In This Issue

  • November 1998 Issue No. 23

  • Radiant Floor Heating

    Special Finances Report
    To get the most house for your money, avoid serial ownership. Instead: Buy once, stay put and renovate. But do so with prudence; renovation addicts often find themselves in mansions among ranches. And choose a contractor with the same care you would a spouse. Here's how.
    By Stephen M. Pollan and Mark Levine
    And the Walls Came Tumbling Down
    This Old House rips open a Victorian labyrinth in Watertown, Massachusetts, starting with 72 plaster walls.
    By Cynthia Sanz
    Hot House
    A husband and wife tackle a mail-order greenhouse kit. Their most indispensable tool: a sense of humor.
    By Jack McClintock
    An American Craftsman
    Window-maker Patricia Vloeberghs imbues every perfect pane with her own blood, sweat and tears.
    By Brad Lemley
    Take a Walk on the Warm Side
    Radiant floor heat, installed correctly, keeps toes toasty with hot-water tubes embedded in concrete underfoot.
    By Curtis Rist
    When There's a Mouse in the House
    Getting rid of mice takes more than setting out traps and cheese. For starters, skip the cheese.
    By Joseph D'Agnese
    Dream House: Upon This Rock
    This Old House Magazine pours the foundation for 200 tons of Dream House in Wilton, Connecticut
    By Joe Carter
    James Madison's Virginia plantation embodies the highest ideals and lowest realities of the man and his age
    By Walt Harrington
    The Poster: The Big Switch
    The anatomy of light switches has changed little in 100 years, but the variety of designs has mushroomed.
    By Kate Brauman
    Around the house
    Off The Wall

    The Great Booty Grab

    Home Shows overwhelm the senses and blister the feet, but they're heaven for grown-ups who still love trick-or-treating.
    By Jeanne Marie Laskas
    Power Tool

    Rotary Club

    For tough, tiny jobs: tough, tiny tools that carve, cut and grind.
    By Curtis Rist
    Hand Tool

    The Rasp Waltz

    Sharp, pointy teeth on a metal shaft deftly shape wood, plaster and plastic like a cat's tongue sculpting a pat of butter.
    By Jeff Taylor
    Materials We Love

    Miracle Blocks

    Autoclaved aerated concrete-AAC-may be a mouthful, but it's lighter than masonry concrete, insulates acoustically, conserves energy, cuts and stacks effortlessly and resists fire, decay and termites. So why aren't all houses built of this stuff?
    By Jack McClintock

    Bust the Dust—and Germs

    Perfect drywall means nobody noticing how good your work is.
    By Hope Reeves
    Weekend Project

    Replacing Balusters

    Replacing snaggletoothed spindles restores a staircase's dignity.
    By Hope Reeves
    The Money Pit

    Gutter Swipes

    No matter whose advice you take regarding those fiendish sluiceways hanging on your house, the leaks keep on coming.
    By Brock Yates