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Articles by Philip Schmidt


Photo: John Lodder/Flickr

Home Radiators are Leaking

Posted by Philip Schmidt | Mar 18, 2014

The story of home radiators begins in the 19th century and features a motley cast of characters, each with its own temperament and vulnerabilities. There are steam radiators, relics...


Photo: Boa-Franc/Flickr

Hardwood Floor vs Engineered Floor

Posted by Philip Schmidt | Mar 13, 2014

On the surface, a traditional solid hardwood floor and an engineered wood floor are pretty much identical. They look the same. They can be made with the same wood species. They're...


Photo: Steven Johnson/Flickr

Help, My Air Conditioner Is Rattling!

Posted by Philip Schmidt | Mar 13, 2014

Virtually everything in the world with moving parts eventually starts making a mysterious and troubling sound. Cars tend to be the worst culprits for this, but around the house HVAC...


Photo: KitAy/Flickr

What's the Best Choice for Horse Fencing?

Posted by Philip Schmidt | Mar 07, 2014

The best choice for horse fencing is a material that meets your practical needs, your budget and your aesthetic and maintenance requirements. In other words, there’s no simple...


Photo: Andy Franklin/Flickr

Stamped Concrete Cost

Posted by Philip Schmidt | Feb 14, 2014

What's not to love about concrete? It's relatively inexpensive, it installs quickly, its durability is unmatched, and its beauty is...Oh, wait a minute; that's what's not to love about...


Photo: A National Acrobat/Flickr

Garage Door Replacement Cost

Posted by Philip Schmidt | Feb 14, 2014

Shortly after I bought my 1950s house a few years ago, I released the garage door opener from the door, for a reason I can't remember. What I do remember was the heavy wood door sliding...


Photo: Aleksey Gnilenkov/Flickr

Does Orange Oil Work for Termites?

Posted by Philip Schmidt | Feb 10, 2014

Yes, orange oil kills termites. Few pest control experts would dispute this basic claim. But ask a number of them the more loaded question, Does orange oil really work for termites?...


Photo: Randall Degges/Flickr

Estimating Concrete Walkway Cost

Posted by Philip Schmidt | Feb 06, 2014

The same characteristics that make concrete an ideal material for public curbs and sidewalks also apply to your own walkway: It's cheap, it goes down fast and it pretty much lasts...


Photo: Andre Chinn/Flickr

Good Tiles for the Shower

Posted by Philip Schmidt | Jan 09, 2014

To get one common question out of the way, there's no such thing as "shower tile." Many types of ceramic, porcelain, stone and glass tile are perfectly suitable for a shower environment....


Photo: Ben Husmann/Flickr

Matte vs Glossy Paint

Posted by Philip Schmidt | Dec 20, 2013

Which sheen of paint to use is the eternal question of DIY painters (not to mention pros who need to make sure clients get exactly what they want). And if you've looked into your options...