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Electric Cars Could Make America’s Crumbling Roads Even Worse

As tax revenues from the sale of gasoline decline, there will be less money to pay for road repair. A tax on electricity at vehicle charging stations could solve that problem. [Image credit: Susan Sermoneta / CC BY-NC-ND / Flickr] U.S. roads and bridges are in abysmal shape — and that was before the recent winter storms made things even worse. In fact, the government rates over one-quarter of all urban interstates as in fair or poor condition. One-third of U.S. bridges need repair. To fix the potholes and crumbling roads, federal, state, and local governments rely on fuel taxes,…

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10 Next-Level Finished Basements from the Remodelista Archives

A far cry from a dimly lit pool table and wood-paneled bar, these basements from the archives are surprisingly stylish and functional. Here’s a look at a few favorites: Above: Atomic Garden owner Jamie Kidson’s home in Oakland was built with lightwells on the side, which allow natural light into the finished basement where her two young daughters have an art table. Photograph by Mimi Giboin. Above: Proof that a laundry room can be luxe: This Brooklyn brownstone‘s garden level utility space designed by Gerry Smith Architect. Photograph by Samuel Morgan Photography. Above: To meet the needs of a young…

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Urban Rustic: Choosing and Installing a Ductless Minisplit

Editor’s note: This post is one of a series by Eric Whetzel about the design and construction of his house in Palatine, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. A list of Eric’s previous posts appears below. For more details, see Eric’s blog, Kimchi & Kraut. The plan for our house was to combine an HRV or an ERV (for a continuous supply of fresh air) with a ductless minisplit air-source heat pump system for our ventilation, heating, and air conditioning needs. Almost all of the projects I had read about utilized this same combination, especially here in the U.S. The only…

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1860 Italianate Remodel: House Proud

Jeff used interior details to blend the two sections together as well. “I always liked the finish work in construction,” he says. As a builder, he has distinguished himself from competitors with well-crafted details—built-ins, coffered ceilings, and lots of trim. “I put crown molding in the closets,” he says.Despite its elegant exterior, the home’s existing interior had been uninspired. “The trim was all original, but it wasn’t detailed,” Jeff says. So he added flourishes of his own, many inspired by the luxurious interiors of homes he’d worked on along Connecticut’s wealthy “Gold Coast” towns. He capped his living room windows…

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Insiders have a busy day at JLC LIVE in Providence

Insiders have a busy day at JLC LIVE in Providence 2 × The Host with the Most The Host with the Most This Old House host Kevin O'Connor was on double duty, hosting both a panel and a livestream during the course of the day, but he still made time to meet Insiders! Insider member Hugh McNally of Enfield, NH (right), has major TOH bona fides—he's done work on his home inspired by both TOH TV (renovating a basement with a Tom Silva-approved wall system) and AskTOH (adding cable railing to a deck). Hugh brought his longtime friend Greg Mandas of…

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Generation NEXT meets TOH at JLC Live

A packed audience of nearly 100 vocational and technical high school students wearing blue “I am the Future” T-shirts attended a panel hosted by This Old House at the JLC Live conference in Providence, RI, last Friday, eager to learn about working in the trades.TOH host Kevin O’Connor served as emcee, and TOH panelists included plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, home builder Jeff Sweenor, and GenNEXT apprentice-turned-Ask This Old House crew member Nathan Gilbert. The audience had lots of questions, from whether you need a college degree to make a living (the building trades are desperate for workers, no…

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