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    How to choose the best hardware when building a new home.

    July 13, 2020 7:45 AM by emily.bailey

    Monday, July 13, 2020

    New home build | Schlage

    When building a new home, the options for materials, fixtures and finishing touches are endless. Here’s what you need to know to select the best door hardware for your new build.

     

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    Are you thinking of building a new home or in the process of working with a builder to create your dream house? Building a new home can be quite a process, filled with paying close attention to details big and small. The options often seem endless, and in many cases it can be a rather stressful situation. We want to shed some light on the door hardware selection process and hopefully make it a little easier for you to find something that looks great and, more importantly, keeps your family secure.
    Farmhouse style white ranch new build.

    Make your custom home secure

    You’ve invested a lot into your new home, but protecting your family is the most important investment you’ll make. When it comes to exterior door hardware, deadbolts are your first line of defense. Schlage mechanical deadbolts and smart locks are rated among the industry’s best in Security, Durability and Finish by the BHMA. Their superior security and quality metal construction provide you with peace of mind, no matter if you put them on your front door, back patio or garage entry. And when you choose one of our smart deadbolts, you gain keyless convenience and remote access from anywhere. We help make your smart home a secure home.

     

    Part of the beauty of building your own home is that you get to bring your unique sense of style to the space – more on that in a minute. For now, know that Schlage Custom™ Door Hardware allows you to choose your decorative door knobs and levers at an affordable price without sacrificing the highest quality of residential security. Because, let's face it. If it doesn't withstand something as everyday as a child hanging from the lever and as vital as a sledgehammer attack, it doesn't really matter how nice your lock looks. We think peace of mind means feeling good about your style choices as well as being confident in your safety.

    Show your style savvy

    Schlage makes decisions easier and you’ll never have to sacrifice style, thanks to a variety of design and finish options. We offer interior and exterior door hardware that perfectly complements every area of your home. It’s the perfect way to capture your personal taste with details that make a statement. And remember that you can choose the same finish for all your hardware, from the front door to the back and everywhere in between. Suiting the finish and design of your door hardware helps you get that cohesive look that makes your home feel complete.

     

    Whether you’re building a home with contemporary architecture or one with a more traditional feel, we have something for you. For example, look to our door locks with a Matte Black finish. The dark hue adds a refined touch to minimalist décor as well as a punch of boldness if you opted for rich, deep paints. For a more traditional feel, consider Schlage’s Aged Bronze knobs with a classic patina feel. The possibilities are endless when you consider our range of finishes.

     

    Don’t forget to ask your builder about additional finishes that may be available only to trade professionals, too. Schlage’s Black Stainless is a stylish alternative to Matte Black and is currently exclusive to builders. It’s a great way to get a unique look ahead of your neighbors.

    Live your perfect life

    When it comes to interior door hardware, the Schlage Custom Combined Interior makes sure your home can grow with you. With privacy and passage functions combined in one lock, you can change your doors from locking to non-locking based on your needs without having to replace the entire lock. Go from an office to a nursery and back again easily and seamlessly. It’s the ideal solution if you plan to stay in your home for years to come.

     

    Schlage products also feature a Limited Lifetime Mechanical and Finish Warranty and a 3-Year Electronics Warranty for smart locks. Why should this be important to you? Because it’s our promise to support you during the lifetime of your lock, even if something breaks or the finish starts to show some wear. You can have confidence in the quality and craftsmanship of every Schlage product, whether it’s a mechanical knob or a smart deadbolt. Our warranties are a commitment to earning your trust.

     

    It’s easy to overlook door hardware amidst all the other decisions you’re making during a home build. But when you consider door knobs, levers and deadbolts early in the process along with other fixtures in the home, like when choosing your doors, kitchen faucets and bathroom hardware, you can be sure that you will have a cohesive design throughout the entire home. Our Style Selector Tool can help you determine what look is right for you and choose products that complement your design taste.

     

    Feel free to drop by our Schlage Facebook page and tell us about the home you’re building or find inspiration on Pinterest.

     

    Simple fixes for common DIY mistakes.

    July 10, 2020 7:45 AM by emily.bailey

    Friday, July 10, 2020

    DIY fixes | Schlage

    When you take on home improvement projects, things don’t always go as planned. The good news is that even the scariest DIY mistakes can be fixed. Here’s how.

     

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    It’s your worst DIY nightmare – the paint color you picked isn’t what you expected, there’s a hole in the wall, all you wanted was to simply replace a door knob but the old one won’t come off. When you take on home improvement projects, things don’t always go as planned. The good news is that even the scariest DIY mistakes can be fixed. Here’s how.
    Golden retriever holding hammer in mouth.

    Paint faux pas

    When we were sheltering at home during coronavirus quarantine, many of us reached for a paint brush to stay busy. It was a great idea! Are you 100% happy with the finished product? Here are some tips for fixing common painting errors.

     

    Challenge #1: You chose the wrong color. It might be too bright or too green. Maybe that Art Deco-inspired jewel tone that’s so popular this year doesn’t match your tastes after all.

     

    How to fix it: Here are a few hacks for fixing your paint job. Add a detail like stripes in a different shade of the same color. A little contrast, lighter or darker depending on what’s needed, can help get the overall look closer to the right hue. You might also consider keeping the original color as an accent wall and updating the others if the shade is right but just a bit overwhelming.

     

    Stow and Tellu has tips for fixing the wrong paint color without repainting. We love how they toned down the yellow tones in their new paint simply by switching up the room’s furniture and wood finishes.

    Challenge #2: The color is perfect, but you see all kinds of imperfections, blobs and drips.

     

    How to fix it: Gently scrape the dried drips with a paint scraper, sand and repaint. Blend the new coat in carefully, making sure to remove excess paint from your brush or roller as that’s likely what caused the problem in the first place.

     

    Challenge #3: You really committed to giving your home a new look and painted more than one room, each in a different color. Unfortunately, now it looks like a patchwork quilt.

     

    How to fix it: If you need to reclaim some cohesive design, you could repaint. But who has the time, budget or inclination? Instead, try using other décor elements to tie everything together. Neutral accessories like a beige bedding, gray sofa cover or natural-wood furniture will help tone down the overzealous color palette without buying more paint supplies.

     

    Challenge #4: The new color is dramatically different than the old and you can still see the previous paint, even after all your best efforts.

     

    How to fix it: Instead of layering on coat after coat of the new color, try a latex primer instead. One, maybe two coats of the primer if the original color was particularly deep, will give you a truer new color when you do paint.

    Horrible holes

    Challenge: One of the great things about owning your own home is being able to decorate the walls however you want. There’s no landlord to throw a fit over holes from hanging pictures or shelving, but you don’t want to look at those holes every day, either. Depending on how many imperfections you’re dealing with – those who discontinued their gallery wall know what we’re talking about – this should be a fairly quick fix.

     

    How to fix it: If you’re just dealing with nail punctures, all you’ll need is to fill the hole with some spackling. Use a putty knife to get an even, flat application. Then sand the area lightly and finish with paint touch-ups. Larger holes will need a mesh or bridging material before applying the spackling. Kits are available to help with bigger jobs.

    Door disappointments

    Updating doors and door hardware is a stylish and relatively inexpensive way to enhance the look of your home. These DIY projects sometimes present unique challenges, though.

     

    Challenge #1: You don’t have to remove hinges before painting a door. There are ways to protect your door hardware, but sometimes even our best efforts can’t prevent paint dripping onto hinges, knobs and latches.

     

    How to fix it: Some DIYers have suggested using a Magic Eraser and plastic scraper, which lets you leave the hinges on the jamb, but you’ll need some muscle to get results. For a less labor-intensive option, remove the hinges, then treat them with a paint stripper, boil them in water or use a heat gun. Pretty Handy Girl shares the steps for each of these methods. Before doing any cleaning, however, be sure to refer to manufacturers’ cleaning suggestions. Some finishes may be damaged by certain cleaning solutions.

     

    Challenge #2: You can’t get that stubborn door hardware off. Antique door knobs were manufactured differently. Sometimes they just don’t want to let go if they’ve been painted repeatedly over the decades.

     

    How to fix it: To remove old hardware with hidden screws on the interior, look for a small slot on the side of the door handle. Insert a flathead screwdriver into that slot and pull the handle away. You should then be able to unscrew the escutcheon. The rest should be pretty straightforward, and you can unscrew the strikeplate on the door’s edge to complete the removal.

     

    If layers of paint are keeping the escutcheon “glued” to the door, use a utility knife to score around the edge of the hardware. If there’s caked-on paint covering the screwheads, use a screwdriver and a hammer to gently tap to clear out the grooves. Take your time to avoid injury to your hands, the hardware or the door.

     

    Challenge #3: Gouged doors: If you had to fight to get your old door hardware off, or if you have rambunctious kids, you might be dealing with some dings in your door.

     

    How to fix it: To repair small scratches or gouges in a wooden door, simply sand the affected area and fill with wood putty. For larger gouges, try an epoxy wood filler. If you have a fiberglass or metal door, take a lesson – and supplies – from auto repair. Home Tips gives the details.

    Challenge #4: All Schlage door hardware is guaranteed to fit standard door preparation. We know, however, that doors on traditional homes might not come with standard doors.

     

    How to fix it: You may need to drill larger or new bore holes. These instructions for installing a Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Lock apply for nearly any kind of door hardware, not just the smart deadbolt.

     

    Challenge #5: Doors that stick, rub or don’t shut properly are often caused by a problem with their alignment. We most often see this problem when the weather changes and materials around the door shrink or expand with the moisture in the air. Sometimes it’s because the house has begun to settle on its foundation. And sometimes it’s because we updated the door’s frame or flooring below it.

     

    How to fix it: There are a few ways to fix your door alignment, depending on why it’s rubbing. First, check the screws of your hinges. They might just need a simple tightening. Use a screwdriver instead of a power drill for better control and to avoid causing damage. If you still need to make a larger adjustment, try driving a long screw into the door jamb to “move” the hinge closer to the frame. If none of these does the trick, you may need to use a belt sander to plane the door, essentially creating more space so it doesn’t rub. Family Handyman can help with each of these methods.

     

    DIY projects can be extremely rewarding and let you put your own stamp on your home. Now that you know how to fix some of the most common home improvement mistakes, there’s little to keep you from tackling that project you’ve always wanted to do. Find inspiration for your next handy venture at the Schlage blog or follow us on Pinterest.

     

    Want a secure home for your pet? Try a catio.

    July 6, 2020 7:45 AM by emily.bailey

    Monday, July 6, 2020

    Catio | Schlage

    Looking for a safe space for your cat to enjoy? Try a catio. Here's what you need to build a DIY catio.

     

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    They show their love by bringing you dead birds or lizards. Why don’t you show your love for them in a way that’s a bit less lethal? We’re talking about catios. Here’s what you need to build a DIY catio. Because let’s face it. The cat isn’t going to do it for you.

    What is a catio?

    Quite simply, it’s a cat patio. Country Living describes it as “a man cave (or she-shed) for Whiskers.” They come in a variety of sizes, from as small as a window box to as large and extravagant as a series of pathways and treehouses.

    What are the benefits of a catio?

    Catios can help keep your furry friend safe and healthy, according to the Humane Society. An indoor/outdoor cat can encounter many dangers when out on the prowl – traffic, predators, unkind humans and diseases to name a few. The same goes for a formerly feral cat you’ve adopted or a special needs kitty who loves the outdoors but needs some additional protection.

     

    With a catio, they still get the thrill, fresh air and stimulation of being outdoors without the risk. Other animals in your neighborhood will also be protected when Kitty can no longer chase birds and other critters.

    What do I need for a DIY catio?

    Your catio can be as large and elaborate as you want, or you can keep it simple, perfect for a lounge kitty who just likes to enjoy a soft breeze. Aside from the structure itself, you’ll probably want the following items:

    • Water bowl. We recommend skipping the food bowl, which can attract racoons and other wild animals.

    • Door and/or tunnel to get from the house to the patio. An electronic cat door that’s triggered to open and close with a sensor in Kitty’s collar is a good option.

    • Something to climb on and perches.

    • A bed, hammock or pillows for catnaps.

    • Shady spots for when the temperatures climb. Or, as Houzz recommends, a heating pad for when the weather cools off.

    • A roof to protect your cat from the elements.

    • Scratching post. If you’re going for an all-natural look, you might use a tree or log instead of something store-bought.
    Some optional features are a seating area for you so you can hang out with Kitty, toys and plants. Be sure to choose plants that are not toxic to cats. If you have multiple cats and they don’t always get along, another great reason to build a catio, you may want multiple access points in case someone gets too territorial.

    How do I build a catio?

    The most common way to build your own catio is to purchase kits online and then put your DIY skills to use. Catio Spaces and Habitat Haven each have a variety of designs.

     

    If you’re feeling creative and confident, however, creating one from scratch is certainly possible. This Old House shows us how to make a window-height enclosure for about $500. And this video from Cuteness DIY turns an IKEA bookshelf into the perfect catio.

     

    For something a bit larger, which is ideal if you have the space or more than one cat, try this tutorial from Instructables. One more option is to repurpose a large dog kennel like you might see outdoors anyway. Catster shows how they added PVC pipe to help kitty-proof it and keep their rescues from pulling a Houdini act.

     

    Not a cat person? Check out some porch puppies instead. There’s also a collection of more DIY projects on the Schlage blog, no matter which critter camp you belong to.

     

    Road trip gadgets to make your vacation safe and memorable.

    July 1, 2020 7:45 AM by emily.bailey

    Wednesday, July 1, 2020

    Dog in car on road trip | Schlage

    If you’re planning a road trip this summer, you may want to pack some gadgets and accessories to make the trip safer and more enjoyable.

     

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    Few things are as freeing as the wind in your hair and the open road ahead of you. If you’re planning a road trip this summer, you may want to pack some gadgets and accessories to make the trip safer and more enjoyable. Check out some of our picks for road trip gadgets and accessories.
    Dog with head outside car window on road trip.

    Pack some entertainment

    If the first thing you plan when someone yells “road trip!” is your playlist and snacks, then you’re definitely in it for the fun. Get the most out of your experience with some of these travel devices.

    Woman in car listening to playlist on smartphone.
    • USB charger
      You always have a cell phone or other device that needs to be charged, and a long road trip only makes that a bigger deal. Choose a car charger with multiple USB ports and don’t forget the people in the backseat. Belkin has one with a longer cable so everyone can plug in.

    • Mobile hot spot
      Whether you need to connect in the car, at the campsite or somewhere without free WiFi, a mobile hot spot can help you stay in touch. We recommended the Skyroam Solis in our gift guide for travelers.

    • Bluetooth adapter
      If your older car doesn’t have a Bluetooth connection, get an adapter like the Nulaxy KM18 so you can listen to classic road trip music from your phone. Because it also helps with hands-free calling, we could have put this in the safety section below as well.

    • Cord organizer
      You have everything you need, but now you can’t find it because you’re drowning in cables and small devices. Get an organizer to keep everything together and tangle-free. There’s nothing worse than buying a replacement charger, only to find it between the seats the next day.

    • Travel vacuum
      No, it’s not about sucking up those errant Cheerios your kids dropped. This small vacuum from Vago helps compress items in your luggage to make more space. If you’re already feeling the pinch in the car and know you’ll be picking up souvenirs along the way, be sure to pick up this little gadget.

    • Amazon Alexa
      If you’re one of the lucky people whose car comes with Alexa Auto, you can use the voice assistant the same way in your car as you would at home. Everyone else might like the Garmin Speak, which connects with Alexa and lets you make many of the same requests. Whether you have Alexa Auto or the Garmin, you can ask Alexa for directions, get traffic reports, play games and more.

    • Travel apps
      There’s no shortage of travel apps helping you find the best gas prices, nearby restaurants and hotel accommodations. Others can guide you to attractions. Try FreeTour for locating free and budget tours in the area, or Oh, Ranger! ParkFinder for national, state and city parks. Both are free for Android and iOS.

    Plan safe travels

    Even with the greatest gadgets, it’s hard to enjoy your trip if you’re worried about staying safe and healthy. Stock your car with these items, some more high tech than others, so you can focus on what’s important – family fun.

    Car with smartphone mounted to dash showing navigation.
    • Cell phone car mount
      You don’t want to be bumbling around with your phone at any point as the driver. A car mount is a necessity, especially if you plan to use your cell phone as a GPS. Choose a mount that works best for you, whether it attaches on the windshield, dashboard or air vent.

    • Tile Mate
      Stop worrying about your keys and try Tile Mate. This Bluetooth-connected tracker attaches to your keyring and transmits its location if you’ve misplaced your keys.

    • Jump start kit
      Hopefully you have a kit to jump start your car with you at all times, but it’s especially important on a road trip where you might be hours away from the closest service station. A high-tech version like the Anker Compact Car Jump Starter and Portable Charger can help get you back on the road quickly and easily. And don’t forget the rechargeable LED road flares.

    • First aid kit
      Before you hit the road, check that your first aid kit is fully stocked and that all items are still in good working order. Some items do expire, so inspect them closely. You might also download the First Aid by American Red Cross app on your phone.

    • Disinfecting kit
      When traveling during COVID-19, you’ll want extra cleaning materials close at hand. You won’t always have soap and water available, especially if you’re camping or using lots of public restrooms. Stock a kit with hand sanitizer, paper towels, antibacterial wipes and some extra masks. Remember that even if you live in an area that doesn’t require personal protective equipment in public places, you might be traveling somewhere that does. It’s best to be prepared.

    • Smart lock
      OK, so this isn’t so much for your car as it is for your peace of mind. With a smart lock like the Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt, you can keep an eye on your home from anywhere. Use an app to make sure you locked your door before you left. If someone is checking on pets or plants while you’re away, you can create unique access codes so you don’t have to give them a spare key. Use the app again to make sure they locked up after performing their neighborly duties.

    Ride large in an RV

    A lot of the items above are ideal no matter what kind of vehicle you’re in, but some apps and gadgets are especially helpful for the RV traveler.

    Woman sitting in chair next to RV.
    • Kitchen tools
      One of the nice things about traveling by RV is that you can be more self-sufficient. If you have a kitchen onboard, you don’t have to eat at restaurants as often. If you plan to cook for yourself, try a solar oven, Instant Pot and stovetop cover to make meal prep easier, safer and more energy efficient.

    • CO alarm
      Carbon monoxide in your RV is nothing to take lightly. Some rigs come with a CO detector, but if not, invest in one. Be sure to double-check the batteries before heading out.

    • Tire pressure monitor
      A tire gauge is handy to have no matter the vehicle, but with something as large as an RV, you need to stay extra vigilant with tire pressure. Accutire takes Consumer Reports’ top five spots for best digital pressure gauges.

    • Dehumidifier
      Moisture in your RV is something that a lot of people complain about but few think about before it’s too late. The dehumidifier doesn’t have to be huge to help make your ride more comfortable and help keep your RV in good shape.

    • RV toilet paper
      It would be easy to make a joke about needing plenty of toilet paper during a post-COVID road trip, but when talking about RVs, remember that special TP is often needed. The same goes for compressed paper towels. You’ll need towels, so make sure you choose something that doesn’t take up much space and can be disposed of properly.

    A fantastic road trip isn’t just about the car and the destination. Take these home security steps before leaving for vacation so you can enjoy the ride and come back to things just as you left them.

     

    10 unusual places to upcycle your old door locks and hardware.

    June 30, 2020 7:45 AM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, June 30, 2020

    Old door knobs | Schlage

    Here are 10 unexpected places to put your old door knobs, levers and other hardware, adding style and function to your home.

     

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    We’re turning 100! Over 10 weeks, Schlage is sharing its favorite top-10 lists. That’s 100 tips, ideas and moments of inspiration so you can enjoy the safety, simplicity and style of Schlage for another 100 years to come.

     

    Door knobs belong on doors, right? Yes. And no. You might be wondering what to do with old door locks and hardware when you’ve changed your look or if you’ve found some vintage gems secondhand. Here are 10 unexpected places to put your door knobs, levers and other hardware, adding style and function to your home.

    1. On the wall

    One popular place to use your old door hardware is in your entryway. Mount the knobs either directly to the wall or affix them to salvaged wood or reclaimed trim, for an upcycled coat rack. You can use all matching hardware or go for a more eclectic or rustic look with knobs in different materials and finishes.

    Door knobs can also be used for hanging wall art. A Tree Lined Street uses them on their gallery wall, and we love how they’re both entirely practical while also giving extra visual interest to your artistic display.

    2. With the curtains

    One way to give your window treatments a unique look is to play with variations of curtain rods. Door knobs make beautiful finials – those end caps on the rods – or as the actual fixtures you hang your curtains from like we see at Houzz.com.

    Use door knobs as curtain tie-backs, too. Older hardware gives any window a vintage feel, especially when paired with a tasseled tie. But you aren’t limited to the antique designs. If there’s a more contemporary style of knob you love, we say go for that.

    3. On furniture

    If you have a larger piece of furniture, it can be tough to find a drawer pull in the right proportions, especially if you’re trying to capture a very specific feel. Expand your search beyond cabinet pulls and consider door knobs or grips as well.

    4. In the closet

    This storage hack uses handle grips, and you might be kicking yourself for not thinking of it sooner. Whether in a bedroom walk-in or an entryway closet, gain extra hanging space when you attach a handle either underneath the shelving or to the inside face of the door for scarves and ties. Here’s a handy variation for the laundry room from Pigskins & Pigtails.

    Using the same idea as No. 1 above with the coat rack, you can make a smaller rack for jewelry. You often see these attached to a frame that you can mount in a larger closet or hang near a bathroom mirror – wherever you need it most. We especially like the idea of mixing and matching the sizes of the knobs and door pulls. Larger knobs work great for scarves or hats, smaller ones for necklaces or bracelets, and pulls for earrings.

    5. On the table

    Turn your old door knobs upside down, affix some coiled or decorative wire and you have the perfect stand for holiday cards and family photos. For grander tablescapes, display the table number or your guests’ names when you have assigned seating for a crowd. It’s great for holiday feasts and DIY weddings.

    6. From the ceiling

    Personalize the cord on your ceiling fan with an upcycled door knob. Rustique Art shows how to pull this off so that you can look as good, and as cool, as you feel.

    7. In the bathroom

    It seems that we always have small items – cotton balls, makeup brushes, bobby pins – running amok on the bathroom counter. For a unique way to keep everything in its proper place, upcycle some decorative containers or apothecary jars, adding a beautiful door knob to the lids. You can match the knobs to the other finishes you have in your bathroom or take advantage of those that come in colorful glass for a bit of sparkle and glam.

    8. In the kitchen

    Remember those grips you attached underneath the closet shelving? Use the same type of hardware as handles on a serving tray. It’ll come in handy for breakfasts in bed or at a party.

    And speaking of parties, if you’re looking for a stylish way to keep wine corked for the evening, try these bottle stoppers. There’s no reason it has to be a beverage bottle, though. Consider these for your olive oils or homemade salad dressings. You can also attach a door knob to the top of a cake dome.

    9. In the garden

    Door knobs, either glass or with a particularly decorative design, attached to a stake make fantastic garden markers. When they have a bit of shine to them, they’ll reflect sunlight in gorgeous ways.

     

    Include a door knob on your next homemade birdhouse so your feathered friends have somewhere to land. Door hardware can be used to build a suncatcher – focus on glass knobs – or wind chime as well.

    10. Inside a gift box

    If you want to give someone new door hardware as a present, we won’t stop you. But in the spirit of upcycling old door hardware, try a DIY painted sign with a vintage door knob, hinges or other upcycled pieces. Include an inspirational phrase – “Open doors and embrace new opportunities” – or a sentiment about home and you have the perfect gift for the graduate or new homeowner. Love Grows Wild simply included an old skeleton key with a painted heart.

    The trick to using old door hardware in unusual ways is to think outside the box and borrow inspiration from others who have been there before. Find more ideas from Schlage in our blog’s DIY Tips archive or on Pinterest.

    10 ways to upcycle old door locks.

     

    Top tips for a festive at-home Fourth of July.

    June 22, 2020 7:45 AM by emily.bailey

    Monday, June 22, 2020

    4th of July at home | Schlage

    Here are some tips for a safe Fourth of July that’s also full of fun for the whole family.

     

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    Parades, festivals and patriotic parties have become staples of summer. With many cities canceling their fireworks shows because of COVID-19, however, many of us are looking for new ways to celebrate Independence Day at home without giving up our favorite traditions. Here are some tips for a safe Fourth of July that’s also full of fun for the whole family.
    Little girl running with American flag.

    Patriotic décor ideas

    More holidays are becoming simple family affairs while some people continue to social distance. That doesn’t mean you can’t still rock your favorite Fourth of July front porch décor, though. Sprucing up porch railings is always popular for patriotic holidays. Think back to the classic bunting you see in old-timey photographs. Make your own bunting from bandanas or construction-paper chains. We’re not sure if we love this idea more for front porches or back decks. Try some of these wreath ideas for your front door, too.

    Break out the fabrics. Try red, white and blue cushions on your patio furniture or a throw inspired by the stars and stripes for your porch swing. If you have a picnic table, go with a patriotic table cloth or runner. It’ll help protect the furniture and boost the holiday vibes at the same time.

     

    Use flowers to show your pride in the red, white and blue. A flower box with all three together is gorgeous and unmistakably festive. You can also make a tabletop floral arrangement with flag-inspired blooms or a decorated pot. This could come in handy if you have to move the party indoors. And here’s a bonus tip. Smaller flower pots can be used to hold napkins, utensils and other BBQ items to keep them from blowing away.

    Your home’s not the only thing you can decorate. Kids in particular will enjoy dressing for the holiday. Take inspiration from Halloween and make an Uncle Sam or Lady Liberty costume. If you’re putting on your own neighborhood parade – or simply riding your bikes around the block – add streamers to their handlebars.

    Safety tips for the Fourth of July

    We’re much more likely to pop in and out of the house when we’re celebrating in the summer. In most cases, we usually hope we remembered to lock the door on the way out. Who wants to leave the neighborhood block party to check their front door? On a holiday like the Fourth of July, though, you might also hope that you haven’t accidentally locked yourself out in the midst of backyard cookouts, family bike rides and pool fun. With a smart lock like the Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt, you can check the lock from down the street (or from farther afield) without ever leaving the party. You can also use your unique access code on the touchscreen to let yourself in if the door does lock behind you with the key still inside.

     

    Your furry friends want to enjoy the holiday as well. If there are fireworks in your area, protect pets who might be frightened of the noise. But even if that’s not a concern, remember that there are other risks. All that in and out of the house we just mentioned? Stay vigilant so Fluffy doesn’t make a run for it the moment the door opens. Try a dog gate and ties to help keep them safe and healthy.

    Black and white dog with patriotic sunglasses.

    Practice good grill safety. You’ve probably barbecued at least once by the time Independence Day rolls around, but it’s still a good idea to give everything a good cleaning before you start to cook. Make sure propane tubes and connections are in good shape or make sure there are no shorts in your electric grill. Double-check there is enough space between the grill and the house, tree branches, holiday décor and anything else you don’t want to catch fire. Mind the kids and pets while things are hot, too.

     

    Turn on some lights. It’s tempting to go totally dark when you’re attempting to catch the fireworks show, but leave a few on. At least make sure any pathway lights are working to avoid tripping hazards. A well-lit house can also deter would-be thieves from attempting to break in while you’re distracted.

    Independence Day activities for the family

    Keep the kids entertained before and during the party with snacks they can help prepare. Even the younger set can make red, white and blue rice krispie treats or these fruit sparklers. Once the festivities get underway, they’ll love making their own sundaes. Kids with a few decades under their belts might enjoy assembling their own treat at a boozy ice cream bar cart.

    Make a water obstacle course that kids of all ages will love. TGIF shares their ideas for squirt gun races. Set up a light show sprinkler for extra entertainment, day or night. We also think a classic slip and slide is a solid option.

     

    Test your IQ with some patriotic trivia. Set up teams to compete for bragging rights or play individually for prizes throughout the night. Now, can you name the only president born on July 4?

     

    If you want to use the Fourth of July to teach your kids about our nation’s history, Education.com offers a variety of ideas with meaning. Find recipes, crafts and activities for learning about founding fathers and important black leaders in our history, all adapted for a range of ages.

    Festive alternatives to fireworks

    Put a color flame log in your firepit to mimic the effects of fireworks. Toasting marshmallows just got a lot more interesting.

     

    Put up a DIY outdoor movie screen. What you show is entirely up to you. Stream fireworks displays from other areas or past years, host a movie marathon with Independence Day, Glory, Top Gun or your family’s favorites, or use it for a laser show.

    For the sparkle and fun of fireworks without the flames, go for unique outdoor lighting. Lanterns are popular for Independence Day, and you can make your own from mason jars or colorful paper. Purchasing pre-made floating lanterns for the pool or pond is another option. Then use LED lights for the illumination.
    If none of those feels like quite enough to really capture the fireworks experience, give the kids glow sticks and let them run around the yard or let them explode party poppers. Sparklers are another good alternative. They’re safer than fireworks and can make for creative Fourth of July photos.

    Visit the Schlage blog or follow us on Pinterest for more holiday inspiration from New Year’s to Thanksgiving and everything in between.

     

    By the way, Calvin Coolidge is the only U.S. president born on the Fourth of July.

     

    Ideas for celebrating 4th of July at home.

     

    How to choose an exterior paint color.

    June 19, 2020 7:45 AM by emily.bailey

    Friday, June 19, 2020

    Exterior paint swatches | Schlage

    It pays to take your time and consider all the elements that affect the look and feel of your home. Our top tips can help you choose an exterior paint color you’ll love from start to finish.

     

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    Choosing a new paint color sounds fun at first but can quickly become a burden. How many times have you fallen for a color swatch only to hate the shade once you've painted the whole room? The same can happen with your home’s exterior, causing you to spend more time and money to get the look you want. It pays to take your time and consider all the elements that affect the look and feel of your home. Our top tips can help you choose an exterior paint color you’ll love from start to finish.
    Book of paint samples next to exterior of house.

    1. Personal style

    No matter what tone or shade you choose, your home should be a reflection of you. Start by identifying a few of your favorite styles and the coordinating colors to match. Online resources such as Pinterest or Houzz are great for inspiration and can provide examples to help get the perfect match when you head to the paint store.

    2. Style of neighboring homes

    Look to the homes in your neighborhood for more inspiration. This is also a great time to get familiar with any neighborhood association requirements for exterior improvements. Let the homes around you complement your style, but find opportunities to add your own unique spin such as an unexpectedly vibrant door or an eye-catching trim.

    3. Interior style

    Your entryway is your guests’ first hint at the overall look and feel of your home, so do your best to make a good first impression. If your home’s interior style is more contemporary, stick to a modern color palette outside as opposed to more traditional tones.

    4. Existing colors

    Unless you're doing a complete exterior transformation, you may need to choose a color that complements foundational features. Consider the type of brick or color of siding, roof and trim before you commit.

    5. Accents

    Does your home feature any unique architectural elements? Choose a color that accentuates those elements rather than hides them. Also consider the finish on your outdoor lighting and door hardware. This is a great time to consider outfitting your home with a new finish to pull your house’s exterior together.

    6. Doors

    Especially if you choose a new exterior color that’s dramatically different from the old, you might want to choose a new paint color for your front door, too. Your entryway should stand out for the right reasons, not because of a color clash. Try these tips from Better Homes & Gardens for choosing front door paint colors or take HGTV’s fun interactive quiz.

    7. Climate

    Think about the climate where you live and the orientation of your home. Does your front door face direct sunlight for most of the day? Then you'll likely want to stay away from black, which absorbs more heat and can fade more quickly than some lighter colors. Also consider humidity levels, which can dictate the type of paint you should choose. Contact your local paint store for more information before you buy.

    What process do you go through to find the perfect exterior paint color? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

     

    How to choose an exterior paint color.

     

    Let freedom ring: 6 front porch decor ideas to celebrate the 4th of July.

    June 18, 2020 2:15 PM by emily.bailey

    Thursday, June 18, 2020

    5 Front Porch Decor Ideas to Celebrate the 4th of July

    Don't let the 4th of July pass by without a patriotic display on your front porch. Here are six simple patriotic front porch decor ideas you should try.

     

     

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    It's hard to believe the 4th of July weekend is upon us. You may be feeling like the summer is flying by and when that happens, the holidays have a way of sneaking up on you. If you haven't thought about how you're going to celebrate yet, we put together six easy ideas for making sure your front porch is looking the part and ready to celebrate in style.

    1. Keep it simple

    Keep your existing front porch decor and simply add an American flag or two for a patriotic look that's quick and easy to pull off. Ann from On Sutton Place does just that with a cute display on her existing wreath.

    2. Hang some bunting

    Bunting is incredibly versatile and always gorgeous for celebrations. It can be made out of nearly anything – flags, bandanas, paper, fabric scraps – and you can find it at most stores this time of year or make your own by sewing, stapling or simply tying your materials together. Take the understated classy route like Boxwood Avenue with flags made of painters’ cloth. Or make a bigger statement like Nora Murphy.

    3. Plant patriotic flowers

    Whether you opt for red, white, blue or a combination of the three, fresh flowers are a great way to add a pop of patriotic color to your front porch. Consider refreshing your planters or adding to existing arrangements to get your front porch ready to celebrate the long weekend in no time. Here's some inspiration from On Blueberry Hill.

    If you’re someone who thinks subtle holiday décor is for the timid, DIY some patriotic planters for those flowers. Lolly Jane quickly transformed some common terra cotta pots with a bit of paint and creativity for an extra celebratory kick.

    4. Try a DIY project

    The long holiday weekend is the perfect time to put your skills to the test and try out a new craft. Homeowners with kids can even get them involved and create something adorable to celebrate the 4th of July. This patriotic wreath from Home Crafts by Ali is the perfect place to start.

    5. Get creative

    Take some inspiration from the holiday itself and create something unique for your porch decor. Here's how Hoosier Homemade took a few wooden fence posts and made them into wooden firecrackers, perfect for any 4th of July-inspired space!

    6. Spare no detail

    Of course, we love when each and every detail is carefully curated to complete a look. You’ll definitely be tempted to hang out all weekend on this patriotic patio by Four Generations One Roof. Grab a few red, white and blue pillows, blankets and accessories and create a space where you can enjoy some relaxation and good company.

    Are you planning on decorating your home for the 4th of July weekend? Be sure to share your photos with us on Facebook and Instagram!

     

    4th of July front porch decor.

     

    5 questions to ask before painting the exterior of your home.

    June 17, 2020 7:45 AM by emily.bailey

    Wednesday, June 17, 2020

    Painting exterior | Schlage

    Making the decision to paint the exterior of your home is one that should never be taken lightly.

     

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    Making the decision to paint the exterior of your home is one that should never be taken lightly. There are a variety of factors to consider for getting the timing just right and ensure you're left with a finished product that's exactly what you envisioned. Here are five questions you should ask before jumping in to this major curb appeal project.
    5 questions to ask before painting your home's exterior.

    1. Does your home really need it?

    Is the paint chipping on the exterior or faded? Is the color a neighborhood eye sore that's preventing your curb appeal from looking its best? A fresh coat of paint, whether you plan to stay in your home for another decade or put in on the market soon, may be the right investment. Pay careful attention to the current condition of your home and decide whether the value added will be enough to take on this major project. In some instances, a good power wash might fit the bill more nicely.

    2. Should you hire a pro?

    Painting your home’s exterior is a more advanced project that requires more skill and expertise than many other home improvement projects. If you're pretty good with a paintbrush, you could likely handle the project on a single-story home. But if your home spans two or more stories, it's worth looking into hiring a professional. The pros will come equipped with all the proper tools and scaffolding to do the job safely and efficiently. For older homes, there's also a risk of lead paint exposure. A professional will know how to test for lead and take the proper precautions. If you're not sure where to begin, Houzz and Porch are great resources for identifying a professional in your area.

    3. What's your budget?

    Define your budget before starting an exterior paint job, then shop around for the best quotes from professionals and paint companies. Be careful not to sacrifice quality, though. A project this big is not worth cutting corners just to save a few bucks.

    4. How long should this project take?

    The answer to this question is crucial to helping you stay on budget. The number one reason homeowners end up overspending on nearly all DIY projects is not sticking to their timeline. Define a realistic timeline that will help you get the work done efficiently within the constraints of your budget and don’t stray. That means limiting last-minute changes and additions.

    5. When should you paint?

    You'll want to complete this project when the weather is dry and temperatures remain consistently above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, generally making summer your best bet. Choose a week stretch where heavy rain is not expected.

     

    Of course, these probably aren’t the only questions you have. How do I choose an exterior paint color? How do I make sure the rest of my home’s exterior looks great after I paint? (Hint: Update your door hardware.) We’d love to hear your advice on Twitter and Facebook.

     

    31 ways to use your DIY skills for community service.

    June 11, 2020 7:45 AM by emily.bailey

    Thursday, June 11, 2020

    Neighbors helping each other | Schlage

    Whether you’re handy or crafty, a hosting and organizing pro or simply feel convicted to be part of something that’s bigger than yourself, these DIY projects can help you make a difference.

     

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    It’s time to use your DIY skills for the greater good. Help your community by lending a voice and a hand in the areas that need it most. Whether you’re handy or crafty, a hosting and organizing pro or simply feel convicted to be part of something that’s bigger than yourself, these DIY projects can help you make a difference.
    Neighbors helping each other.

    Neighborly love

    1. Host a block party to get to know your neighbors better. Socializing on porches used to be a primary way of building community and meeting newcomers, but that has gone by the wayside in recent years. Create a relaxed environment for getting to know those in your area better.

    2. If you already know your neighbors well, use a block party to raise funds for an important cause. Donate the proceeds from selling hamburgers, drinks and sweet treats to a neighborhood group.

    3. Host a holiday meal and invite a someone you wouldn’t see on a regular Tuesday. If you come from different cultures, invite them to share a tradition they celebrate as well.

    4. Help create or maintain a walking trail where everyone can meet and hike together safely.

    5. Get organizing and donate items you no longer need to local shelters, schools, camps or other community organizations. Those items might include clothing, food, toiletries, kids’ toys and sporting equipment, books, tools and art supplies, towels, blankets or pet supplies and toys.

    6. Buy your home improvement, gardening and craft supplies from local or minority-owned businesses when possible.

    7. Listen to your neighbors. Find out what they need and support them the best way you can.
    Volunteer picking up trash along walking trail.

    Handy helpers

    1. Build or repair a handicap-accessible ramp for a neighbor or local business.

    2. Help elderly neighbors with jobs around the house like cleaning, painting or repair work. When you replace the batteries in your own smoke or carbon monoxide detector, ask if they need help doing the same.

    3. Help with repairs and maintenance at a local homeless or women’s shelter, food pantry, church or animal shelter.

    4. Partner with an organization that does repairs or cleanup after disasters.

    5. Build an obstacle course for a dog park. Many animal shelters also might need help constructing play and training areas to help prepare pets for adoption. Give cats someplace cozy to relax while waiting for their furever homes with a homemade hammock.

    6. Campaign local authorities to improve dimly lit streets and public spaces for security.
    Couple renovating home

    Craft moments of kindness

    1. If you have sewing skills, offer to alter clothes for those in homeless shelters.

    2. Create colorful crafts to brighten up the rooms in a children’s hospital. Or take your craft supplies to the hospital and spend time with the kids.

    3. Help create a community mural or street art. If your city has a non-profit group that works with teens to do these kinds of art projects, offer to mentor or donate to their efforts.

    4. Lend your artistic eye to a good cause. Offer to take photos of adoptable pets or use your photography to draw attention to an issue.

    5. Donate your artwork to a non-profit holding a fundraising auction.
    Graffiti artist painting on wall.

    Kid-friendly

    1. Host a back-to-school party to help kids meet new students and help them and their parents feel welcome.

    2. Organize kids’ games or activities to give other parents a break or to help them with childcare during summer months. Invite children your kids might not normally interact with to teach them empathy for people of different backgrounds.

    3. Repair playground equipment. If you don’t have a park nearby, campaign local officials to add a playground in your neighborhood.

    4. Volunteer at a local camp or community center. Teach kids DIY skills or do art projects with them.
    Young boy with father planting a tree.

    Victory garden

    1. Build a sensory garden at a local preschool or park. Other options are butterfly or bug gardens and bird houses, feeders and fountains.

    2. Offer to mow an elderly neighbor’s lawn or help with garden maintenance.

    3. Make an arrangement – or five – with flowers from your garden and donate it to a local nursing home.

    4. When you’ve grown to many vegetables or herbs, share your garden’s bounty with neighbors or a food pantry.

    5. Plant a tree for a local park, school, nursing home or neighbor.

    6. Start a community garden where neighbors can work side-by-side.

    7. If you aren’t able to build houses with Habitat for Humanity, ask if you can make flower boxes or something similar for one of the homes.

    8. Volunteer during a park or community work day.

    9. Organize a beautification project to plants flowers, pick up trash and help with outdoor maintenance on your street.

    We want to hear how you’re making a positive impact using DIY. Share with us on Facebook or Twitter and help create a stronger community.

     

    DIY skills for community service

     

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