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Yard Crashers: I live in a split level home and the back door from the lower level leads out to the deck. The problem is between the deck and the door are three concrete steps with block walls on either side creating a pit that looks horrible. I have tried painting it several different colors and used paint with a texture all to no avail. Do you have any (fairly inexpensive) ideas to make it less of an eyesore?
-Susan J, OH
That does sound like a challenge! Try incorporating salvaged architectural pieces. Take a look in consignment shops or salvage yards for various components, such as wrought iron gates. Paint them unique colors and attach them to the walls using concrete anchors. Here's a tip on refinishing wrought iron.
House Crashers: I bought a house that is over 30 years old and has around 4 inches of insulation in the attic. We are going to purchase blown in insulation and DIY it. That being said, this is my question - should we put a vapor barrier down ie: 4 or 6 mil plastic before we blow the insulation in?
-Helen S, WA
There is some debate about this, but according to the Cellulose Insulation Manufacturers Association, you don't need a vapor barrier unless the insulation is being applied in high humidity areas such as pools or spas. Here are a few tips on installing blow-in insulation.