Save Money in this Sunday's paper

Q: Our kitchen cabinets (about 6 or 7 years old) are solid wood, as are all the internal structures. But the end panels are veneered, and on the front edges the veneer is lifting from the solid wood base. The lift goes back from a half-inch to an inch. They could be clamped by removing the adjacent cabinet door. What do you suggest?

Q: I’m planning to replace my bathroom sink and vanity, and have run into an odd snag. Almost none of the sinks I’ve seen have an overflow tube. When I’ve asked about this, I’ve gotten almost identical replies: “The building code doesn’t require one.” This, of course, is an excuse, not a reason. The closest to a reason I got was from my inquiry about the St. Paul custom sinks: It was to eliminate a place for bacteria to breed. My take: The real reason is that it’s cheaper without one. My question: Should I get hung up over this?

Q: I have several smoke detectors from about 10 years ago that have turned brown. I see that they say “do not paint” on the covers. What causes this discoloration? Is total replacement the only answer? What can I do to make them white again so they do not stand out on the white ceilings?

Q: I decided to look into replacing some 65-watt floodlights in the cathedral ceiling of my home office with dimmable BR30 LED bulbs. The ceiling is cedar, and the fixtures are recessed with adjustable white eyeballs with black baffles. When looking at LED floodlights, I realized that they are heavier than the existing incandescent bulbs and I don’t know if they generate more heat.

Q: I have a continuous problem with the caulking around the tub. This tub is used only for baths.

Probably, but the work is very difficult and it’s better to go pro

Q: I have three storm windows in a room with northern exposure. Two fog up a little in the morning, then clear up as the day continues. But one is a mess, really saturated, so much that it is wetting the window sill and I am afraid it will cause decay. The room will be unoccupied and will be cold. Does that aggravate the situation?

Q: We have installed a wood-burning stove, which is tightly sealed to the clay tile flue. About 10 years ago, after heavy rains, we noticed a creosote odor around the stove. The flue and connections are clean, but the odor persists. Do you know where the odor is coming from?

Q: I dropped a nice dessert dish into an equally nice coffee mug, and they stuck fast. I can wiggle them, but they won’t separate. Can I do something about it?

Q: Are storm doors necessary?

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Peter Hotton
Peter Hotton has been the handyman expert for the Boston Globe for more than 30 years.