H O U SE -W ISE
Repair or replace? Danny shares lessons
from this renovation project that you can
apply to your own house.
lf your windows are single-pane, are hard
to operate, and have little or no weather
stripping, it’s best to have them replaced.
Your local carpenter can do this easily, and
installing them will have little impact on
adjacent trim and walls.
No matter how bad they look,
most wood floors can be refinished
successfully. It generally costs less than
replacing the wood with other flooring
options. The deciding factor is whether
previous sanding has left the wood too thin
to refinish again. Have your local contractor
assess your floor’s condition.
Wood doors without rot can be reused.
Take the doors to your local contractor
who will ‘dip and strip’ them; this removes
previous finishes so you can prime or stain.
If you’re planning major changes to
your home’s wiring or plumbing, it’s
usually prudent to remove walls and ceilings
first. It makes the work easier for the
electrician and plumber. Plus you can add
other options, which will pay you back in
energy savings. ■
The right m oves
Movable furniture is key to this plan’s success. A
pair of armchairs can be part of the main seating
area or cozy up to the offset fireplace, which
defines one side of the living room. One of the
chairs also serves a writing desk, which doubles
as the sofa’s side table. Additionally, the cocktail
table can shift to where it’s needed.
“Preserving the charm
of an old house is
important, but so is
updating for energy
efficiency, safety, and
BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS | JANUARY 2012