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Learn Mailbox Rules and Regulations

A new mailbox may be on your to-do list, whether you just moved into your home or you’re sprucing it up and want to improve your curb appeal. Whatever the reason, it’s a good idea to brush up on mailbox rules and regulations before you begin to shop for a new one or are building one from scratch. Curbside Mailbox You’ll typically find curbside mailboxes in areas where the mail carrier delivers mail from a vehicle. A curbside mailbox must meet United States Postal Service specifications for size and construction standards. When purchasing a new curbside box, make sure it has…

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The Anatomy of a Kitchen Faucet

Standard options for the faucet material include brass, stainless steel, plastic, and zinc. Brass is the most popular choice. It's durable and easy to cast, and companies offer a wide variety of models and finishes. Some have sprayer heads made of plastic, so they weigh less and stay cool to the touch; other parts might be made of zinc.Brass is usually alloyed with lead to make it easier to cast. By law, faucets sold in the U.S. can't contain more than 8 percent lead, but even that amount can contaminate water sitting in the faucet body for more than a…

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How to Stop Kitchen Faucet Leaks

There are few things more annoying than a leaky faucet. It's a constant reminder that you're wasting water, plus the drip, drip, dripping sound is beyond irritating. Don't put up with it—fix it! Repairing a leaky faucet is an easy and inexpensive project. The key is in knowing how to fix your particular type of faucet.There are four kinds of faucets: compression, ball type, cartridge, and ceramic disk. A compression faucet relies on rubber washers to seal the valve seat, which can wear out and need to be replaced. With the other three types of faucets, either the O-ring or…

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Planning for the Perfect Outdoor Kitchen

You want to cook outdoors, where, after all, everything tastes better. But where do you start in creating the perfect outdoor kitchen for your needs? The perfect outdoor kitchen for you is determined by these factors: Space available, the type of cooking and entertaining you want to do, and your budget.We could think of the space available for an outdoor kitchen in terms of tiny, moderate, and huge. A tiny spot for an outdoor kitchen may be on your condo balcony or just outside the patio door of your house, or on the back deck. The good news is that you…

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All About Ceramic Subway Tile

As a staple of kitchen and bath design, the ubiquitous ceramic subway tile has been around since it was introduced in New York City's subway stations in the early 1900s. The easy-to-clean, stain-resistant, light-reflective, 3-by-6-inch glazed white rectangles captured the public's imagination back then and quickly moved into the bathrooms and kitchens of prewar houses for practical and aesthetic reasons.More than a century later, ceramic subway tile still endures as a perennial favorite for homeowners. Today's tiles come in a mind-boggling array of colors and finishes that partner well with just about any style of decor. And they've made the…

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Easy Fixes for Drafty Windows and Doors

If winter winds have you reaching for your overcoat—while you’re inside inside the house—it’s time to seal up some windows and doors. Air gaps not only allow the cold in; they allow the heat to escape, leading to unnecessarily high energy costs. Whether you have old windows that need replacing or newer ones that have some wear, these easy fixes for drafty windows and doors will have you warm and toasty, and your heating bill lower, in no time.Some areas of the country are prone to fickle winter weather. One day it’s 15 degrees with howling winds and two days…

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