The basic function of kitchen backsplashes is to prevent water, food and other types of liquids and solids from damaging the wall behind your kitchen counters. However, backsplashes can be both functional and stylish. There’s a dizzying array of styles to choose from, but we’re skipping the most popular backsplashes (since you’ve probably seen them anyway) so we can highlight some of the coolest options.
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Laminate used to look cheap and cheesy. It was durable, but certainly not fashionable. However, times have changed, and now the material is much more realistic-looking. In fact, it can mimic many of your favorite materials, which makes it an excellent, inexpensive design choice. Whether you choose to implement it on floors, countertops or even walls, there’s sure to be a use for laminate in any room of your house. Read on to learn more about how to incorporate this once-taboo material into your home.
Laminate flooringOne of the benefits of laminate flooring is that it can easily mimic a variety of materials: wood, stone and even tile. No matter what your design needs are, there’s likely a laminate to match. And while it doesn’t have the same properties as the material it mimics, it’s still a more affordable way to get that visual effect. Modern laminate floors are
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Mold: four letters, one syllable, a world of anxiety and stress. It’s such a simple word with the potential to cause so many problems. Why is mold so troubling and what should you do if you find mold in your house or discover it while you’re house hunting?
5 facts about moldAccording to Mark England, an AdvantaClean owner in Raleigh-Durham, NC, there are five facts that you should know about mold: Mold grows quickly: It only takes 24 to 48 hours for mold to grow and spread in wet, warm conditions. Mold is undetectable: Excessive moisture behind walls, under floors or in cabinets or closets are perfect breeding grounds for mold. This is mold that you often can’t see or smell but it can make you and your family very sick. Mold issues are expensive: Mold damage
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Like closets and garages, kitchen pantries are one of those once-hidden rooms that are now playing a significant role in today’s home. “The pantry has become one of the most desired and necessary storage features in today’s kitchens — especially for homeowners who make a lot of bulk purchases from the warehouse club,” says Dan DiClerico, a home expert at HomeAdvisor. So how much should you expect to pay to trick out your pantry? “In terms of budget, a full-size kitchen pantry could cost about as much a well-appointed walk-in closet, which is in the $1,500 range according to HomeAdvisor’s True Cost Guide,” DiClerico tells Freshome. “Freestanding pantries can be had for a few hundred dollars, which is good for homeowners on a tighter budget.” These are some of the trends in kitchen pantries.
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well-maintained lawn is central to your home’s curb appeal and even adds to the value of your property. However, your turfgrass lawn is more than just eye candy. It provides a variety of environmental and health benefits. Freshome asked Dan Sandor, a postdoctoral associate in turfgrass science at the University of Minnesota, to tell us more about the benefits of turfgrass lawns.A
The environmental benefits of turfgrass“Environmental and functional benefits of turfgrasses include soil erosion control; dust stabilization; carbon sequestration; groundwater recharge and improvement of surface water quality; reduction in pollution and contamination from runoff of sediments, nutrients and other organic chemicals; heat dissipation and temperature moderation and much much more,” Sandor says. Sandor explains that
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If you’re trying to save money, which bathing option uses more water? How can you tell? Comparing a shower to a bath is like comparing apples to oranges. That’s because you measure showers by duration (how long the water is running while you’re in the shower), but you measure baths by the amount of water it takes to fill up the bathtub (regardless of the time). As a general rule, taking a bath uses more water. However, these are some factors to consider when trying to determine which method is more (or less) water efficient. data from the USGS Water Science School, the average person needs 36 gallons of water to fill the bathtub. However, a larger than average tub will need more water.How big is your bathtub? According to
It’s no secret that walk-in closets are one of the most valued home features. However, you may be surprised at the lengths we’ll go to for storage space. The State of Stuff in America, a new survey by MakeSpace, polled over 1,000 men and women and found the following:
- 50% claim they would be willing to be celibate for six months in order to have more closet space
- Almost 20% said they would take a pay cut for six months in order to have more closet space
- 51% of all men surveyed said they would be open to gaining 10 pounds for six months in order to have more closet space
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While you want to be comfortable in your home, it’s possible to achieve this goal while also saving money. Making small adjustments that you will barely notice can result in significant savings. Keep reading to discover ways to save money on your electricity and water bills. Avalon Interiors Stop using your toilet as a wastebasket. “Every time you flush a facial tissue or other small bits of trash, five to seven gallons of water is wasted,” according to Doyle James, president of Mr. Rooter Plumbing. James also recommends that you refrain from using your garbage disposal so frequently. “In-sink ‘garburators’ require lots of water to operate properly,” he explains. “Start a compost pile as an alternate method of disposing food waste.” If you wash your dishes by hand, stop leaving the water running when you’re rinsing them. “If you have a double-basin, fill one with soapy water and one
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1. Add shelving and storage“For a laundry room to function well, users need easy access to everyday items such as detergents,” says Carla Phillips, a Melbourne-based interior designer. “I recommend open shelving next to
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Do you have an outdated piece of furniture, or simply a piece that no longer fits your decor? You may be tempted to replace the item; however, painting furniture is an easy (and inexpensive) way to give your pieces new life. Painted furniture can add a pop of color to a room – like a red lamp base or chair in an otherwise neutral color palette. Painted furniture can also help everything blend in: for example, a new white headboard and white nightstands to fit a white bedroom. There are some considerations to keep in mind when painting your furniture — when done poorly, painted furniture risks looking tacky or amateurish. In the worst case scenario, painted furniture begins chipping and peeling shortly after the project is completed. So, why are some projects successful, while others are a disaster? We asked Selena Rivas-Alexander, a designer at K.R.E.
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Your home is one of your biggest investments, and you want it to remain in prime condition for as long as possible in order to get a high return on that investment. However, foundation issues can threaten this. It’s best to fix foundation issues as soon as possible; the longer they persist, the more expensive it will be to make repairs. Below, we’ll examine the causes of foundation issues, tell you how to recognize warning signs and offer solutions.
Causes of foundation issuesWater is the most likely culprit for foundation issues. An excessive amount of water causes the soil to expand; typical sources are leaks from your plumbing, water from rain and snow and water draining from the roof. On the inverse, not enough water results in shrinkage and settlement. In addition, soil is often an issue
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Summer should be the season for enjoying your yard, but for many homeowners, tending to a lawn is as time- and labor-intensive as a part-time job. Granted, it’s important to maintain a lush lawn for several reasons. Curb appeal increases your home’s value, and a grass-gone-wild yard nets death stares from your neighbors. However, these six pieces of lawn equipment can make your lawn look great with less effort, so you can spend more time actually enjoying it.
Robotic lawn mowersIf you want to free up your weekends, a robotic lawn mower may be the answer to your prayers. What’s not to love? It has programmable timers, it can cut grass of different heights and it handles inclines and tight spaces. The built-in sensors stop mowing when it’s raining, restart mowing when the
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A can of paint is perhaps the single most important and inexpensive item you can use to transform your home’s appearance. The right paint sheen can revive a dull room, cover blemishes and bring attention to architectural details. Paint is also versatile, so you can use it on everything in your home, from ceilings and walls to furniture and floors. However, the success of your painting project depends on knowing which type of paint to use for different surfaces and purposes. Using the wrong paint to cover imperfections, for instance, may actually highlight the issues you’re trying to fix. To help you decide, we asked two painting experts for their tips on when to use each type of paint sheen.
Understanding paint sheen“Paint sheens come in different categories and each have their own characteristics,” says Brian Osterried,
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Renovation, particularly DIY renovation, is huge for homeowners right now. If you’re in the majority considering a renovation, the operative word is “plan.” Jim Hubbard, owner of Remodeling Experts in St. Louis, MO, tells Freshome, “Doing the work is easy, but planning and making good selections – that’s the hard part.” Failing to plan is the overall remodeling sin that homeowners make. However, within that broad category, these are the seven deadly remodeling sins that can ruin your project and your budget.
1. Having an unrealistic budget“’Budget’ is a very tricky word – when it is mentioned, people seem to get a little shy,” Hubbard says. “Sometimes, when I hear the homeowner’s budget, I wonder if they came up with it from watching a DIY TV show, because those amounts won’t
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Choosing to live in a rental property offers a lot of freedom from repairs and maintenance. Typically, tenants are not responsible for tasks like cutting the grass and fixing plumbing problems. Perhaps that’s why more than 111 million Americans have chosen renting over home ownership, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council. Renting provides convenience and independence, but there are limits to what you can do in a rental property. While specifics may vary from landlord to landlord, these are some of the general do’s and don’ts of renting a property.
Don’t go paint crazy“Tenants like to say, ‘I’m leaving the place better than I got it,’ and some tenants might think that blood-red accent wall they painted is much better,” says Diana Valin, CPM, owner/broker at The Rental Xperts in San Diego, CA. However, Valin tells Freshome
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Most homebuyers have a laundry list of “must-have” items before signing on the dotted line, ranging from hardwood floors to stainless steel appliances to open floorplans. But there’s one thing they don’t want in a new house: pests. And for good reason. According to Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association, “Termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage each year – a cost that is typically not covered by homeowners’ insurance.” These particular insects are insidious – Mannes tells Freshome that termites chew through wood, flooring and wallpaper without being detected by the human eye. “Termites are known as ‘silent destroyers’ because they can compromise the structural stability of a home without anyone even knowing until the damage is severe,” she explains. However, termites aren’t the only
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Chip Wade of HGTV and the DIYNetwork is known for such shows as “Designed to Sell,” “Curb Appeal” and “Elbow Room.” He’s also a Liberty Mutual Consultant – and a new survey from Liberty Mutual revealed that for 52% of consumers who completed a DIY project, saving money was the number one objective. With all this in mind, we asked Wade for some simple DIY ways to transform your backyard into an outdoor haven on a budget.
Think about layoutSome homeowners get carried away and want to create multiple backyard spaces, but Wade advises against this approach. “For most clients, I actually encourage them to look at smaller outdoor living setups that are close to the house structure, rather than making multiple destination areas.” He also believes that this will help
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Some germs are beneficial, but not when they put you and your loved ones at risk for viruses and diseases. Your home, with all of its nooks and crannies, is a breeding ground for mold, staph germs, yeast and coliform bacteria. Some places in your home are germier than others, so cleaning takes a little extra effort in these areas. We spoke with Dr. Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona who is better known as “Dr. Germ,” and consulted a study by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), a public health and safety organization. With their help, we discovered the nine germiest places in your home – and how to clean and disinfect them.
1. Dish sponges“Number one is the household sponge – almost all have E. coli growing in them, and in our studies,
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