Ask the experts

  • Gardening with allergies Gardening with allergies Q: I love puttering in the yard but hate the way plant pollens and molds make my eyes water and my nose run. I prefer not to be on antihistamines and symptom-easing supplements all the time so I’m wondering: Is it possible to create a 'low-allergy' landscape?
  • Landscaping: Small budget, big results Landscaping: Small budget, big results Q: Can it be done... a landscape transformation on a budget? If so, what are some ideas to keep costs in check and still produce big results?
  • The dirt on soil The dirt on soil Q: I am confused about when and how much to fertilize my garden. Also I would like to avoid using chemicals – what are your recommendations for natural and/or organic fertilizers?
  • Secrets to a lush lawn Secrets to a lush lawn Q: I will be hosting a few events in my backyard this summer and I want my lawn to be in top notch shape. The grass has dandelions and clover. What do you recommend? It's very important that the grass doesn't get damaged in the process of removing the weeds.
  • How to have pest-free parties How to have pest-free parties Q: I’m planning an outdoor party on my deck this summer. What are some ways to keep mosquitoes from crashing my party?
  • Kitchen remodeling Kitchen remodeling Q: If we sell our home in five years, will we get our money back that we spent remodeling our kitchen?
  • Lighting Lighting Q: If I am remodeling a room, what should I consider before choosing the lighting fixtures?
  • Home heating Home heating Q: What are some simple and inexpensive ways that we can cut down our heating expenses this winter and save ourselves some money?
  • Making a small space feel spacious Making a small space feel spacious Q: I have a small living room that I’m not sure what to do with. What are some design tips for making this room seem more spacious?
  • Choosing a contractor Choosing a contractor Q: Hiring a contractor for home improvements seems like a daunting task. How do I know I’m choosing a good one?
  • The art of hanging wall art The art of hanging wall art Q: We have collected a few nice pieces of art but now we need to figure out how and where to hang them. Before we do, are there any tips or “tricks of the trade”?
  • Planting bulbs for a spring showing Planting bulbs for a spring showing Q: When is the right time to plant bulbs, and, in the fall, how do we keep them from freezing and get them to be beautiful in the spring?It is so important to incorporate some bulbs into your planting scheme, as it is a true sign of spring and a welcoming sight, especially here in Alaska.
  • Hire an architect? Hire an architect? Q: We are thinking about adding on an addition to our existing home. What would be the benefit of hiring an architect for a large-scale remodeling project like this?
  • Selling a home in winter Selling a home in winter Q: We will be putting our home up for sale in a few months but trying to sell a home during winter sounds like a real drag. The weather will be uninviting, and the trees and lawn will not look their best. What are some tips for getting buyers interested during the winter months?
  • Cabinet facelifts Cabinet facelifts Q: We want to give our tired-looking kitchen cabinets a quick and inexpensive facelift without starting all over. What are some affordable upgrades that provide immediate impact?
  • The right window treatments The right window treatments Q: There are so many options when it comes to window treatments and the choices feel overwhelming. How do we decide the right coverings for our windows and what are some hot trends in window treatments?
  • Roofs and snow loads Roofs and snow loads Q: Should I be worried about snow build-up on my roof? How much is too much snow on my roof?
  • Small space solutions Small space solutions Q: I have a very small bathroom that I want to update: it’s about 5 by 4 feet. Do you have any tricks I can use to make this small bath look and feel bigger? (Knocking out a wall is not an option.)
  • Preventing mold Preventing mold Q: What are the best steps I can take to prevent mold from ever starting to grow in my home?
  • A cure for condensation A cure for condensation Q: How can I keep moisture and ice from forming on my windows in the winter?
  • Deck materials: pros & cons Deck materials: pros & cons Q: This is the year we’ll be replacing our old deck. But with the different options for decking materials – from natural wood to synthetic composites – we’re not sure what to choose. What are the pros and cons of each material, and what things should we consider when choosing decking material?
  • Noisy neighbors Noisy neighbors Q: Since our neighbors moved in about 6 months ago we have had constant issues with their dogs barking day and night. They live in a small two-bedroom house with a tiny yard and the dogs are big Labradors. Their barks are really deep and loud and can be heard easily in our house, and it keeps our 2-year-old awake. What can we do?
  • Remodeling right Remodeling right Q: I have heard stories about remodeling projects costing considerably more than what was talked about in the beginning, and also the project taking longer than projected. How can I prevent this from happening?
  • Buying a foreclosure Buying a foreclosure Q: Is it wise to buy a foreclosure? It sounds like a great deal, but could it be a risk? What do we need to know?
  • Preparing for inspection Preparing for inspection Q: We’re planning to sell our house and we want the home inspection process to go quick and easy. What will a home inspector be looking for and how can we be more organized for the home buyer’s inspection?
  • What to know about CO What to know about CO Q: We have CO detectors in our home to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning, but we’ve been hearing that many homeowners are not installing or maintaining them properly and, as a result, are not protected. What do we need to know?
  • Flooring for fido Flooring for fido Q: I love the look of hardwood floors but am worried that my dog will scratch them up. Is there a type of hardwood you can recommend that could stand up to him?
  • Decor for the seasons Decor for the seasons Q: I like the idea of changing my home décor each season so it doesn’t stay one way all year long, but I don’t have a huge home remodeling budget. What are some simple, affordable things that I can do around the house to change up the décor with the seasons. Any tips?
  • Productive home offices Productive home offices Q: I'll be starting a home business and need to think about creating an office space. It needs to offer great comfort and efficiency, but I'm afraid if it is designed poorly, it might not be conducive to productivity. What are some factors I should consider to ensure I'll have a well-designed home office space?
  • Design for ultimate light Design for ultimate light Q: I've read that plenty of natural daylight creates a positive home environment and may even help ward off depressive disorders caused by seasonal patterns. As I plan for a new home build, what are some ways to help boost or optimize daylight in my home?
  • Warm up with wood Warm up with wood Q: I am exhausted by all the stainless steel and granite countertops in kitchens. What are some ways to switch things up by using wood in the kitchen? And what are some unexpected woods that would add interest and allure to our kitchen and/or bath?
  • Clear the air Clear the air Q: I've heard that air quality can be poor in homes, especially during the winter months when everything is shut tightly and people spend more time indoors. What are some tips for improving the air in our home?
  • Keeping trees healthy Keeping trees healthy Q: We just moved in to our new house and have several beautiful mature trees on our property. They look like they can fend for themselves, but are there any special tips for keeping them healthy and in tip-top shape?
  • Worthwhile bathroom splurges Worthwhile bathroom splurges Q: We want to renovate our outdated master bathroom to feel more luxurious and relaxing. And while we’d like to keep costs in check, what do you recommend as some worthwhile splurges?
  • When to replace a roof When to replace a roof Q: How do I know when it’s time to replace my roof? What signs should I be looking for?
  • Kitchen remodel: What to avoid Kitchen remodel: What to avoid Q: I'm about to renovate my kitchen. What things should I avoid so it won't look dated in five years?