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home : life : home improvement August 27, 2015

3 smart, sensational ways to customize your shower experience
(BPT) - Any real estate agent will tell you great bathrooms help sell homes. But what if you’re not planning to sell any time soon and still want to have a memorable, attention-grabbing room? Start by upgrading your shower; it’s the heart of creating an amazing bathroom.A relaxing showe... More >>

American manufacturing by the numbers [Infographic]
(BPT) - Given the choice between buying a product made in the United States and buying one made abroad, the majority of Americans would rather buy the American product, according to a 2013 survey. DEWALT is a global brand with American roots committed to bringing manufacturing back to the United St... More >>

Ceiling improvements can get things looking up in your kitchen
(BPT) - When you’re planning a full kitchen renovation, or even just a few choice upgrades, counter tops, cabinets, appliances and flooring command your attention. But do you ever look up? Unless a lightbulb burns out or you want to replace a light fixture, you probably don’t think much... More >>

The download on digital dwellings
(BPT) - With so much technology, have people hit electronics overload?  Moen research shows that even though 51 percent of people never unplug, we still hold mostly positive feelings toward technology. Learn more about how and where consumers are currently using technology in their homes&... More >>

4 winter-blues-busting home improvement projects
(BPT) - Three percent of the U.S. population suffers from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) every winter, according to Psychology Today. But you don’t have to be diagnosed with an actual disorder to suffer a bad case of the winter blues — it can happen to anyone. Since climate and envir... More >>

From grab bars with style to gorgeous anti-slip floors, aging in place looks better than ever
(BPT) - Gray hair, wrinkles and frailty are no longer inevitable aspects of growing older; medical science and a better understanding of health, nutrition and exercise mean more people are living healthy, active and more youthful lives. Likewise, aging in place no longer means sacrificing style for... More >>

5 tips for creating fall curb appeal
(BPT) - Soon, all things pumpkin spice will be here, including the home visitors that bring them. In preparation of the door bell ringing, create a little spice of your own with some seasonal curb appeal. You don’t have to limit yourself to pumpkins and hay bales — below are tips and pr... More >>

6 must-do home improvements to withstand severe summer weather
(BPT) - Mother Nature can be hard on your home, especially during the summer months. Thunderstorms, tornadoes and hurricanes can cause extensive damage to houses and entire communities. Some preparation, however, can help homeowners defend their homes against severe-weather damage.“It pays to... More >>

Can your walls stand up to life?
(BPT) - Let’s face it. No matter how careful you are, an active family can take its toll on the interior of a house – especially on the walls. Depending on the season or day of the week, your family may come home toting cross-country skis, throwing off wet raincoats or banging football ... More >>

Weathering the storm: 9 necessary tips for using a chainsaw to clear debris
(BPT) - It’s storm season, and as soon as a tornado or hurricane strikes, clean-up begins.Often, storm clean-up requires participation from volunteers who supplement the work of experts in removing miles of debris. Many are weekend warriors who have never tackled such an immense task — ... More >>

9 home improvement projects that will pay you back big time [infographic]
(BPT) - If you're planning any home improvement projects, keep in mind that some projects can actually make your home worth less while others can increase the value of your home dramatically. Here are nine home improvements that will not only increase the comfort and safety of your home while you'r... More >>

5 simple design tricks to revamp your home
(BPT) - Whether you’ve just moved into a home or you’ve lived there for years, it might be time for a design tune-up. While many may think tackling their home décor takes a bundle of time, money and expertise, it doesn’t have to be so frightening. You don’t need to sp... More >>

Keep your cool by paying less for air conditioning this summer
(BPT) - If high heating bills left you cold and bitter this winter, then now is the time to think about how high your monthly cooling bills could be this summer.  Air conditioning accounts for approximately 19 percent of all household electricity consumption and emits nearly two tons of carbon... More >>

Easy grout makeover brings new life to tile
(BPT) - One of the most economical improvements a homeowner can make to a kitchen or bath is refreshing the grout instead of replacing the tile. Mechanically removing and replacing grout can cost as much as $20 per square foot and complete demolition can seem out of reach when you are on a budget. ... More >>

Glass act: How modern fenestration improves a home's energy efficiency
(BPT) - Most people probably think of windows and skylights only when they’re buying or selling a house, when they get dirty, when they leak, or when the kid next door lobs a baseball through one. Yet the glass in your home is arguably among its most important features, directly impacting the... More >>

Can your home withstand hurricanes or high wind?
(BPT) - Living near or along a coast has many advantages: warm weather, beach access, soothing waves and walks in the sand. However, the areas that are the most beautiful are often the most susceptible to hurricanes and other severe weather. If you live near the coast – or are looking to buil... More >>

Standing water in your yard? Solve your drainage problems in three steps
(BPT) - Whether it’s the result of melting snow or a heavy rainstorm, standing water in the backyard is an unwelcome sight for any homeowner. While it’s unsightly and robs your yard of valuable green space, standing water can also cause excessive damage to your home’s foundation a... More >>

5 ways to boost your home's curb appeal
(BPT) - Spring and summer continue to be the most popular months for selling your home, according to And with many homeowners staying in their houses for an average of 13 years, your home will surely need some sprucing up to add to its curb appeal. By following a these simple steps, yo... More >>

4 steps to find your home's perfect patio door
(BPT) - Do you feel like your house could use more natural light to brighten and warm your favorite spaces? Patio doors offer unobstructed views that flood your home with natural light and provide convenient access to the outside.Whether you’re replacing an old door or installing one for the ... More >>

5 fabulous fall upgrades can extend your deck time this year
(BPT) - Who says you have to give up time on the deck you love just because summer is over? Whether you’re just relaxing or tackling home improvement projects, time outdoors is a great way to recharge at the end of a hectic day or tiring week. A few simple do-it-yourself updates can help you ... More >>

Greener, cleaner bathrooms save water, time and money
(BPT) - If you’re considering a green home renovation, or building an eco-friendly house, you’ll likely put a lot of thought into heating and cooling, as well as kitchen appliances. But don’t overlook the value of greening your bathrooms, too. Environmentally-friendly bathrooms ca... More >>

The 5 most important things you never knew about your shower
(BPT) - You use it to get clean, refresh, relax or get invigorated, but how much do you really know about your shower? Did you know that the average shower lasts eight minutes in America, or that the shower is the third largest source of water use in the average American home? With conserving water... More >>

3 ways to preserve indoor air quality during remodeling
(BPT) - Are you beginning a remodeling project? Well, take a deep breath because your air is about to be affected in a major way.Is this preventable? It can be, if you take action.The most important time to act is before you begin your remodeling project, especially if you are staying in your home ... More >>

Save water - and money - in the most budget-draining room in your house
(BPT) - Certain home appliances and features have a reputation for being energy and money wasters; everyone knows the air conditioner draws more electricity and old, leaky windows boost utility bills. But are you aware of the room in your home that uses – and wastes – the most water?Ame... More >>

5 essential steps for finding the perfect lawn mower
(BPT) - Nothing says springtime like the sounds of lawn mowing and the sweet smell of freshly cut grass. For some, mowing the lawn is a chore. Others enjoy the sense of accomplishment and pride in a great looking lawn. Regardless of where you fall, you’ll likely find yourself mowing about 30-... More >>

5 DIY projects that can't wait until next year
(BPT) - Are you afraid your chances to complete a DIY project this year are over because colder temperatures are coming? If you are, the good news is there’s no need to worry. You still have plenty of time to tackle that outdoor DIY project and, if you act fast, even enjoy it for a while befo... More >>

7 ways to improve your home and budget with one smart upgrade
(BPT) - With home automation on the rise, it’s easy to imagine your future home might look like something out of “The Jetsons.” While there’s no Rosie the Robot to do your laundry (yet!), smart home technology can do everything from adjusting your temperature to texting you ... More >>

Empty nesters, boost home value and your spirits with savvy, appealing improvements
(BPT) - Whether they’re heading off to college or they’ve finally finished their education and are starting their careers in a distant city, the departure of kids from your nest makes for a bittersweet time. If you’ve committed much of your energy—and most of your home&mdash... More >>

Outdoor home security: 5 steps to a home-safe-home
(BPT) - Did you know a home break-in occurs every 15 seconds? Considering summertime is peak season for home burglaries, there’s no better time than the present to take a few steps to protect your home and your family.“Securing your home doesn’t necessarily require a costly alarm ... More >>

Carve out more living space with a one-room renovation
(BPT) - A growing family, overnight guests, work-at-home demands and lifestyle changes can make for cramped quarters in any home. If you’re not ready to move to a bigger house or take on a full-scale addition, carve out more space from your home’s current footprint. Renovating an attic,... More >>

The most common - and solvable - home health and safety risks
(BPT) - For many Americans, “home” evokes warmth, comfort, security and safety. But while home may be sweet, statistics show it’s far from safe. From falls and other types of accidents to fires and poor indoor air quality, home can be a dangerous place — so it’s import... More >>

Heat your home without wasting energy this season
(BPT) - If you’re interested in living a greener lifestyle, perhaps you’re already trying to reduce your energy usage as much as possible. Maybe you ride your bike to work, unplug your electronics when they’re not in use, use fans during warm weather and avoid wasting water.Saving... More >>

How to tackle your home's stubborn stains and odors
(BPT) - From wall stains to washing machines, indoor stains and smells can be a challenge to tackle. Luckily, there are surprisingly simple methods to erase them for good. Here are a few tips to freshen up the most stubborn spots in your home.Conceal wall stains with primerHave your kids made artwo... More >>

7 steps for simplifying your next paint project
(BPT) - If you’re considering a household painting project, now’s the perfect time. The summer’s hottest days are in the past and winter’s frigid temperatures aren’t even on your radar. Whether you plan to paint your kitchen, a hallway, outdoor siding or a refurbished ... More >>

Splurge vs. save: You can have your dream kitchen [Infographic]
(BPT) - When designing your dream kitchen, it can be challenging to draw the line between splurging and saving. You want a space that reflects your personal style and makes kitchen work easier, but you don't want to blow the bank. However, if you know where to look, you can have it all — part... More >>

5 outdoor projects that will add value to your home
(BPT) - Everyone wants a great outdoor space, but backyard projects can be a lot of work – and in many cases, a lot of money. So it just makes sense to choose projects that will enhance your quality of living for summers to come as well as yield a great return on investment. Here, then, are f... More >>

Simple steps to build a beautiful decorative garden wall
(BPT) - Landscaping and gardening are the most popular outdoor do-it-yourself home improvement activities planned by homeowners in 2015, according to a recent survey by the Home Projects Council. Beyond traditional landscaping and gardening projects like planting flower beds or laying paver paths, ... More >>

This simple DIY home improvement saves money and helps the environment
(BPT) - In the typical American home, heating and cooling account for 50 to 70 percent of total energy use, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Yet, much of that energy is wasted, leading to higher energy bills for homeowners.The DOE notes that the leading causes of energy waste in mo... More >>

5 home projects with a great ROI and plenty of wow
(BPT) - What’s motivating you to tackle that next home improvement project? Are you planning to sell and you want to make your home more irresistible? Or do you plan to stick around and you simply want to complete a project you can enjoy for years to come? Whatever your motivation, it’s... More >>

Tips to make your next DIY home improvement as green as possible
(BPT) - If you’re thinking about making your next DIY home improvement project “green,” but aren’t sure how to achieve a balance of eco-friendly and affordability, there’s good news. It’s now easier than ever, especially when you do the work yourself with rented ... More >>

Dress up your floors with top tile trends
(BPT) - If you are renovating any area of your home, it may be time to try something new—such as bringing tile into main living areas in addition to your bathrooms and kitchen. New designs, styles and technologies are making tile the most versatile and accessible flooring material.“Tile... More >>

Your how-to guide to outdoor entertaining
(BPT) - The end of cold weather signals the change of seasons, a move from indoor to outdoor activities and the perfect time to throw a great party. But before eagerly sending out those first invites, take a few moments to prepare for your upcoming event by following these three easy steps to hosti... More >>

7 tips for summer DIY projects
(BPT) - (This post is brought to you by the makers of Advil(R).) The lazy days of summer aren’t always lazy for DIY aficionados. The warm weather provides the perfect catalyst to tackle those home improvement to-do lists – from finally updating the color of the bedroom walls to beautify... More >>

Go tankless in 2015 [Infographic]
(BPT) - A higher Energy Factor (EF) will soon be required for all residential storage tank-type, gas, electric and oil water heaters by the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA). The changes will directly impact water heating selection and installation and raise costs. Fortunately, tan... More >>

Defining home improvement ROI: It's not just about the money
(BPT) - If home improvement was only about increasing a home’s resale value, perhaps more people would live in homes that had steel entry doors, manufactured stone veneer and/or vinyl siding and interior walls that were a uniform beige. But when you’re calculating the potential return o... More >>

9 custom features to add to your home wish list
(BPT) - Whether you’re building a new home or looking to upgrade your current one, there are many factors to consider. You want to be sure you’re creating something of value, but also including features that will add convenience, enjoyment and entertainment. After all, it’s your l... More >>

Three super-simple ways to make your new deck look amazing
(BPT) - Do dreams of lazy days soaking up the sun have you looking for a way to move the indoors out? Then a deck addition may be the solution. A new porch, patio or multi-level deck can serve as an extension of your home and create personalized spaces for summertime festivities, from easy afternoo... More >>

Enhancing your home's curb appeal
(BPT) - First impressions mean a lot — especially when it comes to your home’s curb appeal. Whether you’re getting ready for resale or just want to update the exterior, you may think your home is ready for a curbside makeover.More than 80 percent of homeowners believe their home&r... More >>

Mother Nature knows best: How natural elements in the home make you healthier
(BPT) - When it comes to health and wellness, the design of your home may prove to be just as important as your diet, sleep habits or exercise routine. This is the premise behind biophilic design – the idea that incorporating natural elements into your home, such as wood or plants, can actual... More >>

Tips for selecting the right decking material for your outdoor living space
(BPT) - When you’re designing and building a dream outdoor living space, you have more options than ever. But how do you know which material is best for your home? The good news is that you don’t need a degree in deck building to master the differences between the various types of decki... More >>

5 easy ways to make your outdoor space the best on the block
(BPT) - When the calendar flips to the summer months, all you can think about is getting outside and soaking up the sun. But when you look out the window into your yard, what do you see? Is it an inviting space that encourages you to get out and enjoy the fresh air? Or could it use a bit of sprucin... More >>

Green your space this fall
(BPT) - Fall signals the end of summer and the beginning of vibrantly colored leaves on the ground, pumpkin patches and refreshingly cooler temperatures. Early fall is also the perfect time of year to complete home improvement projects — the weather is mild, and you can clear your home of clu... More >>

Is a wood or composite deck right for your home?
(BPT) - Outdoor living is a home improvement trend that can’t be ignored. If you plan to add a deck to your house, remember the design is only one aspect of the planning process. The materials you decide to use can affect the project in numerous ways, from the initial investment to maintenanc... More >>

Get safer drinking water the natural way
(BPT) - Household bacteria can be a serious issue affecting your health. In fact, the very steps we take to eliminate harmful bacteria may be spreading it. Everyone washes their fresh fruits and vegetables, but the water in your pipes may contain even more bacteria, especially if you have hard wate... More >>

Splurge versus save: High end kitchen design that won't break the bank
(BPT) - Ninety-eight percent of people believe good design enhances their daily lives, and they’re willing to pay more for products that truly reflect their own personal style and aesthetic, according to a new study from Dwell. Drawing the line between “splurging” on those premium... More >>

10 tips to make your home safer for kids
(BPT) - Home is where the heart is, and for most people, it’s where they feel safest. Yet for children, the home isn’t as safe as you might assume. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that 3.5 million children go to the emergency room every year for injuries that happen in homes.Some... More >>

Identifying hidden savings opportunities in your monthly budget
(BPT) - Advancements in modern technology have put control of many things all into the palm of your hand. Your home is no different, because mistakes or forgotten chores that once required a trip home to set things right now can simply be handled by your smartphone. If you’re not asking your ... More >>

Planning a home improvement project? Financing is the first tool you'll need
(BPT) - If you’re planning a home improvement project this year, you’re in good company. The economy and housing market are recovering, home values and equity are rising, and many homeowners are beginning projects they had put off over the past few years. A recent report by the Joint Ce... More >>

Big brother is watching: It's good for you and bad for the bad guys
(BPT) - It’s Monday morning and you awake to the sound of your alarm blaring. If you’re like a hundred million other Americans, it means it’s time to get ready for work.Some people get up, get dressed, then wrestle the kids into their clothes and the car to drop them off at school... More >>

How to clean and refinish your deck for summer [Infographic]
(BPT) - ... More >>

See solar power in a new light this summer
(BPT) - With sunny summer months right around the corner and energy bills continuing to rise, more and more Americans are making the switch to solar powering their homes. In 2014, the U.S. added more than 186,000 individual residential solar installations, according to GTM Research. As a result, mo... More >>

4 steps toward greener living
(BPT) - Living a greener lifestyle isn’t just about conserving natural resources, it’s also about saving money. Whether you’re renovating your existing home, or building from the ground up, you can create a home that’s more efficient, cost effective and “green.”1... More >>

More colors, more textures and more protection as vinyl continues to be America's most-installed siding
(BPT) - 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. Add to this the growing interest by homeo... More >>

5 simple steps to make your new place feel like home
(BPT) - Millions of Millennials move every year, and due to the flexibility of renting, a remarkable number of people choose to rent rather than own. Just because renting requires a short-term commitment, however, doesn’t mean you can’t personalize your temporary home. A few expert tips... More >>

5 tips for painting like a pro this summer
(BPT) - Sunny summer months are the perfect time for a colorful home refresh. With open windows, warm weather and the tips below, you can check painting off your list in a breeze and head back outdoors to enjoy the weather.1. Buy high-quality paint for the best coverage and deepest color satur... More >>

4 tips to tackle any DIY project
(BPT) - (This post is brought to you by the makers of Advil(R).) It’s that time of year again: project season. It’s time to open the windows, reimagine your space and get to work on the home improvement project you’ve been dreaming about all winter. This is an exciting time o... More >>

Find space with grace, the best positioning for items around your house
(BPT) - Equations are for more than just math class; did you know there’s a proper order of operations for your home, too? Whether it’s arranging your couch and television for optimal viewing or making sure towel bars are right within reach, knowing a few key numbers can help you determ... More >>

6 ways the Grateful Dead and tie-dye have transformed America's look
(BPT) - The Beatles had their signature haircut, and the Stones celebrated Mick Jagger’s lips with their mouth-and-tongue logo, but few bands have made a look their own as thoroughly as the Grateful Dead and tie-dye. Granted, the Dead didn’t invent tie-dye – the technique originat... More >>

5 over-the-top outdoor improvements for DIYers
(BPT) - A beautiful backyard has become a suburban status symbol much like a brand-new car in the driveway. Upgrading your outdoor space is not only uplifting, it’s practical, too. A great backyard expands your living space, enhances your enjoyment of your home and can boost resale value.Anyo... More >>

4 ways to add 'wow' to your outdoor living space
(BPT) - Turning your backyard into an outdoor living oasis can be a tough project to start. Between product choices and design ideas, planning your ideal outdoor space can mean a lot of research and time at the local home improvement store.To simplify your project, many companies are integrating th... More >>

Inspiration and good looks for your next home project
(BPT) - If you’re looking to upgrade your home’s exterior, include American hardwoods in the mix. New, environmentally friendly treatment methods now make hardwood an excellent and great looking material choice for outdoor living spaces.“American hardwoods in outdoor applications ... More >>

Move to a world of color with these easy tips to find your color inspiration
(BPT) - Color can be transformative. It has the power to evoke emotion, alter your mood and stimulate one-of-a kind creativity. The shades and hues that capture a person’s imagination are as varied as people themselves. What colors capture you? Is it a color you see or wear every day, or is ... More >>

Save money and energy with this home improvement project [Infographic]
(BPT) - -... More >>

The Cs of choosing diamonds and shingles: Knowing more means paying less
(BPT) - Shopping for an engagement ring can be confusing. But knowing the 4 C’s of picking a diamond – Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat – can help consumers get the best gem for their money. Shopping for roof shingles can be confusing, too. But knowing the 3 C’s of buying a new... More >>

Floor your house guests with creative design twists
(BPT) - Hardwood flooring brings enduring beauty, charm and value to a home. Not content to keep a good thing underfoot, inspired homeowners are now finding new and creative locations to use it for a dramatic effect.Using hardwood flooring on walls and ceilings is becoming an increasingly prominent... More >>

Considering home improvements? Out-of-the-ordinary upgrades can enhance livability and value
(BPT) - Perhaps your home is in pretty good shape – newish roof, well-maintained furnace and air-conditioning, and fresh paint throughout. Or maybe you’ve bought a brand-new house that’s move-in ready. Even though you don’t really need to do a thing to the home, you may stil... More >>

Fun ideas to make your summer entertaining a hit
(BPT) - The sweet days of summer signal a long awaited transition for outdoor living. Combine food, family and friends with fresh ideas, and the possibilities for summer entertaining are endless.“There is something so magical about taking a meal outside in the warm weather,” says design... More >>

4 ways skylights can make a home brighter and healthier
(BPT) - Paul and John were on to something when they penned their ode to good old natural light. The association between sunshine, positive emotion and good health is integral to the human psyche. It’s in our nature to revel in natural light and sing out “here comes the sun” inste... More >>

Keep a man cave top of mind when choosing a new home
(BPT) - It used to be that the man's room – or man cave – was relegated to the basement or the garage. Now homes are being designed with the man cave already in mind to give men a place to call their own.Man caves have changed over the years, becoming a part of the home itself instead o... More >>

Splurge or steal? 3 DIY home projects that give a high-end, modern look without breaking the bank
(BPT) - Doing your own home improvement projects is a great way to save money and still get the new look you desire. When you’re working on giving a traditional home a more modern feel, it can be tempting to splurge – but you don’t have to. It is possible to “steal” gr... More >>

5 home-renovation tips that will reduce asthma and allergy triggers in your home
(BPT) - This is the peak season for do-it-yourself projects, and maybe you already have your tape measure in hand, ready to tackle a bathroom remodel, open up the floor plan or finally reimagine that unfinished basement. There are plenty of considerations to take into account with any project, incl... More >>

Repairing potholes protects your vehicle and wallet
(BPT) - There are millions of potholes in the United States, so it is not surprising that nearly 500,000 insurance claims are filed annually due to damage caused by this unrelenting enemy of vehicles across the country. Making matters worse, these potholes often sit unrepaired for extended periods ... More >>

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