w33zerish


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Renting a place 
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How to Grow 10 Favorite Fruit Trees at Home

Taste test this summer, then plant a mini orchard in fall or winter to enjoy fresh-off-the-tree fruit next year Full Story
     Comment   June 26, 2014
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onevoice
Sarah Anspaugh, you just might've come across the clue for keeping robins away from ruining an entire crop of cherries - plant Serviceberry adjacent to them.
As your experience indicates, they appear to prefer them.
Sorry I can't help you out with any info on Paw Paw - but there's plenty online.
July 1, 2014 at 9:01am     
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tesshiva
My husbands old Golden Retriever adored the rotten pears off the ground under their tree. I can remember watching him chomp the mushy fruit, absolutely grinning while angry yellow jackets buzzed all around his head. That dog must have had the worst gas, later in the day!!
on Sunday at 9:41am   
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   Comment   June 26, 2014
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Design Workshop: The ‘Disappearing’ Guardrail

Putting the focus on the view instead of the rail on a porch or balcony is sometimes clearly the best option Full Story
     Comment   June 26, 2014
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redryder60
Maybe it's just me but I need a rail where I don't feel I'm gonna fall off! I like the idea of these transparent ones but too many are too scary!
July 2, 2014 at 12:36pm   
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tetam
Great article!
18 hours ago   
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Your Guide to 15 Popular Kitchen Countertop Materials

Get details and costs on top counter materials to help you narrow down the choices for your kitchen Full Story
     Comment   June 26, 2014
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Allison Crossley
Thanks. This was very helpful
June 29, 2014 at 1:34pm   
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soniatheriault
Cuisine
Yesterday at 5:04am   
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   Comment   June 20, 2014
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6 Tips From a Nearly Zero-Waste Home

Lower your trash output and increase your quality of life with these ideas from a mom who did it to the max Full Story
     Comment   June 20, 2014
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Roxane Frank
I think some of these comments miss the point. Yes cloth napkins do need to be washed, and washing using resources. Yes plastic grocery bags can be reused as garbage bags and if you do not use one you need to use the other. Yes flying is bad, so if you fly you are not truly zero waste. These are all true statements. The idea is to look at areas of your life that you can improve. We do not all need to live in stark white home to lessen our environmental impact. If you simply purchased a large tub of yogurt instead of single serving cups that would make a big difference at the end of the year. There is a trade-off for just about everything, use less plastic, you are probably going to use more water. I think it is important not to shut down a solution because it is not perfect. It may be the stepping stone to perfect.
June 5, 2014 at 9:39am     
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PRO
Melanie Loftus
I am glad to see that this post is generating such interest and passion among Houzz readers. I encourage those of you who have questions to visit Bea Johnson's blog (http://zerowastehome.blogspot.com/) or her book, where she addresses all of your questions and concerns in detail--including her struggle deciding to write a physical book about being zero waste! (She recommends checking her book out from the library, buying used, or re-gifting it).

Also, for folks who are not into the color white, Johnson has more images of her home both on Houzz and on her blog, which includes colorful wall paint and bright pillows, as well as a decorative "living wall" in the living room. I feel remiss for having omitted those in this post.

I appreciate the comments from Sally Benjamin and others who have given kudos to a homeowner who is living a unique lifestyle. I encourage readers to take what works for them, and try to refrain from making judgements about the family that inhabits this space. It is counterproductive to shame homeowners and designers who are kind enough to share their projects on Houzz!

I've found this home to be inspiring, and I hoped it would inspire others as well to think about how design choices impact our consumption habits.
June 5, 2014 at 2:50pm     
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Houzz Tour: See a Concrete House With a $0 Energy Bill

Passive House principles and universal design elements result in a home that’ll work efficiently for the long haul Full Story
     Comment   June 20, 2014
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queenienat
This is exactly how I want my home to be. Thanks for the ideas and inspiration!
June 27, 2014 at 10:47am   
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NZ Builders ltd
No Problem
June 28, 2014 at 8:07pm     
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From Concrete ‘Jail Yard’ to Lush Escape in Brooklyn

Once stark and uninviting, this urban backyard is now a welcoming retreat for relaxing and entertaining Full Story
     Comment   June 20, 2014
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chiss
Can you tell us where to find the outdoor couch? Beautiful!
June 15, 2014 at 7:15am   
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echoblack
I love how you turned something ugly and man-made into something so beautiful!
June 21, 2014 at 12:32pm   
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   Comment   June 19, 2014
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Soapstone Counters: A Love Story

Love means accepting — maybe even celebrating — imperfections. See if soapstone’s assets and imperfections will work for you Full Story
     Comment   June 18, 2014
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ogmillie
I am still in the love camp even after reading this very honest and informative article. Here are my two slabs I purchased last year in anticipation of remodeling our kitchen. I fell in love with them early in our planning stages and had to have them They are not oiled or waxed yet. The fabricator wet them down so I could see how they will look when they are treated. Hopefully with any luck we look forward to a new kitchen sometime this fall.
last Saturday at 10:56pm     
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Susan Lichty
Absolutely fabulous, I now exactly how u felt. I had to decide quickly on mine, there was three people behind me and the next shipment wasn't for anther three months, yea.
on Sunday at 6:34am   
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w33zerish likes 5 comments on an ideabook

5 Ways to Protect Yourself When Buying a Fixer-Upper

Hidden hazards can derail your dream of scoring a great deal. Before you plunk down any cash, sit down with this Full Story
     Comment   June 18, 2014
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Kathryn Tegreene Interior Design
Homes built in the tern of the century were actually built with better materials to a higher standard than homes of today. A well cared for old home can last for centuries. Homes today are designed to survive for about 50 years. Most are built only to code, where old homes were built as well as they could possibly build them based on pride. http://realestate.msn.com/will-your-new-home-still-be-standing-in-50-years

Nothing is greener than reviving an old house, but you MUST do your homework before you buy. Get a home inspector that specializes in old homes. Test everything and know what it will cost to fix. Lead based paint can sometimes be covered up and pose no danger. The danger comes if it is sanded (and breathed) or eaten. Don't panic about led based paint. All homes built before 1978 had lead based paint and generations grew up in them without problems. It is the hysteria that makes this a big deal.. (Children in the inner city were peeling lead based paint off the walls and eating it (it tastes sweet) and also probably getting their drinking water from lead based pipes and probably chewing on toys with lead based paint and suffered brain damage, but many generations lived in homes with lead based paint without any problems). Lead paint can sometimes be covered or removed by someone who takes proper precautions, asbestos can be abated (removed), painted mantles or other woodwork can be sometimes be dipped in solution to remove old lead based paint. Make sure the gutters bring the water away from the basement and the ground is sloped away from the house (the house is at a high spot).
I am a fan of the well concidered fixer upper purchase. They tend to be in great neighborhoods with short commute times. Just know what you are buying. An old house is a treasure for generations.
June 11, 2014 at 7:41am     
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antispam111
It's common to suggest that "inspection by a qualified professional" is a solution to ending risk when buying an old house but if you look at the incentive patterns, it's not that secure. Think about it: an inspector who wrecks deals by pointing out important defects will surely upset the first client - the real estate network involved in making money from selling that house. It's not hard to imagine such an "inspector" losing so much business through word of mouth by realtors, he won't be in business by the time YOU need those services. No - repeat NO - "professional organization" will ever be any safer than a contingency clause in the contract making the seller responsible for lapses. If medical unions (the AMA is a union, after all, dedicated to its own group) can't lower the "impaired practitioner" rate below 10%, is it rational to think industries with less education and history will do any better? Can you name a single union that has created a foolproof, safe haven for consumers? The AMA has been around since 1847 - is there still medical malpractice?

If you want to make real money on a house, learn how to spot defects yourself and learn what's involved in fixing them. The most important task you can learn is how a house is built. There are NO perfectly safe purchases that are any better than your own eyes, ears, noses, etc. If you know how to do a good paint job, you can supervise people to do the work. If you read a few books on plumbing, you will have a much better idea how to hire a plumber. (Plumbing is the simplest expensive skill to acquire.) You will know that prep is the secret to a good paint job and you'll never hire a plumber who would use drywall behind a shower.

Before buying that house, spend time in the library and hang out on message boards discussing topics related to problems that are common to the area where you're shopping. In my area, for instance, broken slabs are an issue. You can find out what issues are common in your area by checking out local message boards for such things as gardening, decorating, remodeling. Read old threads, patterns will emerge. Pay attention. Ask questions. Education can help you distinguish between risks and disasters.
June 11, 2014 at 10:01am     
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klmt
Termites were mentioned above - but a regular home inspector may not pick up on that. If you're in an area that has lots of termites - like the Deep South - termite inspections are REQUIRED and are carried out by pest control companies separate from home inspections.

I have not found home inspections to be anything more than money grabs. There's always a clause that covers them for what they don't find, and lots of areas that are marked as - could not inspect due to restricted access. Well buddy, if it was easy to access I wouldn't have hired you. In fact, especially when I was in real estate, I saw erroneous info given to clients - really stupid stuff, as if the inspector was just trying to find SOMETHING wrong to justify his existence, which of course Joe Homeowner believed because if the inspector said it it must be true. These inspections may be required in your area now, but do your own research.
June 11, 2014 at 11:23am     
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donaflor
After having purchased a number of homes over the years in several different parts of the country, a couple of them fixer-uppers by design and a couple by necessity, this is what I have learned:
* bite the bullet and get two inspections, with one of the inspectors being from out-of-town/county. Make sure up front it is their practice to give you an evaluation with photos, preferably by email attachment as another poster mentioned;
* when you get the report back, don't be shy about asking the inspector questions, preferably by email so it will be in writing (we all know if it isn't written down, it didn't happen).
* If you have a septic system, get someone from the local water dept to tell you where the tank is. Find out from the seller when the septic system was last cleaned and by whom. Call and check to confirm. (my friend awakened one morning to a yard flooded with sewage b/c the septic tank, well, tanked.)
At this point, after having watched hundreds of hours of home improvement shows, and having learned from my own experiences, I know that being an educated consumer is exhausting and expensive, but definitely worthwhile to protect yourself in the long run.
June 12, 2014 at 6:01am     
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goatpro
An inspector should be certified by a leading inspection entity and licensed in your area if required. The inspector should suggest that you as the buyer be with him/ her for the entire visual inspection. This is your opportunity to learn about the systems as well as the problems and what remedies the inspector suggests at that time. You will probably find that a septic inspection is an additional charge a water test will be an additional charge those charges vary by parts of the country most inspectors charge by the square footage total of the house.
June 12, 2014 at 7:53am     
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   Comment   June 17, 2014
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Decorating 101: How to Choose Your Colors

Learn where to look for palette inspiration — and one commonly advised place maybe you shouldn’t Full Story
     Comment   June 17, 2014
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sherums
pilbarapink: I'm having trouble visualizing the carpet, but I keep thinking Spanish or Mexican floor tile.... there is a lot you can do with blues, greens, yellows, and even light sandy taupes. I had a wall that terra cotta color at one time and absolutely loved it. I used a lot of light taupe and then splashes of the other colors I mentioned. Blacks, greys, and browns would work equally well.
on Monday at 3:02pm   
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sherums
I am the painter in our family. I love to refresh the paint every few years, so I am not at all afraid to pull the furniture out away from the wall and have at it. That said, I think when one is moving into a new home, it is a good idea to pick a neutral that will not clash with your stuff and get it up. Later, the rooms can be retouched, accent walls can be painted, or the whole thing can be redone. It is not always realistic to wait until you are in. We are building, so the paint must be on the walls prior to moving in. Since I am buying new furniture, that is a little intimidating. In fact, we can't even lay the floors until I paint! I am sure I will stick with warm neutrals and white trim and then update later as tastes and time permit.
on Monday at 3:07pm   
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Houzz Tour: Flexing New Design Muscles on a Vermont Lake

A budding architect gets to build the home of her choice in an idyllic setting — and live there too Full Story
     Comment   June 17, 2014
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marcmorrison
Wow - I love your design -- thanks for sharing
June 18, 2014 at 12:35pm   
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queen girl
Great
June 19, 2014 at 1:08am   
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Kitchen of the Week: Storage, Style and Efficiency in San Francisco

A growing family gets a kitchen they can work, eat and relax better in — and that’s easier on the eyes Full Story
     Comment   June 17, 2014
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lbamom
The sink
July 1, 2014 at 3:34am   
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PRO
BACCHUS DESIGN
does zinc counter tops stain or scratch?
on Sunday at 7:57am   
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Houzz Tour: A Happy-Trails Home on a California Field

Horse-loving homeowners look to barns and equestrian references for their light and bright new build Full Story
     Comment   June 17, 2014
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madaboutdesign0924
The windows are spectacular!! Also, that loft above the dining room is such a sweet surprise. Very special, lovely home.
June 27, 2014 at 12:38pm   
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mjs412win
If that was a horse I'd buy it!
June 30, 2014 at 1:40pm   
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