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    Remodeling for resale? Recoup your investment with these projects.

    July 19, 2019 6:30 AM by emily.bailey

    Friday, July 19, 2019

    Remodeling for resale | Schlage

    Where do you invest so that you improve resale value? The answer to that question is actually easier – and less expensive – than you might think.

     

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    You don’t want to waste your money, do you? Of course not, and when you’re moving, you’re even more aware of your cashflow than normal. What you do want is to remodel to make your home more enticing to potential buyers. But where do you invest so that you improve resale value? The answer to that question is actually easier – and less expensive – than you might think.

    First impressions rule

    House hunters decide whether they’re in love with your home within the first few seconds of seeing it. We’re talking the minute they pull up to the driveway. That means your curb appeal needs to be on the mark. According to the Remodeling 2019 Cost vs. Value Report (www.costvsvalue.com), a garage door replacement can help you recoup 97.5 percent of your investment when you sell. This trend has held for the last few years, so it’s a change you can be confident in making. And with the average replacement costing around $3,600, it’s a relatively small expense compared to other remodeling projects.

     

    If you can’t afford to completely replace your garage door, there are some smaller DIY projects that make a large statement without a large price tag. A simple coat of paint that complements the color scheme of the rest of the house and some hardware for visual interest can create the impression of a new door. Check out Remodelaholic for an example and some stunning before-and-after photos.

     

    Adding manufactured stone veneer to your home’s façade can be nearly as impactful. The Cost vs. Value Report found that sellers recovered nearly 95 percent of their investment on resale, proving yet again that first impressions really do matter.

    Get cooking

    When it comes to interior remodeling projects that will improve resale value, the Cost vs. Value Report indicates that focusing on the kitchen is likely best for ROI. The key here, however, is that it’s minor kitchen remodels that result in 80.5 percent recouped expenses. Major kitchen remodels, on average, return closer to 60 percent depending on how upscale the project is. This hasn’t changed much over the years, either. Similar findings were highlighted in 2015 as well.

     

    Many factors can play into why minor projects pay off better – materials and labor typically cost less, and it leaves the door open for new homeowners to customize it to their own tastes, for example. If you’re looking for smaller updates you can make in the kitchen that won’t break the bank, consider door hardware as part of your investment.

     

    Schlage Custom™ Door Hardware offers a variety of designs and finishes to complement any style of home. Choose a door knob or lever that stands out as an eye-catching statement piece buyers will remember or keep it more subdued with a style that blends more with the rest of the room. You can also match the finish to appliances and plumbing fixtures for a cohesive look throughout the kitchen. Perhaps best of all, the new homeowners will appreciate the attention to detail and installation of high-quality products.

    Moving doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Check out our real estate guide for more tips on how to improve your home’s resale value and ideas for making the big transition simpler.

     

    © 2019 Hanley Wood, LLC. Complete data from the Remodeling 2019 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at www.costvsvalue.com.

     

    How to create a family command center for back-to-school.

    July 16, 2019 6:30 AM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, July 16, 2019

    DIY Family Command Center Ideas | Schlage

    Learn how to create the perfect family command center, then keep reading for a few bonus organizational hacks to make this schoolyear the best one yet.

     

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    Back-to-school season means the beginning of balancing schedules, tracking down homework and meal planning. It’s wrangling backpacks, packing lunches and … where is your left shoe? Learn how to create the perfect family command center, then keep reading for a few bonus organizational hacks to make this schoolyear the best one yet.

    Bobby needs poster board for his science project on Thursday, Susie has basketball practice Tuesday night and you’re scheduled to get coffee with Jen in the morning. Not only will your command center help you manage who needs to be where and when, but with the right pieces, you’ll also remember to buy the science fair supplies ahead of time, turn in the sports waiver, and you’ll be able to find your keys to get to your java date. When everything has its own place, and it’s all in one place, mornings will run smoother and evenings can be dedicated to family time, not panic time.

    What to include

    • Dry-erase board or chalkboard: Perfect for jotting down shopping list items, messages for family members and to-do lists.

    • Post-its: In case you need to leave a message that’s a little more permanent or take it with you. Also ideal for writing encouraging notes to hide in their lunchbox.

    • Writing tools: Pens and pencils, Sharpies, dry-erase markers, chalk to take those all-important notes.

    • Corkboard or magnet board: For pinning important messages where you’ll see them or hanging your kids’ artwork for everyone to enjoy.

    • Calendar: A dry-erase or reusable monthly calendar à la Bless’er House for easy schedule updates or this DIY calendar from Babble that also adds some color.

    • Clock: To stick to your tight schedule mapped out in the command center.

    • Hanging folder system: Permission slips, mail, receipts and coupons stay contained. One slot per child helps them know where their things are.

    • Hooks: For anything and everything – purses, backpacks, coats, dog leashes, keys – so they don’t get buried under other items, never to be seen again.

    • Cubbies or baskets: Great for storing backpacks out of sight, sliding shoes out of the flow of traffic, or hiding any other items you need on hand but don’t want to stare at.

    • Bench: Ideal for entryway command centers so everyone can remove shoes before they track mud through the house.

    Where to build it

    Entryway: Everything you need to get out the door is conveniently by the door.

    Kitchen: You congregate here every day and can keep some of those items stored in a cabinet.
    Closet: Because keeping everything contained is the name of the game.
    Nook: Turn that awkward space into something useful for once.
    Gallery wall: Everyone can see it, so there are no excuses for forgetting a chore.

    Back-to-school organizational hacks

    • If you’re like most parents of busy kids, you’re also part shuttle bus driver. Keep your car organized with over-the-seat pockets or bins. We can’t guarantee it will keep the Cheerios out of the seat crannies, but at least the kids will know where to find the snacks and travel games.

    • Especially before the start of the schoolyear, and even throughout, purge clothes and craft supplies. You’ll clear out unnecessary clutter and have a better idea of what you need to buy for the first day.

    • Making healthy meals can be tough when you’re busy. Good Housekeeping suggests a lunchbox cupboard and storing sandwich fixings together for easy meal prep.

    • Designate or build a homework station. It’ll help keep your kids focused and all their supplies will be contained in one convenient location without taking over the dinner table.

    • If you need your little one to stick to a routine but they can’t read yet, create an illustrated schedule. Pictures of a toothbrush, apple and moon can help them learn when to get ready for the day, have lunch and go to bed. Place the pictures on a clock where the numbers would be.

    Find more stylish and convenient solutions from Schlage for back-to-school, and year-round, on Pinterest and Instagram.

     

    Happy trails, wagging tails: Tips for moving with pets.

    July 12, 2019 6:30 AM by emily.bailey

    Friday, July 12, 2019

    Tips for moving with pets | Schlage

    Our pets are part of our family, so make sure their transition is as safe and comfortable as possible, the same way you would for kids and other loved ones.

     

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    If you’re stressed about a move, just imagine how Fluffy and Fido feel. Our pets are part of our family, so make sure their transition is as safe and comfortable as possible, the same way you would for kids and other loved ones. Here are our favorite tips for moving with pets.
    Dog in moving box.

    Keep calm

    Find your inner calm. Animals have that sixth sense, so if you’re anxious, they probably will be, too. Also, start early on getting your pet acclimated to its crate. If they aren’t already crate trained, visit Purina.com for tips. This could take quite a bit of time and patience, so you’ll want to put it at the top of your to-do list. Help them get used to their crate so they can relax during transport.

    Know the rules

    Research local or state ordinances for breeds, required vaccinations and tags, and leash laws in your new area. Also check with your homeowners’ association about what documentation you need for your dog as well as what is permissible regarding new fences and home improvement projects you plan to tackle on Spot’s behalf.

    Check in with your vet

    If your pet isn’t already microchipped, consider doing that now. (If they are chipped, remember to update your address.) There are so many opportunities for them to give you the slip during a move – when the front door is open while hauling furniture, if they’re confused by their new neighborhood, if they’re determined to return to their old stomping grounds. Visit your vet to have your pet chipped and more:

     

    • Ask for tips about transporting your pet safely and comfortably, especially if you’re traveling long distances.

    • Refill any medications your pet needs regularly before you leave.

    • Research what rabies shots and other vaccines your pet needs according to local regulations. Your vet can help with this and make sure Fluffy is up to code before you hit the road.

    • Ask for recommendations for a new vet, if necessary.

    • Get a copy of your pet’s medical records for the new vet or to provide proof of vaccine, breed or other requirements in your new area.

    Pack for your pet

    Prepare an overnight kit for your pet, just like you would for yourself. You Move Me suggests enough food, toys, grooming tools and kitty litter – maybe even a second litter box – for the first few days in your new home. You might also include a worn T-shirt so they have your scent with them during high-stress times.

    Secure them during the move

    You don’t want your pet to slip out when the movers have the front door propped open or trip you as you’re carrying boxes. The simplest solutions? Assign a family member to be on dog duty to keep them entertained and out of harm’s way. Ask a friend to watch them, maybe overnight. Or secure them in a “safe room” like the bathroom. From personal experience, we recommend putting a sign on the safe room door: “Escape Kitty – Do Not Open.”

    Drive or fly?

    If you’re transporting your pet by car, consider a safety harness (puppy seatbelt) and seat cover to protect your upholstery. Be mindful of when you feed your pet, especially if they get carsick. Among the New York Times’ tips from the president of the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association is feeding them several hours before the trip and then not again until you’re at your destination. If you’re going long distance, be sure to book pet-friendly hotels so you don’t have to leave them in the car.

     

    If you plan to fly with your pet, check with the airline before you do anything. They will have regulations based on the type of pet, its size and even the time of year you’re traveling. For example, if your pet is traveling in cargo rather than in the cabin with you, you may only be able to fly in the spring or fall when temperatures are more moderate.

    Get settled

    Your pet may need more time getting settled than anyone else in your family. Unpack their things first, preferably in a room just for them. Make sure they have their favorite food, toys, scratching posts and eau-de-owner T-shirt. You can slowly introduce them to the rest of the house from there until they get used to their new surroundings. It may take them a week or more before they feel settled, according to Indianapolis veterinarian Greg Magnusson, so be patient. A few extra treats probably wouldn’t hurt either.

     

    Magnusson also says it’s especially important to maintain puppy’s routine. Avoid changing its food and if you typically went for walks three times a day, stick with it. Also, take time to introduce your dog to the new neighborhood and all the new sounds, smells and people they’re going to encounter from now on.

    Pet-proof your new digs

    To do #1: pet-proof the new home. The ASPCA says to tuck away all electrical cords, close off small spaces to keep your pet from getting stuck, secure window screens and remove pest-control traps with poison. Outdoors, you’ll want to remove poisonous plants and secure the yard. If you have a fence, inspect it for loose boards or gaps, and double-check that it’s tall enough that Fido can’t make a leaping escape.

     

    And here’s a security tip for you and your furry friend. It’s vital that you replace the locks on your new home as soon as possible. You never know who might have a spare key from before you took ownership. When you’re updating your deadbolts, consider a smart lock. Not only do they provide superior security, but they also add convenience. Each Schlage smart lock stores multiple unique access codes for trusted friends, family and even dogwalkers or pet sitters. You can schedule codes to be active at certain times of the day, so if your dogwalker comes Thursdays at noon, you can set up the code to work only when they’re expected. You can also use the activity log in compatible apps on your smartphone to see when a code was used, so you know if your pet sitter arrived on time.

    Finish with friendly details

    Finally, find all those resources your pet will need and love – the park, a new doggy daycare/boarding service, groomers – and introduce your four-legged family members to the neighbors. Maybe schedule a puppy playdate. It’s the perfect way to get to know your new neighbors and it will be helpful to have some helping hands in the future if you need someone to cat sit or search for a lost dog.

     

    We know not all pets are felines and canines. Visit You Move Me for tips on moving birds, fish and guinea pigs. My Moving Reviews has advice for reptiles and amphibians.

     

    Visit Schlage.com for more tips and resources for moving. If you’re ready to replace your deadbolts but don’t know which smart lock is right for you, try our Get Help Deciding Tool.

     

    4 steps to perfect back-to-school photos.

    July 9, 2019 6:30 AM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, July 9, 2019

    Back to school photo ideas | Schlage

    These four steps will help you capture your kiddos’ first day of school and preserve those memories for years to come.

     

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    They grow up so fast and you want to remember these moments forever. These four steps will help you capture your kiddos’ first day of school and preserve those memories for years to come.

    1. Set the scene

    When was the last time someone took a back-to-school picture with their child sitting on the couch? You just don’t do it. It’s almost always in the front yard or on the porch. Once you have Junior looking sharp for his first day, get your doorway in order, too. If nothing else, you can use this time as an excuse to make the upgrades you’ve been wanting for months.

     

    • You can never go wrong with comfortable seating on your patio. Kids will love a porch swing, and there will be room for everyone in the photo if you have a larger brood.
       
    • Update accessories – door hardware, the mailbox, house numbers and light fixtures – for a quick and economical update. A fresh coat of paint for your door can do wonders as well. They’re small details, but they have major impact when you need to spruce up your entryway.

    • Install a trellis for climbing foliage or create a plant wall. Done on a porch, this can create shade and privacy from your neighbors. For back to school, it can make a colorfully lush backdrop for your photoshoot. Bonus points if you color coordinate your flowers with your kids’ first-day wardrobe.

       

    2. Get the sign

    A simple chalkboard is a classic. You can reuse it at the beginning of summer and each year, and it’s easy to jot down what your Mini Me wants to be when she grows up and what her favorite subject is. Or shake things up and try one of these DIY back-to-school photo ideas.

     

    3. Take the photo

    With cameras on every smartphone these days, snapping a picture has never been easier. If you want a more professional look, try these tips for taking great back-to-school photos.

     

    • Today.com >> Stage the photo the weekend before the first day of school when your kids are more relaxed … and happier looking.
    • The Dating Divas >> Give your child a prop that shows their personality and gives them something to do with their hands.
    • One Crazy House >> Loosen up with these funny back-to-school photo ideas for the whole family.

    4. Savor the moment

    Don’t be that person who takes a thousand pictures and then leaves them on their phone, never to be seen again. Take the time to print and frame your favorites. Up your creative quotient with these back-to-school photo frames.

     

    Happy Back to School season from Schlage! Share your back-to-school photos with us on Instagram and use #Schlage #BackToSchool.

     

    Say “hello” to better vacation rental business.

    July 5, 2019 6:30 AM by emily.bailey

    Friday, July 5, 2019

    Vacation rental check in tips | Schlage

    Guests who feel welcome tend to become repeat rental customers, something that you, as a property manager, need to succeed on Airbnb and VRBO.

     

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    Guests who feel welcome tend to become repeat rental customers, something that you, as a property manager, need to succeed on Airbnb and VRBO. And how do you provide an experience that converts customers and earns positive reviews? Show that you go the extra mile for your guests’ comfort: Pay attention to the details and make their stay simple and convenient.
    Handing over keys to vacation rental.

    Your “hello” matters

    Welcoming your guests properly starts before they even set foot on your property. When you’re in communication with them before their visit, don’t rely on automated emails. A personalized touch, not to mention replying to questions quickly, makes a statement about how much you respect their business and how you’ll handle problems that may come up.

     

    Hostfully also recommends getting to know your guests before their arrival. Find out why they’re staying with you – a girls’ wine tour, a family reunion, an anniversary getaway – and what they’re interested in. Then give a local gift or a welcome basket based on that insight. Maybe treat them to a local bottle of vino or a bouquet of roses to set the romantic mood. Even if you don’t provide a customized gift, still consider fresh flowers or a thoughtful gift from the region to make them feel like family.

     

    At Schlage, we love a beautiful entryway you can’t take your eyes off, but Hostfully makes a good point about not having conversations in the doorway. If you’re on site when your guests arrive, let them into the house and give them a chance to set down their bags. Offer them some water and let them catch their breath. Only then do you want to begin your welcome speech with all the essential information about staying with you.

     

    As part of the full welcome package, include an information book, either emailed ahead of time or provided on the property. Anticipate their needs with instructions on how to adjust the thermostat and connect to the WiFi, and offer expert suggestions on the best dining and local tourist highlights. If you’ve installed a Schlage smart lock, include our tip sheets in case they have questions about how to use it.

     

    You should also include policies about how to treat the property (it helps protect your investment) and a list of emergency contact information. Include your own phone number and email as well as details for local police, fire departments and hospitals.

    A welcoming – and secure – statement

    If you can’t be there when your guests arrive, either because you have other commitments or the vacation home is in another state, you can still welcome customers so they don’t feel like an afterthought. One way is by installing a smart lock. With all the advantages of keyless convenience, these locks remove many of the hassles of checking in and allow visitors to come and go as they please. That simplicity is the welcoming statement that separates you from the competition.

     

    Access codes are the … *ahem* key … to providing ease and convenience to your guests. When you send visitors their unique code before they arrive, they’ll have access to the home without your needing to arrange a key exchange. Providing the code in advance doesn’t mean they’ll have immediate access – unless you want them to. If check-in time isn’t until noon because of cleaning, for instance, you can schedule those codes to be activated only when you know the house will be ready.

     

    Not being tied to the property to provide a key at a specific time can actually boost your business, particularly with certain kinds of guests. VRBO names flexible check-in times as one way to attract weekenders. They’re only staying for a short time, so don’t delay their fun by making them wait on the porch.

     

    Because you can create multiple access codes, you can save some specifically for guests, have a different code for your house cleaner and another one entirely for trusted maintenance teams. You can also view a history log through the Schlage Home app to see when codes have been used, so you can be confident that your handyman arrived to fix the toilet or that guests checked out as expected.

     

    When guests are done staying with you, you don’t want them to have access to the rental property anymore. You can schedule access codes to expire at the end of their visit so they can’t return unannounced. And because you never provided a key, you know they didn’t make a copy before they left.

     

    Try our Get Help Deciding Tool to find out which Schlage smart lock is right for your vacation home. Check out the features of the Schlage Home app as well – compatible with the Schlage Sense™ Smart Deadbolt and Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt – and see how creating and managing access codes, checking your locks’ status and more from your smartphone can make your job easier and your property more secure.

     

    Looking for more ways to boost your vacation rental business with a welcoming statement? Check out this Schlage blog for simple ways to improve your property’s curb appeal.

     

    4 for the 4th: Independence Day party ideas that will make a bang.

    June 25, 2019 6:30 AM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, June 25, 2019

    4th of July front door decor | Schlage

    Schlage wants you to be holiday-ready with these four ideas for hosting the ultimate Fourth of July.

     

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    Apple pie, fireworks and pool parties. It doesn’t get much more American than that. Schlage wants you to be holiday-ready with these four ideas for hosting the ultimate Fourth of July.

    1. Patriotic porch

    Show your patriotic pride by sprucing up your curb appeal with the stars and stripes. You can’t go wrong with American flags, either flying from your porch or tucked into wreaths and flower pots, like we see at On Sutton Place. Add red, white and blue cushions to porch furniture for a more subtle patriotic flair. Or try Fourth-themed lanterns, which you can make yourself with this tutorial from Frugally Blonde.

    2. BBQ bash

    Get ready to host the perfect Independence Day bash. The Budget Decorator is full of cheap and easy DIY decorating tips, including a patriotic paper chain you can make with the kids. There are also a few ideas to upcycle containers to use at your BBQ.

    And speaking of food, try your hand at some tasty treats from Four Generations One Roof. We especially like the ombre cake and kid-friendly drinks. Looking for July Fourth recipes a bit more on the healthy side? How about My Domaine’s chargrilled corn with chili lime butter and lobster pasta salad? We think these will have your guests’ taste buds exploding in the best way.

     

    If you don’t know where to start or are looking for inspiration on the kind of party you want to host, check out our blog on finding your backyard party personality.

    3. Guest-ready garden

    Whether you’re having friends and family over for that BBQ or you’re heading out of town, make sure your garden is in shape. Have it looking sharp for party guests with some red, white and blue flowers. Now’s also a great time for some yard maintenance that also improves security. Trim bushes that can serve as hiding places for intruders and make sure your pool, garden shed and other backyard features are safe for guests, young and old.

    If you’re taking a long holiday weekend, try some of these tips from The Spruce for watering your plants while you’re on vacation. There are options for every gardener’s taste, from DIY self-watering jugs to high-tech sprinkler timers to asking a neighbor to keep an eye on your greens.

    4. Secure home for the holiday

    With all the holiday excitement, it can be easy to forget important home security practices. If you’re hitting the road for that weekend getaway, you might appreciate having the convenience and peace of mind that comes with a Schlage smart lock. The Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt, Schlage Sense™ Smart Deadbolt and Schlage Connect™ Smart Deadbolt can each be controlled remotely from anywhere via compatible apps on your smartphone when connected to your home’s wireless network. You can then check the status of your lock from the road – no more wondering if you locked up before you left home – as well as manage access codes for house sitters while you’re away.

    If you have guests coming to stay with you, you can also grant unique access codes to your visitors so they can easily come and go as they please, then set the codes to expire at the end of their visit. You should be enjoying the fireworks, not tracking down spare keys.

     

    Use our Get Help Deciding Tool to find out which lock is right for you and check out more features available through the Schlage Home app.

     

    Above all else, enjoy this Independence Day with friends and family. We’d love to see how you celebrate, so be sure to share your holiday décor and festivities with us on Instagram or Twitter.

     

    Simple, stylish curb appeal to improve your vacation rental bookings.

    June 21, 2019 6:30 AM by emily.bailey

    Friday, June 21, 2019

    Vacation rental curb appeal | Schlage

    You want two things from your vacation rental: lots of bookings and low maintenance. One way to achieve both is with some major curb appeal.

     

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    You want two things from your vacation rental: lots of bookings (which leads to income) and low maintenance. One way to achieve both – whether you’re local to your rental property or live in another state – is with some major curb appeal.

    What’s the big deal about curb appeal?

    Amenities like a well-stocked kitchen and soft sheets are important for a vacation rental. But just like your own home, the front entryway makes a powerful first impression, and you want your guests to feel good immediately about staying with you. Renters make a snap judgement about what they’re their visit will be like, often based on the appearance of the house the moment they see it.

     

    Curb appeal also comes through in photos. A well-maintained yard and attractive door in your booking photos can help sell prospective renters on your property over someone else’s. It says that you take care of the house and that details don’t go overlooked. To many, those are signs that they’ll enjoy their stay, and that means more bookings and more money in your pocket.

     

    Check out VRBO’s tips for taking better photos of your rental property. And don’t forget to update your photos around holiday time. When people are looking for the perfect Christmas getaway, a house decorated for the season can be a tipping point as well.

    Update the front door

    There are plenty of simple and cost-effective ways to update your property’s exterior. In addition to a fresh coat of paint on the door and shutters, remember the small details that make a big style statement as well as make life easier for your guests. Real Property Management has tips for a variety of budgets. Here are some of our favorites.

     

    Unique house numbers can spruce up your look in addition to making it easier for people to find the place. Remember that your guests have likely never been to the area, so anything that helps them arrive smoothly and stress-free earns you major hosting points.

     

    Your door hardware also pulls double duty when you match the style to the rest of the house and make it more secure. Schlage offers a variety of styles and finishes to match virtually any taste. Ranging from traditional to modern and everywhere in between, you’ll be able to find the handlesets that complement your style.

     

    With a smart lock like the Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt, you also get superior security and keyless convenience that makes managing your rental property even easier. Check out our take on why smart locks are a must-have for rental properties and tip sheets to help your guests use Schlage smart locks easily.

    Beautify the front yard

    When you step back from the front door – make sure your porch railing is solid and steps aren’t cracked, by the way – you want the front yard to get noticed for the right reasons. If you’re looking for big impact, think about updating the landscaping to make a big impact. This can be tricky for rental properties. You want it to look fantastic, but especially if this isn’t your primary job or if you don’t live nearby, you don’t want to invest a lot of time and money in upkeep. For an award-winning lawn without the hassle, experts recommend avoiding tropical and non-native plant species that require extensive watering and replacing a natural grass lawn with artificial turf or other low-maintenance ground cover.

     

    For a floral punch of color, tripping.com provides a list of easy options for any region in the U.S. Rubber mulch also might be an option since it not only comes in a variety of colors, but also can control weeds and maintain moisture around your plants.

     

    Aside from the natural elements, invest in quality pavers and walkways. Existing paths should be free of cracks for a polished look and for safety. Pavers now come in a range of styles or you can design your own unique pattern that is both welcoming and functional.

     

    Remember the lights. Whether on the porch or along the walkways, make it easy for guests arriving at night to make their way to the front door without stumbling. Solar-powered lights are great options. You can also choose lighting that pairs with your smart system so you can turn it on and off in preparation for your guests’ arrival or to deter intruders if the home is vacant.

    Transform the backyard

    Depending on your location and what type of renters you get, you might want to pay special attention to the backyard. Many prospective renters are looking for a place for group gatherings – family reunions, weddings, girls’ getaways – and having plenty of outdoor space with comfortable seating and a splinter-free deck is a huge draw. Make sure the deck is safe for bare feet and has secure railings. It should also look great – paint, stain and seal it regularly – not to mention be clean.

     

    Patio furniture should also be spotless, obviously. Consider providing cleaning supplies to wipe down outdoor furniture, a suggestion that often shows up in renters’ reviews. Installing a shed or some large bins to easily store furniture and cushions will also make your life easier if you have an off-season.

     

    Vacations are fun, so you can afford to be a little creative when designing your curb appeal for a rental property. You might even be able to cash in on your location, like HomeAway recommends with nautical décor for a beach rental. Just remember that it should still appeal to a wide variety of tastes so that you don’t turn off prospective guests with zany style. You might compare it to staging your house when putting it on the market for sale. Neutral, clutter free and clean bring in the most money in the end.

     

    Find more curb appeal tips for any home at the Schlage blog and visit our Pinterest page for inspiration.

     

    Porch puppies: Dog-friendly porch ideas for all your furry friends.

    May 28, 2019 6:30 AM by emily.bailey

    Wednesday, May 22, 2019

    Dogs at front door | Schlage

    Man’s best friend deserves the ultimate porch this summer. Here are 10 ideas to keep your porch puppies happy, healthy and oh-so-stylish when you’re enjoying your outdoor living space together.

     

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    Man’s best friend deserves the ultimate porch this summer. Here are 10 ideas to keep Fido, Spike and Fluffy happy, healthy and oh-so-stylish when you’re enjoying your outdoor living space together.

    Chill spots for hot dogs

    Keep your pup cool when the temperatures rise by making sure she has a shade tree or other cover to keep her out of the sun. A pool also not only keeps her cool but adds some extra playtime as well. Inflatable options are available if you’re short on space or want something less permanent.

     

    Don’t forget the classic doghouse either, which is great for protecting her from summer sun and spring showers. Channel your inner barkitect, check out these unique doghouses and make Snoopy proud.

    Water stops for thirsty dogs

    You know your dog always needs good, fresh water. This is especially important when he’s romping about in the yard during the summer. Make sure you have an easily accessible water station for him to refuel in between play rounds. This flower pot water bowl is so much simpler than sending Timmy down the well to get Lassie a drink.

    Furniture for Fido

    When it’s time to relax, give him someplace comfy to lay. If you choose cushions, make sure fabrics are suitable for the outdoors to avoid mildew and fading. You can even strut your DIY stuff with this homemade option from This Old House. Stylish enough for Lady, comfy enough for the Tramp.

    Doors for doggos

    The original Dutch doors were made for animals. The top half opens to let cooling breezes into the home, while the bottom closes to keep out animals. Those animals were typically livestock in the early days, but it works with doggos, too. Install a Dutch door to keep them out – or in – your home.

     

    Doggy doors are hugely convenient, but it’s important that the they don’t compromise the overall safety of your home. For starters, don’t install your doggy door on an entryway visible from the street, and choose one that’s the smallest possible size for your pet to help deter intruders from squeezing through it themselves. Also, consider a pet door that locks. Some electronic versions are activated to unlock only when a chip in your dog’s collar is nearby. That gives you security and Toto access even when you’re not in Kansas anymore.

    Smart locks for easy walks

    While you’re thinking about doors, consider a smart lock. We don’t expect Fluffy to remember his own user code, but his dog walker certainly can. With Schlage smart locks, you can create multiple user codes and track when those codes are used. It’s the perfect convenient and safe solution when you have to rely on someone else for walks. And don’t forget to tell your dog walker where you keep the Scooby Snacks.

    Gates for good boys

    Do you have an escape artist on your hands? Keeping them fenced in or contained on a deck can be a challenge, but it is possible to keep your dog safe and your yard stylish. If you want your pup to stay on the deck, try this baby gate upgrade that is also customizable to his size and level of sneakiness.

     

    Wooden fences can be a beautiful privacy feature for your yard with the added benefit of making it difficult for your dog to see something enticing on the other side. Also consider options that are hard for her to climb (so no chain link), tall enough to prevent Marmaduke from leaping over and with slats narrow enough to keep tiny Slinky Dog from slipping through. River rocks around the base of the fence can dissuade some dogs from digging, which not only keeps your yard looking sharp, but it might help keep them from burrowing under the fence. (Maybe. That Hairy Houdini is tricky.)

    Safe plants for pups

    If your pup likes to chew and eat everything in sight – Labrador owners know what we’re talking about – then make sure your garden is full of pet-friendly plants. Stick to native plant species in your area, but you can start by looking into daylilies, purple basil, African daisies, snapdragons and other greenery recommended by the ASPCA.

     

    And don’t forget pet-friendly pesticides when keeping your yard lush. Even if you don’t have a chewer, they’ll be walking on the grass and you might not want some of those chemicals on their feet. Rin Tin Tin was all about safety, so you know he’d approve.

    Landscape for paw protection

    When the temperatures heat up, so does the ground. If you have concrete, stones and gravel, that can mean that puppy’s paws will be feeling the heat, too. Grass instead of materials that conduct heat and plenty of shade will help keep toasty toes to a minimum. Petey and all your rascals will be thankful.

    Convenient cleaning for muddy mayhem

    Looking for a bigger project? Install a dog wash – or even just a handy spigot near your door – for cleaning muddy feet. Getting into, and sometimes getting you out of, a bit of trouble can be dirty work, right, Balto?

    We want to hear your pet-friendly patio ideas and see your porch puppies. Share with us on Instagram or Facebook.

     

    9 budget-friendly spring front porch decor ideas.

    April 26, 2019 5:30 AM by emily.bailey

    Friday, April 26, 2019

    8 budget-friendly spring front porch decor ideas | Schlage

    Make the most of your front porch with these budget-friendly decor ideas you can enjoy all spring and summer.

     

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    The art of porching is quickly coming back in style with many homeowners creating a space that is both an extension of their style and perfect for entertaining or relaxing. Make the most of your front porch with these budget-friendly decor ideas you can enjoy all spring and summer.

    1. Add a comfy seat

    The perfect front porch starts with a comfy place to sit. Although patio furniture can be pricey, there's plenty of DIY inspiration across the web to help you get the perfect look for the right budget. We're especially loving this DIY outdoor daybed for starters.

    DIY outdoor patio furniture
    If you need an even more budget-friendly idea, use your existing furniture – maybe with new cushions – and pay special attention to placement. Group chairs on the same side of the door, for example. One on each side might create a more symmetrical look, but it’s not very practical for conversation seating.

    2. Upcycle unique planters

    Head to your local re-sale store or even your garage or attic to find a unique piece that can act as a new planter. We love this idea from DIY Network that uses an old tricycle to display succulents in this outdoor space.

    Unique planter ideas
    Get in the spring spirit with recycled rubber boot planters. As you can see in this Good Housekeeping gallery, they’re colorful as well as versatile. Set them on the porch, hang them from the door in place of a wreath or decorate an otherwise plain fence.

    3. Create DIY planters

    If the vintage look isn't quite your style, try building your own unique planter instead. We're loving this hexagon planter idea from The Home Depot.

    DIY wood planter
    If you want to be friendly to your bank account and the environment, check out some biodegradable options for planters, especially great for starting seeds, from Preparedness Mama. Then transfer them to one of these repurposed items (a book?!), inspired by The Spruce.

    4. Brighten the front door

    There's no better way to say goodbye to winter than with a fresh coat of bright paint on your front door. This project can be completed in a single afternoon. It's an easy way to give yourself a cheerful welcome every day. Check out our door painting tips to make this project as easy as possible.

    Bright front door paint colors

    If you love the idea of a bright door but are afraid to pull the trigger on something too bold, consider these tips for “colorful neutrals” from the April 2019 issue of Better Homes & Gardens:
     

    • Choose blues with soft gray undertones. Light to medium shades provide a touch of color to escape the dull.

    • Try clay-like colors – terra-cotta for example – to hint at pink without feeling like you’re at a baby shower. Think earth tones with a touch of rosiness.

    • Dark green can be surprisingly neutral. Green in general compliments other colors, so when you go dark, it sets the stage for other elements to pop. Consider a deep green with lighter wood accents, such as those made of pine.

    5. Refresh entry door hardware

    Nothing makes a front door pop better than a fresh handleset or smart lock in the perfect finish. Take some time to clean your hardware or swap an outdated set for a new style that better complements your front door. Check out our Instagram feed for plenty of inspiration.

    Front door deadbolt and handleset

    6. Hang a $25 spring wreath

    A spring wreath that's affordable and easy to make? Sign us up! We love the look of this spring wreath from Life by Anastasia as much as we love the price tag on this project. Be sure to check out our Accessorize Your Door board on Pinterest for plenty of DIY wreath inspiration.

    DIY front door wreath
    If you’re hoping for something other than a wreath, you’re in luck. And if you’re looking for another upcycling project, you’re even luckier. Try Addicted 2 Decorating’s umbrella “basket.” Fill an umbrella – clear or colorful – with some of your favorite tall flowers or branches to liven up your door.

    7. Have fun with fabrics

    Just because you’re outside doesn’t mean you can’t still have plush fabrics. You’ll want to make sure they’ll still hold up to the elements, but adding cushions, rugs and even drapes are an inexpensive way to bring new color and texture to your porch. Get the details on these indoor/outdoor drapes, courtesy of our friends at HGTV.

    Front porch decor ideas

    8. Hang plants somewhere new

    Have a little fun with your plant placement by creating an arrangement that hangs from the ceiling of your porch rather than the perimeter. This hanging basket arrangement from Country Living adds the perfect amount of personality to this front porch retreat.

    Front porch hanging plants
    If you don’t have a covered porch that allows for hanging arrangements, think about adding latticework for climbing plants like ivy, morning glory, Virginia creeper or climbing hydrangea.

    9. Re-arrange

    You may already have everything you need for the perfect front porch atmosphere. Try re-arranging your furniture, accessories and decor to give the front of your home a fresh new feel. We love this list of 15 ways to arrange your front porch from How to Decorate.

    Patio furniture
    We want to see your front porch style! Share your photos with us on Facebook and Instagram for a chance to be featured in our Instagram feed!

    15 DIY projects for the ultimate spring curb appeal.

    April 22, 2019 6:30 AM by emily.bailey

    Monday, April 22, 2019

    DIY spring curb appeal | Schlage

    Give your home the ultimate curb appeal with these 15 tips, ranging from trimming your hedges to installing crown molding around your door to updating your mailbox.

     

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    Springtime is the perfect time to get outside not just for fun, but also for making your home look as welcoming as you want it to feel. Give your home the ultimate curb appeal with these 15 tips, ranging from trimming your hedges to installing crown molding around your door to updating your mailbox.

    Grow

    1. Tidy up your existing landscaping. This could mean removing yard debris left over from winter. You might trim the hedges, which can have the added bonus of improving the security around your home. Or maybe it’s pruning flowers to make way for new ones or encourage new growth on your perennials.

    2. Fill in the gaps of your landscaping. If there’s a bed that looks particularly bare, add some visually interesting greenery. Don’t be afraid to play with colors, heights and textures.

    3. Keep it contained and colorful with a vibrant window box, container garden near your door or hanging flowers around your porch. Southern Living has some tips for gorgeous pots for your porch.

    Walk

    1. Repair or add pavers leading to your front door. It’s a touch that welcomes every guest. Plus, it benefits you by keeping shoes clean and mud-free in the house. There’s a range of materials to fit your taste and the style of your home – flagstone, brick, wood or even pea gravel and stone.

    2. When replacing a walkway or installing one from scratch, don’t get trapped into thinking it has to be a straight path. Interesting shapes and designs can add a lot to your curb appeal and keep you looking anything but cookie cutter. Find inspiration from these before-and-after shots from HGTV.

    3. If you have a fence you’re thinking of replacing, either along a path or on the perimeter of your yard, consider box hedges or other fence-like plants as an alternative.

    Open

    1. You can always replace your front door or add a screen door. But if an entirely new door isn’t in the budget or your DIY skillset, simply paint it. A new color can transform the look not only of the door itself, but the entire front of your house. Bonus tip: Before you get started, make sure your HOA doesn’t have restrictions on color.

    2. Small in size but big in impact, updating your door hardware can change the look of your entryway in a hurry. Schlage offers a variety of designs and finishes to compliment the style of any home, and with a range of deadbolts from mechanical to electronic, they also fit your family’s security needs. For front doors, check out Schlage’s popular handlesets and smart locks.

    3. Depending on the style of your home, Better Homes & Gardens suggests going a step farther by adding some architectural detail like trim or crown molding. There’s no need to do the entire house either. Simply add this touch at the entryway, and your front door will go from boring to brilliant.

    Live

    1. With new lights, you can change your curb appeal at night, not something we often think about. Strategically placed lighting – along walkways, surrounding your porch, on your garage or driveway – can illuminate your home’s best architectural details. A well-lit home is also an inexpensive way to improve security.

    2. No matter where your mailbox is – at the curb or by your door – a little sprucing might be in order. Paint it to compliment the new style of your front door, redo the house numbers or add a name plaque.

    3. Because of its sheer size, your garage door might be the most eye-catching piece of the curb appeal puzzle. Make sure it’s eye-catching for the right reasons. Whether you opt to paint it or replace it altogether, think about garage doors in a contrasting color to the rest of the house. Take a cue from Remodelaholic. This is your chance to turn them into a legitimate architectural feature, not just have them blend in with their surroundings.

    Relax

    1. If you’re going to relax on your front porch, you better have a comfy place to sit. Rocking chairs, couches, swings and even hammocks are the kind of touches that say to guests, “Come and stay awhile.”

    2. Wreaths work in any season, but if you’re ready to retire them until Christmas, you have other options for decorating your door. Hang a basket with some of your favorite flowers, wood cutouts to match the season or a simple chalkboard that you can change from “Welcome” to “Happy Easter” to “Summer Fun Lives Here” are fun and stunning alternatives.

    3. Want to make a bigger architectural impact? New porch columns – they don’t even have to be load-bearing – could be in your future.

    How do you showcase your home’s curb appeal? Share with us on Instagram or Facebook.

     

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