Home DIY

Whether you're fixing a broken pipe or installing new cabinets, home DIY is an important aspect of living in a house. Check out these home DIY articles.

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Vinegar's chemical properties make it ideal for use in many common repair and maintenance jobs. Find out about vinegar's home-improvement benefits, from removing rust and wallpaper paste to eliminating paint odors.

By Christine Halvorson

Every home-dweller eventually has to contend with pests like insects, rodents, and raccoons. But don't fret: There are time-proven ways to deter and eradicate these little beasts. We've collected some in this article.

By Editors of Consumer Guide

They keep the contents of your school locker safe. They secure precious documents and monetary instruments. Some of them can even take a bullet. Learn about what's going on inside combination locks.

By Robert Valdes

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This set of articles includes explanations of lockpicking and safecracking, as well as the mechanical workings of many of the most common types of locks.

By Marshall Brain

People use safes to keep their valuables, well, safe. But in movies, thieves can open one using a little concentration and a good ear. Could you crack a safe that easily?

By Robert Valdes

If you want a surefire way to improve the look, durability and value of your home, hardwood floors are the way to go. Besides being beautiful and hard-wearing, hardwood floors are environmentally friendly, too.

By Allison Klein

While there's a good chance that your fire extinguisher will sit on the wall for years, collecting dust, it could end up saving your property and even your life. Learn the correct way to use an extinguisher and see what sort of fire suppressant works best on different types of fires.

By Tom Harris

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You probably don't spend too much time pondering the inner workings of a doorbell, but it's actually a pretty cool device once you get inside. Find out exactly what happens when someone rings your bell.

By Tom Harris

The super of our apartment building is always going into everyone's apartment when something needs to be fixed. There must be a hundred apartments, but he only carries one key around with him. How does he get into all those apartments?

In movies, burglars can open a lock using a paper clip. Is it really so easy? The basic process of picking a lock is simple, but it takes practice to get it right.

By Marshall Brain & Tom Harris

Security systems can range from do-it-yourself kits for $10 to sophisticated whole-house networks installed by professionals. But most alarm systems are actually built around the same basic design concepts.

By Tom Harris

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I have several smoke detectors in my house, and recently the battery went dead on one of them. It started chirping, so I took the battery out, only to have the others complain about it. My question is, how do all of the smoke detectors talk to one an

A friend told me that the bad smell coming from my toilet indicates that the seal under the toilet is broken and needs to be replaced. He also said that I could probably do the job myself. I'd like to try.

In places where uranium is common in the soil, radon is a popular topic of discussion. Even though radon is "completely natural," it can be a real health hazard. Learn how radon forms and why it is so dangerous.

By Marshall Brain & Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D.

Overtime doors will develop a squeak for various reasons. Find out how to remedy this annoying problem with the help of this home improvement article.

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Water-saving toilets, or low-flow toilets, can help reduce the amount of water your home uses in the bathroom. But what makes a water-saving toilet different from a regular one?

How can motion-sensing lights detect your presence, and what prevents them from seeing you when you're standing still? It all comes down to the movement of light.

What is this bumpy stuff on my ceiling that looks like popcorn or cottage cheese?

How do multi-class dry chemical fire extinguishers work? What is the dry chemical?

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Each time you flush the toilet or wash something down the sink's drain, you create sewage (also known in polite society as wastewater). Find out where it goes and how it's treated before it flows into a river near you!

By Marshall Brain

As the saying goes, "Where there's smoke, there's fire." Smoke detectors are amazing: They're pretty inexpensive, but they save thousands of lives each year. Learn all about nuclear and light-sensing smoke detectors.

By Marshall Brain

Most of us are entirely dependent on electricity, so a power outage can become seriously annoying. Learn about the generators and inverters that can put an end to home power failures.

By Marshall Brain

Have you ever wondered how a house is built? Or what holds up the ceiling and walls? And how do you keep the rain out? It's a complex process that involves quite a bit more than you may think.

By Marshall Brain

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A fascinating look inside a combination lock!

By Marshall Brain