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Home Improvement

Increase your home's curb appeal and value with simple outdoor improvements
First impressions happen at the curb. Even if you're not planning on selling your home anytime soon, simple outdoor improvements can make a dramatic difference. Add curb appeal without emptying your bank account.
 
Bathroom organization styles that work smarter - not harder
The collection of grooming and beauty tools cluttering the bathroom vanity can quickly overwhelm everything. The bathroom should be a functional room that works for you and here's how.
 
Go green with eco-friendly outdoor living spaces
Learn how you can create an amazing outdoor space that is also eco-friendly.
 
Turn your home into a smart home with these simple technology upgrades
Homes are more technically advanced than ever before. The good news is that you don't have to be a techie to turn your home into a smart home.
 
5 simple tips to prepare your home for flood season
The No. 1 natural disaster in the U.S. is floods: Is your home ready? Consider these insider tips for getting your property ready for flood season.
 
Beat the heat and save some green with these warm weather energy saving ideas
Learn how you can save money and energy this season with a few home improvements.
 
Stay cool by going green this summer
Around two-thirds of all American homes have an air conditioner unit, amounting to a cost of more than $11 billion annually in usage alone, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Learn how to cut bills and go green.
 
Composite or wood? Myth-busting facts to know before you decide on a deck
Myths persist about composite decking. Here are the facts homeowners should know before deciding on composite or wood for a deck.
 
Spruce up your home for spring with wood [Infographic]
Crown molding is one of the simplest and most affordable ways to add style and definition to any room, and you can install this upgrade yourself.
 
Modern technology rescues backyard pool-time fun
See how the latest technology makes owning a pool and cleaning it easier than ever.
 
Outdoor kitchen? Second-floor laundry? How to easily achieve summer's hottest home improvements
From adding a bathroom to creating an outdoor kitchen, above-floor plumbing quickly and easily solves a host of plumbing challenges.
 
Deck staining secrets for success
Restoring your deck's beauty and protecting it from further damage can be relatively easy and affordable. HGTV/DIY Network star and seasoned deck builder Jeff Wilson shares his six essential tips for success for this popular project.
 
To-do list 2.0: How high-tech is making household chores easier than ever
Learn how modern technology can make daily chores easier, freeing up time in today's busy lifestyle.
 
Master suite upgrades: the secret to a speedier home sale
If you're planning to sell your home and have already renovated the kitchen and bathrooms, what's your next move? Three words: master suite upgrades.
 
Bringing life back into your yard and garden
You can take pride in your backyard year after year with a breathtaking landscape by following these simple steps.
 
A sure-footed way to choose new flooring
When spring-cleaning uncovers a worn floor it may be time to consider purchasing a new one, especially if you're selling your home in the near future. A new floor, like refreshed paint and updated fixtures, makes a home more enjoyable to live in as well as more marketable.
 
How freeze-thaw cycles, water, impact, sun and pests can damage siding
Learn why spring is a great time to reside your house and what options you have.
 
Lead with style: How to create clean, crisp curb appeal for your home's entry
Whether you are building a new home, or want to refresh your existing home, choosing a contemporary style creates high-class curb appeal. But, what goes into contemporary home styling?
 
Time to try to DIY: Easy outdoor living projects that can be done in a few weekends
Find out how to recreate your outdoor living space without spending a fortune. There are plenty of easy-to-tackle projects that can be done in just a few weekends.
 
Create a splash of color in your home - indoors and out [Infographic]
Seven-in-10 homeowners plan a house-related project in the next six months, according to the Sherwin-Williams National Home Design and Color Survey. Learn more about these projects and National Painting Week here.
 
Designer tips to create inspired dream spaces with color
Ready to transform your home this year? The key to creating your dream interior space could be as simple as updating with color.
 
Why a wood deck is one of the best investments a homeowner can make
A residential wood deck addition has a recouped cost of 87.4 percent, according to Remodeling Magazine's 2014 Cost vs. Value Report - here's what you need to know about this smart home improvement project.
 
Cook up some space in the kitchen: Simple solutions to add storage and style to your home
Learn simple ways that you can open up storage options in your kitchen without a major overhaul.
 
Moving on? Tips to help get your home ready to sell
Listing your home for sale? Or want to? First impressions can make the difference in attracting prospective buyers. Check out these tips for getting your home ready for a quick sale.
 
Get decked out with color
Wondering what one of the biggest trends "on deck" is this year? Hint, it is a colorful answer. That's because more and more people are choosing to add color with a waterproofing deck stain.
 
Chic chalet: Give your kitchen a mountain makeover
Your kitchen doesn't need a Matterhorn vista to stay on top of the latest "chalet chic" design trend. It's easier than you think to get this style by mixing rustic pieces with modern touches.
 
Creating inviting outdoor spaces for entertaining
From barbecues and games of bocce to parties and candlelit dinners, your outdoor space can be a hub for entertaining friends and family. Here's advice from the experts.
 
Kitchen makeover: 3 simple tips for beauty on a budget
If you're tired of looking at your outdated kitchen, but feel replacement would be impractical, you're not alone. In 2014, consumers will be trying to find solutions they can afford to do themselves. Check out these three DIY remodeling trends for simple and unique ways to refresh the most used rooms in the home.
 
A healthier home makes for happier families
If you've ever made a decision not to eat a certain food because it was bad for you, then you're like most Americans who are increasingly more health-conscious. As you consider what not to put in your body, there are simple ways to improve your health by examining what's in your home. Here are four tricks to help reduce your risk for headaches, fatigue, allergies, respiratory illnesses, heart disease, and other serious long-term conditions, and make your home healthier.
 
Why invest in insulation during a renovation?
When it comes to enhancing the value and comfort of a home, most homeowners will opt to address the cosmetic features of a home when completing a renovation project. Yet, it's often the things that homeowners don't consider that can have the biggest impact on the value of a home.
 
Perk up your home with pattern
Give your home an energy shot this spring with bright colors and bold patterns.

"Patterns are hot, hot, hot," says Cathie Pliess, program coordinator of design for The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and a certified interior designer. "Look for oversized patterns in bold colors on a white background."
 
The best home improvement for less than $5,000
Curious which home improvement costs less than $5,000, delivers the highest return on investment and has the maximum impact on curb appeal? According to the latest studies, the answer is a new garage door.
 
Save green indoors and out with energy-efficient home upgrades
Many are motivated by the desire to save a little green in their wallets with a fresh new season of home repairs. If you're one of these people, you can help save some green for the planet, as well as your hard-earned cash, by making energy efficient upgrades throughout your home.
 
Is your garage door ready to roll? Survey casts doubts
Does your garage door creak, squeak or groan when you open or close it? If so, that isn't a good sign. But noticing this is the first step to fixing what could become a major home repair issue.
 
Best on the block: How to create curb appeal
Spring is in the air, so it's time to give your home an exterior makeover and add curb appeal. A few simple tricks can help boost your home's profile, and ensure visitors get a good first impression when they arrive on your doorstep.
 
Easy tips to create the perfect outdoor living room
It's that time of year - time to dust off your patio furniture, fill your planters and set up to spend the spring outdoors. While expanding an outdoor space is a top renovation project for homeowners and renters alike, it does not have to induce a state of pre-spring stress. With a few simple tips, you can create an outdoor space that adds value and comfort to your home.
 
Build a better bath on a budget
Bathroom remodeling doesn't have to be a budget buster. You can simply improve what you already have to get the spa-like retreat you're seeking. Here are a few tips to get you started on your redesign.
 
Reaching new heights: 4 tips for finding a skilled roofing contractor
Purchasing a new roof is one of the most important - and biggest - investments you can make in your home. That's why it's crucial to have a knowledgeable professional on hand to guide you through each step of the process. In fact, choosing the right contractor is just as important as choosing the right roofing components. Remember the four "R's" to help ensure you have the best person for the job.
 
Wood is good: The must-have material for your spring home spruce-up
Thinking of sprucing up your home for spring? You're not alone; one in three homeowners say they'll take on at least one home improvement project in the first half of 2014, according to a recent survey by Burst Media. And it turns out, freshening your home for spring is a smart investment.
 
Beyond cool: How ceiling fans offer energy efficiency, decor and function
Savvy interior designers know that items that are both fashionable and functional are in high demand. One of the best examples of a stylish, hardworking home fixture is also one of the most overlooked: the ceiling fan. In 2014, more homeowners are realizing the potential this classic technology has not only on their comfort levels, but also on their interior's design aesthetic.
 
From floor to fixtures: Top spring home decor trends add style and personality
Spring is in the air, which means it's time to refresh your indoor spaces to reflect the energy and optimism of the season. The top home decor trends of spring 2014 take a fresh approach to traditional design elements to create an aesthetic that is fresh and full of life. Best yet, the trends are easily accessible, so anyone can update their space with a few simple tips.
 
Spring into four simple DIY home decorating trends
Whether you're personalizing a new home or revitalizing an old room, the start of spring is when newly imagined spaces become do-it-yourself realities.
 
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!
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
Opening the door to space and privacy is easy
Homeowners, builders and remodelers are always looking for innovative new ways to enhance existing spaces during home makeovers and room renovations.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
Four quick color tips to awaken your home in 2014
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.
 
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.
 
Eliminate VOCs when planning a home remodel
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.
 
How color affects your exterior home makeover
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.
 
Six hot home design trends for spring 2014
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.
 
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.
 
Spring-prep steps for your sun-friendly skylights
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.
 
Crucial steps needed for healthy and safe homes in 2014
The winter season may have passed, but for much of the country, cold temperatures will linger, causing families to keep the furnaces running and fireplaces burning. Because of this, education about and protection from residential fire and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning become increasingly important.
 
Simple steps to reduce winter energy costs
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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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?
 
Spruce up your home for spring
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?
 
Top 10 home decor trends for 2014
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.
 
Top 2014 home decor trend: Personalized design
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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
Hardwood flooring trends, a touch of the creative
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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
Cold weather pushes rodents into homes
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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
Simple steps to paint like a pro
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.
 
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