Michael Franco

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A creative director with Reader's Digest for ten years, also formerly serving as site editor for a division of About.com, Michael Franco has spent over a decade covering science, technology, hospitality and home improvement. His writing credits include Angie's List, Good Housekeeping, Consumer Reports, and National Geographic. A graduate of Ithaca College and Manhattanville College, with a BA in English and an MA in Creative Writing, Mr. Franco once owned and operated a bed and breakfast in Amish country. Today, he lives and works in Asheville, NC. Michael Franco on LinkedIn | Google +

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AUGUST 26, 2013 | MONDAY
Window Films 101

Window films are like sunglasses for your house, inexpensively improving the energy efficiency of your home, even as they add privacy and decorative flair. Installed indoors, either by pr...

AUGUST 22, 2013 | THURSDAY
7 Easy and Affordable Home Improvement Ideas

When it comes to improving your home, not everything has to be costly demolitions and additions. There are plenty of small steps you can take that will breathe new life into nearly every ...

AUGUST 21, 2013 | WEDNESDAY
Planning Guide: Building a Backyard Greenhouse

Shorter days, colder temperatures, and frozen earth: For most, the advent of winter marks the year's end of planting, pruning, and picking. Greenhouses—backyard structures of varying soph...

AUGUST 20, 2013 | TUESDAY
How To: Install an Underground Sprinkler System

Lawn care can be especially demanding these days, with wacky weather throwing homeowners around the country for a loop. Long periods with no rain can turn your lush carpet of green into a...

AUGUST 15, 2013 | THURSDAY
9 Solar Gadgets That Have Us Aglow

Backyards and sunshine go together like hot dogs and mustard. So do these cool new solar gadgets designed to provide light, sound and added convenience to outdoor living.

AUGUST 13, 2013 | TUESDAY
How To: Repoint Brick Walls

Brick houses are hard to damage. Anyone familiar with The Three Little Pigs knows that. Inevitably, however, there comes a time when the mortar between bricks begins to degrade. The proce...

AUGUST 12, 2013 | MONDAY
Track Lighting 101

In the evolution of illumination—from torches to torchiers—track lighting is a relative newcomer. While originally used in galleries, museums, and commercial installations, track lighting...

AUGUST 9, 2013 | FRIDAY
5 Home Improvement Apps for Your iPad

Big, clunky metal toolboxes are so 20th century. These days you can fit rulers, levels, manuals and even a whole squadron of experts into a box no larger than 7" x 9" and only h...

AUGUST 8, 2013 | THURSDAY
Decked Out: 5 Approaches to Designing Your Dream Deck

Personal style plays a major role in so many of our expenditures, but in the backyard, we often settle for a plain wooden platform with zero personality. Why? Deck styles vary as much as ...

JULY 30, 2013 | TUESDAY
How To: Build a Basic Backyard Fire Pit

Many homes have fireplaces or propane stoves inside, but there’s nothing quite like enjoying a fire pit under the stars in your own backyard.  On a cool night in the summer, you can cook ...