home improvement

12 Stories

Clock Trapped in Wall Has Been Beeping for 13 Years

The alarm faithfully goes off once every day

(Newser) - A homeowner outside Pittsburgh, Penn., has a rather jolting daily reminder of a construction mistake he made nearly 13 years ago. CBS Pittsburgh reports that Jerry Lynn of Ross Township accidentally dropped an alarm clock between the walls during a home improvement project in the fall of 2004. Though it’... More »

Vanilla Ice Project Back for Second Season

Ex-rapper's renovation show will run on DIY Network

(Newser) - Stop, collaborate, and set your DVRs. Ice is back with a second season of "The Vanilla Ice Project," a show on the DIY Network that stars the 44-year-old rapper as he renovates a run-down mansion in Palm Beach County, Florida. Returning on the heels of a hit first... More »

Vanilla Ice, Home Remodel Expert?

The rapper gets DIY series...really

(Newser) - Today’s WTF moment: Vanilla Ice is back…in a home improvement series. Apparently the rapper “taught himself the basics of home improvement through hands-on experience” over the last 15 years, and is ready to show off his “vast knowledge” of home renovation, according to a rep for... More »

DIY Projects Go Frugal

(Newser) - With the five-figure granite-countertopped kitchen overhaul now an emblem of prerecession excess, home-improvement chains are seeking a new niche for themselves in more frugal times, the New York Times reports. DIY projects these days have shifted from upgrades to maintenance—consumers won't redo the bathroom but will fix the leaky... More »

Dow Falls 186, Biggest Drop Since July 2

Worldwide shocks worry investors

(Newser) - Stocks continued to decline after drops in world markets proved to be contagious at the open, with the Dow falling the most since July 2, the Wall Street Journal reports. The worldwide stock decline had investors scrambling to Treasurys and other safe havens. Home-improvement retailer Lowe's fell 10% after reporting... More »

'Insourcing' Is Recession's DIY Buzzword

From hairdressing to gardening, 'insourcing' is hot

(Newser) - The recession is prompting Americans to forgo luxuries—and that means doing for themselves what they would once have paid someone else to do, the Washington Post reports. Starter sewing-kit sales have soared 30%; landscapers are losing business; customers are forsaking salons to dye their own hair. The trend is... More »

Nation Cooking on Radioactive Countertops

That fancy granite may contain more uranium than is good for you

(Newser) - Granite countertops have become exceedingly popular, but few realize the dapper slabs can be radioactive, the New York Times reports. Granite often contains uranium, and reports have been flowing in of “hot” counters giving off higher-than-recommended levels of radon gas. “It’s not that all granite is dangerous,... More »

'Do-It-Yourself' Can Be Fightin' Words

35% of British homeowners admit to house-related disputes

(Newser) - Adrian starts painting in the middle, but Hannah wants the wall layered methodically. Adrian storms out, and Hannah works alone. The DIY dispute is no anomaly: 35% of British homeowners said in a recent study that home improvements caused domestic rifts. Underlying the debates on paint color and floorboards is... More »

DIY Home Care—Not So Hard

Homeowners only need a few simple tools and a little know-how

(Newser) - Homeowners can save big bucks on maintenance and keep their houses shipshape by mastering 10 simple skills, Allen Norwood observes for McClatchy Newspapers:
  1. Swap out your door locks: Remove a few bolts and screws and easily replace an existing lock for a new one.
  2. Become familiar with your filters: Note
... More »

Dour Housing Market Slams Home Depot Q4 Results

Profits drop 27%, and the company says 2008 isn't looking very bright

(Newser) - Continuing US housing market woes, showing no signs of letting up, helped drag Home Depot’s fourth quarter profits down 27% over the same quarter last year, to $671 million from $925 million. The world’s largest home-improvement retailer also predicted fiscal-year earnings will drop 19% to 24%, more than... More »

10 Lies Homeowners Tell Buyers

Few are above making a fib or two part of the sales pitch

(Newser) - When a homeowner is desperate to sell and a buyer is ready to fork over the cash, the truth about a house is often swept under the rug, MSNBC reports. Watch out for frequent fibs when talking about:
  1. Personality of neighbors and the neighborhood.
  2. Status of home repairs (particularly the
... More »

Fireplaces Heat Up Backyards

The wood may be for show, but the status boost is for real

(Newser) - The outdoor fireplace is the latest must-have for obsessive upgraders—at least those with backyards. With built-in stereo systems, refrigerators, and price tags that run to $80,000, these oversized hearths often come with a just-for-show wood pile, though they run on gas. More »

12 Stories