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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.

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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.

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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.

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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Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez's mother says she finds a heartbreaking photograph of their bodies hard to look at but also comforting for how they clung to each other in their final moments.

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If possible, your grill should be at least 10 feet from your house, and not near an open window. It should be situated on a fireproof and stable surface like concrete or brick, if possible. Make sure it's somewhere you can monitor at all times when the grill is going. And make sure there isn't an overhang, to prevent fire or carbon monoxide buildup.

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Today's 5 To Know boils down to two words: Cody Parkey. Well, Parkey plus Pizza Hut's beer announcement, an unlikely star at the Golden Globes, a bee brick, and gorgeous shots of the partial solar eclipse!

Most homeowners want a kitchen with more light and an open connection to main living spaces. Since the kitchen has become the main hub of activity in modern homes, most families gravitate toward centrally located spaces that are easy to access from the rest of the home. The problem is, creating this setup isn't always easy.

To connect the kitchen with the living space, Siebert and his team removed the drywall, framing and old brick from the previous wall. They cleaned the brick and used it with a few matching new bricks to create the new wall and pillars.

A window at the far end of the kitchen and an open doorway to the rest of the home keeps the space casual, connected and filled with natural light. "Before we started the project, the brick wall was simply a doorway from the family room to the kitchen," says Siebert. "The homeowner never realized that this could be opened up and that we could use an exterior element with interior elements seamlessly."

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