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home : oak ridge living : home improvement May 30, 2017

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]
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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


Burglaries peak in summer: Is your home secure?
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Help children avoid asthma attacks by improving home 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


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


How 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


Easy breezy: 5 ways to make summer lawn care projects easier
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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, CBS News recommends listing when the market begins to heat up in May. To accomplish these goals, it's essential to make popular areas of the house look appealing to potential buyers. Fortunately, with a little DIY effort, you d... 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


Black is the new black: Black makes a comeback as a major home improvement trend
(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


Here's how to tap into your home's not-so-hidden potential
(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


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


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


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


Hardworking kitchens can still have style
(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


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


3 ways to quickly and economically save big bucks on home heating and 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. Read on for the solution. The average U.S. household spends ... 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 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


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


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


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


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


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


5 easy ways to recycle more
(BPT) - Most of us are used to recycling at home, but specifically in the bathroom? Not so much. However, your bathroom is home to a number of recyclable products, from shampoo and mouthwash bottles to bandage and tissue boxes. With families as busy as they are, it's no wonder bathroom recycling is... Click to read more


5 tips to create an affordable and rewarding home DIY project
(BPT) - When it comes to home improvement, DIY is more popular than ever. There's just something satisfying about improving your home with your own two hands and being able to enjoy the fruits of your labor, day after day. However, home improvement projects can be expensive, and many people shy awa... Click to read more


4 design upgrades for a spring refresh
(BPT) - With warm weather knocking at the door, it's time to rejuvenate your space and rid the home of winter clutter. While it may be the perfect time of year for a refresh, it can be challenging to find exciting new ways to decorate. With top design trends in mind, here are four simple solutions ... Click to read more


Your HVAC can conserve energy and cost less money
(BPT) - The majority of Americans (74 percent) care about the environment, according to Pew Research. If you recycle regularly and have a programmable thermostat, you're already doing something positive for the environment. But when it comes time to replace your heating, ventilation and cooling sys... Click to read more


3 upgrades to help boost your home's energy efficiency
(BPT) - With milder temperatures and longer days, it seems as though the last vestiges of winter are behind us. Yet, if you experienced high heating bills, or drafts and cold spots throughout your home, it could mean your home is not as energy efficient as it could be. Home improvement experts sugg... Click to read more


Spring home improvements you can do in 24 hours or less
(BPT) - For most of us, the idea of spring cleaning probably sounds refreshing after a winter of bundling up against the cold. Now that spring has arrived, it's finally time to get started! Sprucing up your home doesn't have to take lots of time, and is a great way to leave you feeling reinvigorate... Click to read more


7 home improvements to tackle before you move in
(BPT) - You found the perfect home, so it's not surprising that you want to move in as quickly as possible. However, there are some projects that are best done when the house is still empty.So, consider completing the following seven items before the moving trucks arrive.* Painting. A fresh coat of... Click to read more


3 tips to make your bathroom remodel a breeze
(BPT) - If you're thinking about remodeling your bathroom, you're not alone. Bathrooms are the most common remodeling project people will undertake in 2017, according to the National Association of Home Builders. So what's the best way to begin? Here are three expert tips to help you get started: 1... Click to read more


3 backyard projects you can tackle in a weekend
(BPT) - Now that warmer weather has finally arrived, you want to be outside to enjoy it. Your backyard could be the perfect place to bask in the sun, entertain friends or indulge in your hobbies. It just needs a little sprucing up, and the right projects can help.Best of all, many of these projects... Click to read more


5 fast shortcuts to make your home sparkle this spring
(BPT) - We all know that one person who just adores cleaning. But for the rest of us, it's a necessary evil that gets old very quickly!Before you tackle that long list of spring cleaning tasks, try some of these cleaning hacks designed to make these chores faster and easier. When cleaning is fun an... Click to read more


4 hot, high-tech bathroom upgrades
(BPT) - Americans love luxury and technology, so it's no surprise that the two are meeting and thriving in one of our favorite places - the bathroom. Just as technology is transforming every other area of the house, inside and out, it's recreating our concept of what constitutes a luxurious bathroo... Click to read more


Beauty and utility: Designing a functional, stylish home
(BPT) - Spring is a time of renewal and home improvement. More and more, homeowners are looking for maximum practicality and durability from everything in their home. They won't, however, sacrifice style and aesthetic to achieve it. Fortunately, home products continue to advance, be it waterproof t... Click to read more


Retaining walls create attractive outdoor seating options
(BPT) - Humpty Dumpty had the right idea when he sat on a wall.Segmental retaining wall (SRW) units are a popular solution for beautiful and durable outdoor seating - from freestanding walls that double as seating and two-tiered couches to large applications such as cost-effective amphitheater and ... Click to read more


Home sellers: 6 last-minute cleaning tasks to do before every showing
(BPT) - Real estate experts agree: dirt and clutter are the anti-staging elements that can send buyers running for the door before they ever think of making an offer. Prior to staging your home, invest some time in deep cleaning it, paying attention to everything from the front walk to the garbage ... Click to read more


Thinking outside the coop: 8 common myths about raising backyard poultry
(BPT) - From fresh egg production to natural garden fertilizer, there is no shortage of benefits in raising backyard poultry. But even as families become more familiar with sustainable living and keeping chickens, several poultry myths still exist.Here to set the record straight for our feathered f... Click to read more


Thoughtful home design: 4 tips to transform any small space
(BPT) - During the 1950s, the average-sized American home was just around 1,700 square feet. Fast forward to today, and the average size has increased to about 2,600 square feet, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. While many Americans think the bigger the better, there is a growing trend of homeo... Click to read more


6 surprising spots in the home you can transform with a wholesale club membership
(BPT) - You may already know a wholesale club is a great place to buy groceries, but your membership in a club like BJ’s Wholesale can also help you save money in virtually every room of the house, not just the kitchen and pantry.Here are six rooms in the house that a wholesale club membership can ... Click to read more


Make a striking focal point the foundation of your spa-like bathroom
(BPT) - American homeowners' desire for spa-like bathrooms shows no signs of waning, says the latest Design Trends report by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). From freestanding bath tubs and floating vanities to LED lighting and soothing color schemes, some of the most-requested bat... Click to read more


Flood insurance: Does your excuse hold water?
(BPT) - We know the old saying: when it rains, it pours… and when it pours, it floods. With winter snow storms coming to an end, the threat of flooding increases as the snow begins to melt and the rivers and creeks begin to swell. It's easy to forget about how powerfully destructive wate... Click to read more


7 steps to secure your home while you're on vacation
(BPT) - Warmer temperatures, budding trees and blooming flowers are all lovely parts of spring, but what you really look forward to is the start of vacation planning season! Deciding where to go and what to see, making arrangements and planning your wardrobe are all exciting aspects of summer vacat... Click to read more


Exterior home improvements yield higher ROI for less money, report shows
(BPT) - Renovation season is approaching. Do you know what home improvements will give you the best return for your money? Here's a hint: step outside.You might assume upgrades to interior spaces like kitchens and bathrooms have the best payoff, but most home improvements don't return 100 percent o... Click to read more


Tackle your DIY projects with these 3 multipurpose tools
(BPT) - DIY projects are surging in popularity right now and it's easy to see why. A successful DIY project can fix a problem or make a much-needed improvement to your home, while also providing you with the satisfaction of a job well done. Best of all, it allows you to save money over hiring a pro... Click to read more


Light solutions: What to do when your house feels like a cave
(BPT) - A house with ample windows can win your heart with silent promises of sun-drenched rooms and warm breezes wafting through open windows. The truth, however, is that even a home with windows galore can have rooms that feel dark and cave like.Some of the most-loved aspects of modern design - o... Click to read more


Open the door to design [Infographic]
(BPT) - SaveSave... Click to read more


4 bathroom design trends that marry luxury, beauty and sensibility
(BPT) - When you’re ready to create the bathroom of your dreams, it’s no time to chase fads. You want design trends with enduring appeal, concepts that blend luxury, beauty, sensibility and eco-friendliness. Striking the perfect balance between indulgence and practicality can result in a bathroom w... Click to read more


Rearrange your backyard with a concrete fire table
(BPT) - Fire pits and fireplaces continue to be among the top 10 most desirable residential landscape design features, according to the Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects annually. When you consider that few things compare to g... Click to read more


5 tips for safe space heater use
(BPT) - During the coldest days of the year, space heaters are one of the easiest, most efficient ways to get warm fast. However, when not used correctly, they may also be one of the most dangerous.Space heaters accounted for 40 percent of all home heating fires and a staggering 84 percent of home ... Click to read more


What you should know about rising interest rates
(BPT) - Homeowners planning to refinance and buyers searching for a home may have an idea of what's in store for them with regards to interest rates, but they never really know until they lock in a rate. Rates can change direction fast, and when they rise-as they have recently-it can cost borrowers... Click to read more




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