Make it Your Own

You bought the house. Now you need to make it a home. There's much to be done before the last paintbrush is cleaned and curtains get hung just so. Inspirational ideas and advice are yours for the taking as you explore this section.



Landscaping On a Budget: Inexpensive Doesn’t Mean Unattractive

You may not want to break the bank on your landscaping project, but if you’re patient, your backyard can be as stunning as that of those who paid thousands more.

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The Victory Garden

In tough economic times, a Victory Garden where you grow your own food can save money, and provide some great meals!

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How to Garden Through Community Service

If you're a new homeowner, where can you go to learn basic gardening skills?

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Keep Cut Flowers Fresh-looking Longer

Whether you are cutting flowers from your own garden or buying them freshly cut from a flower shop, you want your cut flowers to last as long as possible.

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Ground Cover for Lazy Gardeners

With all of the options available how do you know what kind of ground cover is right for you?

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Three Lawn Chemicals Homeowners Should Know About

Find out about the most widely recommended chemicals to control pests and weeds before you go shopping.

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Hole-y Mole-y!: Three Ways To Get Rid of Moles In Your Yard

Tips to make your yard inaccessible or uninviting to moles

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Cutting Edgers

Give the borders around your yard a crisp edge with a tool meant for the job

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Use Companion Planting To Attract Good Bugs

Something small and wriggly is creeping in your garden, intent on eating every part of your flowers and vegetables. Here are some tips to avoid this.

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Garden Plants Can Also Repel Bugs That Bite

You can do less harm to yourself, the environment and your garden by repelling biting, stinging insects the old-fashioned way – with plants.

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The Prettiest Low-Care Flowers to Plant Right Now

Which flowers are prettiest is certainly a matter of taste, but some flowers come in so many colors and sizes that anyone can appreciate them. And if they’re low-maintenance, that’s all the better!

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Aerate Your Lawn

A simple process that gives the soil in your lawn some much needed breathing room

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For Spectacular Color, Try the Crapemyrtle

Among the hardiest of flowering shrubs and trees, the crapemyrtle is a staple of sunny gardens

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Five Ways to Prevent Weeds

With five easy steps, you’ll be able to kill invasive weeds and prevent them from taking over your garden.

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Building a Welcome Mat for Your Home

Your driveway should say, “come on in.” With proper installation, seasonal and setting considerations and the proper care, it’s a great way to enhance your home and its character.

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What is Xeriscaping?

Create a landscape that features native plants that don’t require extra watering and are capable of withstanding drought conditions.

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Tame Your Turf with Good Mowing Habits

One of the best ways for homeowners to make a good impression is to have a well-groomed lawn.

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Protect Your Topsoil From Washing Away

Replacing topsoil can be expensive and time consuming, so here are some suggestions for keeping precious topsoil where it belongs

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The Tide of Households to Come

If you own affordable property that can be purchased by entry-level buyers, you are in an ideal position to profit from the real estate tide to come.

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Careful Landscape Planning Yields Big Payoffs

Landscaping projects can be a big commitment of both time and money. But by carefully planning your landscape design, you can make it come in on time and on budget.

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Five Ways to a 'Greener Lawn' and Garden

Homeowners want beautiful landscaping that is also sensitive to the environment. This is achievable through the use of five key gardening and landscaping practices.

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Choosing the Right Landscaper Is Key to Your Project’s Success

Your goal is simple: to have a beautifully designed yard that matches your expectations and goals. In order to make that a reality, you must find an appropriate landscaper. Here are the key elements to consider.

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Learning Tips for the Novice Gardener

Doing your own gardening is a great alternative to hiring expensive landscapers

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Charcoal Grill Safety for Summer

Just follow a few safety checks to help you avoid accidents, and let the fun begin

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Quick, Easy Lawnmower Care

Get the best results from your mower and the best-looking lawn

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Wear Protective Clothing When Using Lawn Power Tools

If you’re planning to use power tools, you should consider what not to wear

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The Basics of Tree Trimming

There is nothing like a home that features beautiful trees in the yard.

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Make Your Own Garden Compost

At an average cost of $7 per 10 gallons, compost can be expensive to buy, but you can easily make your own for free

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Plant Now for Winter Garden Vegetables

With the right combination of timing, vegetables and care, you can cultivate your own winter garden that will produce in the colder months.

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Installing a Sprinkler System Can Lead to the Perfect Lawn

Installing a do-it-yourself sprinkler system can be easy and reward you with a well-irrigated lawn and garden. By carefully following some easy steps, you can assure that your sprinkler project will be a success and a nice added feature when selling your property.

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Swimming Pools – Added Value Or Limited Appeal?

Swimming pools are attractive to some, and a turnoff to others. Understanding the appeal and value a swimming pool brings to your home is integral before making this significant investment.

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Should You Buy a Home With A Swimming Pool?

With buyers across the country gearing up for spring sales, features like swimming pools can be attractive.

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How to Green Your Cleaning Routine

Learn how to green your house cleaning by using these environmentally friendly routines

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Easy and Affordable Green Home Makeovers

How to save the environment without solar panels

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Water Conservation Begins At Home

Homeowners getting serious about water conservation

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Your Green Guide to Choosing Carpet

Check out our guide to choosing a green, environmentally friendly carpet

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Consider the Earth When Choosing Furniture

Tips that will help ensure you keep the Earth in mind as you make your furniture selections

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Remodeling with Recycled Glass

Recycled glass countertops are easily incorporated into most design themes, including modern minimalism, mid-century retro, and traditional

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Choosing the Right Glass for Your Home

Windows are for more than just looking through. Putting energy-efficient glass in your windows can lower your heating and cooling bills significantly.

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Some Common Myths about Energy Saving

What really works? What really doesn’t? You may be surprised by some of these green myth busters.

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Energy-Conscious Home Appliances: What to Look for at Any Price

Appliances have two prices: the sticker price and what you pay to run them. Know your options before buying your next major home appliance.

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Going Green – and Keeping the Green in Your Wallet

Becoming more environmentally conscious need not cost you more money.

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Green Mortgages: Saving Money and the Environment

The average homeowner spends close to $1,300 a year on utility bills. By making energy-efficient home improvements, you can cut this cost in half

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When Mother Nature Can’t Help, Eco-Friendly Appliances Can

Eco-friendly heating and cooling appliances that can help line your wallet with green

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Eight Ways to Cool Your Home, Naturally

Save Money and the Environment with Cooling and Heating Tips

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Home Energy Ratings: What Are They and How Can They Help You?

A home energy rating is the standard measurement of a home’s energy efficiency, which can be very useful when it comes to selling or buying a home.

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“Green” Mortgages Help Homebuyers Finance Environmentally Conscious Choices

A more energy-efficient home promises lower utility bills and less environmental impact, making green mortgages a win-win-win proposition.

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Energy-Efficiency Certification: A Green Seal of Approval for Your Home

You may be eligible for certification under a range of national and regional energy-efficiency certification programs

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Super-Easy Tips for Slashing Energy Costs

Even in flush times, reducing energy consumption – and therefore energy costs – is the right thing to do for the environment.

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Energy-Efficient Appliances: Where to Find Real Savings

Learn which of your home’s appliances and electronic devices consume the most energy and what you can do to try to bring your electric costs down.

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Insulate Your Way to Lower Heating and Cooling Bills

Using effective insulation increase the energy efficiency of your home

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Homeowner Tips for Better Fuel Efficiency

Having a utility bill in the triple digits may be common for your household, but with a few simple changes in your daily habits you can save hundreds of dollars as well as reduce your imprint on the environment.

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Ten Tips On Making Your Home More Eco-Friendly

‘Greening’ our living space can do wonders for lessening our dependence on fossil fuel consumption. If practiced by millions, little things could add up to big savings in energy, pollution and dollars.

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Building Green from Basement to Rooftop

Creating an environmentally friendly home is not a simple exercise. It requires research, planning, design and execution. The secret to success is being able to make informed decisions.

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Getting Your Home Green Certified

Looking for a way to distinguish your home? Green certification is great for both resale and the environment.

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What's the Magic Color for Selling Your House?

Painting can give almost any home a fresh start. Give your home an explosive transformation simply by picking the right colors.

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Warm Colors, Cool Colors

Red is hot and blue is cold, right? If your knowledge of colors is limited to the clues provided by the knobs on your bathroom sink, you are not alone.

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The Big Picture: Creating a Unifying Color Palette

If creating a unifying color palette for the whole house seems like a daunting task, don’t despair- it’s really much easier than you might think, and the following tips and tricks can help lead the way.

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Knock-Out Neutrals

By selecting from a range of neutral shades, you can add sophistication and selling power all at once.

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Using Color Theory in Home Décor

Using color theory to develop your interior color scheme

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Has Your Home Got the Blues?

Break away from the warm tone trends, and try something new

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The Power Of Color

Your inspiration is here. Create a winning color palate for your home with advice from the experts in our color makeover video series.

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Painting for Resale in 2010

Whatever color you choose, think traditional and soothing.

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Paint a Mural In Your Child’s Room

In six easy steps, you and your child can transform their room into a delightful storybook world, animal kingdom, or whatever they want.

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Paint Your Own Fresco

A fresco is really a mural painting that you put on a wall or ceiling, just like Michelangelo.

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How to Pop Monotone Décor

White on white or neutral on neutral is the usual way to do a monotone décor, but how do you make it memorable?

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Color Identity – Red

As the most sensual of the primary colors, red represents the polar ends of emotion – from anger, to joy, to love

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Choose Colors for Ambiance

Color personality tests are fun to take. Who doesn’t enjoy being told that they’re true blue or mellow yellow?

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Sell Your Home With Strategically Placed Artwork

Photography, oils, watercolor, posters: your walls say so much about you–sometimes even too much.

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Does Your Entrance Say Welcome or Walk Away?

Putting extra effort into your home’s reception area will leave a lasting impression on potential buyers

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Don’t Just Walk on Your Floors

Carpet, hardwood, tile or bamboo? What’s the best flooring choice when getting ready to sell your house fast?

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Making Small Rooms Seem Big

Most of us have small rooms in our homes that we wish were bigger. By following a few simple house-selling tips, however, small rooms can resemble larger spaces.

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De-clutter! It Helps Sell Your Home Faster

Less is more when selling your house.

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Redecorate This Home and Sell It

Five redecorating tips that’ll help sell your home in a hurry

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Decorating Advice From First-Time Home Buyers

By combining yard sale finds, family artwork, and a few pieces dragged home from the dump, a young New Hampshire designer creates the perfect newlywed home.

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Investing in Fine Rugs

Get advice on investing in custom, contemporary and oriental rugs.

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Quick Bathroom Beautification Projects

When you’re trying to sell a home, beautiful bathrooms can go a long way toward winning over buyers.

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Choosing a Quality Carpet

How to choose a quality carpet for your home that will look great and handle the wear and tear

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Creating a Focal Point

Like a fine painting, every room has a focal point. It’s the element that draws your eye first, and invites you for a closer look.

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Backsplash Magic

Installing a custom ceramic tile backsplash in your kitchen is a wonderful way to add color and character to the room as a whole.

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Minimalist Chic Design for your Home

Less is more when it comes to inviting prospective buyers in for a look

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How-to’s: Art Collecting for the Beginner

Part of what makes a house a home is surrounding yourself and your family with objects you love.

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Garage Re-haul

Transform your garage into a useful work and storage space

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Make Small Living Spaces Inviting

Not every home owner can afford to live large, but with a little creativity you can make a small home more attractive

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Which Wallpaper to Choose?

Fashions change, and what was old is new again. Wallpaper is back.

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Southwest Style

A classic blend of native, Mexican Indian, wild west and pioneer influences

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The Low Down on Down Bedding

Is there any other textile for the bed or bath that feels more luxurious than down bedding?

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Decorating Ideas with Plates

China or pottery plates are not only fun to collect, they make beautiful displays that give individuality to your home.

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A Porch Makeover in 5 Easy Steps

Beautiful sunsets, soft breezes, greeting the neighbors while you rock in your porch swing…you can enjoy all these pleasures and more from your front porch.

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Buying a Barbeque Grill

If you don’t have a barbeque grill yet, you can definitely join the fun by choosing the right kind of grill for your outdoor space.

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The Importance of Mood Lighting

Several suggestions to choose lighting that will give you the ambiance you want, no matter what mood you’re in

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Install a Doggie Door

Once again, you’ve been held up by work. And your dog hasn’t been outside all day. By the time you get home, you and your dog are anxious, quivering wrecks. Is there a better way?

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Save Time Installing Wallpaper

Don’t let the size of a wallpaper job daunt you. Today’s wallpapers are easier to install than ever, especially if you have the right tools and organization.

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Best Ways to Mix Patterns In Your Décor

There are definitely tricks of the trade that are foolproof in any room, and you can learn them, too.

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Revitalize Your Home Office

In as little as a few hours, your cluttered home office space can become an efficient machine

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Create a Homework Haven for Your Child

Hard work and dedication are keys to success, but so is having the right space to do homework.

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The Importance of Thread Count in Bed Linens

You can go for a higher thread count, but there is more you need to know about quality sheets

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Best New Bedding Ideas

Like housing square footage, beds have upsized from the twin beds of the TV chaste 1950s, to extra deep California Kings, loaded with pillows, throws, and mix and match patterns and colors.

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Keeping Kitchen Counters Clutter-free

Show off your white marble countertops, commercial range and custom backsplash

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When Buying A New Bed, Size Matters

If you’ve never bought a bed before or haven’t purchased a new bed in the last 10 years, you’ll have an easier time shopping by remembering one simple thing – size matters

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Clothes Closet Economics

Out of room in your clothes closet? We’ll help you decide if you need a closet makeover, or just need to purge.

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Budget Mudroom Makeover

Turning Wasted Space into Organized Storage

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The Fairytale Tudor

Finding a way to modernize the fairytale classic tudor.

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Why We Love Ranch-style Homes

A few tidbits you didn't know that will help you appreciate ranch-style homes a lot more.

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All About the Prairie-style Home

A creation by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright, this home design is one of the few truly American designs in architecture

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The Craftsman Bungalow

Older neighborhoods often feature bungalows – small homes that are full of charm.

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Knock Rust and Dust Off Your Grill Before You Barbeque

How to clean your grill before having your first barbeque of the season

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Finding the Best Used Furniture

Finding great used furniture takes some digging – yard sales, consignment stores, antique malls, and more.

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Basement Renovations

Is adding the extra space worth it?

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Creating the Ultimate Home Theater

With modern technology, the home theater experience is now available to everyone.

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Roofing 101

Understanding the basics will help you determine when to patch and when to call the pros

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Front Door Face Lift

In real estate, first impressions can make all the difference, and nothing makes a first impression like the entrance to your home.

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Choosing Hardwoods for Floors

The rich patina of wood floors adds beauty and elegance to any home.

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Wainscoting 101

Consider wainscoting to dramatically transform a room in short order

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Add a Fireplace

With winter coming, the idea of snuggling around a cozy fire with a good book, your favorite robe, and a warm cup of hot cocoa sounds irresistible.

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Tile Floors Are Timeless

Tile is a popular choice which can be laid in a wide range of sizes, shapes, designs, colors and patterns.

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The Importance of Knots in Carpets

Knowing about knots is one of the best ways to get the most for your money.

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Great Kitchens Sell Homes

To sell your home fast, showcase your kitchen as a clean, modern, inviting and immaculate environment.

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30 Ways to Control Kitchen Clutter

Simple storage ideas offer effective organization in the kitchen.

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What’s new in countertops?

With 80 percent of homes in the U.S. built before 1980, chances are you are either buying or selling a home that needs a kitchen update.

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What is a Kitchen Specialist?

Gone are the days when kitchens were simple rooms with a stove, icebox and sink, its aromas and noises politely closed off from formal living areas.

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Seven Steps to a Like-New Kitchen

The kitchen can be the deciding factor that sways a potential buyer toward – or away from – a purchase

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Flooring for Wet Areas

Kitchens, baths, utility rooms, and mud rooms take more spills and splashes than the rest of the house.

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The Kitchen Work Triangle

What is the "work triangle" and why is it the most important space-planning tool in your kitchen?

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A Banquette in Your Kitchen

You’ll be seeing a lot more of this new trend, thanks to the downsizing of homes and the upsizing of the kitchen’s importance as a dining area, paperwork station, and entertaining area

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Retro Renovation Nation

As you wonder whether to tear out that pink bathroom or save it, it might help to learn more about why your 50s era bathroom is pink in the first place.

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NKBA Planning Guide For Your New Bathroom

With the NKBA’s guidelines, you can more easily choose what’s most important to you and your family

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Electric or Gas Cooktop?

A great way to spread out the cooking duties if you can afford the counter space

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Make Your Bathroom Safer

Accidents in the bathroom can occur to anyone, but many are preventable if you’re careful about cleaners, hard surfaces, and water hazards.

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Jetted or Soaking Tubs?

As bathrooms evolve as spa-like retreats, jetted tubs and soaking tubs have become standard issue.

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Which is Best, Freezer on the Side, Top or Bottom?

In choosing a new refrigerator, consider where the freezer is located and whether it provides the roominess and easy access you need.

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The Classic Claw Foot Tub

Bathroom trends come and go, but one trend is here to stay – the elegant, classic clawfoot tub, with a hand-held shower.

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Choose the Right Look for Your Cabinets

You can really enhance the ambiance of your kitchen or bath and make other subsequent design choices easier by choosing the right style cabinet doors for your home

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Installing a New Toilet

If you’re tired of jiggling the handle and you wait eons for the tank to refill, or you want to reduce your water bill, it’s time to buy a new toilet.

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Get Rid of Cooking Smells

If cooking smells linger long after the meal is served, it’s time to take action.

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Remodeling ROI: Low Price, High Return Renovations

Focusing on key areas in the house can mean big returns when it comes time to sell

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How to Stay On Budget and On Time When Renovating Your Home

Done well, a home renovation can be a source of pride and joy. Done poorly, it can be a drag on your time, money and sanity.

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Don’t Forget the Fall Fix-it Areas

Fall is the perfect time to execute important maintenance duties around your home. Make sure these areas are in working condition to help avoid future problems.

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Home Toolkit Essentials

The Must Have Tools for Home Improvements

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Water Damage Do's And Don'ts

Water damage is the number one reason homeowners file claims against their insurance companies

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Wood-burning Fireplace Safety

If you’re ready to snuggle in front of the fire with your favorite book, or better yet, your favorite person, it’s a good time to think about fireplace safety and maintenance.

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Break Down Spring Cleaning Into Bits

By using the right method you can help make cleaning easier, simpler and more efficient

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How to Strip or Repair Wallpaper

Wallpaper removal is not the onerous task it once was, since papers have been easily strippable for some time, but it’s still a big job.

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Cleaning Your Jetted Tub

A jetted tub requires special care needs for cleaning with some surprises in store.

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Five Things You Should Know About Home Inspections

Tips for if you’re hiring someone to inspect the home you want to buy, or you’re a seller trying to find out if there are any hidden problems.

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How Do Buyers Shop For Homes?

In recent years, home buyers have relied less on newspapers and open houses, and turned more to online resources

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The Importance of Gutters

Having a gutter system installed around your home is essential for good maintenance.

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Should You Rewire Your Older Home?

Expensive as it is, if you live in an old house chances are it might be time to rewire.

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How to Spot Termite Damage

How can you tell if you have a few hundred unwelcome dinner guests?

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Should You Settle for Uneven Floors?

While you expect some character in an older home, you should be concerned when you see uneven or sloping floors

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Garbage Disposal Preventive Maintenance

Among the handiest of kitchen tools, a garbage disposal can last for years with good maintenance, but that doesn’t mean they’re indestructible.

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Lead-dust Safety

If you decide to remove or paint over lead paint, there are a few things you should do to insure your family’s and your safety

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DIY Disasters -- Taking Matters into Your Own Hands

How to avoid some common do-it-yourself disasters

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Choosing a Contractor

Hiring a true professional means the work will be done right, on time and add long-term value to your home.

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Health Risks and Home Renovations

I’ve got asbestos where? Some things to consider before tearing down those old walls

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What to Look for in a Home Security System

Your home is your castle. With the right kind of security system, it can also be a fortress—offering protection against burglars and vandals.

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Smart Homes – What’s Out There?

Wiring your home is an increasingly attractive feature for saving money and selling your house

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Additions: Sunroom or a Second Floor?

When building an addition to your home, make sure it makes sense

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Women and Home Renovation

From cabinet installation to plumbing: more and more women are tackling huge home renovation projects themselves.

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DIY or a Job for the Experts?

Some make-over projects present the perfect opportunity to roll up your sleeves and tackle the job yourself, especially if you’re looking to save some money, while other jobs are better left to the experts.

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How-to: Winterize Your Home

It’s time to think about what you can do to protect your home from higher maintenance costs.

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How-to: Four Ways To Make Your Overnight Guests Comfortable

Whether your guests are couch-surfing for the night, staying the weekend, or spending the summer makes a great deal of difference in your preparations and plans.

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How-to: Three Ways to Maximize Curb Appeal

Impress your buyers at the curb, before they even set foot in your home

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Hiring a Remodeling Contractor

Tips to help you decide if hiring a contractor is the best idea for your remodeling project

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Updating an Historic Home

Bring your old historic home back to its glory days

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Stuck on Stucco? Here’s What You Need to Know

If you’re looking for a home with Southwest or Tuscan character or want to give more personality than wood siding to your home, stucco is back and is stirring up the market.

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Outdoor Lighting for Beauty and Safety

Implementing the right kind of lighting fixtures and placing them strategically can make your home safer and more attractive

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Rethinking the Mother-In-Law Suite

A big commitment that will require a lot of work, but the emotional payoff is well worth the monetary investment

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Organizing your garage

Organizing may not be your idea of fun, but with a few steps, you can reclaim the garage, create more space, and do better work than ever

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When I’m 64! What Boomers Want In Housing

For home buyers 55 years and older, housing preferences don’t differ substantially from the preferences of younger buyers, until it comes to specific safety features in a home

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Remodeling on the Rise

The current recession is causing homeowners to think about how to make the homes they have work better for their needs

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Choosing the Right Pool Design

Will you be swimming laps, playing volleyball, diving, or just relaxing? Your answers will influence the size, shape and depth of the pool.

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Should You Rewire Your Older Home?

Expensive as it is, if you live in an old house chances are it might be time to rewire.

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Refinish Your Deck

After a few years of wear and tear you may find your deck’s finish looking lackluster, ready for resurfacing.

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Does Your Insurance Cover Water Damage or Floods?

Many times a distraught homeowner has had to deal with water damage or flooding only to find out that their home insurance policy does not cover the damage.

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How to Buy Used Wood Furniture

Furniture is your home’s declaration of style, and nothing has the elegant look and feel of wood.

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Remodeling Spending to Accelerate by 2011

It’s a good time to remodel your home. Workers are available, and prices are attractive, but they won’t stay long at bargain rates.

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Emergency Plans for Your Family

Do you know what to do when a disaster strikes? Do your children? You can protect your family by creating and following an emergency plan.

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How American Homes Are Changing

HUD's annual snapshot of American housing reveals a lot about housing culture

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All About Asphalt Shingles

Have you been thinking about new shingles for your roof?

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McMansion are McOver

The gigantic houses funded by the no-doc loans of the late 90s and early 2000s gave new meaning to the term “embarrassment of riches.”

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