Real Estate

Window films offer heat control

Dear Jim: I need to block the sun's heat and fading rays coming in my windows. They are just single-pane, but are in good condition. Is it hard to install a heat-control window film myself and does it work? - Cole H.Dear Cole: I often recommend double- or triple-pane, low-emissivity replacement ...

Right at Home: decor with a West Coast vibe

There's no single definition of California style: The state's design sensibilities are as varied and interesting as its geography and climate.You can get a Cali vibe going in lots of different directions.For instance, moody colors and a connection with the temperate, coniferous forests of ...

A good entrance gate makes a good garden

By Lee ReichAssociated PressVisitors always admired the entrance gate to my vegetable garden, more than I ever did.Built from cedar branches, it did have rustic charm. But it really was too flimsy for its size and, as it sagged with age, it had to be muscled open and shut.That gate, which I ...

Savvy ways to keep your home cool this summer

By Katherine RothAssociated PressAs summer temperatures - and utility bills - rise, there are some easy ways to keep cool that are cheaper and greener than air conditioning.A little savvy about when to open windows and when to keep them closed with curtains drawn goes a long way toward cooling ...

Rising home prices lift US wealth, even as stocks fall

WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans' household wealth rose in the first three months of this year as home values increased, offsetting a drop in stock prices.The Federal Reserve said that U.S. household net worth increased 1 percent to $88.1 trillion in the first quarter. Americans' stock and mutual ...

Right at Home: Sellers, give every room a role

By Kim CookAssociated PressMany of us have one room in the house that doesn't really have a job. Maybe we set it up with an air bed once in a while for guests, or shove out-of-season clothing boxes in there, or use it as a holding zone for stuff we're not sure what to do with.But when your ...

Report: US construction spending tumbled in April

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. construction spending fell in April by the biggest amount in five years, dragged by declines in housing, commercial construction and spending on government projects.Construction spending dropped 1.8 percent in April after a 1.5 percent gain in March, the Commerce ...

Fruity, summery colors perk up decor all year

By Kim CookAssociated PressAh, summer - the season when oranges are transformed into ice pops, limes add zing to slushies, peaches become pies, and berries take over nearly every dessert from June to September.Citrus and other fruity hues look fresh and energetic in summer dcor, and there's no ...

Ask a Designer: Sweat the details like doorknobs and handles

By Melissa RayworthAssociated PressIt's a small thing, often overlooked amid major items like furniture and paint colors when you're decorating a room. But don't underestimate the power of household hardware.These small items - doorknobs, drawer pulls, cabinet-door handles - are "the jewelry" ...

Coming up with a furniture plan that works

By Melissa RayworthAssociated PressSometimes the way to improve a room isn't to buy new furniture: It's to rearrange pieces you already own.Interior designers can spend hours creating the best furniture plan for a room, balancing practical considerations and creative risk-taking."Changing up ...

Open and shut case: choosing and hanging shutters

By Melissa Kossler DuttonAssociated PressAlthough glass and screens have eliminated the practical need for shutters, they're still popular for decoration. "They add another layer of thoughtful detailing to a house," says Ted Cleary, a landscape architect in Charlotte, N.C.But to get the right ...

US home prices rise as spring buying season begins

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home prices kept climbing in March as the spring home buying season began, but so far the higher costs haven't thwarted sales.The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index increased 5.4 percent in March compared with a year earlier, according to a ...

Home sales growth driven by Midwest

WASHINGTON (AP) - Midwestern homebuyers helped spark a national increase in real estate sales during April, a sign that demand for housing remains steady despite rising prices and tight inventories.Sales of existing homes rose 1.7 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.45 ...

New home sales jump to highest level in 8 years

WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans ramped up their purchases of new homes in April to the highest level since January 2008, evidence of a strong start to the spring buying season.The Commerce Department said that new home sales jumped 16.6 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted rate of 619,000, ...

How to decorate with antiques, heirlooms

By Katherine RothAssociated PressIn this age of minimalism and decluttering, the common response to an offer of a family heirloom or antique might be, "I don't have space," ''It's not my taste," or simply "No thanks."Well, "pull yourself out of that as fast as you can and start saying yes," ...

Daily Press Real Estate Expo tonight

ESCANABA - The Daily Press 2016 Real Estate Expo is tonight from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Quality Inn in Escanaba.Dan McDonald, publisher of the Daily Press, said this is an entirely new event for 2016.The primary function of the Real Estate Expo will be to help people learn directly from local ...

Builders increase home construction

WASHINGTON (AP) - Builders ramped up construction of new homes in April, suggesting that the market remains solid despite sluggish economic growth at the beginning of the year.Housing starts climbed 6.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.17 million units, the Commerce Department ...

Agrihoods take root: A housing trend rooted in agriculture

DAVIS, Calif. (AP) - "How ya gonna keep 'em down on the farm?" asks the old song. The answer may be: Build them an agrihood.Feeding off the continuing interest in eating fresh, local food, developers are ditching golf courses and designing communities around farms, offering residents a taste of ...

Raising the ceiling dramatically changes a room

By Melissa RayworthAssociated PressArchitects tend to look skyward: The ancient Greeks built coffered ceilings in their temples. Romans introduced the barrel vault. Medieval builders constructed Gothic arches and Renaissance domes to inspire the masses.Centuries later, the impact is the same, ...

Advice for couples blending 2 homes into 1

By Melissa RayworthAssociated PressFor couples setting up a new home together, it's a challenge: how to merge two sets of stuff and two decorating styles into one space they both can love."Emotions get really high when it comes to your belongings if the person you're choosing to spend the rest ...