Backyard Paradise Contest Rules | Today’s Homeowner

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OFFICIAL RULES

The
“Backyard Paradise” Contest (the “Contest”)is intended for legal residents of
the United States of America and Canada (excluding the province of Quebec) only
and shall only be construed and evaluated according to the laws of the State of
Alabama.  Do not enter this Contest if
you have permanent residence outside of the USA or Canada at the time of entry.

SPONSOR/ADMINISTRATOR: The Contest is sponsored by Today’s Homeowner Media,
75 Midtown Park East, Mobile, AL  36606
(the “Sponsor”) and administered by American Sweepstakes & Promotion Co.,
Inc., 300 State St. Suite 402 Rochester, NY 14614 (the “Administrator”).

ELIGIBILITY: The Contest is open and offered only to legal
residents of the United States of America and Canada (excluding those with
primary residence in the province of Quebec) who are at least twenty-one (21)
years of age and current homeowners at the time of entry. This Contest is
not open to the general public. Employees, officers and representatives of
the Sponsor, Pavestone (“Prize Provider”), Quikrete (also “Prize Provider”), the
Administrator, their respective parent companies, employees, officers,
directors, subsidiaries, affiliates, distributors, sales representatives and
advertising and promotional agencies, and the officers, directors, agents, and

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5 House Cleaning Tips to Save Time and Energy

Gloved hands cleaning countertops and washing windows
Cleaning your home doesn’t have to be complicated — not when you have a plan. (DepositPhotos)

Are you ready for spring cleaning, but feeling overwhelmed? These 5 house-cleaning tips will save you time and energy — and they might even make some chores fun!


Assorted house cleaning products, spray bottles and sponges
Purchase all the cleaning products you’ll need beforehand. This way, you’ll have no surprises to slow you down! (DepositPhotos)

1. Buy All
the Gear.

You’ve probably heard the expression, “If you fail to plan, then plan to fail.” This applies to anything in life — including house-cleaning — so, take this tip to heart: Before you pick up a speck of dust, make a list of all the gear and products you’ll need.

Take it room
by room. No single space requires the same safety equipment, appliances and cleaning
products as another. Make a list of items you’ll need to clean just the living
room, kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms and garage.

Think about each space’s unique needs and how to address them, whether that’s with a broom, vacuum cleaner, mop or a just old toothbrush. No one knows the space as you do, and in many cases, you can ‘make do’ with simple cleaning tools.

Also, consider

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Home Finance 101 for First-Time Home Buyers

Piggy bank and house symbolizing real estate
Before you start the home-buying process, you need to understand how financing a home works. (DepositPhotos)

People interested in buying a home are often overwhelmed with all the information they need to know about the process. To save time and money, you need a basic overview of home finance options.

Not all properties and locations are equal, and in many
cases, the local market and location that offer premiums to lenders might
determine your options.

Here’s a crash course so you can get the loan that best
suits your needs.


Piggy bank and stacks of cash for down payment
How much are you able to spend on a down payment? That can help determine which kind of loan you need. (DepositPhotos)

The Down Payment

If you are borrowing money from a bank or other lender to purchase a home, you’ll need the initial money or down payment.

With most lenders, a buyer must deposit at least 20 percent
of the borrowed amount, with the lender loaning you the remaining 80 percent.
This means, if you’ve set your sights on a home at around $600,000, you
should’ve saved at least $120,000 before you can borrow the rest.

For first-time buyers, governments often can help, with home finance programs that lower

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The Basics of Lawn Maintenance

Example of good lawn maintenance. Fresh green Bermuda grass, with a tree and bed of ornamental plants.
The trick to growing a thick, healthy lawn is no secret — grass requires regular maintenance to keep it looking good. | Photo Credit: Adobe Stock, © Arunee

If you’re like most homeowners, your vision for your home doesn’t end at the walls of your house. You likely picture a lush, healthy lawn as the perfect surrounding for your family’s home. In most climates, having a pristine lawn is an achievable goal — it just takes some work.

In This Article

Today’s Homeowner works with an independent reviews team to create evidence-based research that helps our readers make informed decisions.
The reviews are always independent. For transparency, we may be compensated if you purchase through a link.

Some homeowners find satisfaction in yard work, mowing, weeding and fertilizing their way to the perfect lawn.

Others prefer to focus their efforts elsewhere and hire professionals to take care of the more time-consuming tasks.

If you fall into the second camp, know that there are plenty of professional lawn service companies out there. The reviews team has researched their services, prices and customer reviews to offer a recommendation.

But first, let’s look at what goes into maintaining a healthy lawn.

For

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Home Office Makeover

Need a little inspiration on what to do with that spare room in your home? Jen Woodhouse of The House of Wood was able to transform her spare room into her dream home office with the help of The Home Depot. Read more below see how she was able to make it happen.

Hi everyone, it’s Jen Woodhouse here, digging myself out from under months of home renovations! I am thrilled to finally reveal my home office makeover! I am over the moon in love with this space! But first, let’s Tarantino this bad boy and rewind. We need to look at where we started, so we can marvel at how far we’ve come!

The Room Before

This is how the room looked before we moved in. It’s a great space with tons of natural light, but it lacked a clear direction. Is it a study? A playroom? A den? We can’t be sure, but I instantly fell in love with those two gorgeous floor-to-ceiling windows! So much natural light floods into this room everyday.

Home Office Makeover Reveal

Here’s what this room looks like now. Drum roll please.

Now that the renovation is done, it’s time for the fun

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Kitchen Renovation with Drawer Microwave

Your kitchen is where delicious meals are created, and pleasant family time is spent. Gina Matsoukas of Running to the Kitchen transformed her kitchen to a more bright and lively space with help from The Home Depot. Check out her entire remodeling process and the new appliance used to modernize her kitchen.

After living in our house for 10 years with a career change halfway through that requires me to be in the kitchen all day long, we finally bit the bullet and decided to renovate. The dark cherry cabinets that closed the space in from the rooms on either side of the kitchen had to go. To get the open feel and additional light that was number one on my priority list, a major structural wall had to come down. It was a major undertaking (and if I never see another microwave meal again, it will be too soon), but many months later the space is exactly as I envisioned it: bright, light and airy. It’s the perfect balance between function and aesthetic.

Before

Kitchen Renovation with Drawer Microwave

The kitchen is located in the center of the house. The only window above the sink faces east. The dark cherry cabinets and the wall

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