Articles filed under Home Improvement

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  • Ask a designer: Improving the kitchen in small (or big) ways Jan 15, 2015 6:01 AM
    Another holiday season has passed, and with it the marathon cooking and baking sessions. The hours spent using every kitchen appliance and inch of counter space had a potential benefit more lasting than a good meal: When we really use our kitchens, we discover what does and doesn’t work in this very important room.

  • Buying a home? Do a landscape inspection Jan 2, 2015 6:00 AM
    Prudent house hunters usually await the results of a professional inspection before buying their dream home. All too often, though, one of the biggest contributors to a home’s value is neglected: the landscape.

  • Leases, loans make it possible for you to go solar Oct 12, 2014 7:11 AM
    A new financing offering could make home solar cheaper and more attractive to homeowners, and keep the adoption of home solar growing. The offer, announced by SolarCity this week, is a loan that allows homeowners to install their own solar system on their roof for little or no money down, and pay less for electricity. Previous plans, while popular, turned off some because the solar company owned the system.

  • An electric fireplace may be a cheaper, greener alternative Oct 6, 2014 10:53 AM
    When a typical homeowner pictures a fireplace, they will usually imagine a wood-burning or natural gas-burning fireplace. However, there is a third option: an electronic fireplace.

  • Tiny powder room can make a big impression Sep 14, 2014 6:45 AM
    Very often, the powder room bath is the tiniest room in your house. Yet this traditionally minimal space can become one of your most alluring attributes, no matter how small.

  • Exterior decorating: Updating with paints, trims Sep 12, 2014 5:45 AM
    Color and decorative pieces can improve the look of a home outside as well as in. Add trim boards, columns or porch accessories and you can dress up the facade of a house, improving its value and curb appeal. Just be sure to consider the home’s style, age and location. “The style of the house drives the type of materials you might add,” said architect Carolyn Dias of Lampert Dias Architects in San Clemente, California. “A cottage can’t be transformed to a Spanish Colonial.”

  • Top 10 home features buyers want now Aug 30, 2014 5:45 AM
    You’ve heard the real estate adage “location, location, location” as the golden rule of a home’s desirability. But today, homebuyers are thinking “features, features, features” — ones that add “convenience, livability and energy efficiency” to a home, according to a recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders.

  • Even a small patio can have a fish pond Aug 29, 2014 5:30 AM
    When Ann and Glen Gage downsized from their expansive home and garden in Switzerland to a San Francisco town house, one of the things they missed most was the koi pond they’d built and tended for years. It was brimming with elegant plants, fish and its own ecosystem. So they built not one but two new ponds, this time city-style: one for their balcony overlooking San Francisco and the other for their leafy entryway.

  • Heated driveways: Goodbye to the snow shovel? Aug 22, 2014 12:06 PM
    While the rest of the neighborhood was digging out, Alex Geier had little problem leaving his Hinsdale, Illinois, house around 7:30 each morning last winter, no matter how much snow had piled up during the night. No, Geier didn't pay some kid to shovel at the crack of dawn, and he didn't hire a private plow service. He and his family were able to navigate even snowy mornings with relative ease thanks to a heated driveway, which melts snow as soon as it hits it.

  • Pros and cons of power washing Aug 16, 2014 5:45 AM
    It’s not just national monuments like Mount Rushmore than could benefit from a good power wash every now and then. Is there grime on your siding that good old-fashioned elbow grease won’t take away? Stains on your concrete driveway? Is the deck looking dirty?

  • Glowing recommendations for outdoor lighting Aug 9, 2014 12:01 AM
    If you find yourself in this kind of dark place, don’t despair: We talked to professionals for some simple ideas on outdoor lighting that will make a big, bright impact. First, a few basic rules.

  • Six things to consider before renovating a basement Aug 8, 2014 11:27 AM
    A basement renovation can increase a home’s value anywhere from 15 to 20 percent, depending on the renovations and the market, said John Gutman, vice president of sales and acquisitions at Mack Estates.

  • Cooking up a color-happy kitchen Aug 3, 2014 6:00 AM
    Kitchens in traditional and vintage homes often are dressed in conservative garb. Historically, however, kitchens were actually pretty peppy, according to Deborah Baldwin, editor of This Old House magazine.

  • Make your home more eco-friendly with a new floor Aug 1, 2014 6:00 AM
    Want to help save the planet and update your home’s flooring at the same time? The floors in your home have more of an effect on the environment — and your home’s value — than you may think.

  • Home Depot, Lowe’s bring the Internet of Things to DIYers Jul 26, 2014 7:29 AM
    Large chains such as Home Depot and Lowe’s are selling virtual tools — sensors, Wi-Fi enabled appliances and software — to help those customers monitor and control their homes from their smartphones. It’s an attempt to tap into the Internet of Things — technologists’ term for a network of connected sensors, devices and objects.

  • Tips for a high-impact, budget-friendly remodel Jun 29, 2014 6:00 AM
    The kitchen was eye-popping for all the wrong reasons, remodeler Dan Kradzinski recalls. Dark brown oak cabinets with medieval-style handles. Birch-colored counter. White appliances. The backsplash was rust-colored brick, the walls the color of an overripe nectarine.

  • Ways to make an older home work for today Jun 24, 2014 3:17 PM
    Remodels present more challenges per square foot than new construction. Is this based on statistics? No way. But I have experienced myriad oddities over the course of years working with builders, homeowners and craftsmen on all manner of projects.

  • Six tips for small-kitchen renovation Jun 15, 2014 12:01 AM
    Designer Iantha Carley loves a good challenge, and designing a small kitchen puts her problem-solving skills to the test.

  • How to get that put-together look on an IKEA budget Jun 6, 2014 4:21 PM
    Unlike other brands of kitchen cabinets, which come assembled, IKEA cabinets are like much of the store’s furniture: You have to assemble each and every piece. The daunting assembly process can make even a well-trained woodworker wary.

  • Outdoor entertaining Jun 19, 2014 9:20 PM
    I would love to win this contest for my husband. He works so hard in order for me to stay home with our three young children. His hours are long and he never complains.

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