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home : life : home improvement April 16, 2014

Kitchen makeover: 3 simple tips for beauty on a budget
(BPT) - If you’re tired of looking at your outdated kitchen, but feel replacement would be impractical, you’re not alone. In 2014, consumers will be trying to find solutions they can afford to do themselves. Check out these three DIY remodeling trends for simple and unique ways to refre... More >>


Decked out from coast to coast: Top outdoor living trends for 2014
(BPT) - From genteel porches in the East to sleek, seaside balconies in the West, the popularity of outdoor living spaces is poised for significant growth from coast to coast with industry analysts predicting it will be a $5.7 billion market by 2016. Reinforcing these projections, 63 percent of arc... More >>


Hardwood flooring trends, a touch of the creative
(BPT) - The recovering U.S. housing market has led to increased demand for certain luxury items, including hardwood flooring. Exciting trends are influencing the marketplace and for today’s consumers, there are more hardwood flooring options than ever before.“Savvy consumers want variet... More >>


Flushing less water down the drain with better toilet technology [Infographic]
(BPT) - Twenty years since the original Energy Policy Act went into effect, the U.S. has transitioned from water-guzzling toilets using 3.5 gallons of water per flush (gpf) to low-flow 1.6 gallon models to  high efficiency toilets using just 1.28 gallons. New data shows that the move from 3.5 ... More >>


Four quick color tips to awaken your home in 2014
(BPT) - While many resolutions are based on eating healthier and exercising more, homes rarely receive the same promise of improvement. This year, resolve to give your home some attention by committing to a new coat of paint. Painting can be a quick and cost-effective way to refresh your home, so c... More >>


Keep wall flaws hidden with beautiful texturing techniques
(BPT) - When it comes to home decorating, texturing can do for your walls what a good coat of wax can do for your car's finish - hide a host of flaws. Poorly patched holes, uneven sheetrock, ugly wallpaper and even multiple layers of peeling paint can all be hidden beneath a beautiful layer of text... More >>


Rats! Winter rodent problems are prevalent, survey shows [Infographic]
(BPT) - When temperatures drop, rodents head indoors. America’s rodent problems peak in winter, but aren’t restricted to a specific region, a recent survey by the National Pest Management Association found. Each year nearly a third of all American households experience rodent problems, ... More >>


Ways to make your outdoor living spaces more useful all year
(BPT) - No matter if you live on a coast or in the Upper Midwest, you can use your outdoor spaces to the fullest in any season by adding a few enhancements. Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, it's easy to add features like a seat wall and a fire ring for an outdoor gathering spot, o... More >>


How color affects your exterior home makeover
(BPT) - How do you know you’ve chosen the right colors to accent your home’s exterior? What colors on windows, doors, trim or shutters can highlight architectural details? Try these tips to help choose an exterior color scheme for your home.Accent your home’s styleConsider your ho... More >>


Empty nesters want low-maintenance yards that focus on fun and functionality, not fuss
(BPT) - One of the first questions new empty nesters face is: what do we do with the nest? Some are eager to downsize and sell. Others like where they live and choose to stay put.No matter the decision, the property, new or old, is likely in for a makeover aimed at making routine upkeep more manage... More >>


Why a wood deck is one of the best investments a homeowner can make
By Laura Malm(BPT) - As the seasons turn, more homeowners look for projects that not only make their homes more livable, but also offer great return on investment. With demand high across the country for outdoor spaces that bring the comforts of the indoors outside, there’s no surprise that d... More >>


Moving on? Tips to help get your home ready to sell
(BPT) - Listing your home for sale? Or want to? First impressions can make the difference in attracting prospective buyers. Many buyers make decisions based on emotion. To appeal to emotions, and make a positive first impression with prospective buyers, present your home at its best.Get out the too... More >>


Add your health to your spring cleaning to-do list
(BPT) - Spring is a season for dusting, washing and polishing the home, cleaning up the yard of any winter debris and even cleaning the storage on the computer or laptop. Spring also should be a time to clean up your health – adding small habits to your lifestyle that can result in big change... More >>


Top 10 home decor trends for 2014
(BPT) - Renew. Rejuvenate. Reinvigorate. The same objectives people have when making their personal New Year’s resolutions can be just as easily be applied to their homes. There’s no better time to give a home a fresh look, whether it’s incorporating a new color palette, adding ac... More >>


Spruce up your home for spring
(BPT) - Spring is a time of rebirth. A time when everyone shakes off the last chills of a long winter and sets goals to improve themselves. Maybe you plan to set a goal to lose weight, now that you can exercise outside, learn a new skill or get promoted. All of these are great ideas. But while you ... More >>


Composite or wood? Myth-busting facts to know before you decide on a deck
(BPT) - As temperatures warm across the country, many homeowners will begin thinking about home improvement. Adding a deck or replacing an old one is a popular project in spring and summer – one that provides outdoor entertaining space and enhances home value. If you’re considering a de... More >>


Must-have luxury upgrades for your over-the-top deck
(BPT) - Some home improvements are simply worth a larger investment to achieve outstanding results. The extra investment ensures optimum returns in value, beauty and livability. Indoors, kitchens and baths rate that extra attention. Outdoors, decks are the pinnacle of great home improvements.Kitche... More >>


Embrace spring early with fresh DIY home and landscaping projects
(BPT) - People across the country are feeling the winter blues after an unusually cold and snowy winter. But with warmer weather arriving soon, you can create a feeling of spring indoors and out with some simple do-it-yourself projects.Roll up your sleeves and embrace the season of growth with thes... More >>


Easy tips to create the perfect outdoor living room
(BPT) - It’s that time of year - time to dust off your patio furniture, fill your planters and set up to spend the spring outdoors. While expanding an outdoor space is a top renovation project for homeowners and renters alike, it does not have to induce a state of pre-spring stress. With a fe... More >>


Why invest in insulation during a renovation?
(BPT) - When it comes to enhancing the value and comfort of a home, most homeowners will opt to address the cosmetic features of a home when completing a renovation project. Yet, it’s often the things that homeowners don’t consider that can have the biggest impact on the value of a home... More >>


To-do list 2.0: How high-tech is making household chores easier than ever
(BPT) - Each week, the average person spends between 10 and 20 hours doing yard work and other tasks around the home, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While necessary, these routine tasks don’t exactly fit neatly into today’s busy, on-the-go lifestyles, which is why technolo... More >>


Go-anywhere upgrades that are great for kitchens and baths
(BPT) - Some upgrades look laughable in the wrong room: plush carpeting in the bathroom or custom drapes in a kitchen. A handful of go-anywhere upgrades work especially well in kitchens and baths – and can raise those rooms from merely functional to inspiringly fashionable.Of course, virtuall... More >>


The best-kept secret for your home's exterior
(BPT) - Unique versatility, unrivaled durability, breathtaking beauty – all are qualities that have made cypress a longtime favorite building material in the coastal regions of the South. But the secret about cypress is out, and homeowners across the country are acknowledging its virtues for ... More >>


Spruce up your home for spring with wood [Infographic]
(BPT) - Spring has arrived and there is no better time to refresh the look of your home. Thankfully, you don’t have to remodel to create a new look for a room; you can dramatically alter decor and add value to your home working with manageable details such as wood trim and moldings. Crown mol... More >>


Solve everyday setbacks with five simple 'life hacks'... and possibly get rich doing so
(BPT) - Fifty-six percent of adults who completed home improvements in the past year spent $1,000 or more, according to The Scarborough Report. Next time you’re faced with a home improvement project, instead of wasting money throwing away fixable objects or hiring professionals for quick and ... More >>


Planning a home improvement project? How to hire a quality contractor
(BPT) - Dreaming of home improvement projects in the New Year? You’re not alone – many homeowners are deciding what improvement project to tackle next. As the housing market continues to strengthen, homeowners buying or selling homes are focused on curb appeal or updating new spaces, wh... More >>


Top 2014 home improvement trends: smart homes and home automation
(BPT) - From smartphones to smart cars, technology is transforming virtually every aspect of our busy lives. Technologies not only make life easier while on the go, but new options are quickly simplifying life at home as well. Home automation is proving to be a top home improvement trend, making th... More >>


Insulation: The key to ending drafts and cutting utility bills
(BPT) - Whether it’s the chill of winter or the heat of summer, our natural instincts are to adjust the indoor temperature so it is comfortable through every season. But if your home has any drafts or air leaks, expect indoor temperatures to fluctuate dramatically.Leaks and drafts can hinder ... More >>


Chic chalet: Give your kitchen a mountain makeover
(BPT) - Your kitchen doesn’t need a Matterhorn vista to stay on top of the latest “chalet chic” design trend. It’s easier than you think to get this style by mixing rustic pieces with modern touches.“Exposed structural elements work well when paired against something t... More >>


Creating inviting outdoor spaces for entertaining
(BPT) - From barbecues and games of bocce to parties and candlelit dinners, your outdoor space can be a hub for entertaining friends and family.“Try to create a living room for your outdoor space,” says Kate Anthony, owner of Kate & Company Design Studio and Interior Design instruct... More >>


Meeting buyer demands in a seller's market: Top trends for 2014
(BPT) - With many real estate industry watchers predicting 2014 will be a seller’s market, you may think you won’t need to do much to sell your home this spring. Not so fast – while more buyers are likely to be competing for homes, that doesn’t mean they’re willing to ... More >>


Six hot home design trends for spring 2014
(BPT) - Does the change of seasons have you itching to refresh a tired, lackluster room? Or maybe you’re looking for some small ways to make a big impact on your home’s style? Whatever the case, here are some of this season’s most buzzed-about trends and how you can incorporate th... More >>


Freezing temperatures are good news and bad news for pests
(BPT) - The newest buzz word this winter is “Polar Vortex.” Most of the country has experienced weeks of extremely cold temperatures, and these repeated bouts of ice and snow could have an impact on local pest populations.Rodents and mosquitoes may not be homeowners’ main concerns... More >>


How freeze-thaw cycles, water, impact, sun and pests can damage siding
(BPT) - Spring is a great time to re-side your house, whether to increase your home’s value or to replace damaged siding but be sure to evaluate all your siding options. Not all residential siding exteriors perform the same.Weather attacks a home’s siding year-round with freeze-thaw cyc... More >>


Outdoor kitchen? Second-floor laundry? How to easily achieve summer's hottest home improvements
(BPT) - Whether you’re staying in place or planning to take advantage of an improving real estate market to sell your home, spring and summer are upgrade seasons. From adding a bathroom to creating an outdoor kitchen, certain improvements pay off for both homeowners who are selling and those ... More >>


7 easy tips to help you get on deck with the right composite decking
  Interest in alternative decking materials has skyrocketed in recent years, with composite decking becoming one of the fastest growing segments in the decking market. For homeowners looking to outfit their deck with the durable, long-lasting material, this means dozens of products to cho... More >>


Create a traditional kitchen full of personality and style
(BPT) - The kitchen is the heart of the home ... the place where memories are made while cooking, eating and sharing stories around the table. Since so much time is spent in this room, it’s important to have a kitchen that fits your personality. There are many styles to choose; but traditiona... More >>


From floor to fixtures: Top spring home decor trends add style and personality
By Laura Malm(BPT) - Spring is in the air, which means it’s time to refresh your indoor spaces to reflect the energy and optimism of the season. The top home decor trends of spring 2014 take a fresh approach to traditional design elements to create an aesthetic that is fresh and full of life.... More >>


Lead with style: How to create clean, crisp curb appeal for your home's entry
(BPT) - Whether you are building a new home, or want to refresh your existing home, choosing a contemporary style creates high-class curb appeal.But, what goes into contemporary home styling?Among the various ways architects and interior designers describe “contemporary,” two words come... More >>


Is your garage door ready to roll? Survey casts doubts
(BPT) - Does your garage door creak, squeak or groan when you open or close it? If so, that isn’t a good sign. But noticing this is the first step to fixing what could become a major home repair issue.Newly released survey results show that you’re probably not alone with your maintenanc... More >>


Bringing life back into your yard and garden
(BPT) - Spring season is a time of regeneration and renewal as you prepare to bring life back to your lawn and garden. Taking the proper steps after seasonal changes or severe weather conditions can prove to be the difference between creating a breathtaking landscape or an outdoor space with unsigh... More >>


How to find rebates for energy-efficient home improvements
(BPT) - Home improvements that increase energy efficiency are appealing on many levels, from saving you money on heating and cooling costs to the confidence you get from knowing you’re doing something good for the environment. They’re even better when you can get some money back from th... More >>


Don't be left in the dark [Infographic]
(BPT) - Traditional 40- and 60-watt incandescent light bulbs have been phased out, leaving consumers with less bulb options to light their homes. Lutron Electronics asked people if they feel "in the dark" about light bulb options, as well as how important dimmable bulbs and dimmers are, and the sta... More >>


Build a better bath on a budget
(BPT) - Do you cringe every time you step into your bathroom? If so, it may be time to remodel. Bathroom remodels are the most popular remodeling project, according to a recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders. But remodeling doesn’t have to be a budget buster. You can simp... More >>


Trim adds decorative new dimensions throughout home interiors
(BPT) - When people think of home trim, they often picture the beauty it brings to exteriors – but the right trim products can add arrestingly elegant and bold decorative elements throughout home interiors, too.High-quality cellular PVC trim from Kleer Lumber, a division of The Tapco Group, i... More >>


Add value to your home with smart spring home improvements
(BPT) - Snow, blizzards, Arctic winds and damaging ice storms have wreaked havoc across the country this winter. While it may feel as though spring will never come, building experts suggest that now is the time for homeowners to consider spring home improvements that add value and comfort to the ho... More >>


Get decked out with color
(BPT) - Wondering what one of the biggest trends “on deck” is this year? Hint, it is a colorful answer. That’s because more and more people are choosing to add color with a waterproofing deck stain.“There are practical reasons for the trend,” says HGTV/DIY Network star... More >>


Wood is good: The must-have material for your spring home spruce-up
(BPT) - Thinking of sprucing up your home for spring? You’re not alone; one in three homeowners say they’ll take on at least one home improvement project in the first half of 2014, according to a recent survey by Burst Media. And it turns out, freshening your home for spring is a smart ... More >>


The best home improvement for less than $5,000
(BPT) - Curious which home improvement costs less than $5,000, delivers the highest return on investment and has the maximum impact on curb appeal?According to the latest studies, the answer is a new garage door.A garage door replacement is one of the best value-returning home improvement investmen... More >>


Save green indoors and out with energy-efficient home upgrades
(BPT) - Spring is the perfect time to think green. For some it’s spurred by the coming of Earth Day, others the renewed greening of our lawns. And many are motivated by the desire to save a little green in their wallets with a fresh new season of home repairs. If you’re one of these peo... More >>


Energy-efficiency: the remodeling trend that's here to stay
(BPT) - Remodeling trends come and go, which is a good thing if you’re talking about shag carpet or avocado-colored Formica. But some trends have both staying power and universal appeal, such as the strengthening movement toward homes that are more energy efficient and eco-friendly.“Dem... More >>


Time to try to DIY: Easy outdoor living projects that can be done in a few weekends
(BPT) - Spring is the perfect time to put your home’s best face forward. The good news is you can refresh your outdoor living space with easy-to-tackle projects that can be done in a few weekends.Whether you’re building a brand new deck from the bottom-up or updating your existing outdo... More >>


Top 2014 home decor trend: Personalized design
(BPT) - Interior design is in a constant state of transformation, and this year homeowners are taking control. The “keeping up with the Joneses’’ mentality is giving ground to the desire for personalized design that reflects the exact needs and design aesthetic of the residents. I... More >>


A healthier home makes for happier families
(BPT) - If you’ve ever made a decision not to eat a certain food because it was bad for you, then you’re like most Americans who are increasingly more health-conscious. As you consider what not to put in your body, there are simple ways to improve your health by examining what’s i... More >>


Opening the door to space and privacy is easy
(BPT) - Homeowners, builders and remodelers are always looking for innovative and new ways to enhance existing spaces during home makeovers and room renovations.To meet that demand, Johnson Hardware recently introduced the Series 200WM wall mount door hardware, an exclusively designed system for mo... More >>


Designer tips to create inspired dream spaces with color
(BPT) - Ready to transform your home this year? The key to creating your dream interior space could be as simple as updating with color.Seven-in-10 homeowners plan a house-related project in the next six months, according to the Sherwin-Williams National Home Design and Color Survey. Of those homeo... More >>


Deck staining secrets for success
(BPT) - After one of the toughest winters on record, your backyard deck may be looking worse for wear. And spring showers will just bring more potential damage to unprotected wood. Water is your deck’s worst enemy. It causes ugly and expensive cracking and splitting.Luckily, restoring your de... More >>


Your home could be attracting termites
(BPT) - Spring is when pests come out of hiding and hibernation to search for new places to establish their colonies. Unfortunately, it’s not only the flowers in your garden that attract pests but also your home itself. One of the most determined springtime pests is termites.Termites live up ... More >>


Three weekend-friendly DIY bathroom upgrades
(BPT) - How much time do you spend in the bathroom each day? Whether it’s where you prep the kids for bed or step away for some alone time, the bathroom is one of the most frequently used rooms in the home. It’s also one of the best areas in which to invest; renovating or simply updatin... More >>


Spring-prep steps for your sun-friendly skylights
(BPT) - When spring finally arrives, windows and skylights across the country will open, as happy homeowners revel in all that sunshine and warm, fresh air. But before you can savor spring, you still have weeks of winter to get through. You can use that time wisely to ensure all your home’s w... More >>


Save money without skimping on style on your kitchen remodel
(BPT) - Home remodel projects don’t have to require an extensive budget, or look cheap when using less expensive materials. If you’re interested in updating the look of your kitchen this year, you can find products and materials that allow you to create a beautiful and stylish home with... More >>


Best on the block: How to create curb appeal
(BPT) - Spring is in the air, so it’s time to give your home an exterior makeover and add curb appeal. A few simple tricks can help boost your home’s profile, and ensure visitors get a good first impression when they arrive on your doorstep.Make a statement with your front doorYour fron... More >>


Eliminate VOCs when planning a home remodel
(BPT) - Remodeling a home’s decor leaves the space feeling fresh and new – something which all family members will enjoy for years to come. However, a home remodel can do more than just improve the looks of rooms in the house. It can also improve the indoor air quality – an import... More >>


Simple steps to reduce winter energy costs
(BPT) - Winter’s falling temperatures typically lead to higher energy costs as we try to keep our home interiors comfortably warm. At the same time, many of us are concerned about the environmental impact of winter’s increased energy use.Is there anything simple a handy homeowner or ren... More >>


Master suite upgrades: the secret to a speedier home sale
(BPT) - All signs point to a hearty real estate market this summer. Experts say more inventory will be available and buyers will have an easier time getting mortgages, all of which means more competition among sellers.If you plan to put your home on the market this spring or summer, you might be lo... More >>


Crucial steps needed for healthy and safe homes in 2014
(BPT) - The winter season may have passed, but for much of the country, cold temperatures will linger, causing families to keep the furnaces running and fireplaces burning. Because of this, education about and protection from residential fire and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning become increasingly i... More >>


Bathroom remodeling: the first five things you must do
(BPT) - So you’ve decided it’s time to remodel your bathroom. Whether you’re excited at the idea of creating a new look that will add value to your home, or simply relieved that you’ll no longer have to look at dated fixtures and cracked tile, you’ll be facing a lot of... More >>


Five surprisingly simple ways to turn your current deck into a dream outdoor oasis
(BPT) - It’s easy to dream of perfectly pristine outdoor spaces when looking at the decks in magazines and online, but too often what we want and what we have don’t align. If your deck suffers from weathered wood, loose railings or dated balusters, you’re not alone. The good news ... More >>


Modern technology rescues backyard pool-time fun
(BPT) - Technology  has made the world a very different place than it was just one, five or 10 years ago. Film cameras, handwritten letters and portable CD players, all have been replaced by newer, more efficient inventions.These advancements have improved so many facets of our lives, it reall... More >>


Beyond cool: How ceiling fans offer energy efficiency, decor and function
(BPT) - Savvy interior designers know that items that are both fashionable and functional are in high demand. One of the best examples of a stylish, hardworking home fixture is also one of the most overlooked: the ceiling fan. In 2014, more homeowners are realizing the potential this classic techno... More >>


Cold weather pushes rodents into homes
(BPT) - With the holidays over for another year, you may think you won’t have any more surprise guests until spring. Think again. Nearly a third (29 percent) of Americans have had a “visit” from one of winter’s least-welcome “guests” – rodents – accor... More >>


Now's the time to spring into DIY action with home improvement projects
(BPT) - It’s time to start dreaming of a spring home makeover. Sources of design inspiration, like Pinterest, are plentiful and can help make your home decor and renovation projects easy and fun. In fact, now is the season to gather ideas and get started.Warm up to colorA fresh coat of paint ... More >>


Reaching new heights: 4 tips for finding a skilled roofing contractor
(BPT) - Purchasing a new roof is one of the most important – and biggest – investments you can make in your home. That’s why it’s crucial to have a knowledgeable professional on hand to guide you through each step of the process. In fact, choosing the right contractor is jus... More >>


Perk up your home with pattern
(BPT) - Give your home an energy shot this spring with bright colors and bold patterns.“Patterns are hot, hot, hot,” says Cathie Pliess, program coordinator of design for The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and a certified interior designer. “Look for oversized patterns in bold c... More >>


Got an 'impossible' space? The no-fail way to turn it into a bathroom
(BPT) - Nearly everyone has a home improvement “impossible dream” – an inground pool in a postage-stamp-sized backyard or a professional-grade kitchen on a $5,000 budget. Some homeowners might say their can’t-do renovation is adding a bathroom in an impossible space. But ent... More >>


A sure-footed way to choose new flooring
(BPT) - When spring-cleaning uncovers a worn floor it may be time to consider purchasing a new one, especially if you’re selling your home in the near future. A new floor, like refreshed paint and updated fixtures, makes a home more enjoyable to live in as well as more marketable.Floor purcha... More >>


Four simple tips for designing an on-trend home for 2014
(BPT) - The new year will usher in a new era of home decor by welcoming an “anything goes” attitude as designers mix old with new; DIY and high-end; as well as rustic and sleek to create eclectic, one-of-a-kind looks that are just as personal to the homeowner as they are unique.“W... More >>


Simple steps to paint like a pro
(BPT) - The difference between a professional paint job and a do-it-yourself job that looks like a pro painted it is surprisingly simple. As the old adage goes, the devil’s in the details. If you want that professional look while maintaining your DIY pride - and checkbook - take the time and ... More >>


Knowing when to repair or replace three of your home's major systems - the furnace, air conditioner and water heater
(BPT) - If your furnace, air conditioner or water heater is not working properly, you probably notice it long before you actually inspect the appliance itself. You know because those winter mornings are a little too cold, those July days are a little too hot or your morning showers are chillier tha... More >>


Spring into four simple DIY home decorating trends
(BPT) - Whether you’re personalizing a new home or revitalizing an old room, the start of spring is when newly imagined spaces become do-it-yourself realities.Here are four easy and affordable DIY tips to bring 2014’s trends into your home.Don’t just spring clean ... spring create... More >>


Cook up some space in the kitchen: Simple solutions to add storage and style to your home
(BPT) - The kitchen - it’s the central hub of the home where we do homework, pay bills, charge electronics, surf the Web and cook up a meal or two. We spend hours in this core of the house, so it’s not surprising that a recent survey from the Research Institute for Cooking and Kitchen I... More >>


Create a splash of color in your home - indoors and out [Infographic]
(BPT) - Seven-in-10 homeowners plan a house-related project in the next six months, according to the Sherwin-Williams National Home Design and Color Survey. Learn more about these projects and National Painting Week in the infographic below. ... More >>



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