Curb Appeal

Found 27 blog entries about Curb Appeal.

Don’t open the windows. That spring breeze is no help at all.

Once there's even a glimmer of spring, you're ready to throw open your windows and let the breeze blow away the winter funk. Well, you might want to rethink that spring cleaning ritual this year.

If you're an allergy sufferer (and who isn't?), that's the last thing you want to do, says Dr. Neeta Ogden, a spokesperson for the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. "It will allow pollen to settle in your home."

If you really can't skip that spring breeze, avoid opening windows in the morning, when pollen counts are highest. They decrease late in the day and at night.

That's not the only common spring-cleaning mistake homeowners make. Here are eight more to avoid:

#1

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Like that annoying squeaky floor board. Easy as tossing a ball to fix!

Accomplishments -- even little ones -- go a long way toward a sunny outlook. Fortunately, there are plenty of easy, quick home repair chores you can do when you’re mired in the thick of winter.

For max efficiency, make a to-do list ahead of time and shop for all the tools and supplies in one trip. On your work days, put the basics in a caddy and carry it from room to room, checking off completed tasks as you speed through them.

#1 Sagging Towel Rack or Wobbly TP Holder

Unscrew the fixture and look for the culprit. It’s probably a wimpy, push-in type plastic drywall anchor. Pull that out (or just poke it through the wall) and replace it with something more substantial.

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Fall is a great season for yard work — the weather is nice, plants are cheap, and veggies are hardy.

Here are three projects that'll transform your yard without hitting your bank account too hard.

#1 DIY a Compost Bin

If you're serious about a good-looking yard, blooming azaleas, and lush bushes, you need fertilizer. You can buy it — or get some for free if you build your own compost bin with just a few pieces of salvaged wood and galvanized steel mesh, and corrugated sheet metal roof for the top.

A good size is 4-by-6 feet with two chambers. On one side, pile raked leaves so they can become mulch. On the other side, keep an old trash can with a tight lid for depositing food scraps. 

Money-saving tip: Always shop in your own scrap pile

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With THE HOLIDAYS coming at you fast and furious, you want to be sure your home is cozy, but with that fresh-as-spring feel — as opposed to that musty-damp-winter feel.

Here's how to make that happen (along with a few other timely tips):

#1 Wash Bed Pillows

You love your trusty, old, perfectly-snugged-to-your-head pillow. But guess what's also snug against your head? Fungus — 4 to 16 species to be precise. Gross!

With fall being the height of guest season, you'll want your pillows fresh, too. Pop them in the washing machine and dryer for an all-over clean feeling. (But check manufacturer advice, too. Some pillows shouldn't be washed, but replaced instead.)

#2 Clean the Mattress, Too

Sleeping soundly gets even better when you know you're

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Like cleaning your siding — just be sure to start from the bottom and go up.

Could it really be summer?!

Tackle these five summer maintenance tasks during June's longer days and better weather — and save yourself time and money this winter.

#1 Update Outdoor Lighting

In June, winter nights are probably the last thing on your mind. But early summer is the perfect time to plan for those "OMG it's only 4:30, and it's already dark " moments by adding or updating landscape lighting.

The most energy-efficient, easy-to-install option is solar lighting, but it won't perform as well on dark or snowy days. For light no matter the weather, install electric.

LED bulbs last up to five times longer and also use less energy than comparable bulbs.

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Fall’s cooler temps are perfect for deck and yard improvements.

Ah, September. The weather is changing, and we're getting back to our normal, post-summer routines.

It's also a great time to give the house a little extra love and maintenance.

Stain the Deck

Help your deck field what winter throws at it by re-staining it this month. September's cooler temps and lower humidity make it the ideal time for this project.

Check Fire Extinguishers

According to the Red Cross, fires increase in the fall and winter. Keep your home fire safe by getting your fire extinguishers checked by a certified professional. Fire extinguishers do break down and malfunction. In fact, after six years they need to be emptied and reloaded. If you haven't already, buy

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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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