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If you’ve ever wondered whether or not you locked your door when you’re well into your morning commute, fumbled around for keys at the end of …

Home-and-garden
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Q: I've got a mess at my home that's driving me crazy. My 3- foot tall concrete block foundation was coated years ago with a thin coat of cement stucco. --Vicki L., Toms River, N.J..

Home-and-garden
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While it may still feel like summer outside, September is practically ubiquitous with one thing: heading back to school. Ensure you’re ready t…

Home-and-garden
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Q: The house I grew up in had vinyl siding, and the trim around the windows was some thin distasteful vinyl that had an end profile like the letter J. I thought it looked abominable. If you want real inspiration, go online and look at photos of the paint schemes of some of the grand Victorian Ladies. I had horizontal lap siding at the last Queen Anne Victorian- style home I...

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Button up your windows, and protect your home from cold air entering in the winter and warm air escaping in the summer. Apply caulk with a caulk gun wherever there's an opening, even a small one around window frames. It's especially important around older windows, where gaps can occur and allow air to infiltrate.

Home-and-garden
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Most bedrooms have a solid wall where you bed can be placed, but occasionally some don't. Feng shui experts say it's not a good idea to place a bed under a window, but sometimes a wall with a window is the only real choice. Start by adding a screen such as the hand-carved Zaria Wood Screen, or use a decorative panel as a window insert.

Home-and-garden
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Lighten up- your entrance, that is. Make your home accessible at night with a porch lantern to brighten the area and assure safe footing in the evening. A bright light at night is also a good deterrent to intruders who prefer a dimly lit entrance.

Home-and-garden
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Whether you need to eliminate the junk drawer for good, clear a cluttered bathroom counter, tidy up a sock drawer, or all of the above, there’…

Home-and-garden
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An awning style window is a popular choice as a replacement because it provides light and opens outward to catch the breeze. The sash closes tightly against the frame, making it better than a traditional double-hung unit at stopping air infiltration. It's often used in a basement or kitchen where light is wanted over a sink.

Home-and-garden

A few months ago, I wrote a column about how "flushable" wipes clog sewers. But my favorite response was from a public relations firm representing the Responsible Flushing Alliance. My original column was inspired by a man who lived in South Carolina.