Morgan County Herald: Home Improvement

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20 Tips for Fuel Safety Month

(StatePoint) This July will mark the first annual Fuel Safety Month, serving as an important reminder that handling any type of fuel requires caution.

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Recent Headlines

Wednesday 07/01/2020
Keep Safe with Home Upgrades This Summer
Updated: July 02, 2020 - 2:48 am

(Family Features) Extra time around the house this summer may be welcome for avid DIYers. With lists of upgrades and renovations to tackle, homeowners can rely on portable generators to power tools such as drills, circular saws and more when working outside.

Top Ways to Reach Your Target Market
Updated: July 02, 2020 - 2:48 am

(Family Features) An amazing product, a phenomenal business model and a great team may put you on the right path, but ultimately, they mean little to your chances for success as a business owner if you don’t get in front of your target market.

Engage Virtually
Updated: July 02, 2020 - 2:48 am

Tips for keeping older adults connected

Market Your Business for Long-Term Success
Updated: July 02, 2020 - 2:48 am

(Family Features) Rapid growth and long-term success are the dreams virtually every entrepreneur pursues. The fire pushes you to ascend to the mountaintop quickly and stay there as long as possible.

Smart Advice to Build Your Own Business
Updated: July 02, 2020 - 2:48 am

(Family Features) With many tools and resources available, it is easy for entrepreneurs to build successful businesses. The United States has somewhere around 27 million entrepreneurs, and 69% of them started their businesses at home, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report from researchers at Babson College and Baruch College. 

8 Tips for Safely Operating Battery-Powered Tools
Updated: July 02, 2020 - 2:48 am

(Family Features) Battery-powered power tools make it convenient and efficient to tackle chores around the house and job site. While batteries eliminate the risks associated with electricity, they come with their own requirements for safe use and handling.

Add Natural Light to Any Room
Updated: July 02, 2020 - 2:48 am

(Family Features) Increasing the amount of natural light that enters your home can help make spaces feel larger and more inviting. An option like Sun Tunnel Skylights from Velux are a cost-effective, healthy way to transform nearly any room by funneling natural light from the roof through the attic to the area below.

4 Creative Ways to Drive Website Traffic
Updated: July 02, 2020 - 2:47 am

(Family Features) Consistent website traffic is an essential building block for a successful online business. While paid ads and search engine optimization are valuable strategies, there are some lesser known, but equally effective, ways to attract potential customers to your website or funnel.

The Business of Reading
Updated: July 02, 2020 - 2:48 am

5 impactful books for building your small business

Thursday 06/25/2020
3 Home Exterior Projects That Combine Beauty and Performance
Posted: June 25, 2020

(StatePoint) Will you be completing outdoor home renovation projects this season? To maximize your investment, consider these project ideas, which combine beauty and long-lasting performance:

Wednesday 06/24/2020
Shop Your Way to an Organized Closet
Updated: June 29, 2020 - 2:31 am

(Family Features) If you often find yourself standing in front of a closet bursting with clothes but can’t find anything to wear, it may be time for a makeover – not only for your wardrobe, but for your closet, too.

Home Safe Home
Updated: June 29, 2020 - 2:31 am

(Family Features) Some home upgrades are aesthetic, and some are for function. These ideas, all with better home safety in mind, show there’s no reason you can’t have both.

Ultimate Upgrades
Updated: June 29, 2020 - 2:31 am

Practical tips to improve your home’s function and ambiance

Managing Your Emotions
Updated: June 29, 2020 - 2:31 am

How to navigate a crisis and come out stronger

Upgrade Your Home, Downgrade Energy Usage
Updated: June 29, 2020 - 2:31 am

7 efficient home improvement projects

7 Tips for Summer Gardening Success
Updated: June 29, 2020 - 2:31 am

(Family Features) When temperatures peak and the summer sun shines for long hours throughout the day, it can put a burden on your garden and the plants growing in it. Some steps may be easier to take than others, but there are ways to keep your greenery thriving even in relentlessly scorching heat.

Big Results on a Little Budget
Updated: June 29, 2020 - 2:31 am

(Family Features) With the abundance of home improvement shows on TV, DIY has evolved from an intimidating trade for the pros to an easy-to-manage project for even the least handy of humans. Transforming a home from disaster to delightful through simple DIY projects and repairs is much easier than you may think and can save you a bundle in the process. If the thought of doing your own handy work has you wiping your brow, think again with these easy improvements.

Tuesday 06/23/2020
Creative Ways to a Backyard Paradise
Posted: June 23, 2020

Saturday 06/20/2020
Tips to Spend Less Money on Cooling Your Home This Summer
Posted: June 20, 2020

(StatePoint) Keeping your home cool and comfortable on hot summer days doesn’t need to cost a fortune. These tips can ensure your heating and cooling equipment lasts a long time and operates at maximum efficiency:

Thursday 06/18/2020
5 fabulous home office ideas
Updated: July 04, 2020 - 2:39 am

(BPT) - A dedicated home office space that helps insulate you from distractions and concentrate on work is invaluable — and not just in this time of pandemic. “We’ve chosen five inspiring examples of today’s residential workspaces — from the elegantly simple to the built-in and fully customized — that use hardwood with expertise and imagination,” says Linda Jovanovich, of the American Hardwood Information Center. “The advantages of American hardwoods, from classics like oak or maple to less familiar species like cypress or tulipwood, are that they’re durable, easy to work with, and sustainably grown.” And hardwoods look great, too, so you’ll enjoy the appearance of your workspace as much as its usefulness.

Sustainable Home Upgrades for Better Health
Updated: June 24, 2020 - 2:32 am

(Family Features) When you’re on a quest to create a home environment that promotes wellness, it can be difficult to know where to begin. One easy solution is to look for small changes that improve your personal well-being while also promoting a better environment overall.

Wednesday 06/17/2020
Summer Celebrations
Updated: June 19, 2020 - 2:32 am

(NAPSI)—Helping people celebrate and connect is at the heart of what 1-800-Flowers does. And while distance is keeping us apart, we can still be there for the moments that count. As we move into the summer, here are some great ways to stay close for those special occasions, even when we can’t be there.

Give Dad the Day He Deserves

Although big gatherings and dinners out may not be in the plans, celebrating Dad still is. A traditional BBQ for Father’s Day is always one way to go (make it virtual by Zooming with family & friends), but if you need some inspiration, the team at 1-800-Flowers has some fun, unique activities on tap:

1.Brunch Time: Treat him to a hearty feast, fit for a king. If it’s sunny, take it outdoors.

2.Game Day: We’re talking board games, perfect for some quality family bonding time.

3.Beer Tasting: Have a mix of lagers, ales & IPAs delivered from his favorite brewery.

4.Netflix & Couch: Re-watch his most-loved series or find something new he’ll enjoy.

5.Outdoor Movie Night: Shine a projector, then snuggle up with snacks & a great flick.

Of course, what holiday is complete without gifts? Whether you’re home together or sending your love from miles away, a thoughtful gesture can make a big difference in his day. Here are a few top picks:

Mood-brightening Blooms: Fields of Europe Summer™ for Father’s Day, It’s Your Day for Father’s Day 

A Mancave Must-Have: Juniper Bonsai

Snack Attack Staples: Classic BBQ Gift Tub, Happy Father’s Day Gift Basket 

Creative Ways to Celebrate Graduates

Graduation may not be what they imagined, but that doesn’t take away from what this milestone is all about. Check off some creative ideas for making the moment memorable, along with some inspiring gift choices.

1.Organize a photo shoot: Hire someone to snap some pics of your grad in their cap and gown, at home or school.

2.Plan an at-home ceremony: Think heartfelt speeches and a homemade diploma. Invite family and friends via video chat, then keep it going with a festive party.

3.Create a virtual “congrats” board: Fill it with heartfelt messages from family, friends and teachers, using a platform of your choice.

4.The Best & Brightest Bouquets: Happy Gerber Daisies—2020 Flower of the Year Delightful Joy™, Sentimental™ by Real Simple® 

You can also choose from a selection of an easy-care green plants, the perfect addition to their dorm room or apartment.

A New Kind of Family Reunion

Summertime is one of the best times to bring everyone together because of the warmer weather. If you don’t want to put your 2020 family reunion plans on hold (hold on to those matching shirts), you’ll just have to change it up a bit. 

1.Go Virtual: Invite everyone on Zoom, Skype or Google Meet. Spend all day “together” talking and making memories. (Make sure to have lots of food on hand.)

2.Keep It Local: Scale things down by meeting up (as regulations allow) with a smaller group at an outdoor venue. Have a day of fun from a safe social distance.

3.Do a Digital Celebration: Until you can all be there, share your favorite photos & videos with the whole group online. It will give everyone something to look forward to.

Of course, gifts are a great way to cheer up loved ones, so consider sending along one of these popular favorites from your friends at 1-800-Flowers: Pure Enchantment™, One-of-a-Kind Bouquet, Blooming Delights Gift Baskets.

Got a gift that really brightened your day? Join the conversation with on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, using #MadeMeSmile.

 "Celebrating and connecting is more important than ever these days. And it’s at the heart of what 1-800-Flowers does. While you may have to be apart, you can still be there in the moments that count." 

Security, durability, finish: How to choose the right lock for your home [Video]
Posted: June 17, 2020

Go Ahead, Make His Day
Updated: June 22, 2020 - 2:30 am

Dad-approved gifts for Father’s Day

5 Tips to Build Resilience in School-Aged Children
Updated: June 22, 2020 - 2:30 am

(Family Features) Resilience – the capacity to prepare for, adapt to and grow through disruption, trauma and loss – is a skill many parents want for their children. However, there is more to it than “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps” or persevering through hardships.

7 Tips to Save Money and Have Fun Shopping Online
Updated: June 22, 2020 - 2:30 am

(Family Features) Online shopping allows you the ease of getting items delivered directly to your door. Not only is online shopping convenient, but it also allows you to discover sites that help you save money while shopping.

6 Reasons to Pick Up Some Pistachios
Updated: June 22, 2020 - 2:30 am

(Family Features) Flavorful and fun, pistachios are a convenient source of protein you can enjoy on the go or in meals. In addition, research shows pistachios have even more health benefits.

Tuesday 06/16/2020
Residential Solar + Battery Storage Solutions Protect Against Utility Outages
Updated: June 18, 2020 - 2:32 am

(NAPSI)—The market for energy storage is growing—and with good reason. With power disruptions from electrical utilities driven by wildfires, storms, hurricanes and the continued decay of the power grid across the country, homeowners have turned to new solutions to keep the lights on.  

At the center of the upswing in interest, solar power continues to rank highly with energy-conscious homeowners nationwide. However, as residents in California have discovered through Public Safety Power Shutoffs in 2019, their current photovoltaic (PV) solar systems do not power their homes during utility outages, primarily because safety shut-off protocols are designed into the systems to protect utility workers. This has boosted the appeal of battery-based energy storage and software systems that can harness the sunlight and store it for later use.

The Public Safety Power Shutoffs were put in place to mitigate wildfire risks that could be caused by sparking power transmission lines when high winds and dry conditions create dangerous circumstances. The state of California recently earmarked $675 million under a new round of its Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), one of the first state-level incentives for battery energy storage in the country. The program—which now has a cumulative historic value of over $1 billion—has helped California lead the nation in residential energy storage. The SGIP Equity Resilience incentive program could essentially offset the entire cost of a battery storage system by providing up to $1/watt of backup power for qualified homeowners.

Hurricanes on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts also have inspired many homeowners to consider battery storage as an addition to their solar power systems or to add natural gas or propane-powered home backup generators in place of or in addition to the solar assets. This demand has helped backup generator giant Generac move into the clean energy arena with its PWRcell Storage System, which is considered an ideal solution for resilience to utility grid outages and a way to significantly lower energy bills by avoiding the utility company’s peak rates. Generac is the only company that offers both battery storage systems and whole home backup generators. Its dealers can provide “touchless virtual quotes” for both systems that let homeowners make the best decision for their specific needs. 

The PWRcell storage system is an all-in-one platform that offers 8 kilowatts of continuous power and a 10 kW surge capacity to start heavy loads such as 2-ton air conditioners and well pumps, but what sets this apart from other options is its ability to scale up to 17.1 kW of usable capacity. The system is equipped with an energy monitoring technology called PWRview, which offers smart device linkage to track household energy consumption, monitor battery usage and track energy spending and savings.  

Such residential clean energy solutions bring smart home energy storage and management into the mainstream for homeowners, cutting energy costs and providing protection from electric utility disruptions. As a result, people have more options when deciding where to get their power.


Wednesday 06/10/2020
Upgrade Your Outdoor Living Space
Updated: June 15, 2020 - 2:31 am

(Family Features) Transforming your backyard into a true extension of your home’s living space is a relatively easy way to add usable square footage and increase enjoyment of your home. Making outdoor upgrades is also a scalable project, meaning you can do as little or as much as your budget allows and continue enhancing the space over time.

After the Armed Forces
Updated: June 15, 2020 - 2:31 am

Business ownership appeals to veterans seeking post-military careers

Weather the Storm
Updated: June 15, 2020 - 2:31 am

Prepare early for power outages and other storm impacts

Small-Scale Home Upgrades with a Big Impact
Updated: June 15, 2020 - 2:31 am

(Family Features) When it comes to remodeling, there are dozens of ways to improve your home’s overall value and appeal without breaking the bank. Opt for projects that are manageable in scale, affordable and deliver benefits in multiple ways, such as aesthetics and energy efficiency.

6 Steps to Up Your Home's Curb Appeal
Updated: June 15, 2020 - 2:31 am

(Family Features) For good or bad, first impressions count. Whether you’re keeping up with the Joneses or capturing attention from would-be buyers, give your home’s curb appeal a boost with these easy steps.

Practical Tips for Caregivers Facing a Pandemic
Updated: June 15, 2020 - 2:31 am

(Family Features) Whether your role as a caregiver has you looking out for an elderly relative, children or both, chances are good that you’ve worried about how the COVID-19 pandemic may continue to affect your ability to provide necessary care.

Friday 06/05/2020
Keeping Your Family's Quarantine Cool This Summer
Posted: June 05, 2020

(NewsUSA) - As the coronavirus pandemic rapidly turned the "new normal" household into hubs for all daily activities, Summer 2020 now means moving parents' offices, kid's camps, vacation destinations, and virtually everything under one roof.

Wednesday 06/03/2020
Reduce Your Risk of Another Heart Attack or Stroke
Updated: June 08, 2020 - 2:33 am

COVID-19 pandemic highlights importance of maintaining healthy routines

4 Steps for DIY Paint Project Success
Updated: June 08, 2020 - 2:33 am

(Family Features) Painting is one of the easiest and most impactful DIY projects for homeowners to quickly update their homes. Whether it’s a new look in a master bathroom, adding a pop of color to the guest room, finishing off a basement remodel or anything in-between, a fresh coat of paint provides a fresh spin that’s all your own.

Find Inspiration in Award-Winning Home Design
Updated: June 08, 2020 - 2:33 am

(Family Features) Award-winning renovation projects aren’t just a way to identify top-notch contractors, they’re a chance for homeowners to gather ideas and learn from other home improvement success stories.

Friday 05/29/2020
Security 101: How to Buy a Professionally Monitored System
Posted: May 29, 2020

(BPT) - As temperatures rise, so do crimes of opportunity. Keeping our family safe is something that every one of us innately does. We teach our kids about “stranger danger” and we teach our teens about staying a safe distance away from the car in front of them. Yes, keeping our family members aware of their surroundings helps protect them in public; but what can we do at home to keep our families safe?

Wednesday 05/27/2020
A Nutritious, Appetizing Addition
Updated: June 01, 2020 - 2:31 am

(Family Features) One of the simplest ways to make meals tastier and more nutritious: just add mushrooms. You can multiply the flavor and nutrients like vitamin D and selenium by adding them to tacos, pasta, burgers and more. Find recipes and cooking tips at

The Pill Turns Sweet 60
Updated: June 01, 2020 - 2:31 am

(Family Features) Celebrating groundbreaking moments from six decades of the birth control pill empowering women to prevent pregnancy on their own terms.

Get Ready to Roll Safely Into Summer
Updated: June 01, 2020 - 2:31 am

(Family Features) During the summer months, personal vehicles tend to cover a lot of ground between travel and daily commutes.

Tuesday 05/26/2020
Moving Safely During the Coronavirus Crisis
Updated: June 04, 2020 - 2:33 am

(NAPSI)—If you and your family plan to move soon, you’ll be pleased to know that moving is considered an essential service. 

How professional movers go about that, however, varies from state to state and the manner and degree to which they’re enforcing social distancing and permitting businesses to operate if they’re considered essential.

So, if you or someone you know needs to move, the experts at the American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA) recommend you regularly check such resources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to stay up-to-date on the latest news. 

Smart Moves

To keep consumers and movers healthy and safe during the pandemic, AMSA offers these 10 moving-time facts and tips:

1.For the health of your family and moving crew, always follow CDC guidelines.

2.Work directly with your movers to determine the best time and method for your move. 

3.The moving company you choose should alert you if there are any disruptions in service as a result of federal or state action.

4.Help your movers serve you in the safest way possible. Notify them ahead of time if anyone in your household may have contracted coronavirus, or may have been exposed to someone who has. 

5.Check your professional mover’s website and feel free to ask questions on how the company is mitigating health risks. 

6.If you’ll feel more comfortable, ask if your professional mover can provide virtual estimates, rather than one based on an in-home visit. 

7.Try to provide your moving crew access to a sink, soap, and paper towels throughout your move. If this isn’t practical, provide hand sanitizer or wipes.

8.If you plan to prepack any items, purchase new moving boxes and tape from your mover; this isn’t the time to use recycled boxes from online sources, or from stores. 

9.Your mover may also have plastic bins available for rental. Wipe down the interior and exterior with a disinfecting wipe before packing anything in them. 

10. Consider deep cleaning your new home before unpacking to mitigate further the risk of contracting disease.

Learn More

For further information, go to and follow @amsapromover on social media.


Wednesday 05/20/2020
Bound to Your Home? 7 Essentials to Help Make Your Space More Comfortable
Posted: May 20, 2020

Home Improvements with High ROI
Updated: May 25, 2020 - 2:33 am

(Family Features) If the ultimate goal of your home improvement project is aesthetic, the greatest benefit may come from your personal enjoyment of the new space. However, if you’re looking to add true value to your home, it’s important to consider which projects are likely to bring the greatest return on your investment.

Essential Pantry Staples to Have on Hand
Updated: May 25, 2020 - 2:33 am

(Family Features) Keeping a well-stocked pantry ensures you can pull together a quality meal on a moment's notice or when unexpected circumstances keep you from making it to the store. In many homes, the pantry is filled with mismatched odds and ends that may not fit together, but you can shop smart to gather basic ingredients you need for a wide range of recipes.

5 Tips for Bringing a New Pet Home
Updated: May 25, 2020 - 2:33 am

(Family Features) Bringing a pet home for the first time – even if you already have other pets – can be an exciting moment. However, it's important to involve the whole family in discussing whether your family will foster or adopt, and what each family member's responsibilities with the new pet will be. It also takes preparation and patience to ensure a smooth transition.

5 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Decking Contractor
Updated: May 25, 2020 - 2:33 am

(Family Features) When it comes to tackling a backyard makeover, there is no time like the present to start planning. Unless you're planning to build your own deck, one of the first items on your "to-do" list should be hiring a contractor.

Kids Can Save Lives by Getting Active at Home
Updated: May 25, 2020 - 2:33 am

(Family Features) As millions of people across the globe social distance and self-quarantine to help prevent further spread of the novel coronavirus, kids and families can help save lives by getting active at home.

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