Nov 2018 (123)
Featured Video:
Hanging Outdoor Christmas Lights

Jim shares his top tips for how to install outdoor Christmas lights.

And a story about how NOT to install them...

Your Questions -- Jim's Answers
Rusty Tools in the Garage

Rust can be a can be a common problem for tools stored in the garage. Jim explores possible causes, solutions and methods for removing the rust.

When Structure Problems are the Result Builder's Failure
Builders do make mistakes and as a homeowner you do have the power to challenge them to make it right. The Texas Residential Construction Liability Act protects homeowners. Jim encourages this listener to get a new lawyer and fight for their investment.

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Selecting a Christmas Tree
How to pick a beautiful tree that will last the holiday season.

Know What You Want
Each tree species is a little different, so to find the best Christmas tree for your family, you need to match it to the needs and wants of your household. For example, if you have children, you might lean toward pines or firs with soft needles instead of spruce trees, which have sharp needles that can hurt when you step on them.
Check the Tree's Freshness
First, check the trunk of the tree. The trunk should have a slight stickiness to it. Bend a needle in half with your fingers; fresh firs should snap, while fresh pines bend and should not break.
Make Sure the Needles Are Secure
To find the best Christmas tree that will last the longest, gently grab the inside of a branch and pull your hand toward you. The needles should stay on the tree. Alternatively, gently tap the cut end of a tree on the ground; if a few needles fall off, it should be fine. If a lot of needles fall off, keep searching for a different tree.
Look for Even Coloration
Some types of Christmas trees will go from deep, rich green to a dull gray-green if they get too dried out. Err on the side of caution and stick with a "greener is better" mindset.
Freshen the Trunk
Once you get the Christmas tree home, take proper care of the trunk. Cut off about a half inch from the bottom of the tree's trunk (or ask the Christmas tree lot to do this for you). The fresh cut will absorb more water, so your tree holds its needles and keeps its color longer. Put the tree in water as quickly as you can after making the cut.
Measure, Measure, Measure
There's nothing worse than picking out the best Christmas tree on the lot, getting it home, and finding out it's too tall for your room. Before you leave home, measure both your ceiling height and the height of your Christmas tree stand so you don't have to recut the tree when you get home.
Keep Your Tree Cool
As tempting as it may be to place the tree next to a fireplace, know that heat sources—including a heating vent—will cause your tree to dry out faster. Place your tree in a cool and dry spot.
Maintain Your Tree's Moisture
To keep your Christmas tree looking perfect, keep the water in your tree stand filled all the time. You may need to add water two or even three times the first few days.

Source: Better Homes & Gardens.

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