Inside the Innovation House

We pulled out all the stops to bring the latest home tech features to our Innovation Home. See the 16 coolest things from the home and be amazed by how smart one home can be.

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Bathroom Countertop Ideas

Good-looking countertops -- whether made of marble, limestone, or concrete -- create high-functioning bathrooms that spill over with style. These popular countertop materials are sure to inspire a bathroom remodel.

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Find Your Dream Backyard

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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Easy Fireplace Upgrades

Does your fireplace need a facelift? Check out these 20 ideas for updating your fireplace with easy-to-apply embellishments and simple-to-make constructions.

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8 Cutting-Edge Exterior Features

The wow-factor of the Innovation Home starts with great curb appeal. See the eight things that make the home's exterior stand out.

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Budget Curb Appeal

Be the best home on the block for less. These budget curb appeal updates will show you how.

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Choosing the Right Windows

Today's window frame materials offer a variety of benefits including style, energy efficiency, interior livability, low maintenance, and convenience. Here's what's out there now.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Windows 101: Wood

      Wood, the traditional window frame material, is admired for its natural beauty.

      What we love:

      -- Usually made in stock sizes

      -- Energy efficient, an excellent insulator

      -- Can last several decades if properly maintained

      Keep in mind:

      -- Will deteriorate if exposed to weather

      -- Periodic repainting or restaining required

      Price: Middle of the market; unusual shapes and sizes are often more expensive

    • Windows 101: Aluminum-Clad Wood

      The outside face of wood windows is sheathed in aluminum to protect the window from the elements.

      What we love:

      -- Offered in dozens of colors and clear anodized and copper finishes

      -- Generally low maintenance; does not need painting

      -- Factory-finish warranties extend to 20 years

      Keep in mind:

      -- Can corrode when exposed to salt air

      -- Wash glass and frame with standard cleaners

      Price: Usually costs more than conventional wood

    • Windows 101: Solid Vinyl

      Solid vinyl windows are the most popular form of replacement windows.

      What we love:

      -- Available in many sizes and shapes

      -- Limited number of colors

      -- Homogenous color hides scratches

      -- 20- to 30-year warranties

      Keep in mind:

      -- Vulnerable to temperature extremes

      -- Clean surfaces annually with soap and water

      -- Quality varies dramatically

      Price: Typically most affordable frame (less than half of a comparable wood-frame window)

    • Windows 101: Vinyl-Clad Wood

      Color-stabilized PVC wraps the exterior side of wood window frames to lower maintenance.

      What we love:

      -- Won't peel, warp, or rot

      -- Generally low-maintenance

      -- 10- to 20-year warranties

      Keep in mind:

      -- Brittle in cold weather, so susceptible to cracking and storm damage

      -- Wash glass and frame with standard cleaners

      Price: Costs more than all-wood windows

    • Windows 101: Fiberglass

      Fiberglass is a top choice in homes because it's long-lasting, strong, and stable.

      What we love:

      -- Made in a variety of colors; can be painted

      -- Can hold large expanses of glass

      -- Won't warp when exposed to extreme temperatures

      -- Self-extinguishing in fire

      -- Can last about 50 years

      Keep in mind:

      -- Not yet widely available

      -- Highest R-values; R-10 with optional foam insulation

      Price: 25-30 percent more expensive than premium solid vinyl

    • Windows 101: Composite

      Composite windows combine pine and wood fibers to create a material with the appeal of wood and the easy care of recycled plastic.

      What we love:

      -- Stable material that doesn't bow or crack

      -- Can be embossed to resemble natural wood

      -- Allows for thinner frames and grids

      -- Low-maintenance, clean only periodically

      -- 10-year warranties on frames; 20-year warranties on glass

      Price: Between solid vinyl and wood

    • 7 of 7
      Next Slideshow Gabled Dormer Windows

      Gabled Dormer Windows

      Lighten up your second story and give your exterior some extra architectural detail with gabled dormer windows.
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