Home winterizing Rx: A prescription for comfort and cost savings all season long
Homeowners will pay 13 percent more this year to heat their homes with natural gas, the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts. Prices for heating with propane, electricity and heating oil will also remain higher than five-year averages, the administration says. With this in mind, it is especially important for homeowners to act now to ensure their homes are energy-efficient.
Three astoundingly simple solutions for big renovation challenges
Virtually every renovation challenge is solvable, and sometimes the answers are surprisingly simple and cost-effective. Here are three common issues you may encounter while renovating, and the astoundingly simple ways to overcome the obstacles
How to use texture, colors and accessories to bring emotion to your home
Home decor can convey many different emotions - from warmth and comfort on cold and dreary winter days to elegance and festiveness during the holiday season. The colors and materials you use set the stage; everything from the textures that appear in the accessories, the arrangement of the furniture and even how sound reverberates in a room.
Eight efficient organization tips for your busy life
If you run a small business or you manage your family's household, you know that time is a precious commodity, one that you never seem to have enough of. And despite your best efforts, you can't create time. So how do you save it and make yourself more efficient?
Protecting concrete surfaces from inclement weather
The arrival of fall and winter weather is a signal to homeowners that unprotected driveways, patios, sidewalks, pool decks, foyers, garage floors and other exterior concrete surfaces around the house are in danger of flaking, spalling, staining or cracking.
The top home decorating trend: Infusing natural elements into the decor
Nature is bringing a breath of freshness into home decorating, but it's more than just incorporating flowering pots or opening windows. The latest home decorating trend features natural elements in the textures and finishes of furniture and accessories, giving homeowners an elegant - and often calming - result of blending nature and home living into a beautiful space.
Many triggers can affect our moods. From sights to sounds to smells - it's a sensory experience that we don't seem to have much control over. Or so we used to think. But with more research being done on exactly how these elements might affect our stress or happiness levels, we now have better insight on how to enhance our mood. This is good news for those looking to make home improvements.
Winter home safety: Quick steps to help protect your family
As cooler weather descends, homes heat up and so does the risk your family could experience a home fire or carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. According to the National Fire Protection Association, most home fires and CO poisonings occur in the winter. Besides heating appliances, seasonal activities such as increased cooking, candle usage and holiday decorations all add to the risk. In fact, the U.S. Fire Administration reports that each year winter fires claim an average of 945 lives, injure 3,825 people and cause more than $1.7 billion in property loss.
Fun ways to add a splash of color this holiday season
The holidays are that special time of year when we reunite with our family and friends; in some cases we may not have seen these loved ones since the previous holiday. If you're in charge of hosting this year's event, you may think you don't have the time and the money to give your home a new look.
Whether you are woodworking at your workbench or staining a piece of furniture in the garage, these tips can help you make the most of your DIY weekend projects while also feeling comfortable enough to successfully finish them.
Caramel to cranberries: Holiday stain-busting tips keep carpets bright
Whether it's the ghouls trick-or-treating on Halloween, the gobbles of great food on Thanksgiving, or the gatherings of loved ones over the holiday season, you will likely be hosting an event at your home in the upcoming months. Food and friends make the perfect pairing for celebrations - but that can mean spills and splashes on carpets. There's no need to panic when you know the tricks the pros use to treat tough holiday carpet stains.
How to boost energy efficiency in your home and live green
It's now easier than ever for homeowners to transform their homes into models of green living thanks to the growing availability of affordable, energy-smart building products and materials. From replacing incandescent light bulbs to reviewing the energy rating on new appliances, more homeowners are making informed decisions on how to cut energy consumption and boost efficiency.
This year more than 5.4 million homes were sold by the end of August, according to the National Association of Realtors. Are you one of these millions of new homeowners? If so, you've most likely felt the urge to settle in immediately. However, before making any major renovations, it's a good idea to live in a new home a while to see how the space is meeting your needs. Here are a few swift swaps that will have a big impact in making that new house feel like home sweet home.
The holiday season's here - time for enjoying your favorite foods, cider simmering on the stove and gatherings of friends and family. If you're hosting a holiday celebration, prepping your home now will help reduce last-minute chores and make the season more enjoyable.
Tips for a keeping your home safe and dry this winter
Freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall are in store for much of the country this winter, according to The Old Farmer's Almanac, and that means homeowners need to start taking immediate steps to ensure that their loved ones and property stay safe and warm through the long, cold months ahead.
The word garage, when looked up in the dictionary, has a simple meaning: a building or indoor area for parking or storing motor vehicles. By and large, this definition sums up exactly what comes to mind for most folks when they hear the word. But for some folks, garages are so much more than a space to park the family minivan and store the cumbersome and unattractive trash and recycling bins. Instead, they are functioning spaces of the home that, in the eye of the homeowner, serve just as much purpose as a kitchen or a bathroom and deserve just as much attention to detail.
Good looks or good sense? Home designs that don't make you choose
Increasingly savvy consumers aren't satisfied with the idea they must choose between practicality and good looks, and their rejection of the notion is fueling one of the hottest new design trends. Smart manufacturers are responding, creating innovations that are driven by how people truly use products, and not just by how those products look.
Don't let messes leave you in a 'holidaze': Easy tips for post-holiday clean up
The holidays bring plenty of cheer and the arrival of family from all over. It's the most wonderful time of the year, after all. But with family visits and hearty meals also comes a big share of messes. After hefty helpings of gravy and chocolates, there will be plenty of cleaning required to get your home back in tip top shape for the new year. It's enough to leave anyone "holidazed," but with the right tools and tricks on your side, it does not have to.
If you shudder at the thought of shivering through another frigid winter, building industry experts say now is the time to consider winterizing your home. Several simple and cost-effective measures can yield both immediate and long-term benefits.
DIY tips to check windows and doors and save on utility costs year-round
With temperatures dropping, now is a good time to improve your home's energy efficiency. Drafty windows and doors can dramatically increase heating and cooling costs. That's why it's important to perform a walk-around now, to verify that your windows are in working order, or if they need replacing.
Create inviting entrances to welcome holiday guests
Holiday season guests will soon come knocking at your front door. What's the first impression your home's entryway creates? Is it a warm, friendly welcome, or is the cold hard truth that your home's entryway could use some improvement? Try these handy holiday entryway-decorating tips to create an inviting entryway and make everyone feel right at home.
Tips to ensure your shower upgrade doesn't turn into a leaky mess
Bathrooms are certainly among the busiest rooms in any home. But a bathroom can be so much more than just the place where you get ready during your hurried morning routine. One of the hottest trends in home decorating and remodeling is creating a bathroom that serves as a spa-like retreat.
How to maintain your deck for outdoor entertaining year-round
Expanding livable space using decks and patios is a top home improvement trend, but today's homeowners aren't satisfied with limiting entertaining outdoors to the warmer months. With a few smart updates, they're creating spaces that make outdoor entertaining possible all year long. Breathe new life into your existing deck and create a space that can be used for entertaining year-round with a few expert tips.
Nearly 90 percent of American homes have hard water - water containing high levels of calcium and magnesium, according to The U.S. Geological Survey. Hard water on its own is bad enough, making it difficult to wash clothes and dishes and leaving scaling on your pipes and showerheads as well as nasty brown rings in your sinks and toilets. However, it is also costing you money. Here's what you need to know.
Expert strategies for defining flow and function in your yard
Many strategies can enhance the flow and function of a home's interior and how a family lives and uses the space. But what about a home's exterior? When it comes to a yard, the same thoughtfulness can help homeowners create functional spaces outdoors that not only look great, but also deliver maximum enjoyment. Try these tips from the experts.
There is a lot to think about when remodeling your kitchen. You want to design a kitchen that reflects your taste and style, which you'll love for years to come. Whether you're designing for yourself or for resale, the key to success is to embrace timelessness. That doesn't mean sacrificing personality for a neutral palette, though. Quite the opposite.
"A kitchen provides physical and spiritual nourishment, and for many homes is now the heart and soul of family life." That's how Terence Conran opened his classic Kitchen Book 20 years ago, and it's probably even truer today. The kitchen's central importance in most households means that Americans are paying more attention than ever to the design and decoration of this vital space - a search for functionality, comfort and beauty that's reflected in current trends in hardwood kitchen cabinetry.
The bathroom is your daily sanctuary to retreat to and enjoy a few moments alone. For that reason, it should be serene, stylish and of course, safe. Think that words "safety" and "style" can never go together? Think again. Fortunately, it's easy to incorporate essential bath safety elements that will leave your room feeling more like a resort instead of rehab.
Choose quality over quantity to create the bathroom of your dreams
While your dream bath may be a sprawling space, the reality is that the typical bathroom is 100 square feet or less. According to recent home builder statistics, the average home size has seen a 6 percent decline in recent years. That doesn't mean you need to give up on your dream bath. A large bathroom footprint isn't always the answer to a better bath. Focusing on quality products can create a luxurious look, even in a small space.
How to transform a drab gray concrete slab into a signature home design
The home improvement movement is alive and well, with many homeowners looking to unlikely places to increase the functionality and improve the appearance of their homes. With this growing interest in home design projects, homeowners should consider concrete decor products, including stains, to help elevate the look and feel of ordinary concrete surfaces around the home.
Home improvement tips that instantly lower your energy bill
It's one piece of mail homeowners dread every month: the utility bill. Considering the average annual utility bill is $2,200, according to energystar.gov, it's no wonder homeowners cringe every time it arrives. What if you opened your bill and, to your surprise, it was lower than expected? With a few simple steps, that is possible, even when the temperature drops.
A broken sewer pipe is no small nuisance. A homeowner may be faced with system backups, foul odor, property damage, and sometimes even health hazards. Review your home insurance plans and take extra measures to prevent one of these disasters from hitting your home.
The carriage house garage door is to your house what the little black dress and strand of pearls are to your wardrobe: classic style elements that never go out of fashion. Here's what you need to know about carriage houses and how they can be a great addition to a home.
A simple way to keep your family healthy and comfortable this winter
Dry, winter air causes numerous problems that can adversely affect the health and comfort of your family. Many of these issues materialize indoors, where countless people suffer from dry noses, cracked, itchy skin and sore throats. These health and comfort issues arise because the relative humidity (RH) of cold, outdoor air drops significantly when brought into your home and heated, resulting in dry and potentially damaging indoor air. Here's how a whole-house humidifier can help.
Remodeling the kitchen. When you decide to tackle this daunting undertaking, you want to do it right. And, you're not alone. Forty-nine percent of homeowners plan to completely gut their existing kitchen and start with a clean state, according to a recent survey by Houzz.com. Regardless of the scope of your project, if you're itchin' to update your kitchen, follow these five steps to design the space you've been dreaming about.
Winter renovations to boost home energy efficiency, add value
It's that time of year again, when the cold wind blows outdoors and your home works as hard as it can to keep you warm and comfortable indoors. Yet your home may be working harder than necessary, while inflating your energy bills in the process. By making a few home renovations this winter, you can boost energy efficiency, save money and add value to your home in the long run.
Beyond white: Hot color trends for the kitchen and bath
So many of us love the rich colors featured in kitchen and bath magazines, but when it comes to selecting colors for our own homes, we tend to play it safe. It's time to be bold and get out of the color comfort zone. Whether it's a vibrant backsplash, playful shade on the wall, or a new sink color that pops with personality, today's hot color trends are anything but boring.
Is your tiny bathroom cramping your functionality and style, leaving you longing for the enormous bathrooms gracing the pages of design magazines? Even if your bathroom is a fraction of the size, all it takes is some design savvy to make the most of the space you have. Consider these 10 smart tips that will help your bathroom look, feel and function like those larger contenders.
Five simple steps to a more stylish outdoor living space
It's not too late in the season to create your dream deck - or to give your existing outdoor living space a fresh new look. Design a backyard retreat that's ideal for entertaining family and friends as the weather grows more temperate with a few tips from the experts.
With temperatures dropping, odds are your energy bills will be doing just the opposite. In fact, heating (and cooling) account for approximately 54 percent of the energy use in a typical U.S. home, according to the Department of Energy, representing the largest energy expense for most homeowners. One of the most effective ways to manage a home's climate, comfort and energy costs is by ensuring that it is properly insulated.
Learn more about the nation's most popular siding material
While vinyl siding has historically been the most-used siding material in the U.S., its continuing advancements are allowing even more choice when it comes to two critical qualities desired by homeowners: outstanding curb appeal and low maintenance.
Technology to keep families connected and protected this season
It's the time of year when family schedules change and their daily routines reset. From coordinating calendars to handling additional demands such as homework and extracurricular activities, it can be a challenging, if not daunting, time for even the most organized family.
The popular saying "a man's home is his castle" still holds true today. Men across the nation are investing their time, sweat and labor into do-it-yourself projects to make their homes the best fortresses they can be.
Sink shopping 101: Is your sink ready for the hectic holidays?
From enjoying a nice cup of coffee in the morning to putting the final touches on a homemade pie, the kitchen is the center of the home any time of year, but especially during the busy holiday season. The kitchen will be put to the test, filled to the brim with friends and loved ones, whipping up the family's secret recipes. In order to handle the holiday season with ease, your sink needs to be in tip-top shape. Is yours up for the challenge?
Indoor air quality: What you can't see can hurt you
The Environmental Protection Agency has named indoor air quality as one of the top five environmental risks to public health citing research that indoor air may be up to 100 times more polluted than the air outside. With Americans spending 90 percent of their time indoors, purifying indoor air is paramount to keeping families healthy - especially those with family members suffering from asthma and allergies.
Think your favorite room is due for a new paint color? To get a result that looks like it was plucked straight from a home improvement magazine, you don't have to hire an interior designer or professional painter. You can do-it-yourself with a few tricks of the trade.
Your garage door spring is broken, and you're stuck in your garage. You need immediate service, so you do a quick online search and call the first name that pops up. Later, you learn that you paid $800 for unnecessary parts and ridiculous fees, when your local garage door dealer would've fixed your problem for $180. Here's how to spot a reputable garage door service.
Chances are you've thought about adding a splash of color to the exterior of your home, and you're not the only one. Many people have the same idea, but they don't act because they're worried they will choose poorly. Selecting the wrong color for your home's exterior isn't only costly, it's embarrassing as well.
Wish your soiree could have a bit more swagger? You don't need a celebrity budget and abode to throw a stunning celebration. With just a bit of creative vision and DIY savvy, you'll have an affair to remember in no time at all.
Holidays are when most people open their homes for friends and family. Sharing the season's greetings is always the priority but these gatherings are also an opportunity to show off improvements made during the year. Fifty-two percent of homeowners plan to make home improvements this fall, according to the leading real estate website Zillow. It is also a great time of year for deals as retailers unload inventory to make room for new styles.
There are seemingly endless options through which homeowners must navigate when buying a new garage door: the style, materials and accessories, just to name a few. But perhaps the most important feature that should top the garage door consumer's list is energy efficiency.
Each day across the United States homeowners are taking on do-it-yourself home improvement projects. Whether you're a first-time or long-time homeowner, DIY enhancements can have positive results - emotionally, esthetically and financially. By tackling DIY projects, you'll feel a sense of pride and accomplishment from improving or customizing your home.
Why exterior trim is a key part of home remodeling
No matter how well maintained, most homes will need some exterior trim replaced from time to time. Traditional wood trim boards can split, crack and rot over time, as a result of damage from the rain, snow, wind and sun.
Fall lawn tips that keep your yard looking great year-round
Falling temperatures and shorter days don't mean you can retire from lawn care for the year. In fact, the fall season is a critical time to nourish lawns and care for plants so they can survive winter and emerge even more vibrant when next spring arrives.
Three exterior home improvements can add to your home
While homeowners generally spend more time entertaining guests indoors, the exterior of your home makes the first impression. When it is time for home improvements, the exterior of the home may be forgotten or ignored. Painting, updating furniture and replacing flooring inside are all important, but the exterior of your house deserves some tender love and care as well.
Modern styling, technology help homeowners refresh their nests
Flipping through the television channels, it's hard not to find a home improvement show about remodeling and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. These popular programs give homeowners ideas on how to modernize their spaces. If you're planning your own DIY projects, here are three areas of the home that will give you the most bang for your buck when it comes to a makeover.
Are you covered? Five tips for roof replacement projects
Summer storms are a reminder to make certain your roof is well-equipped to help provide protection from Mother Nature. Considering a roof replacement? Follow these tips for outstanding performance, increased curb appeal and enhanced comfort for your family.
Integrating technology into the bathing space is one of the hottest trends in products and interior design. Gone are the days of blasting the TV from an adjacent room to catch the weather forecast, or eating up precious counter space with a docking station for your mobile device. It's never been easier or more affordable to make your bathroom smarter - all while keeping your electronics safe.
Home security tips to keep the holiday season merry and bright
During the holidays, family and friends will be gathering to share stories, hand out gifts and enjoy time spent together. It is also a season with houses left empty and large piles of valuable gifts often sitting out in plain sight through the windows - making this time of year ideal for would-be burglars.
You may want your bathroom redo to look like you spent a million bucks on it, but you can get a whole new look for a lot less than that. In fact, some downright cheap upgrades can be quite dazzling. Here are a handful of high-impact ways to achieve a whole new look for less than $100.
A guide to great holiday gifts for the DIY enthusiast
It's no secret that finding the perfect gift around the holidays for everyone on your list can be a daunting task. If your list includes someone who enjoys spending his or her free time fixing things around the house, why not show them you appreciate their DIY enthusiasm with some great gifts that will come in handy for their next project?
Looking for a great space to chill out and hang with the dudes? Call it the basement, the garage, a home bar, or just a room dedicated to enjoying the game - it's your man cave. This year, take your space to the next level with these important game day essentials. If you're lucky - it'll become a known game day spot for seasons to come.
Home renovation for baby boomers: Preparing for the next stage in life
Lived in your home for years? Love your neighborhood? The thought of moving away from your home's comfort, warmth and memories can be unsettling. Instead of moving out, consider updating and remodeling your home to accommodate your future needs.
The shower is a place to unwind from a stressful day, where you can forget your worries and pamper yourself. Remodeling the shower is extremely popular because it allows homeowners to create a spa-like experience in their own home, not to mention it's a good investment and can increase resale value. Before you start your remodel, here are five ways to create a shower that will give you some well-deserved peace and quiet.
With the onset of cooler weather, now is the ideal time for homeowners to consider the efficiency of their heating systems. Drafts, gaps and poor insulation throughout the building envelope can significantly contribute to the efficiency of a home's heating system, the comfort of occupants and the household budget.
Reclaimed wood flooring: How to design with eclectic affordability
Breathing new life into your home with weathered touches, aged accents and historical character is holding true to the popular belief of "what's old is new." Sparked from the sustainable living trend, reclaimed, recycled and repurposed wood floors have become one of the hottest green design and remodeling trends.
Smart 'green' options that help homeowners save green
With the average American household spending more than $1,000 on heating and cooling expenses each year, more homeowners are seeking smarter, green options to reduce the strain on their wallets. Incentives through the U.S. government's Energy Star program and other state and federal programs have made it easier for homeowners to create an energy efficient and greener home.
Upgrade your home's exterior and achieve the look you've always wanted
If you enjoy spending the cold winter months planning your next spring home improvement project, your creative juices are already flowing. But instead of focusing on the same small home improvement projects again this year, have you considered something bigger? Have you considered a project that redefines your home and showcases your individuality? The one that will make your home stand out in your neighborhood?
Seven simple steps to a sensational and safe shower
You do it every day ... and sometimes more than once a day ... but, how often do you actually think about your shower routine? And, is it living up to its potential? Follow these seven simple steps and soon your daily shower escape can become sensational and safe - all with only a minimal investment.
Give your home a quick refresh with these budget-friendly tips
Whether you are buying, selling or simply remodeling, you are looking to invest in updates that will increase the value and appeal of your home. It's natural to want it all, but before you over personalize or break the bank, there are many simple, budget-friendly changes that can increase the value of your home without the risk.
AP Photo NYBZ150 Eds: Updates with more details and background. With AP Photos. By MARTIN CRUTSINGER AP Economics Writer WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. economy grew at a 3.6 percent annual rate from July through September, the fastest since early 2012. ...
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