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

November 2002

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Rocky Top

For the past 15 years, solid-surface materials have been the buzz when it comes to countertops. Touted as the be-all-end-all of countertop material, these solid synthetic sheets, which are formed by mixing a mineral compound with polyester and acrylic resins, resist chips, dents and scratches, and are easily repaired. With performance like that, why would a homeowner even think about using something else in a kitchen? Many homeowners would argue solid-surface materials lack the one-of-a-kind beauty that only natural stone can offer.

All About Wells

One of the most-often-overlooked details of building a home in a rural setting is the well. Many people think there is plenty of clean and safe water waiting below the surface for them to use. Only after drilling the well do they find that this is not true. The water is often of poor quality or insufficient quantity. To make matters worse, there is often no money left in the budget to buy treatment equipment and no space in the home to place it. With a little pre-planning, all of this can be avoided.

Structural Stone

Dry-stacking fieldstone is a difficult method of building with stone. When done properly, the results are worth the extra effort. Built in the late 1700s, the stately, Colonial-style home is a handsome part of the historic streetscape for drivers passing through the village area of Yarmouth, Maine.

5 Quick Maintenance Tips

1. Get it Right. Effective maintenance is largely a matter of doing the right thing at the right time. If you're not sure what is right, ask someone who knows. 2. Write it Down. Keep written notes, lists, schedules and records. This helps you recognize all the issues and problems clearly. 3. Take Action. Refer to the lists and schedules, then get up and do what needs to be done. If you can't do it all, prioritize and get going. 4. PRO-act, don't RE-act. A maintenance plan puts you in control of what happens to your building rather than just reacting to its deterioration. 5. Save Money.

Arming Your House With Alarm

The keyfob that comes with this alarm allows users to arm and disarm the system from up to 75 feet away from the keypad.As technology continues to improve and homeowners seek out the best way to protect their families, burglar, smoke and carbon-monoxide alarm systems have evolved into high priorities for many American households.

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