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home : life : home improvement August 17, 2017

5 fabulous deck fix-ups
(BPT) - Are you tired of having a deck you’re no longer proud to show off? You’re not alone. According to the 2017 U.S. Houzz Landscape Trends Study, one of the top reasons motivating homeowners to tackle outdoor projects like deck upgrades is their open-air space is past its prime.If y... More >>


How to Tackle a Dust-Free Renovation
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Enjoy the latest trend in swimming pools
(BPT) - It was supposed to be a community swimming pool, but many people stayed away because they couldn't tolerate the biting, nose-curdling odor of chlorine. Others experienced breathing and skin problems.So the Evergreen Commons senior center in Holland, Michigan, converted its 65,000-gallon chl... More >>


5 tips to make the most of your outdoor space
(BPT) - A beautiful, sunny day is one of the best parts of the season and when you have one, you simply have to be outside. When you step outdoors, where do you go? To the park? The lake? A friend's home?How often do you stay home and enjoy a beautiful day in your own outdoor space?If your answer i... More >>


Forward-thinking yard projects to tackle as the weather cools off this fall
(BPT) - The temperature may not have dropped just yet, but make no mistake, fall is coming. Soon enough, baseball will give way to football, green leaves will turn yellow and red and your lawn care routine will take on a whole new set of tasks. Fall lawn care isn’t the long marathon of the su... More >>


Focus on a single element to get the feel of a remodel for less investment
(BPT) - Dreaming of a renovation but lacking the time and resources for a full upgrade? You might be able to refresh your space by focusing your efforts on individual elements that have the most impact.This growing interior design trend uses a thoughtful approach to renovation by analyzing what sho... More >>


5 smart technology upgrades to make the bathroom the brainiest room in the house
(BPT) - Smart technology has found a place in virtually every room in the home, even the one where we take care of our most low-tech needs. In fact, thanks to innovations like sensor-operated, self-cleaning toilets, moisture-sensing ventilation fans and digital shower controls, it’s possible ... More >>


Must-have elements for building a sustainable new home
(BPT) - When someone builds a home for you, you have the opportunity to make it as sustainable, eco-friendly and energy-efficient as possible. Not only are sustainable homes more cost-effective over the long term, they have a smaller environmental impact, and can be more appealing to homebuyers whe... More >>


Buying smart home tech? This approach helps you steer clear of disappointment
(BPT) - Are you tempted by smart home technology?It’s the high-tech home improvement trend that shows no sign of slowing down. Homeowners are flocking to electronics stores to pick up app-controlled smart thermostats, automated smart locks and even smart doorbells with onboard video cameras.B... More >>


Turn your basic backyard into an outdoor oasis
(BPT) - Summer’s in full swing, but are you truly making the most of it? Creating a vibrant outdoor space can expand the living area of your home, while providing a unique venue for entertaining or relaxation, allowing you to enjoy every free moment to the fullest.From the ultimate sports bar... More >>


Use steel to improve your home's curb appeal
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Tricks to customize a kitchen on a budget
(BPT) - Who wouldn’t want a kitchen customized to meet their specific tastes and needs? A complete kitchen renovation can cost tens of thousands of dollars, but you don’t have to spend a bundle to achieve a custom effect. A few modest investments can help make your kitchen work well and... More >>


Take precautions in the heat - lifesaving tips
(BPT) - From tornadoes and floods to hail and lightning storms, the United States experiences a broad array of extreme weather. Fatalities do occur, but many people are surprised to learn that the weather event that causes the greatest number of deaths is heat.According to the National Weather Serv... More >>


5 steps to a smart home
(BPT) - When it comes to technology, smarter is better. There are smart watches, smart televisions and just about everyone has a smartphone.So what about a smart home?Smart thermostats and lighting timers represent the first steps toward smart home technology for many homeowners, but in a lot of ca... More >>


Your backyard canvas: 3 ways to create an outdoor living area as unique as you are
(BPT) - It’s amazing to contemplate that all the famous paintings in history — from da Vinci’s Mona Lisa to van Gogh’s Starry Night — are essentially formed from three primary colors. Artists skillfully combine red, yellow and blue to formulate an infinite range of col... More >>


5 ways to create big luxury in a small master bathroom
(BPT) - If you’re thinking about remodeling your small bathroom, you may know that studies show updating a bathroom of any size can increase the value of a home. However, there’s a statistic from a Houzz survey you might not know: 75 percent of people who renovate a master bathroom don&... More >>


3 steps to a more secure home
(BPT) - More than 75 percent of Americans are concerned about the security of their home, yet few think about door hardware when it comes to added protection.In fact, out of those who have ever purchased a new lockset or deadbolt, only 19 percent have done so with the safety of their home in mind, ... More >>


Tips to turn the kitchen sink into a beautiful, functional focal point
(BPT) - When you’re updating a kitchen, it’s time to ignore that old adage “everything but the kitchen sink.” Many homeowners don’t think about replacing their kitchen sink unless it’s broken, ancient or they’re upgrading countertops. However, the sink has ... More >>


5 hot trends for the home
(BPT) - Home safety is one of the top priorities of homeowners and renters alike. Your home should be a place to relax, play and enjoy spending time with family and friends.Here are a few of the latest trends in home security so that you can make yours a home sweet home that's equally safe.Home aut... More >>


5 ways to keep your cottage comfortable this summer
(BPT) - Although it’s officially summer, the fluctuations in temperatures, sporadic downpours and tornado-inciting weather would make you think otherwise. While many of us take the opportunity to hit the beach, lake or ranch during the summer for some rest and relaxation, cottage home improve... More >>


Transform your home in a weekend with these DIY projects
(BPT) - Summertime isn’t just for vacations or weekends at the cabin. Summer weekends — with longer days — are ideal opportunities for quick and inexpensive DIY projects that make a big statement around the home.The average American homeowner spent nearly $3,000 on home improvemen... More >>


How to perfectly light a bathroom for beauty, function and safety
(BPT) - Good lighting is important throughout a home, and each room has different lighting needs. Kitchens require overhead and task lighting, while bedrooms and dining rooms can benefit from variable illumination. However, no room in the house requires more layers and nuances of lighting than the ... More >>


Upcoming home improvement? How to navigate big purchases and make wise decisions
(BPT) - Are you planning an upcoming home improvement? If so, you are not alone.Higher-than-average renovation spending is expected in 2017, according to a leading consumer magazine, with more than half of homeowners planning to spend money on home improvements throughout the year.From upgrading ap... More >>


Allergens and indoor air quality: 4 steps to a healthier home
(BPT) - When at home, you're probably relaxing, playing with the kids or tackling chores. What you aren't likely doing is thinking about the air you're breathing. Unfortunately, the reality is poor indoor air quality in residential spaces is a major problem.The United States Consumer Product Safety... More >>


Latest deck trend: 'Monster' size, mega-luxury
(BPT) - Move over mini — the new trend in decking is anything but small.When it comes to the size of their decks, the majority of Americans feel bigger is better — as multiple surveys indicate decks are getting larger and more luxurious, RealtorMag reports.Today’s decks dwarf the ... More >>


Repair or replace? What to do with a worn-out cooling system
(BPT) - Sooner or later, every homeowner will face the same tough decision: Can you repair that malfunctioning system or appliance one more time, or is it finally time to replace it? Summer temperatures can heat up the repair-or-replace debate for homeowners living with an older cooling system.To a... More >>


Rethinking bathroom design
(BPT) - As homeowners begin to dream up plans to update their kitchens and bathrooms, they can spend hours searching for inspiration on the web or one of the many home renovation television shows. There’s no shortage of beautiful ideas and designs out there, but before you make any decision, ... More >>


A room-by-room guide to decluttering your home
(BPT) - Controlling clutter in your home can be a challenge; 48 percent of Americans say their houses are cluttered with stuff they don’t use anymore, according to a survey by ClearVoice Research. Multiple studies have found a cluttered home can negatively affect your mental and physical heal... More >>


6 must-know kitchen and bathroom design trends
(BPT) - Many homeowners today wonder how they can turn their bathrooms or kitchens into something worthy of making the rounds on Pinterest or Instagram. As more people want to give their home a personal and stylish touch, home decorating and interior design is hotter than ever, and the possibilitie... More >>


5 affordable weekend DIY projects that completely recreate your home
(BPT) - The cold months of winter have a batten-down-the-hatches feel to them, don't they? Fortunately, they're over. Now that summer is here, you want to spread out, bask in the beautiful weather and finally tackle those home improvement projects you were eyeing during those colder months.Now is t... More >>


Let's get rolling. It's just paint.
(BPT) - Whether you like it or not, summer is the perfect time to stop procrastinating and get rolling on those paint projects you’ve been putting off. No matter how many Pinterest inspiration boards you save or prep tutorials you watch, it’s never easy to roll up your sleeves and get t... 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 >>


Summertime energy savings tips and tricks for every room of the home [Infographic]
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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 >>


5 aging-in-place bathroom upgrades to make while you're young(er)
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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 >>


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 >>


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 >>


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 >>


Your spring cleaning checklist [Infographic]
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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 >>


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 >>


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 >>


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 >>


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.... 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 >>


How to use your home's equity to your advantage
(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 >>


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 >>


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 >>



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