the dark stained look. (Photo courtesy of Susan Kalell)
Susan Kalell of Chicago had her cabinets painted a bright white after two years of thinking she would have to live with the dark stained look. (Photo courtesy of Susan Kalell)

Susan Kalell lived with her stained-wood kitchen cabinets for two years before discovering a bright factory finish could be achieved with some primer and paint.

How to Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets in 6 Steps

white_kitchen_cabinets.jpg

Paint is an inexpensive way to give your kitchen a new look, says Hudnall. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Kelly D. of Los Angeles)
Paint is an inexpensive way to give your kitchen a new look, says Hudnall. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Kelly D. of Los Angeles)

How to paint your kitchen cabinets to perfection
Want to update your kitchen on a budget? Painting the existing kitchen cabinets costs much less than replacing them. Learn to paint your cabinets the right way.

See More About Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Excavation

Backed-up sump pump leads to amazing photo op for Zionsville boy

ind_ravereview_0814_excavationboy.jpg

This three-year-old finds the joy in a backed up sump pump line, and helps his grandparents see it that way as well. (Photo by Sandra Evanoff)
This three-year-old finds the joy in a backed up sump pump line, and helps his grandparents see it that way as well. (Photo by Sandra Evanoff)

Who knew a backed up sump pump that required excavation to fix could be fun? Leave it to this three-year-old boy to find joy in a seemingly stressful time.

Flooding problems? Call a drain pipe expert

sewage_pump_install.jpg

If connecting to city sewers requires special equipment, like the sewage pump shown here, costs can quickly increase (Photo by Brandon Smith)
If connecting to city sewers requires special equipment, like the sewage pump shown here, costs can quickly increase (Photo by Brandon Smith)

Wet basements, crawlspaces or overly-saturated lawns could require the expertise of an exterior drain pipe installation and excavation expert.

Acton, Mass. man smells success with septic tanks

Septic tank pumping turns a dirty job into a prosperous family business.

See More About Excavation


Anonymous reviews are Internet graffiti.  Angie's List has real reviews from real people.

What is Angie's List?

Angie’s List is the trusted site where more than 2 million households go to get ratings and reviews on everything from home repair to health care. Stop guessing when it comes to hiring! Check Angie’s List to find out who does the best work in town.