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Browse Backsplashes

Transform your kitchen with one of these stylish backsplash ideas.

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Whether you dream of sunning by a state-of-the-art pool or strolling through a simple cottage garden, there's an outdoor oasis with your name written all over it. Take this quiz to find out where you really belong.

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DIY Patio Ideas

Want to boost the beauty and usefulness of your outdoor spaces? Put one of these inspiring DIY patio ideas to work in your landscape.

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Update for $100

When it comes to DIY home projects, inexpensive does not have to equal inconsequential. For less than $100, you can create custom light fixtures, build accent walls, update your floors, or design one-of-a-kind decor. Budget home projects can make a big difference, as proven by this bunch of crafty bloggers.

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Add Exterior Charm

Is your home's exterior looking a little drab? These homes were too, until character-boosting updates completely transformed their dull facades. Take a cue from their makeovers and you too can refresh your exterior.

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Budget Curb Appeal

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Popular in Home Improvement

Understanding How Alarm Systems Work

Sort out what you need in a home alarm system.

In its simplest form, an electronic alarm system is a low-voltage electrical circuit with sensors on entry doors and windows. When a door or window is opened, its sensor detects the interruption in the flow of electricity and triggers a warning signal such as a siren or strobe light.

In addition to perimeter sensors, many systems also include motion detectors that monitor large areas inside the house. When something moves within the detector's range, a sensor sounds the siren. The most sophisticated motion detectors are able to distinguish between the threat of an intruder and the nocturnal wanderings of the family pet, reducing the possibility of false alarms.

When these perimeter sensors and interior motion detectors are part of a stand-alone system, the siren and flashing lights are the only deterrents for discouraging the intruder and thwarting the break-in. In a monitored system, operators at the system manufacturer's central station also notify the police.

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