Improvements & Choices


So, What Do You Do With Tools?

1.  How familiar are you with hand tools, light electric tools, electrical and plumbing principles, and so on?     Familiar with advanced tools and skills
Familiar with basic tools and skills     I am currently learning about tools and skills
I forgot most of what I barely learned     I was never really too interested.

2.  My single most favorite hand tool brand is:
Hako     Klein     Snap On     Channellock     Craftsman     Exceltra     Crescent     Wiha     Plato     Excelite     Grobet     Lindstrom     Vermont American     Other?

3.  I contract a professional when my home needs:
Never — I do it all myself     Anything more than cleaning     Painting & carpeting
Painting, carpeting, & drapery     Plumbing, electrical & architectural changes.

4.  My single most favorite power tool brand — because they are reliable & work well — is:
Skill     Stihl     Craftsman     Bostitch     Hobart     Woodwright     Milwaukee     Bosch     DeWalt     Not any special brand — I buy what I see & works well.

5.   Some fix-up projects on my list for this year include:
Fence work, new or repair work     Home entertainment center, new or enhancements     Exterior painting     Home office, new or enhancements     Interior painting     Kitchen     Electrical work     Bath     Plumbing     Garage improvement     Room addition(s)     None, nothing, nada.

6.   About landscaping, including plants, trees and grass:
I hire a service for all upkeep, and flower & tree plantings all year
I hire a service to do weekly upkeep
I do all weekly upkeep
I choose & plant shrubs
I choose & plant flowers
I hire a service for all flower, shrubs & tree plantings all year

7.   About contracting and contractors, I prefer to:
Act as my own general contractor
Hire an experienced general contractor
Work on one project at a time to keep it simple


What Do You Think?

Please post below.

1.) About where you live now: Urban single family house, Suburban single family house, Urban multi-family town house, Suburban multi-family town house, Urban high-rise, Suburban high-rise, Farm-style house, or what?

2.  About any plan to refinance: In the next few weeks, We haven’t & don’t like to change, We recently refinanced, We don’t think we should.

3.  About gardening: We do it all ourselves, I do it all with my family, We do the basic grass cutting & stuff only, We hire a landscaping service, Plant & care for the flowers myself, Plant & care for the flowers with my family.

4.  About fix-up and do-it-yourself stuff: We do it all, We call a specialist, We do the easy stuff, We call our kids, We do might tighten a door hinge, but not much more, We threw away all our tools.

5.  About furnishing and decorating: We do it all, We call a decorator, We do the easy stuff, We call our kids, We do might select paint colors, but not much more, We don’t have too many good ideas.

6.  Please mention the chores & fun stuff you’ve done around your house.
Plumbing, Remodeled a bathroom, Painting – interior, Painting – exterior, Carpet laying, Roof & gutter work, Remodeled a kitchen, Other?

7.  About when we purchased our current home:
Within the last 6 months       Between 4 & 5 years ago
Within the last 12 months     Between 6 & 10 years ago
Between 1 & 2 years ago     Between 10 & 15 years ago
Between 2 & 3 years ago     Between 15 & 20 years ago
Between 3 & 4 years ago     Over 20 years ago

Size & Scale Matter

What Do You Think?

Please post below.

1.   Today, considering the size of our house, I wish we had not bought one so large.      Agree?      Disagree?

2.   Approximately how large is your family’s primary home?
Less than 4,000 square feet
Between 4,000 & 6,000 sf
Between 6,000 & 8,000 sf
Between 8,000 & 10,000 sf
Between 10,000 & 12,000 sf
Between 12,000 & 14,000 sf
Between 14,000 & 16,000 sf
Between 16,000 & 20,000 sf
Between 20,000 & 30,000 sf
Over 30,000 sf

3.   About your garage space:
Please comment on features that are part of your primary home.
Attached 2-car garage
Attached 3-car garage
Attached 2-car garage with detached 1-car garage
Attached 2-car garage with detached 2-car garage
Attached 3-car garage with detached garage space
Attached 4-car garage with detached garage space
Epoxy floor
Decorated with car memorabilia
Furnished with cabinets
Other stuff in my garage include…?




About fire extinguishers:

There are four types, known as classes, of fire extinguishers. Each of which extinguishes specific types of fire. Newer fire extinguishers use a picture/labeling system to designate which types of fires they are to be used on. Older fire extinguishers are labeled with colored geometrical shapes with letter designations.

Class A and Class B fire extinguishers have a numerical rating which is based on tests conducted by Underwriter’s Laboratories that are designed to determine the extinguishing potential for each size and type of extinguisher.

Fire Extinguisher Ratings:

Class A Extinguishers will put out fires in ordinary combustibles, such as wood and paper. The numerical rating for this class of fire extinguisher refers to the amount of water the fire extinguisher holds and the amount of fire it will extinguish.

Class B Extinguishers should be used on fires involving flammable liquids, such as grease, gasoline, oil, etc. The numerical rating for this class of fire extinguisher states the approximate number of square feet of a flammable liquid fire that a non-expert person can expect to extinguish.

Class C Extinguishers are suitable for use on electrically energized fires. This class of fire extinguishers does not have a numerical rating. The presence of the letter “C” indicates that the extinguishing agent is non-conductive.

Class D Extinguishers are designed for use on flammable metals and are often specific for the type of metal in question. There is no picture designator for Class D extinguishers. These extinguishers generally have no rating nor are they given a multi-purpose rating for use on other types of fires.

Kitchen & Dining


Kitchen & Dining


Do you prefer open kitchen or traditional separate rooms? Put your culinary talents and pots on display for all to see? Or, do you prefer that you and your guests use a separate dining room?

Is it wise to have family and guests in the dining room or living room while you miss out?

Your response is why open kitchens have become so popular in our casual age.

Toys & Kids


Kids & Toys

From The History Channel:
1840   The first American doll maker is granted a patent and dolls begin to be mass-produced in America for the first time.
1800s   Playgrounds begin to appear in American cities. The idea stemmed from the efforts of city reformers who were searching for more healthful play options for children in urban areas, where parks and yards were scarce. The playgrounds started off as “sand gardens,” inspired by those seen by an American social worker while visiting Berlin. Financed by local businesses, city playgrounds soon included swings and see-saws.
1843   The Mansion of Happiness is developed by S.B. Ives in Salem, Massachusetts. It becomes the first board game sold in the United States.
1886   The first BB gun is created. Made for children, it scares many parents because it is actually a working gun that can cause injury. The BB gun is a descendant of the cap gun, which was invented soon after the Civil War, when some shotgun manufacturers converted their factories to make toys. Penny pistols and other authentic looking toy guns also began to appear in the 1880s.
1887   The speaking doll, which had first been invented by Johann Maelzel in 1820, is improved when Thomas Edison combines his phonograph technology with a doll, allowing it to speak.
1896   A westernized version of the Indian game Parcheesi is introduced in England under the name Ludo. Parcheesi is a type of “cross and circle” game, which dates back to 300 A.D. and was played in the Korean, Syrian, and Aztec cultures.
Late 1880s   Maj Jongg, which was named for a Chinese word meaning “sparrow,” originates in the Ningbo area of China. Games like Mah Jongg had been played as long ago as 800.
1901   At just twenty-two years old, Joshua Lionel Cowen creates a battery-powered train engine as an “animated advertisement” for products in a store’s display window. To his surprise, customers are more interested in purchasing his toy train, than the merchandise in the display. Lionel Trains is born.

HVAC & Controls

hvac-unit-furnace      hardware-gadgets      hvac-unit


Homeowners needing to replace central air-conditioner must make the usual trade off between a lower cost unit and a more expensive unit.

A cheap but inefficient system that runs up high utility bills will make its owner pay all along. An initially more costly unit will generally be more efficient but cost less to operate.




Atomix atomic clocks from Chaney Instrument Co. of Lake Geneva, Wis., feature the company’s new mechanism. These have decreased prices. Once the battery is installed into an atomic clock, it time is set using a radio signal from the US Atomic Clock in Boulder, Colorado.

Precision is correct to the millionth of a second. These clocks automatically reset for daylight-saving and standard time. Atomix wall clocks have wood or metal frames. They cost around $40 to $60. Call 800-777-0565 for dealers.