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Breaking down HGTVs budgets and comparing them to what things cost in the real world. HGTV is a great source of inspiration for the remodeling industry. Their shows are full of creative design ideas and unique uses for repurposed items. What they do a poor job of is representing the true costs of a remodel….read more

Today, childhood lead poisoning is considered the most preventable environmental disease among young children.  Yet, one million children today are affected by lead poisoning.  Pregnant women are also vulnerable to lead poisoning.  There is a good chance that any home, building, school or daycare center built before 1978 contains lead paint.  Just a few particles…read more

A few years ago, residential energy rebate programs abounded. Today, many programs have come to an end or run out of funding, but the good news is that several programs are still available for Maryland residents. Here’s a list of Pepco programs that offer money back on various remodeling improvements, appliance purchases and others home-related…read more

Recently, we received an email from the Montgomery County Government with this great news: “Interested in upgrading your home to improve comfort, reduce energy costs and even boost long term home value? Montgomery County, using a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, is offering a one time program to help you pay for the costs…read more

Recently, the Washington Examiner wrote a story about the importance of checking local rules on egress windows before beginning renovations. Egress windows are: “windows that big enough and low enough so that occupants can escape through the opening in an emergency, such as a fire. In the United States, exact specifications for emergency windows in…read more

In September 2010, the EPA’s new Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule officially went into effect. Home improvement professionals were granted until December 31, 2010 to complete training on procedures to keep their clients and their workers safe. To date, more than 500,000 individuals from 64,000 companies nationwide have received training. This is both the…read more

Well, here’s the bad news: the new federal tax bill signed into law by President Obama just cut the tax credits that homeowners were gaining for energy-efficient remodeling in their homes. The credits were cut from 30 percent of an improvement’s cost (with a maximum of $1,500 per taxpayer) down to a 10 percent credit…read more

If you’re thinking about buying a new home, which may need remodeling, consider a pre-purchase evaluation.  An evaluation can clarify the feasibility of making the purchase and can help you explore: if the style and overall feel of the home suits your needs and the needs of your family, how it can it be re-configured,…read more

Below is a link to a blog post regarding the new lead paint rule, which is posted on the Consumer Reports Home & Garden Blog. The writer shares information about the extended deadline for contractors who still need to receive training to be compliant with this new standard and also includes my view of what…read more