Convert Attic Space Into a Room You Can Use

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

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

Cabinet Maker

From stock to custom: How to choose the best cabinets

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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.

4 tips for choosing the best kitchen cabinets

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White and shades of white continue to be popular for cabinetry with a rising trend in gray stains and paints, says Pillow. (Photo courtesy of Moss Building & Design)
White and shades of white continue to be popular for cabinetry with a rising trend in gray stains and paints, says Pillow. (Photo courtesy of Moss Building & Design)

A major decision in your kitchen remodel is deciding on your cabinets. One highly rated provider shares four tips for choosing the best cabinets for your home.

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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Marble And Granite

What is the difference between porcelain and marble tile?

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

One highly rated provider explains the pros and cons of installing porcelain 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.

5 tips for installing granite countertops

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If possible, make sure you view the granite slab before you purchase it. This way, you’ll know the exact color and condition of what’s going in your home. (Photo courtesy of Angie’s List member Sylvie B. of Palm Harbor, Fla.)
If possible, make sure you view the granite slab before you purchase it. This way, you’ll know the exact color and condition of what’s going in your home. (Photo courtesy of Angie’s List member Sylvie B. of Palm Harbor, Fla.)

Thinking about installing granite countertops in your kitchen or bathroom? Follow these five tips to help make sure you get the most for your money.

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General Contractor

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Home Architect

Charlotte Home Designer sees Kitchens as the new Living Room in Remodeling

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Kitchen remodels are often including more space and furniture for sitting, as some see the kitchen as a living room. (Photo courtesy of Bob Porter/Design Plus 3)

Homeowners look to make kitchens fit lifestyles when remodeling, with bars, stools, furniture and technology

Landscaper helps create a modern Zen garden oasis in suburban Chicago

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John and Heather Ballack of New Lenox, Illinois wanted simple, clean lines and natural elements for their modern landscape design. (Photo courtesy of the Ballacks)
John and Heather Ballack of New Lenox, Illinois wanted simple, clean lines and natural elements for their modern landscape design. (Photo courtesy of the Ballacks)

Talk about relaxing outdoors! An architect near Chicago adds a Japanese garden and patio, matching the Zen-like landscaping to the home's modern interior design.

Seniors seek community with cohousing

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Residents of Wolf Creek Lodge meet three to five times a week for a shared meal. (Photo courtesy of Bob Miller)
Residents of Wolf Creek Lodge meet three to five times a week for a shared meal. (Photo courtesy of Bob Miller)

A grassroots movement in neighborhood building, called cohousing, presents seniors with another option to stay connected and age in place in their own home.

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Tile Installation

Got gaps? Check out these caulking tips

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caulking gutter with caulk gun (Photo by Ray Mata)
Caulk has a shelf life of one to two years. Test for freshness on a non-porous surface before starting your project. (Photo by Ray Mata)

Caulk seals gaps between joints, keeps water out and stops drafts. Learn about the different types of caulk and get tips on removing caulk.

Is ceramic tile a good flooring choice for my home?

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Lighter colors and grout will stain more easily, so they should be reserved for rooms that don’t get as much foot traffic, says Milne. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Frances M. of Los Angeles)
Lighter colors and grout will stain more easily, so they should be reserved for rooms that don’t get as much foot traffic, says Milne. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Frances M. of Los Angeles)

Ceramic tile flooring can be an excellent choice for your home. One highly rated provider explains the benefits and how you can keep your tile looking new.

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Kitchen Remodel

Charlotte Home Designer sees Kitchens as the new Living Room in Remodeling

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Kitchen remodels are often including more space and furniture for sitting, as some see the kitchen as a living room. (Photo courtesy of Bob Porter/Design Plus 3)

Homeowners look to make kitchens fit lifestyles when remodeling, with bars, stools, furniture and technology

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.

See More About Kitchen Remodel

Installing Countertops

What are the benefits of a granite countertop?

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There may be 10 slabs at a showroom, all with wildly varying characteristics, making it important to view a slab in-person before making a decision, says Ball. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member David Y. of Washington)
There may be 10 slabs at a showroom, all with wildly varying characteristics, making it important to view a slab in-person before making a decision, says Ball. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member David Y. of Washington)

Deciding to upgrade your kitchen or bathroom countertops is both exciting and daunting. One highly rated provider explains why granite may be the best choice.

Choose the perfect countertop for your contemporary kitchen remodel

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Angie's List member Lowell L. of McKinney, Texas, installed granite countertops during a major kitchen remodel in April, 2013. (Photo courtesy of Lowell L.)
Angie's List member Lowell L. of McKinney, Texas, installed granite countertops during a major kitchen remodel in April, 2013. (Photo courtesy of Lowell L.)

Are you remodeling your kitchen for a contemporary look? When it comes to choosing the perfect countertop, pick the style that works best for you – and your budget. POpular options include granite, stone and laminate.

How to choose the right countertop for your kitchen

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Knowing the difference between different countertop materials can help you choose the material that fits your needs the best, says Mahoney. (Photo provided by Emerald City, LLC)
Knowing the difference between different countertop materials can help you choose the material that fits your needs the best, says Mahoney. (Photo provided by Emerald City, LLC)

One highly rated provider explains the differences between countertop materials and provides information on how to choose which one is best for your home.

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Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

How much does it cost to stain cabinets?

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Refinishing cabinets with a liquid or gel stain might be a less expensive option than replacing them. (Photo by Brandon Smith)
Refinishing cabinets with a liquid or gel stain might be a less expensive option than replacing them. (Photo by Brandon Smith)

When faced with the option of replacing or refinishing your cabinets, consider staining them with a gel stain or liquid stain to modernize the look.

When to refinish your cabinets instead of refacing

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Refinishing could be the right good option if you like the cabinet doors you have now, especially if you're wanting to go to a darker stain, says Thomas. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Kim R. of Kansas City, Mo.)
Refinishing could be the right good option if you like the cabinet doors you have now, especially if you're wanting to go to a darker stain, says Thomas. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Kim R. of Kansas City, Mo.)

Cabinet refacing offers a lot of advantages to the homeowner, but there are many cases where refinishing your cabinets can be a good and economical choice.

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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.

Indianapolis homeowners embrace geothermal

The cost of installing this HVAC system is considerably higher, but several tax incentives and savings over time help defray cost.

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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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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

#AskAngie: Who Patches a Wall after Plumbing or Electrical Work?

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Most electricians and plumbers don't routinely patch wall holes left from their work. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Barbara D. of Downington, Pennsylvania)
Most electricians and plumbers don't routinely patch wall holes left from their work. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Barbara D. of Downington, Pennsylvania)

These service providers are your best bet to patch drywall or plaster holes that plumbers, electricians and other service providers may create while working.

Do Contractors Charge to Estimate a Job?

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

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

In male-dominated field, Maryland handywoman redefines 'women's work'

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Woman uses a level in D.C. (Photo by Jason Hargraves)
Hiring a handywoman for fix-it jobs around the house can add an extra level of comfort for some clients. (Photo by Jason Hargraves)

Hiring a handyman may mean finding the right woman for the job. Some Washington, D.C.-area female homeowners say they feel more secure hiring a handywoman.

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Home Improvement Stores

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.

After fire, beloved Frager's Hardware rises from ashes with 3 D.C. pop-up stores

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Frager's Hardware lawn and garden center (Photo by Jason Hargraves)
Frager's Hardware operates its lawn and garden center outdoors at 306 7th St. SE in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Jason Hargraves)

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.

Handy homeowners: Tools the pros recommend

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When choosing a drill, remember that size doesn't matter as much as voltage. A good drill will cost more, but the battery won't wear out while it's not in use. (Photo by Eldon Lindsay)
When choosing a drill, remember that size doesn't matter as much as voltage. A good drill will cost more, but the battery won't wear out while it's not in use. (Photo by Eldon Lindsay)

Quality power tools, ladders and ratchet sets aren’t just for the professionals. Handy homeowners should spend their time and money on tools that work.

8 tips to decide whether to repair or replace your appliance

Is it more economical to replace or repair the fridge or washing machine? The right answer depends on a variety of factors. Eight questions to determine whether to replace or repair an appliance.

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Interior Designer

Buy Art You Love and Won't Regret at Carolinas Art Festivals This Fall

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Decorators encourage homeowners to find art they love, but consider paint colors and the size of the wall. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Carol V.)

Charlotte-area interior decorator offers tips for shopping at area art and craft shows for paintings or photographs for your home.

Can an Interior Designer Help Me with My Home Remodel?

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An interior designer can aid in your home remodeling project from start to finish, creating the space of your dreams, says Sheats. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Ali P. of Dayton, Ohio)
An interior designer can aid in your home remodeling project from start to finish, creating the space of your dreams, says Sheats. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Ali P. of Dayton, Ohio)

On this episode of Chat with the Experts, we talk with Jeff Sheats about how an interior designer can play a big role during your home remodeling project.

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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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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

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

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

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

See More About Basement Remodeling

Garage & Shed Construction

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.

How much does an outdoor storage shed cost?

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This member hired a handyman to build her wood storage shed. (Photo courtesy of Angie’s List member Ellen W. of Eau Claire, Wisc.)
This member hired a handyman to build her wood storage shed. (Photo courtesy of Angie’s List member Ellen W. of Eau Claire, Wisc.)

There are different types of storage sheds available, including metal, wood and vinyl. You can benefit from learning more about the costs of different storage sheds and the costs of building a shed yourself.

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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

What's the difference between a condo and a co-op? D.C. homebuyers should know

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condo sign in D.C. (Photo by Jason Hargraves)
Condos are common around D.C., but a strong co-op market exists for buyers willing to do their homework. (Photo by Jason Hargraves)

Buying a co-op in Washington, D.C., can be intimidating. Real estate agents say condos are more popular, but co-ops are plentiful and have distinct advantages.

What to know before you choose a home inspector in the D.C. area

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Row house in D.C. (Photo by Jason Hargraves)
A house can look perfect on the surface, but a local home inspector will dig a little deeper. (Photo by Jason Hargraves)

Home inspection licensing requirements vary among Maryland, Virginia and D.C., so home buyers need to do homework to find the best inspector before hiring.

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Bathtub Restoration

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.

Should I refinish or replace my bathtub?

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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

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Woodworking

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.

Reclaimed barn wood adds rustic charm to homes

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This Angie's List member installed floors and ceilings made of barn wood. (Photo courtesy of Ross H. of Riviera Beach, Fla.)
This Angie's List member installed floors and ceilings made of barn wood. (Photo courtesy of Ross H. of Riviera Beach, Fla.)

Homeowners recycle and upcycle now more than ever. Reclaimed barn wood is being used for tables, chairs, pantries, cabinets, islands, flooring and more.

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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.