This Old House Archives

December 2008


Q: Several of the balusters on my stairs are loose. How can I tighten them up?

Chalk Line

Q: Why does chalk-line chalk come in different colors? I've only used blue.

Chimney Fires

Q: Our three-year-old chimney is cleaned twice a year, but we've already had a chimney fire this...

Extending a Drain Line

Q: I have a flexible, black, corrugated drainage pipe that now empties into my yard, but I'd like...

Floor Protection

Q: We want to enlarge our living room doorway, but I'm worried about our hardwood floors. What's...

Frosty Roof Nails

Q: The last couple of times that I've been in my attic when the temperature is really cold, I've...

Leaking Cupola

Q: We've started to see signs of leaks in the ceiling directly below an open-sided cupola on our...

Safer Paint Strippers

Alternatives to traditional, harsh paint strippers are making furniture refinishing easier on the...

Secret Sources 2008

Our 2008 guide to home improvement products and services you won't find at the home center

Staining Ceiling Planks

Q: I'd like to stain the ceiling planks of our unfinished plank-and-beam ceiling a light color,...

The Best New Ranges

From induction to dual fuel, 10 new appliances that are sure to get you cooking

The Holiday-Ready House

20 ways to prepare for the holidays to make your digs more functional, safe, and guest-friendly

Toilet-Vent Problem

Q: The water in my toilet bowl keeps draining out on its own. How do I take care of this toilet...

Tools to Cure Wrap Rage

This holiday, curb the frustration. These 11 items help you open impenetrable packaging while...