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Home Automation

The New York Times published an intesting article today about home automation. Brian Chen describes the pros and cons various options and features, and I notice myself being somewhat slow to jump aboard. https://www.nytimes.com/guides/technology/how-to-make-a-smart-home While many embrace their smartphones wholly, I have actually taken a step back. I noticed myself taking the iPhone to my […]

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Ready For Winter? 10 Home Maintenance Tips!

The SF Bay Area received some much-needed rain Friday night, and the end of this week will bring more. We are slowly but surely moving toward winter, and it is time to take a look around the house and make sure we are ready. (more…)

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salvaged lumber at Port & Manor

Store Remodels Using Salvaged Lumber

In a post published last year, I wrote about creative use of reclaimed wood. While most content on this site is about home remodeling, retail stores and other businesses can (and do!) the same. A good example is a local branch of Port & Manor that opened in San Rafael, California, not long ago. Before […]

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Structural Crack Monitor

Here is an easy way to keep track of movements of concrete, stucco, flagstone, or any other material you can think of. Structural Puzzle One of our clients has a house that sits perched on a hill east of San Francisco. This area is prone to earthquakes, and soil on hills has a tendency to move. […]

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ventilation trellis

Curved Ipe Deck – Photos & Tips

Summer is getting closer, and decks are wonderful places to spend time outdoors. We have built many of them, mostly using redwood or cedar, and sometimes using composite material or hardwood. Just a few years ago, we crafted a curved ipe deck that became a true labor of love and one of our flagship projects. […]

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Installing The Nest Thermostat

Google Buys Nest!

Google buys Nest Labs.

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Arm-R-Seal and 0000 steel wool

Finishing A Birch Door With GF Arm-R-Seal Urethane Topcoat

One of my desk tops is actually a solid core door. It spans across two filing cabinets, making for a nice, long work surface. The top has an attractive birch veneer skin which I never bothered to seal. I figured I would get around to it some day, and that day finally arrived. In addition, […]

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20131119_sperry

Sperry Instruments GFI6302 GFCI Outlet Tester Review

Last year, I reviewed two electrical outlet testers: F-Circle’s CircTest 3579-4 for regular, grounded receptacles; and the Commercial Electric MS6860H, which can also be used to test GFCI circuits. The main complaints I voiced were that both were labeled on one side only, making it cumbersome to test receptacles that were installed upside down, and […]

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Hitachi C10FCE2 Compound Miter Saw – One Small Design Flaw, Easy To Fix

Around 2004, I bought the best-ever Hitachi 10 inch sliding compound miter saw, model CF10FSB, made in Japan. That saw was one of the awesome-est (!) tools I owned, and so it was with great chagrin when I discovered it stolen from a job site several months ago. Thankfully the thief did not bother taking […]

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Installing The Nest Thermostat

Installing The Nest Thermostat

In April of 2012, Remodel Blog published a post showing how to install the Nest Learning Thermostat. It was accompanied by a video featuring step-by-step instructions on how to identify the polarity of unidentified wires coming from the furnace. This post was quite popular, in part because it showed the installation procedure for when your […]

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Popular Pneumatic Framing Nailers By Bostich, Hitachi And Senco

Popular Pneumatic Framing Nailers By Bostich, Hitachi And Senco

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Wallpaper Removal Tools And Tips

Wallpaper Removal Tools And Tips Video

The walls of my friend Melinda‘s house have several layers of wallpaper. They ain’t pretty, and about a week ago she told me of her plans to get serious. She rented a wallpaper steamer, picked up some supplies, and a day later wallpaper was falling to the floor. Look around on the web a bit, and you […]

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outlet_tester

Electrical Receptacle Tester & Code Updates

Here’s a handy-dandy electrical outlet testing gizmo that shows in an instant whether or not an electrical outlet is wired correctly and functioning properly. The model in this photo includes a small red button that tests the Ground Fault Circuit Interrupt function (GFCI, for short) of corresponding receptacles. The device pictured, Commercial Electric MS6860H, costs […]

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