Top Exterior Trends To Inspire Your 2019 Home Projects

(BPT) – Thinking of adding a deck? How about replacing the tired, worn siding on your house? Now that the weather is colder, it’s the perfect time to curl up with a hot beverage and start planning your 2019 home projects so you can nail the budget and settle on the look you’re after.

“Updating your home’s exterior can make an older home look more modern, but it can also make a new build feel warmer and more established,” says Kristine Swint, an in-house design expert at Royal Building Products. “Whether you plan to sell, or stay and enjoy your new features, anything you do to update the exterior can maximize the value of your home.”

Swint shares these insights and tips that will help you get inspired and plan your exterior home projects in 2019.

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High-Tech Appliance Trends From the House Beautiful Whole Home Project Concept House

(BPT) – On a tree-lined street in the Brookhaven neighborhood of Atlanta, a house built with the goal of better living through design opens its doors to the public this fall. Each space was created with comfort, peace and serenity in mind, from the decluttered entryway, to the intuitive kitchen with luxurious state-of-the-art appliances designed to easily bring healthy choices to a family’s nightly dinner and provide flexibility in food preparation, to the laundry room with (seemingly) space-age appliances that make the chore a breeze, to the fitness room that puts wellness at the heart of a family’s life.

It’s the House Beautiful Whole Home Project Concept House, a first-ever custom-built house that showcases the idea that you can to decorate your way to tranquility.

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Considering a Composite Deck?

Considering a composite deck? Here are expert answers to homeowners’ most common questions.

(BPT) – When planning a deck project, choosing the right material is key to the enjoyment and value you’ll get from your outdoor living space. Today, there are more choices in decking materials than ever before, including high-performance composites, which are increasingly replacing wood in backyards across the country – and for good reason.

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How to Create the Perfect, Four-Season Outdoor Living Space

(BPT) – Creating an outdoor living space will give you an extra “room” to enjoy in all types of weather, even as the temperatures drop. You can start small with an inexpensive patio set and charcoal grill on a new deck, go all out with a fully installed kitchen, fireplace and living room, or something in between. It depends on your budget and how you plan to use the space.

Here are some ideas for must-have elements in your perfect outdoor living space that will allow you to enjoy your back yard in style with family and friends all year long.

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5 Steps To Building and Designing a Sustainable, Energy-Efficient Home

(BPT) – Sponsored Ad Content by Clayton. For the 21st-century home, building with environmental sustainability in mind is a must. A sustainable, energy-efficient home makes the most effective use of building materials and natural energy. Many home builders look for new ways to ensure energy-efficiency measures are incorporated into their home features and construction methods. This not only saves money in the long run for the homeowner, but also reduces the impact the home has on the environment. Are you looking to build a sustainable home? Here are some options to consider:

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Integrate Accessories For Added Luxury

(BPT) – Accessories bring a sense of purpose into a space and, with thoughtful selection, can transform a room into an elevated experience. When used creatively and in unexpected ways, they add the perfect finishing touch to a space and can transform the overall aesthetic and design. From hardware to purposefully placed d├ęcor, integrate accessories artfully and functionally to achieve beauty and balance for an even more luxurious space.

A Balanced Perspective

Assess the space and identify underutilized areas of the room – opportunities to bring a design to life. Choose accessories featuring a variance of shapes, sizes, colors and textures to establish visual and spatial equilibrium. Boldly patterned pillows add dimension among solid tones, while lush flower arrangements effortlessly fill negative space, striking an unexpected balance of comfort and intrigue.

Sophisticated Hardware

Complete a luxurious design with sophisticated fixtures that serve as anchoring details, thoughtfully integrated for aesthetics and utility. These necessary pieces add opulence to a room while providing unexpected functionality. Reimagine the use of hardware by adding robe hooks to a walk-in closet for belts or scarves, or to hang clothes. Incorporate an element of surprise by adorning a kitchen space with a towel bar from the Litze Bath Collection by Brizo, which features textured knurling detail that highlights innovative engineering and artistry.

Harmonizing Accents

Find the perfect blend of tones and textures by sourcing contrasting, but complementary accessories to finalize a design. Contrast an industrial coffee table with an acacia wooden bowl, or furnish a sleek, modern shelf with coarsely textured relics. As inspiration strikes, pursue the unexpected. Fill the space, maintaining a balance of polished and personal, soft and avant-garde, and strong yet fluid elements, adding just the right level of contradiction to create the perfect harmony.

An Elevated Update

Once a design is complete, statement pieces can have surprising transformative power when updating a space. Select high-end pieces for major impact, such as a bold area rug or an oversized piece of original art to instantly augment a design. Update an existing piece with new drawer knobs for a fresh look, integrating smaller elements that reflect the personality of the space in new ways. From a one-of-a-kind sculpture to a tasteful timepiece, always keep in mind that small-scale updates have the unexpected potential to make a large-scale impression.

5 Steps To Protect Your Home From Rodents This Fall

(BPT) – Once they’re inside, rats and other rodents can do a lot of harm to your home. This includes damage to electrical wiring, metal or plastic pipes and insulation found in walls and attics. On top of structural damage, the critters aren’t good for the people who live in your home, either: Some species of mice and rats can transmit diseases like hantavirus through their urine and droppings.

Between the potential health issues and possible damage to your home, the last thing you want to hear is the scurrying of little rodent feet in your walls or attic. Luckily, there are steps you can take that will help keep those critters out. The experts at Terminix have some tips that can help you protect your home from rodents.

Block Possible Points Of Entry

Be aware of any holes or cracks in the exterior of your home. You may think a small hole is too narrow for a rat to squeeze through, but a rat may think differently – and may even gnaw the hole wider! A full-grown rat can enter your home through a hole about the size of a quarter, and a mouse only needs an opening measuring one-fourth of an inch. Properly seal any openings you find to help prevent rodents from wriggling their way into your house.

Trim Back Trees and Move Debris Away From Your Home

Tree limbs that touch your house can provide an easy access point for rodents, almost like a ladder or bridge. Some species of rats even nest in trees. Do some careful pruning to clear away any branches close to or touching your house. You should also keep any stacks of firewood or piles of debris away from your home, as they can attract rodents and hide burrow entrances.

Protect Food From Hungry Rodents

Your house may be filled with food, but you don’t have to make it easy for rodents to find that out. Avoid attracting rodents that can eat and contaminate your food by storing it properly. Keep unpackaged food – even pet food – in airtight containers so rats won’t be able to smell it, and avoid leaving unsealed food sitting out.

Properly Dispose Of Waste and Compost

An open trash can presents a feast for hungry rodents. Keep outdoor trash cans properly closed and away from your home. If you have a compost pile in your yard, also try to move it as far away from the exterior of your house as possible, to avoid letting rodents looking for a free meal make the trip into your walls, attic or even chimney.

Call In the Experts

Between work, family and other tasks around the house, it can be hard for busy homeowners to set aside time to proactively monitor their homes for invading rodents. The good news is that you don’t have to protect your home or deal with an infestation alone. Pest control professionals, such as Terminix’s trained technicians, can provide an inspection to determine the best way to set up a strong defense and get rid of any unwelcome house guests that have already moved in.

3 Questions To Ask When Looking For Your New HVAC Unit

(BPT) – If you subscribe to the belief that your home is your castle, then you naturally expect to be comfortable in that castle, right? Whether it’s the middle of winter or the dog days of summer, your home’s HVAC system plays a vital role in supporting this comfort, so if you’re in the market for a new system, here are three questions you should ask before purchasing your new system.

Is the Unit the Right Size For Your Home?

In the world of HVAC units, size matters and bigger isn’t always better. A unit that is too big will needlessly waste energy in your home while a unit that is too small will burn out trying to keep up. An HVAC system’s power is measured in tons – not a unit of weight in this case but power.

To determine the proper tonnage for your home, your HVAC technician will need to review most, if not all, of the rooms in your home – especially the attic and/or basement. A common rule of thumb for HVAC systems is that one ton is necessary for every 400 square feet in the home. However, your needs may vary based on your home’s location, its insulation and other factors, so don’t be afraid to ask questions as your technician reviews your home.

What Is the Proper SEER Rating For Your Home?

When it comes to HVAC systems, the SEER rating may be the most important measurement you’re not aware of.

Ken Ely, director of residential product management, Ducted Systems, Johnson Controls agrees. “Many homeowners have never heard of a SEER rating associated with their HVAC unit,” he says. “However, a unit’s SEER rating demonstrates its energy efficiency and how easily the system can control the temperature in your home. A higher SEER rating is good for the environment and your overall energy budget.”

SEER is short for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and the rating is a good indicator of your unit’s energy efficiency. For example, the 19 SEER efficiency of the new two-stage Luxaire Acclimate HVAC unit can reduce your system’s energy usage by up to 47 percent when compared to older 10 SEER units, meaning you’ll start saving energy and utility costs immediately after installation.

All units with SEER ratings of 14 or higher earn an energy efficiency classification, so look for the SEER rating when shopping for a new HVAC unit and remember the higher the rating, the more you’ll save in the long run.

What Maintenance Will Be Involved With My Unit?

Like all other aspects of your home, adding a new HVAC unit means you’ll be responsible for some maintenance to support its use. The maintenance required for your new unit should be outlined in the owner’s manual, but you can also ask your HVAC contractor if you have any questions not answered in the guide. Confirm the warranty details of your new HVAC system and be sure to register the warranty with the manufacturer if necessary. This will ensure your new system is supported for years to come.

Following a regular maintenance schedule, such as keeping the area around your unit clean, is a good rule to follow. The extra effort will keep your system running optimally, and neglecting routine maintenance can void your system’s warranty. Keep a record of all maintenance performed to reference in case any repairs are needed.

Finding Your Next HVAC System

Whether you want to enjoy the last days of this season or prepare for the next, finding the right HVAC system for your home is one decision you shouldn’t delay. Start your search by finding answers to the questions above and you’ll be on your way to the perfect HVAC solution for your property.