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home : extras : home improvement
October 21, 2017

Home improvement insight: 5 tips to redesign with kids' safety in mind
(BPT) - Smart homeowners take a strategic approach to home improvement projects such as redoing a playroom, living room or bedroom to keep kids' safety in mind during the redesign process.By being proactive today, you can ensure your entire family can safely enjoy the results of your home improveme... More >>


5 myths about solar panels, debunked
(BPT) - Home solar panels can drastically cut or even eliminate electricity bills, reduce a home's carbon footprint, increase resale value, and may even help a home sell faster.The cost of rooftop solar systems has fallen dramatically in recent years, and most homeowners have the option of buying t... More >>


The key to a better love life lies in your chores [Infographic]
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5 DIY home upgrades anyone can do in a day
(BPT) - (BPT) - Do-it-yourself home projects are sweeping the nation, and it's easy to see why. DIY is typically budget-friendly and fulfilling to complete; simply find the right project to match your skill set and needs.To get started, here are five inexpensive projects that can by tackled by any ... More >>


Two roof areas you can't afford to overlook this season
(BPT) - As summer gives way to changing colors and colder nights, now is an ideal time to tackle the necessary home maintenance projects that get put off during those sun-filled months - especially when it comes to one of the most protective and necessary aspects of any home, the roof. Cold weather... More >>


Tips to make sure your fire extinguisher is at the ready
(BPT) - You check your alarms regularly and practice your family escape plan - but are you overlooking an essential component of home safety? Having fire extinguishers and knowing how to use them is an important part of maintaining a safe home for you and your family.'In America, a fire starts in a... More >>


Shedding new light: 8 surprising facts that will have you rethinking your lighting
(BPT) - You step into a dark room, turn on the light switch and go about your day without giving it another thought.But here's the thing - you should.According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the average American home has approximately 50 light sockets, and most of those still contain ... More >>


Upping your laundry room's wow factor
(BPT) - Doing the laundry is no longer relegated to dark, musty basements where no one cares to go. Thanks to modern technology, great design and access to innovative ideas online, laundry rooms have moved upstairs and come into their own. In fact, laundry rooms today are right up there with dream ... More >>


Cost-effective home improvements
(BPT) - Home improvement projects don't always require breaking the bank and turning your living space into a construction zone. There are plenty of small, cost-effective projects that are not only affordable, but can potentially save you money in the long run. Programmable thermostat Simple ins... More >>


Easy winter weatherproofing: Keep the chill out as temperatures drop
(BPT) - Households heating with natural gas, which is almost half of U.S. homes, are expected to spend an average of $635 on heating this winter - 22 percent more than last winter, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration - but some easy seasonal maintenance tips can make a big diffe... More >>


Installing large format tile for beautiful, durable floors
(BPT) - Floors set with large format porcelain and natural stone tile continue to be the rage among homeowners and interior designers. Large format tiles, which are defined as 15 inches or longer on one side, make any room feel more open and welcoming. These popular tiles make a bold statement that... More >>


3 important areas to focus on when winterizing your home
(BPT) - From the holidays to cold-weather fun like ice skating and skiing, winter promises its share of good times. Preparing your home for winter's weather extremes can help ensure that you get the maximum enjoyment out of the season, while protecting your home's vital systems and indoor comfort.'... More >>


7 projects to help your home weather the winter safely and efficiently
(BPT) - If chilly temperatures make you want to snuggle under a blanket in front of a roaring fire, just think about your poor water pipes that can't escape the cold. You can't wrap your home in a warm, protective blanket when winter arrives, but a few winterization steps can help ensure your home ... More >>


How can insulation contribute to home repair following a hurricane?
(BPT) - As we are all too aware, hurricane season is in full swing, and thousands of homeowners across the southern U.S. and Puerto Rico have been hit by mammoth hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Nearly every year, the cost of damages that occur as a result of hurricanes or intense tropical storms... More >>


It's time: Signs your heating system needs a tune-up
(BPT) - Temperatures are falling, pumpkin spice everything has reappeared and stores have already put out holiday displays - all signs that winter is either on the way, or already here, depending on where you live. If you haven't already had your heating system tuned up, now is the time.Neglect is ... More >>


Which type of insulation is right for your home?
(BPT) - With the imminent approach of dropping temperatures, many people reach for their sweaters as they run out the door. In a bittersweet farewell to summer, boats are hauled out of the water and taken in to be winterized. Wool sock purchases start to soar, and Instagram is filled again with pum... More >>


Raising the bar(n) in your home: Say hello to a barn door this winter
(BPT) - Amid the many trends ebbing and flowing through home improvement, one in particular seems likely to stick around. Known for their versatility, barn doors have been popping up in homes across the country - in contemporary and rustic designs. With this design element found on such opposite si... More >>


DIY home security systems: The smart, affordable way to secure your home
(BPT) - With the holiday season approaching, you may be thinking about giving your family the gift of home security - especially if you know you'll be traveling over the holidays. Yet high monthly fees and lengthy security company contracts could make you think twice about installing a professional... More >>


Breathe easier with smart tips for an allergy-free home
(BPT) - Stuffy and runny nose, sneezing, itchy nose and eyes - having fall allergies can be miserable. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), more than 60 million Americans suffer from asthma and allergies, and nearly 70 percent of U.S. households are affected by indoor a... More >>


Top tips to reap the fullest experience from fall TV
(BPT) - With long nights and chilly temperatures, it's always good to find an excuse to stay home. Here's a classic excuse that's gone from lame to legitimate in a short time: I have to catch up on my favorite TV show.So fix your favorite snack and pull up a sofa, because this fall, there are a ton... More >>


Real-mom life hacks for an imperfectly perfect life
(BPT) - Your house is spotless, your children are well behaved, and every night there's a beautiful home-cooked meal on the table. Just how do you do it?The answer: You don't. From 1960s how-to guides portraying the perfect mother to today's Pinterest-crazed super moms, there's always been pressure... More >>


5 Effortless DIY Projects to Prep Your Home for Fall -- and Beyond
(BPT) - The telltale signs are all there. Maybe it's football season, the changing color of the trees right outside your door, or the crisp morning air that's suddenly taken on a chill. Yes, there's no denying it, fall is here and winter is quickly following behind.No matter where you live in the c... More >>


During storm cleanup, safety comes first
(BPT) - For many people, fall is their favorite season – mild temperatures, fall clothes and fall leaves creating colorful yards. But the season involves more than cool breezes and fall colors. From New England to California, Florida to the Great Lakes, the final few months of the year usually brin... More >>


All home warranties are not created equal
(BPT) - Having a home warranty is a smart way to help deal with the inevitable home repair problems that all property owners face at one point or another.After all, a good home warranty can mean getting expert help when your HVAC system needs to be fixed, your water heater needs to be replaced, or ... More >>


Create your cozy [Infographic]
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Ready, set, guests: 3 paint projects for fall entertaining
(BPT) - 'Despite the hectic chaos that comes with the back-to-school season and adapting our family schedules, I find fall to be the perfect time to tackle my home to-do list,' explains Cyndy Aldred, the do-it-yourself paint blogger behind The Creativity Exchange. 'It's perfect because fall is our ... More >>


5 easy ways to turn your house into a smart home
(BPT) - There was a time when setting up a smart home was a labor-intensive endeavor. You had to know which devices worked together, spend tedious days getting everything to work just right, then master complicated software to control the whole experience.Things have changed. Nowadays, smart homes ... More >>


How to choose the right lock for your home [Video]
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Emergency preparedness 101: Know how to protect your family against carbon monoxide poisoning
(BPT) - Few areas of the country are immune to natural disasters or severe weather. Whether you live in a hurricane zone or face icy winters, it is important to prepare your home and family to weather the storm and know the potential health and safety risks that may arise in emergency situations.Be... More >>


Prevent falls this fall with a home safety checklist
(BPT) - After months of sticky heat and humidity, it's time to put away the shorts and pull out the sweaters because the autumn season is finally here. But, late September brings us more than just cooler temperatures and a wardrobe change. If you or a loved one are over the age of 65, the change in... More >>


How to Transform Your Cleaning Routine [Infographic]
(BPT) - According to a survey* from affresh(R), 28% of Americans haven't considered cleaning the inside of their laundry appliances or didn't know that the inside of dishwashers should be cleaned. The appliances that clean our clothes daily or remove built-up residue from our dishes are just as imp... More >>


Increasing your home's appeal through design
(BPT) - When you think of where you are happiest in your home, is it a place where you can relax, where you enjoy socializing, or where you feel most productive? Most people associate positive feelings with their home - but more specifically, they associate positive emotions with certain parts of t... More >>


5 strategies to embrace a green lifestyle
(BPT) - Going green: It's more than an idea - it's a fundamental change you make to support the environment and reduce your carbon footprint. In making this change, you probably started with the small stuff. You turn the lights off when you're not in the room, unplug devices that aren't in use and ... More >>


Replacing a furnace? How to choose an energy-efficient system
(BPT) - If it's time to replace your furnace, you may be wondering if it's worth the extra investment to buy an energy-efficient system. Or, you may be unsure how to choose an energy-efficient system for your home.'Energy-efficient heating systems can substantially lower your fuel costs over the li... More >>


Bringing sustainability home is as easy as ABC
(BPT) - With 67 percent of consumers from across the globe preferring products from sustainable sources, according to a recent Nielsen survey, creating a more sustainable home is the new normal. From buying down and feather products to repairing leaky pipes, making your home more sustainable is as ... More >>


4 fallacies you should never believe about wooden decks
(BPT) - Deck-building trends come and go, including new styles and building materials like composites. However, wood remains the material of choice for the majority of deck projects, according to Popular Mechanics.When you're weighing what type of material to use for your deck project, you'll likel... More >>


Garage doors: More visual impact than your front door
(BPT) - If you're buying a garage door, you'll be faced with several decisions that you likely never had to make before. Before you call your local garage door dealer, here are some of the decisions that you need to face.The design decisionRemember the adage that the front door is the most importan... More >>


Hot home design: 4 things to consider when choosing siding
(BPT) - Selecting new siding is one of the most important curb appeal decisions homeowners face when building new or remodeling an existing home. With so many options - both classic and modern materials - there's a lot to consider.Many manufacturers are now combining traditional styles and material... More >>


This fall, make home upgrades with staying power
(BPT) - Fall can be the perfect time for homeowners to complete projects that busy summer schedules didn't allow. It's also a great time to look at ways to add lasting value to your property. This season, upgrade cheap fixes, freshen dated looks and incorporate lasting improvements in your home. Ch... More >>


Artisanal elegance for curated design in the kitchen
(BPT) - Original, handcrafted décor brings an artisanal elegance to today's modern kitchen. Designers and homeowners alike are incorporating more one-of-a-kind pieces that bring an individualized artisanship to the heart of the home. These unique fittings and fixtures adapt to multiple style prefer... More >>


5 ways to refresh your not-so-fresh bathroom
(BPT) - Whether you have a powder room that looks like it was last decorated in the '70s or a master bathroom that has never felt very masterful, you might be one of the many homeowners around the country who is clamoring to give their bathrooms a little touch-up. There's no doubt a coat of paint i... More >>


Tricks of the trade: How to maximize your kitchen renovation
(BPT) - Considering a kitchen renovation but not sure how to get the most out of your space and budget? Expert tips can help you focus your plans so you get the kitchen of your dreams for less money and less stress."Redesigning your kitchen is a big investment," says A-list designer Nate Berkus, Ar... More >>


Big, smart ideas for renovating smaller homes
(BPT) - While newly constructed homes are bigger than ever, most Americans still live in modestly sized or even small houses - and many of these owners are choosing to remodel rather than move into a bigger home.More than half of all American houses were built before 1980, according to the National... More >>


5 kitchen upgrades to make your inner host flourish
(BPT) - You love entertaining and treating guests to delectable dishes and fun times. Unfortunately, your kitchen layout, appliances and even the faucet are so downright unappealing that the thought of planning and preparing a party menu is equally unpleasant.What do you do when you're built to ent... More >>


Teentastic: 5 tips to make any space perfect for young adults
(BPT) - Teenagers are at a point in their life where they are looking to make their own mark and find their own space. You want to give it to them, but as you start considering renovation ideas, how do you create a space your teen will appreciate?The Boys & Girls Clubs of America knows all abou... More >>


Housework may be a key to improving your relationship
(BPT) - Cleaning the bathroom and emptying the dishwasher isn't at the top of a couple's 'To Do Together' list, but it may be the true language of love. In fact, a recent survey from home appliance leader LG Electronics found most Americans (52%) get turned on by their partner doing housework. In f... More >>


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 you're like s... 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 >>


Give your outdoor space the home field advantage
(BPT) - On a beautiful, sunny day, you simply have to be outside. But 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 the beauty of your own outdoor space?If your answer is not often or never, it's time to create your own home fie... 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 summer y... 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 to tur... 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 >>


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.But don... 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 to a ... 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 look great.... 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 >>


Transform your backyard with these 3 elements
(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 colors to bring their paintings t... 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 >>


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't make it bi... 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 the potential to be the perfect focal poin... 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 improvements ... 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 improvements in 2015, accord... 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 outdoor spaces of ... 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, you sh... 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 health, wh... 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 to work. Betw... 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 Southern Cypress Manufac... 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 benches bu... 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. Knowing you... 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 summer ... More >>



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