Incorporating exterior materials can give interior spaces an extra dimension of texture and interest. Case in point: the luxurious basement bar of a home in Calgary, Alberta. “We used an entire wall of manufactured stone for the backsplash,” says Fire Ant Contracting. The result is masculine, rustic and rich.
Ants scurrying on countertops or mouse droppings in HVAC grilles are signs that you have openings in your house that need to be closed, says Steve Gladstone, owner of Stonehollow Fine Home Inspection in Stamford, Conn. Check places like exhaust vents, condensate lines, pipes, ducts, utility access panels and garage doors — you’re looking for obvious gaps, signs of chewing or nesting, or ripped screening. If you aren’t sure what you’re looking at or don’t feel confident you can solve the problem yourself, call a professional exterminator. Mouse and bird droppings in particular can be hazardous to your health.