Better Home Living: An Investment in Your Future

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Your home is an investment. Leverage it by making it more functional and enjoyable. Our information on home improvement, home furnishings, home staging, buying/selling/financing, senior living at home – and more to come – will help you get the most benefit from your investment. We’re just getting warmed up, so subscribe to our feed to stay informed, and share our info with your friends. — Our Home and Castle Continue reading

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A Kitchen Tile Backsplash adds Drama

brick-backsplash

Add drama to your kitchen walls with a functional backsplash over your countertop, sink or cooktop. Basic requirements are materials that are easily washable and (if over the cooktop) that can take some heat. That leaves many decorative alternatives.
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Guide to Kitchen Countertops

Granite for your countertop

Granite is the favorite material for countertops, but granite countertops may not be suitable for every kitchen remodeling project. You should be aware of the alternatives before you make your decision. Keep in mind that islands, backsplashes and special-function areas invite the use of more than one material. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of all the popular countertop choices.
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Kitchen Cabinet and Storage Upgrades

Kitchen with wood top island

Homeowners remodel a kitchen for many reasons: Among them, because they are tired of a dated look; because they have inadequate storage and work space; to make room for new appliances; to make it easier for an older or disabled member of the family to prepare meals; to repair damage from a disaster or mishap; because they plan to sell their house and want to get a better price. Each homeowner’s remodeling situation is unique, with different goals and budget. Here is a range of updating, upgrading, replacing ideas for cabinets and storage.
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Best Choices in Kitchen Flooring

Hardwood kitchen floor

Savvy homeowners choose kitchen flooring based on looks, durability, ease of cleanup, comfort (when standing on it), and – if they have a large expanse – its quietness. Be sure you factor in all these criteria when you select your flooring because performance will be as important as looks over years of use.
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Keep your Home in Good Repair to Maintain its Value

Man Caulking Window

Owning a home is not just a matter of paying the mortgage and flopping down in front of the tv every night. A home is a big investment whose value you will want to maintain as long as you live in it. Home maintenance is not the favorite set of activities of most homeowners. But it’s something that has to be done ot get the most pleasure from living in your home and, it will preserve the value of your investment. So, here is a reminder list of what you will need to do to keep your home in good repair.
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A Kitchen Renovation Will Boost the Value of your Home

Beautiful kitchen

As a homeowner you want to get the most benefit out of living in your home. So you have probably been thinking about improvements to make it more functional and more comfortable – improvements like updating wall colors, adding a deck, or perhaps a more extensive renovation like adding bedrooms or modernizing the kitchen. Home improvements nearly always add value to your home because they make it more attractive to potential buyers down the road.
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Ambient Assisted Living: The Future of Seniors’ Independence

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If robots are to be useful beyond doing domestic chores, they will need to be able to distinguish between normal and abnormal conditions in the home environment, and recognize and act to ameliorate adverse health and safety conditions without supervision. So they will need to monitor and communicate as well as act. To accomplish the goal of enhancing independent living, robots will need to become caretakers for their charges.
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Scams that Target Seniors

Angry senior businessman

Scams can target anyone, and they do, but seniors seem to be targeted more. This article explores various types of scams that target seniors — especially elderly seniors — and gives specific advice to protect against them.
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100-Watt Light Bulb, Goodbye

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The 100-watt light bulb is history. Not yet well-known, except perhaps in California where it has already happened, Thomas Edison’s incandescent bulb is rapidly being phased out. It’s not because no one wants to use a 100-watt light bulb anymore (many Americans do) nor because there are cheaper alternatives (there aren’t). This article is about available alternatives, which you will need to buy when the 100-watt bulbs in your lamps and overhead fixtures burn out.
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Solar Lighting for Safety, Beauty and Fun

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The lighting technology that enabled cool LEDs to replace hot high intensity discharge (HID) lamps for indoor grow lights for plants has enabled a revolution in another lighting category – outdoor solar lighting. This revolution has been made possible by the availability of bright white LEDs at reasonable prices. Solar lighting costs have declined to such an extent that solar lights are competitive in price with wired lights but offer far more convenience and significant operating cost savings.
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Home Staging: How to Make a Huge Room Feel Cozy

A cozy Great Room

Cozy and comfortable are what buyers want in a house. But they also want lots of space. Houses over 4500 square feet, which became popular a few years ago, generally have large rooms. These can be a challenge for a homeowner to decorate and, once decorated, an even greater challenge to make look cozy to a potential buyer.
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How Safe are CFL Bulbs in your Home?

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Citing the State of Maine’s CFL Breakage Study Report, this article explores the issue whether CFL bulbs are safe for use throughout your home.
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