Weekly Home Help with how to update the outside of your home, a home-selling tip, how to grow vertical vegetables and more.
Keep the exterior of your house looking its best with these tips:
-- Illumination. Adding decorative lanterns to walkways or porches is an easy and inexpensive way to add charm and light. You can often find these pieces at yard sales, thrift stores or dollar stores and then simply paint them in a matching hammered or metallic finish for a bright and stylish look.
-- Quick color. The front door is a focal point of your home so be sure that your doors and shutters are a vivid shade. If yours have been dulled by years of sun and weather, it's time to update with paint. For metal doors and shutters, you can use a variety of spray or bucket paints in your favorite hue.
-- A tidy yard. A well-manicured lawn is important to boosting your curb appeal. Simple one-weekend tasks like edging, trimming bushes and removing unsightly weeds can make a huge difference without a lot of work or cost. To keep your efforts looking great, spray weed killer to maintain a polished look for the rest of the season.
Decorating Tip: A feng-shui entrance
For a feng-shui entrance to your home, follow these tips:
- Include uplifting "greeters," such as a waterfall or piece of artwork.
- Place inspiring objects leading up to the front door, like a meandering pathway and flowers.
- Add plants, especially evergreens, which will stay lush all year.
-- HGTV/ Scripps Howard News Service
Home-Selling Tip: Fixer-up repairs
Before putting your house on the market, take some time to repair broken windows, a leaky roof, broken light fixtures and anything else that needs repair. Investing your time and money in these repairs now will help you reap top dollar when home buyers are making offers. Other things to look for include leaky faucets, squeaky doors and bad paint jobs.
Going Green: Composting saves school money, waste
Five New York City parents decided to take matters into their own hands when they saw how much food waste was being dumped into the landfills from public schools. Together, they started school composting programs, which reduced the local schools' cafeteria waste by 85 percent. The team estimates that if the entire NYC school system would switch to composting, they would save $1 million in garbage bags and $1.1 million in disposal fees.
Did You Know …
The national median existing-home price is expected to rise 3 percent this year and another 5.7 percent in 2013. -- Realtor.org
New Product: Samsung Galaxy S III
The Consumer Reports Electronics Blog calls the Samsung Galaxy S III "one of the most advanced Android smartphones" on the market. The blog also says, with this phone, Samsung "unseats HTC from the highest position" on its smartphone ratings from AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. The Galaxy boasts a 4.8-inch, high-definition touchscreen; an 8-megapixel camera that produces superior-quality photos; and gesture- and sensor-based tools.
Garden Guide: Growing vertical fruit
Pole beans and peas are good vertical vegetables because they do not need much encouragement to twine around supports. Tomatoes also lend themselves well to this type of gardening. Cages are often used with tomatoes, but they also can be trained onto a vertical, flat support. They may, however, occasionally need to be tied to a vertical support because they do not climb naturally.
-- University of Illinois Extension
GateHouse News Service