Articles by Philip Schmidt


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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...


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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...


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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: 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?...


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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...


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Why do I need ground fault circuit interrupters?

Posted by Philip Schmidt | Jan 30, 2014

There are really only two reasons why you need ground fault circuit interrupters, or GFCIs, but they're both very, very good reasons. First of all, it's the law. Most local building...


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Can You Lay New Roof Shingles Over Old?

Posted by Philip Schmidt | Jan 23, 2014

The answer is yes, you can lay new roof shingles over old ones. Now that we've taken care of the primary question at hand, we'll consider a couple of reasons why you might want to...


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Convert Flat Roof to Pitched

Posted by Philip Schmidt | Jan 16, 2014

There are many good reasons to covert a flat roof to a pitched, or sloped, roof. A pitched roof can add curb appeal and storage or even living space, it can reduce maintenance (in...


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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....


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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...