8 Home Remodeling Projects With Top-Dollar Returns

Not all home improvements are created equal. These will reward you the most when it comes time to sell.

Homeowners entertaining on their porch
Image: Nigel Riches/Offset

Your home is in the perfect location, came at the perfect price, with the perfect lot. (Yay southern exposure!)

But the home itself? Perfect isn’t the adjective you’d use. But you knew that moving in, and now you’re ready to start making it just right.

Where to begin, though? How about with data? Data is that friend who tells you like it really is.

Because while any home improvement that brings you joy is priceless, not all add as much home equity as you might expect.

The “Remodeling Impact Report” from the National Association of REALTORS® has tons of data on how much improvements cost — and how much of those costs you can recoup.

Here are eight of the report’s best home remodeling projects with equity-building might:

#1 New Roof

Two men work on a gray shingled roof with houses in distance
Image: Eddy Garcia

If you find yourself sprinting for the buckets when it starts to sprinkle, getting a new roof should be your No. 1 to-do. Measuring rainfall from the indoors isn’t cool. 

The cost: $7,500 

The return: 107% at $8,000

Considering it’s what’s between you and the elements, it’s a no-brainer. 

Not sure if you need a new roof? Signs you might include:

  • Shingles are missing, curling up, or covered in moss.
  • Gritty bits from the asphalt shingles are coming out the downspout. 
  • The sun’s shining through your attic. 
  • You notice stains on ceilings and walls.
  • Your energy bill is sky high.

Popular Reads

#2 and #3 Refinished or New Hardwood Floors

Herringbone wood floor in white kitchen with steel appliance
Image: SL Interiors

You flip on the TV to see that your fave home reno-ing duo is it at again, flipping a ranch that’s stuck in the ’80s. 

They make it to the living room, pull back the dingy carpet to reveal hardwood floors in great condition. They’re psyched — and for good reason. 

Hardwood floors are a timeless classic. Refinishing is a no-brainer. Neither will you regret adding new hardwood floors if you have none.

The cost to refinish: $2,600

The return: 100% at $2,600

The cost to buy new: $4,700

The return: 106% at $5,000 

Related: Should You Refinish Hardwood Floors Yourself?

#4 New Garage Door

White glass garage door on gray, ranch-style home
Image: Sunwest Garage Door

No surprise that a garage door replacement project made it onto this #winning list — a new garage door provides a big boost for your home’s curb appeal at a relatively modest cost. 

The cost: $2,100

The return: 95% at $2,000

There are options galore, too. A host of factory-finish colors, wood-look embossed steel, and glass window insets are just some of the possibilities that’ll give your doors bankable personality. 

#5 Better Insulation

Insulation is tucked out of sight, so it’s often out of mind — that is, until you’re forced to wear your parka indoors because it’s sooo darn cold. 

The cost: $2,400

The return: 83% at $2,000 (plus the added savings on heating and cooling costs!)

#6 New Siding

Home with blue siding and white trim | New Siding for ROI
Image: Larkaun Homes

In any color! And never paint again. 

Those are two of the three benefits of vinyl siding. The third, of course, is your home’s value. 

But if long-time homeowners look at you funny when you mention vinyl siding, just tell them that today’s vinyl is way better than what they remember because of fade-resistant finishes and transferable lifetime warranties. 

The cost: $15,800

The return: 63% at $10,000

#7 Fiber-Cement Siding

Want fiber-cement siding instead? It also shows a strong payback of 76%. Although it’s the pricier option — you’ll spend about $19,700 with a payback of about $15,000 — it has one thing vinyl still lacks — the perception of quality.

The cost: $19,700

The return: 76% at $15,000

#8 HVAC Replacement

Air quality is top of mind these days, so replacing an HVAC system is a timely project — plus it cuts those pesky utility costs. Of the people surveyed in the NAR report, almost half said the most important benefit of HVAC replacement was better functionality and livability.

The cost: $8,200

The return: 85% at $7,000

Quality matters. In a survey from the National Association of Home Builders, “quality” was the one of the most important traits home buyers focused on when house hunting.

Perceptions of quality can vary, but the majority of both first-time buyers and repeat buyers said they’d rather have a smaller home with high-quality products and services than a bigger home with fewer amenities.

Related: 

“Visit HouseLogic.com for more articles like this.  Reprinted from HouseLogic.com with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.”

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Best Cyber Deals To Shop Online Monday 2022

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

Slay the holidays this year—take a look at this Family Handyman list of the best Black Friday deals available online. Fill your cart with low prices on tech, clothing and too.

When is Black Friday 2022?

Black Friday has officially morphed from a one-day sale event to a season full of deep discounts. Sales last anywhere from a few hours to several weeks, and shoppers no longer have to wait until midnight to get Black Friday savings on items like TV standscleaning products and pizza ovens.

In fact, the best Black Friday deals are dropping online right now! Take advantage of these markdowns to shop for everyone from family to fur babies right from your couch, or pick up a firewood rackpatio set or washer and dryer to pair with your hot tuboutdoor TV or projector.

Most retailers, like WalmartAmazon and Tractor Supply offer the best discounts online as they clear their warehouses for spring stock. But it’s hard to keep track of which sales are happening and when. As sales and deals experts, we report on all the best Black Friday deals, from tools and appliances to housewares and mattresses. See the top deals below!

Best Black Friday Deals

Deals on Tools and Outdoor Furniture

  • Aerogarden: Shop garden supplies up to 50% off during Aero’s Seasons Greenings sale.
  • AmazonAmazon is dropping new deals hourly, so check back for big savings across hundreds of items, like 43% off this sander or 52% off this tool set.
  • Bed Bath and Beyond: Shop the houseware retailer’s Black Friday sale and score steep discounts on outdoor furniture. Through Black Friday, take an extra 25% off your entire purchase.
  • Erommy: During this furniture retailer’s Anti-Season Sale, score up to 60% off outdoor furniture and gazebos.
  • Frontgate: Save up to 50% site wide and extra markdowns on clearance items.
  • Leatherman: For a limited time, customization is 50% off at Leatherman. Check out their seasonal sale for big savings on tools!
  • Gardyn: Enjoy $200 off a Gardyn Home+ membership and $100 off Gardyn home devices using code GROW.
  • Ooni: We can’t get enough of our favorite outdoor pizza oven! Ooni’s 20% off site wide sale runs through November 29.
  • QVC: Score savings site wide during QVC’s Black Friday sale, like over $120 off this inflatable hot tub.
  • Solo Stove: Save up to 40% on fire pits. In addition, score savings of $400 on the Tower patio heater and $320 off the well-loved pizza oven, the Pi oven.
  • Terrain: Terrain is holding an outdoors sale event. Score 30% off all furniture, planters and select decor with code HOLIDAYHOME.
  • Traeger: Save on sale items, like over $20 off this cast iron grill grate kit.
  • Walmart: The retail giant is holding their Deals for Days event leading up to Black Friday, with new deals dropping every Monday in November. Save big on high ticket items, like over 40% off this swing chair.
  • Wayfair: The home goods giant is offering sale prices of up to 70% off during their early Black Friday event.
  • Z Grills: Save up to 52% on select grills during the Black Friday sale. Find more top grill deals here!

Deals on Appliances and Housewares

  • AJ Madison: The appliance retailer is offering up to 50% off during their Black Friday sale, plus free delivery on most appliances.
  • AmazonAmazon is dropping new deals hourly. Check back for big savings across hundreds of items, like 50% off a mini Keurig machine.
  • Anthropologie: Take 30% off thousands of items site wide during Anthropologie’s holiday sale, no code required. Plus, score an extra 30% off sale items including homeware and decor.
  • Bed Bath and Beyond: Shop the houseware retailer’s Black Friday sale and score steep discounts on appliances, like $100 off this KitchenAid coffee maker. Through Black Friday, take an extra 25% off your entire purchase.
  • Breville: Breville is offering 20% off select ovens through November 25.
  • Castlery: Save up to 40% on housewares during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday savings events!
  • Cushion Lab: During Cushion Lab’s winter comfort sale, get up to 48% off cushions, sheets and travel pillows.
  • Etsy: Etsy’s holiday deals are live! Save up to 60% off on items across all categories (from participating shops).
  • Great Jones: Through November 28, Great Jones is offering up to 50% off with their site wide Black Friday promotion.
  • HexClad Cookware: HexClad is a science-forward brand that combines the powers of stainless steel, non-stick and cast iron into a single pan. For a limited time, get up to 40% off site wide and enjoy savings like $400 off their hybrid cookware set and $250 off this elegant steel knife set.
  • Lamps Plus: The lighting retailer is running their seasonal sale. Take 50% off a number of top sellers including fire pits and table lamps.
  • Material Kitchen: This is the only site wide sale Material Kitchen puts on! Take 20% off almost everything on the site.
  • Misen: This kitchenware brand boasts honest prices, and their current sale of $200 off this stainless cookware set holds up that philosophy.
  • Our Place: The Instagram-loved cookware company is running a site wide sale of up to 30% off cookware, 25% off tableware, up to $125 off bestsellers and up to $150 off bundles now through November 28.
  • Rejuvination: Enjoy up to 30% off lighting, hardware and bath and an extra 20% off clearance with code EXTRA20.
  • RTA: Score up to 60% off cabinets, 40% off closets, 35% off custom colors and 40% off all samples through December 5.
  • Sur La Table: Enjoy Black Friday deals of up to 60% off select cookware.
  • Target: Find big savings on small appliances and housewares during the mega store’s epic Black Friday sales. Score deals like this TV stand for 39% off.
  • Walmart: The retail giant is holding their Deals for Days event leading up to Black Friday, with new deals dropping every Monday in November. Save big on high-price items, like 39% off this Bodum pour over coffee maker.

Deals on Pet Care

  • Alpha Paw: Save big on pet care with Alpha Paw’s early Black Friday sale. Get up to 70% off site wide and an extra 20% off, no code necessary.
  • Chewy: The savings at Chewy are epic! Save up to 40% off pet supplies and gifts for pet owners.
  • FeraPet Organics: These dog and cat wellness products are 30% off site wide through Cyber Monday.
  • Litter Robot: Save $50 on litter robot bundles and shop markdowns on pet furniture.
  • Spot & Tango: New subscribers can take 50% off a trial and get free chicken munchies. Use code HOLIDAY50. Is it worth it? This brand routinely sells out.

Deals on Furniture, Bedding and Mattresses

  • AmazonAmazon is dropping new deals hourly, so check back for big savings across hundreds of items, like over $140 off this Zinus mattress.
  • Avocado: Avocado mattresses rarely go on sale, but for a limited time, Avocado is offering 10% off their organic mattress selection with code SAVE10. Score an Avocado green mattress at a savings of over $100 through January 9!
  • Balsam Hill: Save up to 50% on Christmas decor—including artificial trees—plus free shipping during Balsam Hill’s holiday sale!
  • Bed Bath and Beyond: Shop the houseware retailer’s Black Friday sale and score steep discounts on home items, like 57% off this plaid bedding set. Through Black Friday, take an extra 25% off your entire purchase.
  • Brentwood Home: Save 10% off site wide with code SAVE10 through January 9. In addition, browse hundreds of markdowns during their Holiday Sale.
  • Brooklinen: Score pillows, sheet sets and towels for up to 40% off during Brooklinen’s Last Call sale—check out these limited edition prints before they’re gone for good. Then, through November 30, Brooklinen is offering 20% off sitewide!
  • Brooklyn BeddingTake 27% off site wide now through November 27 with code BFRIDAY30.
  • Buffy: This high-quality home goods brand is offering 20-40% off their bestsellers until December 25. Save over $70 on their cotton percale sheet set and $40 off the breeze comforter.
  • Burrow: Save 15% on seating (up to $1,599 value) ahead of Black Friday. Discounts are tiered based on how much you spend.
  • Cozy Earth: Cozy Earth is offering 30-35% off site wide on pajamas and bedding, no code needed.
  • DreamCloud: Score 25% off everything on the site and $499 worth of accessories with a mattress purchase through December 5.
  • Flexispot: Flexispot is offering Black Friday deals on select products up to 50% off through November 30.
  • Grandin Road: The home store is offering 20% off site wide and up to 50% off Christmas items.
  • Helix: The Helix midnight luxe feels as premium as it sounds. For a limited time, they are offering savings of up to $350 on their best selling beds, plus two free pillows. Savings depend on spending, so check the site for the code needed.
  • Nectar: The mattress store is offering 33% off everything on the site through December 5.
  • Parachute: The beloved bedding brand is offering up to 40% savings during their Last Chance sale.
  • Pottery Barn Teen: Pottery Barn Teen is offering up to 50% off furniture, bedding and more during their early Black Friday event, plus an extra 20% off and free shipping on orders over $99 with code COZY.
  • Pillow Cube: Take up to 60% off select items on Pillow Cube’s site, including one of its bestsellers, the Side Sleeper Pro.
  • Pottery Barn: Take up to 50% off bedding, furniture and more, plus free shipping on thousands of items.
  • QVC: The best Black Friday deals are live during QVC’s Black Friday deal drop, with new sales launching every Friday.
  • Ruggable: Save up to $65 on area rugs and up to $270 off on rug bundles during Ruggable’s Black Friday deals.
  • Saatva: From November 11-17, save up to $525 on select mattresses.
  • Siena: Get $200 off mattresses now through December 5.
  • SijoTake up to 30% off site wide, no code needed.
  • The Company Store: The well-loved home goods store is running a Black Friday savings event of 25% off bedding essentials and 20% off everything else using code FRIYAY22. Save 40% on this down comforter and select pajama sets.
  • Walmart: The retail giant is holding their deals for days event leading up to Black Friday. Save big on high ticket items, like $309 in savings on this sherpa chair.
  • Wayfair: All November long, score massive deals on furniture at Wayfair. Save 50% on dining furniture and 60% off living room seating among hundreds of other markdowns.
  • West Elm: Score up to 50% off best-selling furniture among tons of other home markdowns.

Deals on Cleaning and Organizing

  • AmazonAmazon is dropping new deals hourly, so check back for big savings across hundreds of items, like 37% off storage baskets.
  • Bed Bath and Beyond: Shop the houseware retailer’s Black Friday sale and score steep discounts, like up to 60% off. Through Black Friday, take an extra 25% off your entire purchase.
  • Chemical Guys: Chemical Guys, the well-loved car cleaning brand, is featuring door busters of up to 70% off through Cyber Monday.
  • Dreametech: Now through November 24, DreameTech is offering up to 45% off select vacuums, like 43% off the D9 robot vacuum.
  • DysonThrough December 24, save $150 on select Dyson appliances, like the Dyson V8.
  • Grove Co.: For a limited time, score sustainable cleaning products up to 60% off during this end of season sale. Grove is offering free shipping over $20 and a free cleaning set with a purchase over $29.
  • Nordstrom: Now through November 29, shop Nordstrom’s holiday deals for exclusive savings on organizational goodies. Get up to 60% off across all categories.
  • Walmart: The retail giant is running their deals for days event leading up to Black Friday. Save big on high ticket items, including 51% off the Shark steam mop and 47% off their cordless vacuum.

Deals on Workwear and Apparel

  • AmazonAmazon drops new deals hourly, so check back for big savings across hundreds of items.
  • Adidas: Score up to 70% off select footwear.
  • Back Country: Score up to 40% off exclusive winter styles and up to 60% off camping essentials.
  • Hunter: Get 25% off select outerwear with code OUTERWEAR25.
  • Carhartt: Explore hundreds of markdowns of up to 25% off select styles, no code needed!
  • Columbia: Columbia offers up to 50% off select styles during their early Black Friday sale.
  • Crocs: During the Crocs Brite Friday sale beginning on November 24 and running through November 27, score up to 60% off select styles.
  • Dickies: Enjoy dozens of selected sale items, like 70% off this chore coat, and get free shipping on orders over $50.
  • GlassesUSA: Save 50% on glasses and sunglasses with code FALL50 and 40% on designer frames with code DESIGNER40. Contact wearers receive 25% off contacts with code CONTACTS25.
  • Jack Wolfskin: Get up to 50% off select items during the fall savings sale.
  • L.L. Bean: The clothing retailer is featuring a new markdown every day, upwards of 50% off.
  • Lo & Sons: Lo & Sons offers up to 70% off from November 24-27.
  • Reebok: Score a new pair of shoes (on select styles) for 30% off with code BLACKFRIDAY through Black Friday.
  • REI: The outdoor clothing retailer is offering up to 30% off site wide through November 21.
  • Zappos: Get up to 50% off L.L. Bean, Kate Spade New York, Polo Ralph Lauren, Columbia, Vans, Steve Madden and more during the Why Wait Sale.

Deals on Rugs and Décor

  • Etsy: Etsy’s holiday deals are live. Save up to 60% on items across all categories (from participating shops).
  • Ruggable: Save up to $65 on area rugs or up to $270 off on rug bundles during Ruggable’s Black Friday deals.

Deals on Tech and Electronics

  • AmazonAmazon is dropping new deals hourly. Check back for big savings across hundreds of items.
  • Bed Bath and Beyond: Shop the houseware retailer’s Black Friday sale and score steep discounts on tech items, like 63% off this Amazon Echo Dot. Through Black Friday, take an extra 25% off your entire purchase.
  • Sonos: Through November 28, score big savings on select Sonos speakers.
  • Walmart: The retail giant is holding their deals for days event leading up to Black Friday. Save big on high ticket items.

Deals on Sporting Goods and Camping Gear

  • AmazonAmazon is dropping new deals hourly, so check back for big savings across hundreds of items, like 38% off this muscle massager.
  • Gear Hugger: Through November 27, score 30% off all Gear Hugger products on Amazon.
  • Judy: For a limited time, take 25% off survival supplies from Judy.
  • Moosejaw: Moosejaw has hundreds of items on markdown, including camping items like 46% off this sleeping pad. Get 20% off one full-price item with code HOORAY.
  • Rumpl: The outdoor-focused blanket and apparel site is having a sale on blankets, with prices up to 35% off. Score cold weather favorites like the River Run blanket at a savings of over $60! They’re also featuring 25% markdowns on almost everything else on the site.
  • Tempo: For a limited time, get a discount on Tempo’s monthly home gym plan and save up to 40% on their Tempo Studio subscription. Get ahead of your New Years resolutions!
  • Voited: Score upwards of 30% off camping blankets and other items during their warehouse sale.
  • Walmart: The retail giant is holding their deals for days event leading up to Black Friday. Save big on high ticket items, like 50% off this seaside cooler.
  • Visit FamilyHandyman.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from FamilyHandyman.com, © 2022 Home service Publications Inc. , Doman, Katy 09/29/2022
Posted in Real Estate News | Leave a comment

These Black Friday Appliance Sales Are the Gift That Keeps on Giving

Black Friday delivers on appliance sales. Top brands like Bissell and Samsung are on our “nice” list this year—take a look at the available savings to see why!

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.1 / 10

Haier 16.4 Cu. Ft. Quad Door Refrigerator Ecomm Wayfair.com

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The Best Black Friday Appliance Sales

How many times has your washer leaked this year? How about your refrigerator? If the answer is more than once, it’s time to upgrade. Don’t worry, though! These Black Friday appliance sales won’t leave a hole in your pocketbook.

As a Sales and Deals Editor, I went though dozens of retailer sites ahead of Black Friday, including Amazon, Home Depot and Walmart to find the best deals on home appliances. Whether your television broke or your vacuum won’t pick anything up, we have you covered with savings of up to 60%.2 / 10

Haier 16.4 Cu. Ft. Quad Door Refrigerator Ecomm Wayfair.com

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The Best Large Appliances Sales

Haier Quad Door Refrigerator

This quad door refrigerator is futuristic and efficient! Four doors means less temperature fluctuation and faster freezing times. The doors help the refrigerator maintain a slimmer profile, too, so it’s flush with counters for a cleaner aesthetic.

Take advantage of more than $650 in savings when you purchase this fridge through Wayfair! Find more Wayfair Black Friday deals here. And shipping? Free.

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Ge Profile 5.4 Cu. Ft. Capacity Washer With Smarter Wash Technology And Flexdispense Ecomm Wayfair.com

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GE Profile Top Load Washer

This GE washer is as energy efficient as it is inexpensive thanks to Energy Star and a more than $400 discount ahead of Black Friday. As an Energy Star product, the washer uses less energy per load than a traditional washer. Purchase this savvy washer at a low price today and keep it running for years to come with anti-microbial technology that eliminates the growth of odor-causing bacteria.

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Check out some more of these washer and dryer sales to put a spin on laundry time.4 / 10

7.2 Cu. Ft. Electric Dryer With Sensor Dry In White Ecomm Samsung.com

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Samsung Front Load Electric Dryer

Front-load dryers are a classic style, but this Samsung electric dryer, marked down more than $290 (for both electric and gas models), is anything but. Lint trap alerts notify you when the filter needs cleaning. It boasts a high capacity, so big loads are no longer a problem. Snag one during Samsung’s Black Friday appliance sale before it ends!

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Farberware Compact Countertop Microwave Oven Ecomm Amazon.com

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The Best Small Appliances Sales

Farberware Compact Countertop Microwave Oven

This Farberware microwave is compact for small spaces but doesn’t compromise power. Seven hundred watts of power cook food in no time, and the reliable construction guarantees this microwave will last for years to come. At a markdown of 34% during Amazon’s Black Friday deals, this small appliance heats up leftovers without breaking the bank.

This appliance deal won’t stay in stock for long! Here are more Black Friday microwave deals to check out.

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Nutrichef Electric Countertop 600 Watts Multi Tier Food Dehydrator Machine With 6 Stainless Steel Trays, Digital Timer, & Temperature Control Ecomm Target.com

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NutriChef Countertop Food Dehydrator

Why pick up a package of jerky for $15 when better jerky is possible at home? With a glass front door and six steel trays, this dehydrator holds everything from fruit leather to crunchy kale chips. Consume nutrients while creating lightweight meals for camping, hiking or sitting around a bonfire.

Target has this dehydrator marked down more than $90 during its Black Friday sale. Add one to your cart before the sale is over!

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Bissell Crosswave Floor And Area Rug Cleaner Ecomm Amazon.com

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The Best Cleaning Appliances Sales

Bissell CrossWave Floor and Area Rug Cleaner

Why settle for a plain vacuum when the Bissel Crosswave moonlights as a steam mop? Currently listed at a savings of $60 on Amazon, this lightweight two-in-one is a one-and-done. It vacuums and steam cleans hard surfaces simultaneously.

Don’t worry about the mess, either. The Crosswave is engineered to avoid dirty hands, since the dirt tank releases hands-free. Don’t wait on this one—Amazon appliance sales sell out fast!

Shop NowCarol J. Michel, clewisCarol J. MichelCarol J. MichelAlex RennieErica YoungEmily WayRobert MaxwellMary HennMORE FROM FAMILY HANDYMANWhat Is Grout? WhatTo KnowBy: Alex Renniehttps://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.546.0_en.html#goog_1469429582https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.546.0_en.html#goog_1094514367https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.546.0_en.html#goog_6587038848 / 10

Costway 1050w Multi Purpose Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner Ecomm Target.com

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Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner

Limit the number of chemicals involved in cleaning with this handheld pressurized steam cleaner, currently 53% off at Target. Loosen grout stains, dirt and grease on the stove with the power of steam. With nine different attachments, this steamer tackles all the hard-to-reach spots in your home.

When the water runs out, the cleaner automatically shuts off to prevent overheating. Snag this multipurpose tool today and explore the versatility of your new favorite cleaning gadget!

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Hisense 55 Inch Class R6 Series Dolby Vision Hdr 4k Uhd Roku Smart Tv With Alexa Compatibility Ecomm Amazon.com

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The Best Television Sales

Hisense 55-Inch 4K UHD Roku Smart TV

I’ve had my Hisense Roku TV for almost three years now, and I never plan on going back! The TV itself is a whopper at 55 inches from corner to corner, and the 4K ultra HD gives a crystal clear picture that’s perfect for movie night. For those with Alexa, use voice control to navigate through Roku’s library of hundreds of free channels.

Amazon won’t keep the sale price of 60% off for long, so add this one to your cart now!

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Samsung 50 Smart 4k Crystal Hdr Uhd Tv Tu7000 Series Ecomm Target.com

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Samsung 50-Inch Smart 4K Crystal HDR UHD TV

Target’s Black Friday TV deals are out-of-this-world good—why not take advantage and upgrade? At a savings of $150, bring home a Samsung TV that transforms everything it plays into stunning 4K quality. Navigate the smart TV’s menu easily via apps. Even the kids can find their favorite shows!

Ideal for gamers, the settings automatically adjust to any connected console for a crystal clear and whip-fast visual experience.

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FAQs

When do appliances go on sale?

Small appliance sales occur throughout the year, but Black Friday is prime time for big savings. If a new appliance is on your Christmas list, take advantage of Black Friday appliance sales for discounts of up to 60% or more on refrigerators, stoves and TVs!

Is Black Friday a good time to buy appliances?

Black Friday is the Super Bowl of sales! Appliances don’t have to be pricey, and top-quality products at low prices are possible with Black Friday appliance deals. Fill your cart and check out posthaste to avoid missing out on the last big sales of the year.

Shop smarter with our expert recommendations for tools, gear and money-saving deals on can’t miss DIY and home products. Sign up for the Stuff We Love newsletter.

Visit FamilyHandyman.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from FamilyHandyman.com, © 2022 Home service Publications Inc. , Way, Emily 11/23/2022

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10 Best Ways To Protect Your Home

Sometimes the best ways to protect your home are the easiest. Learn how without investing a lot of time or money.

man hand in a black jacket rings the door intercom

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Never Open Your Door to Strangers

When someone comes to your door, do you promptly open it, assuming it’s a neighbor or delivery person? if so, stop right now. Those with bad intentions can easily knock you aside and gain entry to your home.

Your best bet to protect your home is adding a video doorbell camera. These easy-to-install devices let you see and talk to whoever’s at your door through an app on your phone. You don’t have to open the door.

A bonus: You can talk to visitors whether you’re home or not. And the camera can catch package thieves, too. Here’s our list of the top video doorbell cameras to help you choose the right one for you.

Red Jacket Woman Push Shoveling Winter Blizzard Snow

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Hire a Home Sitter When You’re Away

Most people know you should halt your mail service and put lights on a timer when you’re away from home for long periods. Well, most thieves know those tricks, too.

Here’s a better way to deter potential break-ins: Hire a home sitter to make your place look lived in by shoveling snow, cutting the grass and bringing in packages. Plus, the sitter can water your plants and feed the fish. Just make sure you hire someone from a trusted agency or a well-known friend or relative.ADVERTISEMENThttps://5085c3a6fafe3af8a636d3cd59c3804d.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-40/html/container.htmlADVERTISEMENT

electricity garden scissors Trimming green hedges work in the garden

WITTHAYA PRASONGSIN/GETTY IMAGES

Trim Your Bushes and Plant Smart

Your landscaping can make your home safer. Overgrown bushes give thieves an ideal place to hide. Keep them trimmed to give those with ill intentions less coverage. Even better, plant spiky bushes and plants like cacti, yucca and roses underneath windows to deter thieves.

Residential house at dusk, Quebec, Canada

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Light Up the Night

How many times have you forgotten to turn on the porch light before you left the house? Darkness is a thief’s best friend because it gives them cover to shimmy through windows undetected.

Protect your home at night by installing motion-sensor lights on each side. Many use batteries or solar power so they don’t need to be hard-wired. Here’s our list of the best motion lights on the market.

Girl child opening home smart door lock, unlocking the code. Close up view of girl touching pointing the number pad.

HELIN LOIK-TOMSON/GETTY IMAGES

Keep Your Door Locked … The Smart Way

Okay, you know to lock your doors, but chances are someone in your family constantly forgets. No problem. Invest in smart locks.

Smart locks can automatically lock the door behind these forgetful loved ones. You can even lock the door when you’re not home using an app. Here’s our list of the best smart locks for your home.ADVERTISEMENThttps://5085c3a6fafe3af8a636d3cd59c3804d.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-40/html/container.htmlADVERTISEMENT

Someone hand open a safety box after press passwords code on safety lock pad.

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Bolt Your Valuables to the Floor

So you have a safe for your valuables? That’s a great start. Unfortunately, if it isn’t super heavy, thieves will just take it with them and try to figure out how to open it later. Protect your valuables better by mounting the safe in a wall or bolting it to the floor.

Man pulling a wheeled dumpster out of his garage while going to work

NICKYLLOYD/GETTY IMAGES

Hide Your Trash

big-screen television or computer box by your curb is basically advertising you’ve got cool stuff to steal. Hide your new big-ticket items by breaking down the boxes and stuffing them in your trash can or recycling bin.Chris DezielMadison Zoey VettorinoRobert MaxwellElizabeth HeathDan StoutDan StoutAlina BradfordMadi KoettingContinue watchingHow To Buy a Heat Pump in 2023after the adhttps://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.544.0_en.html#goog_1645623729https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.544.0_en.html#goog_1154679521https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.544.0_en.html#goog_2099604832javascript:false

Close up of woman using smart phone

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Stay Off Social Media

No, you don’t have to delete your accounts. Just be smart with some social media best practices.

Don’t post that you’re going out of town for work or vacation. Save those photos until you get home. Then in the post write something like, “I’m back home!” This will let potential thieves know you’re not still on vacation.

Also, make sure teens know they shouldn’t post about vacations, money or expensive items. Don’t unwittingly make yourself a target.ADVERTISEMENTADVERTISEMENT

Woman locks a child safety lock on a window frame an apartment on a high floor

GALINA VETERTSOVSKAYA/GETTY IMAGES

Secure Your Windows

Locking windows is one of the best things you can do to protect your home because 23 percent of thieves come in through windows.

If you live in an older home, a few windows probably don’t lock properly. For those, purchase window stops. These devices install quickly and only cost around $13 for a pack of four. Here are some DIY ideas to secure your windows.

Hispanic businessman using electronic key to open car door

JACOBS STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY LTD/GETTY IMAGES

Lock Your Vehicle

Your car could be the key a crook needs to get into your house. If you park in the driveway or on the street, keep your vehicle locked and never leave a garage opener inside. Otherwise, one click is all a thief needs to access your garage.

Visit FamilyHandyman.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from FamilyHandyman.com, © 2022 Home service Publications Inc. , Bradford, Alina 11/09/2022

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50 Small Fall Home Projects to Do Over the Weekend

Knock out these must-do fall home projects in just a couple of days and enjoy care-free living all winter long.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.1 / 51sharpen lawnmower bladesFAMILY HANDYMAN

Sharpen Lawnmower Blades

The hardest part about sharpening a lawnmower blade lies in detaching the blade safely from your lawnmower. Once safely removed, clamp it into a  vise. Then, a good file is all you need to refresh the blade’s edge. Just make sure to sharpen the right side of the blade! When detached, it can sometimes be difficult to tell which way the sharpest edge is facing. Get complete instructions for sharpening lawn mower blades in our tutorial. PlusMake This Coat and Mitten Rack

The design of this shaker style coat and mitten rack is easy to build with butt joints connected by screws that get hidden by wooden screw-hole buttons and wood plugs. The coat and mitten rack mounts easily to the wall with screws driven through the hidden hanging strip on the back. The five large Shaker pegs are great for holding hats, umbrellas and coats, and the hinged-hatch door at the top keeps the clutter of gloves and scarves from view. You can build this project in a few hours, with an additional hour needed to apply a finish. Here are instructions for how to build this project.4 / 51dfh17-sep020_337121540 fall ready clean the gutter from muck and leavesJOHN E. HEINTZ JR./SHUTTERSTOCK

Clean Gutters

Clogged and overflowing gutters can create a drainage problem over the long winter months. It will also encourage rot to form at the roof line. For this messy job, wear gloves and practice ladder safety while working. Plus, here are the best gutter guards for your home.5 / 51JUN_2007_013_T_01-1 shoe storage booster stoolFAMILY HANDYMAN

Build a Shoe Storage Booster Stool

Build this handy stool in one hour and park it in your closet. You can also use it as a step to reach the high shelf.All you need is a 4 x 4-ft. sheet of 3/4-in. plywood, wood glue and a handful of 8d finish nails. Cut the plywood pieces according to the illustration. Spread wood glue on the joints, then nail them together with 8d finish nails. First, nail through the sides into the back, and then nail through the top into the sides and back. Finally, mark the location of the two shelves and nail through the sides into the shelves. Don’t have floor space to spare? Build these super simple wall-mounted shoe organizers instead!ADVERTISEMENThttps://57cd6d63790a2a95f39d4c51bcc0115a.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-40/html/container.htmlADVERTISEMENT6 / 51closet nook wire shelvesFAMILY HANDYMAN

Closet Nook Shelves

Don’t let the recessed space at the ends of a closet go to waste. We love maximizing storage space by fitting these nooks with wire shelving to hold blankets, towels or bedding.

Wire shelves come in a variety of widths. Measure the width and depth of the space. Then, choose the correct shelving and ask the salesperson to cut the shelves to length for you. Subtract 3/8 in. from the actual width to determine the shelf length. Buy a pair of end-mounting brackets and a pair of plastic clips for each shelf. A pack of plastic caps covers the cut ends and keep them from snagging fabrics.

Plus: Learn how to triple your closet space.7 / 51Swedish boot scraperFAMILY HANDYMAN

Create This Swedish Boot Scraper

This traditional Swedish farm accessory cleans soles soiled by soggy springtime soil. Don’t worry about precise dimensions, but choose edges at the top of the slats that are fairly sharp. They make the boot scraper work. Cut each slat to length, then cut triangular openings on the side of a pair of 2x2s. A radial arm saw works well for this, but a table saw or band saw will also make the cuts. Trim the 2x2s to length, predrill, and use galvanized screws to attach the slats from underneath. If you prefer a boot cleaner that has brushes, check out this clever project.SPONSORED CONTENT

Here Are the Coolest Gifts Of 2022

By TheWalletGuru — 2022 Best Gadgets8 / 51fix storm door closerFAMILY HANDYMAN

Fix a Storm Door Closer

Strong winds or heavy use can crack the door jamb that holds the storm door closer in place. A jamb reinforcer can repair the cracked jamb, or stop the problem from happening in the first place. Learn how to fix your storm door closer here.ADVERTISEMENTADVERTISEMENThttps://57cd6d63790a2a95f39d4c51bcc0115a.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-40/html/container.html9 / 51fix door that doesn't latchFAMILY HANDYMAN

Fix a Door that Doesn’t Latch

When a house settles, doors sometimes stop latching properly because one side of the frame has sagged. You can fix the problem easily with a rotary tool and a metal-cutting bit. Follow these simple step-by-step instructions to get the job done right.10 / 51fix loose door hingeFAMILY HANDYMAN

Fix Loose Hinges

One day the door closes smoothly; the next day it sticks. And the sticking grows worse as the weeks pass. It’s a common old-house problem, but it can happen anywhere kids hang from doorknobs. The screws holding the top hinge carry most of the weight of the door and are almost always the first to pull out, especially after repeated tightening over the years. Here’s the best way to fix those loose hinges and beef them up.11 / 51unstick a sliding doorFAMILY HANDYMAN

Unstick a Sliding Door

Sliding doors get sticky and hard to open when the wheels slide out of adjustment or the track gets dirty. Here’s how to repair your sliding door and replace a flimsy screen.ADVERTISEMENThttps://57cd6d63790a2a95f39d4c51bcc0115a.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-40/html/container.htmlADVERTISEMENThttps://57cd6d63790a2a95f39d4c51bcc0115a.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-40/html/container.html12 / 51repair window screen splineFAMILY HANDYMAN

Repair Any Torn Screens or Nets

Window screens, mosquito nets, and similar barriers protect against inquisitive summer and fall pests, but only if they provide complete protection. As long as the frame is in good shape, these easy repairs can be done in a few minutes. Here’s how to make your screen door or window look good as new.13 / 51simple furnace fixes thermostat FAMILY HANDYMAN

Fix Your Own Furnace

If your furnace quits or breaks down try these eight simple furnace solutions before you call for service help. You can solve the problem and avoid a $200 service call.SPONSORED CONTENT

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By TheWalletGuru — 2022 Best Gadgets14 / 51replace damaged vinyl sidingFAMILY HANDYMAN

Replace Damaged Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding protects a home with a tough, water-resistant shell, but accidental damage can happen. If a falling branch or a well-hit baseball cracks a piece of your siding, you can make it as good as new in about 15 minutes with a $5 zip tool (available at any home center) and a replacement piece. It’s as simple as unzipping the damaged piece and snapping in a new one. Here’s how to replace your damaged siding.ADVERTISEMENTADVERTISEMENThttps://57cd6d63790a2a95f39d4c51bcc0115a.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-40/html/container.html15 / 51adjustable thresholdsFAMILY HANDYMAN

Raise an Adjustable Entry Door Threshold

Those big screw heads in the threshold of a newer entry door aren’t just decorative; they raise or lower a narrow strip set in the threshold. So if you’ve noticed a draft under the door, try this: On a sunny day, turn off the lights and close nearby curtains. Lie down and look for daylight under the door. A sliver of light sneaking in at both corners of the door is normal. But if you see light between the threshold and the door, grab your screwdriver. Here’s how to raise the threshold.16 / 51shim gapping doorsFAMILY HANDYMAN

Shim Gaping Doors

If you have big gaps along the latch side of your doors, they were probably prehung in their frames at the factory and installed as a unit. The installer should have adjusted the frame with shims to leave about a 1/8-in. gap along the latch side — about the thickness of two quarters (coins). Sometimes the gap is far too wide. Here’s how to shim gapping doors.17 / 51Change and clean dryer filterFAMILY HANDYMAN

Wash the Dryer Filter

A poorly functioning clothes dryer often stems from a clogged lint filter. The filter may look clean, but a nearly invisible film caused by dryer sheets may actually block airflow. This film forces the thermostat to shut off the heat before your clothes are dry. Test your filter by pouring water into it. If the filter holds water, you should take time to clean it. Pull out the filter and scrub it in hot water with a little laundry detergent and a stiff kitchen brush.

Also, check the outside dryer vent for any lint that may have built up there.ADVERTISEMENTADVERTISEMENThttps://57cd6d63790a2a95f39d4c51bcc0115a.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-40/html/container.html18 / 51lubricate sticking doorsFAMILY HANDYMAN

Lubricate Sticking Locks

If your lock turns hard or your key doesn’t slide in smoothly, the lock might be worn out. Then again, it may just need lubrication. Squirt a puff of powdered graphite into the keyhole. Unlike liquid lubricants, graphite won’t create sticky grime inside the lock. A tube costs about $5 at home centers.19 / 51organize garageFAMILY HANDYMAN

Organize Your Garage For Less Than $200

You can find lots of ways to create more storage space in your garage, but no other system is as simple, inexpensive or versatile as this one. It begins with a layer of plywood fastened over drywall or bare studs. Then you just screw on a variety of hooks, hangers, shelves and baskets to suit your needs. And because you can place hardware wherever you want (not only at the studs), you can arrange items close together to make the most of your wall space. As your needs change, you’ll appreciate the versatility of this storage wall too; just unscrew shelves or hooks to rearrange the whole system.SPONSORED CONTENT

By TheWalletGuru — 2022 Best Gadgets20 / 51programmable thermostatFAMILY HANDYMAN

Install a Programmable Thermostat

When it comes to energy savings, few upgrades pay off as quickly as a programmable thermostat. If you turn down the heat 5 degrees at night and 10 degrees during the day when no one is home, you’ll cut your energy bill by 5 to 20 percent. If you raise the temperature the same amount during the cooling season, your savings will be similar. You can do this with a manual thermostat, but a programmable model never forgets to turn down the heat at night and it can raise the temperature before you get out of bed in the morning. We show you how to install a programmable thermostat quickly and easily.ADVERTISEMENThttps://57cd6d63790a2a95f39d4c51bcc0115a.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-40/html/container.htmlADVERTISEMENT21 / 51spider web critter proofFAMILY HANDYMAN

Critter-Proof Your Home

If unwanted critters are waging war on your house, it’s time to fight back. We’ve gathered some effective pest-fighting strategies. Learn how to close the entryways that let critters in, and also how to evict them if they manage to get past your defenses.22 / 51window trimFAMILY HANDYMAN

Stop Drafts Around Windows and Doors

If your windows or doors cause chilly drafts all winter long, the problem could be worn-out seals, weather stripping or thresholds. Then again, sloppy installation might also be to blame. When cold weather arrives, hold the back of your hand near the edges of windows or doors to track down the location of leaks. If you feel cold air flowing out from behind the trim, you can bet that the spaces around the window and door jambs weren’t properly sealed.

Plugging these leaks is a time-consuming job: You have to pull off the interior trim, seal around the jambs and then reinstall the trim. But if you have fairly airtight doors and windows, it offers a large payoff. Stopping drafts not only makes your home more comfortable but also cuts energy bills.23 / 51insulate rim joistsFAMILY HANDYMAN

Insulate Rim Joists

In just a couple of hours, you can seal and insulate your rim joists, which cause major loss of heat in many homes. Insulating the rim joists is one of the best things you can do to make your home more energy efficient. This project lowers your heating costs and saves you money. And it’s easy, too, so anyone can do it. Learn how to insulate your rim joists here.ADVERTISEMENThttps://57cd6d63790a2a95f39d4c51bcc0115a.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-40/html/container.htmlADVERTISEMENT24 / 51seal attic air leaksFAMILY HANDYMAN

Seal Attic Air Leaks

Small air leaks into uninsulated attic space create another major source of heat loss in many homes. With some inexpensive materials and a day’s labor, you can save lots of money on heating every year by sealing these holes.25 / 51Raking leavesFAMILY HANDYMAN

Rake Those Leaves!

If you live in a snow-prone climate, getting your leaves up before the flakes fly is a good idea. You may think you know everything about this time-honored lawn care tradition but here are five ways to make this job a little easier for a fall-ready lawn.

By TheWalletGuru — 2022 Best Gadgets26 / 51AIGARS REINHOLDS/SHUTTERSTOCK

Aerate the Lawn

To ensure lush grass and a healthy lawn in the spring, aerate in the fall. Aeration breaks up compacted soil to allow water and fertilizer to penetrate deep down into a healthy root system. A must-do, fall-ready project. For more, check out our fall lawn care guide.ADVERTISEMENTADVERTISEMENT27 / 51Purple Majesty Ornamental MilletVIA BALL SEED

Prep Your Garden

Prep your fall-ready garden now for less work in the spring. Remove any past-their-prime annuals and rake out any rotting leaves. To protect your garden pots from breakage due to freezing water, empty, clean and bring indoors for the winter. After that’s done, check out these 10 easy-to-build planters you can make over the winter and start planning your spring container garden!28 / 51DIY garage tool storageFAMILY HANDYMAN

Clean and Store Garden Tools

Act now to protect your garden tools from rust, wear and tear. Give your tools a good cleaning, sharpen blades as necessary and dry thoroughly before you store them. After all of this prep, they will be fall-ready.29 / 51FAMILY HANDYMAN

Inspect Your Fence

Fall provides an ideal time to inspect fences and take care of any rot or structural issues before they become problematic. Ground frost can cause weakened fence posts to heave and shift over the winter. This results in damage all along the fence line. For the skinny on how to take care of any fence maintenance and make it fall ready, check out our guide here.ADVERTISEMENTADVERTISEMENThttps://57cd6d63790a2a95f39d4c51bcc0115a.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-40/html/container.html30 / 51FH08MAR-BL950747E38 DIY pond landscapingFAMILY HANDYMAN

Drain Ponds

Falling leaves and debris can do more than clog pumps and filters. They can encourage algae growth in your otherwise pristine pond. Get your pond fall ready by draining and cleaning your ponds and waterfalls to prevent damage. Plus, here’s how to build a backyard pond and fountain in one weekend

Visit FamilyHandyman.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from FamilyHandyman.com, © 2022 Home service Publications Inc. , Gerhardt, Nock 08/23/2022

Posted in Real Estate News | Leave a comment

3 Most Eco-Friendly Heating Systems for Your Home

Whether you’re replacing your HVAC system or adding more heat in your spare room, here’s how to make it ultra planet- and people-friendly.

As a renter I used to celebrate when I found a unit with a gas-burning forced-air furnace, because it meant a cheaper fuel bill than electric baseboards. Now as a homeowner, I own one, but no longer covet it.

In our race to cut our greenhouse gas emissions, it’s a dinosaur. Today’s more efficient technology means our future depends on going electric.

“The only eco-friendly heating system is an electric heat pump system,” says Panama Bartholomy, executive director of the Building Decarbonization Coalition. “The good news is, there are many types of them.

“If you have a ducted system, you can use a standard heat pump or a ducted mini-split. If you don’t have any ducts and are looking to replace something like a wall heater or baseboard heaters, you could use a ductless mini-split system. There are even companies that make heat pumps that go in your window.”

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Electricity-driven heating is today’s gold standard. Before the HVAC systems we install today reach the end of their lifespans, it’s possible the grid will be heavily if not entirely powered by carbon-free energy sources.

Non-fuel burning devices also reduce health-damaging air pollution in our homes and usually deliver big on energy savings. They’re up to to five times more efficient than furnaces.

Here are some eco-friendly heating system options. And don’t forget the cost can be partly covered by tax credits and rebates included in the new Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) .

On This Page

Air-Source Heat Pumps

These are essentially air conditioners that run in reverse, with outside air providing heating and cooling to your home. They come in several configurations:

  • Packaged, as in window and portable stand-alone units;
  • Ductless and ducted mini-splits;
  • Ducted central heat pumps.

Window units and mini-splits offer DIY installation and usually cost well under $1,000. Full HVAC systems can run between $3,000 and $18,000. Cost depends on whether you need electrical and ductwork upgrades; home size and required heating capacity; climate in your location; and what you’re replacing. These systems typically last around 14 years.

If you’re thinking about going with an air-sourced heat pump, also keep in mind:

  • The best systems offer a heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF) of 10.5, a seasonal energy efficiency rating (SEER) of 20 or higher and a coefficient of performance (COP) of 3 or better.
  • If you live where it’s cold in the winter, make sure the installer installing is familiar with the NEEP cold-climate air source heat pump list. Ask for one that works well down to minus-5 degrees or lower.
  • If you’re in the market for an air conditioner, don’t buy a standalone. “Instead, buy a heat pump version that can provide cooling and heat,” says Sara Baldwin, director of electrification policy at Energy Innovation. “It’s a far more efficient and cost-effective option and can facilitate the transition away from fossil fuels more quickly.”
  • To bring down costs, the IRA provides a $2,000 tax credit for heat pumps and additional incentives for electrical upgrades. Low-to-moderate income households can also benefit from new rebates, administered through state energy offices.

Ground-Source (Geothermal) Heat Pumps

These systems rely on the relatively constant temperature of the earth as an exchange medium. They’re highly efficient for heating and cooling, offering a 25 to 50 percent cost savings over conventional fossil fuel systems. But they require land to accommodate the pipes, which must be buried.

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Ground-source heat pumps range from $3,000 to $30,000, depending on the climate, soil conditions, available land, local installation costs, the size of your home and heating and cooling needs. They’re also durable. Inside components last around 24 years, and the ground loop more than 50.

The IRA provides a 30 percent credit for geothermal heat pump projects, with potentially more incentives available from state energy offices.

Radiant Heating Systems

In-floor radiant heating systems aren’t as efficient as heat pump, and can’t double as a cooling system. But they can still provide energy savings with all the added benefits of ditching fossil fuels, provided you heat your water with electricity and and not gas.

“Radiant floors may make sense for home additions that don’t easily or affordably allow for extending the heating system into the new space, or when redoing your floors,” says Baldwin. “By avoiding forced air circulation and the use of ducts, they can also help eliminate allergens and dust.”

If you’re leaning toward a radiant floor system, know there are different electric heating cables or hydronic (liquid) systems, depending on what type of floor you have. Flooring materials with more thermal mass can help retain heat longer, thus saving energy.

Radiant floor heating costs range from $8 to $20 per square foot. It pairs well with distributed solar and energy storage, also covered under IRA incentives.

Other Eco-Heating Advice

If you’re hiring a contractor, get two or three bids. Make sure they know how to properly size a heat pump based on a manual J load calculation, which accounts for factors like your home’s size, climate zone, quality of insulation and windows.

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Investments in air sealing and insulation, programmable thermostats and proper equipment maintenance can also reduce the size of the unit you need and make your home more comfortable.

“There is no such thing as an eco-friendly home that has lots of air holes or doesn’t have insulation,” says Bartholomy. “Weatherization is an imperative part of having an eco-friendly home.”

Visit FamilyHandyman.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from FamilyHandyman.com, © 2022 Home service Publications Inc. , Eberl, Karuna 11/10/2022

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New Homeowner’s Guide

From making an offer on your dream home to navigating your first year of DIY home repairs, the experts at Family Handyman will guide you through your landmark journey of new homeownership.

Guide For New Homeowners

Buying a new home is a monumental step in your life and likely one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make. We have all your DIY tips, maintenance task checklists and key product recommendations to help you feel excited about your new home and empowered to truly make it your home.

What to Do Before You Close on a Home

For Sale Sign Gettyimages 132314245PM IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES

Being organized is the name of the game right before you close on a home. It’s important to have your all of your financial documents in order and to create a plan that fits your needs and lifestyle. Getting ready to set up and schedule your utilities and do a change of address is just the beginning. Refer to our guide on What to Do Before You Close on a Home.

What to Do After You Close on a Home

Couple Holding Keys Gettyimages 565887175RESOLUTION PRODUCTIONS/GETTY IMAGES

Congratulations! You’ve closed on your new home. Before you pack up your bags and hire a moving company, you should make a running list of what needs to be done before you move in, because there’s a lot. But don’t let it overwhelm you; we’re here to help. If you stay focused on the priorities, you’ll be settled in and enjoying your house in no time. Refer to our guide on What to Do After You Close on a House.

What to Do and Expect in Your First Year of Homeownership

New Homeowners Looking At Paint Samples Gettyimages 1286808265RICARDOIMAGEN/GETTY IMAGES

Once you’ve closed on your new home and moved in, get ready to make it your own. There are so many projects you can do in the early months of moving into your home as well as within the first year. Whether you’re looking at the interior and considering upgrading the walls with a fresh coat of paint, fixing a door knob or adding a fixture, or if you’re looking at the exterior and considering new landscaping ideas, being a new homeowner is a labor of love. Refer to our guide on What to Do and Expect in Your First Year of Homeownership.

What You’ll Need for Your New Home

Tools Gettyimages 73074508IMAGE SOURCE/GETTY IMAGES

Buying a house is rarely as simple as getting the keys and settling in. Even if you didn’t buy a fixer upper, you’ll most likely be spending some money giving your new place some level of customization, which is part of the fun of being a new homeowner. We have a list of the most essential things you’ll need, including basic toolscleaning supplies and key appliances.

Visit FamilyHandyman.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from FamilyHandyman.com, © 2022 Home service Publications Inc. , Handyman, Family 11/03/2022

If you enjoyed this content, sign up for our new homeowner newsletter where we’ll guide you through the exciting journey of what to do before you purchase your dream house as well as give you expert tips and projects to help you make that new house a true home.

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How to Take Care of Winter Weeds

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.lawn covered in snow close up4U4ME/GETTY IMAGES

Not everything goes dormant in the wintertime. Winter weeds are thriving and will wreak havoc in your garden. Be sure you’re prepared.

Did you know that a single weed can produce 100,000 to 200,000 seeds that can survive in soil for 40 years, germinating every spring and fall without fail?

They’re more than a nuisance too. Weeds can cost the agricultural industry billions of dollars every year in lost crops, with billions more going toward the effort to get rid of them. For individual lawns and gardens, it might not be a billion dollar problem, but the weeds are the same.

Where Do Winter Weeds Typically Pop Up?

Winter weeds — undesired plants that germinate in the fall, grow and seed from winter into spring and then die off or go dormant as temperatures increase — can grow anywhere there’s soil. They especially like:

  • Lawns, even more so if they are sparse and unhealthy.
  • Areas where infestations have occurred in previous years,
  • Regions with excessive rainfall,
  • Gardens and lawns where equipment like lawn mowers and rototillers are regularly used. Both spread seeds.

How Do Winter Weeds Survive During Winter?

Plants earn the “weed” designation because of their extreme tenacity, thanks in part to a few built-in winter defense mechanisms.

Quiescence

This refers to a seed’s ability to wait in a vegetative state until their required growing conditions are met. Once that happens, it automatically triggers the growth cycle.

Dormancy

Dormancy takes quiescence and adds the biological instinct to successfully establish. In this case, achieving the required growing conditions doesn’t necessarily trigger continued development.

An extenuating condition within the seed itself can delay growth until its chances of surviving and establishing are at their best. It’s an astounding display of a complex biological process, and it makes dormancy by far the key to winter weeds’ survival.

Roots

Strong root systems help certain winter weeds survive harsh conditions. Dicot winter weeds have large taproots that make uprooting more difficult. These roots also sprout new growth if cut.

Perennials always have parts of their roots in the ground, storing up the energy they need to grow rapidly and aggressively. There are also some winter weeds that grow from rhizomes, notorious for their fast, lateral spread and their ease in sprouting new plants.

Types of Winter Weeds

Roots of annual meadow grass, Poa annua
Poa annua (annual bluegrass)

Winter weeds are categorized based on their structure (broadleaf or grass) and life cycle (annual perennial, or biennial). These are important classifications because different life cycles and structures require different methods of control, especially with herbicides.

Many of the more widespread broadleaf winter weeds are also annuals. Stellaria media (common chickweed), Lamium amplexicaule (henbit), Lamium purpureum (purple deadnettle), Cardamine hirsuta (lamb’s cress) and Veronica arvensis (creeping Veronica) are the most widely seen examples.

Linaria vulgaris (wild snapdragon) is also a broadleaf winter weed, but unlike the examples above, it is a perennial. It also goes by toadflax or butter-and-eggs. Another well-known winter broadleaf perennial is Taraxacum officinale (dandelion).

The most well-known annual grass weed is Poa annua (annual bluegrass). Its hard-to-kill nature makes it a pervasive problem throughout the U.S.

How To Control Winter Weeds

  • Apply safe, pre-emergent herbicide before winter weeds begin sprouting, to target the seeds and root systems of perennials.
  • Spot treat or remove any weeds already visible.
  • Fertilize.
  • Apply mulch to starve seeds of nutrients from the sun and provide a growth barrier.
  • Avoid non-targeted watering which benefits weeds too. Implement drip irrigation in garden beds so water is directly routed to plants.
  • Limit digging and tilling which tend to spread seeds.

After implementing these preventative measures, inspect your garden regularly to discover weeds as early as possible. Remove or treat weeds the instant you notice them. Killing them before they drop seeds prevents infestations in years to come.

When treating sprouted weeds, you have two options.

Manual Removal

Weeds without deep roots or runners that grow in relatively contained patterns can be dug out by hand. All traces of the weed must be dug out, taking care to shake or disturb it as little as possible. You can do this with your hands, but a hand tool makes it much easier.

This stand-up weed removal tool is a good option. It’s easy to use and allows you to extricate the weed slowly and carefully, which is essential. I’ve always liked simple hand trowels with a serrated edge. Corona, which makes excellent hand tools, makes several hand weeders. I use their transplanter as a hand weeder and love how it works.

Herbicide Application

The best weed killer depends on the type of winter weed, the cultivated grass or plants being affected, and the climate. As some weeds develop resistance to certain treatments, it’s often more effective to alternate between two herbicides.

The Three Types of Herbicides

Chemical Herbicides

For broadleaf weeds, look for products with triclopyr, dicamba, MCPP or 2, 4-D. These are the active ingredients found in selective herbicides that kill broadleaf weeds but not your grass. Some products, called two-way and three-way herbicides, have two or more active ingredients.

Bonide makes a powerful option with triclopyr and dicamba. Another popular choice is a Fertilome product, which has 2, 4-D and dicamba.

Grass weeds present a bigger challenge because they can’t be treated with a herbicide without harming your cultivated lawn. If the lawn is completely dormant or you plan to re-sod, go for strong and non-selective herbicides, like those containing diquat (contact). Ortho’s GroundClear contains diquat and is also affordable.

All-Natural Herbicides

If you prefer all-natural herbicides, the most tried-and-true ingredients are vinegar and acetic acids, sodium chloride (salt), soaps, citric acid and essential oils. You can purchase products already mixed or products that require adding water. You also can mix your own recipes at home.

Most all-natural or organic herbicides are non-selective and will damage or kill anything they come in contact with. All-natural selective herbicides are harder to find, but out there.

vinegar-based non-selective that works well is Natural Element’s Weed Killer. OrganicMatters proprietary blend of vinegar, sodium chloride, clove oil, lemon juice, sodium lauryl sulfate and water is another tried-and-true all-natural non-selective.

Reduced-Risk Herbicides

Thanks to green chemistry and innovations, there’s a third option: reduced-risk herbicides with active ingredients like mesotrione and imazamox.

I’ve always liked Tenacity and regularly recommend it. Tenacity was granted a reduced-risk status by the EPA because it uses mesotrione as the active ingredient. While it’s toxic to many kinds of weeds, there are no cancer-causing ingredients, and it’s been deemed safe to use on lawns where children and pets play.

Visit FamilyHandyman.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from FamilyHandyman.com, © 2022 Home service Publications Inc. , Webster, Maria 10/20/2022

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Are You Ready to Host Holiday Guests This Year?

holiday guests walking into the houseSOLSTOCK/GETTY IMAGES

Make your guests comfortable and save yourself some headaches.

The holiday season is here, and for many of us that means hosting guests. Whether that’s as simple as having the a single holiday guest for a night or a home filled with extended family members for days on end,  you’ll need to make sure your house is ready for company.

Here are a few things for this season’s holiday hosts to right now

Know Your Guests

Different guests will have different sets of needs and expectations, so it’s important to understand ahead of time what those will be.

Consider everything from food allergies to sleeping accommodations. An air mattress might be fine for a twentysomething, but not for your mother-in-law.

Fortunately, it’s easy to figure out — just ask them. Get answers for what kind of food they like, preferred sleeping arrangements, etc. It’s important that your guests feel comfortable. The first step is taking the time to show them you want their stay to be a pleasant one.

Clean the House

It should be obvious, but with company settling in for a few nights, definitely give your house a good cleaning from top to bottom. Pay extra attention to the rooms where your guests will be sleeping, and the bathrooms.

This also is a good time to make some basic repairs, like touching up scratches in the paint or tightening up the grab bar in the shower. Think about safety, too. With more people in the house, it might be good to tie down Christmas lights or add a non-slip pad under your doormat.

Guest Bedroom

Do you know where your guests will sleep? You need a plan for that as soon as you know who’s coming to stay. It’s probably better to nail down that detail even before inviting them, if possible.

Are there enough beds for everyone? If not, think about getting an air mattresshideaway bed or folding bed. You may need one if you’re asking the kids to bunk together to clear out an extra room for Grandma and Grandpa.

Your company will appreciate clean, fresh bedding, so throw those extra sheets, pillowcases and comforters in the washing machine ahead of time. Stock extra pillows and blankets for your guests, too.

Be sure to put a light next to the bed, too. That allows them to read or check their phone before settling in for the evening. It’s also a safety feature. Your guests are in an unfamiliar environment, so easy access to a light helps them move around safely at night.

These days phone chargers are essential, so be sure there’s an easy way for company to plug in their electronic devices. Even with phones, a clock is still a nice touch and convenient addition to a guest room.

Your guests will also appreciate a place to unpack their suitcase, especially if they’re staying for more than a couple nights. If there’s a dresser in the room, clear out a couple of drawers for them to use. Also, consider giving them some closet space or an extra valet rod to hang clothes.

Prepare the Bathroom

bathroom christmas shampoos and conditionersPORNTHEP SAWASVECH/GETTY IMAGES

Before company shows up, know which bathroom to assign them. Ideally, they’ll have their own to use. If that’s not possible and they have to share, you can still take steps to make them feel comfortable.

You can never have enough clean bath towels, hand towels and washcloths for company. Stock extra clean linens in the bathroom, and let your guests know where they can find them.

Though most people will bring their own toiletries, you should provide them as well. Set out shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, an extra toothbrush or two (in the package), soap, lotion, etc. It’s worth having extra things like cotton swabs, clean nail clippers, tampons, contact solution and anything else your guests might need to make their stay more comfortable.

Oh, and show them where the plunger and wastebasket are. That helps them avoid potentially embarrassing situations.

Stock the Kitchen

Buy extra snacks and goodies for your pantry and refrigerator. This is also where it’s essential to know the needs of the people staying with you. Do they have special dietary concerns? If you know that ahead of time, you can stock up on the right food and beverages. It may sound obvious, but show them where everything is and make them feel comfortable accessing it when they want something to eat or drink.

Coffee is always appreciated. So be sure to have extra on hand. Have everything out and ready to go so early risers in the group can help themselves.

Table space is something to consider, too. If you don’t have enough seating for everyone at your holiday dinner, you can always pick up a folding table and extra chairs so everyone has a seat.

Plan and Relax

Whoever comes to stay with you for the holidays, have a plan for things to do. Take them to the museum or go see a show. Find out what they like to do and make plans to do it. Conversely, don’t be afraid to give your guests their space. They might want to tour the city themselves or enjoy a dinner out on their own one night.

Do your best to prepare your home for company, but it’s also important to accept that things may not be perfect. And they don’t have to be! Do your best to make everyone feel welcome, and they’ll appreciate it. It’s the holiday season and your friends and family are coming to stay with you, so enjoy it!

Visit FamilyHandyman.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from FamilyHandyman.com, © 2022 Home service Publications Inc. , Van Bibber, Ryan 10/31/2022

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