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Dominate spring: 5 easy steps to wake up your lawn

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here are a lot of things people miss during the winter flip-flops, shorts and warm sunshine. But one of the things homeowners miss the most is the sight of green grass. For months their lawns go into hibernation and disappear under a blanket of snow. Once the temperature starts to rise and the days start getting longer, many are eager to get outside and restore their lawns to their former glory. But in order to get a lush green lawn that is the envy of your block, it's crucial to get to work at the beginning of spring. The lawn experts at Lowe's have shared five key steps you can take right now to ensure you have a beautiful and healthy yard all year long.

1. Tune up your equipment Before you start work on your lawn, you want to make sure your mower is ready for the season. This means changing out the oil, tightening up any loose bolts or fasteners and starting the season with fresh spark plugs. You should also make sure the air filter is clean, and don't forget to have your blade sharpened. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions.

2. Evaluate your lawn Once all the snow has melted, set aside some time to walk over your lawn. Take note of any dead spots, snow mold or raw patches of earth that need reseeding. Bring a rake with you to clean up dead leaves or break up any thatched areas that may have formed over the winter. 3. Take care of snow mold If you find a spot of snow mold and other types of lawn fungus that are common in early spring, take a rake and gently break up the matted grass so it can dry. Oftentimes, this will be enough to dry out the mold and get the grass in the area growing again. However, depending on the extent of the damage, you might have to patch or reseed the area. 4. Reseed where needed For the bare spots as well as areas of your lawn that are looking a little thin, overseeding is a great way to return it to its full, lush state. Spread grass seed over the area you want to patch, add some fertilizer and about a half inch of topsoil and gently rake the mixture in with the grass and soil. Thoroughly water

Be sure all of your lawn equipment is ready for spring.

The smell of fresh-cut grass is these patches every day until the hold before the hot summer weather arrives. This is why spring is the almost upon us! Lowe's has all of seeds begin to germinate. best time to seed your lawn. Also, if the products and services you need 5. Plant while it's still cool you've been thinking of planting to get your lawn ready for spring. The cooler temperatures in any shrubs or trees, you should do it spring are ideal for roots to take before it gets too warm.

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6 project ideas to recreate your kitchen

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A new faucet can help recreate your kitchen.

Time to schedule your A/C tune-up!

Minor and major projects that can recreate your kitchen s the hub of activity in a home, the kitchen serves many purposes: meal prep base, dining area, family gathering place, celebration zone, and entertainment center, to name a few. Does your high-use, heart-of-thehome kitchen meet the challenges and needs of your family life? If not, then it's time for a renovation. A kitchen remodel can be inspired by lifestyle changes, the need for energy efficiency, upgrading of decades-old styling, or simply that you are ready for a change. The good news is that remodeling the most used room in your house not only improves the space itself, it increases the overall value of your home. Research from Remodeling magazine shows homeowners who undergo a mid-range kitchen remodel can expect to recoup 81 percent of their spend upon selling their home. A major kitchen

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remodel will recoup 59 percent, according to the same study. With statistics like these, remodeling your kitchen has the potential to be good for you now and in the future. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your kitchen remodeling project today. Here are six ideas, ranging from minor to major: • Replace your faucet. For the amount you use your kitchen faucet, functionality and ease-ofuse should be top priorities - highlighted with stylish designs lines, of course. The Avery Selectronic hands-free pull-down kitchen faucet from American Standard features a three-function spray that can handle any kitchen challenge. Plus, this high-arc touchless faucet offers flexibility to suit user preference - simply switch to manual function for guests not familiar with touchless operation. • Paint your cabinets. If replacing your kitchen cabinets is not in

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HOME IMPROVEMENT

Don't re-roof until you do these 5 things

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ith spring officially arriving, home improvement season is swinging into full gear. Fair warning to homeowners looking to hire a professional, 2018 is predicted to be a record-breaker. A recent study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University projects home improvement spending will approach $340 billion this year - the strongest gain for remodeling in more than a decade. Among the costliest of projects is roofing, a large expense with serious implications if put off or improperly done. When you add 2018's remodeling demand with the much-talkedabout skilled labor shortage, on top of the recovery from last year's hurricane season, homeowners could be tempted to jump right into major home work, all without doing their homework first. As this could prove costly, consider the following before anyone sets foot on your roof:

1. Check contractor qualifications Choose a local, reputable contractor. These contractors should have the best knowledge of local building codes, state codes and required certifications and licenses. Ask the contractor to see their certificate of insurance before stepping onto the roof. Consider going the extra mile and choosing a contractor certified by the manufacturer of the shingle the contractor installs. Improper installation is considered one of the major reasons roofs fail prematurely, so finding a contractor with knowledge and experience in the correct application of a particular product is of the utmost importance. 2. Determine layover or tear off Many times, contractors will push for a removal of all existing shingles, or a tear off, over adding another layer of shingles on top of an existing roof, a layover. Although a complete tear off is more expensive due to increased labor costs, there are some advantages. "When you tear off, you get a chance to look at the roof deck and repair any deteriorating wood or substrate," said Rick Taylor, longtime roofing contractor and a trainer for shingle manufacturer TAMKO Building Products Inc. Typically, doing a layover is more economical, although homeowners need to discuss relevant factors with their contractor, including local building code requirements and implications for the manufacturer's warranty. 3. Research the warranty It is important to understand the warranty specific to the roof product you have installed. Educate yourself on requirements for installation, including whether a shingle layover is applicable (as mentioned above). "Some shingle manufacturers won't warranty the roof unless it is a complete tear off," Taylor said. "TAMKO is one that actually does have the option to warranty a laminated shingle applied over one other layer of 3-tab shingles." Other warranty concerns to consider include proper installation, the required steps to register your roof after installation and the time period allowed for transferring that warranty to future owners of the home.

4. Assess ventilation needs Inadequate roof ventilation is another major culprit behind premature roof aging. There are a variety of options for roof ventilation; however, it is generally recommended to incorporate proper ventilation into the original re-roof, rather than add it later. The recommended ventilation depends on the size and architecture of the home, but when done correctly, the air inside the attic should be near the same temperature as the ambient temperature of the air outside it. 5. Check the weather It may seem obvious, but a simple check of the weather before starting a roofing project could prevent a big headache later. Avoid starting a project with wet plywood or underlayment, or when the forecast indicates a strong chance of rain. Also, many manufacturers of asphalt shingles, the most popular form of roofing in the U.S., do not recommend installation in below-

Evaluate your roof before you hire a roofer.

freezing temperatures or in excessively high temperatures. Careful consideration of these steps during your next home exterior project could save you from costly and lengthy rework years later.

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HOME IMPROVEMENT

6 project ideas to recreate your kitchen (Continued from page 10)

Spring Cleaning Should Include Your Air Conditioning Tune Up!

Radiant Heat . Heat Pumps . GeoThermal . Solar Systems . Water Heaters

the budget this year, repainting them is the next best thing. A fresh coat of paint can dramatically change the appearance of your kitchen. Select a paint that dries hard so it can stand up to wear and tear; choose a satin finish paint to hide imperfections in the cabinet surface. To complete the look, consider replacing the cabinet hardware. Pick the style that appeals most to you and remember knobs are more common on cabinets, handles on drawers. • Add a backsplash. Create an instant wow factor by enhancing the walls above the work areas of your kitchen. The use of varying shapes and materials can really showcase your creative side. Today's homeowners are choosing larger sized subway tiles, introducing a bit more color to this traditionally neutral-colored area of the kitchen, experimenting with varying tile patterns, and choosing metallic and mirrored finishes. Extending the backsplash all the way to the ceiling, with the use of shelving instead of cabinets for storage, is a new trend gaining ground. Whatever your choice, a new backsplash can delight you every time you enter the kitchen. • Elevate your faucet. For homeowners who enjoy crafting delectable meals for family and friends, an upgrade to the GROHE Essence semi-pro faucet provides the perfect combination of modern functionality and high style. It features convenient one-hand operation, full 360-degree sink mobility and two high-performance sprays. Plus, this high-arc faucet features a flexible silicone hose that can be easily replaced in a variety of rainbow col-

ors for an instant kitchen "perk-up." • Explore sink options. Whether it's for food preparation, dish washing or bathing a small child, families depend on the kitchen sink for a lot of things. The DXV Hillside stainless steel sink exhibits the rich character of popular farmhouse sink styling with a refined sophistication ideal for the modern kitchen. Made from 16-gauge stainless steel, its clean apron-front design makes it perfect for undercounter, flush countertop or abovecounter custom installation. The result is a high-style sink that can meet any kitchen need. • Change out those cabinets. While repainting cabinets can change the look of your kitchen, replacing them can totally upgrade the room's core style and functionality. Select new cabinets based on the current needs of your kitchen, considering accessories that can improve functionality. Think slowclose drawers and doors, turntable corner cabinets, pull-out trash can cabinets, plus many innovative storage features. The choice of design styles - framed or frameless will impact your kitchen's look. Cabinets vary in price, depending on whether they are stock, semicustom or custom. With kitchen cabinets accounting for up to 40 percent of a full kitchen remodeling budget, invest time in choosing the style and function that will make you love your new kitchen. Whatever your level of kitchen remodeling, these upgrades are sure to make life easier and more enjoyable in a room that is the focal "living" room in any home. Go ahead and plan your renovations today and experience the benefits for years to come.

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HOME IMPROVEMENT

High-tech bathroom trends for 2018

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echnology is trending in home design and decor this year, and some of the most dramatic, futuristic and fun tech trends are showing up in the bathroom. From glass doors and windows changing from clear to opaque with the touch of a button to toilets transforming the whole experience of going to the loo, it's all about high-tech tricking out your oasis. Here are four tech trends that will take your bathroom into hyperspace. 1. Privacy glass Glass blocks are opaque but let in some filtered light; blinds or shades get in the way. The answer? Privacy glass. It is an ultra-futuristic special adhesive film that's cut to fit your existing glass doors and windows. Tap an app on your smartphone and transform your glass from opaque to transparent instantly. (Alien technology? We can neither confirm nor deny that.) It gives you privacy when you need it and lets the sun shine in when you don't, and eliminates the need for shades or blinds, giving your bathroom a sleek, clean look. 2. High-tech toilets This is not your father's WC. Toilets today offer technologically advanced features like sensor-operated seats and lids, night lights, deodorizers, self-cleaning technologies and heated seats. A toilet with a TOTO WASHLET electronic bidet seat is a coup de loo that leaves you cleaner and more refreshed than you've ever felt after a bathroom break. Operated by remote control, it's completely hands-free and offers comfortable, warm, aerated water to cleanse, warm air dryer and heated seat. No need for toilet paper. The Aquia IV High-Efficiency Toilet Dual Flush and WASHLET+ S550e combine seamlessly (no visible cords or hoses). This elegant design features high-tech innovations to make your life cleaner, healthier, less complicated and more beautiful - autoopen/close seat and lid, electrolyzed water to keep your toilet bowl hygienic without harsh chemicals (better for the environment and your pocketbook), and in-bowl deodorizer. The new DYNAMAX TORNADO Dual-Flush Technology cleans the entire bowl and rim with 360 degrees of cyclonic rinsing action. Its CEFIONTECT glazed surface is smooth down to the nano level, preventing matter from adhering to its surfaces. Visit www.totousa.com to learn more. 3. High-tech warmers While a warm bathroom floor isn't new, some manufacturers are taking it up a notch by making it digital. These systems feature a mat that's installed under your tile. It's

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Wi-Fi enabled and connected to a digital thermostat that you control from your smartphone. Make your towels toasty, too, with a towel warmer. Pop your towel into what looks like an ordinary bathroom cabinet, but it's really a hidden, stainless steel warming drawer, and your towels will be toasty by the time you're finished with your shower.

4. Digital steam spa You don't need a major remodel to get a steam shower. There are kits for that! They're digitally operated steam generators that even include aromatherapy features (think eucalyptus steam when you're stuffy with a cold). The bathroom is the place where you start and end your days, your oasis for renewal. With these new high-tech products, you can design your perfect retreat.

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Spring Home Improvement 2018  
Spring Home Improvement 2018  
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