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How to Build a Home Network That Will Make Any Business Jealous

How to Build a Home Network That Will Make Any Business Jealous

In the past Ive discussed how home technology infrastructures and lab environments are one of the keys to personal career success and how IT practitioners should set a high bar in their own lives and hold their businesses accountable to an even higher bar. I often speak to IT practitioners looking for ways to improve their own education, skill set, and rsum. I propose an approach to building your home network and lab in a way that really makes your business jealous.

I mean it quite literally. Why not approach your home network as an opportunity to raise the bar, both on your own experience but also on what you expect from businesses? The approach is an excellent one for changing how you think about your home network and its goals. Dont just use your home to learn new skills in a checkmark fashion such as learned Active Directory management. That is an excellent and obvious use of your home network. But we should consider taking this even further.

In many ways, this applies far more to those IT practitioners who work in small and medium businesses where it is common to cut corners, eschew best practices, leave work half done and not approve realistic budgets, but it is valuable for anyone. You can take this from the smallest of features in your own home the physical aspects (like cabling, labeling, and organization) and take it very large (servers, services, security, backup, etc.).

For a real world example, we should begin with the simplest component, cabling. Few people, even IT practitioners, take the time to cable their homes for data, let alone cabling it well. This is a big missed opportunity. This is something that is not only utilitarian but ends up adding value to the house as well. And many businesses do a very poor job of this themselves. Even though cabling is not strictly an IT discipline, it is a fringe area of electrical support that is related to IT and well worth using as a physically visible showcase of your home environment.

Doing good cabling at home, since it is your home and presumably there is nearly unlimited time to do things well, can really be taken to an extreme. I recommend using forward-looking cable, CAT 6 or better, so that you can handle flawless GigE today and faster in the future. You do not want your home infrastructure to become dated unnecessarily. This is your chance not just to run a few cables, but to implement a complete cabling plant with over-provisioned cable runs to all parts of the house. Of course you can do this in stages doing just a room or a few at a time.

In my own home projects I ran four cable runs to nearly all rooms with some like the master bedroom and living room getting more like six or eight. This may sound like a lot, but in reality for a well-wired home, it is not at all, as we will see. You want to run more cabling than you are ever likely to use now, while putting in the effort, both because it is good practice and because it is simply impressive. Having extra cabling means an easier time keeping things organized and more ability to flexibly change things in the future.

Running the cables in the walls, up through an attic or down through the basement or whatever is appropriate with well managed cable runs is best. In my own house this was the attic with large J hooks keeping cables in place. Be sure to label all cabling very clearly. This is another chance to go above and beyond. Install nice wall jacks, label every jack and every cable in every jack. Make the physical cabling plant as organized, impressive, and as manageable as possible. All it really takes is a little time and effort and you can have something that you are really proud of and that you want to show off.

Where the cables run to, of course, is a matter for some discussion. Maybe you will want to have a networking closet or even a server room. Having a good place to store your home networking gear can be a wonderful addition to a home lab. A patch panel for your cable runs is ideal. Do everything right, just like you would find in a dream office environment.

Good cabling will allow us to move as much as possible from wireless to wired in the home environment. Wired connections are faster, more stable, less management, potentially more secure and improve the performance of the remaining wireless devices by lowering the wireless saturation levels in the home. If you are like me your home network consists of many devices that have regular Internet access and are often wireless but can be wired such as desktops, video game consoles, Internet television devices, smart televisions, and more. Many or most of these devices can easily be removed from wireless which can only be beneficial. Save the wireless for mobile devices.

A cabling plant, of course, needs something to attach to. A good switch will be the true heart of any home network, or any network at all. If you have a large home you could easily need a forty eight port switch or even need to look at stacked switches. A small apartment might use sixteen ports. Size will vary by need.

In acquiring a switch it is a good time to consider not just size but features. Adding PoE (Power over Ethernet) now is ideal allowing for even cleaner cable management and an even more impressive network. Wait until you see what else we consider adding to our home network that might leverage PoE.

Also, this is a time when we can consider more advanced features on the switch. Rather than just using a traditional unmanaged switch we can look at nice, rack-mounted switches that are either smart (web managed) or fully managed, which are excellent for getting broader switch experience. We might want to add a guest VLAN, for example, for visitors who need Internet access. If you have a guest bedroom in the house, maybe those Ethernet ports should be VLANd as guest access all of the time, for example.

You are going to want to monitor that closet too, no doubt. Once you start to put nice equipment in there you will want to keep it safe. Perhaps temperature and moisture sensors that communicate with the network?

Most home networks live and die by their wireless capabilities. This is a place to really shine. Instead of cheap all-in-one networking gear with anemic wireless that is stuck in the most useless corner of the house, you can use your shiny, new PoE cabling plant to put high quality, commercial wireless access points in the most useful point(s) of your home (and considering placing them on the grounds too, if you own multiple buildings or open space.) Centrally managed units are very affordable and can make for a very fast, robust wireless network and can make having guest wireless access very easy as well.

Next to consider, since we have such a robust cabling system in place already, is security. Why not add a camera or two to watch the outside of your house or the front door? You can use PoE cameras that are centrally managed. Look for business class solutions, of course, not consumer cameras and software available at the local store.

One of the bigger and more interesting home projects to consider is a full-scale VoIP PBX. This can be a great and interesting project, one of the few really good uses for running a server at home that will be really used as a production service. A home VoIP PBX can make it easy to have separate extensions for family members, rooms, or purposes. You can have features like individual voicemail mailboxes, a house intercom, front door intercom, room to room calling, wake up calls, video conferencing, free calling for other family members (outside of the home), guest lines, multiple lines for simultaneous calling and the ability to make and take calls while traveling!

Once we have a PBX in the home installing physical phones throughout the home, on PoE of course, is the next step. Phones can be very useful around a home, especially a larger one. Having real phones to manage can be very educational and certainly lets you take your home to another level of IT.

No server closet would be complete without features like a domain controller, home web server (why not have a guest website for visitors and a wiki for tracking your home projects and information) and the biggest home systems storage. Traditional storage like NAS or file server can be very useful for storing private photos and video, music and document collections, movies, and other media. DLNA streaming can make an audio and video library available to the entire house. Traditional storage such as SMB and NFS can provide high speed, protected mapped drives available to the computers in the home. And more modern storage techniques like cloud storage can be hosted as well.

Of course all of those workloads can be virtualized and run on a server (or two) and run in the server closet. If you are incredibly ambitious this could include features like high availability or fault tolerance, although these will generally push costs into a range often impractical for home use by nearly any standard.

And the pice de rsistance is, of course, backups. Use real backup software, several enterprise options are even free for home-scale use. Taking good backups, testing restores, using different media, backup strategies and backup types (such as images and file-based backups) can really showcase the reliability of your home network.

Dont forget to go beyond running systems into monitoring. Log collection and analysis, bandwidth monitoring, system monitoring, load monitoring and more can be added for completeness. Think of all the things that exist, or that you wish would exist, in an ideal office setting. There is rarely any reason not to bring these same technologies into your home.

Beyond these steps there are many places that one could go to make a home network. Features that might be interesting for you. Go crazy.

Our goal here is to raise the bar. Do at home what few businesses do.

Building an amazing home network, one that is really used, beyond building a great home IT lab, is valuable for many reasons. A great home network is more than just an amazing learning experience, it makes for a perfect interview conversation starter, it is a portfolio piece demonstrating skills in cradle to grave LAN design and management, it shows dedication and initiative to the field and it sets a bar to be used when speaking to businesses.

Go ahead, dont be afraid to make your business jealous of your home network.

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Farmhouse Floor Plans

A warm sense of welcome characterize farmhouse house plans, often by way of cute dormers and grand wraparound porches. In modern farmhouse floor plan designs, look for open layouts and innovative amenities.

Enjoying renewed popularity, traditional farmhouse plans have withstood the test of time. The most prominent characteristic of a farmhouse plan is a porch that stretches along the front of the home and may wrap around to the side or rear. A steeply pitched roof typically runs along the length of the home and is sometimes accented by dormers and gables. Other exterior features in these home designs include horizontal siding and shutters.

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Home Designer Interiors

Home Designer Interiors is 3D home design software for DIY home enthusiasts. Created by Chief Architect, so you can enjoy the same type of tools that the professionals use for home design and interior design. Home Designer Interiors offers intuitive design and smart building tools for your home projects.

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Home Designer is 3D architectural software for residential home design. Discover why millions of do-it-yourselfers use Home Designer from Chief Architect software as the home design software product of choice to create their dream homes.

Give your dream home the look and feel you want with Home Designer Interiors. Choose from thousands of styles, colors, wall coverings, flooring and materials. Experiment with your interior design ideas using 3D models, virtual tours and powerful design tools. An extensive3D Libraryof Interiors objects make it easy so that styles, finishes and other design details can be accurately visualized. See ourSamples Gallery.

Home Designer Interiors makes it easy to design and visualize your ideas. Quickly place and arrange walls, windows, doors and cabinets. Find the perfect colors and materials for your design from brand-name manufacturers or import your own.

Home Designer uses smart design objects, such as cabinets, to quickly and easily create various styles, shapes and sizes. Create any style of cabinet by choosing colors, countertops, door styles, backsplash, crown molding and hardware. Learn more aboutKitchen, Bath & Interior Designfeatures.


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House Style

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The winners of the Best in American Living Awards showcase upcoming home design trends youll see in homes throughout the country. Here are home trends youll be seeing soon.

Best of the Best Winners of the 2017 Best in American Living Awards

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Whats In and Whats Out in New Homes

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Stainless steel appliances can add a breath of fresh air into your new kitchen, especially if you take advantage of all the available design options.

There are so many ways you can design your game room so its perfect for your family. With the right features, you can easily create a game room that is exciting for kids and adults. So, when designing a game room for your new home, what are some essentials youll need?

If youre one of the 4 million Americans that work from home, dont forget about one of the most valuable parts of your new home: the home office. Here are tips to designing a home office that will inspire more productivity.

Thousands of design professionals gather every year at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show to check out the latest products and trends. Heres what we found.

Every year, The New American Home is showcased at the International Builders Show to inspire homebuyers with new tech and design trends. The 2018 New American Home demonstrates how transitional design and transformative products can be used to create a sophisticated, yet comfortable, home.

There are many things parents can do to create a safe home for their new baby. From choosing natural building products to ensuring babys sleep space is free of choking hazards, here are some tips on creating a safe and healthy home for your new baby.

In 2018, homeowners will go bold by choosing dark colors and mixing metals in their home dcor. Theyll also embrace multigenerational living more than ever. Heres why.

The industrial style is defined by an urban look that features unfinished materials, such as concrete floors and metal fixtures and hardware, and exposed structures like brick walls. Heres how to bring an industrial look into your new home.

More than one kitchen, two kitchen islands, two laundry rooms and more are popping up in new homes across the country. Heres why builders are increasingly including doubles of home feature that can mean convenience and function for homeowners.

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Your local Parade of Homes is a one-stop showcase of the latest trends in home design, construction and decor and a great place to shop for a new home. Heres how to get the most out of your visit to this annual event.

The winners of the Best in American Living Awards, presented by the National Association of Home Builders, showcase upcoming home design trends youll see in homes throughout the country. Here are the winners of the 2017 BALA and home trends youll be seeing soon.

The latest flooring choices are improving in quality and texture: Carpets are softer, engineered wood is cheaper and laminate flooring is more durable. Flooring has taken strides in the green department. Heres whats new in flooring and how you can have both eco- and budget-friendly flooring.

In recent years, gray has hailed as the new neutral and that doesnt seem to be changing any time soon, especially in kitchens and bathrooms. But, Tuscan styling? Thats out in any room. Here are the latest trends in kitchens and baths gleamed from two of the biggest home trade shows.

As life gets more complicated, we seek a home to make our lives easier. The trends youll see in new homes are meant to do just that.

Gone are the days when tile was relegated to only the kitchen or bathroom. Today, there are many ways to use tile beyond your bathroom and kitchen floors heres how.

If you work from home, its important to have a dedicate space where you can work uninterrupted. Heres how to create the perfect home office in your new home.

More than a mere showcase home, The New American Home 2016 (TNAH) by the National Association of Home Builders, is far from just luxury on display. From comfort to aesthetics, TNAH highlights features that work for todays homebuyer and beyond.

There are many decisions to make when choosing an interior paint including finish, color selection and picking shades that work well together. Relax, we have you covered. Join us as we share advice from pros on the best ways to use paint in your home.

It seems that no matter how big the home, there could always be a little more square footage. With many of todays space-saving appliances, though, having enough space in your new home wont be an issue. Check out the latest appliances that take little space and, in some cases, multitask.

Open floor plans reflect the way we live today. A good floor plan offers well-planned sight lines and traffic patterns. The flow of rooms balances privacy and togetherness and the placement of windows enhances views. Heres how to select the best plan for your new home.

Gray steals the scene, motion-activation creeps into cabinets and kitchen islands get bigger. Check out these and other hot kitchen trends, as we take you backstage at the latest Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS), where manufacturers put their hottest new items on display.

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Open floor plans are great for living unconfined, but theyre also great spaces for noise to travel and build. By making a few adjustments, you can enjoy your open, free-flowing home while reducing the noise.

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The latest trends at the most recent Kitchen & Bath Industry Show will be appearing soon in new homes near you. So what are the hot design trends for two of the most important rooms in your home your kitchen and master bath?

Each year, the Best in American Living Awards honor the latest trends in new home design. What seven trends did the expert panel of judges spy this year? From right-sized luxury and a move from lavish to practical that doesnt leave aesthetics behind heres what to expect in new homes near you.

Looking for gorgeous and inspiring kitchen design ideas for your dream home? This savory slideshow features the latest kitchen design trends and the hottest new looks for your new home from top builders, architects and kitchen designers.

Gone are the days when pets were not allowed in the house. No, todays pet owners treat their furry companions as family members and are accommodating for them when building new homes. Heres the newest trend in homebuilding that caters not to humans, but to their pets

An open floor plan offers a great layout for entertaining and staying connected with family. If youre not used to such a layout, though, you may need some tips on how to get the most from an open floor plan.

Unless youre the next Steve Jobs, you probably cant imagine exciting new technologies that dont exist today, but that will be common in our homes in five to ten years. But you can take smart steps to future-proof your new home now, while its under construction. Heres how from the NewHomeSource team.

Whats a flex room? New homes often come with a space that can be used for different or multiple needs the flex room can be adapted to fit your familys lifestyle for a comfortable and personalized touch.

Are you a retiree or empty nester looking for a new home thats not a move-up home, but that doesnt sacrifice the space ideal for everyday living? The Santa Anita plan by Ash Creek Homes is the ideal floor plan for 55-plus buyers who want it all.

What home features do home shoppers look for when searching for the home of their dreams? The American Institute of Architects Home Design Trends Survey sheds light on home features shoppers want most and which ones are on their way out.

When it comes to innovation in kitchen and bath design, the Best of KBIS awards presented at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) highlight the trends youll be seeing in your own kitchen and bath for years to come. Heres a quick look at this years winners presented at KBIS in Las Vegas in January.

Named the 2014 Custom Builder of the Year by the National Association of Home Builders, architect Phil Kean is known throughout the building industry for his modern home designs that seamlessly blends aesthetics with function.

The winners of the annual Best in American Living Awards competition encompass the best in new home design. Here are the takeaways from the winners of the 2015 awards.

The official show home of the 2015 International Builders Show from the National Association of Home Builders dubbed The New American Home showcases the latest in home building and design. See what this years show home has in store.

Stairs are not only a means to get from one floor to another theres so much to stairs and staircases than that. Heres what you need to know about stairs and staircases should your new home be two or more stories

For many, living in their own for as long as they physically can is an appealing option. This design for aging in place takes into account the physical needs and limitations homeowners may face as they age.

Cabinets are no longer used simply to store and hide dishes and miscellaneous items. As kitchens increasingly become the heart of the home, cabinets are moving center stage in home design. Here are the latest trends in cabinets.

Expert Advice on Buying & Building a New Home

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Make Your Own Potting Bench

Learn which colors Joanna Gaines predicts will be big in 2018, plus get tips and inspiration for incorporating the stunning shades.

Weve put together this list of 25 perennial flowers that are a snap to grow. Check out these easy-to-grow perennials and dig in!

We found copycat recipes that beat the real deal. Were talking Wendys Frostys, Olive Garden Alfredo sauce, even Starbucks icy caramel macchiatos.

Want to know how to build a potting bench? Our potting bench plan will give you a functional, beautiful garden potting bench in no time!

Jason Miller; Photography by Ed Gohlich

This DIYgarden benchis made from recycled wooden pallets; only the screws are new. The potting benchs 37-inch-high work surface is perfect for potting plants.

Once youve assembled the bench, you can attach salvaged or inexpensive hardware along the countertop edge to holdgardening tools, or screw casters to the leg bottoms to make the bench more mobile. You might even cut a hole and drop in a plastic or metal pan for holding potting soil or seed-starting mix. You can paint the wooden surfaces lively colors or stain them.

Find cottage-inspiredstorage solutionsfor all yourgardening tools.

Disassemble the pallet(s) using a hammer and pry bar.

Potting Bench Assembly Tip:Be careful not to damage the ends of the boards during deconstruction. Select the widest, best-looking boards for the countertop. Measure the salvaged wood; its dimensions will determine how wide the finished bench can be.

Using a straightedge, pencil, and miter or circular saw, mark and trim away splintered wood and square the edges of the boards. Cut off knotholes and other weak parts of the boards for a stronger potting bench.

Use the pallet base or 2×4 lumber for the legs. Because most pallets have three 2×4 pieces, you need to break down a second pallet or join two pallet pieces with screws to make a fourth leg. To get the hutch top above the countertop height, notch with the table saw 8 inches out of each of the two 2×4 pieces (for the back legs), and add another notched piece for the desired height of 60 inches. Sister these two notched pieces with screws, and glue, if you wish. These pieces can come from the other pallets 2×4 base pieces or from 1x material cut to match the width of the leg pieces. After youve notched out all four of the back legs and extension pieces, connect them with screws.

Starting with the two back legs, attach a 1×26-inch board; this will be the depth of the bench. Screw it in perpendicular to the inside of the leg pieces so the tops of the boards will be 36 inches from the ground. Screw in the other front leg to the 1x piece so you have a configuration resembling a lowercase h. Repeat so you have two identical pieces that will serve as the framework for the left and right sides of your bench.

Add one countertop board at the back of the bench to support it, then position the front face board, or skirt, and install it. Sister the front legs to match the thickness of the back legs. Flip the bench over and install the back skirt to complete the frame.

Measure and install blocks on the back legs in the spaces directly in front of the back skirt. You will screw the final countertop piece into these blocks.

Choose your countertop pieces, lay them flush with each other from front to back, and screw them into place. The front countertop piece can overlap the front skirt slightly if you wish. You will have to cut the last piece to the appropriate width and length.

To create supports for the bottom shelf, about 7 inches above the base attach two 1x pieces to the front and back legs on each side.

Potting Bench Tip:To ensure consistent shelf height, you can install temporary spacers (the longer pieces parallel to and touching the ground) and measure the distance between the tops of the spacers and the tops of the shelf-support pieces.

Screw in the bottom shelf pieces using 1x material the same way you did the countertop. Add the top shelf, screwing it into the tops of the back legs.

Install more 1x boards to form the back slats, generously and evenly spacing the boards so you can hook things over them in the future. Use a level to make sure the slats are straight.

Using 1x material, measure for length and cut two blocks with 45-degree ends. Drill holes into the edges so the blocks wont split when you screw them into place. Start screws into the blocks.

Position the bracing blocks on the insides of the back legs. Drive screws into the back legs, the countertop, and the back skirt. Drill in the back-skirt screws from the outside. These blocks will prevent side-to-side motion of the potting bench.

Remove all rough, splinter-inducing spots with sandpaper. Wipe down or vacuum the entire bench to remove wood dust. Stain or paint the bench. Hawley applies one coat of stain, then two coats of polyurethane, following the label instructions for drying times. If you paint, apply two coats of primer and two coats of paint for a long-lasting finish.

In the directions above, there is a picture missing for the section describing the notching process for assembling the back legs. The picture shown actually belongs with the directions for making the table support.

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Caring for Your Yard

Do you have questions about how to care for your yard, lawn, and garden? Fortunately, there are answers, from picking the right plants to watering, fertilizing, and staking.You might want to install a brand-new lawn, or you might just want to rejuvenate the one you have; discover how to start one from seed or sod and give yourself a lush, green carpet underfoot.

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Block wind, buffer noise, or create private outdoor living spaces with a hedge…

Ornamental grasses are tough and long-lasting. See five ways to let their…

Many homeowners inherit bad garden soil, but you dont have to live with it!…

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A gallery of inspiring before and after patio transformations.

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Get stylish, low-budget ideas to keeping your garden shed organized.

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Free Home Design Apps

Do it yourself home improvement projects can be challenging for even the most experienced remodeler. The key to any successful renovation project is careful preparation and an outstanding plan. Luckily, there are dozens of excellent design tools available to assist with this process in a wide range of price points and knowledge levels. Whether working on the interior or exterior, all outstanding house projects begin with great building plans. Your best way to create these is through 3d home designing software. With todays incredibly innovations in DIY technology, it is easier than ever for even the most inexperienced homeowner to design a house online from your home computer or smart phone absolutely free. Read ahead and our building pros will help you find the best program for your needs, filtering through the endless number of downloads and reviews to find the top rated free home design software in 2018 perfect for your next project.

With a free 3d home designer you can become your own expert interior decorator in minutes. Whether you are looking for avirtual bedroom designeror a free software download to aid in a new kitchen floor plan, these outstanding programs will ensure that your new interiors are expertly crafted and planned down to the last finishing detail. The first step in creating 3d home designs online is identifying your particular project needs prior to downloading a software program. For example, if you are embarking on a complete kitchen overhaul look, for innovative software that focuses on generating floor plans by imputing your rooms exact dimensions and architectural features. Programs with the topkitchen design software reviewseven feature built in inventories of popular brand name cabinet models, floor covering styles and paint palettes in order to create an even more cohesive and highly detailed blueprint. Create floor plans for a house in no time.

Do it yourself remodeling has become easier than ever with the development of great virtual home design software that is easy to use, readily available and affordable. Many of todays top free programs even offer built in

to make designing your home online nearly effortless. An important thing to consider when looking for online design tools is the software mode.

Embarking on a great do it yourself home improvement project is an excellent way to instantly increase the overall value you of your property without draining your budget hiring professional contractors. Motivated homeowners can take on anything from simple interior decorating projects to an entire kitchen overhaul. The key to any successful DIY project is careful preparation with todays latestsoftware to design a roomonline for free. These outstanding programs allow tech savvy remodelers to experiment with everything from major architectural designs to interior color palettes and furniture placement all at the click of a button. Whether you are an amateur decorator or an experienced builder, the best free 3dhome design software downloadsmakes creating detailed blueprints and dcor plans easier than ever.  Our DIY pros will help guide you to a fantastic free 3d home designer that suits each and every one of your particular dcor needs.

Would you prefer a unique home dcor app that allows you to plan your rooms on the go, inputting inspiration pieces or decorative items along the way, or free design software for pc to create blueprints at your desktop computer? There are unique products for every living area you can imagine, from great3d bathroom design toolsto landscaping planners and everything in between. Find the best application to suit your needs and start creating a beautiful new home!

With the overwhelming number of free home design programs for pc out there today, it can be quite intimidating to select a single model for your project. Do not worry our home improvement experts will help you find the best free software for yourinterior home designs. You do not need to be a professional architect to create house plans from scratch. These amazing programs walk you through each step of how to design a house, from inspiration to final plan, such that at the end of the process you have professional grade blueprints to reference throughout your build. You can even find expert level programs like free

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Create the perfect front yard and backyard landscapes with our gardening tips. Well tell you about beautiful annual, perennial, bulb, and rose flowers, as well as trees, shrubs, and groundcovers that put on a year-round gardening show.

BH&G is all about the farm-to-fork movement, even if that farm is your kitchen windowsill! Get practical and proven advice on what to grow, learn how to use the veggies and fruits from your garden with healthful recipe ideas from our Eating Well partners.

Brighten up sheltered spots in your landscape with these easy-to-grow, colorfu…

Heres an easy-grow collection of the best, most beautiful perennial flowers…

We take a look at the top new perennials heading your way for 2017.

Even rusty, shabby metal salvage can inspire glowing creativity. Follow the…

These Instagram photos show why kokedama (Japanese for moss ball)…

Follow these easy steps to make a hanging planter from a wood pallet.

Toad lilies bring an exotic flair to any fall garden. While almost all other…

Ornamental grasses are tough and long-lasting. See five ways to let their…

Phlox are one of those bounteous summer flowers any large sunny flowerbed or…

These rugged plants will put on loads of bright trumpetlike blossoms but are…

Some of the most colorful and easy-care indoor plants thrive in low-light…

Let easy-growing groundcovers be the solution to your landscaping problems….

Designing a garden can feel overwhelming if youre not a professional. Enjoy a…

Are you looking for a pretty container plant, but dont want to have to pamper…

Learn how coffee grounds can be good for your garden and more with these…

Design a beautiful garden or landscape with our garden-planning tips.

Many homeowners inherit bad garden soil, but you dont have to live with it!…

This wonderful mint relative blooms for a long period of time in a wide…

In the world of groundcovers, there isnt a whole lot to get excited about….

Begonias have been around for ages, and with good reason: This easy-to-grow…

Garden Tools

From digging to raking to pruning and nearly every job in between, tools are an essential element of your gardening routine. Equipped with the right tool, your to-do list can get a lot easier (and a lot shorter). But tools are an investment, and it pays to start small, with no-cost or low-cost helpers.

Keep all your tools easy to find and displayed with style using our guide to…

Get stylish, low-budget ideas to keeping your garden shed organized.

Make garden tasks easier with a few must-have tools from our 2016 issue of…

The right gardening tools can make caring for your landscape a lot easier. Her…

Give yourself a break with outdoor power tools that save you hours and effort.

Save money and improve your garden with these easy-to-make or low-cost garden…

Properly caring for your tools will ensure that you enjoy gardening with them…

Turn everyday items into gear that will help you make your garden grow better….

The grass is always greener with a little help from your trusty smartphone.

Rain barrels are a great way to save water and money–and making a DIY rain…

Primed for pruning? Grab the right tool before you start.

Planning on being in the garden this weekend? Better TVs Mrs. Fixit shows you…

Better TV shows you the latest trends in gardening gear.

There are so many choices when it comes to protecting your hands in the garden…

These fine vessels go where hoses cant reach, and a ding or two doesnt…

Are you doing your part to keep the air clean? Battery-powered lawn and garden…

Invest in premium, well-made tools, and follow these tips to stock your own…

Try these more environmentally friendly tools and products to make your yard a…

Digging tools, such as shovels, are easier to use when theyre sharp. Check ou…

Follow these tips to keep your pruning shears in top form.

Upgrade your gardening game with these techy tools that will make your yard…

Nothing equals grass as a soft place for children to play and as a rich green…

Cordless drills are a do-it-youselfers best friend. But with all the models…

Want to know how to build a potting bench? Our potting bench plan will give yo…