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Prostoknow

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I live in central New Hampshire, aka The Granite State. They don't call it that for nothing. My own house sits directly on top of one of the enormous granite plutons, the Meredith Porphyritic Granite. A giant piece of this solid bedrock is right next to my driveway. What a perfect place for me to live, considering my college major was geology.

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Comment: In a recent column, you wrote that the power of attorney for financial matters and health care carry through death. But, in fact, powers of attorney for financial matters and health care are only valid until the person dies. So, the executors and trustees are the only ones with access.

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Renting a house for a getaway this summer? Whether you’re staying for a week or the entire summer, you want to feel at home and at ease on your vacation. Here’s some help turning that summer rental into a place you love kicking back and relaxing in.

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An outdoor shower is ideal for a nice, quick wash down with fresh water after a day at the beach, dip in the pool or swim in the lake. While you’ve probably seen custom-built outdoor showers that look like they’re an indoor bathroom with hot and cold running water, we’re talking about a more modest freestanding shower unit hooked up to a garden hose outside.

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Q: I read your recent article on timeshares with great interest. I would also like to get rid of a timeshare. We enjoyed the timeshare for many years when our son was growing up and the maintenance fees were at a reasonable rate. At this point in time, our son is no longer interested in vacationing with us and the maintenance fees for the timeshare have skyrocketed.

Q: I purchased a home in June. My real estate agent hired an inspector and collected a fee from my husband and me. The inspector wrote an inspection report that minor problems were showing. I paid a second fee for him to return after the owners repaired the problems to ensure that everything was in great shape.

If your garage has turned into the glorified dumping ground for anything that doesn’t fit in your house or that you’re just not quite ready to get rid of, it’s time to get a garbage bag and a donations box and tackle the task. Your garage is a great place to store cars, bikes, lawn tractors and garden tools — but it isn’t the place for broken-down tools, electronics or that hideous lime-green paint that you’re never going to use again. Here’s some help identifying the items that need to go, and a list of the most common garage offenders.

If you’re a home body and appreciate the summer months in your backyard, an upgrade to the lighting is a nice improvement you’ll enjoy for years to come. Landscape lighting can be practical and illuminate a dark path between the garage and back door or more fanciful used to highlight a striking flower bed or garden gate entry. A good choice is a solar spotlight landscape fixture with LED (light-emitting diodes) mini light bulbs. Solar lights turn on automatically at dusk, and since they are powered by the sun, they are very energy efficient compared to more typical low voltage incandescent lights. They use long lasting NiMH batteries to store the solar energy so even after a cloudy day they provide light at night.

Q: Tim, you helped me years ago, and now I’m back. I’m going to build a freestanding deck at my house during my vacation. After watching lots of online videos, I’m somewhat confused about how to connect the deck posts to the concrete piers. What is the best way? I’m worried about my freestanding deck swaying back and forth. The top of the deck is going to be about 7 feet up in the air. My goal is to have the deck rock solid. What should I do to make this happen? —Ron S., Richmond, Va.

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White paint is having a years-long moment in the spotlight, and its popularity might just keep going — but this popular paint color isn’t just pretty. You may not have been able to quite put your finger on it, but white paint does a few things for its surroundings that other paint colors don’t. Call these benefits visual effects or design principles or white paint superpowers; they are one of many reasons you see white paint so often, and likely have helped white paint stay so popular for so long.

Before you look at play equipment, like a swing set for your backyard, look at public parks or schools where the systems should be thoroughly tested, safe and well designed. Notice what they are made of, the features they include and how they’ re installed. When you go shopping for one, you’ ll see many are made of chemical-free wood or manmade timbers and include a...

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