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.

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.

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.

Winterize Your Warm-Weather Power Equipment

After a long, hot summer of yard work, you might be eager to simply shove lawn mowers, weed trimmers or tillers into the shed or garage for the winter. But as satisfying as that might be, improper storage of outdoor power equipment can set you up for major headaches in the spring. Without proper preparations, power equipment left sitting all winter faces attacks from the elements and from internal chemical reactions that can cause permanent damage.

Fieldstone Redux

The old New England farmers would probably shake their heads at one of today's hottest trends in home landscaping - fieldstone walls. After all, settlers struggling to feed themselves 200 years ago had to deal with a legacy from the last ice age and move the megatons of rock that the glaciers deposited across their fields. The miles of dry-stacked stone walls these farmers built had a practical application - they fenced in livestock. No one was dragging rocks into their dooryards just to create rustic appeal or complement the color of their homes.

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