The Anniston Star

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December 19, 2014

Lawn & Garden

Top Story

Holiday Lighting 101

(Family Features) While decorating the tree, house, or garland, a whole section of lights can go dark – along with holiday spirits. Light outages can be frustrating and time-consuming to repair during the busy holiday season.

  • icon Updated: December 15

Recent Headlines

Monday 12/15/2014
Keep Winter Energy Bills in Check
Updated: December 15, 2014 - 3:35 am

(Family Features) As winter temperatures drop, the potential for higher utility bills goes up. Taking steps ahead of the cold season can help you trim costs and make your home more energy efficient, keeping those utility bills in check even as the winter weather rages.

Set the Scene for Holiday Entertaining
Updated: December 15, 2014 - 3:35 am

(Family Features) The holiday season brings a flurry of activity, especially when it comes to entertaining family and friends. While the formal sit-down dinner is still alive and well this time of year, casual holiday gatherings are growing in popularity.

4 Tips to Make Home Maintenance Easier
Updated: December 15, 2014 - 3:35 am

(Family Features) Some home maintenance jobs require a significant investment of time and specialized equipment, but there are many projects you can accomplish efficiently with basic tools and the right approach. Follow these tips to get started:

How to Wow Guests This Holiday Season
Updated: December 18, 2014 - 3:33 am

(Family Features) The holiday season provides the perfect opportunity to go all out for your guests. From decor tips to hosting secrets, it only takes a few special tweaks to make your party the talk of the season.

Creating an inviting, low maintenance porch
Updated: December 19, 2014 - 3:32 am

(BPT) - Your porch should be a warm, welcoming outdoor living space that offers comfort and helps make a house a home. Whether you want to remodel your porch from the ground up, or just give it a refreshing new look and feel, it’s easier than you think to create a perfect porch.

Monday 12/08/2014
Bringing the Outside Indoors
Updated: December 08, 2014 - 3:35 am

(Family Features) When the weather conditions are just right, a relaxing evening spent on the porch or patio is perfect for enjoying good company and the beauty of the outside world. Wouldn't it be nice to enjoy these comforts regardless of the season?

Tips for Tackling Holiday Messes
Updated: December 08, 2014 - 3:35 am

(Family Features) This holiday season, create a welcoming environment for your guests. From getting your home ready for company to managing the many messes that come with a packed home, there are several cleaning tips to help you enjoy the fun at hand without the extra stress.

Save on Splurge-Worthy Home Styles
Updated: December 08, 2014 - 3:35 am

(Family Features) In the fashion and design world, alternative materials that emulate high-end looks are trendy not only for their lower price point and low maintenance qualities, but thanks to advancements in design and technology, are often hard to differentiate from the real thing.

Monday 11/24/2014
Eliminate Stains This Holiday Season
Updated: November 24, 2014 - 3:34 am

(Family Features) Parties filled with festive drinks, food and fun are in full swing this holiday season. Every event is a chance to come away with great memories, plenty of pictures and sometimes, a stubborn stain or two.

Monday 11/17/2014
Bathroom Upgrades to Impress Guests
Updated: November 17, 2014 - 3:37 am

(Family Features) Game night, girls' night or family reunion - your home serves as the backdrop for many occasions. Preparing your space for friends and family can feel like a heavy undertaking, but with a few simple entertaining tips, hosts can wave goodbye to anxieties.

Monday 11/10/2014
Lawn Care Tips for Fall
Updated: November 10, 2014 - 3:36 am

(Family Features) Taking time in the fall to prepare your lawn for the colder months ahead will pay dividends come spring and allow you to enjoy lusher, greener grass when temperatures rise again. 

Monday 11/03/2014
Tips to Maximize Space in Every Room
Updated: November 07, 2014 - 3:34 am

(Family Features) Current trending of lifestyles, whether it may be empty nesters, first time home buyers or the economy, have left people with smaller spaces. There are several ways that you can maximize storage just by thinking ahead and taking steps to stay organized.

Earth-Friendly Ways to Welcome Babies, Pets
Updated: November 03, 2014 - 3:36 am

(Family Features) Bringing a new member of the family home - be it a baby or pet - is sure to result in many happy smiles, giggles and messes. Whether it's your child eating spaghetti for the first time or your puppy trailing in mud after a rainy day, joyful moments with your little loved ones create memories and clean-ups.

Tips for a Clean, Guest-Ready Home
Updated: November 03, 2014 - 3:36 am

(Family Features) Now is the season for enjoying backyard BBQs and poolside parties with friends and family - not being trapped in the house for pre- and post-party cleaning. With a little planning, you can minimize time spent on daily chores and maximize time spent soaking up the sun and creating memories with guests.

Monday 10/27/2014
Pick Your Power Source
Updated: November 01, 2014 - 3:32 am

(Family Features) In a variety of situations, portable generators can supply temporary or remote electric power. From emergencies to recreational and construction activities, portable generators become a welcome addition to any instance when power is needed, yet not readily available.

Monday 10/13/2014
Corral Clutter with a Mudroom
Updated: October 13, 2014 - 3:32 am

(Family Features) Positioned near the busiest door, mudrooms are quickly becoming a must-have in many family homes. These organizational dynamos are the perfect place to catch muddy boots, backpacks, sports equipment and dirty paws before they make it all the way into the main living area.

Mini-Makeovers Deliver Big Home Value
Updated: October 18, 2014 - 3:32 am

(Family Features) Kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects can significantly add comfort, improve functionality and increase the home's resale value. Whichever reason drives homeowners to complete an improvement project, they need to pick one that also delivers a return on investment.

Monday 10/06/2014
Clever Storage Ideas for Small Spaces
Updated: October 06, 2014 - 3:33 am

(Family Features) No matter how cramped and cluttered your living space, there is always a spot or two for extra storage. Finding it is just a matter of getting creative and utilizing a few clever solutions.

Monday 09/29/2014
Why Emergency Preparedness Matters
Updated: September 29, 2014 - 3:55 am

(Family Features) Preparing for an unexpected emergency, especially one brought on by severe weather, is one of the most important ways you can protect your home and family. Proactively addressing storm-related issues ranging from property damage to power outages can minimize a potentially disastrous situation.

Thursday 09/25/2014
Building memories around a fire pit
Updated: September 26, 2014 - 3:54 am

(BPT) - Whether you’re spending quality time with family or entertaining guests, few things compare to the cozy, warm and welcoming atmosphere created by a fire pit in the backyard. In fact, fire pits are among the most popular features for enhancing an outdoor living space, according to the 2014 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects. Even better, with little experience and materials, you can build a fire pit in just a few hours.

Keep your family secure at home with these tips
Updated: October 02, 2014 - 4:34 pm

(BPT) - When it comes to protecting your family, your home is your fortress. It’s the place where your children fall asleep at night, tucked safely in their beds. It has the backyard where your pets roam freely without any danger of running into traffic. And it’s the place where you can relax, knowing your family is secure.

Monday 09/22/2014
How to Be Prepared for an Emergency
Updated: September 22, 2014 - 3:40 am

(Family Features) To be prepared in any situation, planning ahead is critical. Engine-driven portable generators are intended for multiple uses and designed for portability. When utility power is unavailable due to extreme weather, portable generators become a useful source of temporary or remote electric power.

Keep Family Safe from Home's Hidden Hazards
Updated: September 22, 2014 - 3:40 am

(Family Features) In the U.S. alone, approximately 60 million people suffer from asthma and allergies, which according to the American Lung Association can be triggered by mold for those who are allergic. As a responsible homeowner, it's essential to be aware of the many threats, such as mold and fire, which may cause harm to your family and your investment.

Tips to Keep Your Family Safe
Updated: September 22, 2014 - 3:40 am

(Family Features) Portable generators are useful when temporary or remote electric power is needed, but if used incorrectly, they can cause harm to you and your family.

Make Your Home Smarter
Updated: September 22, 2014 - 3:40 am

(Family Features) With apps that offer comfort, convenience and security, homeowners are getting more out of their smartphones to make their homes better, smarter places to live. Smart home apps such as those from Nest are expected to link various home devices together to bring peace of mind, control and even energy savings to our lives.

Thursday 09/18/2014
6 backyard projects you can't skip this fall
Updated: October 02, 2014 - 4:34 pm

(BPT) - When it comes to caring for your yard, maintenance is crucial – especially during the fall when it needs to recover from the wear and tear of summer and prepare for winter’s harsh conditions. Knowing what your lawn and garden needs from season to season not only makes it easier for you to stay organized with your list of backyard to-do’s, but it also allows you to identify and treat any problems before they become bigger issues down the road.

Monday 09/15/2014
Emergency Preparedness Tips
Updated: September 15, 2014 - 3:39 am

(Family Features) Americans who have recently endured a prolonged power outage at home are much more likely to improve their family's emergency preparation for the future, according to a recent report.

Outdoor Stain Busters
Updated: September 15, 2014 - 3:39 am

(Family Features) Engaging in outdoor activities are a great way for families to stay active and spend quality time together, but between tree-climbing, nature hikes, and backyard barbecues, outdoor adventures can lead to piles of dirty, dingy and stained clothing.

Friday 09/12/2014
Fall clean-up tips for your lawn and garden tools
Updated: October 08, 2014 - 3:34 am

(BPT) - As the temperature drops, your lawn and garden will start settling into a dormant state. As you prep your landscaping and garden for a winter’s slumber, it’s a good idea to review the tools you used all summer. Taking care of this task now will ensure they’re in good shape come spring when it’s time to use them again.

Friday 09/05/2014
Accomplish your to-do list of finishing the deck with ease this fall
Updated: October 02, 2014 - 4:34 pm

(BPT) - If you have a wood deck, chances are that it’s made its way onto your summer to-do list. And if summer quickly slipped by you without that list being completely checked off, don’t worry, you still have plenty of time in the fall months to finish your deck. 

Monday 08/25/2014
Give Your Kitchen a Facelift
Updated: August 25, 2014 - 3:36 am

(Family Features) Ever hear the saying “Kitchens sell a home?” Well it’s true; the kitchen is the most important room in the home. Whether you’re considering putting your house on the market or investing in your home for personal long-term enjoyment, an upgraded and attractive kitchen can make your home irresistible. 

Wednesday 08/20/2014
5 DIY fall yard cleanup tips
Updated: August 27, 2014 - 3:41 am

(BPT) - Fall is the perfect time to give your lawn the extra attention and care it needs – especially after an action-packed summer. Inclement weather, extreme temperatures and heavy foot traffic can take a toll on your yard, and inhibit the overall health and growth of your lawn. It’s important to let your lawn recover during the fall and make sure it has the nutrients and strength it needs for the coming months.

Monday 08/18/2014
Create a Room Fit for a Queen with Crown Molding
Updated: August 18, 2014 - 3:37 am

(Family Features) If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to dress up a room in your home, crown molding is a simple way to add elegance and class with minimal investment.

Install Bathroom Tile Like a Pro
Updated: August 18, 2014 - 3:37 am

(Family Features) Updating the flooring can instantly infuse new life into a tired, outdated bathroom. For an upscale, polished look that doesn’t have to break the bank, transform your bathroom with a fresh style by installing a new tile floor.

Assessing Curb Appeal
Updated: August 18, 2014 - 3:37 am

(Family Features) So you're looking to move your family out of your current residence to a new home better suited for your needs. Before you list your home on the market you will need to gauge its appearance to prospective buyers.

Thursday 08/14/2014
Smart Tips to Make Fall Lawn Care Easier
Updated: August 14, 2014 - 3:44 am

(StatePoint) A beautiful lawn is important for a lovely home, but when those autumn leaves begin to fall, some extra effort is required to keep things picture perfect. This once meant firing up noisy machinery and piling up bag after bag of yard waste. Now that we live in more environmentally-conscientious times, this might not seem like such a responsible idea.

Monday 08/04/2014
DIY Ideas for Every Room
Updated: August 04, 2014 - 3:40 am

(Family Features) From simple storage solutions that freshen up messy rooms to projects that enliven a space, do-it-yourself options are a popular choice among many homeowners. Try out some of these ideas to make every room in your home feel new again, without having to empty your pocketbook or call a handyman. 

Friday 08/01/2014
Deck support: It's what's beneath the surface that counts
Updated: August 08, 2014 - 3:44 am

(BPT) - The substructure of your deck is the heart of its durability and the foundation for its aesthetics. Until recently, wood was the go-to material for builders and contractors but many professionals are now switching to steel for its superior structural integrity and design flexibility. Steel won’t rot, crack or warp and its inherent strength allows for longer spans between beams and posts making it possible for architects and homeowners to integrate curves and other design elements into their decks, while achieving more useable space underneath.

Wednesday 07/30/2014
Beautifying Your Home’s Outdoor Spaces
Updated: July 30, 2014 - 3:49 am

(StatePoint) In the warmer months, the importance of your yard and patio becomes top-of-mind as you spend more free time outside. While there’s no better place to read a book, meditate or simply kick back with some lemonade, you can only truly enjoy those activities if the space inspires tranquility and relaxation.

Tuesday 07/29/2014
5 simple ways to inspire and improve your inner 'making' skills
Updated: August 05, 2014 - 3:40 am

(BPT) - Summer is often a great time to tackle your do-it-yourself and “making” projects. But between summertime travel, social commitments and long hours at the office, carving out time to “make” can be challenging.

Monday 07/28/2014
Home Updates That Go Back In Time
Updated: July 28, 2014 - 3:43 am

(Family Features) Mid-century modern inspiration draws from the 1940s through the 1960s, a twenty-year span when design was sleek, elegant and functional. Although the style originated more than 70 years ago, this trend has resurfaced with a fresh revival. 

Monday 07/21/2014
Energy-Saving Ideas for Home
Posted: July 21, 2014

(Family Features) Making improvements around the house to curb your energy usage is not only good for the environment, it can make a big impact on your utility bills, too.

Get Growing with an Urban Garden
Updated: July 21, 2014 - 3:46 am

(Family Features) Urban living and lush gardens aren’t as mutually exclusive as one might assume. In fact, it’s possible to cultivate thriving gardens in even the smallest spaces.

Ways to Protect Your Family Outdoors
Updated: July 21, 2014 - 3:46 am

(Family Features) Before your family begins enjoying the great outdoors during this adventure-filled season, make sure your yard is properly treated to avoid the dangers of poison ivy, oak or sumac.

Thursday 07/17/2014
5 summer paint projects to create a splash
Updated: August 08, 2014 - 3:44 am

(BPT) - With the arrival of warm summer temperatures, it’s time to brighten the home with sensational summer shades. And it’s easy to add a pop of vibrant color with the help from the experts at Krylon spray paint.

Tuesday 07/15/2014
Veggies galore? Make the most of your garden goodies
Updated: September 05, 2014 - 3:39 am


Monday 07/14/2014
Add Appeal, Save On Your Remodeling Project
Updated: July 14, 2014 - 3:43 am

(Family Features) For those who wish to make updates to their home, the kitchen is a great place to begin. According to the 2013 Cost vs. Value report from Remodeling magazine, a minor kitchen remodel should recoup up to 75 percent of total remodeling dollars, based on the value of the home increasing. When focusing on this important part of the house, many homeowners are looking for ways to add luxurious and modern touches without breaking the bank.

Caring for Your Stone Surfaces
Updated: July 14, 2014 - 3:43 am

(Family Features) Many homeowners install granite or marble countertops and vanities for their durability and to add more value to the home. But in the end, nothing beats the most visible benefit — that rich shine and luster right after the workmen install the new natural stone.

Friday 07/11/2014
Outdoor living made easy with home improvements that boost comfort and value
Updated: July 18, 2014 - 3:46 am

(BPT) - Beautiful weather begs to be enjoyed, but a drab deck, dated patio and dull lighting can drive homeowners indoors fast. A few home improvements can ensure seasons full of outdoor comfort, all while enhancing your house’s value and exterior aesthetic.

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HOT BLAST: Which college football team will be the champ? (Take our reader poll)

The final four teams for the college football playoffs were announced Sunday. Which team do you think will win the title?

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