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(NewsUSA) - You've no doubt driven down a street, seen a house, and thought, "Yikes! What were they thinking?"
Colors can evoke a visceral response, especially on home exteriors. At once both personal and public, colors make a first impression, can accentuate attributes and soften flaws and offer a glimpse into your personality.
"Homeowners can be influenced by many sources -- friends and neighbors, magazines, TV shows or the guy at the hardware store -- so you'll need to be careful you're not just chasing the latest trend; otherwise, your house might be the one that people end up rolling their eyes at," says PBS home improvement expert Vicki Payne.
Payne says you'll be happy for years to come by following eight tips on selecting colors for your home's exterior:
1. Deciding between bright and cheerful colors or deep, rich earth tones will influence all other decisions.
2. Pick colors that will blend in with your surroundings.
3. Make sure your choices in siding and trim don't clash with materials you are not going to replace, such as roof shingles, brick, stone and tile.
4. The size and lot location of your house matter. Light colors can make a house look bigger, and dark colors can make it look smaller.
5. Landscaping will continue to grow and change colors as the seasons change, so trees, shrubs and flowering gardens need to be considered.
6. Use neutral colors to de-emphasize things such as an air conditioning unit or gutters and downspouts, and use contrasting or accent colors to highlight things such as architectural detailing, porch railings, windows and front doors.
7. Computer visualizers can give a general idea of what colors will look like, but large swatches (about 2 by 3 feet) give a truer look at what colors might actually look like on your home. (Take a look at the swatches at different times of day. The colors will look different as the intensity of the sunlight changes.)
8. Make it last. Who wants to invest thousands of dollars every few years to re-paint? An alternative is pre-painted planks, but their finishes degrade just like paint. Better are cladding products that are certified and warranted to retain their color over their lifespan. Vinyl and other polymeric siding manufactures incorporate color at the front end of production -- actually blending the pigment into the formulation. The color can't chip, pit or peel, giving homeowners peace of mind that they won't have to paint or repair the finish. And just like the leading paint manufactures, vinyl siding, soffit, trim and accessories come in an enormous number of colors -- from classic lighter colors to deep barn reds, hunter and sage greens, deep blues and more.
"Keeping your home's exterior looking fresh and timely doesn't have to be challenging," Payne says.
(NewsUSA) - There are many things that American health care professionals do well, but transitioning patients from hospital to home still isn't one of them.
From anxiety about at-home care to confusion with instructions and medications, to lack of appropriate equipment, coupled with little to no communication between doctors and patients, it's no wonder that hospital readmission rates remain at an all time high, according to a 2012 report from the Alliance of Community Health Plans.
A Pittsburgh-based health care services company, however, believes this doesn't have to be the case. Instead, a new program by AdvaCare is helping patients and doctors come together.
"By becoming an advocate for both patients and physician's, AdvaCare has found a way to bridge treatment for patients from hospital to home and help reduce overall health care costs," said AdvaCare Home Services President Tammy Zelenko.
Zelenko noted that the Patient Partner Program, which recently launched, decreases health care costs for patients by reducing the number of hospital readmissions, emergency room visits, and additional health complications that can occur during the hospital-to-home transition.
No small undertaking, but a necessary one since, according to the report, the U.S. loses $26 billion annually in Medicare readmissions, which means that AdvaCare's program could be just what the doctor ordered.
And if insurance won't cover the cost of a home health care provider, be prepared for some sticker shock. According to disabled-world.com, depending on what city you live in, the average out-of-pocket expense of hiring a home health care aide is $29 an hour or $18,000 a year for someone to come in three times a week for 12 months. In Los Angeles, the price tag goes up to $50 per hour.
For its part, AdvaCare helps patients with the transition from hospital to home by monitoring its patients and providing detailed, individualized patient care plans and in-home assessments.
"The program offers physicians and doctors an additional route that helps save lives and money," Zelenko said. "The focus is not only to help patients adjust to their diagnoses, but to make lifestyle changes, and educate them on their chronic diseases. Through this level of dedication, AdvaCare is helping hospitals avoid costly readmission penalties, allowing more involved patients to better manage their healthcare," she said.
For more information, visit www.advacarehsppp.com.