Innovative solutions for creating healthy, efficient, eco-friendly homes

July 2003

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The Bones of a Home

Like the skeleton of an animal, the frame of a house defines its shape. It also resists hurricane-force winds, snow on the roof and dance parties in the living room. Consider for a moment the skeleton of a bird. Evolution has engineered each bone to be just sufficient for its function. Each is thickened at points of maximum stress and precisely in proportion to that stress. Thicker bones might make for a stronger bird but not a better or more functional bird.

Great Panes

Early windows were literally nothing more than holes in the wall. They were placed in shelters to allow smoke from the fire to escape and fresh air to enter.

Credit Bureau Triad

Equifax ( PO Box 740241 Atlanta, GA 30374-0241 800-685-1111 Experian ( PO Box 2104 Allen, TX 75013-2104 888-397-3742 TransUnion ( PO Box 1000 Chester, PA 19022 800-916-8800

Practical Homeowner: Rock-Solid Repairs

One of those chores that many of us dread is patching and repairing concrete. While not all that difficult, it is often easier just to forget about it and hope that it won't get worse. Unfortunately, it usually does. The best time to fix concrete is when it is just a stable, hairline crack.

Plan Now, Install Later

Not sure you want an elevator or unwilling to give up space for it? Homeowners who are considering incorporating an elevator in their homes in the future can plan for it now and use the carved-out space wisely. Not only will this facilitate installation later, it will create pockets of auxiliary space for extra storage or indulging in hobbies. "People recognize (an elevator) might be helpful to them in the future," says Connecticut designer Mary Jo Peterson.

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