Warmer weather and more daylight hours bring renewed energy to truly enjoy your home with family and friends. Spring is a great time to get rid of the lingering grime and grit of winter to keep your clean home happening all season long. With a thorough home clean, you can create a vibrant living space for your day-to-day life, whether it’s playing with the kids, tackling your to-do list or simply relaxing. Here are three tips to help tackle some of the dirtiest places in and around your home.
(BPT) - Warmer weather and more daylight hours bring renewed energy to truly enjoy your home with family and friends. Spring is a great time to get rid of the lingering grime and grit of winter to keep your clean home happening all season long. With a thorough home clean, you can create a vibrant living space for your day-to-day life, whether it’s playing with the kids, tackling your to-do list or simply relaxing. Here are three tips to help tackle some of the dirtiest places in and around your home.
Wash your windows
You’ll be surprised how dirty your windows have gotten and how much brighter your home, and outlook, will feel once they are clean. First, remove the screens and use a vacuum’s extendable attachment to remove the loose gunk and dust. Then, wash with soapy water and a firm brush, rinse with a hose and let air dry. For especially dirty windows, first clean with soapy water, then move on to an even mix of water and white vinegar. While using a lint-free towel or cloth will help avoid streaks, a car windshield squeegee is the expert choice.
Tackle indoor surfaces
It’s important to make sure guests at your next get-together experience a clean and healthy home — but a full vacuum bag or clogged filter can reduce suction, leaving the dirt, dust and allergens that build up on many surfaces behind. For an ideal clean, make sure your vacuum is at its peak performance by replacing bags and filters. Arm & Hammer Premium Allergen bags and HEPA filters are designed to capture allergens, and need to be replaced every one to two months for bags and every three to six months for filters. If you have pets, use Arm & Hammer Pet Fresh Dry Carpet and Carpet and Upholstery Extractor Cleaners to neutralize pet odors and break down lingering stains.
Spruce up outdoors
Winter weather and activities can take a toll on the finishes and surfaces outside your home. Cleaning a few key areas will refresh your home’s look and feel as you spend more time enjoying your outdoor spaces for birthday parties, barbecues and more:
* Siding: No need to get complicated — first, rinse with a garden hose, then scrub the dirty areas with a brush and soapy water and rinse again. Make sure to avoid chlorine-based bleaches to keep surrounding plants healthy.
* Driveway and garage: First, soak up oil, stains and other nasty winter reminders by spreading a drying material, such as sawdust, on the stain. Leave it for one day before scrubbing with soap and water. A power washer can be used for particularly tough stains.
* Grill/barbecue: For gas grills, make sure the propane is disconnected. Then, soak the grates in hot soapy water and rinse. Scrub thoroughly under the hood and on the inside walls with a hard brush, first covering the heating elements, to get rid of grease and particles from last year. Wipe down with a damp towel.
With these tips, you are ready for a clean, healthy (and fun) season. For more tips, visit www.armhammervac.com.
Apprehension and inexperience keep many homeowners from pursuing renovation projects that would make their homes more functional, enjoyable and comfortable. Getting your hands dirty on the front end – with some planning and preparation – is the best blueprint for a successful home remodeling project. To help you start your remodel on the right track, consider these tips.
A Handy Guide to Starting a Home Remodel
(Family Features) Apprehension and inexperience keep many homeowners from pursuing renovation projects that would make their homes more functional, enjoyable and comfortable. Getting your hands dirty on the front end – with some planning and preparation – is the best blueprint for a successful home remodeling project.
To help you start your remodel on the right track, consider these tips from Gary White with JCPenney Home Services.
Start with a plan
Although it may sound obvious, the first step really is to decide what you hope to accomplish with your renovation. At the least, begin to outline rough ideas to discuss with an expert. Reaching out to contractors before you’ve determined a basic idea for your project can waste time and money. Spend time listing the features you must have, as well as some nice-to-haves if budget allows. Also think about overall functionality, design and layout. If you get overwhelmed or need ideas, don’t hesitate to turn to online showrooms or magazines for inspiration.
Set a budget
If the sky is the limit, skip ahead, but if you’re like most homeowners, money matters. Have a clear idea of what you can afford to invest in your renovation before you get started, and if necessary, research the financing options available to you. Look for financing that provides deferred interest or low monthly payments to help manage the project cost. Setting a clear budget can help keep your contractors accountable, and it goes a long way toward ensuring you can enjoy your finished project without regret.
Draw up the plans
To help set your plan in motion, there are numerous online tools you can utilize to simplify each step of the process including design, budgeting and more. If you’re planning a home remodel, a comprehensive resource like JCPenney Home Services offers a one-stop-shop for bathroom remodeling, countertops, custom window treatments, flooring, heating and cooling, water heaters and whole-home water treatment. You can find unique landing pages for each service that provides product information, complimentary in-home consultations and online pricing quotes at JCPenneyhomeservices.com.
Involve a professional
Unless you have the time and skills, you’ll want a licensed and insured contractor to lead the project when you’re ready to get your renovation in motion. It can be wise to solicit multiple bids, not only to ensure you get the best value, but also to find someone whose work, style and experience is most in line with the needs of your project. After all, this person will be a big part of your life during a fairly stressful time period. Always check references and verify the contractor’s standing with local associations.
Get ready for work
Remember that you’ll need to create a work environment that is safe for your contractors and protects your valuable possessions. Establish a clear path to the project space for easy access and removal of debris. Furniture, appliances, room furnishings, valuables and breakable items should be removed from both the path to the work site and the work site itself. If your renovation project will involve an essential room, such as the kitchen or a bathroom, make alternate arrangements such as creating a makeshift kitchen with the bare necessities in another part of the house.
Kitchens and bathrooms are among the most common renovation projects, and countertops are often a focal point of these redesigns. However, choosing the right countertop can be overwhelming. To help make the difficult decision a little simpler, JCPenney Home Services experts offer insight on two of the most popular choices:
Granite countertops have long been the mainstay of a beautiful kitchen or bathroom. Granite is a natural stone, quarried from large stone deposits around the world. It can have many different variations of patterns and colors, giving each slab a unique appearance that is visually rich and dynamic.
In addition to its distinctive beauty and classic elegance, granite is also extremely durable. Granite is highly resistant to heat and scratches and, with proper sealing, offers good water and stain resistance and is easy to clean.
Granite typically needs to be sealed, both prior to installation and at least once per year. If properly maintained, a granite countertop will last for as long as you own your home, making it a potential long-term investment.
Quartz is another popular choice for countertops due to its durability, stain resistance and ease of maintenance.
Quartz is one of the most durable countertop materials and one of the easiest to maintain. It is highly resistant to heat, water and stains, including stains from coffee, wine, lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar and more. Unlike granite, quartz does not need to be sealed, making it easier to maintain over time.
To aid in the planning process without the need for a salesperson, a resource like the Countertop Wizard at JCPenneyhomeservices.com lets you scope out the project and order samples online. Simply enter measurements, browse and select materials and options to get instant quotes.SOURCE:
JCPenney Home Services
When it’s time for a home remodel, specifically of a bathroom or kitchen, many homeowners turn to trendy looks as inspiration. Color, texture and material variance, like using different types of tile, lead the way in this year’s kitchen and bath trends. To help amplify the look and appeal of your space, consider these tips.
3 Kitchen and Bath Trends for 2018
(Family Features) When it’s time for a home remodel, specifically of a bathroom or kitchen, many homeowners turn to trendy looks as inspiration. Color, texture and material variance, like using different types of tile, lead the way in this year’s kitchen and bath trends.
To help amplify the look and appeal of your space, consider these tips from the experts at the National Association of the Remodeling Industry:
Try Different Shades
Combining different shades of white, gray and other neutral colors like beige is an effective way to create a warm and inviting space. One important note to consider when mixing these hues is that they need to be in the same color family. When incorporating white and gray, go for colors that have the same base – either yellow or blue. Mixing a yellow-gray with a blue-white can result in discord that may not “feel” right. A qualified remodeler who has experience in design can provide expert advice and guide the decision-making process to help avoid costly mistakes.
Consider Various Tile Types
Scale provides another way to create interest. To achieve a mosaic feel, look for 1-by-1-foot tiles prepped on larger 12-by-12-foot sheets. Sometimes these sheets include a pre-defined pattern that can help simplify installation.
Pick Alternate Patterns
Many manufacturers now include textured tile, featuring patterns that carry the look of wood grain; tiles are also available in three-dimensional textures adding movement and interest with easy care. For example, using a variety of gray hues can create a relaxing and warm environment.
Find more trendy tips for home design at NARI.org.SOURCE:
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
(BPT) - The words home improvement usually conjure up images of major undertakings like tiling your bathroom or kitchen or tearing down a wall, taking hours and hours to complete the project. The fact is there are some meaningful home improvements you can do that can be accomplished in under two hours.
First, have you ever wished your home had more daylight? Maybe you want to bring in daylight to a small place like a closet or laundry room. Or maybe you have a room with a window but still not enough light. One solution is a daylighting system from Solatube. This product can be installed in under two hours and floods the interior with natural light. For more information, visit www.solatube.com/residential.
Concerned about security? Installing a Ring doorbell takes just a few minutes and you can monitor visitors at your front door on your smartphone through an app. This is a way to add some security to your home. You can be anywhere with your phone but answer your front door and see who’s there. They have no idea where you are, home or otherwise. For information, visit https://ring.com/.
Indoor air quality can be poor. The upstairs can often be hotter than the downstairs. Air can be humid and wet. House odors from cooking, pets, etc., can hang around. A Whole House Fan is quiet (with a light white noise) and can be installed without reframing. When you open the windows with the whole house fan on, it strips out the heat from the home as well as the unwelcome smells. In summer months it keeps the house cooler and eliminates stale air in the winter. For information, visit http://www.solatube.com/whole-house-fans.
Another product that installs quickly is an upgraded bathroom fan. It comes with a variety of options such as heaters and lights. An upgraded bathroom fan can dramatically reduce bathroom humidity and odors and run more quietly. For information, visit https://na.panasonic.com/us/home-living-solutions/ventilation-indoor-air-quality.
An easy home improvement project is to swap out light bulbs for LEDs. Even CFL bulbs can’t hold a candle to LED bulbs, which, while more expensive, last up to 20 years or more. One source for LED bulbs is 1000 Bulbs, www.1000bulbs.com.
This gives you an idea of some ways to spruce up your home in under two hours. But the changes will be long-lasting!
Limited fresh air and light during the day can negatively impact mood, sleep and performance. To help alleviate some of these concerns when inside your own home, consider these tips.
Healthy at Home
How to improve indoor airflow and quality
(Family Features) More efficient, tightly built homes than those constructed in previous generations are generally well-regarded, for the most part with good reason. However, when you consider people spend 90 percent of their time indoors on average, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), such airtight environments raise some concerns.
All that efficiency cuts down on airflow, effectively trapping allergens and toxins inside. According to estimates from the EPA, the air inside the average home may be as much as five times more polluted than the air outdoors, even in a bustling city.
“We know instinctively that spending so many hours in stuffy places isn’t good for us,” said Peter Foldbjerg, head of daylight energy and indoor climate at Velux. “According to research, living in damp and moldy homes increases our risk of asthma by 40 percent and leaves us vulnerable to developing other ailments.”
Limited fresh air and light during the day can negatively impact mood, sleep and performance. Air pollution can also pose a health risk through irritation to the eyes, nose and throat; headaches, dizziness and fatigue; and respiratory conditions, heart disease and cancer. To help alleviate some of these concerns, consider these tips.
Bring the outside in.
Rely on natural air flow.
Eliminate potential obstacles.
Creating Cleaner Indoor Air
Creating more airflow is an important step to improving your indoor environment, but considerations like air quality should not be overlooked. More air is a good thing, but more clean air is better yet.
Everyday home life activities such as cooking, showering, lighting candles, sleeping and doing laundry can all contribute to polluted indoor air, which over time can lead to the development of illnesses.
These tips from the indoor climate experts at Velux can help make the air inside your home healthier:
1. Keep bathroom doors closed and turn on the extractor fan or open a window or skylight when showering.
2. Turn the hood fan on when cooking and open your windows, if weather permits.
3. Avoid burning candles excessively; look for alternatives such as sprigs of lavender to add a natural fresh scent.
4. Dry clothes outside when possible, which reduces carbon emissions from the dryer and minimizes potential pollutants traveling through the dryer vent.
5. Clean regularly with non-chemical based cleaning products, and pay attention to ingredients in cleaning products that may create hazardous fumes.
Increasing Natural Light
Find more tips for creating a healthier home at veluxusa.com/indoorgeneration.SOURCE:
Bringing an outdated bathroom into the now is a sure way to infuse value and personal enjoyment into your home. Whether you’re tearing down and starting fresh or simply looking to infuse some new life with a few key elements, these ideas can give you the inspiration you need to transform a tired toilet into a modern marvel.
Ideas for an On-Trend Bathroom
(Family Features) Bringing an outdated bathroom into the now is a sure way to infuse value and personal enjoyment into your home.
Whether you’re tearing down and starting fresh or simply looking to infuse some new life with a few key elements, these ideas, paired with an option such as Wellborn cabinetry, can give you the inspiration you need to transform a tired toilet into a modern marvel.
Make a singular statement
Try a timeless tub
Float your vanity
By mounting the vanity to a wall, the space is broadened, naturally making the bathroom look and feel larger. Additionally, the wall mount allows homeowners to customize the space in terms of countertop height and comfort.
Although the aesthetic benefits often come at the cost of limited under-sink storage space, this potential pitfall can be overcome with a customizable U-shaped drawer option, such as those offered by Wellborn Cabinet, that allows functional drawers to be placed within the wall-mounted cabinetry. The storage-enhancing drawer option complements the Wall Mounted Vanity program available in the Aspire Cabinetry line, which offers mounted vanities in more than 40 door profiles, featuring door style selections of wood, decorative laminate veneer, textured melamine, smooth melamine, solid high gloss, matte and designer colors. For more information, visit wellborn.com.
Infuse unexpected color
Introduce ample lighting
Trick Your Way to a Bigger Bathroom
When knocking down walls to create more space isn’t an option, there are still plenty of ways you can maximize a small bathroom space to make it look and feel larger than it really is.
Opt for monochromatic cabinetry. Whether you buy new or paint existing cabinets, make them blend in monochromatically in the lightest shade possible. White and light colors reflect light, making the room seem brighter and more spacious. To maximize the illusion, extend the monochromatic scheme throughout the space, including floor tiles, wall paint, ceilings and even the decorations.
Place cabinets strategically. Think of the spaces in your bathroom that you don’t usually use, such as the area above the doorway. Especially if you have high ceilings, you can install decorative storage shelves to house items you don’t need in everyday reach like bathtub salts, scrubs and more. You can also use the shelves for storing extra toilet paper and cleaners to free up valuable storage space below the sink.
Maximize vertical space. Consider extending cabinetry up to the ceiling. Adding color at a vertical height can cause the eye to go up and therefore enlarge the bathroom space and feel. It is also a wise use of unused space rather than borrowing from limited floor space, which can make the space feel cramped.
Consider open storage. Open storage shelves trick the mind because the airy openness can give the illusion of taking less space than enclosed storage. However, be mindful of over-filling shelves, which can create a cluttered look. Instead use the open space as an opportunity to feature artwork or other accents that add life to the room.SOURCE:
Wellborn Cabinet, Inc.
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