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why-you-should-never-search-for-free-wordpress-themes-in-google-or-anywhere-else

WordPress is a great tool for creating blogs, especially for housebloggers who have a desire for show and tell like me.  There is a vibrant community that supports WordPress and there are also assholes. Free is not necessarily without cost.

A great but technical article on the hidden dangers of using “free” WordPress themes.

Link

Lowes steps up on Toxic Drywall

The majority of the ongoing toxic drywall cases have involved home builders and wholesale suppliers. On smaller projects and remodeling, Lowes is a great source of material. Lowes and the orange stores use local wholesalers to stock their shelves. Therein lies the tale of Lowes getting involved in this.

Lowes stepped up, acknowledging that some stores has sold it, and offered reparations. As the extent of the problems became more apparent, Lowes has upped it’s settlement offer.

Lowe’s Companies Inc. has dramatically increased the amount of money [1] it is prepared to offer customers whose health or homes were harmed by defective drywall they bought from its stores. Those customers are now eligible for up to $100,000 in cash, instead of the maximum $4,500 in cash and gift cards that was previously agreed upon in a class action lawsuit that is being negotiated in a Georgia state court.

The rest of the article is here; Lowe’s Amends Settlement to Get Drywall Victims More Money

Will this be enough to make folks whole? I don’t know as I am not dismantling these houses and testing them. But one thing is sure, Lowes is stepping up, and that is a good thing for DIY’ers.

Around the neighborhood

Here are a few remodeling posts from around the net.

Hardwood Floor Installation at One Project Closer
An Excellent description of how to install hardwood flooring! Follow the links for the complete story.

The DIY Diva shows the Gas Station she is living in while she demos, remodels, and adds to her house.

A Concord Carpenter does a stunning cabinet installation

Over at Charles and Hudson is post about eliminating soffits in your kitchen.

Enjoy.

Maytag Dishwasher Recall

Maytag, Jenn-Air, Amana, Admiral, Crosley, Magic Chef, and Performa by Maytag Dishwasher Recall, 2010.
Details Here.
For the textually challenged there is a video

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled dishwashers, disconnect the electric supply by shutting off the fuse or circuit breaker controlling it, inform all users of the dishwasher about the risk of fire and contact Maytag to verify if their dishwasher is included in the recall. If the dishwasher is included in the recall, consumers can either schedule a free in-home repair or receive a rebate following the purchase of certain new Maytag brand stainless-steel tub dishwashers. The rebate is $150 if the consumer purchases new dishwasher models MDB7759, MDB7609 or MDBH979; or $250 if the consumer purchases new dishwasher models MDB8959, MDB8859, MDB7809 or MDB7709. Consumers should not return the recalled dishwashers to the retailer where purchased as retailers are not prepared to take the units back.

sigh….

One Project Closer DIY Forums

One Project Closer in addition to being a great resource for DIY by actually doing and sharing are kicking it up a notch.
The folks at OPC have opened up a DIY Discussion Forum Here.  This is a place for you to ask questions and discuss remodeling projects, from painting to site work.

Come on in.

Toxic Drywall

As the Chinese Drywall mess continues, CBS News is reporting that there may be problems with American drywall.

Homeowners Charge U.S. Made Toxic Drywall

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has received more than 2,000 complaints to date. The agency recently released details on 44 of them under the heading “imported drywall.” But CBS News discovered that 10 of the cases – nearly a quarter – actually involve drywall made in the United States.
Source CBS News Online

Here is a video

Old House Web Blogger Contest Vote for Charles & Hudson

The folks at Charles & Hudson are finalists in the Old House Web Blogger Contest. Great folks and a great site.
Here is their entry. Click on the Stars to Vote!

Chinese Drywall Update Nov 2009

There is growing evidence that the Chinese Drywall Hazards are becoming more definitive. A Nov Press release[PDF] from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, is showing that the ongoing investigation is tending toward proving the health hazards of this drywall.

While the Commission is not concluding this drywall as the culprit, the New Your Times reports:

The commission has sent a letter to the Internal Revenue Service asking that the service allow homeowners to deduct drywall-related costs as a casualty loss on their federal income tax returns.
Source NYT

For homeowners this may be bittersweet news, as insurance companies are already denying claims, and doing a ‘to the studs’ demo including the electric, plumbing and HVAC is gonna be expensive for those builders still in the market, impossible for those who have already gone bankrupt, and will have folks tied up in court for a long time.

Chinese Drywall Hazards Update

A  report posted on the National Association of Home Builders website is noting that a preliminary multi agency investigation is inclusive. That posting is here.
Early Findings Inconclusive on Chinese Drywall Hazards
The original government reports are available here Most of them are in PDF.

This is not the end of the issue or the investigations. You should note that the NAHB is a industry funded group, funded by a lot of the home builders that built these houses. Outside of the continuing investigations the importation of Chinese Drywall has stopped.

In a drywall related matter, I noticed that the local Lowes stores have discounted the Denswall paperless drywall. This stuff was supposed to mitigate mold problems. I don’t know either way. But it does require a different group of materials for finishing. I am sure that part of the lack of adoption was price, as it is significantly more expensive than standard drywall, even at closeout pricing.

Chinese Drywall is the other guy’s problem

The Chinese Drywall saga takes yet another turn. This time Insurance Companies denying claims and canceling policies. Folks are getting sick, builders are denying responsibility, suppliers are denying responsibility, the states and Federal Government is ‘studying’ the problem, and the insurance companies are saying it is a builder defect and is not insurable. Then they cancel and refuse to provide coverage as it is now a “pre-existing” condition.

Just remember this when the Insurance Industry tells you that the current health care system is just fine.

Hattip to the Bungalow Chronicles for the heads up