Handy Tricks for Do-It-Yourselfers

Long before the prime-time sitcom "Home Improvement" had its day, PBS' "This Old House" was offering television viewers a real-life nuts-and-bolts view of home renovation. Now those same tips and tricks are available online (http://www.thisoldhouse.com) with floor plans and articles about many of the more than 30 homes that have been renovated during the show's 26 years on the air.

The site's Resource Directory shows loggers-on where to find items or services used on the program, and Home Renovators' Forum is a virtual bulletin board for homeowners and do-it-yourselfers to ask and answer questions, and to learn and share the latest techniques.

Created as a means of demystifying the home-improvement process, the Web site opens with a dramatic and unexpected video clip of a house burning. It will be one of two homes the program rebuilds and renovates this fall when "This Old House," which debuted in 1973, celebrates its 20th anniversary as a PBS program.

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