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Q: Tim, I really need your help. I just moved into my new home and have a smoking full masonry fireplace. It’s 55 inches wide and has an arched opening that’s 33.5 inches at the peak of the arch. It looks like regular brick mortar was used with the firebrick. For whatever reason, it has two flues and a damper on each one. It smokes like an old steam locomotive, sending clouds of choking smoke into the house! Cracking a window helps but doesn’t solve the problem. Should there only be one flue? Should I only open one damper? What’s wrong? —Tim Y., Broken Arrow, Okla.

Dear Readers: Electrical fires can be a big risk this time of year. Outlets can get jammed up and overloaded with holiday lights, TVs, game co…

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To some people a brick wall is an eye-catching feature in a room; to others it’s an eyesore. While exposed, blotchy brick may be an authentic, rugged look that adds character to a room, others see a rough surface that detracts from the surroundings. An inexpensive trick we learned from designers of commercial spaces is to paint it.

Lego said last week that it will stop using plastic bags inside its boxed sets and replace them with paper ones. The Danish toymaker said it w…

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Make the entrance to your front door more than a serviceable path by creating a handsome walkway with brick pavers to enhance your property. Bricks are an enduring and attractive material and an investment you’ll enjoy for years to come, because brick is a natural choice for a dramatic garden path and a popular upgrade connecting walkways around outbuildings like a garage or shed.

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Q: I need to repair the mortar joints on my older brick home that was built in the late 1800s. I’ve seen some horrible workmanship where the mortar doesn’t match at all, and I want to avoid this. How does one match the original mortar? What would you do to make sure the finished repair is nearly invisible? Is this even a realistic goal, or should I just resign myself to ugly mortar joints that don’t match? —Rhonda S., Boston

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WHITE HOUSE: “Antifa and professional anarchists are invading our communities, staging bricks and weapons to instigate violence. These are acts of domestic terror.” — tweet Wednesday, with a video showing collections of bricks and stones as if stockpiled for attacks.

Dear Heloise: My fireplace bricks have become rather "sooty" after having so many fires this past winter. How can I clean them? I've tried soa…

Few of us would want to live without a television in our homes, but a large TV can also be an eyesore. These stylish TV mounting ideas will make your television fit seamlessly into your space.

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I was sitting in the kitchen last week peering uneasily into the sunken family room through a makeshift barrier consisting of two sheets suspe…

I was sitting in the kitchen last week peering uneasily into the sunken family room through a makeshift barrier consisting of two sheets suspe…

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