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10 Easy Pieces: Top Down Bottom Up Window Shades

Recently, a reader wrote us in response to our post on roller shades requesting ideas for top down bottom up shades. In truth, these are not our favorite style of window treatment, mainly because they are typically cellular shades and feature a cord running up the length of the center. There are, however, real benefits to the top down bottom up shade that we cannot ignore. For one, the shades allow the blocking out of unsightly objects at the bottom of the window (like the neighbor’s house or yard, etc) while still being able to see the sky or any…

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How to Look at a House like a Building Scientist (Part 4: Water) 

I’m back, with the fourth article in a series on various building diagnostic tools and techniques that I use in my work sleuthing out problems in buildings. You can see Part 1: Air, Part 2: Heat, and Part 3: Temperature, Humidity, and HVAC Systems before reading this post if you’d like. Here in Part 4, we’ll be looking at water and moisture issues. Water, buildings, and the importance of deflection Water and moisture problems are the most common cause of damage and durability issues in buildings. Within the category, the most damaging is liquid water, typically in the form of…

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Jenn Largesse

As the daughter of a carpenter and an English teacher, Jenn has been honing her love for woodworking and writing her entire life. After nearly a decade as a writer and producer for This Old House, she bought her first home in rural New England and launched her blog, Build Basic. Since then Jenn has also rejoined the This Old House family as the editor of House One, and now their in-house DIY Expert sharing easy woodworking and home improvement projects. https://www.thisoldhouse.com/cast/21277666/jenn-largesse

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Design Luminary Faye Toogood’s Family-Friendly Minimalist Apartment

Faye Toogood is arguably one of the most influential interior designers of our time. So when we noticed that her three-bedroom apartment in Hampshire was listed on The Modern House (the high-end, design-focused real estate company co-founded by her husband, Matt Gibberd), we knew we had to reach out for more information. “I moved out of London with my family two years ago to have my twin daughters and to be closer to my parents. Buying this flat was an interim move before we committed to buying a family home outside of London,” Faye tells us of the 1,325-square-foot home,…

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Making Building Interiors Healthier in a Pandemic

This post, which was originally published at The Conversation, was written by Kevin Van den Wymelenberg, Leslie Dietz, and Mark Fretz. Architects and building engineers strive to create safe, productive places where humans can live and work. We have developed complex codes, regulations, and guidelines to achieve goals such as structural safety, fire safety, adequate ventilation and energy efficiency, and to anticipate extreme scenarios such as 100-year floods. The question for our profession now is whether and how the 100-year viral pandemic will change architectural design and building operations. How can societies safeguard buildings or homes from a viral pathogen…

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How to Build a Custom Built-in Shelving Unit

Project details Skill 3 out of 5 Moderate Cost $300 and up Estimated Time 8 days The fireplace wall in our new home is the main focal point of our open-living kitchen and family room, but because it’s sandwiched between the opening to the dining room and a wall of windows, it creates an awkward layout for the television and seating. To give it a purpose and de-emphasize the un-centered fireplace, I’m adding a full wall of built-ins that will house the television, hide cords, and create a beautiful focal point for the space. And because we want the quality…

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