Weekly home and garden rail, with tips on decorating your garage door, how to clean a flat-screen TV, how to quickly freshen up a room and more.


 


Decorating Tip: Don’t forget the garage

What is the one home fix-up project that takes only a couple of hours and yields the biggest bang for the buck of any exterior home renovation? A stylish new garage door.

A new door, quickly and correctly installed by a local professional, will differentiate your home and add style, value and curb appeal. The hottest new style in garage doors is the carriage house design. It's available in steel, wood or composite materials and in many price ranges.

A nationwide poll of real estate agents revealed more than 71 percent felt a new garage door added to the value of a home, even adding as much as 4 percent to the selling price. That means $10,000 on a $250,000 home. (ARA)

Did You Know …
 
Need to freshen up a room ASAP? Here are a few products you can use to get your odors in order:

- Spray such as Febreze
- Scented candles or potpourri
- Baking soda
- Floor cleaner such as PineSol

How to clean a flat-screen TV

- Don't reach for strong chemical cleaners like alcohol, ammonia-based cleaners or window cleaners. They can damage the screen's special coating.

- Don't spray a liquid cleaner on the screen, as it can leak into the TV casing and damage the circuitry.

- Never use paper towels or newspapers to wipe of the screen either. These are wood products and will scratch the screen.

- Look for a solution that is specially labeled "safe for laptop screens" or "LCD and plasma screens." (ARA)

Garden Guide: Beware the wily tick

Some tips to help you avoid tick problems:

- Wearing light-colored long pants and long sleeves is a good idea when traveling in tick territory. Be sure to tuck your shirt into pants and pants into socks to keep ticks off your skin.

- Widen trails, remove shrubby overgrowth and move playsets to nontick areas.

- Don’t forget tick checks after outdoor activities. (ARA)

Home Improvements: Fire sprinkler system

Some facts about a home fire sprinkler system:

- Sprinklers are supplied by household water -- usually off the water main. Just like ordinary plumbing, sprinkler system piping is hidden behind walls and ceilings.

- The sprinklers are positioned along the piping and are visible in ceilings, and in some cases high along certain walls.

- Sprinklers are designed to flow between 10 and 25 gallons of water per minute. That’s about 10 to 15 times less water flow than fire department hoses.

- By operating while a fire is still small, a sprinkler controls or extinguishes a fire and slows the spread of smoke. And it gives family members more time to get out safely. (ARA)

Backyard Buddies
 
Some tips from Birdsforever.com on getting rid of undesireable birds like starlings, grackles and doves:

- Determine what is attracting the bird and remove it or build a barrier between the bird and what it finds so attractive.

- Try using small tubular feeders with small perches. This will attract the smaller songbirds, but the larger birds will not be able to fit on the perches.

- To discourage house finches, take the perches off your tube feeders. They can't cling very well and will be discouraged.

- To get rid of blackbirds and sparrows, stop offering cracked corn.

- To discourage doves and sparrows, stop feeding bird mixes.

- To keep the starlings from taking over your suet feeder, try a bottom feed suet feeder. Starlings don't like to hang upside down for very long!

GateHouse News Service