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home : oak ridge living : home improvement July 24, 2017

Take precautions in the heat - lifesaving tips
(BPT) - From tornadoes and floods to hail and lightning storms, the United States experiences a broad array of extreme weather. Fatalities do occur, but many people are surprised to learn that the weather event that causes the greatest number of deaths is heat.According to the National Weather Serv... Click to read more


5 steps to a smart home
(BPT) - When it comes to technology, smarter is better. There are smart watches, smart televisions and just about everyone has a smartphone.So what about a smart home?Smart thermostats and lighting timers represent the first steps toward smart home technology for many homeowners, but in a lot of ca... Click to read more


Your backyard canvas: 3 ways to create an outdoor living area as unique as you are
(BPT) - It's amazing to contemplate that all the famous paintings in history - from da Vinci's Mona Lisa to van Gogh's Starry Night - are essentially formed from three primary colors. Artists skillfully combine red, yellow and blue to formulate an infinite range of colors to bring their paintings t... Click to read more


3 steps to a more secure home
(BPT) - More than 75 percent of Americans are concerned about the security of their home, yet few think about door hardware when it comes to added protection.In fact, out of those who have ever purchased a new lockset or deadbolt, only 19 percent have done so with the safety of their home in mind, ... Click to read more


5 ways to create big luxury in a small master bathroom
(BPT) - If you're thinking about remodeling your small bathroom, you may know that studies show updating a bathroom of any size can increase the value of a home. However, there's a statistic from a Houzz survey you might not know: 75 percent of people who renovate a master bathroom don't make it bi... Click to read more


Tips to turn the kitchen sink into a beautiful, functional focal point
(BPT) - When you're updating a kitchen, it's time to ignore that old adage 'everything but the kitchen sink.' Many homeowners don't think about replacing their kitchen sink unless it's broken, ancient or they're upgrading countertops. However, the sink has the potential to be the perfect focal poin... Click to read more


5 hot trends for the home
(BPT) - Home safety is one of the top priorities of homeowners and renters alike. Your home should be a place to relax, play and enjoy spending time with family and friends.Here are a few of the latest trends in home security so that you can make yours a home sweet home that's equally safe.Home aut... Click to read more


5 ways to keep your cottage comfortable this summer
(BPT) - Although it's officially summer, the fluctuations in temperatures, sporadic downpours and tornado-inciting weather would make you think otherwise. While many of us take the opportunity to hit the beach, lake or ranch during the summer for some rest and relaxation, cottage home improvements ... Click to read more


Transform your home in a weekend with these DIY projects
(BPT) - Summertime isn't just for vacations or weekends at the cabin. Summer weekends - with longer days - are ideal opportunities for quick and inexpensive DIY projects that make a big statement around the home.The average American homeowner spent nearly $3,000 on home improvements in 2015, accord... Click to read more


How to perfectly light a bathroom for beauty, function and safety
(BPT) - Good lighting is important throughout a home, and each room has different lighting needs. Kitchens require overhead and task lighting, while bedrooms and dining rooms can benefit from variable illumination. However, no room in the house requires more layers and nuances of lighting than the ... Click to read more


Upcoming home improvement? How to navigate big purchases and make wise decisions
(BPT) - Are you planning an upcoming home improvement? If so, you are not alone.Higher-than-average renovation spending is expected in 2017, according to a leading consumer magazine, with more than half of homeowners planning to spend money on home improvements throughout the year.From upgrading ap... Click to read more


Allergens and indoor air quality: 4 steps to a healthier home
(BPT) - When at home, you're probably relaxing, playing with the kids or tackling chores. What you aren't likely doing is thinking about the air you're breathing. Unfortunately, the reality is poor indoor air quality in residential spaces is a major problem.The United States Consumer Product Safety... Click to read more


Latest deck trend: 'Monster' size, mega-luxury
(BPT) - Move over mini - the new trend in decking is anything but small.When it comes to the size of their decks, the majority of Americans feel bigger is better - as multiple surveys indicate decks are getting larger and more luxurious, RealtorMag reports.Today's decks dwarf the outdoor spaces of ... Click to read more


Repair or replace? What to do with a worn-out cooling system
(BPT) - Sooner or later, every homeowner will face the same tough decision: Can you repair that malfunctioning system or appliance one more time, or is it finally time to replace it? Summer temperatures can heat up the repair-or-replace debate for homeowners living with an older cooling system.To a... Click to read more


Rethinking bathroom design
(BPT) - As homeowners begin to dream up plans to update their kitchens and bathrooms, they can spend hours searching for inspiration on the web or one of the many home renovation television shows. There's no shortage of beautiful ideas and designs out there, but before you make any decision, you sh... Click to read more


A room-by-room guide to decluttering your home
(BPT) - Controlling clutter in your home can be a challenge; 48 percent of Americans say their houses are cluttered with stuff they don't use anymore, according to a survey by ClearVoice Research. Multiple studies have found a cluttered home can negatively affect your mental and physical health, wh... Click to read more


6 must-know kitchen and bathroom design trends
(BPT) - Many homeowners today wonder how they can turn their bathrooms or kitchens into something worthy of making the rounds on Pinterest or Instagram. As more people want to give their home a personal and stylish touch, home decorating and interior design is hotter than ever, and the possibilitie... Click to read more


5 affordable weekend DIY projects that completely recreate your home
(BPT) - The cold months of winter have a batten-down-the-hatches feel to them, don't they? Fortunately, they're over. Now that summer is here, you want to spread out, bask in the beautiful weather and finally tackle those home improvement projects you were eyeing during those colder months.Now is t... Click to read more


Let's get rolling. It's just paint.
(BPT) - Whether you like it or not, summer is the perfect time to stop procrastinating and get rolling on those paint projects you've been putting off. No matter how many Pinterest inspiration boards you save or prep tutorials you watch, it's never easy to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Betw... Click to read more


10 easy DIY home improvement projects for beginners
(BPT) - You don't have to be a pro to tackle many home improvement projects. With a little elbow grease and a few smart tools, DIY novices can easily complete all kinds of household tasks efficiently and correctly.Here are 10 common DIY projects for beginners that any homeowner (or apartment dwelle... Click to read more


Summertime energy savings tips and tricks for every room of the home [Infographic]
(BPT) - SaveSave... Click to read more


Cypress siding: It's what the pros choose
(BPT) - If current design trends are any indication, wood siding is back. Design professionals are recommending one species in particular: cypress. What's behind this revival of cypress siding?'Good looks, dependable performance and affordability,' says Stephen Logue of the Southern Cypress Manufac... Click to read more


Natural selection: Live-edge wood in home design
(BPT) - Live-edge hardwood, in which the sides of the slab are left unmilled to retain the natural profile of the tree trunk, is an increasingly popular decorative trend in today's residential interiors. The technique is not only used for pieces of standalone furniture such as tables and benches bu... Click to read more


Top kitchen renovation secrets from a design expert
(BPT) - As the hardest-working room in your home, it's no wonder that so many people want to renovate their kitchens. A smart, stylish refresh doesn't just transform the space; it can influence the look and feel of the entire home.Such an important and influential project can often be a bit overwhe... Click to read more


4 laundry personalities: Where do you fit?
(BPT) - Chic, trendy, sporty, bohemian, sophisticated, fun, classic - you probably have a clear vision of your fashion and style personality. But do you know your laundry personality? How you wash the clothes you wear is every bit as personal and unique to you as the clothes themselves. Knowing you... Click to read more


Increase comfort and lower energy bills for the warmer months
(BPT) - As the warm weather creeps in and the country heats up, now is the time for homeowners to make sure they're doing their part to help increase comfort and reduce energy bills.From the exterior to the interior, the consideration of a few simple tips could mean the difference between a summer ... Click to read more


The 411 on HVAC energy-efficiency ratings and terms
(BPT) - Whether you're looking to lower heating and cooling costs, or have a passion for protecting the environment, maximizing the energy efficiency of your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system is a smart move. The more energy efficient your system, the less you'll spend running it eve... Click to read more


Solving the nation's water problems before the tap runs dry
(BPT) - Cooking dinner, washing dishes, showering and flushing toilets - these are daily activities for most Americans. If you did any of these in the last 24 hours, you've contributed to the roughly 355 billion gallons of water that are used each day in this country.Water is our most basic, physic... Click to read more


Garage door industry issues consumer alert
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Simple upgrades and habit changes can yield big water savings in bathrooms
(BPT) - Researchers predict that rising water prices could mean within five years a third of American households will not be able to pay their water bills, despite the replenishment of water reserves around the country.What's more, the National Weather Service warns that drought could increase or r... Click to read more


Install handrails for a safer home
(BPT) - The National Safety Council considers unintentional falls one of the leading causes of household accidents in the U.S. This trend is especially true among adults 65 and older with one in three experiencing an injury related fall each year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Pre... Click to read more


DIY done simple: 5 projects you can tackle in a weekend
(BPT) - This time of year was made for DIY projects. The weather is perfect, the projects have mounted, you've got the time and the motivation. Now if only you had the budget.Not to worry, DIY doesn't have to be synonymous with expensive! There are plenty of impactful DIY projects that can be tackl... Click to read more


Simple steps to create the perfect outdoor oasis
(BPT) - Summer is home to many of the year's most beautiful days, so who can blame you for wanting to spend them all outside? Your yard becomes your living room and your patio the kitchen. It's your home away from home, which begs the question - do you like your current digs?If your home's outdoor ... Click to read more


Home innovations that protect against moisture
(BPT) - There is an insidious enemy that every homeowner dreads: moisture and the damage and degradation it can cause if left unchecked. Luckily, home improvement manufacturers have discovered new ways to prevent moisture from penetrating the home in the first place. With new home product innovatio... Click to read more


DIY pressure washing: How to get great results
(BPT) - Clean siding and trim can do as much for a home's curb appeal as fresh flowers, neatly trimmed hedges and a repainted front door. You could scrub for hours trying to remove dirt, mold and mildew, or you could do the job more quickly and easily with a pressure washer.However, if you decide t... Click to read more


7 'little' upgrades that can mean a lot to homebuyers
(BPT) - Anyone who's ever bought or sold a home knows how even little things can sway a buyer to feel a particular house is "just right." While major features such as a good location, a big kitchen, and a certain number of bedrooms and bathrooms all drive a home's price and how attractive it is to ... Click to read more


Your spring cleaning checklist [Infographic]
(BPT) - Save Save... Click to read more


A smarter way to buy a home
(BPT) - Are you considering buying a home? With mortgage rates on the slow and steady incline, there may be no better time for a home purchase than now. Mortgage interest rates will likely continue to go up for the foreseeable future, according to recent data from the housing finance company Freddi... Click to read more


Easy steps to get your lawn ready for spring
(BPT) - After a long, cold winter, you're certainly ready for summer. But is your lawn? The snow and bitter temps may have wreaked havoc on your yard, but now that warmer weather has arrived, it's time to tackle those small projects that can add up to a beautiful lawn.Here are five tips you can use... Click to read more


5 aging-in-place bathroom upgrades to make while you're young(er)
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Want to catch homebuyers' eyes? Follow 5 easy steps to a lush lawn
(BPT) - When it comes to selling a home there are many different strategies and most of them focus on the home's interior. However, what many sellers fail to realize is that it's the exterior of the home that often makes or breaks a sale.Curb appeal is necessary for that vital first impression. Muc... Click to read more


7 fast, effective garage door safety tips
(BPT) - You probably put little thought into your garage door. You touch a button. The door opens, closes and you go about your day.While the garage door - the largest, heaviest moving object in your home - serves as the primary entry point of the home to many of us, it can also be dangerous if not... Click to read more


Breathe easier: 7 ways to improve your home's indoor air quality
(BPT) - More than 6 million American children - nearly 9 percent of all kids in the U.S. - have asthma, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Each year, asthma attacks send more than a million people to emergency rooms, including approximately 24,000 children younger than 15,... Click to read more


Burglaries peak in summer: Is your home secure?
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How to use color psychology to influence the mood of your home
(BPT) - Looking to make a few changes around the house? A fresh coat of paint can make a big difference on the look of your home and how you feel living in it. But unless you're a color expert, it's hard to know what colors are best among the endless array of options. A great place to start is by u... Click to read more


Easy breezy: 5 ways to make summer lawn care projects easier
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3 easy ways to combat water damage in your walls and ceilings
(BPT) - Ask any homeowner what they dread the most when it comes to home ownership, and it's likely to involve some type of undetected water damage that could result in mold and mildew in their walls and ceilings - and the problems that follow.Most water damage in homes is associated with pipes and... Click to read more


Small-space gardens: Easy tips for homegrown flavors
(BPT) - The new growing season is upon us. You don't have to be an experienced gardener to enjoy the many benefits of the season, nor do you need large swaths of land and sprawling acreage to grow your favorite greens. In fact, beautiful outdoor spaces - rich with colorful blooms and hearty edibles... Click to read more


How to blend contrasting materials for high-impact design
(BPT) - The melding of contrasting materials throughout the home is a sophisticated way to add visual interest and depth to your design. Bold finishes coupled with muted color tones create an eye-catching statement, while natural wood combined with cool metal boasts a stunning blend of nature and m... Click to read more


Easy DIY projects to prepare your home for sale
(BPT) - If you're looking to sell your home quickly and for more money, it's essential to make popular areas of the house look appealing to potential buyers. Fortunately, with a little DIY effort, you don't have to invest in expensive home repairs or real estate-staging services.Consider these easy... Click to read more


4 things you can do to protect your drinking water
(BPT) - Water is something many of us tend to devote little time thinking about, not because it is unimportant but because we take our clean, safe drinking water for granted. That is, until something occurs that shifts our focus and shows us how potentially fragile our water infrastructure really i... Click to read more


10 smart power-outage hacks for homeowners
(BPT) - It's storm season across the United States, and with the wind and rain also comes power outages. No matter where you live, power outages are likely to happen at some point. That's why now is the perfect time to be proactive.Even if they last for just an hour or two, power outages are a majo... Click to read more


5 tips to keep your home secure from hackers
(BPT) - Times have changed. It's no longer enough to protect your physical home, it's also vital you stay safe from cybercrimes. It has become increasingly easier for criminals to gain access to financial accounts, email and even hack internet-connected devices in the home.The good news is that the... Click to read more


4 reasons why black shingles are resurging in popularity
(BPT) - Grays, browns, taupes - after decades of neutral-colored shingles dominating entire neighborhoods, homeowners are turning to the dark side. Home improvement experts agree black roofs are making a comeback, offering a sleek alternative that boosts curb appeal and enhances design elements.Dec... Click to read more


Cool deck time fun in the summer sun: 3 tips to beat the heat
(BPT) - During the winter months, many people eagerly anticipate the sunny days of summer. But, when summer rolls around, these same people are often busy looking for ways to cool off.Getting outside on the deck or porch is an ideal way to relax and escape stifling indoor heat for many Americans. T... Click to read more


Fashion influences gardening trends for easy, eye-catching flowers
(BPT) - You're getting ready for the day and decide to wear a chic blouse paired with your skinny jeans from your favorite designer. You'll be feeling and looking good with minimal effort thanks to ready-to-wear fashion.In fashion circles, ready-to-wear clothing is what designers produce for shoppe... Click to read more


Selecting the right grout for beautiful tile floors
(BPT) - The visual appeal and functional design of a kitchen or bathroom starts with the floors, which make tile the perfect material for those surfaces. Tile is a logical option for kitchen and bathroom floors when you consider the wide array of sizes, styles, colors and textures available to matc... Click to read more


Conquering closet chaos to killing bacteria: Spring cleaning tips with big impact
(BPT) - The sunshine and blooms are sure signs spring is here to stay, and while Mother Nature may be tempting you to come outside and play, thousands of people are participating in an annual ritual inside the home: spring cleaning.It's time to open the windows, refresh your closets and eliminate t... Click to read more


3 super-simple ways to create a barefoot friendly backyard deck
(BPT) - When the sun is out and the sky is blue, your deck should be one of the most popular areas in your yard. But, if deck boards leave you with splinters or burned feet on hot summer days, there may be little incentive to spend time in your open-air getaway. The good news is this problem is eas... Click to read more


Tips for smoke alarm maintenance [Infographic]
(BPT) - Having working smoke alarms in your home cuts the risk of dying in reported home fires in half. Follow these steps to help ensure your smoke alarms will sound in the event of a home fire.SaveSaveSave... Click to read more


Add living space to your home with an easy patio makeover
(BPT) - Everyone looks forward to a shift into summer mode, with its sun-soaked days, flower-scented breezes and velvety nights under the stars.Now's the time to take advantage of a golden opportunity right outside your door. Celebrate summer and all it offers by recreating your outdoor space. Whet... Click to read more


Changing weather patterns leave homeowners underinsured
(BPT) - The U.S. has experienced significant shifts in the frequency, severity and locations of natural disasters - including floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires - during the past decade.As a result, more than 800 emergency or disaster declarations were made in the U.S. from 2005-2015, acco... Click to read more


How to use your home's equity to your advantage
(BPT) - Your most valuable asset is around you all the time. It's above you, it's below you and in many cases you don't realize how much it can do for you.According to the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C., 'Americans have a staggering amount of untapped equity in their homes.' How much? Altogeth... Click to read more


5 renovation resolutions for your home this year
(BPT) - Spring spruce-ups often focus on the outdoors, but when summer temperatures arrive, it's time to move your home improvement efforts indoors. Keep cool and reinvent your home's interior with stylish décor that adds the 'wow factor' summer deserves.These five refreshing projects will help cre... Click to read more


Uniquely you hues: Decorating with your personality in mind
(BPT) - Whether you realize it or not, the colors you select for your home and your personal belongings tell a lot about your personality. In fact, according to a recent survey by PPG, 58 percent of 2,500 consumers surveyed agree that colors selected for their home, car and consumer products - such... Click to read more


Big-impact ideas for small patio spaces
(BPT) - Do you have a small patio? Do you think you can't do much with the space due to its size? There's probably a lot more potential than you think.From the influx of urban dwellers, empty-nesters in transition and even the tiny-home movement, the trend of downsizing continues across the United ... Click to read more


Spring into home fire safety
(BPT) - As spring fever begins to take hold, it is important to seize the opportunity to do more than cleaning around your home. The change of the season marks the perfect time to evaluate your home's fire safety quotient and make necessary updates to ensure you are prepared!Follow these three fire... Click to read more


5 green home improvements that can help sell your home for more
(BPT) - Demand remains high for energy-efficient, eco-friendly home features, according to a survey by the National Association of Home Builders. In fact, the majority of builders now put energy-efficient windows, heating and cooling systems, thermostats and appliances in their construction, the su... Click to read more


Maximize your kitchen space with these functional, stylish ideas
(BPT) - Years ago, the kitchen served a very utilitarian function - a place to prepare food and clean the dishes. Today, it's truly the nerve center of the house where people eat meals, discuss the day's events, plan calendars, do homework, check e-mail and entertain guests.With that increased dema... Click to read more


Engage kids' love of nature through bird feeding, ditch their devices and get them outdoors
(BPT) - Is it difficult to pry your kids away from their electronic devices to get them outdoors? From tots to teens, today's kids love their electronics. After all, where could you find anything to compete with the bright sights and sounds of their favorite video game? The answer may be no farther... Click to read more


Don't suffer the pain of high energy bills in your next home
(BPT) - Do you cringe each month when your utility bill arrives in the mail? If high energy costs are getting you down, don't blame your electronic devices. Heating and cooling are the largest energy expense for most homes, reports the U.S. Department of Energy.If you dream of building a new, custo... Click to read more


3 ways to personalize your home's curb appeal with an eye-catching front door
(BPT) - At its core, the desire to create a home with curb appeal is a desire to make a home uniquely one's own. After all, no matter how beautiful they are, rows of homes that look the same inherently fail to capture attention. Using personal touches, people want friends and family to know which h... Click to read more


Confused by TV technology? This buyer's guide simplifies the terms
(BPT) - The technology in our TV sets has changed a lot in the past decade. When it comes time to buy one, it's easy to lose track of which features matter for a good TV-watching experience.You might find a TV at a tempting price, but you don't want to end up wasting money on a picture that blurs a... Click to read more


Plumbing the possibilities: Kitchens, showers and baths highlight outdoor living spaces
(BPT) - The trend toward outdoor living spaces that mimic the look, comfort, convenience and functionality of indoor spaces doesn't have to stop at the backyard grilling station. A growing number of homeowners are exploring new additions to their outdoor spaces, including outdoor showers and powder... Click to read more


5 spring cleaning projects to take on immediately
(BPT) - Spring cleaning is a seasonal tradition. You've been setting house projects aside all winter, and now's the perfect time to make sure the warm weather season starts with a cleaner, happier home. So open the windows, turn on your favorite song, and start your spring cleaning with these five ... Click to read more


How a smart thermostat can help you save money and energy
(BPT) - The key to reducing your home's energy bills could literally be at your fingertips, hanging on the wall of your home. Multiple studies have shown the connection between lower energy bills and thermostat settings. In fact, reducing thermostat settings just seven to 10 degrees for eight hours... Click to read more


3 ways to quickly and economically save big bucks on home cooling costs
(BPT) - What would you rather do: Pay your utility bill or take a much-deserved vacation? With an endless stream of bills each month, you might wonder where you can find the money to jet off to the beach or mountain resort of your dreams. There is a solution.The average U.S. household spends more t... Click to read more


3 ways to improve comfort and efficiency in your home
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How to get the best-looking lawn for your time and money
(BPT) - If grubs overtake your lawn this spring, will you know how to get rid of them? Do you have the time and skill to effectively patch those ugly bare spots that developed over the winter? A lush lawn and beautiful landscape are on virtually every homeowner's wish list, but a lack of time and k... Click to read more


Instilling garage logic in your kids
(BPT) - It's a long-standing tradition performed at the workbench of American garages - passing garage logic to the next generation. From hammering that first nail to changing a car's oil, the garage is a living laboratory where parents teach their kids life lessons, self-reliance and problem-solvi... Click to read more


Top 6 home decorating trends
(BPT) - If you're planning to tackle a home decorating project this year, here are the top trends you should consider:1. Marble wallpaper: A lot of the 2017 trends are about going back to classic styles, and it doesn't get much more classic than marble. Few materials evoke high-end living as simply... Click to read more


Get safer drinking water
(BPT) - Your home plumbing could be making you sick and costing you money. Hard water, which contains high levels of calcium and magnesium, may be directly contributing to the buildup of dangerous bacteria in your household pipes. This is a serious problem across the United States, especially when ... Click to read more


How PMI can make your dream of home sweet home a reality
(BPT) - In the 2017 housing market, those who choose to pursue the dream of owning a home face several important decisions, such as how much to put toward a down payment. Twenty percent down is typically recommended by most lenders.While 20 percent is not a requirement, paying less can have a big i... Click to read more


Know what's below: Call 811 before digging for landscaping and home improvement projects this spring
(BPT) - With the snow melted and the ground thawed, many eager homeowners and landscape professionals across the country will roll up their sleeves and reach for their shovels to start projects that require digging this spring.During the transition into 'digging season,' Common Ground Alliance (CGA... Click to read more


7 often missed baby-proofing tips
(BPT) - Most parents, or soon-to-be parents, are often aware of the obvious baby proofing checklist items: baby gates, electrical outlet covers, cabinet locks, sharp furniture corners, etc. However, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there are a surprising number of “h... Click to read more


5 simple projects to recreate your backyard
(BPT) - Your focus changes during the warm weather months. Your backyard becomes your new living room and the most memorable evenings are spent outdoors with friends and loved ones.This is provided, of course, that you have the perfect space for such gatherings. If you don't, not to worry, the righ... Click to read more


5 projects to create the perfect outdoor kitchen
(BPT) - The weather outside is beautiful, so naturally you want to spend as much time outdoors as possible - and that includes mealtime and even the time spent preparing your food. So, if your outdoor cooking station isn't quite master chef worthy, worry not. There are several easy, affordable proj... Click to read more




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