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home : life : home improvement June 29, 2017

Summertime energy savings tips and tricks for every room of the home [Infographic]
(BPT) - SaveSave... More >>


10 easy DIY home improvement projects for beginners
(BPT) - You don't have to be a pro to tackle many home improvement projects. With a little elbow grease and a few smart tools, DIY novices can easily complete all kinds of household tasks efficiently and correctly.Here are 10 common DIY projects for beginners that any homeowner (or apartment dwelle... More >>


Cypress siding: It's what the pros choose
(BPT) - If current design trends are any indication, wood siding is back. Design professionals are recommending one species in particular: cypress. What’s behind this revival of cypress siding?“Good looks, dependable performance and affordability,” says Stephen Logue of the Southe... More >>


Natural selection: Live-edge wood in home design
(BPT) - Live-edge hardwood, in which the sides of the slab are left unmilled to retain the natural profile of the tree trunk, is an increasingly popular decorative trend in today’s residential interiors. The technique is not only used for pieces of standalone furniture such as tables and benc... More >>


Top kitchen renovation secrets from a design expert
(BPT) - As the hardest-working room in your home, it's no wonder that so many people want to renovate their kitchens. A smart, stylish refresh doesn't just transform the space; it can influence the look and feel of the entire home.Such an important and influential project can often be a bit overwhe... More >>


4 laundry personalities: Where do you fit?
(BPT) - Chic, trendy, sporty, bohemian, sophisticated, fun, classic — you probably have a clear vision of your fashion and style personality. But do you know your laundry personality? How you wash the clothes you wear is every bit as personal and unique to you as the clothes themselves. Knowi... More >>


Increase comfort and lower energy bills for the warmer months
(BPT) - As the warm weather creeps in and the country heats up, now is the time for homeowners to make sure they’re doing their part to help increase comfort and reduce energy bills.From the exterior to the interior, the consideration of a few simple tips could mean the difference between a s... More >>


The 411 on HVAC energy-efficiency ratings and terms
(BPT) - Whether you’re looking to lower heating and cooling costs, or have a passion for protecting the environment, maximizing the energy efficiency of your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system is a smart move. The more energy efficient your system, the less you’ll spend ru... More >>


Solving the nation's water problems before the tap runs dry
(BPT) - Cooking dinner, washing dishes, showering and flushing toilets — these are daily activities for most Americans. If you did any of these in the last 24 hours, you’ve contributed to the roughly 355 billion gallons of water that are used each day in this country.Water is our most b... More >>


Garage door industry issues consumer alert
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Simple upgrades and habit changes can yield big water savings in bathrooms
(BPT) - Researchers predict that rising water prices could mean within five years a third of American households will not be able to pay their water bills, despite the replenishment of water reserves around the country.What's more, the National Weather Service warns that drought could increase or r... More >>


Install handrails for a safer home
(BPT) - The National Safety Council considers unintentional falls one of the leading causes of household accidents in the U.S. This trend is especially true among adults 65 and older with one in three experiencing an injury related fall each year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Pre... More >>


DIY done simple: 5 projects you can tackle in a weekend
(BPT) - This time of year was made for DIY projects. The weather is perfect, the projects have mounted, you’ve got the time and the motivation. Now if only you had the budget.Not to worry, DIY doesn’t have to be synonymous with expensive! There are plenty of impactful DIY projects that ... More >>


Simple steps to create the perfect outdoor oasis
(BPT) - Summer is home to many of the year’s most beautiful days, so who can blame you for wanting to spend them all outside? Your yard becomes your living room and your patio the kitchen. It’s your home away from home, which begs the question — do you like your current digs?If yo... More >>


Home innovations that protect against moisture
(BPT) - There is an insidious enemy that every homeowner dreads: moisture and the damage and degradation it can cause if left unchecked. Luckily, home improvement manufacturers have discovered new ways to prevent moisture from penetrating the home in the first place. With new home product innovatio... More >>


DIY pressure washing: How to get great results
(BPT) - Clean siding and trim can do as much for a home’s curb appeal as fresh flowers, neatly trimmed hedges and a repainted front door. You could scrub for hours trying to remove dirt, mold and mildew, or you could do the job more quickly and easily with a pressure washer.However, if you de... More >>


7 'little' upgrades that can mean a lot to homebuyers
(BPT) - Anyone who’s ever bought or sold a home knows how even little things can sway a buyer to feel a particular house is "just right." While major features such as a good location, a big kitchen, and a certain number of bedrooms and bathrooms all drive a home’s price and how attracti... More >>


A smarter way to buy a home
(BPT) - Are you considering buying a home? With mortgage rates on the slow and steady incline, there may be no better time for a home purchase than now. Mortgage interest rates will likely continue to go up for the foreseeable future, according to recent data from the housing finance company Freddi... More >>


Easy steps to get your lawn ready for spring
(BPT) - After a long, cold winter, you’re certainly ready for summer. But is your lawn? The snow and bitter temps may have wreaked havoc on your yard, but now that warmer weather has arrived, it’s time to tackle those small projects that can add up to a beautiful lawn.Here are five tips... More >>


5 aging-in-place bathroom upgrades to make while you're young(er)
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Want to catch homebuyers' eyes? Follow 5 easy steps to a lush lawn
(BPT) - When it comes to selling a home there are many different strategies and most of them focus on the home's interior. However, what many sellers fail to realize is that it's the exterior of the home that often makes or breaks a sale.Curb appeal is necessary for that vital first impression. Muc... More >>


7 fast, effective garage door safety tips
(BPT) - You probably put little thought into your garage door. You touch a button. The door opens, closes and you go about your day.While the garage door — the largest, heaviest moving object in your home — serves as the primary entry point of the home to many of us, it can also be dang... More >>


Breathe easier: 7 ways to improve your home's indoor air quality
(BPT) - More than 6 million American children — nearly 9 percent of all kids in the U.S. — have asthma, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Each year, asthma attacks send more than a million people to emergency rooms, including approximately 24,000 children youn... More >>


Burglaries peak in summer: Is your home secure?
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How to use color psychology to influence the mood of your home
(BPT) - Looking to make a few changes around the house? A fresh coat of paint can make a big difference on the look of your home and how you feel living in it. But unless you’re a color expert, it’s hard to know what colors are best among the endless array of options. A great place to s... More >>


Easy breezy: 5 ways to make summer lawn care projects easier
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3 easy ways to combat water damage in your walls and ceilings
(BPT) - Ask any homeowner what they dread the most when it comes to home ownership, and it’s likely to involve some type of undetected water damage that could result in mold and mildew in their walls and ceilings — and the problems that follow.Most water damage in homes is associated wi... More >>


Small-space gardens: Easy tips for homegrown flavors
(BPT) - The new growing season is upon us. You don’t have to be an experienced gardener to enjoy the many benefits of the season, nor do you need large swaths of land and sprawling acreage to grow your favorite greens. In fact, beautiful outdoor spaces — rich with colorful blooms and he... More >>


How to blend contrasting materials for high-impact design
(BPT) - The melding of contrasting materials throughout the home is a sophisticated way to add visual interest and depth to your design. Bold finishes coupled with muted color tones create an eye-catching statement, while natural wood combined with cool metal boasts a stunning blend of nature and m... More >>


Easy DIY projects to prepare your home for sale
(BPT) - If you're looking to sell your home quickly and for more money, it's essential to make popular areas of the house look appealing to potential buyers. Fortunately, with a little DIY effort, you don't have to invest in expensive home repairs or real estate-staging services.Consider these easy... More >>


4 things you can do to protect your drinking water
(BPT) - Water is something many of us tend to devote little time thinking about, not because it is unimportant but because we take our clean, safe drinking water for granted. That is, until something occurs that shifts our focus and shows us how potentially fragile our water infrastructure really i... More >>


10 smart power-outage hacks for homeowners
(BPT) - It's storm season across the United States, and with the wind and rain also comes power outages. No matter where you live, power outages are likely to happen at some point. That's why now is the perfect time to be proactive.Even if they last for just an hour or two, power outages are a majo... More >>


5 tips to keep your home secure from hackers
(BPT) - Times have changed. It’s no longer enough to protect your physical home, it’s also vital you stay safe from cybercrimes. It has become increasingly easier for criminals to gain access to financial accounts, email and even hack internet-connected devices in the home.The good news... More >>


4 reasons why black shingles are resurging in popularity
(BPT) - Grays, browns, taupes — after decades of neutral-colored shingles dominating entire neighborhoods, homeowners are turning to the dark side. Home improvement experts agree black roofs are making a comeback, offering a sleek alternative that boosts curb appeal and enhances design elemen... More >>


Cool deck time fun in the summer sun: 3 tips to beat the heat
(BPT) - During the winter months, many people eagerly anticipate the sunny days of summer. But, when summer rolls around, these same people are often busy looking for ways to cool off.Getting outside on the deck or porch is an ideal way to relax and escape stifling indoor heat for many Americans. T... More >>


Fashion influences gardening trends for easy, eye-catching flowers
(BPT) - You're getting ready for the day and decide to wear a chic blouse paired with your skinny jeans from your favorite designer. You'll be feeling and looking good with minimal effort thanks to ready-to-wear fashion.In fashion circles, ready-to-wear clothing is what designers produce for shoppe... More >>


Selecting the right grout for beautiful tile floors
(BPT) - The visual appeal and functional design of a kitchen or bathroom starts with the floors, which make tile the perfect material for those surfaces. Tile is a logical option for kitchen and bathroom floors when you consider the wide array of sizes, styles, colors and textures available to matc... More >>


Conquering closet chaos to killing bacteria: Spring cleaning tips with big impact
(BPT) - The sunshine and blooms are sure signs spring is here to stay, and while Mother Nature may be tempting you to come outside and play, thousands of people are participating in an annual ritual inside the home: spring cleaning.It's time to open the windows, refresh your closets and eliminate t... More >>


3 super-simple ways to create a barefoot friendly backyard deck
(BPT) - When the sun is out and the sky is blue, your deck should be one of the most popular areas in your yard. But, if deck boards leave you with splinters or burned feet on hot summer days, there may be little incentive to spend time in your open-air getaway. The good news is this problem is eas... More >>


Tips for smoke alarm maintenance [Infographic]
(BPT) - Having working smoke alarms in your home cuts the risk of dying in reported home fires in half. Follow these steps to help ensure your smoke alarms will sound in the event of a home fire.SaveSaveSave... More >>


Add living space to your home with an easy patio makeover
(BPT) - Everyone looks forward to a shift into summer mode, with its sun-soaked days, flower-scented breezes and velvety nights under the stars.Now's the time to take advantage of a golden opportunity right outside your door. Celebrate summer and all it offers by recreating your outdoor space. Whet... More >>


Your spring cleaning checklist [Infographic]
(BPT) - SaveSave... More >>


Changing weather patterns leave homeowners underinsured
(BPT) - The U.S. has experienced significant shifts in the frequency, severity and locations of natural disasters — including floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires — during the past decade.As a result, more than 800 emergency or disaster declarations were made in the U.S. from 200... More >>


Here's how to tap into your home's not-so-hidden potential
(BPT) - Your most valuable asset is around you all the time. It’s above you, it’s below you and in many cases you don’t realize how much it can do for you.According to the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C., “Americans have a staggering amount of untapped equity in their ho... More >>


5 renovation resolutions for your home this year
(BPT) - Spring spruce-ups often focus on the outdoors, but when summer temperatures arrive, it’s time to move your home improvement efforts indoors. Keep cool and reinvent your home’s interior with stylish décor that adds the “wow factor” summer deserves.These five re... More >>


Uniquely you hues: Decorating with your personality in mind
(BPT) - Whether you realize it or not, the colors you select for your home and your personal belongings tell a lot about your personality. In fact, according to a recent survey by PPG, 58 percent of 2,500 consumers surveyed agree that colors selected for their home, car and consumer products &mdash... More >>


Big-impact ideas for small patio spaces
(BPT) - Do you have a small patio? Do you think you can't do much with the space due to its size? There's probably a lot more potential than you think.From the influx of urban dwellers, empty-nesters in transition and even the tiny-home movement, the trend of downsizing continues across the United ... More >>


Spring into home fire safety
(BPT) - As spring fever begins to take hold, it is important to seize the opportunity to do more than cleaning around your home. The change of the season marks the perfect time to evaluate your home’s fire safety quotient and make necessary updates to ensure you are prepared!Follow these thre... More >>


5 green home improvements that can help sell your home for more
(BPT) - Demand remains high for energy-efficient, eco-friendly home features, according to a survey by the National Association of Home Builders. In fact, the majority of builders now put energy-efficient windows, heating and cooling systems, thermostats and appliances in their construction, the su... More >>


Maximize your kitchen space with these functional, stylish ideas
(BPT) - Years ago, the kitchen served a very utilitarian function — a place to prepare food and clean the dishes. Today, it's truly the nerve center of the house where people eat meals, discuss the day's events, plan calendars, do homework, check e-mail and entertain guests.With that increase... More >>


Engage kids' love of nature through bird feeding, ditch their devices and get them outdoors
(BPT) - Is it difficult to pry your kids away from their electronic devices to get them outdoors? From tots to teens, today’s kids love their electronics. After all, where could you find anything to compete with the bright sights and sounds of their favorite video game? The answer may be no f... More >>


Don't suffer the pain of high energy bills in your next home
(BPT) - Do you cringe each month when your utility bill arrives in the mail? If high energy costs are getting you down, don’t blame your electronic devices. Heating and cooling are the largest energy expense for most homes, reports the U.S. Department of Energy.If you dream of building a new,... More >>


3 ways to personalize your home's curb appeal with an eye-catching front door
(BPT) - At its core, the desire to create a home with curb appeal is a desire to make a home uniquely one’s own. After all, no matter how beautiful they are, rows of homes that look the same inherently fail to capture attention. Using personal touches, people want friends and family to know w... More >>


Confused by TV technology? This buyer's guide simplifies the terms
(BPT) - The technology in our TV sets has changed a lot in the past decade. When it comes time to buy one, it’s easy to lose track of which features matter for a good TV-watching experience.You might find a TV at a tempting price, but you don’t want to end up wasting money on a picture ... More >>


Plumbing the possibilities: Kitchens, showers and baths highlight outdoor living spaces
(BPT) - The trend toward outdoor living spaces that mimic the look, comfort, convenience and functionality of indoor spaces doesn’t have to stop at the backyard grilling station. A growing number of homeowners are exploring new additions to their outdoor spaces, including outdoor showers and ... More >>


5 spring cleaning projects to take on immediately
(BPT) - Spring cleaning is a seasonal tradition. You’ve been setting house projects aside all winter, and now’s the perfect time to make sure the warm weather season starts with a cleaner, happier home. So open the windows, turn on your favorite song, and start your spring cleaning with... More >>


How a smart thermostat can help you save money and energy
(BPT) - The key to reducing your home’s energy bills could literally be at your fingertips, hanging on the wall of your home. Multiple studies have shown the connection between lower energy bills and thermostat settings. In fact, reducing thermostat settings just seven to 10 degrees for eight... More >>


3 ways to quickly and economically save big bucks on home cooling costs
(BPT) - What would you rather do: Pay your utility bill or take a much-deserved vacation? With an endless stream of bills each month, you might wonder where you can find the money to jet off to the beach or mountain resort of your dreams. There is a solution.The average U.S. household spends more t... More >>


3 ways to improve comfort and efficiency in your home
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How to get the best-looking lawn for your time and money
(BPT) - If grubs overtake your lawn this spring, will you know how to get rid of them? Do you have the time and skill to effectively patch those ugly bare spots that developed over the winter? A lush lawn and beautiful landscape are on virtually every homeowner’s wish list, but a lack of time... More >>


Instilling garage logic in your kids
(BPT) - It’s a long-standing tradition performed at the workbench of American garages — passing garage logic to the next generation. From hammering that first nail to changing a car’s oil, the garage is a living laboratory where parents teach their kids life lessons, self-reliance... More >>


Get safer drinking water
(BPT) - Your home plumbing could be making you sick and costing you money. Hard water, which contains high levels of calcium and magnesium, may be directly contributing to the buildup of dangerous bacteria in your household pipes. This is a serious problem across the United States, especially when ... More >>


Top 6 home decorating trends
(BPT) - If you’re planning to tackle a home decorating project this year, here are the top trends you should consider:1. Marble wallpaper: A lot of the 2017 trends are about going back to classic styles, and it doesn’t get much more classic than marble. Few materials evoke high-end livi... More >>


How PMI can make your dream of home sweet home a reality
(BPT) - In the 2017 housing market, those who choose to pursue the dream of owning a home face several important decisions, such as how much to put toward a down payment. Twenty percent down is typically recommended by most lenders.While 20 percent is not a requirement, paying less can have a big i... More >>


Know what's below: Call 811 before digging for landscaping and home improvement projects this spring
(BPT) - With the snow melted and the ground thawed, many eager homeowners and landscape professionals across the country will roll up their sleeves and reach for their shovels to start projects that require digging this spring.During the transition into “digging season,” Common Ground A... More >>


7 often missed baby-proofing tips
(BPT) - Most parents, or soon-to-be parents, are often aware of the obvious baby proofing checklist items: baby gates, electrical outlet covers, cabinet locks, sharp furniture corners, etc. However, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there are a surprising number of "h... More >>


5 simple projects to recreate your backyard
(BPT) - Your focus changes during the warm weather months. Your backyard becomes your new living room and the most memorable evenings are spent outdoors with friends and loved ones.This is provided, of course, that you have the perfect space for such gatherings. If you don’t, not to worry, th... More >>


5 projects to create the perfect outdoor kitchen
(BPT) - The weather outside is beautiful, so naturally you want to spend as much time outdoors as possible — and that includes mealtime and even the time spent preparing your food. So, if your outdoor cooking station isn't quite master chef worthy, worry not. There are several easy, affordabl... More >>


5 easy ways to recycle more
(BPT) - Most of us are used to recycling at home, but specifically in the bathroom? Not so much. However, your bathroom is home to a number of recyclable products, from shampoo and mouthwash bottles to bandage and tissue boxes. With families as busy as they are, it’s no wonder bathroom recycl... More >>


5 tips to create an affordable and rewarding home DIY project
(BPT) - When it comes to home improvement, DIY is more popular than ever. There’s just something satisfying about improving your home with your own two hands and being able to enjoy the fruits of your labor, day after day. However, home improvement projects can be expensive, and many people s... More >>


4 design upgrades for a spring refresh
(BPT) - With warm weather knocking at the door, it’s time to rejuvenate your space and rid the home of winter clutter. While it may be the perfect time of year for a refresh, it can be challenging to find exciting new ways to decorate. With top design trends in mind, here are four simple solu... More >>


7 home improvements to tackle before you move in
(BPT) - You found the perfect home, so it’s not surprising that you want to move in as quickly as possible. However, there are some projects that are best done when the house is still empty.So, consider completing the following seven items before the moving trucks arrive.* Painting. A fresh c... More >>


Your HVAC can conserve energy and cost less money
(BPT) - The majority of Americans (74 percent) care about the environment, according to Pew Research. If you recycle regularly and have a programmable thermostat, you’re already doing something positive for the environment. But when it comes time to replace your heating, ventilation and cooli... More >>


3 upgrades to help boost your home's energy efficiency
(BPT) - With milder temperatures and longer days, it seems as though the last vestiges of winter are behind us. Yet, if you experienced high heating bills, or drafts and cold spots throughout your home, it could mean your home is not as energy efficient as it could be. Home improvement experts sugg... More >>


Spring home improvements you can do in 24 hours or less
(BPT) - For most of us, the idea of spring cleaning probably sounds refreshing after a winter of bundling up against the cold. Now that spring has arrived, it’s finally time to get started! Sprucing up your home doesn’t have to take lots of time, and is a great way to leave you feeling ... More >>


3 tips to make your bathroom remodel a breeze
(BPT) - If you're thinking about remodeling your bathroom, you’re not alone. Bathrooms are the most common remodeling project people will undertake in 2017, according to the National Association of Home Builders. So what's the best way to begin? Here are three expert tips to help you get star... More >>


5 fast shortcuts to make your home sparkle this spring
(BPT) - We all know that one person who just adores cleaning. But for the rest of us, it's a necessary evil that gets old very quickly!Before you tackle that long list of spring cleaning tasks, try some of these cleaning hacks designed to make these chores faster and easier. When cleaning is fun an... More >>


3 backyard projects you can tackle in a weekend
(BPT) - Now that warmer weather has finally arrived, you want to be outside to enjoy it. Your backyard could be the perfect place to bask in the sun, entertain friends or indulge in your hobbies. It just needs a little sprucing up, and the right projects can help.Best of all, many of these projects... More >>


4 hot, high-tech bathroom upgrades
(BPT) - Americans love luxury and technology, so it’s no surprise that the two are meeting and thriving in one of our favorite places — the bathroom. Just as technology is transforming every other area of the house, inside and out, it's recreating our concept of what constitutes a luxur... More >>


Beauty and utility: Designing a functional, stylish home
(BPT) - Spring is a time of renewal and home improvement. More and more, homeowners are looking for maximum practicality and durability from everything in their home. They won’t, however, sacrifice style and aesthetic to achieve it. Fortunately, home products continue to advance, be it waterp... More >>


Retaining walls create attractive outdoor seating options
(BPT) - Humpty Dumpty had the right idea when he sat on a wall.Segmental retaining wall (SRW) units are a popular solution for beautiful and durable outdoor seating — from freestanding walls that double as seating and two-tiered couches to large applications such as cost-effective amphitheate... More >>



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