Tony Carrick

writer | editor

As seen in...

How to install solar panels (2024 guide)

If you live by the philosophy “if you want something done right, then do it yourself,” you might be thinking of installing your own solar panels. There are certainly plenty of good reasons to do so. By performing the labor yourself, you can cut costs in half. You’ll also learn about how your solar system works, making it easier to troubleshoot any problems that may occur with the system in the future.

But while there are many benefits to mounting your own solar panels, it’s not a project for th

Are solar panels worth it?

Rising energy costs may have you thinking of going solar, but are solar panels worth it? Home solar panels can save you hundreds of dollars annually on your electric bill. And with new federal tax rebates that allow you to save 30% on the cost of a solar panel system, it seems there’s no better time to take advantage of solar.

Still, solar panels cost thousands of dollars, and their savings depend on the weather, which seems more unpredictable than ever. Given these pros and cons, it’s crucial

Lowe’s Presidents’ Day Sale 2024: Great Deals on Power Tools, Grills, Lighting Fixtures, and More

Gear-obsessed editors choose every product we review. We may earn commission if you buy from a link. Why Trust Us?

Presidents’ Day is coming up on February 19, but Lowe’s already has all kinds of early deals to shop ahead of its official Presidents’ Day Sale. Outfit your workshop with discounts on Dewalt and Craftsman power tools. Change the look of your bedroom, kitchen or living room with low prices on lighting fixtures and ceiling fans. Or, get ready for the upcoming grilling and barbecue se

Best Router Tables in 2024

Mounting your router to a router table gives you several advantages over using this tool freehand. So, whether you’re a professional or a serious DIYer, finding the best router table for your needs is an important process. Indeed, routers come in full-size models that can handle large stock and smaller bench top varieties that you can take with you to the job site. In short, the choices are plentiful. Here are some of the best router tables out there.
• Best Overall: Bosch Bench Top Router Table

Keeping Connected: How to Improve Your Home's Wi-Fi

These days we depend on Wi-Fi for streaming our favorite shows, gaming online, working remotely, and helping maintain Sense’s connection, which is why it’s so frustrating when the Wi-Fi suddenly stops working.

Range problems, bandwidth, interference from other devices, and an aging router are some of the most common causes of an unreliable Wi-Fi network. There are fixes you can employ to solve these issues in the short term, such as relocating your router, upgrading your firmware, and prioritiz

The Best Milwaukee Black Friday Deals of 2023, According to an Expert

If you're shopping for the tool lover in your life or looking to upgrade your own shop, the week of Black Friday is one of the best times to find great deals on whatever you're looking for. Milwaukee is one the top tool brands in the business, beloved by both pros and DIYers alike for its cordless drills, impact drivers, circular saws and other power tools. The brand’s prestige and quality usually comes with a premium price tag, but now is your chance to find them at a steep discount.

There are

The 7 Best Moving Companies for Small Moves of 2023

Why It Made the Cut: United Van Lines offers free cancellations, custom-crating services, and discounts to those moving from apartments and small houses.

Moving from a studio apartment or tiny house can still be an expensive prospect, especially if one is moving across the country. United Van Lines makes small moves across the country more affordable through its Snapmoves program. With Snapmoves, United Van Lines offers simplified pricing and discounts to those moving to and from small houses a

The 5 Best Cheap Snowblowers for $700 or Less

Finding an alternative for your old snow shovel doesn’t have to be a major investment. As long as you aren’t clearing foot-high piles of snow from long driveways all winter long, you can swap out that old backbreaker for a cheap snowblower without spending an arm and a leg. While there will always be some compromises when budget is your top priority, you can still get a powerful gas snowblower that can clear wide paths, or a cordless electric model that’s lightweight and easy to use. In a mild w

Blackstone Takes a Great Griddle and Makes It Even Better

When it comes to flat-top grills, few carry the reputation of those made by Blackstone. The company’s griddles are well regarded for their sturdy build, exceptional cooking surfaces, and ability to get ridiculously hot. Of the many flat-top grills this brand produces, its most popular model is its 36-inch four-burner griddle. Having tested earlier versions of this griddle, I was excited to see what was new with the most recent iteration.

To review the Blackstone 36-inch griddle, I applied my ex

Best Wood Glue (2023): Guide to Choosing and Using

Sure, you can use screws and nails to secure two pieces of wood together. However, to get a truly tight-fitting joint, you need to use the best wood glue. While most of us turn to that bottle of yellow PVA wood glue when it comes time to glue wood, it’s not the only type of glue that works well with wood. Polyurethane wood glue is ideal for outdoor use or when stain is involved. Old school hide glue has qualities that make it ideal for furniture building and repair. Cyanoacrylate glues and epoxy

Smart Plugs Offer an Affordable Way to Cut Your Energy Usage

By now we’re all aware of smart plugs’ ability to control lights with voice commands or a smart device, but did you know that smart plugs are also one of the easiest and most affordable ways to make your home more energy efficient? With a smart plug, you can set schedules to turn off lamps, coffee makers, gaming consoles, and other devices when they’re not in use, helping you cut your home’s energy costs. Many smart plugs also allow you to track energy use in your home so you can see which appli

Renters: How to Improve Energy Efficiency and Ask Your Landlord for Improvements

While renters may not have the same options for improving energy efficiency as those who own their homes, there are measures they can take to make their homes more energy efficient. From assessing a rental prior to signing the lease to installing insulated curtains to trading out existing light bulbs for LED options, there are still many ways to make a rental more energy efficient.

Renters can even lobby their landlords to invest in energy efficient upgrades, such as new windows or HVAC systems

The Best Moving Companies in San Francisco, California of 2023

Why It Made the Cut: Its end-to-end moving services, national presence, and liberal cancellation policy make United Van Lines a top moving option in the City by the Bay.

With its broad range of services and excellent reputation, United Van Lines (UVL) is a top moving company in the country, and California is no exception to that rule. The company has special packaging for fragile items, which can be beneficial for customers moving to or from an apartment or condo with stairs that increase the l

The Cuisinart Barista Bar Works With K-Cups, Nespresso Pods, and Ground Coffee for All Your Coffee-Making Desires

The Cuisinart Barista Bar is an ambitious machine that aims to eliminate the need to choose between traditional coffee maker, Keurig, Nespresso, and espresso maker by giving you all of those options in one machine. I tested the Barista Bar over several weeks to see if this coffee maker is truly the jack-of-all-trades it says it is—or just a master of none.

My testing began with setting up the machine, and I continued to use it for more than a week brewing traditional coffee, Nespresso pods, and

Another Weber Grill That’s Well Worth It: A Spirit II E-310 Review

One of the best-known names in outdoor cooking appliances, Weber is well regarded for its lineup of charcoal, gas, and portable grills, which are renowned for their top-notch performance and durability. I had the opportunity to put Weber’s formidable reputation to the test by running one of its most popular gas grills, the Spirit II E-310, through its paces on my back patio.

I used my experience researching dozens of grills, testing 33 of them and conducting more than 100 hours of hands-on test

Save Big During Prime Day With These Expert-Recommended Tool Deals

It's day two of Amazon Prime Day, and there's one day left of to get eye-popping deals on tools from some of the best hardware brands, including DeWalt, Milwaukee, Craftsman, and Black+Decker. Amazon is already running Prime Day deals with discounts as steep as 70 percent off on hand tools, power tools, and workshop accessories. If you're looking to expand your tool kit, Prime Day 2023 is a perfect time to shop.

The Best Rototillers for Turning Hard-Packed Dirt into Nutrient-Rich Soil

If you want to grow a thriving garden, then you have to till your soil before you plant. You can break up the earth with a shovel and a cultivator, which is a lot of work, or you can spare your back and purchase a rototiller, which uses rotating metal tines to cut into the ground, loosening the soil so vital nutrients can reach your plants’ roots.

Whether you’re setting up a new garden or preparing for new spring plantings, a rototiller will make the job faster and easier. There are large gas-p

It Pays to Make These 5 Energy-Efficient Home Upgrades in 2023

This is the first installment of Bob Vila’s Most Valuable Projects of 2023, a month-long series featuring high-ROI home improvements on energy efficiency, sustainable kitchens, rooftop solar, and emergency preparedness. Each week, we’re pulling from our vast library of informational content, vetted shopping guides, and connections to industry professionals to present primers on the top projects to take on this year.

Upgrading to a more efficient HVAC system, adding insulation, and installing be

Cove Home Security 2023 – Real reviews, expert ratings

When you purchase a Cove home security system, you’ll begin with the control panel and then build around it with a selection of equipment that includes window and door sensors, an indoor camera and an outdoor camera, two different kinds of doorbell cameras, a motion detector, and a glass break detector. There’s also a flood sensor and a smoke/carbon monoxide detector along with some less common equipment, including a security remote keyfob and a panic medical button.

9 Ways Natural Disasters Are Changing Your Local Building Codes

When Hurricane Ian ripped through Florida in September 2022, it caused between $41 billion to $70 billion in storm damage and 148 deaths. In 2018, California’s Camp Fire tore through the northern part of the state, resulting in $16.5 billion in damage and at least 85 deaths.

Natural disasters have become all-too-frequent occurrences, and while we cannot keep them from happening, we can at least learn from them. State, local, and federal governments and agencies are pushing for stricter codes th

How to Make Every Appliance in Your Home Last Longer and Run More Efficiently

Home appliances make our lives easier by washing our clothes, helping us cook meals, heating and cooling our homes, and providing us with our daily coffee fix. As much as we may rely on energy efficient appliances to help us fulfill everyday household needs, they need a little TLC in return every now and then to ensure they continue to run efficiently.

Ahead, find out some of the best ways to maintain the most used appliances in your home, so you can avoid costly repairs or replacements.

Load More