(BPT) - The sounds of birds chirping, longer daylight hours, and budding trees and flowers are early signs that warmer weather and spring are on the way. That means more time outside to enjoy nature, but it's also a sign it might be time for a little spring cleaning.
"Cold temperatures, snowfall and winter rains can have a big effect on houses and landscaping, so now's the time to check for potential home repairs and maintenance," said Christopher O'Rourke, Mercury Insurance vice president of property claims. "Spring cleaning isn't just about getting rid of belongings you no longer want or need - it's also a time to get your home in tip-top shape so you can enjoy it throughout the rest of the year."
Here are four tips O'Rourke recommends to welcome the new season and save some money down the road.
(BPT) - Life is hectic, full of demands at work and home. Add digital distractions like computers, cell phones, tablets and more, and it's no wonder many people are experiencing record-high levels of stress.
One simple solution is to shift your perspective by spending more time outdoors. When you do an enjoyable activity outside, stress begins to melt away as you bask in the fresh air, sunshine and beauty of nature.
This doesn't mean you have to be a savvy outdoor adventurer. There is a growing movement of people of all ages and walks of life embracing nature by finding new ways to discover the world around them. If you feel the draw of the outdoors, consider these five ideas for disconnecting and enjoying activities outside:
(BPT) - With the days lengthening and weather warming, spring is a good time to get outdoors and tackle some larger home projects. Now that the threat of winter storms has passed, be sure to look for damage and make any needed repairs, as well as prep your home and garden for summer.
“Winter weather can wreak havoc on your house, leaving you with a long list of repairs,” said Cathy McHugh, director, brand management at DAP. “It’s important to prioritize and tackle the most important items now so that you can spend the spring and summer enjoying your home — rather than making costly repairs later.”
Don’t know where to start? Here are the top five “must-do” repairs from the experts at DAP.
(BPT) - Who would have thought that Cape Cod would experience a tornado? I am sure many people weren't prepared for this type of emergency. If you weren't, now is the time to make sure you've prioritized and planned ahead.
Here are nine things you can do now to ensure you are prepared:
(BPT) - Summer may be winding down, but a new opportunity to garden is just beginning. Plenty of vegetables and flowers can be grown successfully in late summer and into fall, so it's a great time to refresh with plants that either thrive in slightly cooler weather or are easy to bring indoors once the temperatures start to drop.
(BPT) - From ambitious millennial's to enthusiastic boomers, do it yourself - DIY - is trending among people of all ages. No matter the hobby or home improvement project, creating a well-equipped work space is just as important as having the right tools for the job. Whether your work space is in the garage, a shed or a converted patio or back porch, equipping the space for your ultimate comfort and creativity can start your project off on the right foot and keep your productivity on track.
Here are five must-have elements for the ideal DIY work space:
(BPT) - Summer is possibly the easiest time to stick to a healthier lifestyle. It’s warm outside so we’re more likely to be active, plus there’s plenty of good, fresh produce available. With the recent focus on organic ingredients and the farm-to-table approach, home cooks and anyone interested in a healthier lifestyle are looking for ways to boost their health through better food choices.
Fortunately, there are more ways than ever to eat healthier.
(BPT) - If you prefer to take on your own home improvement projects instead of hiring professional craftsmen, you’re part of a growing trend.
Americans are increasingly aware of the money they can save by completing their own renovations rather than paying premium prices for the work of others. And that’s reflected in sales figures; not surprisingly, the value of the DIY market rose a full 45 percent between 2012 and 2018, from $30.2 billion to $43.7 billion.
With careful planning and budgeting, DIY projects can be fun, efficient and creatively satisfying while allowing you to customize your finished product to your own tastes.
Is there a new DIY project in your future? If so, consider these tips for forming a workable strategy that ensures you’re prepared for every step of the process.
(BPT) - As seasons turn, your focus begins to shift to the outdoors. Your deck or patio becomes your new living room — an ideal setting for memorable moments with friends and family. If you look at these spaces and long for a refresh, the time to start planning is now. You have options, and many you can do yourself with minimal effort.
To start, if you don't have a deck or patio, research materials carefully before making an investment. One prevalent building trend involves making the smart choice toward natural, environmentally friendly materials that will never end up in landfills. As such, more homeowners are choosing Real Cedar because it is naturally resistant to rot, decay and insects. It's low-maintenance and easy to work with, being durable yet lightweight, laying straight and taking fasteners easily. Plus, nothing looks, feels or smells quite like cedar.
To refresh your deck with style and functionality, consider these five trending outdoor-living projects:
(BPT) - It’s been a rough winter in many parts of the country, but spring is here at last — and that means it’s time to give your lawn a bit of TLC.
Although grass is highly resilient, you can help your lawn recover from winter and make sure it’s in top shape for summer with these tips from turfgrass researchers around the U.S.
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