Curb Appeal

Found 21 blog entries about Curb Appeal.

Is your patio oh so shabby? These super-easy projects will make hanging outside fun again.

Oh, your poor, sad patio. Not a comfy seat to be had, and that cracked concrete . . . well, it probably looked really great when disco was king. 

Whether you love to entertain friends or bask in the sun with a cocktail and a novel, here are five easy ways to inject new life into your little corner of nature.

#1 Stop the Pests that Make Your Patio Look Untidy

It's hard to enjoy your patio if it's covered in debris scattered by the wind or by critters with a penchant for digging and trampling. Stop critters with the humble pine cone -- instead of regular mulch.

Those spiny cones will deter pests and mischievous pets.

And chances are your

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No DIY skills necessary for these outdoor projects. Did we mention they’re really, really easy?

You don't need to be the host of an extreme home makeover show to build an amazing backyard. In fact, the transformative projects below are easy enough for even the klutziest home improvement newbie to complete.

Just don't be shocked when the Johnsons appear at your door with hot dog buns in hand, begging to throw a cookout at your place.

#1 No-Blow Outdoor Curtains

When Cara Daniel of "The Project Addict" blog spied a neighbor's unruly outdoor curtains, she hacked some for her porch that could withstand a gusty Tornado Alley afternoon without upending a glass of lemonade or ensnaring an unsuspecting guest.

She found the sweet spot by

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Your yard has a lot of impact on your home’s value. These tips will help you not mess it up — and save some cash.

Your yard will either add to it— or subtract from it. Follow these lawn care tips to score on the plus side of the balance sheet.

#1 Check the Sprinklers

You don't want to find out during a summer drought that your old-fashioned oscillator or in-ground irrigation system can't so much as sputter. Do a dress rehearsal now to make sure the hoses, settings, timers, and other components are functioning properly.

#2 Plant Cold-Sensitive Annuals

Once your last average frost date has passed – and the soil temp is 60 to 70 degrees — you have the all-clear to get cold-sensitive seeds like marigolds, sunflowers, and zinnias in the

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Avoid these rookie mistakes to keep everything beautiful.

You’ve done it. You own a house with a yard. The great outdoors. Amber waves of grain. OK, maybe not grain, and ideally you want it green, not amber.

But now that you have it, how do you keep from screwing it up? By avoiding a few common gaffes that landscaping experts say new homeowners make waaay too often.

“They end up buying the wrong fertilizer, they have no clue what weed killer is, they kill their entire lawn, they kill their bushes — and then they call me,” says Dean Granat, who runs D&D Landscape & Sprinkler Services Inc. in Buffalo Grove, Ill. 

Here’s what the pros say newbie homeowners often do wrong with their lawns and yards:

#1 Not Following Product

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Avoid these rookie mistakes to keep everything beautiful.

You’ve done it. You own a house with a yard. The great outdoors. Amber waves of grain. OK, maybe not grain, and ideally you want it green, not amber.

But now that you have it, how do you keep from screwing it up? By avoiding a few common gaffes that landscaping experts say new homeowners make waaay too often.

“They end up buying the wrong fertilizer, they have no clue what weed killer is, they kill their entire lawn, they kill their bushes — and then they call me,” says Dean Granat, who runs D&D Landscape & Sprinkler Services Inc. in Buffalo Grove, Ill. 

Here’s what the pros say newbie homeowners often do wrong with their lawns and yards:

#1 Not Following Product Instructions

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Get the dirt out of your home before you hunker down for winter’s worst.

You know, when you think about it, we should be obsessing over fall cleaning instead of spring cleaning. After all, you’re about to shut yourself inside for months with all the dust and dirt your home has collected during the hot, dusty, open-window days of summer. And who wants to inhale that?!

The EPA even estimates that indoor air quality can be five times more polluted than outdoor air. So here’s a checklist to help you breathe easy all winter long in your home.

#1 Wash and Disinfect Garbage Cans and Wastebaskets

You’re going to be shut in all winter with these germ havens, so now’s a good time to clean them thoroughly. Take them outside where you can blast the

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If you live in the Southwest, complete these maintenance jobs every fall and winter to prevent costly repairs.

Certain home maintenance tasks should be completed each season to prevent structural damage, save energy, and keep all your home’s systems running properly. These maintenance tasks are most important for the Southwest in fall and winter. For a comprehensive list of tasks by season, refer to the to-do lists to the right of this article.

Fall and winter in the Southwest can mean the return of rain and snow after months of relentless, intense sun. “Out here, ultraviolet light really damages roof and wall surfaces,” says Bill Richardson, owner of Responsive Inspections in Albuquerque, N.M. This makes it doubly important to get your house ready

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Want a picture-perfect lawn? Maybe fake grass is the answer. It solves watering, weeding, and fertilizing woes. But is it perfect?

If you live in a low-water area, or if you’re just tired of constant lawn maintenance, you’re in good company.

More homeowners are saving time, water — and their backs — by switching from real grass to artificial turf.

Synthetic grass for landscaping and recreation is growing 10% to 15% a year in the U.S.

That means more and more homeowners are using fakes for:

  • Lawns
  • Dog runs
  • Play areas
  • Pool surrounds
  • Rooftops
  • Putting greens
  • Decorative borders between patio pavers

Faking It is Right for You If:

  • You’re tired of watering, weeding, fertilizing, and cutting real grass.
  • Your summer
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Gorgeous, cheap, and practically care-free — what’s not to love?!

Every plant needs water. But drought-resistant varieties need only dainty sips once they’re established, making them perfect for low-rainfall areas and low-energy gardeners.

Susan Gottlieb, an expert on drought-tolerant gardens, says native plants have the best chance of surviving dry summers or whatever nature throws at them.

“Natives have evolved to thrive in your climate without a whole lot of extra work,” Gottlieb says.

Include these five stunners in your landscaping and retire your watering can.

#1 California Lilac

This beautiful shrub flowers in late winter/early spring, emits a lovely fragrance, and shows flowers that run from white to purple. The “Concha” variety

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