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home : life : home improvement April 30, 2017

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 >>


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 >>


Your spring cleaning checklist [Infographic]
(BPT) - SaveSave... 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) - It's no secret that springtime is synonymous with spruce-ups. But, as is often the case, homeowners hone in on prettying-up patios and backyards with fresh florals and new outdoor furniture, leaving the inside of the home as "same old, same old." This spring, resolve to reinvent your home f... 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 - such... 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 >>


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, custo... 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 >>


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 >>


Hardworking kitchens can still have style
(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 >>


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 which h... More >>


3 ways to quickly and economically save big bucks on home heating and 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. Read on for the solution.The average U.S. household spends m... 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 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 >>


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 >>


Getting smarter about temperature control
(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 hours... More >>


3 ways to get your home spring ready
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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 and problem-solvi... 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 >>


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 >>


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, the righ... 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, affordable proj... More >>


Recycle what? 5 tips for recycling bathroom products
(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 solutions ... More >>


Tips for choosing an energy-efficient, eco-friendly HVAC system
(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 >>


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 >>


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 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 >>


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 upgrades to give your bathroom over-the-top luxury
(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 >>


Home sellers: 6 last-minute cleaning tasks to do before every showing
(BPT) - Real estate experts agree: dirt and clutter are the anti-staging elements that can send buyers running for the door before they ever think of making an offer. Prior to staging your home, invest some time in deep cleaning it, paying attention to everything from the front walk to the garbage ... More >>


Thinking outside the coop: 8 common myths about raising backyard poultry
(BPT) - From fresh egg production to natural garden fertilizer, there is no shortage of benefits in raising backyard poultry. But even as families become more familiar with sustainable living and keeping chickens, several poultry myths still exist.Here to set the record straight for our feathered f... More >>


Thoughtful home design: 4 tips to transform any small space
(BPT) - During the 1950s, the average-sized American home was just around 1,700 square feet. Fast forward to today, and the average size has increased to about 2,600 square feet, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. While many Americans think the bigger the better, there is a growing trend of homeo... More >>


6 surprising spots in the home you can transform with a wholesale club membership
(BPT) - You may already know a wholesale club is a great place to buy groceries, but your membership in a club like BJ's Wholesale can also help you save money in virtually every room of the house, not just the kitchen and pantry.Here are six rooms in the house that a wholesale club membership can ... More >>


Make a striking focal point the foundation of your spa-like bathroom
(BPT) - American homeowners’ desire for spa-like bathrooms shows no signs of waning, says the latest Design Trends report by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). From freestanding bath tubs and floating vanities to LED lighting and soothing color schemes, some of the most-request... More >>


Flood insurance: Does your excuse hold water?
(BPT) - We know the old saying: when it rains, it pours… and when it pours, it floods. With winter snow storms coming to an end, the threat of flooding increases as the snow begins to melt and the rivers and creeks begin to swell. It’s easy to forget about how powerfully destructive wa... More >>


7 steps to secure your home while you're on vacation
(BPT) - Warmer temperatures, budding trees and blooming flowers are all lovely parts of spring, but what you really look forward to is the start of vacation planning season! Deciding where to go and what to see, making arrangements and planning your wardrobe are all exciting aspects of summer vacat... More >>


Exterior home improvements yield higher ROI for less money, report shows
(BPT) - Renovation season is approaching. Do you know what home improvements will give you the best return for your money? Here’s a hint: step outside.You might assume upgrades to interior spaces like kitchens and bathrooms have the best payoff, but most home improvements don’t return 1... More >>


Tackle your DIY projects with these 3 multipurpose tools
(BPT) - DIY projects are surging in popularity right now and it’s easy to see why. A successful DIY project can fix a problem or make a much-needed improvement to your home, while also providing you with the satisfaction of a job well done. Best of all, it allows you to save money over hiring... More >>


Light solutions: What to do when your house feels like a cave
(BPT) - A house with ample windows can win your heart with silent promises of sun-drenched rooms and warm breezes wafting through open windows. The truth, however, is that even a home with windows galore can have rooms that feel dark and cave like.Some of the most-loved aspects of modern design &md... More >>


Open the door to design [Infographic]
(BPT) - SaveSave... More >>


4 bathroom design trends that marry luxury, beauty and sensibility
(BPT) - When you're ready to create the bathroom of your dreams, it's no time to chase fads. You want design trends with enduring appeal, concepts that blend luxury, beauty, sensibility and eco-friendliness. Striking the perfect balance between indulgence and practicality can result in a bathroom w... More >>


Rearrange your backyard with a concrete fire table
(BPT) - Fire pits and fireplaces continue to be among the top 10 most desirable residential landscape design features, according to the Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects annually. When you consider that few things compare to g... More >>


5 tips for safe space heater use
(BPT) - During the coldest days of the year, space heaters are one of the easiest, most efficient ways to get warm fast. However, when not used correctly, they may also be one of the most dangerous.Space heaters accounted for 40 percent of all home heating fires and a staggering 84 percent of home ... More >>


What you should know about rising interest rates
(BPT) - Homeowners planning to refinance and buyers searching for a home may have an idea of what’s in store for them with regards to interest rates, but they never really know until they lock in a rate. Rates can change direction fast, and when they rise—as they have recently—it ... More >>


The home design trend you need to know about
(BPT) - With the new year underway, the housing world is buzzing about the next transformative trend in home design and remodeling. This year it seems certain the growing trend of mixing and layering materials, something many designers and architects noticed was growing in popularity over the past ... More >>


Americans have less tolerance for power outages in a digital world
(BPT) - A flash of lighting, a loud clap of thunder and BOOM! Suddenly everything goes dark and you know the power in your home is officially out.Just about everyone has experienced a power outage due to a seasonal storm in their lifetime and it is a trend that continues to grow between super storm... More >>


Six factors driving the cost of your new HVAC system
(BPT) - More than half of homes in the U.S were built before 1980, according to U.S. Census figures. With most home heating and ventilation systems lasting around 20 years, millions of American homeowners will be looking at replacing their HVAC systems this year. If you’ll be among them, unde... More >>


Where to find rebates, tax credits and rewards for energy-efficient home improvements
(BPT) - If you’re planning to make some home improvements this year, you’re probably thinking about energy-efficient options, knowing they can save you money in the long run. However, many eco-friendly home improvements that help lower your energy bills can also pay off right away in th... More >>


Trend alert: Wood planks warm up ceilings and walls
(BPT) - For centuries, hardwood planks have been the ultimate material for residential floors. Combining exceptional durability with unrivalled good looks, oak, walnut, cherry or other solid-wood floorboards add value and beauty to any home they grace. But these days, handsome timber planking is no... More >>


Safeguard your home from ice dam formation
(BPT) - Unpredictable winter weather can wreak havoc for millions of Americans across the country, leaving them cold and reaching to crank up the thermostat. Those living in areas where the temperatures can plummet to subzero, and snow and ice are a certainty, are all too familiar with what the sea... More >>


6 easy, affordable smart home features that could help you sell your house faster
(BPT) - Fresh paint on the walls, professional staging and an asking price that ends in 999 — when you’re selling your home, you’ll do whatever you can to help it stand out and sell faster. Because the National Association of Realtors is predicting modest growth for the 2017 real ... More >>


4 hot bathroom design trends that don't have to cost a bundle
(BPT) - Coffee bars, TVs in mirrors, smart toilets and pet-friendly amenities — a growing number of homeowners are requesting such upscale features in their bathroom design, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). Is it any wonder that association members report the ave... More >>


Plumbing the power of a powder room addition
(BPT) - Never underestimate the power of a powder room to make your home more livable and increase its resale value. Having more and nicer bathrooms consistently scores high in surveys on homeowners’ wish lists. What’s more, extra baths deliver more than just convenience; a National Ass... More >>


Playroom upgrade: A wall-mount 'barn door' makes more room for fun
(BPT) - With spring fast approaching and the kids at school, there’s no better time to upgrade the playroom.Why not swap out a traditional swinging door for a playful chalkboard wall-mounted sliding door? Your little artists can draw for hours on the chalkboard, plus the sliding door can add ... More >>


This security system alerts you before something bad happens
(BPT) - There’s a distinctly unwelcome sentiment that every parent, no matter how vigilant, must experience once in a while. You might know it as, “that was close.”It happens when your child’s sense of adventure unexpectedly outpaces your vigilance. Stephanie Hinderks, a mot... More >>


5 easy DIY projects to tackle this winter
(BPT) - The winter months are the perfect time to dig in and tackle easy DIY projects for an updated home you'll enjoy all year long. These five simple home improvement projects are incredibly easy, affordable and can be completed in three hours or less.Marvelous mirrorsMirror, mirror, on the wall,... More >>


4 tips to save water in your home
(BPT) - The average American family uses more than 300 gallons of water every single day, 70 percent of which occurs indoors. Flushing the toilet, brushing your teeth and taking a long hot shower all add to the consumption of this valuable natural resource.So what can you do within your own home to... More >>


5 facts about radiation you never knew
(BPT) - Radiation — it’s not something most people think about very often, and when they do, their thoughts usually turn to radiation's effects as they are portrayed in the movies. These being namely that exposure to radiation will either turn them into a hideous monster or a superhero.... More >>


5 tips to keep your home warm, cozy and protected this winter
(BPT) - Winter is a harsh and cold season that can be terribly straining on homes, causing costly and inconvenient breakdowns, especially to plumbing and heating systems.Home experts recommend homeowners pay attention to the little things to avoid bigger problems from developing. Taking simple step... More >>


5 home-building secrets you should know
(BPT) - Thousands of Americans who are in the process of building their own home, or simply looking into it, are faced with hundreds of different questions. Granite or quartz countertops? Neutral or bold colors? Tile or hardwood flooring? And those questions are just the tip of the iceberg.Being ab... More >>



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