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The Chair Rail Isn’t for Chairs Anymore

The Chair Rail Isn’t for Chairs Anymore

By Bill Primavera If you’re staring at a blank plasterboard wall that is begging for a little dressing up, consider adding a dado rail, also known as a chair rail, fixed horizontally to the perimeter of the room. I seriously doubt that the back of any chair has touched a chair rail as a way […]

Home Guru: The Practicality and Psychology of Having Clean Windows

Home Guru: The Practicality and Psychology of Having Clean Windows

By Bill Primavera – When is someone going to invent the self-cleaning window and take it to Shark Tank? After all, we have the self-cleaning oven, don’t we? Of all the chores I’ve considered doing myself as a homeowner, window cleaning has never been among them, not in two New York City apartments (impossible to […]

Home Guru:  All the World’s a Stage, But Our Stage is at Home

Home Guru: All the World’s a Stage, But Our Stage is at Home

By Bill Primavera When I opened my own PR firm ‘lo those many years ago, my very first assignment was to write a speech for an icon in the hospitality industry. It was to be delivered at a university where a major area of concentration is hotel management. The focus of the talk was to […]

Home Guru: Explaining the Symphony of Sound That Our Houses Make

Home Guru: Explaining the Symphony of Sound That Our Houses Make

By Bill Primavera – “I’ve got one last question to ask,” the very pleasant woman said after an almost two-hour showing of my lovely colonial home. “Does this house make any kind of strange noises that can’t be explained? Noises that are going to upset me?” “That’s funny,” I responded. “I’ve actually researched and written […]

Home Guru: The Artistry of Natural Stone in the Landscape

Home Guru: The Artistry of Natural Stone in the Landscape

By Bill Primavera – As I drive through Westchester and Putnam counties, I always enjoy the rugged beauty of stone walls harking back to our 18th century agrarian roots, but I appreciate the newly constructed versions as well. We have plenty of stone, mostly granite, deposited in the Ice Age that formed the beautiful mountains, valleys, […]

Home Guru: Does Your Home Have a Name for Itself?

Home Guru: Does Your Home Have a Name for Itself?

By Bill Primavera – Does your home have its own name? If not, maybe it’s worth considering. More than once, I’ve heard that attaching a name to a home might actually enhance its value. I first became aware of homes having names when I was first starting out in the publicity business and did some work […]

Home Guru: How to Avoid Burst Water Pipes When the Weather Turns Cold

Home Guru: How to Avoid Burst Water Pipes When the Weather Turns Cold

By Bill Primavera – As I write this in mid-October, I have a quick question: Do you have a water hose still connected to a spigot outside your home? Other than a fire or tornado, the most damaging event a house can suffer is flooding from a burst water pipe. Yet most people have just cursory […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: The Chinese Go to Extreme Heights to Produce Better Wine

The burgeoning Chinese economy of the last decade, notwithstanding the recent slowdown, has afforded millions of citizens the opportunity to rise above their agrarian poverty. Moving into new government-created, and subsidized, urban centers, they have landed jobs and careers unheard of in prior generations. This new-found good fortune has given rise to an ever-increasing standard […]

Home Guru:  The Joy of Weeding When it Stays Weeded

Home Guru: The Joy of Weeding When it Stays Weeded

By Bill Primavera – This has always been my favorite time of year to weed because when I yank those nasty invaders, they all stay weeded and I don’t have to worry about the chore again until next spring. But I speak out of both sides of my mouth because I actually enjoy weeding. To me […]

Home Guru: Much Can Be Learned By Listening to the Noises Our Homes Make

Home Guru: Much Can Be Learned By Listening to the Noises Our Homes Make

By Bill Primavera – Considering that I once lived in a house located directly over the A train subway line in Brooklyn, I’m probably inured to most noises that would emanate from one’s home. How well I remember the look of panic on the faces of first-time visitors when suddenly there would be an approaching clamor […]

Home Guru: Fall Chores in the Garden Can Be the Most Gratifying

Home Guru: Fall Chores in the Garden Can Be the Most Gratifying

By Bill Primavera – Autumn in the garden and yard can be the most gratifying time of year. Deciduous trees and perennials start to yawn, preparing for a long winter’s sleep, accompanied by that sweet smell that comes from plants releasing their chemistry and the crisp, clean sound of decaying leaves falling to the ground. It […]

Home Guru: A Lot More Value for a Little More Commute

Home Guru: A Lot More Value for a Little More Commute

By Bill Primavera Not everyone can afford homes costing in the millions located in some of our more affluent communities close to the city, but in this region, a small investment in commuting time – even 15 or 20 minutes – can make all the difference in affording a million-dollar lifestyle at less than half […]

Home Guru:Tree Lover Tells When and if to Plant (and Gripes a Little)

Home Guru:Tree Lover Tells When and if to Plant (and Gripes a Little)

By Bill Primavera – This article might well be titled “The Joys and Agonies of Being a Tree Lover.” The subject of planting trees comes to me each year as we approach autumn because it’s the perfect time to plant deciduous and evergreen trees as they enter into dormancy. And, Lord knows, I have done my […]

Home Guru: A Sampling of Musings From The Home Guru

Home Guru: A Sampling of Musings From The Home Guru

By Bill Primavera – This week I reprise some musings based on practical and absurd observations made from past columns. For an index of previously published articles, visit www.TheHomeGuru.com.About the common complaint of noise from neighbors. No man is an island, but there were a couple of occasions, especially when I lived in an apartment building […]

Home Guru: The Good, Bad and Questionable Home Inspections Issues

Home Guru: The Good, Bad and Questionable Home Inspections Issues

By Bill Primavera It’s happened to many of us in the real estate business. The “engineering” or house inspection prior to a contract signing can kill the sale of a house. I remember the first time I heard the complaint of a realtor whose engineering resulted in a failed septic system and the bank refused […]

Home Guru: When the Time Comes to Deal with “Difficult” Neighbors

Home Guru: When the Time Comes to Deal with “Difficult” Neighbors

  By Bill Primavera  No man is an island, nor would he or she wish to exist as one, but there were a couple of occasions, especially when I lived in an apartment building that was not well insulated for sound, when I wished I were. According to a survey by Trulia, 67 percent of […]

Home Guru: How Lucky We Are to Live Right Here!

Home Guru: How Lucky We Are to Live Right Here!

By Bill Primavera Just recently I had the pleasure of introducing the Hudson River Valley area to a couple who will be relocating here and what a pleasure it was to again remind myself of all the joys my family has enjoyed living here for many years. In real estate, when we talk about location, […]

The Home Guru: Tips to Follow to Protect Your Home While Away

The Home Guru: Tips to Follow to Protect Your Home While Away

By Bill Primavera – Just about everybody I know seems to be on vacation this month. Coincidentally, the Insurance Information Institute reported that the majority of home burglaries occur in July and August when many people are enjoying time off. Nine out of 10 home break-ins could be prevented if homeowners would take simple steps, the […]

Home Guru: Old Superstitions About Houses Continue to Live on Today

Home Guru: Old Superstitions About Houses Continue to Live on Today

By Bill Primavera In the early days of our nation, settlers brought to our shores many superstitions by which they lived their lives, many of which remain with us today. You don’t put much stock in superstitions nowadays, you say? Well, when was the last time you didn’t avoid passing under a ladder set up […]

Home Guru: Safety Tips to Keep in Mind When Working (or Playing) Outside

Home Guru: Safety Tips to Keep in Mind When Working (or Playing) Outside

By Bill Primavera – Some years ago I wrote about a freak accident I experienced at my pool that was really dramatic. It led to my being more aware of taking precautions to avoid getting hurt when working or playing outside the home. Just this week, another incident prompted me to remind myself and readers of […]

The Home Guru Column: Observations About the Most Essential of Household Fixtures

The Home Guru Column: Observations About the Most Essential of Household Fixtures

By Bill Primavera – Have you ever had the experience when someone recalls something you’ve said quite clearly while you’ve totally forgotten it? I was amused at a recent showing of a new condo when my client was disappointed to find that all three bathrooms featured round toilet bowls, rather than the elongated models. “They should […]

The Home Guru: Joy and Labor of Water on Landlocked Property

The Home Guru: Joy and Labor of Water on Landlocked Property

By Bill Primavera – For those of us who are not lucky enough to have a home on a lake or pond or one with a river view, there are other ways to enjoy the soothing effects of water, even if we’re landlocked. It could be as simple as a classic fountain, which I’ve enjoyed for […]

Home Guru: How to Select Flooring That’s Easier on the Body

Home Guru: How to Select Flooring That’s Easier on the Body

By Bill Primavera – Almost 30 years ago, my wife and I decided to install carpeting in the central hallway, staircase and second-floor landing of our home. We must have been feeling particularly flush at the time because we chose the best quality, deep-pile nylon carpeting we could find. Why nylon instead of wool? Because we […]

Home Guru: Many Options to Compare When Looking for House Siding

Home Guru: Many Options to Compare When Looking for House Siding

By Bill Primavera – When the opportunity comes to choose the “skin” of a house – the siding – whether for new construction or re-surfacing, you might think that the main factor would be personal preference for its look. But there are other important matters to consider, namely its cost, energy efficiency, ease of maintenance and […]

Home Guru: It’s Again Time to Dust Off the Subject of Household Dust

Home Guru: It’s Again Time to Dust Off the Subject of Household Dust

By Bill Primavera Have you ever heard of a dust fetish? I reluctantly admit to at least a keen interest in the subject, having alluded to it a couple of times in my column musings. Recently I learned about a new study conducted by a group of scientists who had collected dust samples from 1,200 […]

Home Guru: The Lighter Side of Victorian: Wicker Furniture

Home Guru: The Lighter Side of Victorian: Wicker Furniture

By Bill Primavera When my wife and I owned an antiques shop early in our marriage, there was a revival of interest in the Victorian style of décor, and I can’t say that we were enthusiastic about it. This style from the second half of the 19th century was known for plush, heavily upholstered furniture […]

Home Guru:  Enjoying the Benefits of Occasionally Unplugging at Home

Home Guru: Enjoying the Benefits of Occasionally Unplugging at Home

By Bill Primavera When it comes to technology, I may not be cutting edge, but I try my very best to adapt to what’s new as quickly as I can. What choice does one have in today’s business world, or social whirl, for that matter? From the first cube-like Macintosh in my home office to […]

Home Guru: How Homeowners Feel About (or Fear) Maintenance Needs

Home Guru: How Homeowners Feel About (or Fear) Maintenance Needs

By Bill Primavera  According to a survey just released by ServiceMaster, it is reported that a whopping 92 percent of homeowners feel unprepared to address home maintenance needs. How could that be, I wondered? With all the DIY resources we have on television and online, and especially if we’re young homeowners, surely we feel more […]

The Home Guru: State’s New Mold Law Viewed as ‘A Little Crazy’

The Home Guru: State’s New Mold Law Viewed as ‘A Little Crazy’

By Bill Primavera – If you find that you have mold in your home and want it removed, you may be in for a surprise by the set of procedures now required to comply with a new law enacted in January by New York State to regulate its remediation. According to two suppliers in the field […]

The Home Guru: In a Major Political Year, Equal Time for Red and Blue

The Home Guru: In a Major Political Year, Equal Time for Red and Blue

By Bill Primavera – Recently when I wrote a column dedicated to decorating in red, I received a comment from a reader asking whether my personal devotion to the color was politically motivated. Honestly, the thought never entered my mind; however, I thought that it was certainly a creative association. When it was suggested by that […]