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home : life : home improvement June 29, 2016

Helping first-time home buyers get from 'I can't' to 'I can'
(BPT) - Finally! The economy is improving, interest rates are low and many consumers now find themselves in a great position financially to become a first-time homeowner. There's a small problem though for some locations around the country - the booming real estate market is resulting in rising hom... More >>


Miserable mold: How to win the spore war [Infographic]
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Survive the SEERing days of summer [Infographic]
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Turn your empty attic into new living space with 3 smart moves
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3 tips for keeping natural stone countertops beautiful
(BPT) - The versatility and beauty of marble, granite, limestone, travertine and other natural stone countertops make them extremely popular in kitchens around the country these days. Unfortunately, as arguably the most heavily trafficked area of a home, kitchen countertops are exposed on a daily b... More >>


Upcycle your summer treasures with these 5 DIY tips
(BPT) - The months of summer are a perfect time to hunt for hidden one-of-a-kind treasures buried in neighborhood yard sales. Whether it's an old wooden dining chair, coffee table or bookshelf, there is beautiful potential in what others view as old and outdated. And with just a few handy touch-ups... More >>


Does your door lock protect against this break-in method?
(BPT) - From self-driving cars to Snapchat, digital technology continues to transform almost every aspect of our lives. While these big-ticket smart items make the headlines, many homeowners are more interested in how smart technology can be used to increase their level of home security.Today, adva... More >>


Separating fact from fiction: A closer look at American hardwoods
(BPT) - As home improvement projects take center stage, the search is on for products that will enhance, rather than jeopardize the health and well-being of our families and loved ones. Products made from American hardwoods have been the natural choice for healthy home and work environments for gen... More >>


New home improvement trends that strengthen your property investment
(BPT) - When you're in the process of buying or building a home, you're constantly researching trends and technology that will set your home apart. Fast forward a few years and you probably don't have your finger on the pulse of home advancements like before.It's good you've settled in to your home... More >>


Simple tips to save money, conserve energy as the heat rises
(BPT) - With temperatures — and therefore, electric bills — on the rise, American homeowners are looking for the most effective ways to make the biggest dent in their energy bills; however, many may be overlooking some of the most important energy-saving strategies.Homeowners ... More >>


The secret to maintaining and enjoying the beauty of your deck
(BPT) - In many parts of the U.S., warm, summer weather draws families and friends outdoors to enjoy the season while it lasts, making decks, gazebos or other outdoor areas of a house favorite spots for entertaining and relaxation. In fact, according to a recent survey by Sikkens ProLuxe Wood Finis... More >>


Award-winning interior designer reveals 5 ways to a must-have media room
(BPT) - It's hard to believe that at one time, Americans watched television by huddling around a small box with poor picture quality and sound. Even nicer televisions were tucked in the corner of living rooms where noise from the kitchen, kids running around the house and other distractions constan... More >>


Top energy-efficient housing features every new homebuyer should know
(BPT) - Sponsored Ad Content by Clayton HomesMost Americans want an energy-efficient home, and they’re willing to make the necessary changes to help improve efficiency, whether it’s changing their habits or buying more energy-efficient appliances. But reducing energy bills and making yo... More >>


5 ways to beautify your deck without breaking the bank
(BPT) - Are you ready to put your deck on the best-dressed list this summer, but hesitant to dent your savings? With these simple design ideas, you can make your deck the perfect place for summer festivities.1. Accessorize with railings.An easy way to give your deck a beauty boost is to update the ... More >>


The 3 Steps of Mural Installation
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Cool summer renovation ideas keep homes more comfortable when the heat is on
(BPT) - Once spring cleanup is done, you may feel ready to tackle some renovation projects this summer. If so, you're not alone: 62 percent of homeowners plan to undertake a home improvement project this year, according to a Harris poll. Homeowners will renovate to improve their home's appearance, ... More >>


Get alarmed! Protect your home from the dangers of smoke and fire
(BPT) - Three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms — often due to missing alarm batteries or expired alarms, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).Fortunately, a new generation of home safety technology, combined... More >>


Reasonably priced home improvements for now and later
(BPT) - What homeowner, young or old, isn’t interested in affordable and functional home improvements that can be enjoyed for years to come? For one of America’s largest and fastest growing demographic groups – seniors 65 and older – well-thought-out additions or upgrad... More >>


Moving? 5 tips to keep your valuables safe
(BPT) - Beyond the flowers blooming, the sound of birds singing and the burst of warm weather, something happens in May. After a long winter, the rising temperatures make spring a prime time to move. College students are moving out of dorms, young families are transitioning to new homes after the s... More >>


Home improvement investments that pay you back
(BPT) - Homeowners are looking for value in every home improvement project they take on — whether they are upgrading for resale or their own pride of ownership. With new technologies and products on the market, it is easier than ever to add value to your home with projects that ultimately pay... More >>


5 easy tips to make a bold impression in your home
(BPT) - 5 Easy Tips to Make a Bold Impression in Your HomeIf you are looking to make a change in your home, a small, inexpensive weekend painting project can transform your space and brighten your outlook.According to a new survey by Nielsen and Sherwin-Williams, 72 percent of homeowners believe th... More >>


Save money and safeguard your family with smart devices
(BPT) - Smart homes make life easier and more convenient. Who wouldn't love being able to control lighting, entertainment and temperature from their couch — or from anywhere for that matter? Whether you're at work or on vacation, smart devices alert you to what's going on at home and help you... More >>


4 ways to make your home comfortable and safe for your pet
(BPT) - For millions of Americans, pets are a member of the family. They provide companionship and countless memories that last a lifetime. Having a pet-friendly home increases the likelihood that these memories will be positive.These tips can make pet ownership simpler, and create a safer, healthi... More >>


5 easy tips for a stunning summer yard
(BPT) - Summer’s arrival brings longer days and more sunshine. This season also means more of your favorite outdoor activities, such as relaxing in the backyard or working in the garden. In fact, there is no better time to refresh your outdoor space."The secret to a well-manicured yard is pre... More >>


Catch 'em before they bite: 6 steps for fewer mosquitoes
(BPT) - Mosquitoes cause more human harm than any other living organism, according to the American Mosquito Control Association. Not only do these buzzing insects induce itchy red bites, but some species are also responsible for the spread of the Zika virus, which has caused concern in South Americ... More >>


Plumbing problems? How to know if replacing metal pipes is the right solution
(BPT) - Home ownership is an integral component of the American Dream, but fulfilling that dream can come with its share of nightmares, too. Even the best-constructed, well-maintained house can have problems, and homeowners dread hearing diagnoses such as “You need to re-pipe your home.&rdquo... More >>


5 interior design trends to step up your style game
(BPT) - As the temperatures continue to warm up outside, you may be ready to embrace the adage "out with the old and in with the new" when it comes to your home’s interior design. Whether you’re a first time homebuyer looking for ways to upgrade your starter home or a seasoned homeowner... More >>


4 common mold myths debunked
(BPT) - Mold is a word that can make anyone cringe. But when it comes to mold in your home, misinformation is an all too common problem. Myths surrounding mold in your home can be costly to both your property and your health.“Mold isn’t something that most people think about until it af... More >>


Last minute DIY tips for backyard hosting
(BPT) - Summer means outdoor entertaining. Whether you’re hosting a wedding reception, a family reunion or a birthday party, you’ll want to make the backyard get together memorable. Here are some quick DIY ideas to help you get ready for a fun, stress-free gathering.Lawn prepA healthy g... More >>


5 dream projects for DIYers and the tools you need to get them done
(BPT) - For many Americans, the longer, warmer days mean an opportunity to roll up their sleeves and get to work on a number of home projects. You may plan to plant some new trees, make a new dining room table or just keep up with the usual list of repairs and maintenance items that come with the c... More >>


The electric revolution happening in your yard
(BPT) - On March 31, 2016, millions of people from around the world watched Elon Musk unveil the Tesla Model 3. Touted as the first consumer-grade electric car, the Model 3 represents significant advances in battery-powered technology that allows drivers to both recharge their battery faster and go... More >>


Top 2016 trends in outdoor living
(BPT) - Take a deep breath of fresh air. Feel the warm sunshine on your skin. Kick back and listen to the peaceful sounds of nature. There's a reason people are investing in spaces that allow them to spend more time relaxing, dining and entertaining outside.In addition to expanding livable space, o... More >>


4 steps to a safe deck for summer
(BPT) - Now that the weather is warmer and you're spending more time outdoors, it's the perfect time to check that your deck is ready for outdoor entertaining. Just as you take your car in for regular maintenance to avoid bigger problems, a little deck maintenance goes a long way to ensure your pea... More >>


5 innovations in homebuilding everyone is talking about
(BPT) - In the last 10 years, televisions have become flatter, video rental stores have nearly disappeared and phones have become devices that are more like a computer than a phone.There’s good reason that when most people think about changes in technology, they tend to think about the digita... More >>


Real Estate in the Digital Age: Why you still want an agent by your side
(BPT) - Homebuyers and sellers today can instantly check listings, monitor price fluctuations, research their credit scores and find lenders — all from their smartphones.The advent of mortgage industry apps — which mingle aggregated data with complex algorithms in easily accessible form... More >>


4 ways to get the character of historic window architecture in a new house
(BPT) - History tends to repeat itself.The saying, “The more things change, the more they stay the same” rings true with architectural styles. We have smarter ways of building and the layouts have evolved with lifestyle changes, but historical and authentic design is only growing in dem... More >>


Is your high-efficiency water heater going to lead to heartache later on?
(BPT) - It’s time to replace your old, energy-guzzling water heater, boiler, dehumidifier or furnace and you’ve done your homework. You’re going to save energy and money in the long run by switching to a high-efficiency condensing heater or boiler. It’s important to know the... More >>


A blanket for your home: Choose the right insulation to save money
(BPT) - With memories of winter fading fast, you might not be thinking about your home’s insulation, but the warm months are the ideal time for some simple DIY insulation projects with huge paybacks. Proper insulation — from roof to foundation — helps keep your home cool in the su... More >>


5 tips to keep your kids safe at home
(BPT) - Your home is supposed to be a safe haven: a place to relax, unwind and spend time with family. It’s where families share the events of the day over dinner, celebrate their child’s birthdays and snuggle on the couch for movie night. But the home is also a place where many acciden... More >>


5 essential spring home improvement projects
(BPT) - The arrival of spring means new beginnings and a fresh chance to tackle those home improvement projects you’ve been putting off for the last several months. Get your home ready for summer and make it more beautiful, efficient and functional than ever with these five seasonal projects.... More >>


4 simple ways you can save the Earth
(BPT) - While you're probably familiar with common ways to help the environment, you could be doing so much more year-round. Not only should you become more aware of how your daily habits affect climate change, but you can take action at the click of a button to be part of the solution and communit... More >>


Make the most of an empty nest by creating the ultimate 'boomer cave'
(BPT) - The kids are off to college or living in homes of their own, and you have regained a big chunk of your house. It’s time to indulge and transform your home with a space especially designed for you.If you have been dreaming of a “boomer cave” — a place where you can ge... More >>


Your home exterior wish list: Curb appeal, easy maintenance, storm protection [Infographic]
(BPT) - If its been more than 10 years since you've replaced home exterior materials, or your house has products made of high maintenance materials like wood, it's time to consider an update. Upgrading to new windows, siding, roofing or stone will instantly improve curb appeal, save you time on mai... More >>


The new beautiful: 6 tips for turning ugly homes into dream designs [Infographic]
(BPT) - Realtor.com reports that a small but growing number of listings nationwide are advertising "ugly homes," a seemingly counterintuitive notion that's also the subject of many popular home flipping television programs. Buying the worst home in the best neighborhood not only puts the home withi... More >>


Why attic to bonus room conversions are tops when it comes to useful home improvements
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7 simple steps for summer lawn prep
(BPT) - If you’re a part of the nearly 90 percent of Americans who believe it’s important to have a well-maintained yard, you and your backyard will appreciate these seven simple steps for tending to your natural turf lawn with minimal effort.According to Grass Seed USA, a coalition of ... More >>


4 tried and true tips for any kitchen redesign
(BPT) - Tackling a home improvement project can be a really daunting task – whether it’s a simple redecoration or a full kitchen renovation. You may feel like you're the only homeowner, ever, to have questions. Renowned designer and LG Studio Artistic Advisor, Nate Berkus, has answered ... More >>


Turn spring cleaning into 'spring keeping' with 5 easy storage tips
(BPT) - Why do spring cleaning when you can do “spring keeping?” Organize all your gear in style while getting rid of the clutter at the same time. To help kick off spring in a whole new way, Karl Champley, home improvement expert and the winner of Ellen’s Design Challenge on... More >>


Improve your home's energy efficiency with these tips
(BPT) - Building industry experts say now is the best time for homeowners considering a home improvement project to look at the energy efficiency of their house. Homeowners should ask themselves, "How much energy is being lost through inefficiencies in my home and how much is this energy loss costi... More >>


Protect your home from fire and storms with tough-as-nails exterior products
(BPT) - Investing in your safety pays off, whether you live in a coastal region prone to hurricanes or in a place fires can occur and storms inevitably strike. Preparing your exterior with fire-resistant, water-resistant siding and hurricane storm-rated shutters can ensure your home stands up to na... More >>


Give your home a seasonal refresh with these easy tips
(BPT) - While cleaning might not be as much fun as grilling burgers out on the deck, it’s pretty much a necessity. This year’s projects don't have to be daunting or scary. These simple projects can help you get started.* Clean the blinds. Instead of simply dusting, give your c... More >>


Make this free call before digging in your yard this year
(BPT) - Many eager homeowners and landscape professionals across the country are rolling up their sleeves and reaching for their shovels to start projects that require digging. Common Ground Alliance (CGA), the association dedicated to protecting underground utilities and the people who dig n... More >>


7 steps to patio perfection
(BPT) - Daffodils bloom brightly by the back door, temperatures are balmy, cookout season is on the horizon and you’re ready to give your outdoor living space a breath of fresh air. Great patios and decks enhance your enjoyment of spring and summer, and boost home value, so it’s well wo... More >>


Save big on home heating, cooling costs with this building method
(BPT) - If you are planning to build a new home or add on to your existing home, you likely take for granted that it will be constructed with “sticks.” For more than 100 years, homes in North America have been built using hundreds of individual pieces of lumber, wall studs, floor joists... More >>


5 steps to get your mower ready for the season
(BPT) - After months of winter, warmer weather is finally here. It’s time to head to the lake, spend time on the deck or take your kids to the park. Yes, you’re ready for the season – but is your lawn mower?One of the season’s most important tools has been hibernating throug... More >>


Create a 'wow-worthy' home entry using fun and free online design tools
(BPT) - Entire TV shows are dedicated to it, and real estate agents say it is essential when selling your home. So what is “curb appeal?” More importantly, how do you create it for your home?Even if you’re not planning to sell your home any time soon, some simple steps to boost th... More >>


6 ways to give your home a breath of fresh air
(BPT) - It is time to tackle home improvement projects you’ve been putting off. As you plan for these projects over the warmer months, include steps to improve your family’s home environment, both inside and outside. Your house will be a better, more comfortable place to live.Conserve w... More >>


5 biggest myths about decking materials
(BPT) - Whether you’ve decided this is the year you’ll add a deck to your home, or you’re still pondering the project, as soon as you say the words: “I want to build a deck,” you’ll start hearing and reading lots of advice. Some of it will be useful, like: &ldquo... More >>


Spring cleaning: 8 areas you can't overlook
(BPT) - Spring is here, which means it’s time to start cleaning. While a good wipe down can leave your home feeling clean, there are several overlooked items that could be hosting germs, dirt and dust. So when you’re ready to get out the broom, mop and rags, don’t forget to tidy u... More >>


5 things you can do to improve the look of your lawn today
(BPT) - You’ve waited all winter for the chance to transform your lawn from that drab, frozen tundra into the lush, green oasis you know it can be. But this transformation doesn’t happen overnight, and you can’t expect Mother Nature to take care of everything herself. Getting your... More >>


6 kitchen and bath upgrades that are 'the whole package'
(BPT) - Let’s face it — once you get past high school, the people who go farthest in life are the ones who are the “whole package,” those who balance style, good looks and brains. The same can be said of kitchen and bath upgrades. The ones that will stand the test of time &m... More >>


2 expert tips for selecting the best garage door design for your home
(BPT) - Today’s garage doors come in so many different and attractive designs that the biggest challenge for homeowners is to find the right door that looks best with their home’s unique features. While it’s great to have options, sometimes too many options can be overwhelming. An... More >>


5 ways to improve the air quality in your home
(BPT) - Before you take that next breath, do you know what’s in the air in your home? Sure there’s oxygen and carbon dioxide — that much you know — but it’s the things you don’t know about that should concern you.A quick test of your indoor air quality can uneart... More >>


5 tips to help you make the most of this year's real estate season
(BPT) - Spring is here! This season of new beginnings also marks the start of the year’s busiest real estate period. According to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, the housing market in 2016 is set to be quite active with a 3 percent increase in total home sales compared to the prev... More >>


Design the perfect deck: 5 must-ask questions before you start
(BPT) - A backyard should be enjoyed to its fullest extent. But all too often, homes lack enticing outdoor living areas. One way to give your outdoor space a retreat is to add a new deck. A well-designed deck can extend your living space, make your yard more functional and, best of all, provide a c... More >>


7 easy tips to create the serene bedroom of your dreams
(BPT) - As life gets busier, a bedroom becomes more than a sleeping space — it’s an escape to a calmer, more serene world that rests the mind as well as the body. To create your own in-house getaway, use these easy tips to “calm-ify” your bedroom and transform it into a more... More >>


You won't believe how fun spring cleaning can be with these tips and tricks
(BPT) - As the days grow longer and warmer, thoughts turn to spring’s beauty. However, when you look around your home that’s been closed up all winter, beauty is probably the last word that comes to mind. From smeared windows to the dirty carpets, it’s time to roll up your sleeves... More >>


5 tips for a satisfying spring cleaning
(BPT) - Of the many projects and activities people put on their annual to-do lists, few loom as large as spring cleaning. If you suddenly feel a burst of energy and a need to shake out the dreariness of winter, you’re not alone. While it may seem like a chore, many look forward to spring clea... More >>


Don't skimp on safety when planning your deck: Expert tips for creating a safe outdoor space
(BPT) - When dreaming of your at-home outdoor oasis, safety may not be top-of-mind. But when making decking decisions, a key element to enjoying your retreat for years to come is ensuring it is safe and structurally sound.The experts at Trex, the world’s No. 1 decking and railing brand and le... More >>


Smart ways to boost your home's energy efficiency
(BPT) - You wouldn’t know it with the mild weather we’re having this winter, but spring is fast approaching. Building industry experts say now is an ideal time to carefully consider and prioritize home renovation plans. Most homeowners will opt to address the cosmetic features of a home... More >>


Go green to save green: 6 earth-friendly home improvement ideas
(BPT) - From cleaning out the garage to upgrading your floors and windows, it often seems like home improvement projects will never end. While you may be dedicated to making your home a better place, it’s also important to consider how it affects your carbon footprint. Are you doing everythin... More >>


Garage door 101: 3-step program offers homeowners peace of mind
(BPT) - Spring is here, and so are the chores that come with it, like spring cleaning and tuning up the lawnmower. Here’s a tip — don’t forget your garage door.Don’t feel badly if you have; most people don’t give their garage door a second thought until something break... More >>


Professional or amateur? 5 qualities of an expert contractor
(BPT) - Are you one of the more than 3 million people planning to renovate your kitchen or bathroom this year? Or perhaps you’re adding on a room or finishing your basement. If you’re going to hire a contractor for any home remodeling project, make sure you know the difference between a... More >>


Spring cleaning: 6 areas to repair, replace and refresh
(BPT) - Spring is one of the most popular times of year to clean up your home inside and out, make renovations and take steps to ensure it operates efficiently for the rest of the year. But after the long winter months, the list of projects can pile up. This year, focus on six key areas to repair, ... More >>


Planning to age in place? Don't overlook need for balanced natural light
(BPT) - When homeowners think about improvements that can allow them to stay in their homes longer as they grow older, they may focus on things like grab bars in the bathroom or wider doorways to boost accessibility and safety. Yet they often overlook another critical type of improvement that addre... More >>


Five home-buying trends for this year's market
(BPT) - If you’re in the market for a new house this year, don’t be fooled by the brisk chill in the air — the spring house-hunting season is actually closer than you think. That means now is the perfect time to start your planning. Space requirements such as bedrooms, bathrooms a... More >>


DIY tips to repair concrete damaged by winter weather
(BPT) - If you left concrete surfaces around your house unprotected this winter, it’s very likely you have a crack or two to deal with this spring. The repeated freezing and thawing that occurs due to changes in daytime and nighttime temperatures during the winter can cause concrete to crack ... More >>


Do homeowners love their contractors as much as they love their AC? (infographic)
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Create stress-free living with this single kitchen upgrade
(BPT) - Home is all about entertaining — barbecues, parties, pool parties, family dinners and the like. All of a sudden, your kitchen is the nexus of activity as family, friends and neighbors grab drinks from the fridge while you’re prepping those burgers and mixing up the fruit salad. ... More >>



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