Ways to make your outdoor living spaces more useful all year
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, or an outdoor kitchen to create the taste of summer all year. A few simple improvements can help you create a space that keeps you outside longer into the night, earlier in the spring and later into the cooler seasons.
Top 2014 home improvement trends: smart homes and home automation
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. Some experts are predicting 2014 will be the year of the smart home. Home automation is a top home improvement trend, making the Jetsons' futuristic lifestyle more realistic than ever before.
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.
Embrace spring early with fresh DIY home and landscaping projects
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.
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 important factor especially during the winter months when homes are sealed up tight against the cold outdoor air.
Empty nesters want low-maintenance yards that focus on fun and functionality, not fuss
One of the first questions new empty nesters face is: what do we do with the nest? One key area to tackle is the yard and garden. The following are tips for transforming a yard's maintenance-hungry features, especially the lawn, into alternatives that offer fun and functionality without the fuss.
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?
Add your health to your spring cleaning to-do list
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 changes to your well-being.
Create a traditional kitchen full of personality and style
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 traditional remains one of the most popular because of its timeless, classic look. If you're updating your kitchen, here are some tips to create a space that reflects your personal style.
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.
Planning a home improvement project? How to hire a quality contractor
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, which makes now a perfect time for remodeling. In fact, a majority of U.S. Homeowners (75.5 percent) are planning one or more home improvement projects by early 2014, according to a recent HIRI Sentiment Tracking Study.
Bathroom remodeling: the first five things you must do
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 decisions about materials, colors, fixtures, flooring and more. The options are vast, and you may wonder: What is the best way to get started?
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.
Solve everyday setbacks with five simple 'life hacks'... and possibly get rich doing so
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 easy repairs and improvements, keep these money-saving tips in mind. Here are five simple life hacks to help you throughout your entire home and trying one just might make you $40,000 richer!
Must-have luxury upgrades for your over-the-top deck
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.
Got an 'impossible' space? The no-fail way to turn it into a bathroom
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 enterprising homeowners and contractors are using a long-proven technology to creatively add bathrooms in a variety of locations once considered "impossible" for plumbing.
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 effort to pay attention to often overlooked details.
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. In 2014, more people will actively embrace the role of designer in order to create a home that is truly one of a kind.
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 upgrading their homes' curb appeal and outdoor living spaces.
Energy-efficiency: the remodeling trend that's here to stay
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.
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.
Crucial steps needed for healthy and safe homes in 2014
As Americans brace for more snow, ice and below-freezing temperatures this winter, education about and protection from residential fire and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning become increasingly important. This is especially true considering that U.S. residential fire and CO deaths and injuries account for far more fatalities in most years than all natural disasters combined.
Insulation: The key to ending drafts and cutting utility bills
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.
Save money without skimping on style on your kitchen remodel
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 without paying a high price.
Add value to your home with smart spring home improvements
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 home.
Meeting buyer demands in a seller's market: Top trends for 2014
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 settle for less than perfect. In fact, coming out of the real estate crash of a few years ago, buyers have learned the importance of getting the maximum value for their home investment.
Safety tips for your home's largest moving object - the garage door
The garage door's role in the home has changed dramatically over the last 30 years and most people don't realize it. Consider this: garage door openers have been installed in 35 million homes across the United States, making them one of the most widely used appliances. In fact, more than 70 percent of today's homeowners use their attached garage as their main entrance to their home.
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.
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 them into your next project.
Five surprisingly simple ways to turn your current deck into a dream outdoor oasis
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 is there are surprisingly simple ways to give your deck a facelift and transform it into the outdoor oasis you want in as little as one weekend.
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.
Now's the time to spring into DIY action with home improvement projects
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.
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.
Knowing when to repair or replace three of your home's major systems - the furnace, air conditioner and water heater
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 than normal. All three are signs that these crucial systems are not running as efficiently as they once did.
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.
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.
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 are striving to attain your personal goal, have you ever thought of setting a goal to refresh your home in a way that will have your friends talking?
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 updating this space can lead to a 62 percent return on investment.
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 - according to a survey from the National Pest Management Association. In fact, these pests enter approximately 21 million homes each winter, and nearly half of the infestations occur in the fall and winter months.
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.
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.
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?
Four simple tips for designing an on-trend home for 2014
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.
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 windows, skylights and doors are in good working order - and ready for action when spring arrives.
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.
Keep wall flaws hidden with beautiful texturing techniques
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 texture.
How to find rebates for energy-efficient home improvements
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 the initial investment of making those improvements. Here are some ways to find rebates.
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.
Geothermal systems provide energy independence for more homeowners
For years Dwight Nadig and his wife suffered through the cold winters in their York, Pa., ranch-style home, originally built in 1979. Nadig started to investigate geothermal (or ground-source) heat pump systems to help them stay warm in the winter - without paying a lot of money on their oil bill.
Trim adds decorative new dimensions throughout home interiors
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.
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 consider updating several spaces for a clean start.
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 accessories, repurposing furniture or putting something interesting up on the walls.
Tips for keeping your house warm without burning a hole in your pocket
The winter months mean celebrating the holidays, reconnecting with family and friends and planning your resolutions for the New Year. They can also mean a sharp increase to your monthly heating bill in order to stay warm and comfortable. If you're interested in controlling your energy expenses while maintaining comfort, the tips below will help you make sure more of your money is put towards presents than power.
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.
Go-anywhere upgrades that are great for kitchens and baths
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.
Decked out from coast to coast: Top outdoor living trends for 2014
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. Here is a glimpse into the national trends that will be emerging outside homes across America in 2014.