June 17, 2024

Do-it-yourself projects are not only a fantastic way to save money, but they offer up the opportunity to get exactly what you want with the pride of knowing that you did it all yourself! In addition, what better way to spend a lazy weekend than to create something beautiful for your home? Below is a list of my top 10 home improvement blogs on-line:

1.) Curbly takes the cake as my number one favorite DIY home improvement blog on-line. After stumbling onto this site last year, I found myself over an hour later still scrolling through the hundreds of DIY project ideas. Weather you have a specific project in mind, or are merely looking for a way to spend your Saturday afternoon, this is definitely where you should start!

2.) The Little Red House is truly one of my favorites and I am so inspired every time I visit the site. I ventured here by accident one day with the intentions of learning to make a farm house kitchen table, and with their unique ideas and great photographs, I did just that!

3.) Apartment Therapy is definitely in my favorite’s list on my Internet brower’s toolbar. This is one of those daily stops that I make, just to see what new ideas they can offer up in the home improvement world. Don’t let the name fool you either, it is certainly not just for apartment dwellers. They’ve got amazing solutions for everyone and everything from kitchens, to kid’s rooms, to gardens and patios.

4.) The DIY Showoff is a great site! They not only have step by step instructional videos for their DIY projects, but they also provide plenty of beautiful, inspirational before and after photos.

5.) Design Sponge is such a well designed site and such an inspiration within itself. The photography is stunning and the DIY project ideas are so very unique. As I pull up the site simply to copy the link, I find myself having a hard time pulling away.

6.) The Inspired Room, much like Design Sponge, is a beautiful site. It by itself, just might be enough to get those creative juices flowing. Vivid photography along with fun “out-of-the-box” ideas, make this one a definite in the top 10.

7.) DIY Life is a great home improvement blog for those of us who need a little organization in our lives. Their site is so user friendly and easy to navigate. Each project is divided by categories such as “kitchen & bath,” “living spaces” and “outdoors.” What an easy way to find exactly what you are looking for!

8.) Who better than the “Queen of Crafts,” Martha Stewart. I am always truly amazed by the creative, unique ideas that she possess in everything from table centerpieces, to holiday door decorations! If all else fails, you are sure to be inspired into improving your home on MarthaStewart.com

9.) Style Me Pretty is a site for bridal inspirations, which is probably a little unexpected on a top 10 home improvement blog list. However, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve randomly ended up here finding exactly what I was looking for in a home improvement project. This site proves that inspiration for projects can come from anything. It is definitely worth taking a look at.

10.) /Home Improvement: The Difference Between Renovate, Remodel and Restoration/Both new and existing homeowners this year will make the decision not to move to another house. The economy, job losses and credit card debts may make staying put more desirable than a “larger or smaller” house.

The problem or situation that inspired the decision to move must still be addressed when staying in the same building. However, which one will suit the needs of the homeowner and save money?

Let’s look at the difference between remodeling, renovating and redecorating. They are completely different and knowing which to choose can save thousands or tens of thousands of dollars.

Redecorating

If space isn’t an issue and no major repairs are needed, perhaps simply redecorating is the answer. This can be as inexpensive or as pricey as the homeowner’s tastes and finances allow. This is also the most common solution to a new living area.

The walls can be painted, covered in wallpaper; wainscoting or paneling can be applied for a completely different look. Rooms are transformed easily and inexpensively this way.

New artwork and curtains can be hung. Paint inexpensive picture frames for a new look. For furniture, reupholstering or slipcovers can make the room seem new.

Restoration

This is most common in older homes with intricate moldings or some historical significance. It can be the most expensive by far due to the age of the home and the repairs needed.

Each item in the room is repaired or restored to its original look and original purpose as closely as possible.

An item is replaced with something new only if restoring it is impossible. An example of this would be wallpaper that is too far gone to be restored and no longer manufactured. In this case, wallpaper made during the same period with a similar colored background would be chosen.

There are manufacturers available today who specialize in historic recreations of paints, wallpapers, carpets, moldings and much more. The items may seem pricey, but in a historical restoration, they may be the only option.

It may also be possible to obtain items such as moldings, trims, doors, etc., in materials other than the original. A good example for this is a company that makes window shutters in the old styles, but with PVC or manufactured (plastic) lumber. Some historical boards do allow this if the original materials cannot be obtained.

Renovation

This is the second most common solution to creating a new living space. This involves redesigning the space inside the home and the construction or removal of walls, adding new rooms or a new story to the house.

A contractor is needed to evaluate the homeowners’ desires and to try to create that desire within the following parameters: A) The existing building codes, B) What the structure itself will allow, and C) The budget of the clients. These items don’t always work well together.

It may seem like a good idea to “knock out this wall,” but what happens when that wall is a load-bearing wall? A load-bearing wall essentially is one that is involved in holding up the roof. Special construction has to take place to allow that particular wall to be removed and the roof to stay in place at the same time.

According to Mr. Tom Silva, Master Contractor and one of the stars of the PBS show “This Old House,” live in a house for three to four years before choosing to renovate. See if living with a small bathroom or “that kitchen” can be done without spending a fortune to renovate. This alone can save tens of thousands of dollars.

Before making the decision to change anything, consider these options and figure the cost. Redecorating can be done on a shoestring budget, and can often be accomplished just by moving things around. Money saved then can be used for remodeling the bathrooms and/or kitchen. Perhaps renovating a part of the house that has something special and leaving the rest as finances allow is in order.

Whichever the homeowner decides, making a wise decision now will definitely save time, money and frustration down the road.

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