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.

Tile Installation

5 Tile and Grout Cleaning Tips

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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

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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.

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Kitchen Remodel

Bathroom Renovation Results from Collaboration Between Couple, Contractor

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Homeowners, designers and contractors can work together to make a remodeling project a success. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Angel T. of Charlotte)
Homeowners, designers and contractors can work together to make a remodeling project a success. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Angel T. of Charlotte)

Charlotte couple worked with a reliable, highly rated contractor for the job, but also made their own choices for tile, lighting, cabinets and decor.

How Can a Kitchen Design Pro Help You?

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A professional kitchen designer will be able to create an effective design based on your top priorities. (Photo by Luxury Home Solutions)
A professional kitchen designer will be able to create an effective design based on your top priorities. (Photo by Luxury Home Solutions)

Have you always wanted to design your dream kitchen? A professional kitchen designer can help you to visualize and plan the perfect cooking space for your home.

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Installing Countertops

Second Opinion Saves Charlotte Couple's Countertop

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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

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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

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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.

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Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

5 Creative Ways to Enhance Kitchen Cabinets

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Many higher-end home shoppers expect updated cabinets in a modern kitchen. (Photo by Luxury Home Solutions )
Many higher-end home shoppers expect updated cabinets in a modern kitchen. (Photo by Luxury Home Solutions )

From soft-closing drawers to creative storage options, these high-end kitchen cabinet features will appeal to home buyers and enhance value when remodeling.

Is Black the New Neutral for Kitchen Cabinets?

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Basic black is making its way into Washington-area kitchens as a popular cabinet color. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Jeffrey Q.)
Basic black is making its way into Washington-area kitchens as a popular cabinet color. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Jeffrey Q.)

Choosing black for kitchen cabinets is a popular choice among high-end kitchen designers. The trend also is catching on for DIYers who want a contemporary feel.

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Excavation

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

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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

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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.

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Sun Room Contractor

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

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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

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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

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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?

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Handyman Service

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.

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

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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

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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.

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Home Improvement Stores

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.

Retailers Beginning Black Friday on Thursday This Year

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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

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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

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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.

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Interior Designer

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.

Chicago Planners Lead White House Holiday Decoration

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First Lady Michele Obama and daughter Sasha and Malia greet this year's official White House Christmas Tree, an 18-foot fir from Pennsylvania. (Photo courtesy of the White House)
First Lady Michele Obama and daughter Sasha and Malia greet this year's official White House Christmas Tree, an 18-foot fir from Pennsylvania. (Photo courtesy of the White House)

For the fifth consecutive year, Near North Side company agencyEA coordinated the volunteer efforts to adorn the White House for the holidays.

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Home Automation Contractor

Who Should I Hire to Install a Home Automation System?

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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

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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

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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.

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Basement Remodeling

Sealed Basement Means a Warmer Winter Home

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replacement basement door, basement door, sealed basement door
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.

Where to Splurge and Save on Your Basement Remodel

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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.

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Garage & Shed Construction

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

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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Home Builder

New construction is walkable, but with nowhere to walk

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Walking -- to somewhere or just for fun -- is part of the appeal of new and old neighborhoods in Charlotte. (Photo by Courtney St. Onge)
Walking -- to somewhere or just for fun -- is part of the appeal of new and old neighborhoods in Charlotte. (Photo by Courtney St. Onge)

Survey finds people in new construction walk more, but in Charlotte, some of the most walkable neighborhoods have older homes, nearby stores and restaurants.

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.

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Bathtub Restoration

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.

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

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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?

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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.

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Woodworking

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

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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

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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.

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Cabinet Maker

Is Black the New Neutral for Kitchen Cabinets?

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Basic black is making its way into Washington-area kitchens as a popular cabinet color. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Jeffrey Q.)
Basic black is making its way into Washington-area kitchens as a popular cabinet color. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Jeffrey Q.)

Choosing black for kitchen cabinets is a popular choice among high-end kitchen designers. The trend also is catching on for DIYers who want a contemporary feel.

Chicago Homeowner Paints Kitchen Cabinets for Fresh New Look

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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

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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.

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Marble And Granite

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

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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

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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?

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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.

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General Contractor

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Home Architect

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.

4 Rules of Great Home Design

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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.

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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.