With the memory of Sandy still fresh in many people's minds, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is forecasting an active or extremely active hurricane season for 2013. We could see 13 to 20 named storms, including 3 to 6 major hurricanes with winds of 111 miles per hour or higher. Here are six ways to weather the season.
If you're in the process of restoring a historic home—say an 18th century Dutch Colonial or a 19th century Queen Anne—you might be interested in Benjamin Moore's new Williamsburg Color Collection. The 144-color palette is based on actual hues that existed centuries ago, discovered through examination of period documents, wallpaper samples, architectural fragments, and the like. And Benjamin Moore tends to do well in Consumer Reports' paint tests, so you can count on the new colors holding up on your walls.
Saving money on major appliances and kitchen countertops can take some sleuthing but who doesn't like discovering a deal? Good timing helps. Watch for major retailers to discount refrigerators, laundry appliances, and more around Memorial Day. Our own digital digging turned up six ways to save.
It's not the coziest looking chair, but "6 Shades of Grey," the winning entry in a design competition sponsored by Wilsonart, is one of the most inventive uses of laminate you might ever see. Designed by University of Oregon student Katie Lee, the chair will be on display from May 18-21 at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York City.
Painting the outside of your house is a big job and one you probably don't want to undertake yourself. But a new coat of paint can add value to your home so it's worth the investment. And avoiding some tempting shortcuts can ensure you a paint job that lasts 10 years or longer. Here's some tips from the paint pros at Consumer Reports.
It's National Home Remodeling Month but don't make the mistake that many homeowners do when they attempt home repairs for which they have neither the skills nor the know-how. Doing so can cost you time and money or even put you in the hospital. Repainting the dining room is likely doable but rewiring the chandelier, probably not. The National Association of Home Builders says there are some jobs that are best left to professionals.
A growing list of free websites and smart-phone apps can help you narrow your choices of paint colors, figure out how much paint you'll need—and even "paint" your house before you open a can. When you're ready to buy make sure you get a paint that can weather the elements. Not all do, as Consumer Reports discovered in its exterior paint tests.
Green may be all the rage on the runway. But when it comes to the outside of your house, think blue if you're selling and more neutral colors if you're staying awhile. Experts we talked to about colors that help sell a house say traditional trumps trendy. No matter what color you choose, pick a paint that lasts. In Consumer Reports tests of exterior paints, the best still looked excellent after six years and very good after nine.
With the unofficial start of summer just a few weeks away, now's the time to do a thorough safety check around the yard to prevent the slips, trips, falls, burns, and other accidents that each year send tens of thousands of people to the emergency room. A recent outdoor safety survey of nearly 1,300 adults by the Consumer Reports National Research Center revealed the top danger spots.
It's never been wise to play around with lead paint, the kind kicked up during the renovation of homes built before 1978. Nowadays, doing so can be costly in more ways than one, as the Environmental Protection Agency continues to fine violators of its Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting rule (RRP).
New cabinets can make a huge impact on your kitchen—and an equally huge dent in your budget. Consumer Reports' surveys have shown that readers who hired contractors paid an average of roughly $9,000 for new cabinets, with about a quarter of them spending more than $15,000. It's usually the biggest single investment you'll make in your project. The good news: Many once-premium features, such as dovetail joints, have moved down to lower-priced stock cabinets, available as near as your local big-box store.
With their low prices and ease of use, aerosol fire sprays are a tempting purchase. But the sprays are no substitute for a fire extinguisher. In fact, in Consumer Reports' tests the sprays sometimes made a grease fire flare up, which could make it spread. Performance problems caused us to judge two aerosol fire sprays—the First Alert AF400 Tundra Fire Extinguishing Spray and Shield Fire Protection Kitchen Guard—Don't Buy: Performance Problem. Now we've found a third brand being advertised called Knockout 360 that's also an aerosol fire spray.
With names like Minnie's Polka Dots, Eeyore's Rain Cloud and Belle of the Ball, Walmart has introduced a line of Disney-themed paints. Sold in colors that match Disney bedding products, the retailer hopes to appeal to parents who continually redecorate their children's rooms as they grow. Claimed to be kid-tough, the paints are made by Glidden, a brand that has typically done well in Consumer Reports paint tests.
High-end cabinets offer a wide variety of storage accessories, including roll-out shelves, vertical sliding spice racks, and small appliance lifts. But you don't have to rip out your existing storage to get those clutter-busting extras: You can buy and install them yourself and save thousands over a kitchenful of new cabinets.
Each year more than 5,200 children suffer falls from windows and at least one in four is injured badly enough to be hospitalized. So it's no accident that National Window Safety Week occurs in early Spring when the weather is mild enough to open the windows again. Safety experts take advantage of this week to remind parents and caregivers about the dangers of window falls. And there's evidence in at least one state that it's working. The Oregon Trauma Registry reports it is seeing a decrease in the number of falls.
Our testers put 100s of products through their paces at our National Testing and Research Center. Learn more about how we test for: