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

March 2003

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Going Up?: Find the Right Opener for Your Garage Door

Garage door openers are becoming increasingly popular as the garage becomes a fundamental part of the house, not merely a place to park the car. Garages nowadays are used as storage areas and workshops, and they often have bedrooms, home offices and other rooms above them. In many cases, the garage has become the primary entry and exit point to and from the house. Once viewed as indulgences for the privileged, garage door openers are now standard conveniences.

How to Cure a Wet Basement

How many times have you looked at your basement and thought how great it would be to have a playroom, a home office or a family room/entertainment center - if only it didn't get wet? Dampness is the leading reason that most people do not fully utilize their basement. Yet in many cases the causes of wetness can be eliminated or at least controlled. It is critical that you fix moisture problems before you tackle a basement remodeling job. What Causes Wet Basements? Wet basements are a common problem throughout much of the country.

A Guide to Safe Water Within the Home

There are enemies lurking within your home. Just beyond each faucet and shower fixture, the pipes that feed them are - in most homes - filled with bacteria and parasites. Some of these, like the parasite Cryptosporidium, are quite dangerous. The good news is that there are sensible and cost-effective ways to rid your home of these unwanted guests. We'll guide you to the solutions. Over the past two decades, there has been a push to lower water-heater thermostat settings in the United States from the previously adopted standard of 140 F to a safer setting of 120 F.

The Case For Pre-Wiring

If you're interested in home automation and you're building or renovating your house, give serious thought to pre-wiring it for the future. Installing an advanced cable system will serve your needs now and well into the future, and it's a lot easier to do before the drywall goes up. Cabling needs to run from the area in which you'll place your hub - the signal-distribution center - to every room in which you'll have equipment or controls. Remember to be generous with your estimates and run more cable than you think you'll need.

What The Tags Tell You

The plastic tags attached to the ends of treated lumber give some important basic information about the treated lumber. The format of these tags varies depending on the manufacturer, but typically you will see: The manufacturer or treater of the lumber. The type of wood preservative used. For CCA-treated wood, you'll see "CCA-C." The "-C" refers to the type of CCA. There are three types of CCA (Types A, B and C), but only type C is used for lumber treatment. The retention of preservative and type of intended use.

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