Don’t skimp on safety when planning your deck: Expert tips for creating a safe outdoor space

When dreaming of your at-home outdoor oasis, safety may not be top-of-mind. But when making decking decisions, a key element to enjoying your retreat for years to come is ensuring it is safe and structurally sound.

The experts at Trex, the world’s No. 1 decking and railing brand and leader in high-performance, low-maintenance outdoor living products, offer the following tips for building a safe and worry-free deck:

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From amateur to expert: 5 gardening hacks you need to know

Gardening isn’t just a hobby, it’s a lifestyle. Connecting with nature, being outdoors and putting in the needed work for a beautiful result is the ultimate reward.

As an avid gardener, you’re always looking for new ways to outshine the previous year and achieve bigger, lusher results. If you’ve been using the same techniques for years, it might be time to add something new to your repertoire and bring your garden to the next level with these tips:

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Top energy-efficient housing features every new homebuyer should know

Most Americans want an energy-efficient home, and they’re willing to make the necessary changes to help improve efficiency, whether it’s changing their habits or buying more energy-efficient appliances. But reducing energy bills and making your home more efficient doesn’t just begin with remembering to switch off lights in empty rooms or paying top-dollar for newer appliances.

“Energy efficiency has to start when a home is being built,” says Kevin Clayton, CEO of manufactured home builder Clayton Homes. “If you’re buying new construction, it’s important to look for a home that’s built with energy-efficiency in mind during the home design stage. Those additional features will have a great impact on a home’s overall efficiency.”

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7 steps to allergy relief with spring cleaning

Longing for allergy relief? To stop the endless cycle of sniffles, sneezes and wheezes, it’s time to ready your vacuum and rubber gloves. Spring cleaning helps eliminate allergens so you can relax, breathe easy and enjoy the season.

“People who suffer from allergies may not realize there’s a direct connection between cleaning your home and reducing allergy symptoms,” says allergist Bryan Martin, DO, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI.) “The more you can rid your home of dust mites, mold, cockroaches and pet dander, the easier you’ll breathe.”

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