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Fall Fix-Up Guide

Ask around when looking for service

I have to admit it: I’m very lucky. My husband is a talented Maryland Home Improvement Commission licensed and insured contractor, so I know a guy I can trust when my home needs renovation or repair. Of course I may be partial.

Compost, mulch or recycle — but not in plastic bags

As summer’s gardens die and trees begin de-leafing, it falls to you to figure out what to do with tons of vegetation.     The best solutions: recycle, compost or mulch. Recycle — But Not in Plastic

Fall’s the time to get to work

Warm days and cool nights, combined with shorter daylight hours, are what the doctor ordered for the favorite grasses of Chesapeake Country: bluegrass and fescues. They’re called cool-season grasses because they germinate, produce roots and lap up nutrients once summer’s heat shuts down. So now’s the time to get to work on next year’s perfect lawn. Test Your Soil     A good lawn grows from well-prepared soil.

It’s all connected

Toe bone connected to the foot bone     Foot bone connected to the heel bone Heel bone connected to the ankle bone Ankle bone connected to the ­shin bone Shin bone connected to the knee bone Knee bone connected to the thigh bone Thigh bone connected to the hip bone Hip bone connected to the backbone Back bone connected to the shoulder bone Shoulder bone connected to the neck bone

Create a haven for migratory birds

Birds are more than beautiful visitors to your lawn and garden. They are also an important component of a healthy local ecosystem.     Here are a few simple steps to keep birds safe. Offer Food and Shelter

Switching bulbs makes a ­multipliable difference

The way you light your home can have a big impact on the environment and your energy bills. Indeed, widespread use of light-emitting diode — LED — lighting has the greatest potential impact on energy savings in the United States, according to government findings.     The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 required the gradual phaseout of the old familiar incandescent light bulbs, which convert only 14 percent of their energy input to useful output.

As temperatures drop, decorate your home with warm, cozy accents to set the tone for spending more time indoors.

Follow the Season     Use seasonal throw pillows and blankets to add color, warmth and welcome. Take a hint from nature, filling vases with mums, cattails and colored leaves. Take walks in the woods and gardens to find autumnal treasures, like pinecones and branches of Chinese lantern. Serve warm, rich food: stews have come in season. Bake bread and fill the house with its aroma. Create and enjoy a favorite warm drink. Seek Out Inspiration

Comfort and value now and late

You’ve got a long list of home remodeling projects. Which goes to the top of the list? Prioritize by choosing projects that make life more comfortable now and improve your home’s value in the future.     These score on both standards. Insulate the Attic

Don’t let  housework get the best of you; there are strategies to help make it easier

When it comes to cleaning up after children, it often feels impossible to keep up. Don’t let the housework get the best of you; there are strategies that can help make being a parent just a little bit easier. Check out these helpful tips to ensure the kids are having fun, while your home stays tidy — and your sanity remains intact. 1. The Cleanup Game

Now’s the time to get to work so it’s lush and green come spring

Feeling less than pride and joy in your lawn?     Fall is the best time to lay the foundation for a rich, green, weed-free grass come spring. 1. Test Your Soil     How’s your lawn doing?     There’s no way to know without soil testing. Fertilize without testing, and you’re not only throwing your money away but also polluting the Bay.