Making a House a Home
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November 17, 2017

Fall Bugs and How to Get Rid of Them

Let’s face it. Like people, bugs like to stay warm. That’s fine as long as they’re burrowing under leaves, trees, or out in your yard where you don’t see them. But why must they insist on coming indoors, squeezing under the siding, or finding the tiniest of holes in our attic, garage and house in which to let themselves in, uninvited?

via Tom Murphy VII/Wikimedia Commons

The simple answer is, our warm homes attract bugs in the fall like porch lights attract moths. The most common bugs homeowners see in the fall are:

Boxelder bugs

Boxelder bugs are harmless to people. [...]

 
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November 16, 2017

Winterizing Your Landscaping and Garden

An experienced homeowner knows you need to winterize certain aspects of your home, your HVAC system, and your car or RV, but what about winterizing your landscaping and garden? Although some plants will do fine left to their own devices, you can maximize your plants’ survivability and growth next season by helping them prepare for the cold winter months.

Plants are annuals (which die off after one year), biennials (which last two years), or perennials (which live more than two years). Your annual plants, which include marigolds, daisies, petunias, impatiens, geraniums, and most herbs, are going to die off no matter what you do. You may be able to gather some of their [...]

 
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November 15, 2017

Getting the Most Out of Hosting the Thanksgiving Holiday

Nervous about hosting a Thanksgiving feast? Whether it's your first time or you're a pro, these tips will help you host with ease.
 
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November 15, 2017

Winter is Coming: Update Your Home with These 6 Essentials

Is your home ready for the next snowpocalypse? Winter is right around the corner, and there’s never been a better time for a little home improvement, inside and out. Most people spend more time indoors in the winter, and these easy home upgrades can help keep your cabin fever at bay until things warm up again.

Re-insulate Your Attic

When it comes to winter updates, insulation is one of the best investments you can make. Over 90% of homes in the US are under-insulated, and a lack of insulation can significantly inflate your energy bills.

Remodeling magazine rates fiberglass attic insulation as the number-one most efficient home improvement project with a 117% [...]

 
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November 15, 2017

Easy DIY Projects to Make Your Home Cozier This Winter

If this year’s winter is anywhere near as harsh as this year’s summer, we’re in for a doozy. And when brutal weather hits you never want to find yourself without a warm, cozy home to turn to. But what if you can’t afford new energy efficient windows or a fancy smart thermostat?

Your mom would probably tell you to “put on a sweater,” but I have a few more ideas. Check out these quick, do-it-yourself projects that will make your home much more delightful when the weather gets frightful.

Stop the Leaks

The most energy efficient doors and windows in the world aren’t worth anything if they have bad seals. Seals and caulking on [...]

 
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November 15, 2017

5 Tips to Avoid Thanksgiving Disasters

Turkey time will be here before you know it, which means Thanksgiving Day preparation is among us. Although traditions and plans vary among families, many would agree that a lot of planning goes into this memory filled feast from the turkey and meal preparation to the entertainment for the guest. When certain precautions are not taken, Thanksgiving has the potential to be the most horrifying holiday of them all. To help take a load off, we are giving you five tips to keep in mind this Thanksgiving season in order to avoid having a Turkey Day disaster!

Tip Number One: Plan ahead!

Whether you are the host or hostess who does all of the food preparation or the turkey day chief [...]

 
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November 14, 2017

5 Ways Technology Can Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

For many Americans, energy efficiency is an important consideration when it comes to buying or renovating a home. An energy-efficient home offers not only a greener, more sustainable lifestyle —it also maximizes ease, comfort, and cash savings.

The US Department of Energy estimates that the average household can save up to nearly $1,200 per year with some simple energy-efficient improvements. To get started, hire a professional energy auditor to assess your home’s energy use and identify possible upgrades to improve efficiency and reduce your monthly bill—or perform a do-it-yourself inspection focusing on some of the most common ways your home could be wasting [...]

 
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November 13, 2017

Creating a Multi-Functional Closet for the Nursery

This January, Scott and I will be welcoming a baby girl to our family! For the last handful of months, we’ve been working on the design for her nursery, but our biggest challenge has been around the size of the room. As is typical in an old Chicago home, the room is narrow and long; it’s no more than 7′ wide and 12′ long. Our goal for the room is to be able to fit a crib, shelving storage, a glider and changing table, and of course, we want it to feel comfortable, too. Luckily, we love small space problem solving, and we knew that in order to fit in all those main pieces, we’d need to borrow space from an unlikely space – the closet! We wanted to add a [...]

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