Basement & Garage Articles, Blog Posts and Slideshows
10 Bargain Organizers for a Tidy Garage The garage is one of the most cluttered spaces in the whole house. Too often it becomes a dumping ground for sports equipment, lawn tools, off-season decorations, and workshop tools that somehow never get put back properly. But organization and control is within reach. These affordable storage solutions can be easily integrated into your garage and bring back order—just like that.
10 Shortcuts to a Not-So-Scary Basement If you have an unfinished basement, you probably don’t want to spend a ton of time down there. The air is musty, the floors are damp, and it feels just a tiny bit creepy. Luckily, there are some simple ways to get the feel of a finished basement without shelling out thousands of dollars. Here, 10 ways to turn your basement into a space where the entire family will want to hang out.
7 Steps to Avoid a Flooded Basement <p>There are certain signs of spring we all welcome: cheery daffodils, increased daylight, and the chirping of birds returning from their winter vacations. Along with those happy signs of spring, a less welcome sign may be an annual event for you—basement flooding. Spring rains often bring out the worst in flawed grading and foundations, leaving homeowners with a mess. If you’ve never dealt with basement flooding before, there’s a set procedure to getting things back in order.<p>
<p>First, get rid of the water. If you don’t have a sump pump, you can rent one from a home improvement store. If you have more than a few of inches of water, you might want to call a professional. They have more powerful equipment and can get the job done quickly. After the water is removed, you need to dry things out. Provide as much ventilation as possible to decrease the possibility of mold growth. Open all the windows and doors, and use fans to increase air circulation.<p>
<p>Throw out anything wet that’s of a porous nature—like cardboard boxes or newspapers. That’s a breeding ground for mold. If carpets can be dried out quickly, you can keep them. Otherwise, they should go. (You can purchase a mold test kit if you’re unsure.) If a significant amount of drywall has been saturated, you’ll need to cut it out and replace it.<p>
<p>Cleaning up basement flooding is a lot of work, and can get expensive. Instead, do yourself a favor: Before the worst happens, follow these simple guidelines from the National Restoration Network to reduce your risk for basement flooding this season.<p>
7 Steps to Making Your Garage More Livable In many homes, the garage is nothing more than a place to park the car, store the Christmas decorations, and hang up a few tools. With a little ingenuity, however, a garage can be transformed into an awesome space that’s as comfortable as any other room in the house—only a whole lot more fun. Check out these quick tips on how to update your garage from a storage space to a fully functional multipurpose area.
7 Things Every Great Garage Needs Garages: indispensable for keeping your car out of the elements, doing messy projects without cleaning up after them, and for storing items out of sight and mind. But if you’re dissatisfied with the dark, oil-stained outbuilding on your property, read on for simple additions that can help you get the most out of this utilitarian outpost.
8 Finishing Touches for Your Unfinished Basement An unfinished basement, with its concrete floor and exposed joists, may seem dreary and cold. But in reality it is an enormous blank canvas just waiting for your inspired artistic vision. The fact is, you don't really need niceties like drywall and recessed lighting to create an inviting space. Employ a few of these creative tricks—all of them low cost and low effort—to transform your unfinished basement into a comfortable retreat everyone will be drawn to.
Buyer's Guide: 7 Best Garage Door Openers It’s the little things in life that can make or break your day. Take, for instance, the garage door opener, an appliance most people never give a second thought…until it doesn’t work, that is. But a good garage door opener doesn't simply let your car in and out. It can also protect your home from intruders, let in kids, maintenance personal, or house sitters, and keep you and your family safe—even when you're not paying attention. Garage openers have improved substantially over the past few years, and there are a lot of options to consider when buying yours. Whether you choose a belt-drive, chain-drive, or screw-drive model, a high-end model or an affordable mid-range product, you want quality and performance. We've cherry picked some of the best garage door models on the market, according to real consumers. Take a look to help determine your next garage door opener.
How To: Clean a Shower Head Is your shower head failing to perform as well as it once did? If so, then chances are good that it's time to clean t...
How To: Dry a Wet Basement A wet basement can be obvious—water trickling across the floor or standing several inches deep at the base of the sta...
How To: Groom Your Garage in One Weekend The garage is the final frontier of spring cleaning. Part carport, part catchall storage facility, the garage, if well-organized, can be a tremendous asset. If left in a cluttered state, however, the space can be more of a liability, becoming a breeding ground for mold, rust, and pests. So if you value storage space—and who doesn't?—there's every reason to mark this project at the top of your weekend to-do list. Though grooming the garage may seem daunting at first, these manageable steps can help you tame even the most unruly of garages.
How To: Install a Sump Pump In an ideal world, there'd be no basement flooding. But in reality, despite our best efforts to address the underlyin...
How To: Paint a Garage Door As long as it goes up and down on command, it’s easy to ignore your garage door. Yet this aspect of your home’s exter...
Keep Garage Doors in Top Shape The garage door is the single largest moving part in your home, and should be inspected and maintained every year. Wh...
Make Room for the Car: 7 Easy DIY Garage Organizers The garage is more than a place to park the car. It is a storage space for lawn tools, sports equipment, and off-season supplies, and it often houses the home workshop. More often than not, the garage becomes a catchall catastrophe, inundated with clutter. If your messy garage needs organizational triage, read on to find out how others have reclaimed their spaces. With some basic materials you can DIY storage solutions that will serve you well.
Move Out: 10 Ways to Expand into Your Garage Plenty of homeowners wish they had more room. It's possible these cramped-feeling dreamers have overlooked a golden opportunity: garage conversion. Renovating the garage is a wonderful way to add living space, whether you have a practical need—did someone say home office?—or just want to have a little fun with a kids' playroom, fitness gym, or man cave. There's no limit to what's possible, as these ten projects amply show. Click through now for great ideas on how to approach your own dramatic garage conversion!
Product Showcase: Garage Doors Choosing a garage door is an important consideration. It needs to operate with ease, be made to withstand the elements with little to no care, and enhance the curb appeal of your home.
Re-Do Your Home Exterior with a New Garage Door If you were to look at pictures of all the homes built since the mid 1950s, you would notice one obvious commonality: For decades, the garage door has been the most noticeable aspect of the average home exterior. More than most homeowners appreciate, it's not paint colors or landscaping features that make or break curb appeal—it's the garage door! So if your home needs a facelift and fast, there's no upgrade more direct or cost-effective than replacing the battered old garage door. If it's been years since you last shopped for one, then you're in for a treat. There are more options on the market than ever before. The first manufacturer in the business, Overhead Door offers reliable, secure, and stylish options perfectly suited to any house style. Click through now to see how the right choice could make for a virtually instant transformation that helps your home make a great first impression for years to come.
Some Advice About Sump Pumps [bobsays_inset]There are a few rules to keep in mind about sump pumps. The first is that you’ll never have to buy one...
The Do’s and Dont’s of Basement Storage Whether you're packing away seasonal gear, or stockpiling a few extra home essentials, the basement is a natural storage spot. Because the basement is dark, cool, and roomy, it can be a perfect spot for storing certain items, especially those you won't often use. On the other hand, a basement that is prone to flooding, mold, or pests is no place to store heirlooms or valuables. That's why it takes a little planning to make the most of your basement storage and ensure that your belongings last for years to come. Say no to musty old shoeboxes filled with junk, and check out our do's and don'ts for proper basement storage. You don’t need to break the bank to get fabulous basement storage. All you need is a little imagination—and our handy guide!
New Insulated Garage Doors New insulated garage doors will replace the home's originals and be installed on the new garage. They have the appearance of wood and the performance of factory-finished metal.
Installing the New Garage Doors Bob talks with Robert Rainey of PJ Overhead Door as the new and improved garage door panels and tracks are installed on the Norwell home.
The Font Porch, Façade, and Yard Bob visits the completed house and talks to the homeowners about their new home's new façade, with its completed porch and newly landscaped yard.
House Ten: Attic Conversion Owners of the tenth Elmwood neighborhood project house, Peter Haraty and Brent Bachelder, want to create one large space on the attic level, a change requiring wall demolition and the shoring up of structural elements.
Installing a Window Seat Bob joins carpenter Bob Ryley, who is installing a two-section window seat with a built-in reveal for baseboard heating. With a few measurements and a bit of scribing, Ryley fits the seat to the walls.
Pouring the Concrete Foundation Bob watches as the crew prepares the footings for the greenhouse foundation. Contractor John Pratt pours the concrete, using a conveyor instead of a traditional pump. Meanwhile, Bob and contractor Bob Ryley start inserting the reinforcing rods.
Discussing the Greenhouse Bob, Martha and the homeowner, Diana, discuss the greenhouse and the decor before Bob reveals a special suprise.
Tour of the Completed 'Boat Barn' Bob takes a close look at the boat storage part of the building (the 'boat barn'), highlighting interior features like the lighting and mechanical systems. Contractor Bob Ryley has constructructed a workbench.
Contractor's Tour of the Interior Bob accompanies carpenter-contractor Bob Ryley on a "contractor's tour" of the home with the aim of assessing any needed modifications to the interior.
Replacing the Septic System Bob must handle an overloaded septic system by replacing the clogged tank as well as the old leach field. Also, carpenter Bob Ryley demonstrates how to install a 48-pane window in the front addition.
Discussing Plans for the Basement Bob joins architect Mike Morgan and general contractor Ron Gan in the basement of the coach house to discuss options for making the basement space useful and/or more habitable.
Basement Excavation Bob takes a quick tour of the demolition work that's ongoing in the basement. He and general contractor Ron Gan discuss the advantages of renovation over rebuilding.
Garage Entry Bob helps general contractor Ron Gan and his crew take down a section of brick wall in order to make way for a garage door leading into the basement.
Garage Construction The concrete floor has been poured in the basement, and general contractor Ron Gan explains how a ledger board is attached to the masonry wall to support ceiling joists.
Basement Demolition Bob joins demolition Jim Ferguson in the basement of the coach house to review progress.
Buying & Selling Homes Articles, Blog Posts and Slideshows
10 Simple Tricks to Make Buyers Love Your Home It is possible to wow and delight potential purchasers without investing crazy amounts of time and money. Read on for 10 minor changes that can inspire real estate seekers to fall in love with your home.
10 Things to Know About Being Your Own Real Estate Agent Before you decide to go the "For Sale by Owner" route, it's a good idea to figure out what you're getting yourself into. You might find that the time commitment, marketing costs, and legal processes may be more than you bargained for. If you're getting ready to put your home on the market and think you may want to do the dirty work yourself, make sure you're prepared by perusing these 10 must-know considerations of being your own real estate agent.
10 Things to Know Before Buying a Foreclosed Home A foreclosed home may seem like a great way to get a sweet deal on a house—but buyer beware! Foreclosed homes that have been abandoned or neglected for months—or even years—often come with hidden costs that can turn that bargain into a money pit. Check out our top tips for steps to take if you’re in the market for a foreclosed home.
11 Common Problems Home Sellers Try to Hide While laws vary from state to state, generally speaking, sellers are responsible for disclosing only information within their personal knowledge that could affect the property value, such as structural defects, mold, and lead paint. Some issues, however, fall into a gray area that a home seller may try to conceal in order to get a top-dollar offer. To protect your investment, hire a certified home inspector before making an offer, and be on the lookout for the following signs that a seller has something to hide.
11 Home Staging Tricks That Don’t Cost a Penny To maximize a home’s potential market value, many real estate agents recommend hiring a professional stager or investing in fairly major fix-ups. But what if your budget simply doesn’t allow for such pricey measures? Here are a dozen zero-dollar staging strategies, from glamorizing the bathroom to making the kitchen smell ultra-fresh, that will help seal the deal with picky prospective buyers.
11 Sneaky Ways to Save When Buying a Home Good deals on great homes are hard to come by these days. If, however, you’re a die-hard do-it-yourselfer, or you don’t mind living in a new build, or you enjoy thinking outside the box, you can save thousands—maybe even tens of thousands—of dollars when you decide to buy. So, while you're shopping around, try some of these alternative house-hunting methods that can help you find a bargain, save a bundle, and turn your home-buying dream into a reality.
12 Confessions of a First-Time Home Seller While buying a first home is always exhilarating, selling it is often bittersweet. When it’s time to move on, it can be hard to let go. As is no doubt the case for most first-time homeowners, my first house harbored so many memories—first baby steps, first holidays, first schools days, and yes, first DIY successes. It was so inconceivable to me that I could sell a house that aroused such strong sentiments that I almost sabotaged the sale. Thank goodness my real estate agent set me straight. The following confessions come from my personal experience as a first-time home seller. If you’re thinking about putting your home on the market, first-time seller or not, I hope you can learn from my mistakes.
12 Reasons Why Your House Isn't Selling Throughout the years you live in a house, you pour your heart and soul into maintaining it and making it comfortable and attractive. When it comes time to sell, you hope that your care and hard work will be evident to potential buyers, and that the offers stream in quickly. But even a much-loved and well-tended home can linger on the market if the sellers make some unfortunate missteps. To avoid any hitches in the sale of your home, beware of making these 12 costly mistakes that can sabotage a sale.
13 Mistakes Not to Make If You Ever Want to Sell Your Home If you plan to sell your home someday (and most people do), it's important to always consider the long-term consequences of short-term design decisions. Remember, when it comes to resale value, timeless trumps trendy every time. So, before you install a state-of-the-art sports court, invest in a luxury hot tub, or convert your garage into extra living space, keep in mind the following complaints home buyers often express about certain home enhancements.
6 Tempting Upgrades That Smart Homeowners Avoid Not all home improvements are created equal. In fact, some so-called “upgrades” actually can decrease the value of your home, especially if you are planning on selling in the near future. Even if you are not planning to put your house on the market soon, some enticing enhancements simply cost way too much time and money, especially when you figure that you may never be able to recoup on your investment. Read on for a few home renovations you might want put off—forever.
8 Home Costs That Take New Buyers by Surprise While renting has the advantage of being affordable and carefree, purchasing your own home can be a great investment opportunity—if you’re prepared. Unlike with a rental, the costs of repairing and maintaining a property fall completely on the homeowner, and too often these additional financial responsibilities catch first-time buyers by surprise. Prime yourself to take on any sudden shakeup with this list of 8 often-overlooked costs of owning a home.
9 Age-Old Real Estate Tips to Ignore Completely Not all advice is good advice. When it comes to the real estate market, friends and family may offer their unsolicited opinions based on common beliefs, but it’s always best to consult with a professional. However, even the experts have their agendas. So before you trust what was once “tried and true,” get the inside scoop, on what’s “here and now” when it comes to buying and selling your home.
9 Little Things You Can Do to Help Sell Your House <p>Preparing to sell your house? You should have two separate to-do lists. In one, itemize the issues a good home inspector is likely to find. Those are matters you must address. </p><br/>
<p>In the second list, put down the minor improvements that are totally optional but can be extremely persuasive to a potential buyer. A buyer needs to be able to envision himself in your home, and there are dozens of modest upgrades you can make to help the buyer feel comfortable following in your footsteps. Once the major tasks have been accomplished, you can get down to home staging.</p><br/>
<p>Some of the simplest and easiest ideas are the best tips for selling your house. Repainting in house colors that sell, like neutrals, will broaden the appeal of your home. It’s worth hiring cleaning professionals to come in and get the dust out of every nook and cranny, and to wash carpets and upholstery. Make sure all your cabinets and closets have some unused space, to make them look bigger. From clearing clutter to replacing bathroom fixtures, find out which simple, affordable home staging tips you should move on before you put the place on the market.</p>
9 Mistakes Not to Make When Selling Your Home Thinking of selling your home? Chances are, you’ve heard real estate professionals, neighbors, and friends alike wax eloquent about the importance of things like “first impressions,” “curb appeal,” and “home staging.” Indeed, these industry terms peppered in your conversations hold real weight: Real estate industry research indicates that redesiging your home for maximum appeal can reduce the time a house spends on the market by 30 to 50 percent—and even increase the average selling price by 6 to 20 percent. But not all changes will be a instant-hit and sometimes you might forget a detail in the midst of all the planning that could make or break our sale. Skip the stress, and avoid the following 9 common mistakes to move your home off the market quickly.
9 Questions to Ask Before You Buy a Fixer-Upper So the new house isn't perfect—it needs a little fixing up. A house that needs some TLC might seem like a bargain, especially if it's your first home, but are you the right person to strap on the tool belt and give that house an overhaul? Consider the experience of Mark Brock. A fan of fixer-uppers, he bought his first in the mid-1970s, a circa 1935 house in Columbia, South Carolina, that was rich in history but short on modern conveniences. “Very little had been done to it, but it was in good shape and structurally sound,” he says. It turned out to be a good investment of his time, money, and sweat equity. But it takes a certain mindset—and budget—to see this type of project through. How can you tell if you've got a diamond in the rough worth excavating? Well, first you have to closely examine both the house and yourself. Here are some questions you need to consider when you’re thinking of buying a fixer-upper.
9 Things First-Time Homeowners Don't Know to Do Congratulations, you’re officially a homeowner! But along with the new address comes a new set of responsibilities, including some you may not even know about. The secret to not only surviving but thriving during the first year—and every year after—is simple: Adopt good habits from the get-go! Here are 9 often-forgotten tasks that will get your homeownership off to the right start.
Contain the Commission to 3% You saw its potential. You designed, bought, plumbed, wired and painted it. Now that you are thinking of selling your...
Creating Affordable Housing Since World War II, the federal government has had its hand in promoting and supporting affordable housing through GI...
Curb Appeal to Steal from 12 Hollywood Homes Your home may not be as large or valuable as these celebrity pads, but don’t let that deter you from borrowing a few of these star-caliber ideas for enhancing your home’s exterior.
Find the Right Realtor: 9 Tips from Happy Homeowners It's quite the challenge to find the qualified candidate to lead you into the world of real estate, no matter whether you're looking to sell or looking to buy. Here, we've picked the brains of homeowners who've done it before and have since lived happily ever after to get their best tips on choosing the right real estate agent for the job.
Getting a Loan Loaning money is at the heart of a bank's business. But to stay in business, the bank must do it carefully, lending i...
Hard Sell: 7 Pretty House Colors That Scare Buyers Away Getting ready to sell your house often involves a good deal of decluttering and sprucing up so that every room will look its best. But this presale prep shouldn't stop at the front door. The exterior of your house, including its color, is just as crucial as your interiors. "First impressions are important," says Colleen Badagliacco, regional vice president of the National Association of Realtors in San Jose, California. "From the moment buyers get out of their car, you want your home to look welcoming and inviting." So, when choosing exterior paint, it's best to stick with classic colors and light neutrals. While any of the shades pictured here might look wonderful in a certain region or in the context of a particular architectural style, if you're painting your house for sale, you should try to appeal to the broadest possible group of buyers. "Now is not the time to get creative," Badagliacco says. Here are 7 house colors that might do more harm than good when it's time to sell.
Ready to Sell? 17 Things to Do First To increase your chances of a quick sale, there's a long list of tasks you should complete before you post a "For Sale" sign in your front yard. If you're getting ready to put your house on the market, check off these 17 to-dos to ensure that every potential buyer feels at home.
Sell High: Top 7 Value-Boosting Home Renovations <p>Your home isn't just a house—it's where you unwind, work, play, and spend time with those you love. So, every remodel or renovation you tackle should take into account how you live in and use your space. There is, however, another side to home renovation—and one you might not think much about until it's time to pack up and move: resale value. If you're trying to decide between competing ideas like, say, adding a new deck or renovating the attic, one factor you should consider is which improvement will most help you sell your house when the time comes. </p><br/>
<p>The home renovation ideas that add the most value to your house can be separated into three categories: basic repairs and maintenance, improvements in curb appeal, and value-added space and functionality. For instance, if your roof leaks, fixing or replacing it is paramount to the value of your home. Planting a shade tree in the right place will boost both your curb appeal and the energy efficiency of your home in years down the road. Adding wainscoting or replacing your stock trim with something custom may look great and appeal to a designer. But finishing your basement or adding an attic bedroom will bring you a bigger return on your investment when it comes time to sell.</p><br/>
<p>Read on to get an idea of which home renovation projects will give you the most bang for your buck.</p>
The Case for Flood Insurance Nothing underlines the importance of flood insurance like a Major Weather Event. The damage inflicted by Sandy—the hu...
The Cheapest Ways to Boost Your Home's Value Let's face it: For homeowners in most cities, the real estate boom is far, far behind us. Most folks need to squeeze every last penny out of their investment when it comes time to sell. While remodeling the kitchen or gutting the bathroom may indeed increase your home's value, these renovations are expensive and may not yield the best return for the money. And in fact, some so-called improvements, such as swimming pools or hot tubs, can actually detract from your home’s value! However, there are some easy and inexpensive ways to help improve your home’s resale value—as well as decrease the time it takes to attract a buyer.
The Top 10 Costly Mistakes Home Buyers Make Homeownership is on the rise again. With mortgage applications surging and homeownership experiencing its first uptick since 2013, now seems like a good time to buy. But purchasing a house is a complicated process that's affected by emotions as well as finances—especially if you’ve never done it before. So, if you’re planning to take the plunge, check out these common missteps first-time buyers often make. Learn to recognize and avoid them to keep your dream of homeownership from turning into a nightmare.
Worth It: 8 Renovations That Pay You Back Conventional wisdom holds that upgrades and improvements will enhance a home’s value. But some improvements are better—and more cost-effective—investments than others. Contrary to what you might imagine, some of the most worthwhile projects also are the most economical. Start charting your home improvement course now by considering some of the projects with the biggest payoffs.
Discussing Falmouth's Model for Affordable Housing Bob visits with John Druley of Quaker Homes in Falmouth, Massachusetts, who is developing a parcel of land in Falmouth that will have eight homes, two of them affordable for families earning a modest income.
Tour of an Affordable Home Bob and developer John Druley walk through a home under construction by Quaker Homes in Falmouth, Massachusetts.
Bob Vila's "New Year, New Tile" Give-Away Enter to win $4,000 in custom tile, $500 in shipping, and $500 in installation from Fireclay Tile! Click through for ideas on updating your home design with tile, an ancient material that's never looked better than it does today.
Bob Vila's 24 Days of Holiday Give-Aways Bob Vila's 24 Days of Holiday Give-Aways, from December 1 through the 24, will offer fabulous prizes daily, including four Lowe's $1,000 Gift Cards, a Dyson vacuum, a Kenmore Elite Trio Refrigerator, and more.
Floating Copper Shoe Rack Shoes pose one of those storage conundrums that can never quite be solved. They're oddly shaped, take up too much roo...
GE Appliances Big Summer Blowout Give-Away Enter TODAY and every day through noon on Friday, August 16th, to win a new GE Cafe Series French Door refrigerator, valued at $3,099. Be sure to check back for additional give-aways from GE Appliances later this month!
Lennox contest The “Bob Vila's Too Cool for Summer Give-Away” is open only to permanent legal U.S. residents of the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia; residents of Alaska and Hawaii are not eligible. Void in all other geographic locations. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Contest Period for Weekly Prizes runs from 12:00 p.m. (EST) EST Thursday, July 31st, 2014 through 11:59 am Sunday, August 31st, 2014. One entry per household per day on BobVila.com. Alternative means of entry for Drawing is available by faxing your name and address to 508-437-8486 during the applicable Entry Period. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. See Official Rules.
Doors & Windows Articles, Blog Posts and Slideshows
10 Fall Door DIYs for the Best House on the Block In fall we celebrate the beauty and bounty of nature. This is a time of harvesting and hosting, of rejoicing in the changing season. This autumn, before your visitors arrive—whether they be trick-or-treaters or holiday guests—be sure to make a festive first impression, beginning with what greets them first: the front door. Warm up your welcome with a door that reflects the the bright, earthy hues of the season, like maple leaf red, pumpkin orange, and corn yellow. Let these 10 crafty entranceways inspire you to hang a cheerful wreath of your own this weekend.
10 New Uses for Old Doors With imagination and elbow grease, you can transform that old door into a one-of-a-kind piece that's both useful and beautiful.
10 Stained Glass Windows We Love From cabinets to ceilings, bright colors to abstract shapes, stained glass is making a comeback, and it's not just for cathedrals anymore.
10 Welcoming Front Door Paint Colors Whether you're trying to sell a home or just make one look uniquely yours, an attractive exterior can seriously boost curb appeal. While the overall color of a house may need to be neutral to fit in with the neighborhood, the front door is a focal point that’s prime for self-expression. Here are 11 great front door paint colors, from classic to courageous, sure to give a house more street cred.
13 DIY Window Treatments to Dress Up Your Space Just as clothes make the man, the right dressings can make all the difference for your windows too. Whether your window overlooks a dramatic vista or merely your own backyard, the view will seem just a little bit sunnier framed by a beautifully designed window treatment. DIY window treatments run the gamut from fun to sophisticated, and you can find a style to suit any decor and budget. Don't worry if you aren't handy with a needle and thread—there are plenty of no-sew options. Depending on the size and location of your windows, some styles will work better than others, so click through our gallery to find the best idea for your own home.
15 Eye-Catching Options for Your Front Door With all the emphasis on paint color and siding, a front door could easily get lost in the shuffle of exterior updates. But as the first and last part of your house a visitor sees, it’s the perfect place to make a design statement. Replacing an old or dated looking front door is actually one of the most popular curb appeal ideas, making the choice of your a front door for a new home hugely important. It's more than a decorative feature—it's an important investment. Both the security and style your front door provides impact your home’s worth. So, there are several practical matters to consider when selecting a new front door: namely material, cost, and style. Style-wise, your front door should fit in architecturally with the rest of your home, but don't let that hold you back and miss the opportunity to express your personality. A six-panel door is very traditional, while an arched door with stained glass has more whimsy and a single French door adds elegance (not to mention a great source of natural light). Even a nontraditional steel door has gained popularity in modern architecture, boasting in strength and affordability; the metal, however, does conduct temperature, so it’s always not the most efficient option in extreme climates. A solid wood front door will always endure as a classic, despite being a bit pricier and requiring a bit more TLC and repair as necessary due to its sensitivity to moisture and sun. Fiberglass doors hold a middle ground as both affordable and durable—not to mention available in many styles, including those that mimic wood. Finally, no matter the material underneath, color is key to evoking the exact emotions you want from guests who enter your home. Whether you're looking for the vibrancy of red or the cheeriness of yellow, let whatever color you choose be an expression of you. Not sure where to get started? Click through these great front door ideas we've scouted from around the web.
3 Fixes for Dusty Blinds Blinds often go ignored during our day-to-day cleaning routines. But when we don't give them proper care or cleaning,...
7 Myths About Skylights Debunked There are plenty of horror stories out there. You may have heard one or two, if not from friends and family members, then perhaps from a stranger you met at the hardware store. Though homeowners have been adding skylights to their homes for nearly 50 years now, many are still wary of their performance and potential benefits. It’s undoubtedly true that the earliest skylights suffered from design flaws and poor installation. But over the course of decades, like so many other technologies, skylights have advanced by leaps and bounds. In fact, some of today’s options barely resemble the roof windows of yesterday. Take, for instance, the daylighting systems offered by industry innovator Solatube International, Inc. Combining the best of modern materials with leading-edge product engineering, Solatube offers a suite of daylighting options that challenge virtually every preconceived notion you might have about skylights and their role in the home. Click through now to find out just how much things have changed—for the better.
Doorknobs of Distinction: 12 Stunning Styles for Interior Doors While the doorknob may not be the first thing visitors notice about a house, it is often the first thing they touch—so make sure yours is memorable. A doorknob that makes an impact, whether through sight or touch, demonstrates that you’ve paid attention to every last detail in your home—inside and out. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorites, from the unexpected to the timeless to the left of center. One of these just might be perfect for your door.
Drafty Windows? Solutions for Every Budget Drafts got you down? As outside temperatures plummet, leaky windows can make the inside of your home feel downright frosty—to say nothing of costing you money as your hard-earned heating dollars fly right out the window. Obviously, the permanent solution to drafts is to replace old and leaky windows with new, energy-efficient versions. Not everyone, however, can afford the substantial cost of replacement windows, and for those who are renting a home, expensive projects simply don't make sense. But there are some quick and easy DIY fixes for drafty windows that can make a big difference in both your comfort level and your heating bills. Indeed, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, reducing drafts in a home can result in energy savings that range between 5 and 30 percent per year, while keeping your family snug and cozy. Here are a few easy projects to help dispel those drafts.
Open Sesame: 12 Ways to Dress Up a Drab Door Does your house suffer from drab door syndrome? It’s a common diagnosis. We tend to view doors as necessities—all function and no frill—so we don't see them as the decorative elements they are, or could be. But a door is a room's introduction and finale, both the first and last thing we see as we pass through. And there are doors everywhere! If we take closets into consideration, an average-size home could easily have 20 or more doors. Giving at least a few of them a little attention can go a long way. There are lots of ways to give your doors a little pick-me-up. Simple embellishments will give you almost instant gratification, but if you’re up for a bigger design challenge, you can give a door a head-to-toe makeover by stenciling an intricate design or by stripping it down and applying a distressed finish. Here are 12 decorative touches, from easy to expert, that can give your door the distinction it deserves.
Skylight Innovation Rescues 6 Sunless Spaces In the past, if you wanted to illuminate an interior room, there was little you could do, other than resort to artificial light. Now, thanks to advanced daylighting systems, you can introduce natural light virtually anywhere. See how these devices worked to bring a bright and airy feeling to a set of six spaces that were once closed-off and claustrophobic.
Storm Windows 101 If your windows let in anything other than a view, you may be thinking it's time for replacement windows. But not so ...
The 6 Best Reasons to Install New Windows It's difficult to overstate the importance of windows in home design. Windows are unique among building components in that they affect not only the performance of a home, but also its appearance both inside and out. Though it may be tempting to install new windows for aesthetics alone, the considerable cost of such a project is enough to dissuade most homeowners from a hasty decision. People more commonly pursue window replacement for a host of compelling, wholly practical reasons—particularly now, as in recent years window technology has advanced by stunning leaps and bounds. Though the motivation for replacing windows varies from person to person, most consumers are seeking at least one from among a handful of common goals. To find out what drives most homeowners toward window replacement, we spoke with Jim Eldredge, a product manager with Sears Home Services, a nationwide company that routinely guides homeowners through the entire process, from initial consultation all the way to completed installation. Click through now for our recap!
The Window, Reinvented: 6 Features That Changed Everything In recent years, technology has transformed virtually all avenues of life, including home building and remodeling. Today, formerly unremarkable, utilitarian components are stunningly complex, boasting an unprecedented degree of sophistication. For proof of the phenomenon, look no further than windows: Once single-paned and wood-framed, the best modern windows are now laced with advanced features designed to contribute a wide range of compelling benefits. From impact resistance and sound insulation to reduced maintenance and heightened efficiency, the current crop of high-quality windows works like never before to serve the home and reward its owner. Click now for details from the experts at Sears Home Services on what makes new windows well worth a second look.
Tight Quarters? 10 Smart Space-Saving Door Solutions Are you struggling to find a space-saving interior or exterior door for your home? Whether you're building a tiny house or just trying to renovate a small or tricky room, don’t limit yourself to traditional doors and the standard sizes offered by your local building supply store. Think outside the box—or in this case, the door frame. Look at the area surrounding the door opening. Is there room for pocket doors that could slide into the wall? What about overhead? If there's space there, a horizontal retractable door could work. Or, if sound and insulation aren’t issues, accordion doors or PVC vinyl doors that fold back toward the frame may be the answer. Pivot doors that rotate around a central point are yet another option. These cleverly solve the problem of a door that swings too widely into (or out of) a room by splitting the door swing clearance between the spaces they separate. Take a look at our gallery for more ideas!
Toss Your Keys: 9 High-Tech Door Locks Now that our phones talk and our cars start with the push of a button, it's no surprise that the front door is going digital too. We’ve got the lowdown on some of the best new high-tech door locks.
Tubular Skylights 101 Bringing natural light into a home is a relatively easy prospect, provided the room is adjacent to at least one exter...
Window Films 101 Window films are like sunglasses for your house, inexpensively improving the energy efficiency of your home, even as ...
Wow-Worthy Window Films: 11 Top Picks Drop the drapes, bump the blinds, and shirk the shutters. Instead, check out these wow-worthy adhesive window films that bring style, comfort, and privacy to your home.
Installing a Marvin Palladian Window Michael Roche from Marvin Windows joins Bob in examining the house's existing windows and determining which to keep or replace. A new Palladian window will create a great look for the family room.
Pella Window Installation Bob meets with Brian Kaley and Tim McFadden from Pella Windows to go over the design approach and installation method for this project's fenestration.
Installing a Mahogany Windowsill Bob puts in a Mahogany windowsill that's been precut with a cleat and bevel to make the installation easier. He also helps install Poplar floor molding and observes as closet doors are added.
Pocket Door Installation Bob and Gilson Novaes discuss the construction of pocket doors, screens that will divide the bedroom from the outer living area. Bob takes note of the advantages prefab pocket doorframes provide, and sees the versatitlity of steel studs.
Window Placement and Installation Bob looks at the order and placement of the windows on the facade of the modern Colonial. Upon closer inspection, the classically inspired fenestration, size, type, and placement of the windows, differs slightly from floor to floor.
Relocating the Front Door Bob works with the general contractor Charlie Tomaszewski to move the Medford project home's original front door, so they will be able to frame up a new foyer.
Installing French Doors Bob talks with Ray Adam (from Pella Windows) about the new French doors to be installed in the library. It's an active/inactive door with all hardware. The most important part of the installation is ensuring the door is plumb.
Skylight and Gable Window Installation Bob goes up to the attic of the Victorian project house, where an ODL tubular skylight is being installed. Also, Bob looks back at the installation of windows on the gable end.
Installing Custom Garage Doors Bob gets up to speed on the progress made, before joining Kent Forsland (from Designer Doors) to discuss the new custom-made, cedar-faced garage doors, which have been installed.
Laminate Installation in the Kitchen Bob joins contractor Ed Weller, who is working on the kitchen addition. Architect Laurinda Spear has designed a banana leaf partition that Ed's crew will be making out of a hardened laminate material called Ligna.
Fixing Old Double-Hung Windows Bob meets with carpenter Cortney Lofton, who is rehabilitating some old double-hung windows with new nylon-braided sash cords and kerf-in thermoplastic weather stripping.
Custom Door Installation Bob meets with Curt Weiss (from J.W. Door), who has custom-made a door unit for the bungalow remodel, with glass lights designed in an Arts and Crafts style, and wooden stops that resemble old putty stops. Cortney Lofton performs the installation.
Making Stained Glass Windows Bob learns the process of creating stained glass windows. Designs begin on paper before they are traced onto glass using a light table. A variety of glass types are used to create the "skylights" in the Studio City home.
Removing and Relocating Windows Bob and carpenter Bob Ryley look at the corner of the house, where the sidewall has been removed to reveal the plywood and Douglas fir sheathing. Next, Bob helps Ryley move a window into the space that's been left open in the framing to receive it.
Installing a Mulled Window Bob meets with Bob Ryley and Al Worth to install a pair of Andersen mulled windows with a transom, as well as an interior window seat. Bob discusses the window itself, specifically the innovative features that allow for easier cleaning.
Trimming French Patio Doors Bob joins finish carpenter Mark McCullough, who, as he works, explains the process of applying trim to French patio doors and adjacent windows.
Installing the Greenhouse Windows Contractor Bob Ryley shows off the greenhouse's motorized windows. At the touch of a button, or via a thermostat, the windows open and close. Bob helps Ryley assemble and install the fiberglass-framed windows.
Skylight Installation Bob joins contractor Bob Ryley, who is installing a Velux skylight on a curb mount. Ryley describes the screws and mounting hardware used, and Bob demonstrates the flexible window design.
Installing a Large Window Bob assists Michael Roach (from Marvin Windows) with installing a large setup of three windows on the gable end of the home.
Building a Door Bob meets with contractor Bob Ryley, who outlines the door construction process and builds the first of seven doors.
Installing the Custom Windows A large custom-made Palladian window is installed, then Bob helps contractor Joe Fitzgerald install a custom-made casement window in the back bedroom.
Installing a Salvaged Door Bob helps contractor Bob Ryley install a salvaged door on the side of the dream garage, which is undergoing construction.
Vinyl Window Installation Bob helps contractor Bob Ryley install a vinyl-clad Pella window awning with pre-assembled exterior trim.
Installing the Garage Door Opener The garage door openers are installed on the automotive end of the garage. Bob reviews the brackets and beams used to mount the opener's drive, as well as the chain material used to actually move the door.
Installing Pella Doors and Windows Bob and Tom Moran (from Pella) discuss the anatomy of the doors chosen for the Martha's Vineyard Victorian project, and contractor Bob Ryley demonstrates the process of installing the windows.
Adding a Door to a Wood-Paneled Wall Bob reviews progress in the kitchen, which includes the installation of a pantry, and contractor Bob Ryley demonstrates how to build a door into a wood-paneled wall.
Window Trim and Scalloped Shingles Bob and contractor Bob Ryley confer about adding trim to the curvilinear top edge of an arched window. After sheet lead is installed as flashing, Ryley attaches scalloped shingles.
Picture Window Installation A window is recycled during the remodeling process and placed back into the frame of the new addition. Bob explains the reason for recycling and assists with the installation.
Combining Two Double-Hung Windows Two recycled windows are used to create one large window. Once carpenter Bob Ryley demolishes the old frame, supports are installed to hold up the new combined window. When the two windows are put together, it's called a mullioned window.
Constructing a Custom-Recessed Bulkhead Door Contractor Larry Landers builds a trapdoor to enable access to the old bulkhead from outside. Sheet lead flashing and an ice-and-water barrier are used to waterproof the trapdoor. To give the door stability, four pressure-treated cleats are used.
Replacing the Storm Windows Bob helps carpenter Bob Ryley replace the storm windows on the Plymouth project house, and the newly designed bathroom needs tiles.
Installing a Box Bay Window Bob helps carpenter Bob Ryley and crew install a new box bay window, which will enlarge the dining space and enhance the interior atmosphere.
Replacing Windows at Low-Cost Contractors Al and Steve Stiles set a new window on the back porch. Using a combination of stock and one custom windows, they demonstrate how to save money on materials and time on installation.
Installation of Window Bob reviews progress on the renovation, both upstairs and down. Carpenter John Sheehan installs a new vinyl window, which is a challenge in a brick house where no opening is completely square.
Installing Impact-Resistant Windows Window installation is underway. Bob talks with Stephen Hugh of Clearwater Window to learn more about the installation process, and Dave Olmstead of PGT Industries tells Bob about the wind- and impact-resistance of the PGT WinGuard.
Restoring Old Windows Ryan Pirro (from RestorationWindows.com) discusses refurbishing old windows with solid-bronze sash chains, new parting beads, and spring-bronze weather stripping for energy-efficient, easy-operation windows at one-fourth the cost of replacements.
Installing High-Performance French Doors Cordell Burton (from Pella Windows) joins Bob to show off the in-swinging French doors to be installed. It's constructed of solid wood and double-pane, low-e glass. General contractor Tim Berky executes the installation.
Flooring & Stairs Articles, Blog Posts and Slideshows
7 Unusual Tricks for Your Cleanest Floors Ever There’s no way around it. Whether you’ve got hardwood, tile, or carpet, all floors must be cleaned of dirt and debris tracked in from outside. But this traditional chore doesn't need to be so...boring. Check out our favorite unconventional tricks that will help you get them cleaner than ever.
11 Tried-and-True Ways to Care for Hardwood Floors <p>By design, our floors will see some of the most wear and tear of any of the fixtures in our home. Even if you’re normally careful with your floors, life happens. Wood floors in particular require extra special attention to keep them looking nice. So, it’s important to learn how to clean and care for them the right way. Harsh cleansers can damage the boards and pet stains can mar your finish. Don’t even mention moving day—improperly moved furniture accounts for plenty of the damage hardwood floors can sustain. </p><br/>
<p>Having a regular maintenance routine is key. Keep your wood floors clean by vacuuming them regularly with the hardwood attachments of your vacuum. Eliminating excess dust and dirt will keep you one step ahead. Then, use the mildest cleaning solution recommended for your floor type with a mop or rag that is just barely damp. Remember, water is a wood floor’s worst enemy. Make sure any moisture you apply is dried immediately and completely. </p><br/>
<p>But there’s so much more to caring for wood floors than just cleaning. From what you wear on your feet, to your pet care routine. No matter how you live, you can take some simple precautions to protect your wood floors so they will stay in great shape for years to come.</p>
3 Easy Fixes for Carpet Dents In preparation for an evening of fun, food, and merriment with family and friends, you’ve planned and cooked and clea...
5 Reasons to Love Subway Tile We picked all the finishing materials for our new-construction home in one day at an eight-hour appointment set up wi...
6 Fall Flooring Trends to Look Forward To Most interior designers agree that in any space, flooring sets the tone. This means that decorating decisions about such things as furniture and lighting should be made with due consideration for a room's existing flooring. Installing a new floor, on the other hand, leaves you free to pursue any look you happen to love, and that includes the most current styles. Given the variety of wood flooring available these days, whether you’re after a sleek and modern aesthetic or a rustic, antique feel, you're sure to find an option so spectacularly well-suited that it will make your home look like it belongs in the pages of a magazine.
7 Ways You May Be Ruining Your Wood Floors One of the most important (and overlooked) elements of any home? The floors. Hardwood floors add warmth and character to any space, whether modern or rustic. And as long as you care for them properly, they'll continue to beautify your home for a long time. A few mistakes, though, can shorten the life of your floors. Make sure you’re not making these common mistakes that can ruin a lovely wood floor.
8 Easy and Affordable Garage Floor Options When you think of flooring options for your home, your mind may turn to images of polished hardwood in the dining room, evocative Spanish tile in the kitchen, or classic white hexagonal tile in the bathroom. But there's another room of your house that could also use a stylish floor: your garage. Because of the unique demands placed on this space, you don't want to put any flooring material in your garage that could break or stain, but that still leaves plenty of options for jazzing up this unsung workhorse quickly and inexpensively with an underfoot reboot.
8 Ways to Stop Hating Your Floor—Without Replacing It As the base of any room, the flooring lays the foundation of a space's style. So what happens if you're feeling uninspired by your concrete or vinyl floor? Installing a brand-new floor is a major investment in so many ways. You have to take into account the cost of materials, the size of the project, and the time commitment to prep and install—whether you do it yourself or call in the professionals. But take a deep breath—you can fix your flooring without replacing it altogether if you're up for crafty techniques, such as painting, staining, and mosaics. Use one of these DIY methods to make over a boring floor with far less effort, time, and money than it would have taken to install a brand-new one.
Get the Look of Wood Floors for Much Less: 7 Laminate Picks Though it's always been a cost-effective alternative to traditional hardwood, today's laminate flooring proves just how far the product has come. Thanks to new imaging and finishing technologies, laminate now looks and feels so much like the genuine article, it's often hard to tell the difference. Its durability has improved, too, making laminate a total package well worth serious consideration the next time you're shopping for a new floor.
Green Home—Flooring The interest in environmentally friendly floors is growing as people learn about deforestation, air quality, growing ...
Grouting Tile Trouble Free Last week in our forum, a user asked an interesting question: "I haven’t grouted yet, what trouble will I have when I...
Looks Like Luxury: Imitate Any Material with... Tile When you’re in the market for new flooring, you weigh a lot of considerations before deciding on a material. You may end up eliminating marble because of its cost, or hardwood because of maintenance. But did you know you can get the look of both marble and hardwood in tile? And that's not all. The natural looks of brick, stone, and reclaimed wood can now be had at a more affordable price—from tile manufacturers. New technologies are making faux finishes on tile more realistic-looking than ever. And tile is a very attainable DIY project for most homeowners, furthering its cost savings. Before you choose your next floor, take a look at the great tile options that are hitting showrooms—and living rooms—near you.
Parquet, You Say? 10 Stunning Wood Floor Patterns Wood has proven a popular and durable flooring choice in homes for hundreds of years. Whether you're considering recycling an old wood floor, upcycling wooden objects into flooring, or creating a high-end luxury look with detailed and intricate patterns, you’ll find something to tickle your flooring fancy in this showcase of unusual wood floors.
Stairs with a Twist: 11 Spiral Designs You'll Love If you've always admired the the fun-loving spirit of a spiral staircase but lacked the proper space—or perhaps the courage—to install one yourself, draw inspiration from these imaginative interpretations.
Stenciled Floors: The Best of Today's Designs You can transform a room, revive a tired floor, or bring a totally new dimension to your floors with a can of paint, a stencil pattern, and a bit of imagination. Here are ten examples of today's best painted floor fashions.
The Appeal of Bamboo Flooring Floors are an essential and important element in an interior design scheme. Small wonder, then, that the eye-catching...
The Beauty of Bamboo: 9 Exotic Looks in Flooring Bamboo is one of the hottest trends in flooring. This extremely hard material can take stain just like wood, so it's a natural choice for floors. Bamboo is also sustainable. It's a fast-growing grass that can completely regenerate itself in four years. So, when you choose a bamboo floor, you can rest well knowing that your selection is eco-friendly as well as beautiful.
The Many Faces of Engineered Wood Flooring Engineered wood flooring has made great strides in the last two decades, providing homeowners with options in affordable, stylish, and easy-install wood flooring that simply couldn't be found in years past. Manufactured with a wood veneer atop a laminate core, engineered wood floors shrink, swell, and cup far less than traditional solid hardwood. That means it's safe to install in high-moisture areas like basements, kitchens, and bathrooms. Once installed, it looks exactly like the genuine article, and it comes at a fraction of the price. Click through to discover the wide variety of looks it's possible, even easy, to achieve with engineered wood floors.
The Next Level: 14 Stair Railings to Elevate Your Home Design A stair railing is not just a safety feature. The newels, balusters, and railings of a staircase can make a real design statement and bring a sense of style to a space. Whatever your decor—contemporary, traditional, or ultramodern—there is a stair railing combination to match any aesthetic. Whether you opt for rustic wood, glass, or custom-made metal, you can find a style of stair rail that will elevate this architectural element from something practical to a work of art. Don't focus on just one material—combine materials like glass and wood or wood and metal to add depth and texture to your design scheme. Here’s just a sampling of what’s out there to give you ideas for your next staircase design.
Vinyl Renaissance: 10 Flooring Looks You Won't Believe Though it’s gotten a bad rap in past years, vinyl flooring is making a comeback. Although relative ease of installation has long been one of the material's selling points, it's now the range of design options that is putting vinyl once again underfoot. Innovative and creative patterns let homeowners customize their floors and mimic looks that might be far out of their budget, allowing them to achieve, say, the rustic warmth of reclaimed wood flooring without the hefty price tag that accompanies the real deal. And did we mention vinyl's low maintenance? Wiping a vinyl floor clean is a simple task that doesn’t require special cleaners and polishes. To help get you reacquainted with vinyl, here are some of our favorite new patterns. We think they'll really catch your eye—and they just might get you to reconsider this forgotten player in the world of flooring.
Walk on the Wild Side: 14 Amazing Painted Floors Does your floor need a new look? Instead of replacing it with costly broadloom or hardwood, consider painting it. Today’s homeowner has a lot options for painted floors. Painting is no longer restricted just to wood floors—concrete and linoleum are also good candidates for a paint makeover, which works well in kitchens, bathrooms, living areas, and front halls. If you’re thinking of painting the floor of one or more rooms in your home, keep a few things in mind before you start. First, consider color: While a light color on a floor may brighten up a dark space, if it’s in a high traffic area, it will show dirt more easily. Pattern is another important decision. It's faster and easier to apply one allover floor color, but a repeating pattern or central painted design can be striking and dynamic. Do you want to do it yourself, or hire a professional? If your budget makes this a DIY job, there are many online tutorials as well as special tools and stencil kits to help your project look fabulous.
Walking on Glass Glass block floors add a unique accent to wood, tile, stone, and concrete floors. Consider them a dual purpose floor:...
What a Difference a Floor Finish Makes! There are so many beautiful finishes available in today’s solid-wood flooring. With so many options, from distressed finishes to finishes that mimic oil-rubbing, you'll certainly find the perfect match for your style, budget, and lifestyle needs.
Wood Flooring 101 Wood remains the most used flooring material. Its warm feel and appearance, affordability, and sheer variety probably...
Wood Floors Go Gray Weathered wood floors grayed from years of wear go so well with the ubiquitous reclaimed wood and industrial furnitur...
Flooring & Stairs Videos
Installing a Herringbone-Patterned Floor Bob quickly reviews the completed work in the kitchen, and then oversees the installation of a herringbone-patterned floor in the den, which will essentially function as a home office.
Installing Hardwood Flooring Bob watches as flooring specialists put in red rosin paper as underlayment before installing Ash hardwood floors in the penthouse apartment.
Installing Cork Floors Bob confronts the remodeling challenge of choosing a flooring material that will deaden sound without sacrificing the sleek, clean look of tile or stone. So contractors install cork underlayment and click-together cork tiles.
Building a Custom Modular Staircase Bob meets with Thomas "Doc" Dougherty, the stair builder at Simplex Industries, to confer about the custom staircase Doc is building for the modular home.
Installing Stair Handrails and Balusters Contractors install the stair railing and balusters, and carpenter Bob Ryley describes the techniques, and the various checks and balances, used to make sure the posts are level and centered.
Home Elevator Installation Bob meets Mike Vogt (from Access Industries) and carpenters (from the Whitaker Company), who are installing a residential elevator.
Installing a Reclaimed Pine Floor Bob Riley and Howard Brickman install a reclaimed hard pine floor. The orientation of the boards is explained, and the moisture content of the subfloor is checked, before the new floor is installed.
Making Mosaic Tiles Bob meets with Sarah McCaleb, an artist who has adapted works of popular Miami artist Romero Britto into mosaic tile.
Wood Floor Repair Bob and homeowner Gavin repair and refinish a 75-year-old oak floor. Because the new patch floor panels have a different thickness from the original, a belt sander will be used to level them down so they match.
Bathroom Floor Installation Bob visits with Butch and Dennis LeDonne, who are using thin-set epoxy to install an aggregrate product from Rover Tile on the master bathroom floor.
Amtico Flooring Installation Flooring specialist Mary Docker introduces Bob to Amtico. A flooring product from England, Amtico is vinyl that mimics the look of wood and marble. It's water-resistant, does not swell or shrink, and is available with custom inlays.
Building the Staircase Bob and contractor Bob Ryley build and install the stairs between the first and second story. Ryley explains the math involved in building a staircase and the process of framing stringers.
Framing the Winding Staircase Bob meets the framing sub-contractor, Ron Gates, and the two discuss framing the 18-step winding staircase, as well as the work of framing, in general.
Building Wooden Stairs Bob helps contractor Bob Ryley cut and install stairs leading to the garage's storage area. After securing the framework and stringers, the two move on to adding the riser and treads.
Building Basement Stairs Bob helps contractor Bob Ryley plan and build a new staircase. Ryley explains the "rise over run" rule in designing stairs and measures the dimensions of the area.
Recycling a Hardwood Floor Flooring contractor Leo Boudreau shows Bob how to recycle hardwood flooring. First, the floor must be salvaged. A pry bar is used to lift and remove the wood, piece by piece. Then the old flooring is installed just as if it were new material.
Vinyl Flooring Installation Bob observes as workmen create a template that's used to cut vinyl sheet goods for an exact fit on the floor.
Adding a Creative Touch to Vinyl Flooring Installer Ed Janecek demonstrates how to add a creative touch to vinyl flooring, while painter Dirk Van Kinette rolls high-gloss paint onto the master bathroom walls.
White Oak Hardwood Flooring Installation General contractor Tim Berky installs the white oak, tongue-and-groove floor. Since the flooring will be nailed over the hyrdronic heat system, it is critical to avoid puncturing any tubes. Berky installs the flooring perpendicular to the tubing, so he can always see the tubes and avoid nailing into them.
Foundation & Framing Articles, Blog Posts and Slideshows
3 Fixes for Cracked Concrete Despite its reputation as one of the most rugged building materials ever conceived, even concrete has a sensitive sid...
What Makes the Ultimate Wall? Homebuilding has only grown more sophisticated in recent years, with a far greater emphasis placed on energy efficiency. Though many elements of wall assembly have gone more or less unchanged, there are a host of new methods and technologies to know, especially if you have plans to build a new home or addition. Click through to see what goes into a state-of-the-art exterior wall.
Planning for Soil Conditions and Setting the Footings Bob introduces homeowner Howard Brickman. Steve Ivas, an environmental engineer, describes the area wetlands, which must be accommodated. Innovative building techniques are used to waterproof and set the foundation.
Home Foundation Inspection Bob meets with the contractor to inspect the poured footings and discuss the pouring process. Next, Bob helps install the sill plate and explains the various types of lumber used.
Foundation Layout The foundation has been hand-dug and the forms laid for the footings. Bob and contractor Bob Ryley discuss the layout of the greenhouse foundation and framing.
Attaching Steel Support Beams to the Foundation The structural steel supports are delivered and while Bob discusses the supports' unique construction, contractor Bob Ryley drills the necessary holes for the supports to be fastened to the foundation.
Installing the Precast Foundation The basement walls are lifted into place and secured. This system is ideal for cold weather installation as the concrete is already cured before delivery. The prebuilt walls have R5 insulation and steel reinforced concrete studs.
Pouring the Cement Caissons To provide structural support in the new Malibu beach house, holes are dug in the beach and the new cement caissons are poured.
Excavating and Building the Foundation Bob pays a visit to the site as work on the foundation gets underway. Once the excavation is complete, the forms (for the poured concrete) are assembled and put into place.
Pouring Concrete for the Foundation Bob and contractor Bob Ryley discuss the pouring of concrete into Styrofoam forms for the foundation. The mix is slightly more liquid than most. While the increased flowability does not compromise strength, it helps eliminate cavities in the pour.
Gable Addition Framing Bob reviews the turret structure that's been added to the project house. Then Bob and contractor Bob Ryley and the rest of the workmen raise a gable wall in accord with the crew's modified approach to Western balloon framing.
Designs and Pouring the Foundation Bob meets with the architect to go over plans for the Cape-style house, before heading to the site to observe the pouring of the foundation.
10 "Sober" Alternative Uses for Alcohol at Home It's the perfect accompaniment for an exquisite meal and close friends, but drink too much of it, and you may find yourself slipping and stumbling into a heap of trouble—literally. Make no mistake, alcohol is one potent substance. In fact, its solvent properties give this versatile potable dozens of uses besides consumption. You can find alcohol in cleaning products, polishes, and even fuels, so it's not surprising that it has a bunch of practical uses around the home. Pop open your cabinet to see what you've got, then try out some of these 10 household tasks that can be tackled with drinkable alcohol.
10 Astonishing Feats You Can Accomplish with Kitty Litter The cat's out of the bag! Even households without furry feline friends should add kitty litter to the weekly shopping list. This inexpensive and readily available product is perfect for everything from deodorizing to traction control. Read on to discover how you can use this multifunctional marvel to improve your own home.
10 Classic Cleaners That've Stood the Test of Time Though they lost visibility to other heavily marketed cleaners in the last several decades, most of the classic cleaning products your mom and grandma used are still available today. Many of these staples predate the chemical and detergent revolution in the cleaning product industry. They are enjoying a resurgence in popularity as consumers look for more natural and eco-friendly options for maintaining their homes. Take a look under your mom’s kitchen sink. She most likely still has many of these tried-and-true products, because she knows better than to fix it if it ain’t broke.
10 Cleaning Habits to Blame for Your Messy Home Everybody seems to have a different recommendation for how to clean each surface in the house… but not all of these cleaning habits do what their proponents claim. Many materials require specific cleansers, and using the wrong one may render your efforts useless, or worse yet damage the surface that you’re trying to clean. Keep reading to find out which bad cleaning habits you should ditch and learn about some better alternatives you should adopt.
10 Clever Household Uses for Lemons Nature’s supreme source of sour is capable of far more than making tea tangy and pies tart. Slice up a few lemons and give these practical household solutions a go.
10 Essential Tips to Avoid Bed Bugs When Traveling <p>Everyone looks forward to summer vacation, but unwary travelers may get more than they bargain for when checking into a hotel: bed bugs. Though small in size and often hard to spot, these troublesome insects make their presence felt with the itchy welts they leave on people's skin. Bed bugs can easily hitch a ride from hotel to home in luggage or clothing, so it's important for travelers to be on guard. </p>
<p>Once bed bugs have infiltrated your home, they're extremely difficult to exterminate. They can hide in small cracks and crevices, and even live for months without biting a human. That's why the best defense against bed bugs is prevention. Fortunately, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) has a number of helpful hints to help prevent summer travel from turning creepy. </p><br/>
<p><i>This post has been brought to you by <a href="http://www.pestworld.org/" title="http://www.pestworld.org/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">National Pest Management Association</a>. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.</i></p>
10 Handy Things You Can Do with a Hose Wand If you think your hose is the ultimate outdoor cleaning tool… think again! Some areas are just too tricky, too high or too grungy for your hose to tackle all by itself. Luckily, a practical, versatile and all-around ingenious tool—the multipurpose hose wand—can simplify many of your cleaning chores, making your outdoor efforts much more effective, to say nothing of more fun. Think of it as a way to “extreme clean” your exterior surfaces…or to put it another way, your hose on steroids. Here are just a few of the tough cleaning jobs you can tackle quickly and easily with a hose wand.
10 Home Cleaners to Borrow from the Pantry No matter the size of the chore—whether it's spot cleaning or wiping down all the kitchen countertops—the solution you need may very well be something you have on hand...in your kitchen. That's right: The makings of an all-natural clean home start with ingredients you may have picked up for family mealtime. So, open up your cupboard doors and take stock: How many of these cleaners are hiding in your pantry?
10 Household Headaches You Can Solve with Aspirin From patching holes in drywall to removing bathtub rust spots, aspirin has some surprising household uses beyond the medicine cabinet. Next time you're looking to clean, soothe, or sow, consider harnessing the power of your generic headache helper to get the job done.
10 Indoor Pollutants We spend a large part of our lives indoors yet the idea of indoor air pollution can be easy to dismiss, especially if...
10 Money-Saving Gadgets That Pay for Themselves It may seem like a paradox, but sometimes you have to spend a little money to save a lot of green. Investing in just a few little upgrades like energy-efficient lighting, energy usage monitors, and handy kitchen helpers can help shave dollars off your energy and grocery bills. Take a look through this list of smart buys and consider picking one up for your home. Your wallet just may end up thanking you.
10 Safety Essentials That Most Homes Are Missing Although it's tempting to brush off the possibility that a fire, break-in, or other emergency could strike your home, it's always better to be safe than sorry. Make sure that you're prepared for anything by outfitting your home with these 10 safety essentials that you may not have–or even realize that you need.
10 Surprising Things You Can Do with Used Tea Bags Few things are more relaxing than curling up with a nice cup of steaming hot tea. In fact, next to water, tea is the world’s most popular beverage. But all those mugs of enjoyment generate one unfortunate side effect: an awful lot of waste in the form of used tea bags. Instead of pitching the leftovers, ease your eco-guilt with one of these surprising and efficient ways to recycle used tea bags around the house.
10 Things You Didn't Know Windex Can Do You know that familiar blue window cleanser that we all grew up using? Well, it can do lot more than just clean windows. Whether you're looking to bust stains or zap bugs, Windex might just be the go-to tool for your household chore. So roll up your sleeves, pull on your plastic gloves—so the combination of ammonia and alcohol in the cleaning solution doesn't irritate or burn sensitive skin—and make your blue bottle earn its keep in the cleaning closet.
10 Things You Didn't Know Your Microwave Can Do Your microwave is amazing for many reasons: It speeds up cooking, it reheats your favorite leftovers—and let’s not forget about all that instant popcorn! But this magnificent machine can be used for much more than making a quick dinner. Read on to learn about the surprising capabilities your microwave has to offer.
10 Things You Didn't Know a Paintbrush Can Do Paintbrushes aren’t just for painting anymore! In fact, even if you don’t have a painting project in your future, you may want to stock up on paintbrushes the next time they're on sale. Did you know that you can use various types of paintbrushes in the kitchen and around the house as well as in the craft room? Here are just a few unusual uses for a new, clean paintbrush.
10 Things You Didn’t Know Dish Soap Can Do It may seem like all that dish soap's good for is getting your plates and cups sparkling again, but this soapy solution can do so much more. Here are 10 ways you should be using dish soap outside the sink.
10 Weirdly Awesome New Uses for Old Appliances Let’s face it, appliances don’t last forever. And when they bite the dust, we’re left wondering how to dispose of them. Here’s an idea: don’t! Instead, try one of these 10 genius ideas for transforming old or outdated appliances into beautiful, functional, and funky decor for your home.
11 Home Hazards to Know and Avoid If you ask most people where they feel the safest, chances are the answer will be in their own home. But home safety depends on a variety of factors, and potential dangers run the gamut from structural hazards like termites and faulty wiring to problems related to a home's location and siting, such as drainage and flooding. Here are 11 of the most common hazards that homeowners are likely to encounter. To keep your home truly safe, be aware of these hazards and consider how they can be remedied.
11 Seriously Surprising Uses for a Ziplock Bag Soggy sandwiches, messy leftovers, and dried-out cheeses have been a thing of the past since the 1960s, thanks to the invention of a ubiquitous kitchen staple: the ziplock bag. But these sturdy plastic containers with press-and-seal tops are more than just a convenient way to transport your lunch; they come in a variety of sizes that make them useful for myriad tasks in the kitchen, office, garage, and more. Here are just a few of the innovative and alternative applications for these handy baggies.
11 Surprising Alternative Uses for Elmer's Glue Elmer’s glue is much more than a back-to-school staple. It has applications that range far beyond the classroom. Whether you’re crafting, gardening, or crossing off some to-dos from your home improvement checklist, there are a plethora of creative and functional ways to put glue to good use.
11 Surprising Uses for Aluminum Foil Flexible, durable, moisture-proof, and grease-proof, aluminum foil is most often used in the kitchen. But foil can do so much more! Keep this multitasking treasure on hand, and you'll always have a quick fix for ironing, crafting, or even heavy lifting. Keep reading to discover more interesting and unusual ways to use aluminum foil for more than storing leftovers.
11 Ways to Flu-Proof Your Home Is there anything worse than the sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, and overall misery of the flu? Well, get ready, because the beginning of winter marks the official start of the flu season, putting you at risk for all that and more. Fortunately, there are some smart steps you can take now to prevent nasty viruses from settling into your home. Read on to discover how to stop germs at your doorstep.
12 Clever Uses for a Hair Dryer That Will Blow You Away We bet you didn't know that you have an incredibly versatile tool—cleverly disguised as a common hair-styling essential—hiding just under the bathroom sink. Learn how to move beyond the blowout with these little-known ways to use a hair dryer to simplify tasks in your home.
12 Genius Tips for Everyday Speed-Cleaning Time is a precious commodity that you can’t buy, rent, borrow, store, or save. So it makes sense that most homeowners would prefer to spend less time on everyday tasks like cleaning, so they can spend more time on the things that really matter. These tips for everyday speed-cleaning will help you keep your house tidy all week long, so you don’t have to devote an entire weekend to cleaning up.
12 Surprising Ways Spring Cleaning Can Backfire Are you ready to shake the cold-weather blues and spruce up your home for the warmer months ahead? Before you overhaul your living space with cleaning projects galore, remember that spring cleaning isn't as simple as it seems. With today's powerful cleaning products, and high-tech appliances, there's a lot of room for error. One simple mistake could damage your home, costing you a world of effort and a stack of cash. Keep these tips in mind before you clean and you'll dodge disaster and be left with a no-mess, no-stress home.
12 Things You Didn't Know Duct Tape Can Do Duct tape is an extremely durable and versatile product that can be used to mend, patch, hem, and more. Here are 12 ways that you can put a roll of this ubiquitous silver multitasker to good use in your home.
12 Unexpected Uses for a Regular Bar of Soap Rub-a-dub-dub, soap is great for a scrub! But bar soap is handy to have around for many reasons that go far beyond the bathtub. It can serve as a lubricant, freshener, and even a pest-repellent. Here are just a few unusual and clever uses that make the most of a single bar of soap.
12 Ways Your Home Can Save You Money This Year A new year offers new opportunities to save money. Look around your home and you will see a huge variety of ways to save money, from increasing energy efficiency to growing your own herbs. Here are some more clever money-saving ideas to try.
12 Ways to Clean House with Citrus Lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits are already staples of the fruit bin, but this juicy produce can also be pressed into service for myriad cleaning chores around the house. You probably already associate citrus scents with a well-scrubbed kitchen! Click through for more than a dozen interesting—even unexpected—ways citrus can freshen around the home.
13 Better-Than-Gift-Wrap Ideas for Packaging Presents It's happened to the best of us: In our efforts to enhance the presentation of our thoughtfully picked out gifts, we're so busy cutting, taping, and decorating that we fail to notice we're running low on wrapping paper. Luckily, there are plenty of items around the house that can be repurposed to wrap gifts. What's more, those presents end up even more personal and beautiful than they would have been if they'd been swathed in store-bought paper. When you're in a pinch (or just feeling creative), try one of these out-of-the-gift-box ideas for wrapping presents.
13 Clever Alternative Ways to Use Coffee Filters Think a coffee filter is only good for brewing your morning cup of joe? Think again! Disposable paper coffee filters are great multitaskers around the house, used for everything from cleaning and polishing to storage and craft projects. Plus coffee filters are inexpensive and readily available. Here are just a few reasons to stock up on these handy helpers.
13 Lazy Cleaning Tricks for a Spotless Home <p>Struggling to find the time—nay, the motivation—to get all your chores done? Well, you might want to sit down for this news: You can get it all done hardly using any energy at all, and without sacrificing any of your home's cleanliness. We've searched high and low for time-tested tricks to help you half your cleaning time. But these basic tips will go as far as any hack.</p><br/>
<p>First of all, get organized. Dedicate a bucket or carry-all to house your cleaning supplies. Once you fill it with everything you need to accomplish your cleaning tasks, give it a home under the sink, or in the broom closet. After every cleaning, return it to its place so everything is ready to go next time. You'll be amazed at how much time you'll save when you don't have to waste time gathering your tools and cleansers before you begin.</p><br/>
<p>It's just as important to establish a schedule for house cleaning. Though a whole house cleaning may seem daunting, a room by room cleaning or single chore, cleaning the bathroom, or dusting the living room, probably only takes 10 minutes. Assign a small chore like that to a specific time and day each week, right after breakfast, for instance, or while the kids are doing their homework. You’re less likely to get overwhelmed and procrastinate if you don’t have to do everything at once. Make sure to employ a regular system for each task. For instance, start at the farthest corner of the room and work your way to the door, going from top to bottom. Do it the same way every time, and before you know it, you’ll be able to clean on autopilot. </p><br/>
<p>Cleaning your house doesn’t have to be a drudgery. So, put on some music and enjoy. Click through for 13 effortless house cleaning tips to keep your space clean.</p>
14 New Uses for Old Candles Aah, candles—whether you enjoy them for their soothing scents or simply for their ambience, these small luxuries have a place in almost every home. But after the wick disappears, you're left with a lump of wax that too often goes unused. Don't let this extra stash go to waste! Instead, try one of these 14 ideas for making good use of old candles.
15 Remarkably Easy Ways to Create a Dust-Free Home No matter how clean your home may be, it's probably still a little dusty. It's a pervasive problem that everyone has to deal with every day. It's more than an annoyance, however. For individuals who suffer from asthma, allergies, or other breathing problems, learning how to get rid of dust is of vital importance because it can otherwise compromise their health and quality of life. All those particles that make up dust add up: dirt, pollen, mold spores, dead skin cells, hair, and fabric fibers, as well as airborne pollutants such as wood ash, chemicals, and vehicle exhaust. Minimize the amount of dust in your home and beyond making a huge difference in air quality, you can help prolong the life of furniture, appliances, and household electronics. Keeping your home as dust-free as possible requires vigilance and consistency. It all starts with a regular weekly cleaning: washing and dry-cleaning pillows to rid them of dust mites, vacuuming furniture and drapes regularly, and changing in fresh filters in your HVAC system monthly can go a long way to helping you win the war on dust. Click through for some simple suggestions on how to maintain your home so the air is as clean, comfortable, and as dust-free as it can be.
15 Ways to Fake a Clean House Don’t let lingering dust, dirt, and clutter set your last minute entertaining plans awash. Use these 15 cleaning shortcuts to turn the grimiest estate into a prime estate in minutes.
18 New Uses for Old Shoeboxes Whether or not you have a slight shoe obsession, it seems that everyone has an abundance of old shoeboxes taking up space in the closet. Put those sturdy cardboard containers to good use with these 18 ideas for recycling shoeboxes into fun and functional objects for your home.
20 Ways to Go Green Today You don't need to drastically alter your lifestyle to go green. Here are twenty simple, do-it-today ideas for saving the planet—and a little money, too.
21 Money-Saving Tricks That Every Homeowner Needs to Know Putting a dent in your home improvement to-do list can often put an even bigger dent in your wallet. But these 21 humble DIY projects reduce, reuse, and reimagine what’s already under your roof to yield big results—and even bigger savings.
21 Ways to Spring Clean Your Whole House—Naturally There's no better time than spring to give your home some serious deep cleaning. It's finally warm enough to wash your windows without freezing them shut, and now that the snow has melted, it's a good time to give your siding a thorough scrub. But before you fill your cabinets with expensive heavy-duty cleansers, check out our guide to cleaning naturally with products you probably have on hand. These cleaning solutions are safer for kids, pets, and the environment, and they'll leave your home sparkling and beautiful.
3 Fixes For Coffee Stains There’s nothing better than a nice cup of coffee to kickstart your morning. What’s not quite as energizing? An accomp...
7 Extraordinary Household Uses for Beer According to the Beer Institute, a group that represents 2,800 U.S. brewers and suppliers, the making and selling of Americans’ favorite alcoholic drink is a $264.5 billion industry—so it’s probably safe to say that most of us usually have a bottle or six on hand. Yes, you can drink it, but the value of this golden elixir goes far beyond basic imbibing. Read on for 7 other, ingenious ways to put beer to good use.
7 Facts About Cockroaches You Won't Want to Believe With ancestors tracing back more than 280 million years, cockroaches have been around for an incomprehensibly long time, and they're here to stay. Because no other household pest provokes such fervent anxiety, disgust, and downright terror, we teamed up with the National Pest Management Association to learn more about the world's most infamous insect.
7 Herbs That Clean House If you’re a cook—or just a person who likes to eat—you already know how herbs can make any dish taste better. But you may not know that herbs can also work outside the kitchen and all around the house as cleaners. Click through for 7 multitasking herbs, and get ready to marvel at the unexpected ways they can keep your home sparkling and fresh smelling.
7 Reasons Not to Chuck Your Tree After X-Mas Don’t junk your tree after the holidays are over. There are lots of ways to salvage part, or all, of a Christmas tree to give it a second life. Bestow an end-of-season gift on the Earth, birds, fish, or even your landscaping with one of these great Christmas tree recycling ideas.
7 Secrets to Keep Your Carpet Looking New Carpets get dirty—it's a fact of life. But if you just let the problems pile up, those snags, spills, and everyday accidents can make your carpets look old and dingy. Follow these proper maintenance tips and damage-control strategies to keep your carpeted floors cozy, clean, and looking like new for years to come.
7 Super Simple Ways to Make Your House Smell Fresh Right up there with other factors like style and cleanliness, your home's scent makes a huge first impression to guests. While the smell of freshly baked bread or fresh laundry is heavenly, sometimes we just want the place to smell nice without going through all of that effort. Before you resort to spraying store-bought air fresheners or lighting a scented candle, try these just-as-easy DIY tricks to freshen your home.
7 Surprising Alternative Uses for Clorox Bleach Chlorine bleach isn’t just for washing your whites. This laundry room staple has a multitude of potential uses in and around your home. Best of all, it costs just pennies per project! When used correctly, bleach is a safe way to remove stains, kill weeds and even extend the life of cut flowers. For safety’s sake, be sure to keep bleach in a childproof cabinet, away from other household chemicals, particularly ammonia, since the combination can be toxic. Here are just a few of the surprising uses for bleach around the house:
7 Surprising Household Uses for Mayonnaise You may not know this, but mayonnaise isn’t just for sandwiches and salad dressings. There are a host of household uses for this tasty spread. From cleaning gunky gum, to salvaging wood from water, this condiment just might save the day. Consider it one more weapon in your chemical-free cleaning arsenal.
7 Surprising Pantry Items Naturally Clean and Freshen Your Home Household cleaning is a never-ending chore. And while it may not be our favorite pastime, it's absolutely necessary. With cleaning being such a large part of home maintenance, the cleaners we use are worth serious consideration. More and more people are turning away from traditional chemicals and buying more eco-friendly, non-toxic alternatives. But did you know that you can keep green by making your own homemade cleaners—for a fraction of what you pay in a store or online? And you can do so with things you may very well already have in your pantry.
Most household cleaning requires a combination of things: grease cutters, abrasives, surfactants, disinfectants, and deodorizers. A grease cutter is just what it sounds like: anything that will clear grease. Acidic ingredients in homemade cleaners like lemon juice, vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and even ketchup can cut grease, whether it’s on your windows or in your oven. Abrasives are what give most cleaning agents their edge. Baking soda, salt, and even coffee grounds are common household abrasives used in homemade cleaners, ready to scour away crud at the bottom of your pots or along the bathtub. Surfactants reduce the surface tension between liquids or liquids and solids; in other words, they attach to dirt molecules and make them slippery, so they slide off of you or your kitchen counters. Coconut oil would be just one example of such a surfactant in a homemade cleaner. And then there's the staples you probably already know from grandma's cleaning methods: Hydrogen peroxide and tea tree oil are commonly used in homemade cleaners for disinfectant purposes, and both vinegar and baking soda are natural deodorizers.
Missing the scent that comes along with the commercial cleaner? You can customize the smell of your homemade cleaners with natural and essential oils, too. A few drops of peppermint, lavender, or rosemary will leave your home smelling naturally great after your cleaning chores—consider it motivation to keep going back. It really is as simple as a trip to the pantry! So check out these recipes for homemade cleaners from Karyn Siegel-Maier’s "The Naturally Clean Home.” They’ll empower you to freshen, clean, and disinfect without the chemicals. It’s never been so easy to be green.
7 Ways You're Vacuuming Wrong While your vacuum cleaner is designed to do most of the work for you, understanding how to use it properly can make a huge difference in the cleanliness of your floors. Learn what you may be doing wrong when you're performing this common household chore so that you can be on your way to fresher, better-looking carpets and other flooring.
8 High-Tech Bug Zappers for Your Backyard Summertime, and the livin' is easy—until stinging winged arthropods crash your backyard BBQ. Standard protocol calls for lighting a few citronella candles and rubbing on some repellent. Unfortunately, these classic solutions are not foolproof and can sometimes be toxic. What's someone in this bug-bitten bind to do? Get your hands on a bug zapper! Modern innovations in bug-zapping tech make quick work of pests that invade your property's airspace. Browse through these 8 great bug-zapping devices to find yourself a temporary refuge from the swarm.
8 Things You Didn't Know a Clothes Iron Can Do Irons aren’t just for the laundry room anymore. There are plenty of unusual ways to put this wrinkle remover to good use, whether it's for candles, crafts, or cleaning. Discover 9 alternative ways an iron can make your everyday tasks easier.
8 Tried-and-True Tricks to Stamp Out Ants Usually found marching along a kitchen sink, the tile near a baseboard, or outside on the porch by your welcome mat (some welcome!), ants are tiny and persistent home invaders. Sure, you can wipe away a trail of ants with a paper towel, or hose them down if they're outside, but if you don't pursue a more "perman-ant" solution, you're sure to endure subsequent infestations. Luckily, getting rid of ants for good doesn't have to be a big deal, and it doesn't have to involve exterminators and harsh chemicals. Your cupboard is very likely already stocked with a number of environmentally safe, pet- and child-friendly products that you can use to get rid of these pesky visitors.
8 Ways to Make It Look Like You’re Home When You’re Not The holidays are a time for visiting family and friends near and far, but it can also be a prime time for break-ins since it’s easy for burglars to recognize the all-too-familiar signs you’re out of town. Good news: A handful of easy tactics can keep your house safe by fooling any passers-by into believing you’re home. They range in cost from a little to a lot, but any expense is a small price to pay for peace of mind when you’re tens to hundreds to thousands of miles away.
8 Wise Ways to Winter-Proof Your Home for Practically Nothing Winter is coming! Is your house ready to deal with harsh winter winds, blowing snow, and frosty windows? A well winterized home has what it takes to stand up to winter temps, keeping warm air in and cold air—well—out in the cold. Luckily, winterizing your home doesn’t have to cost a fortune. These wise ways to winter-proof your home are inexpensive, easily to do yourself, and should help reduce your winter energy costs.
9 Brilliant Cleaning Hacks Everyone Should Know Whether we're maintaining our most-used appliances or performing crisis control after an everyday accident, when it comes to cleaning we can all agree: the faster, the better. Here are 9 hacks all homeowners should have in their repertoire to quickly—and successfully—whip their place into tip-top shape.
9 Clever Things You Can Do with a Wire Hanger Wire clothes hangers are inescapable. They seem to multiply overnight, and they pile up every time you go to the cleaners. Instead of throwing them out, try one of these clever ideas for repurposing this common closet necessity.
9 Little Tricks to Make Trash Day Less of a Chore Taking out the trash is a routine we’re all too well acquainted with. But believe it or not, you can actually make trash day easier—perhaps even pleasurable —with these brilliant hacks. Why didn’t we think of this sooner?
9 Potent Cleaners You Didn't Know You Had More and more people are steering away from commercial cleaners with their harsh chemicals and opting for more natural choices to get their homes spotless. While it may seem excessive to make a whole pantry's worth of cleaners from scratch, using cleaning solutions made from common ingredients you probably already own can be both safer and more cost-effective. Bring out the shine in every corner of your house with these 9 tried-and-true cleaning recipes that have been used for generations.
9 Savvy Tactics for Wintertime Pest-Proofing You may not like to think so, but homeowners and household pests share at least one similarity—namely, the need for shelter. In the temperate months, you probably spend as much time as possible outdoors, enjoying nature and open-air activities. Insects and rodents aren't so different; in spring and summer, they, too, tend to roam free. When the weather turns cold, however, you wisely seek refuge in the warmth and comfort of your home. The catch? Pests want to get in there with you. To protect your home from this winter invasion, you need to shore up your defenses. Act now to protect your property by following these recommendations from the National Pest Management Association.
9 Sneaky Ways to Cut Your Home Heating Bills Home heating bills can be daunting, especially for those who live in colder climates. But there are ways to keep costs down without resorting to wearing jackets indoors. Here are 9 easy hacks that will help keep your home toasty at a budget-friendly price.
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.
9 Surprising Uses for Alka-Seltzer That familiar refrain, “plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh, what a relief it is,” can be applied to many problems that go beyond heartburn or indigestion. Alka-Seltzer, sold in those familiar effervescent tablets, can help you handle a host of issues around the house—and can also provide some fun and entertaining activities for families. The secret lies in Alka-Seltzer’s patented blend of citric acid, sodium bicarbonate, and aspirin, which can exert some powerful cleaning power on tough household grime and stains. Here are just a few unexpected ways Alka-Seltzer can come in handy.
9 Things You Didn't Know Coca-Cola Can Do Sugary drinks aren't allowed in some households these days, but even the most health-conscious of folks can find a few reasons to keep a can of Coke around the house. Did you know Coke can help you do the dishes? How about cleaning your laundry with cola? Would you try Coke to clean your car battery? These are only a few alternative uses for Coca-Cola. If you need more excuses to stock this classic soda in your home, read on!
9 Things You Didn't Know Dryer Sheets Can Do You probably have a sizable stack of folded dryer sheets stored in your laundry room for the next afternoon of chores, but you might not realize the potential these disposables have to help out all around the house. Nearly a half-century since its creation, these fabric-softening sheets—both unused and reused—have proven handy in <i>many</i> more ways than one. Click through for nine reasons to hold onto your stash even after laundry day.
9 Things You're Doing to Make Your Home Dustier When you think about what dust really is—a conglomeration of dead skin particles, insect parts, mold spores, ash, pollen, and more—you become more determined than ever to make sure your home is attracting as little of it as possible. The good news is, there are a few simple steps you can take to keep the fine, floaty debris from settling down in your space. Bust dust by sidestepping these 9 common mistakes that can make your home less hygienic.
9 Ways to Safeguard Your House Before a Vacation August is a great time for a family vacation—one last fling before school starts. But before you take a plane, train, or automobile out of town, make sure to protect your home against threats, ranging from burglars to basement floods. These simple tips can help you feel certain that whether you're gone for a few days or a few weeks, your home is going to be there waiting safely for you upon return.
A Dozen 10-Minute DIYs for a Pest-Free Home Nothing spoils a backyard barbecue faster than a swarm of bugs moving in on the food and beverage stations. For that matter, you probably don’t want creepy-crawlies or furry friends invading your indoor dinner soiree, either. And after all of that hard work in the garden, who wants to see pesky pests destroy the fruits of your labor? But a bug-free home doesn't need to cost you a lot of money or time shopping for repellents, pesticides, or traps. The ingredients for many pest control products are already right there in your pantry or laundry room. Check out a few of our favorite DIY solutions to common home and garden pests.
CANstruction: A Can-Do Design Competition A nonprofit charitable organization founded in 1993, Canstruction currently sponsors competitions in more than 100 cities across America and abroad. Some highlights from the 19th-annual Canstruction competition in New York City can be seen here.
Clean Faster with 8 Secrets from the Pros You know the feeling: At the first sign of warm weather, the desire to clean house is at an all time high. However, for today's time-starved homeowners, sometimes this traditional spring task seems too daunting to tackle. Chances are you could be cleaning smarter—and faster! Take a tip or two from Debra Johnson of Merry Maids and you'll be well on your way to a cleaner, happier home.
Combat Dry Winter Air with 7 Tips and Tricks With temperatures low across the country, heating systems on full blast, and houses buttoned up against the cold, the air in your home can pretty dry this time of year. To improve indoor air quality, promoting health and comfort in the bargain, follow with these simple and easy tips and tricks.
Easy Ways to Green Your Home Every green-minded homeowner dreams of solar panels, high-efficiency windows and low-flush toilets. The reality check...
Editors' Picks: Today's Top 7 Vacuum Cleaners Decisions, decisions: Buying a new vacuum cleaner used to be a fairly straightforward and simple process, but today’s proliferation of purchasing options may leave many consumers scratching their heads. Should one choose a bagged or bag-less unit, an upright or canister model…or maybe even a robotic version? And then there are myriad options, including on-board tools, telescoping wands, HEPA filtration, variable power settings, retractable cords, variable height adjustment for cleaning different types of floors, and rotating or turbo-charged brushes. Since a good vacuum cleaner is an essential weapon in any home’s cleaning arsenal, we’ve identified a few of the vacuum cleaners that have garnered top ratings from reviewers and consumers, to aid in the selection process.
Energy Star Homes The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, through its Energy Star program, enables consumers to easily identify home...
Fighting Hunger—Can by Can At the 19th Annual Canstruction Design/Build Competition—an art show and food drive benefiting City Harvest—some of N...
How To: Eliminate Fruit Flies A terrific way to maintain good health is to stick to a diet chock-full of fruits and vegetables. But few things spoi...
How To: Fight Off Termites Preventing and treating termite infestations is a top priority for many homeowners. Termite control is not a do-it-yo...
How To: Get Rid of ANYTHING A new year is a great time to get rid all the junk that is cluttering your home. But some things are easier to dispose of than others. Many charitable organizations eagerly accept old clothes and shoes, for instance, but may balk at cumbersome mattresses. And while common clutter can easily be thrown out with the trash, certain things should never be disposed of in the garbage. This guide will help you learn how to properly discard many household items, so you can face the new year with a “squeaky clean” domicile while protecting the environment and keeping your family safe.
How To: Get Rid of Cockroaches You're not alone in wanting to get rid of cockroaches. These creepy-crawly insects are a major problem around the cou...
How To: Get Rid of Crickets The chirping of crickets in the yard: It's a familiar hallmark of summer, and for plenty of homeowners it's a pleasan...
How To: Get Rid of Every Carpet Stain When holiday guests gather in your home to enjoy festive food and drink, there are bound to be a few accidental slops and splatters that could make your carpets a casualty of the celebration. Any number of foodstuffs and beverages can stain, distracting you from the party and straining your composure as host. Don't lose your cool! Let us teach you how to treat all manner of stains so you can save your furnishings (and your friendships) from ruin.
Icicles: Charming or Chancy? I remember that as I child I loved to wake up on wintry mornings to find icicles hanging off the house. I’d check eve...
Is Your House Ruining Your Health? Home has traditionally been viewed as a sanctuary, a place of refuge from the dangers and uncertainties lurking in the outside world. As safe and secure as we try to make our homes, hidden perils can sometimes still find their way inside. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as many as 6 out of 10 homes and buildings are actually hazardous to human health. Consider also that, according to the Greenguard Environmental Institute, most people spend about 90 percent of their time indoors, where air pollution levels are typically two to five times higher than they are outdoors. The primary contributors to poor indoor air quality are furnishings and building materials, which release hundreds of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. Because prevention is the first step toward a cure, here we highlight some of the most common sources of indoor health hazards and offer a few practical alternatives that can lessen your family's exposure to household toxins.
Learning to Love Recycling Thanks to a new crop of thoughtfully designed Rubbermaid recycling products, corralling kitchen recyclables has never...
Let It Go: 14 Things to Trash Without Thinking Twice It’s a new year, which means it's time to get started on your home resolutions for 2016. The best place to start? Out with the old! While it can be difficult to let go of prized possessions, the relief that comes along with decluttering can be well worth the brief pangs of sentiment. Start lightening your load with these 14 items that you can—and should—toss right now.
Power Up Your Cleaning Routine with... Caffeine? Many people enjoy a hot caffeinated beverage in the morning or a cold, bubbly cola in the afternoon, not just for the taste, but for the caffeine pick-me-up. But those caffeinated drinks can do more than just put perk in your step. They can clean everything from your windows to your floors. Check out these simple and—perhaps—unexpected ways to clean with caffeine.
Preventing Home Accidents It’s easy to overlook the obvious, especially when you’re busy, distracted or anxious to get something done. But over...
Reinventing the Wheel: 10 Smart New Uses for Old Tires Wheels have come a long way since their Stone Age introduction. No longer just for transporting objects from place to place, wheels have become a starting point for many an ingenious do-it-yourselfer, as you can see for yourself from this collection of 10 of our favorite wheel-repurposing projects. From a nifty seesaw to a clever mobile to a colorful inner tube pouf, these projects really get our DIY cogs turning. So go ahead—indulge that freewheelin' side of you, and see what you might make out of a wheel!
Residential Sprinkler Systems Eighty percent of fire deaths occur in residences, with over 3,000 people dying per year in U. S. house fires. Despit...
Sick House Syndrome: 7 Things You Need to Know Now Could your house be making you sick? According to the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that most people spend more than 90% of their time indoors. Indoor air quality is a huge contributing factor to health—and when 6 out of 10 homes and buildings are afflicted with sick building syndrome, there's a good chance you could "catch" something from your home. But if you know what you're looking for, you can alleviate the problems that come with a "sick" building. We’ve identified some key information you'll need when assessing your house—and clearing up the situation.
Smart Grid in Your Home Imagine a home where your heat pump, water heater, pool pump, dishwasher, refrigerator, oven, washer, and dryer all w...
Termites! Now What? The advent of spring is generally welcome, but warmer temperatures also bring out unwanted pests, namely termites. Of...
The 12 Fall Home Maintenance Tasks You Can't Ignore The dog days of summer are long gone, and fall is finally here. Although the season's crisp temperatures and colorful leaves are enjoyable, they are also a signal that winter is fast approaching. Get your home in gear by completing these essential fall tasks that will not only guard your home against cold-weather threats, but also make maintenance much easier come spring.
The Dark, Dirty Truth About Household Mold (And How to Rid Yourself of It) <p>There are few homeowner problems more terrifying than mold. While thousands of molds are part of the natural environment, ghastly examples of it can be lurking in the nooks and crannies of even the cleanest house. They are not just unsightly. They can be harmful to your health. So, it’s important for every homeowner to know how to prevent mold, and how to get rid of it, should mold rear its ugly head.</p><br/>
<p>Mold thrives in damp, dusty, and stagnant conditions. So, it’s important to keep your home well ventilated, and at a relative humidity below 50%. Homeowners most often encounter mold in the basement, but it can occur in other areas as well, including around leaky pipes and windows. The key to getting rid of mold is moisture control. </p><br/>
<p>Should you find mold in your home, clean it up promptly, and fix any water problems that have caused it. If you do experience water damage to your home, dry those areas within 24–48 hours to prevent mold growth. Whether you find mold on the ceiling, in the shower, or in your carpet, quick action is paramount. </p><br/>
<p>If you find the dreaded black mold (Stachybotrys), call a professional—you'll need an expert to clean mold of this nature. Other common household molds, you can handle yourself with either conventional or natural mold remover. Protect yourself by wearing gloves, goggles, and a respirator before starting work. Scrub mold off hard surfaces with detergent and water, and dry completely. Porous materials like ceiling tiles and carpet that have been exposed to mold, will probably need to be discarded. Let’s take a good look at molds—what they need to grow, where they thrive, and how to keep our homes from becoming their playground.</p>
The Dirty Dozen: 12 Places You Probably Never Clean But Definitely Should So, you think your house is clean? Well… you might have to think again! If you’re like most people, there are areas that you never even think about cleaning, unlikely places where dirt, dust, and germs may be lurking. Even if your home has its share of “dirty little secrets,” you’re not alone: A 2012 survey sponsored by Kenmore found that nearly half of Americans—49 percent—say they cut corners when vacuuming by skipping areas underneath or behind furniture, and clean only when they see visible dirt on the floor. Because identifying the problem is the first step toward a cure, here are some commonly overlooked areas of the home that should be added to your housekeeping regimen—and some tips on how to maximize your cleaning efforts.
What's Your Cleaning IQ? True or false: Everyone loves to clean. False! But like so many other pursuits, practice makes perfect when it comes to cleaning. Test your knowledge of 12 lesser-known cleaning tips and tricks, and learn secrets to help you make this inevitable chore less of a time-consuming bore.
Your Guide to Spring Cleaning Your Home's Exterior While we're all comfortably accustomed to the concept of spring cleaning, most of us view the effort as taking place solely indoors. It's time to reevaluate. After all, there are several good reasons to extend spring cleaning to the exterior of your home. It's not just about curb appeal—although it's well worth thinking about the first impression your house makes on arriving visitors. It's also about getting maximum enjoyment from your outdoor living areas. And, finally, don't forget that maintenance plays a major role in protecting the overall integrity of your home and prolonging the life of its myriad components. Ready to get started? Begin by incorporating the following tasks into your outdoor upkeep regimen.
Energy Efficient Windows The Beasleys selected Pella Architect Series windows for their 1895 home. The windows are Energy Star rated for high efficiency and feature replica-style hardware.
Tour an Affordable Green Apartment Building Bob visits the South Bronx, NY, where Habitat for Humanity has partnered with private developer Les Bluestone to create a green oasis for low-income families that focuses on energy-efficiency, indoor air quality, and sustainability.
Tour a Salvaged Home with the Latest Green Technologies Architect Mary Kennedy and Bob tour her Georgian Colonial family home in Westchester County, NY. After a flood ruined the house, the challenge was to salvage and preserve the spirit of the house while incorporating the latest building green technologies.
Encapsulating Lead Paint Cole Stanton (from Fiberlock) joins Bob to talk about Child Guard, an encapsulating coating for lead-based paint.
Photovoltaic Roofing Shingles Installed Bob talks with Deane Evans (from the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing) and Ren Anderson (from the National Renewable Engergy Laboratory) about photovoltaic roof shingles and how to install them.
Visiting the Yestermorrow Design Build School Bob visits the Yestermorrow Design Build School in Warren, VT, which espouses a unique philosophy on architecture. Bob meets with students and discusses their projects, examples of innovative building.
Environmentally Friendly House Bob reviews the framing before heading inside to meet environmental specialist John Picard, who explains some of the features that make the Malibu beach house environmentally friendly.
Finishing the Steel Building Container Once stripped down, an ISBU's exterior is finished with heavy-gauge steel, then faced in sheet-metal wrap and covered with SuperTherm insulating ceramic coating. Back at the site, Bob joins project manager Ray Price to go over the floorplans.
Adding a Steel Partition and Creating a Stucco Surface Bob talks to Derek Mercer and Delwin Carter of Tampa Armature Works about how to treat the steel exterior to make it look more like a conventional house. Bob then talks to the painter, who applies metal primer, then stucco finish, and finally ceramic insulating paint.
Layout for a Container-Built Home Bob joins Steve Armstrong, the project architect and engineer, to discuss the project. The challenge of building a home like this is marrying new methods of construction with traditional methods to create a conventional-looking family home.
Historic Homes & More Articles, Blog Posts and Slideshows
10 "See Worthy" Boathouses Around the World Boathouses exist to keep pleasure craft safely out of the elements, but they also can also be beautiful, architecturally arresting structures, havens for boats and people alike. We've rounded up 10 of the finest.
10 A-Frame Homes That Deserve A+ First popularized for their simple design and affordable cost, today's A-Frames are finding renewed interest with design modifications that expand them out—and up.
10 Cliffhanging Houses to Fall For For centuries, home builders have been drawn to sites on mountaintops, craggy coastlines, and rock islands to take advantage of the climate, natural resources, and dramatic scenery. Although houses built on cliffs might appear to be precariously perched, a good architect will ensure that sound engineering practices keep the structure firmly planted on solid ground. Here are our favorite cliffside dwellings with the most enjoyable views!
10 Iconic Baseball Stadiums Worth a Roadtrip to See There's nothing quite like a trip to the ballpark: the uniform-clad crowds, the salty peanuts, the 7th-inning stretch—and the all-important game, of course. Yet as much as die-hard fans care about the home team's record, they can be almost as passionate about their stadium. Today, although only two Major League Baseball stadiums remain from the early days of the game, a number of newer ballparks have resurrected the classic pavilion style of their venerable forebears. This pairing of old and new, along with stand-out structures from bygone eras, makes for a robust list of iconic stadium architecture. So, grab a beer and a hot dog, and take a seat to enjoy the best of baseball stadium architecture.
12 Amazing Ice Castles & Igloos from Around the World For some, a day full of flurries means a day spent outdoors making snowballs, snow angels, and snowmen. For others, however, frosty weather inspires the construction of castles, igloos, and sundry structures that rival those made of more traditional building materials.
15 Old House Features We Were Wrong to Abandon We were probably right to leave behind many hallmarks of yesterday's home, but it's time to reconsider these 10 once-popular details, not for their novelty, but for their practicality.
18 Big Storage Ideas to Steal from Tiny Homes The tiny-house movement has much to teach us about living simply and with minimal environmental impact—and about how to stow stuff when space is extremely tight. If you’re perennially short on storage, borrow these 18 ingenious strategies from homeowners who’ve learned to live well without living large.
5 Vintage Travel Trailers Transformed The picture-perfect 4-bedroom house with the white picket fence is not everyone's ideal. If you’ve got a hankering to cut loose and see the country from the comfort of a mobile abode, get some inspiration from these super-successful travel-trailer makeovers.
7 Creative Guest Houses You Can Actually Afford Having guests home to visit is often a reason to celebrate. But after a day or two, we might wish for a little more—well—personal space. It turns out that the answer just might be in your own backyard. An additional "tiny home" situated on your property (but separate from your house), creates a warm welcome for those just passing through, or perhaps a special getaway you can keep to yourself. If you thought you'd never be able to afford your own guest house, think again. These seven unique ideas bring guest accommodations within reach for many of us.
7 Features That Define the New American Home Indoor plumbing. Electric lights. We take these things for granted today, but there was a time when such basic conveniences were novel and sought after. Of course, with the forward gallop of technological advancement, homes have become only more comfortable and accommodating of our day-to-day wants and needs. And far from static, our cultural priorities and lifestyle preferences have evolved, even compared with what they were just 10 or 15 years ago. For example, increasing numbers of homeowners are eschewing formality and embracing practicality. With continual, sometimes dramatic, change at play, there’s no such thing as a fixed ideal. But survey data and anecdotal evidence certainly suggest that in the 21st-century real estate market, some features are more highly prized than others. Click through to get a picture of what home buyers want today.
7 Great Places to Bunk at America's National Parks Besides being one the most beautiful spots on the planet, the nearly 3,500 square miles of wilderness at Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming, Montana and Idaho) are home to grizzly bears, wolves, and herds of free-ranging bison and elk.
7 Ways to Make Your New House Look Old You’ve just purchased a home built in the past 10 to 15 years, and it has everything you need: the perfect location, a good-size lot, big closets, top-of-the-line kitchen appliances, a two-car garage—even a fireplace. It’s missing just one thing: character. Your house looks an awful lot like all the other cookie-cutter houses in the neighborhood. While new homes don't develop personality overnight, a few easy updates can instill in your new place the charm of an older one. Ranging from simple fixes like changing the paint colors to more ambitious projects like adding trim and beadboard, these 7 upgrades will transform your builder's-grade home into something special.
7 Ways to Start Fresh in an Old Home Did you recently move into a fixer-upper? Or have you lived in your house so long that it’s become outdated? No matter your circumstances, there are plenty of ways to start fresh. By renewing the most age-weary components, small and large, you can prevent major problems before they occur and safeguard a safe, stylish, and energy-efficient future for your home.
7 Ways to Trace Your Home's History Most owners of older homes eventually come to terms with the fact that they will never know everything about their property. If the last set of homeowners didn't share much about the origin of your house, who else is there to ask? Details like the year it was built, its initial layout, and the original occupants can always feel just out of reach. Fortunately for the curious homeowner, answers are easier to come by than you may think. Check out these seven sources for the extra insight to help you uncover the story behind your own home.
8 Low-Cost Kits for a 21st-Century Log Cabin Early American homes were rugged and rustic—the ultimate DIY project. Today, modern homesteaders can build a new house with the same frontier appeal by starting from a log home kit. No need to cut down your own trees—these log home kits come ready to assemble with all the parts you'll need to construct a woodsy retreat, be it traditional, contemporary, or cape, or the tiny cabin of your dreams. Log house kits' precut components make them ideal for first-time home builders, but check your local building codes, as some municipalities require oversight by a licensed contractor. Read on—your dream home could be a mere click away.
8 Things New Homeowners Waste Money On Even the most experienced homeowners can get sucked into spending a lot of money on maintenance costs or home improvements that just don’t deliver. For those who take pride in their homes, it's important to make improvements that enhance functionality, save time, or make a big design statement. Unfortunately, some of the most common renovations and additions are just a waste of money. Here are some of the major items that can fritter away your funds.
8 Tiny Homes You Can Buy for the Price of a Luxury Car If you know someone who's been especially good this year—and you're feeling very generous—you need to check out our roundup of prefab and DIY housing structures that you could gift this holiday. (And if you give one of these, you'll probably walk away with the best gift-giver award too.) Unlike other very generous gifts (car, anyone?), a house or fun dwelling can last forever and will, in many cases, appreciate in value. So while we doubt that many people put "tiny house" on their wish list, we're sure no one would mind receiving one of these.
9 Kits for an Instant Kids' Clubhouse It's pretty much every kid's dream to have a secret hideout right in the backyard. Building even a simple treehouse, however, takes design and construction skills, time, and more than a few splinters. If you don't think you've got what it takes to build something from scratch, you can still give the little ones their very own playhouse. As long as you're pretty good at reading instructions—just draw on your previous IKEA furniture assembly experiences—these kits give you everything you need to construct an awesome place to play.
All Aboard: 9 Railroad Cars Converted into Homes In today’s culture of downsizing to reduce carbon footprints, tiny houses and recycled homes are getting increasingly desirable—in both conventional and unconventional ways. You may have already seen converted buses, storage containers, and even make-it-yourself tiny-home kits, but have you ever seen a train converted into permanent living space? The high ceilings and multiple windows typical of old train cars are a great starting point for a new small home chock-full of character. If you’re in search of an unusual home, you may need to look no further than these 9 railroad cars that have gone off the rails and become cozy and comfortable living spaces.
Architectural Royalty: 9 Victorian Homes We Love The Victorian era, named for the English Queen, extends throughout the period of the monarch's long reign, from 1837 to 1901. Victorian architecture encompasses the many styles that came into fashion during those six decades, and the American interpretation of those styles often reflected the adventuresome American spirit. From the ornate Greek and Gothic Revival styles to the whimsical gingerbread-cottage look, Victorian architecture, although novel, had its roots in history. It owed its popularity and rapid spread, however, to modern technology. With the advent of the Industrial Revolution of the late 18th and early 19th centuries came mass-produced building materials that could now be delivered over long distances. Victorian home builders who might have previously eschewed handcrafted architectural detailing now had affordable alternatives, and their clients embraced the opportunity to embellish their simple farmhouses and grand manor homes with romantic decoration. Here are some quintessential examples of American Victorian homes.
Assembly Required: 15 DIY Kit Homes For those who've always wanted to build their own home, the prospect may now be more realistic than ever, thanks to a new wave of kit homes.
Bark If You Love Architecture! Man’s best friend gets the royal treatment at Barkitecture Houston. Being in the doghouse isn’t such a bad thing whe...
Barn Again: Breathing New Life into 11 Old Barns Converting an old barn into a home makes great use of the original structure's open space and guarantees a new house dripping with vintage country charm. Often, barn enthusiasts transport antique structures from their original sites and have them reassembled on new foundations. While some take on the remodeling projects themselves, many hire barn restoration specialists who are skilled in documenting, disassembling, and rebuilding the barns. Take a peek at our top 11 converted barns.
Before and After: 9 Totally Amazing Mobile Home Makeovers Manufactured housing has always been an affordable alternative to site-built homes. Older models especially can be scooped up at a reasonable price, providing prospective buyers a relatively low-stress pathway to homeownership. Some lucky, resourceful owners of modestly priced manufactured homes opt for remodeling their new-to-them residences on their own. They rebuild and restyle their factory-assembled interiors from the chassis up, often chronicling their remodeling recipes—a blend of aesthetics, power tool prowess, ingenuity, and secondhand shopping savvy—on their blogs, while loyal readers eagerly await each new reveal. Crystal Adkins, editor at Mobile Home Living, covers lots of DIY mobile home remodeling projects on her site. She often concludes that had she not told her readers that these are manufactured homes, they never would have known. Is she right? Take a look at a few choice mobile home makeovers and judge for yourself.
Before and After: DIY Facelifts for 8 Home Exteriors As warm weather arrives and you emerge into the light of spring, you may become suddenly aware of all the unsightly or dreary areas that mar your home's exterior. Don’t get overwhelmed! Before the outdoor season gets into full swing, try one of these quick and easy fixes that can make a huge improvement in the face your home presents to the world.
Bob Vila's 10 Must Do's for December The final month of the year is also one of the busiest. Between winter prep, holiday festivities, and end of year organizing, there's much to be done. This list of must-do projects for December will help you make the most of your time this month.
Bob Vila's 10 November "Must Do" Projects For many homeowners, November marks the beginning of a season filled with friendly house guests, crazed holiday cooking, and cozy nights retreating to the comfort of the indoors. It's also the last chance for cold-region dwellers to finish any last-minute outdoor maintenance and garden projects. Get ready for whatever this month holds by taking on my "must do" projects.
Bob Vila's All-Star Celebrity House Quiz How well do you think you know your movie stars, sports heroes, fashion designers, and TV personalities? Well enough to know how they live? Take our star-studded celebrity quiz and find out.
California Design: Living in a Modern Way “California Design 1935-1960: Living in a Modern Way,” on exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, features 350 articles from 141 California designers, craftspeople, and manufacturers.
Check In: 10 Offbeat Hotels Worth a Special Trip When setting out to plan a vacation, the first question you ask is this: "Where?" Whether geographical preferences or nearby activities determine your answer, we vote adding in one more measure: unique accommodations. After all, why stay in a motel when you could rest your head in a cave or out on your own private island? To start your daydreaming, flip through these 10 oddball lodgings we're loving.
Christmas Decorations Gone Wild! These houses are packed to the gills with thousands of lights, life-size Santas, and even a few robots—enough to attract huge crowds of visitors and get everyone in the holiday spirit!
Combining the Old with the New Restoration, Preservation. Renovation. Rehabilitation. Remodeling. They don't all mean the same thing. But let's cons...
Frosty Feats: 12 Incredible Snow Sculptures Going way beyond two lumps of coal and an old silk hat, some folks take the art of snow sculpting to an astonishing level. Here are some of the most spectacular winter wonders from around the world.
Get Away! 10 Breathtaking Homes You Can Rent for a Weekend Summer's a great time to get away from it all—school's out, work is slower (or at least feels that way), and nice weather makes for smoother travel. A hotel is the obvious choice for accommodations, but one alternative—a home rental—might be the way to go this year. More space, privacy, and access to a full kitchen are just a few of the reasons you should consider renting a home for your next getaway. We did a little digging to unearth beautiful and unique homes worthy of your next vacation—even if room service isn't included. Some are historical, some were designed by famous architects, and others were once home to a few people whose names you might recognize—and they all guarantee you'll return home rested and relaxed.
Get Jet: The 747 Wing House There is a new residence in the Malibu hills constructed mostly from an old airplane. Consisting of a main house and ...
Home Alone: 10 Beautiful Homes in the Middle of Nowhere A home is a retreat—a place to escape the outside world, to be alone, to recharge, to relax with friends. For some, one apartment among many in a building wedged into a sea of other buildings provides all the sanctuary they need. But for others, true escape means getting as far away as possible from the rest of the world, to a beautiful and remote residence in a stunning location—with nobody around for miles. Such retreats try very hard not to be found, but we've hunted down a few of them for your voyeuristic pleasure, searching high, low, and far to find a collection of lovely, unusual, and isolated homes that truly stand alone. (Just don’t go knocking on their doors.)
Home, Home on the Road: 10 Houses on Wheels Do you dream about simplifying your life by downsizing to a house on wheels? You’re not alone. Mobile living is gaining popularity, attracting everyone from young couples trying to save money to adventure-seeking retirees. Some people drive a refurbished bus or tow a tiny house because it reduces their cost of living, letting them live mortgage-free. Others choose the lifestyle for its promise of adventure—they can enjoy the freedom and joys of cross-country travel without giving up the comforts of home. Whether you dream of driving or pulling your own home, you'll find inspiration in these 10 residences on wheels.
House Styles: Shingle Style How and Where to Spot a Shingle Style House The Shingle Style flourished in the last quarter of the 19th century. ...
House Tour: 1969 California A-Frame Updated for Today As a fully trained and credentialed architect, Curtis Popp could have easily gut-renovated the 1969 A-frame where he and his family spend vacations. But he didn't. Admiring the original despite—or precisely because of—its eccentricities, Popp intervened only where necessary to make the place comfortable. The result? A thoughtful remodel at home in the casual rusticity of Lake Tahoe, California.
House Tour: A Prototypical Suburban House, Reinvented In southwestern Texas, a Chicago-trained architect challenged himself to create something new and exciting from an intensely familiar building type—the suburban ranch home. Dubbed Casa Westway, the project does away with many of the distinctions that, in traditional architecture, are taken for granted—the separation of one room and the next, for instance, or the boundary between indoors and out. Here, blurred lines make for an utterly unique residence that looks very like the original ranch—or for that matter, any other ranch in America.
House Tour: Chicago's C3 Modular House Jeffrey Sommers's C3 Prefab modular house is a landmark of new urban architecture—and the first of its kind in Chicago. Although the structure was quick to construct, its genesis was less straightforward, involving (among other challenges) some accommodations to comply with city building codes and a little tweaking of the 2039-square-foot interior to better suit the homeowners' needs and fit the 25' x 125' lot. Compact, light-filled, and loaded with energy-saving features such as solar thermal panels, ductless heating and air conditioning, and water-conserving appliances, the house has a HERS rating of 46 and LEED Platinum certification. To learn more, come join us on a tour of the house.
House Tour: ESCAPE Cabin-on-Wheels Entrepreneur and hotelier Dan Dobrowolski has brought to market a tiny, movable cabin that feels as spacious as its natural habitat, the wide-open outdoors. The structure's dimensions (not counting a porch or deck) are a mere 400 square feet, the maximum allowable for a standard park model recreational vehicle, but it feels much bigger. That seeming airiness comes from a cathedral ceiling and an interior that focuses on the basics without sacrificing scale, style, or quality of materials. Beautiful, efficiently designed, and carefully crafted, the ESCAPE could make your dream of a cabin in the woods an affordable reality.
House Tour: Go Inside a 100-Year-Old Craftsman, Recently Restored In La Verne, CA, architectural preservation and restoration expert Ray Adamyk recently dispatched a half-dozen workers from his "artisan army" of 150 to restore a Craftsman home to its former glory. See how skilled 21st-century artisans brought this early 20th-century home back to life.
House Tour: Hudson Passive Project With its exterior stonework, timber frame, and pitched roof, the Hudson Passive Project in the Hudson River Valley, is New York State's first "net-zero" passive solar house.
House Tour: Mountain Re-Shack Rather than tear down a derelict mountain shack, the owners solicited the help of North Carolina architect Chad Everhart to re-imagine it for modern-day living.
House Tour: Old Hill House See how architect Ann Sellars Lathrop transformed a simple Cape into an extraordinary home filled with an abundance of light, space and comfort.
House Tour: Redondo Beach Container House In DeMaria’s hybrid design for the Redondo Beach House, conventional stick-frame construction combines with eight repurposed steel shipping containers to form the two-story home.
House Tour: Spring Residence Rebuild Rather than abandon the house or raze the building, a Raleigh, N.C., couple followed the advice of their architects, BuildSense, to reconstruct. After living in their house for 10 years, a Raleigh, N.C., couple stepped back to take stock of the poorly built home and decided to hire BuildSense to give it new light and life. Deconstruction and smart planning brings new light (and life) to a Raleigh, N.C., home. A heavily wooded lot and a poorly built house steered a North Carolina couple toward deconstructing the existing dwelling to erect in its place a new, light-filled gem of a home.
House Tour: Stone Farmhouse Addition While striving to honor the provenance of the original stone farmhouse, Wyant Architecture created a spacious and contemporary new family home.
House Tour: The 2014 New American Home The National Association of Home Builders’ 2014 New American Home, in Henderson, Nevada, is a showcase for the most innovative trends in architecture, interior design, and building science. The project's architect, Jeff Berkus, and designer, Marc Thee, set out to create a modern home that would be energy efficient, luxurious, warm, and inviting. Keeping that tall order in mind, the team considered how families will be using their homes in the future, which led them to integrate flexible and multigenerational-use spaces into the plan. With a nod to the spectacular views afforded by the home's hillside site, they sought ways to blur the line between indoors and out. To help make the ambitious design a reality, builder Josh Anderson, of Element Building Company, looked to industry suppliers that could provide the latest technology and products to help his crew meet the criteria for LEED and Energy Star certifications. The result of all their efforts is a home that's everything the team hoped it would be. Here are a few examples of what makes this show house outstanding.
House Tour: Trailer Living, Reinvented Architect Andrew Hinman builds a striking contemporary shelter around his client's prized possession—a 1954 Spartan Imperial Mansion. You've never seen trailer living quite like this before.
How Old Is My House? Nothing satisfies like solving a good mystery, especially when the mystery to be unraveled is the history of your hou...
Hudson Passive Project For Dennis Wedlick, the conservation-minded architect who masterminded the Hudson Passive Project—New York State’s fi...
Iconic Architecture Quiz: How Well Do You Know These Modern Marvels? Though it draws on the styles that preceded it, modern architecture is nothing if not unique, and many of its innovations changed the built landscape forever. These are just some of the homes that helped turned the tide, ushering modernism into the mainstream. You'll probably recognize them all, but how well do you really know them? Test your knowledge today!
Know Your House Styles Today, we choose from house plans that have the same basic house forms. Preservation specialist Mary O’Neil has outli...
Living Like Shakespeare: A Tudor Tutorial Tudor architecture is a style of building that originated in England more than 500 years ago. This style's popularity coincided with the reign of the Tudors, an era when homes were entirely timber framed. Today, Tudor Revivals, also known as mock Tudors, can be found throughout the United Kingdom as well as in the United States, Canada, and Australia. The distinctive features of a Tudor-style home include a half-timber exterior (or its modern-day replacement, stucco with faux-timber trim), steep rooflines, gables, leaded-glass casement windows, ornate chimneys, and jetties (portions of an upper story that project beyond the floor below). Thatched roofs, commonplace early in the Tudor era, were eventually replaced by hardier slate or tile. Many mock Tudors feature brick or stone exteriors, or infilling between timbers. Modern-day homeowners are often drawn to the old-world charm of these historic structures but sensibly choose to update their Tudor-style homes with low-maintenance replacement materials. Others find that blending some Tudor details with architectural styles of different eras can result in an eclectic yet classic look.
Memory Lane: 15 Household Items From Your Childhood That New Houses Will Never See As technology continues to evolve all around us, household items that were once commonplace have slowly fallen out of favor to be replaced by the latest and greatest. Whatever happened to the electric bun warmers that Mom and Grandma had? Would a rotary phone even work on the digital infrastructure we have now? (The answer is, “It depends.”) While many of yesteryear's biggest hits have disappeared for good, a few are still holding on. For example, wood paneling is actually coming back into fashion in some applications, and vinyl record and Polaroid enthusiasts can still feed their passions with vintage equipment. If you’ve ever said, “Well, back when I was a kid...,” come take a trip down memory lane with us as we visit some of our favorite household blasts from the past.
Ode to Architectural Cornices Architectural details fascinate me. Looking up at various historical buildings in and around the Hudson Valley, I alw...
On the Waterfront: 10 Tiny Lake Houses If you’ve set up home on a lake, chances are you're there because you love to be outside. Your days are most likely spent outdoors, so you don't need much as far as a house goes: a place to lay your head, cook dinner, and seek refuge when the weather takes a turn. Amenities are nice, but when you already have so much at your doorstep, they take a backseat. It’s no wonder, then, that there are so many incredible lake houses with small footprints. We wouldn't mind heading off to any one of these tiny lake houses for a long weekend (or full summer) of fishing, boating, and relaxation.
Paper Thin: Incredible Inhabitable Spaces Made From Paper We've all heard of construction paper—it's a staple of kids' crafts—but what about constructing actual livable houses from paper? The idea sounds unbelievable and presents a lot of questions, but some architects and builders are using paper as an economical and environmentally friendly building material. While paper might not be your first choice when building a new home, you may find some incredible inspiration from these unlikely structures.
Ready-Made Residences: 14 Ultra Cool Prefab Homes Prefabricated homes are increasingly popular for a variety of reasons, among them the relatively quick build time, the ecological advantages, and the flexibility they can provide across a range of budgets. As more and more people turn to this means of building a home, the results become more elaborate and unusual. Architects and designers work within this method’s constraints and make the most of its freedoms to create dwelling solutions suited for many different settings and functions: vacation homes in warm environments, primary residences in suburban areas, and cabin retreats in the woods. The following examples all make use of prefab construction either through modules, components, or whole structures—and they’re all places we wouldn’t mind calling home.
Remembering Vizcaya While visitors to Miami primarily come for sun and fun, the city offers a wealth of artistic, cultural and architectu...
Solid as a Rock: 11 Unbelievable Concrete Homes The versatility of concrete allows architects and engineers to be innovative in their home designs. While concrete has been around as a building material since the Romans built the Colosseum, technology has improved its durability and applications, making concrete a popular option for building 21st-century homes. Concrete construction provides a number of advantages over wood-frame, including energy efficiency, noise reduction, and fire and wind resistance. Concrete building materials range from traditional blocks and precast panels to concrete that is cast on-site. Although the initial cost of building a concrete house is marginally higher than wood-frame construction, the long-term energy savings can make building with concrete a prudent choice.
Surf's Up: 8 Beach Houses to Cure Your Polar Vortex Funk There's no place like home, and there's no home like a beach house, where you can wake up with the sun, stroll along the sand, and relax by the water on a hot summer's day. Or paddle out—whether alone, on a board, or in a kayak—and spend the day unwinding in Mother Nature's bathtub! Just imagine building a bonfire as you watch the sunset over the water, then wandering back home to lay your head to rest in one of these eight gorgeous beachside properties recently listed for sale on Zillow.
TV House Quiz: Test Your Memory of 12 Famous Shows Over the course of watching a television series, you get to know the characters pretty well—and you also learn to love (or loathe) the where they live. Test your memory by tuning in to our TV house quiz now!
Touring Fairsted, Frederick Law Olmsted's Home Bob visits Fairsted, home of Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect responsible for most of this country's great public parks, pointing out its color scheme, similar to that of his own house.
Touring a Neighborhood in Melrose Bob meets with a local real estate broker and with homeowner Sarah Monzon, whose basement will be finished to create additional family space.
Brooklyn Warehouse Architectural History Bob meets with Bill Higgins, of Higgins and Quasebarth Restoration, to discuss the project building's history. Higgins utilizes archival information and on-site physical evidence to piece together a portrait of the building's history.
New York Harbor Water Taxi Tour Tom Fox, founder and former president of New York Water Taxi, takes Bob on a tour of the Brooklyn waterfront, highlighting various points of interest.
Brooklyn Navy Yard Tour Eric Deutsch, former president of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, gives Bob a tour of the nation's first federal boat-building facility.
Touring Coney Island Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz talks to Bob about the storied past, and promising future, of Coney Island, one of the first amusement park complexes in America.
History of Miami Beach & Tour of Fountainbleau Bob briefly goes over the history of Miami Beach, describing the role a few key individuals played in the area's development. Later, Bob takes a water taxi tour, the perfect vantage point from which to notice how the skyline tells the story of the city's history. Visiting the Fountainbleau, Bob introduces the decadent, even flamboyant, architectural design of Morris Lapidus.
Touring Lincoln Road in Miami Beach Bob visits Lincoln Road guided by architectural historian Allan Shulman, who chronicles the Lincoln Road saga from its beginning with Carl Fisher, "Mr. Miami Beach," to its period of revitalization under architect Morris Lapidus, to its current status as a popular shopping, dining, and people-watching strip.
A Visit to the Berkshires Bob meets with Bill Wilson of the Berkshire Visitors Bureau to discuss the beautiful region and the many famous turn-of-the-century mansions dotting the lovely Berkshire hills.
Tour of Edith Wharton's Mansion Retreat, The Mount Bob visits The Mount, the Lenox, MA retreat of Edith Wharton in the heart of the Berkshires. Wharton's most famous tome is from 1897-- The Decoration of Houses was the inspiration for the field of modern interior design.
Elm Court Foyer and Fireplace Sonya Berle shows off the large foyer and explains how she and her husband did small restorations in New Orleans before turning to Elm Court.
Adapting New Technology to Historic Properties Bob Berle shows Bob Vila the bowels of the home, including the decay that was prevalent but currently under repair. The 35,000 square foot basement was open to the elements prior to the Berles' arrival.
Elm Court's Dining Room Bob tours one of the Vanderbilt family's most elegant dining rooms. The Berles have restored the ornate plasterwork ceilings and cornices, which were the inspiration for New York's Grand Central Station's ceiling.
Cape Cod-Style Architecture and Royal Barry Wills Bob visits Cape Cod with Dick Wills, who is carrying on the work of his father, architect Royal Barry Wills. Beginning in the 1920s, the senior Wills popularized traditional New England-style architecture.
Touring Central Park in New York City Bob meets with Doug Blonsky of the Central Park Conservancy, who shares the history of the park, as well as information about his organization's restoration efforts.
Touring Covered Bridges in New England Bob tours several of the lovingly preserved covered bridges in Vermont and New England, in general. He explains the origins of these bridges, as well as the most popular approaches to building them.
Tour of Medford, MA Bob introduces Medford, MA, a city five miles north of Boston. Settled in 1630, Medford once flourished with industry, including the shipbuilding building. Today, it is a bedroom community.
Touring the Isaac Royall House in Medford, MA Bob visits the historic site of the Royall House, which was the home of wealthy trader Isaac Royall. Buit in the 1600s and remodeled in the 1730s, the house is a fine example of Georgian architecture.
Tour of I'On Architecture The neighborhood of I'On is built around myriad architectural styles and designs. Bob takes a look at, and remarks upon, some of these variations throughout the neighborhood, before returning to the project site, where roof framing is underway.
Tour of the Mansion's Dining Room and Kitchen Bob and Roxane Gilmore continue touring the governor's mansion in Richmond, VA. After enjoying the highlights of the dining room, the discussion turns to the kitchen, which is no longer adequate.
Tour of Virginia House Bob tours Virginia House, which was once an English abbey. In the 1920s, it was shipped to Richmond stone by stone.
Tour of Agecroft Hall Bob tours Agecroft Hall and its luxurious gardens. The property overlooks the James River.
Tour of Wickham House Bob takes a tour of Wickham House, a high-style museum designed by Alexander Parris, the architect of the Virginia governor's mansion.
CBS Studio Center Tour Bob takes a tour of the CBS Studio Center, the first of the big movie lots, which eventually gave Studio City, CA its name.
TV Set Tour Bob takes a private tour of the set of the television series Grace Under Fire, and meets some interesting characters along the way.
Touring a Japanese Garden Bob tours the Japanese Garden at the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens to get some ideas for the Zen garden the homeowners will be installing in the side yard.
Tour of the Home's Remodeled Exterior Bob tours the home's exterior, noting that the crowned gates are complete and that a locking latch has been added to secure the pool. Bob also remarks on the landscaping work.
Neighborhood Tour of Newton, MA Bob takes a tour of Newton, MA. "The Garden City" boasts a wide variety of American architectural styles and is one of the most desirable communities in the Boston area.
Nathaniel Russell House Tour Bob takes a tour of the historic, spectacular home of Nathaniel Russell, one of Charleston's wealthiest Colonial merchants. Bob discusses the architecture and decor. One highlight is the home's famous cantilevered staircase.
William Gibbes House Tour Bob tours the William Gibbes House, one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in America.
William Gibbes House Garden Tour Bob returns to the William Gibbes House in Charleston, SC for a tour of the one-acre garden of this grand Georgian mansion, one of the nation's best examples of Georgian architecture.
Tour of Millford Plantation Bob takes a field trip to Millford Plantation, a spectacular Greek Revival governor's mansion with echoes of the Civil War still ringing through its halls.
Robert Barnwell Rhett House Tour Bob tours a Georgian architectural beauty with twin octagonal parlors a few blocks away from the project house in Charleston, SC.
Tour of the Withers Industries Factory Bob meets with restoration contractor Richard Marks to review the reproduction shutters that will be placed on the project house. They also visit the Withers Industries plant where the shutters were made.
Guillard-Bennet House Tour Bob takes a tour of the elegantly appointed Guillard-Bennet House, one of the jewels in Charleston's crown.
Mantelpiece Work Bob joins restoration contractor Richard Marks in the library of the Federal-Style home to review the restoration of the mantel.
Burrage House Tour Bob takes a walk down Boston's Commonwealth Avenue for a look at an upscale solariums from the last century, that of the Burrage House.
Tour of Indiana University Greenhouses Bob interviews Don Burton from Indiana University as they tour a 1955 greenhouse. Bob then tours a modern state-of-the-art greenhouse under construction at the University.
Indiana Limestone Factory Tour Bob tours the Indiana Limestone factory with Dave Kern, who explains the fabrication process for the limestone columns being used in the greenhouse.
Tour of the Completed Greenhouse Bob and contractor Bob Ryley tour the spectacular finished greenhouse and, in addition to the greenhouse, a vestibule to the house has been created, solving the homeowners' issue with cold winter air coming in the front entrance.
Henry David Thoreau Tour Bob visits Walden Pond and tours a recreation of the cabin that Henry David Thoreau famously built.
Brick Plant Tour Bob takes a field trip to East Windsor Hill, CT, where the bricks for the cabin project were made. Along the way, he learns about the manufacturing process bricks go through and the various machines that are involved.
Tour of the Media Room, Kitchen, and Living Room Bob and interior designer Robyn Peterson tour the finished, furnished California-Spanish beach house in Malibu. The media room has an Old West theme. The kitchen is elegant yet informal. And accents from South America can be found in the living room.
Osterville, MA & Nauticus Marina Bob tours the town of Osterville, MA, which has a deep background in fishing and maritime activity. And he meets with Bill Koch, one-time America's Cup champion, to view Koch's award-winning house and yachting command center.
Historic Windmill Tour Bob tours the Old East Mill, a restored post-and-beam windmill, at Heritage Plantation in Sandwich, MA. In its day, the mill produced rye, corn, salt, and barley. Now it serves as an educational tool for schoolchildren and plantation visitors.
Lumber Mill Tour Bob tours the Ralph A. Esty & Sons Lumber Corporation in Groveland, MA. Operations Manager Ken Monaco explains the process of aquiring and milling the lumber. The logs are scanned for metal, debarked, filtered, cut, sorted, and air-dried.
Tour of an Ainsworth Lumber Mill Bob travels to Canada for a tour of the Ainsworth oriented strand board (OSB) mill, one of the most modern OSB factories in the world.
Plywood Testing Facilities Tour Bob tours the American Plywood Association testing facilities with Tom Williamson, the Executive Vice President of Engineered Wood Systems. Tom explains the different tests that exist for different types of plywood.
Touring Homes on Martha's Vineyard Bob and realtor Alan Schwikert visit a 1930s Shingle-style home just outside of Vineyard Haven and then a smaller 'in-town' Victorian. Neither project fits Bob's criteria for the project. He intends to remodel a modest home on the island.
Touring the Interior of Chateau-sur-Mer Bob tours the lavish interior of Chateau-sur-Mer in Newport, RI. The entrance walls are painted canvas and the ceiling is adorned by a fresco. Hand-carved walnut trim and paneling is consisent throughout.
Tour of Cape May, NJ Bob tours Cape May, one of the oldest beach resort areas in New Jersey, a town with many Victorian-era homes and hotels.
Lyndhurst Mansion Tour Bob tours Lyndhurst mansion, a testament to high living during the Victoria era in New York's Hudson River Valley. The 40-odd rooms include a Gothic dining room with a marble fireplace and a picture gallery with a Tiffany stained glass window.
Tour of Vermont Castings Bob tours the Vermont Castings factory in Randolph, VT in order to learn about the manufacturing process for the type of wood-burning stove being used in the Martha's Vineyard remodel.
Victorian Architectural Style Bob meets with an expert in Victorian design to look at homes with scalloped, diamond, and straight shingles. Gingerbread-style brackets and railings are also reviewed. Plus, Bob visits a Victorian garden "folly" on the Jersey Shore.
Wallpaper Factory Tour Bob visits a wallpaper factory, where the design, paper-milling, and printing aspects of the wallpaper fabrication process all take place.
Tour of Olana Bob takes a tour of Olana, a Victorian artist's mansion in Upstate New York, overlooking the Hudson River. Named after a Persian fortress/treasure house, Olana has been dutifully preserved since the artist's death in 1900.
Touring the Courtyard Bob and landscape designer Ruth Foster tour the new formal courtyard and discuss how the plants will grow over time, granting privacy to guests and the homeowners.
Tour of Historic Boston Bob tours the Boston Public Gardens and Boston harbor, then points out a few of his favorites buildings, including those in Beacon Hill. Next, Bob describes how the trolley car allowed people to move out to the suburbs.
Shirley-Eustis Colonial Governor's Mansion Tour Bob meets with Lynn from the Shirley-Eustis Colonial Governor's Mansion Association. Together they tour the Federal-style home, noting an Irish crystal chandelier, wood columns and moldings, plaster cornices, and other unique features of the home.
Touring "Old Ironsides" Bob meets with a project manager for the restoration of the U.S.S. Constitution, "Old Ironsides", dry-docked in Boston Harbor. They review the 21-inch-thick hull walls, the timbers in the keel, and the copper plating on the outside of the hull.
Touring the Bonnet House Bob travels to Fort Lauderdale, FL for a tour of the Bonnet House. The house, which was built for the Bartlett family in the 1920s and now operates as a museum.
Thomas Edison Home Tours Bob tours homes that were designed by Thomas Edison. Built in Maine before being shipped to Florida, the homes are surrounded by indiginous plantings, and the decor has remained untouched since Edison's time.
Touring Art Deco Architecture in Miami Beach Bob tours the Art Deco section of Miami Beach. His guide points out many notable sites, including the Bow Hotel, believed to be the oldest building in Miami Beach. Also, the French influence on the architecture of the city is noted.
Visiting Plimoth Plantation Bob takes a field trip to Plimoth Plantation, a replica village where visitors can experience early Colonial life.
Reviewing the Home Exterior Bob and carpenter-contractor Bob Ryley review the exterior of the home, pointing out the new trellis and the new entryway. Next, they move inside to have a look at the new family room and its adjoining bathroom.
Tour of Hill Arboretum Bob tours Hill Arboretum, an apartment project designed for the physically challenged. Each unit is equipped with wheelchair-bound tenants in mind. Project developer Don Gustavson is Bob's guide.
Revitalizing Bartlett Park St. Petersburg Neighborhood Housing Servicesis encouraging first-time home buyers in Bartlett Park to take charge of their neighborhood in a sustainable way.
Design Options for Container-Built Homes Bob talks with David Cross from Tampa Armature Works. Cross reviews the versatility of designing houses with shipping containers. Both traditional and contemporary models are available using this method of construction.
Finished Exterior of the Container-Built Home The front of the home is complete and looks like the exterior of any home in the American suburbs. Bob talks with Ray Price, the project manager for the St. Petersburg Neighborhood Housing Services and Steve Armstrong, the architect.
Touring the Interior of the Container-Built Home General contractor Buba Barrow joins Bob for a tour of the finish work and interior layout, starting on the tiled front porch, moving through the open-plan family, kitchen, and dining spaces, and then into the four bedrooms.
Touring the Remodeled Interior Bob and general contractor Tim Berky look back on the numerous aspects of the finished job. Then Bob tours the remodeled mudroom and bath, plus the new open kitchen-dining space, where he meets with the homeowners and hears their reactions.
Tour of the Victorian Interior Homeowners David Masher and Jeanne Sanviti-Masher provide Bob with a tour of the interior of their 1890s Victorian home in Rowley, MA.
How To's & Quick Tips Articles, Blog Posts and Slideshows
10 Creative Stocking Stuffers You Can Make in Minutes A handmade gift from the heart always amounts to far more than what money can buy. This holiday season, put the DIY skills you've harvested to work, and stuff your family’s stockings with one of these 10 one-of-a-kind presents.
10 Easy DIY Candles for a Festive Season Candles are particularly valued during the holidays for their cozy ambiance and their ability to illuminate the decorations around them. But this year, why not embellish the candles themselves? Here are 10 simple ideas to get you started.
10 Easy Repairs Never to Pay Someone Else For The joys of homeownership are many—as are the little everyday challenges. The occasional leak or break is bound to happen, but there's no reason why these minor issues should ruin your positive outlook. Instead of shelling out cash for a contractor whenever a surprise crops up, use this handy guide to help you identify and repair easy projects all on your own.
10 Essentials for Any Survival Kit Whether it’s a Category 5 hurricane or the coming of the zombie apocalypse, you never know exactly when a disaster might strike. Whatever the coming calamity may be, it’s crucial to your survival to always be prepared. In some scenarios, you may need to evacuate your home almost immediately, so it’s important to assemble your kit well in advance and keep it easily accessible. Get started by flipping through our gallery to confirm that you’re fully stocked with these Red Cross-approved essentials.
10 Housekeeping Habits to Adopt in the New Year Your hardworking home deserves just as much of a fresh start as you do, doesn't it? Why not make this the year? Inspired by January's spirit of renewal, use these next 12 months to shape up your housekeeping habits and transform your run-of-the-mill abode into a calm, clean, and clutter-free retreat. The potential payoff is huge. All it takes is trying out a few—or all—of these 10 life-changing habits.
10 Ingenious Home Uses for Baking Soda Tired of spending hundreds of dollars on fancy cleaning products? The solution to many household cleaning and freshening problems is probably sitting in your cupboard right now—baking soda.
10 New Ways to Reimagine Old Musical Instruments Many of us have musical instruments that occupy a special place in our hearts, even if they no longer occupy a place in our lives. It's hard to imagine parting with your first guitar or disposing of a piano that nobody plays. Instead of letting an instrument with sentimental value gather dust, why not make it perform again as part of your home decor? Here are 10 repurposed instruments—from a tuba fountain birdbath to a trumpet iPod amplifier—to inspire both your inner musician and DIY ambitions. Play it again, Sam!
10 Novel Uses for the Classic Clothespin The first clothespins served the sole purpose of hanging laundry. But today, these humble wooden clips inspire all sorts of home improvement projects, from managing missing socks to storing string.
10 Reasons to Go Crazy for Chalkboard Paint Personalize your mugs, label your storage, and throw creativity up on a wall with these clever uses for the DIYer's favorite and most customizable weapon: chalkboard paint.
10 Things You Didn't Know a Sponge Can Do Think you know how to use a sponge? Well, think again! These colorful little squares of cellulose can be used for a lot more household tasks than just wiping down the kitchen counters. They can quickly and easily do double-duty as paint applicators, wallpaper removers, fridge fresheners, and a whole host of other common chores.
10 Tips for a Money-Making, Hassle-Free Yard Sale When it comes to yard sales, it's easy to make a wrong turn: setting prices too high, forgetting to advertise, or shadowing buyers are all simple mistakes sellers make. But a well-planned yard sale will leave your wallet fatter and your home decluttered. Proper planning, skillful organization, and a sense of humor will save the day—and your sanity. Here are 10 tips to ensure success.
10 Toolbox Hacks for Your Next DIY Project There's a little MacGyver in all of us. And when it comes to DIY, who couldn't use another shortcut? Whether your toolbox is fully stocked or you're slowly acquiring items from your wish list, whether you're an old pro or a newbie, the tricks of the trade can make your next DIY project (or emergency) a lot smoother—and smarter. Add these toolbox hacks to your artillery, and streamline your next project.
10 Top DIY Pipe Fitting Projects Plumbing may be best left in the hands of a pro, but getting creative with pipe fittings is a DIY project that can yield surprising results. Here are ten designs that raise the bar.
10 Unexpected Uses for Table Salt It's an integral part of every meal, but ordinary table salt can do a lot more than add flavor to your food. From cleaning to winter maintenance, salt can do a whole lot around the house. Here are ingenious seven uses for salt that might be new to you.
10 Ways to Go Crazy for Concrete For 75 years now, QUIKRETE® has supplied homeowners with high-quality concrete mixes for a staggering variety of projects. Some things don't change, and concrete remains do-it-yourselfers' go-to durable surface for such areas as the driveways, walkway, and patio. What's different? It’s not about functionality anymore; it’s more and more about design. Today, more and more homeowners are choosing concrete for smaller, often decorative indoor-oriented projects—furniture, for example, and home accents. To celebrate the QUIKRETE® anniversary, click through to see only some of the countless ways you can work with concrete to create a home you love.
11 Clever Other Uses for Plastic Wrap Certain household items are so commonplace that we scarcely notice them anymore. But it may be time to take another look at some everyday household staples—like plastic wrap. That kitchen mainstay can be pressed into service in many different ways, doing double-duty in everything from paint preservation to wine rescue. Here are just a few innovative uses.
11 Packing Tips & Tricks for a Smooth Move <p>You’ll be amazed at how a little prep work before moving will make for a smoother transition between homes. There are some tried-and-true packing tips you can heed to take the stress out of moving, but there are other logistics to consider as well. Start about 2 months out by either booking your moving truck (if you’re moving yourself), or getting estimates from movers. Then, notify your utilities and get your change-of-address taken care of at the post office. Start purging what you don’t want to take with you, and then start packing.<p>
<p>When it comes to packing moving boxes, start with out-of-season and rarely used items first. Then pack the more frequently used stuff, making sure to keep a few boxes of essentials easily accessible. Pack similar items together, and label each box with a description of its contents as well as which room it belongs in. If you’re moving yourself, load the truck with boxes first, from floor to ceiling, to use the space most efficiently. Next, bring in the largest items and tie everything down to secure. Distribute the weight evenly throughout the truck so it all rides well.<p>
<p>You can take the stress out of moving with proper planning and preparation. Read on for 11 packing tips for hassle-free moving.<p>
11 Stylish Ways to Enhance—or Hide—Your Radiators With much of the nation experiencing the bitterest temperatures on record, many of us are appreciating our radiators like never before. Why not show that love by considering one of these decorative finishes or encasements for our trusted cold-weather friends?
11 Ways to Get Rid of Mice <p>Say goodbye to Stuart Little! A mouse infestation can be enough to make anyone skittish. Those pesky critters can carry a plethora of dangerous diseases and cause plenty of damage to your home, tearing up walls and wiring. But never fear, you can win the war on these diminutive rodents. </p><br/>
<p>There’s more than one way to get rid of mice. First, prevention is key. Seal up the cracks and holes in which they can enter your home, and remove any food and water sources that may attract them. Keep outdoor clutter away from your home’s foundation and garage to minimize environments in which they might nest. Encouraging natural predators can help keep the population of potential mouse interlopers down. Build an owl box on your property. A barn owl can eat up to 1000 mice a year! Do you like cats? Owning one can help keep mice at bay. Not only are cats great hunters, but just their scent alone will discourage mice from taking up residence.</p><br/>
<p>Should prevention methods fail, you can get rid of mice through various manners of trapping. Check out our collection of easy strategies that will both help you to get rid of mice and keep the unwelcome guests from coming back again.</p>
13 Clever Alternatives Uses for Steel Wool Steel wool, now commonplace in the modern home, came about somewhat by accident. It is believed that 19th-century mechanics used to gather up the metal waste shavings from below their lathes and use them to polish metal surfaces. By the 20th century, steel wool was being mass-produced. The process begins with steel rods that are thinned and shaved; the resulting strands are then woven together to form long spools of steel wool. It is then either sold in smaller rolls or formed into pads (sometimes soaked in soap) for use in homes and shops everywhere. Steel wool comes in eight grades, from extra-coarse (4) to finest (0000)—the coarser the wire, the more abrasive the steel wool. Steel wool is handy for a variety of jobs, from removing tough rust and old varnish to buffing fine woodwork to a brilliant shine. Because it's so versatile—as good for cleaning your garden tools or car tires as it is for home renovation projects—there should always be a place for steel wool in your home or garage.
14 DIY Projects Perfect for the Weekend It doesn't take a big budget and a crew of professional contractors to revamp your house. Reinvent your home yourself, room by room, one weekend at a time. It's easier than it sounds! With a little inspiration, some repurposed materials, and a couple of free days, you can cross off a lot of things from your household wish list and flex your DIY muscles while you're at it. Have you always wanted a platform bed, a kitchen island, or a stylish new set of bookshelves? There's all that and more in this inspiration gallery!
15 Shipping Pallet Projects for the DIY Home Shipping pallets are the DIYer’s standby building material for many good reasons. They aren’t hard to come by, and even damaged pallets can be salvaged for smaller projects. Kept whole, shipping pallets make great building blocks for large projects; deconstructed, they can be used to build just about anything. This versatility means that just a couple of cast-off pallets can fit the bill for a huge assortment of home improvement projects. In fact, what can’t you make from shipping pallets? With so many options, narrowing down our favorites was quite the task… but here they are: 15 projects for your home— all made from shipping pallets.
16 Ingenious IKEA Hacks See how DIYers have combined, modify, and rearrange IKEA stock to create ten unique furniture pieces.
17 Creative Ways to Reuse Cardboard Boxes While technology is constantly giving us new ways of doing things, there are some things that stubbornly stay the same. Take the good old cardboard box, for example: 90 percent of all products shipped in the United States are still sent using some type of cardboard packaging. So what do we do with all of it once items have been safely removed from their boxes? Unfortunately, we usually break down the boxes and toss them in recycling—but if we would just give it a little thought, the possibilities are almost endless. Cardboard can be bent, cut, painted, wrapped, and configured in almost any way you can imagine. And, as you will see, upcycled cardboard doesn't have to remain in the realm of kids' play forts or drab storage containers. Here are 11 creative ideas for turning excess cardboard into functional household items you will want to show off.
20 Insanely Easy 60-Minute Home Improvements On television, home improvement projects go from start to finish in 60 minutes or less. The good news is, you don’t need to spend a lot of time to spruce up your home. Here are some ideas for quick projects that deliver big results.
21 Coffee Bars to Put Pep in Your Home Design The explosion in popularity of single-serve coffeemakers like the Keurig has given rise to a new home design trend: the coffee bar. Making a cup of coffee now requires minimal effort, and many of us feel free to indulge in our favorite hot beverage throughout the day, as opposed to just in the morning. There's no need to venture out to the coffee shop on the corner when it’s easier than ever to enjoy a fresh, hot cup of coffee at home—a convenience especially appreciated by telecommuters. Coffee is such a fixture in our lives, it seems natural to set aside a special place for the satisfying ritual of making it. Here are some of our favorite examples of home coffee bars from around the Web.
30 Things Every Homeowner Should Know How to Do Not every home's a fixer-upper, but all houses need occasional repairs and maintenance. You'll be able to handle those jobs like a pro if you make sure you have these 30 key home improvement skills under your belt. They'll come in handy whether you're redoing the house, upgrading a room, or just trying to keep everything in top condition.
58 Outstanding DIY Ornaments Move over, pumpkin spice latte—it's peppermint mocha time. December is here, and even if you spent the last few month...
6 Mistakes Homeowners Make Every Summer Dreams of the summer season tend to focus on long, lazy days spent reading the latest bestsellers, napping in the rope hammock, or watching white clouds drift across a blue sky. But if you’re a homeowner, you know that summer isn’t always a day at the beach. Though storms and storm damage are hallmarks of winter, of course, weather-related hazards are threat throughout the steamy summer months, too. In addition, on those sunny weekend days, there are no shortage of maintenance tasks to complete, not only for aesthetic reasons, but for the integrity and longevity of your home and its components. It may be tempting to put off such projects until the leaves change, but don't delay. Prevent extensive, expensive problems in the future by tackling these important tasks today.
6 Ways You’re Accidentally Damaging Your Home Everyone makes mistakes, even when it comes to the responsibilities of homeownership. No matter how conscientious you are, you may be leaving your home vulnerable to extensive, expensive damage—perhaps without even realizing it. Read on to learn which critical upkeep tasks you may be neglecting at the risk of harming of your home.
60-Minute DIY Projects On television, home improvement projects go from start to finish in 60 minutes or less. You’ve probably thought while...
7 "Money Pit" Home Improvements You Might Regret Being a new homeowner comes with the freedom of making renovations to personalize your space. Many of these adjustments may be minor, but even minimal changes can give an old house a facelift. Before you start remodeling, especially if you plan on selling the house in the future, there are a few improvement projects you should know to avoid. Check out these projects that just aren’t worth the money.
7 Clever (Unauthorized) Uses for Common Appliances If you think of your dishwasher, microwave, and coffeemaker as one-trick ponies, you might be surprised to learn that they're each capable of doing a lot more than cleaning your plates, warming your food, and delivering a daily jolt of java. In fact, most appliances in your home can do double—if not triple—duty. Click through the next few slides, and we'll show you exactly how.
7 Creative DIY Ways to Reuse a 5-Gallon Bucket What do you do with an extra 5 gallon bucket? Once its contents are gone, its usefulness is only beginning. That's because there are so many practical ways to reuse a bucket. Whether you use it to help you complete your next remodeling project, upcycle it into a safe toy for toddlers, or even create your own off-the-grid small appliance, your ingenuity will keep another heavy duty bucket out of the landfill and might just save you a few bucks to boot. Flip through to see our favorite uses for an extra 5 gallon bucket.
7 Fall Fix-Ups to Do for a Winter-Ready Home After a long and steamy summer, many homeowners are enjoying the cooler temperatures of autumn. While it may be a welcome relief, that nip in the air carries a sobering message: It's only a matter of time before winter storms in. Don't wait until the first frost to prepare your home and property for the worst weather of the year. Now is the time to tick those last items off your to-do list, especially if the work involves such materials as concrete and mortar. Armed with rapid-setting, easy-to-use products from CTS Cement | Rapid Set, do-it-yourselfers can move briskly through their fall maintenance agendas, preparing their homes to stand firm through the ice, wind, and snow. For a sampling of the repair and maintenance jobs you may want to complete before fall fades away, click through right now!
7 Keys for Shuttering Your Summer Home By the beginning of fall, once the warm weather comes to end, second-homeowners around the country begin the process of closing up their summer abodes. When leaving your vacation home for any extended length of time, it’s important to winterize the property to help ensure that it’s in great shape upon your return. Before departing for the season, there are a few essential things you can do to help protect your house through the cold months ahead.
7 Things Every Entryway Needs <p>Whether spacious or cozy, the home entryway holds great importance in our everyday lives. It's both where we prepare to greet the day and where we are welcomed home in the evening. A well-appointed entryway can determine whether we leave the home in an anxious scramble or totally collected. What's more, this humble setting gives visitors their first glimpse into our homes and an idea of our personal style—so why not focus our full attention on making it look its best? </p><br/>
<p>The entryway is a space that’s often overlooked, but just a few basic design ideas can help to integrate this transitional area into the rest of the home. The entryway is a “landing area,” so a place to sit while shedding and donning shoes and coats is a great comfort both to those who live in the home, and those who visit. Entryways can often be small, and even dark. So, it’s a good idea to strategically place mirrors and lighting in a way that opens up and brightens the space. </p><br/>
<p>Use your home’s entryway as an introduction to the whole house. Integrating a few features of your home’s color and artwork into your entryway will serve to orient guests to the surroundings of your hospitality. For more ideas on how to flesh out the form and function of your entryway, familiarize yourself with these seven essential entryway elements.</p>
7 Things to Do Right Now for a Warmer Winter The crisp snap of autumn weather is a reminder that even colder days lie ahead. Get ready for them by performing a few simple chores now that will keep you toasty all winter long.
7 Ticking Time Bombs in Your House—and What to Do Next Let's face it: There are some home maintenance and repair issues that, given a choice, most property owners are likely to procrastinate, whether because they take time, cost money, or just don't seem all that urgent. If it's not an entirely apparent or nagging issue, it might take some time to be addressed. But some of the most serious problems hide masked behind a beautiful facade—and could turn any dream home into a nightmare on Elm Street. Click through for the top structural and mechanical time bombs that experts say have the potential to blow up in order to spot and squelch them in your own home—before the big boom.
8 Cleaning Mistakes Everyone Makes Routines we use to clean the home become second nature. We may never stop to think if we’re doing it right or if we could be doing it better. Believe it or not, there are actually some right and wrong ways to dust, mop, scrub, vacuum, and clean essentially everything in the home. Worried now that you've been incorrect this whole time? Click through to see the most common mistakes and how to fix them.
8 Great DIY Ways to Use Cinder Blocks Coming in at less than $2 per block and useful for a wide variety of purposes, cinder blocks are—you might say—worth their considerable weight in gold. These load-bearing concrete construction units typically remain hidden, performing their structural work behind the scenes. But their no-frills appearance and easy customization make them ideal for more high-profile work around the house, too. Click through to see seven projects that showcase the versatility of these hefty home helpers.
8 Quick Tips for Solving Winter Woes Winter brings snowmen, sledding, and toasty evenings by the fire. It also brings a special set of maintenance issues that require a homeowner's attention. Proper planning and preventive upkeep will help you deal with these worries efficiently, so you can spend more time sipping hot chocolate and reading books while you wait for spring to arrive.
8 Warning Signs of Dangerously Outdated Electrical Wiring Most people don’t give too much thought to what’s behind their walls. Yet every time you flip a light switch or use your toaster, you are drawing on your home’s internal wiring—and that can cause big problems if your wiring is old or damaged. In fact, overloading an older home's wiring can spark a fire. Home electrical problems start an estimated 53,600 fires each year, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International. These fires cause more than 500 deaths and 1,400 injuries, and account for more than $1.4 billion in property damage. Many home electrical fires, however, can be prevented if you're able to recognize and address a few common warning signs.
9 Amazing Things You Can Do with Sugru Do you Sugru? If you have not yet experimented with this endlessly versatile product, you may be missing out on one of the most useful and fun-to-use tools now available to do-it-yourselfers at all Lowe's stores nationwide.
9 Clever Things You Can Do with a Rubber Band Rubber bands—those unassuming desk accessories—seem to multiply every time you turn around. If you’re like most people, you have a junk drawer and an office caddy full of these versatile little loops. And while surreptitiously shooting rubber bands across the room at your spouse might be fun and entertaining for a while, there are a lot of other, more practical things that you can do with these ubiquitous stretchy ovals. Here are just a few handy household uses for rubber bands.
9 Creative Uses for Old Paint Cans Wondering what to do with all those empty paint cans? See how others have cleaned and repurposed them into everything from smart storage to fun works of art.
9 DIYs to String Together with Twine Twine may not evoke much excitement, but some of these incredibly clever twine-based projects just might. From quick-and-easy DIYs to more elaborate labors of love, these 9 twine triumphs will get you all wound up.
9 New Things to Do with Old Ladders The thrift store, a neighbor's junk pile, Craigslist, or your own garage—just a few of the places where you can probably get your hands on an old ladder that’s doing little else but collecting dust. They're worth hunting down, because these sturdy, easy-to-paint (if you like) old junkers can quickly become clever resting places for a variety of household items. Here are 9 ideas to get you in step.
9 Surprising Alternative Uses for Toothpaste Everyone knows that toothpaste cleans your teeth and brightens your smile, but did you know it can do the same for many surfaces around your house? Non-gel toothpaste, which is usually white and milky in color, can double as a cleaning product for shining, deodorizing, and cleaning up household messes. And since you probably already have several tubes lying around the house, there is no need to go out and buy more cleaning products, which may contain harsher chemicals than the job requires. Click through our online gallery to learn about usual uses for toothpaste that can freshen up your day.
A Starbucks Christmas Carol Every time I look in my wastebasket at work, there is a Starbucks coffee cup, sip lid, and thermal cup sleeve (or if ...
Bob Vila's 10 "Must Do" April Projects Spring is here—and with it, a flowering of seasonal responsibilities. It's time to repair any fences, lawns, or furniture that winter battered and bruised. And when you've finished with that, April is also a fine time to show your home some TLC so it will be primed to protect you from spring rains and allergies. Read on for this month's top "must do" projects.
Bob Vila's 10 "Must Do" February Projects It's the shortest month of the year, but that doesn't mean there's not a lot to be done. Tackle your home projects systematically by identifying your home's needs and sticking to a schedule. Here are 10 top projects for February. Take a look and see if you'll be adding them to you own "must do" list this month.
Bob Vila's 10 "Must Do" June Projects June marks the official start of summer, and what better way to celebrate than outside? These coming warm, sunny days are the perfect time to take stock of your outdoor space. Set yourself up for a month of backyard entertaining by building some easy outdoor furniture, or boost your garden tool storage with the installation of a new shed early in the season. For more ideas, click through these 10 "must do" projects to tackle this month.
Bob Vila's 10 "Must Do" March Projects Spring will be here soon enough. It's the perfect time to tidy up—both indoors and out—and take stock of your home. Whether you're planning your garden, growing a picture-perfect lawn, or would rather relax in a lounger on the back patio, there's plenty to do. Click through to see the top must do projects for the season.
Bob Vila's 10 "Must Do" October Projects October brings cooler temperatures to much of the country, which makes it a busy time of year for weekend warriors. There's much to do, from winterizing the yard to battening down the hatches for cold and inclement weather. Take control of your home improvement to-do list, and be sure to add in my 10 top projects for this month.
Bob Vila's 10 "Must Do" Projects for April Spring has sprung! While cool temperatures may not be completely behind us, it's certain that April will usher in warmer days, making it the perfect month to get back to beautifying the yard and garden. The season is likely to bring rain, so be sure to clear your gutters of debris and resolve any water issues in the basement. Getting those tasks out of the way now will give you time to refresh your home's curb appeal, tackle a DIY project or two, and sow some seeds for your summer vegetable garden.
Bob Vila's 10 "Must Do" Projects for August By the time August hits, the end of summer is on the horizon, regretfully, but don't despair—there's still plenty of time left before fall. Make the most of this opportunity to tackle my 10 must-do's for the month!
Bob Vila's 10 "Must Do" Projects for December December is a busy month, packed with festivity preparation and the typical winter maintenance. Get it all done and still have time to lounge inside by the fire by flipping through my list of "must do" projects.
Bob Vila's 10 "Must Do" Projects for February Sure, February's a short month, but it's jam-packed with chores and planning. It's time to turn attention indoors, spiffing up bathroom grout and kitchen cabinets; organizing closets, rooms, and those dreaded tax documents; and helping the heating system by replacing filters and stopping up drafts.
Bob Vila's 10 "Must Do" Projects for January 'Tis the season for resolutions—and have we got some good ones for you! Follow our lead, and come next year, your house will be more energy efficient, better organized, more creatively decorated, and cozier, too.
Bob Vila's 10 "Must Do" Projects for July July ushers in the start of summer, which translates into outdoor living, grilling, and staying cool. But this month, like any other, there are things you can do to improve your summer living; things that will bring you more opportunity for leisure-time pursuits, while still keeping your home and garden in peak condition. Here are my top 10 "must do" projects for July.
Bob Vila's 10 "Must Do" Projects for June The first day of summer is almost here, and memories of the long, cruel winter have all but left our collective consciousness. Since June is a great month to fire up the BBQ and soak up some rays, make sure your yard is both comfortable and beautiful. Follow proper lawn care, keep pests at bay, and consider adding some budget-friendly summer style to the front porch (deck or patio). If you want easy access to bikes, mowers, and sports equipment, be sure to clean and organize the garage. And, don't neglect the inside of the house! You can easily transform any room with a new color or patterned wallpaper. Check out all this and more in my "must do" projects for June!
Bob Vila's 10 "Must Do" Projects for March With February behind us, we know that spring will soon be here—despite recent freezing temperatures and the ongoing forecasts of snow. Whether it comes in like a lamb or lion, March is a month of transitions. It’s also a good month to bring some order and organization to your home (and life), and to refresh the house after it's been closed tight for winter. There’s yard prep to think about as well, from taking the first steps towards your best lawn yet to readying the deck and outdoor furniture for the balmier months ahead.
Bob Vila's 10 "Must Do" Projects for May May is a practically perfect month for home improvement. Across much of the country, the mild weather makes it just as feasible to work on the outside of your home as it is to redo the interior. So whether you're working for the perfect lawn or a clean, streamlined kitchen, here are 10 projects to take on this month.
Bob Vila's 10 "Must Do" Projects for May May is a month worth celebrating. Those April showers have gone, leaving in their wake beautiful spring flowers, and the heat of summer has yet to arrive. As the days become warmer and sunnier, seasonal maintenance both inside and outside the house seems like less of a chore. Make the most of this energizing season by getting your lawn off to a good start, reviving your outdoor furniture, and improving your home's curb appeal. Inside, you'll want to make certain your air conditioning units are in good working order for the summer months ahead. Here are the 10 top "must-do" projects for May.
Bob Vila's 10 "Must Do" Projects for November The Halloween decorations are packed up and Thanksgiving is on the way. November's cooler weather makes it a great month to spend indoors with friends and family. But before festivities begin, get your home into working order to make the most of the season—and prepare for any early winter storms while you're at it.
Bob Vila's 10 "Must Do" Projects for October Summer's gone and autumn's knocking at the door. The month of October brings colorful leaves, cool breezes, and Halloween trick-or-treaters. It's also the perfect time to finish outdoor maintenance projects, brush up on your fire safety knowledge, and winterize your lawn before the cold temperatures really set in. Click through to take a look at my ten must do projects for this month.
Bob Vila's 10 "Must-Do" Projects for September September marks the official beginning of autumn, which means there are leaves to be raked and cold weather preparations to be made. But this month is more than just hard work. It's also a great time to snap up some deals and minimize clutter. Here are my 10 must-do projects for September.
Bob Vila's 13 Best Projects for a Long Weekend Three cheers for the long weekend! A few times out of the year, we're blessed with a full extra day's worth of time to ourselves. It's the perfect opportunity to run errands, spend time with family, or fix up whatever has been hanging around for weeks waiting to be addressed. But that extra day is also great for tackling a fun home DIY. We've rounded up a few of the best, most joyful summer projects we've seen in order to inspire you to exercise your creativity over the long weekend. This collection ranges from hour-long crafts to extensive multiday projects, so there's an option here to suit every skill level and any schedule.
Brokers Reveal 7 "Works Every Time" Ways to Boost Home Resale Value Whether you're looking to relocate, retire, downsize, or upsize, the process of selling your home can create a long and wild to-do list. But putting your place on the market doesn’t need to include overhauling the entire structure—in fact, the most important changes don’t involve additions at all. Before you start scheduling open houses, pick and choose the projects that will get you the most bang for your buck. Read on for what improvements real estate insiders say consistently win over buyers and boost your home’s resale value.
Do You Need a Dehumidifier? Air quality can suffer in myriad ways. Excess humidity ranks among the least desirable effects. Left unchecked, moist...
Don't Try This at Home: The 7 Most Dangerous DIYs Owning a home can be very expensive, which is why many savvy homeowners learn to do minor maintenance and repair work themselves, rather than hire a professional. Some projects, however, are way beyond the skill level of the average homeowner and should not be attempted. These dangerous projects can have deadly consequences if not done properly, so it is important to always hire or consult with a professional before starting the work yourself. Click through our “Do Not DIY” gallery to learn more about these potentially hazardous repair and maintenance tasks.
Drab to Fab: 10 Fantastic Furniture Makeovers Whether they involve repainting, resizing, or retrofitting, furniture makeovers are very popular in the DIY world. While original finishes and old-world style certainly have merit, there's a special thrill in giving new life and purpose to tired, old pieces. Design bloggers and style seekers alike, especially those who are thrift minded, waste conscious, and project oriented, know this excitement well. They gather supplies, identify key materials, and work doggedly toward the dramatic, much-anticipated reveal. These restyling magicians relish each furniture makeover challenge, bringing their ingenuity and hard work to bear as they transform yard sale bargains, flea market finds, and family hand-me-downs into relevant, covetable home furnishings for today.
Easy DIY Fixes for 11 Annoying House Problems It can be a real chore to deal with all of your home's trouble spots and "quirks," especially after you've learned to live with them. Sometimes it's out of pure procrastination, putting off for months a minor repair that would take only five minutes to complete. Other times, we may delay because we're just not sure how to handle the problem (but we sure don't want to pay a handyman to do something we should be capable of doing ourselves). Whatever the case, these little annoyances can add up to much bigger frustrations, leaving us with a feeling that the house is completely falling apart. Never fear: We've outlined 11 of the most common annoying house problems and provided the quick-and-easy fixes that will bring your home back to tip-top shape.
Father's Day Gift Guide 2011 The annual ritual of buying gifts for Father’s Day is underway. When it comes to home products and gadgets, shopping ...
Father's Day Gift Guide: 10 Super Cool Gifts for the DIY Dad Shopping for the DIY Dad this Father's Day? You've come to the right place. Whether your dad is as handy with a drill driver as he is with grilling tongs, we've got you covered with an assortment of gifts for every kind of DIY Dad. From a digital camera for documenting and sharing his projects to a beer-making kit to perfect his own signature brew, check out the top ten picks in our Father's Day Gift Guide.
Finish Strong: 7 Things to Do Before Summer Ends All good things must come to an end, and that goes for summer too. On a blistering August afternoon, cold weather may seem like an almost inconceivably remote prospect, but you can be sure that it's coming—and sooner than you think. Before the summer ends, pull out your to-do list and check to see if it still includes any projects you won't be able to complete once the temperature takes a plunge. If, for example, the task involves concrete, there's no better time than the present. Start now, and you ought to have plenty of time, especially thanks to quick-curing products from innovators like CTS Cement | Rapid Set. Click through now to see only a sampling of the concrete repair and maintenance jobs that homeowners should try to finish up before this balmy summer becomes merely a fond memory.
Garage Doors Repurposed: 9 Innovative Design Uses If you’re planning on improving your home's curb appeal by installing a new garage door, don’t be so fast to throw out the old one. Disposing of a large, cumbersome garage door may be difficult—and entirely unnecessary. Those big doors were built to last; they're far from ready for the landfill or recycling center. Whether kept intact or broken into smaller parts, an old garage door has myriad potential second lives. Just take a look at these great projects that use repurposed garage doors. Maybe you can try one of these on your old door or even be inspired to think up your own smart reuse.
Get Grilling! 10 Best Grills Under $100 Nothing says summer quite like a backyard barbecue. That’s why we did our research to identify some of the top-rated grills on the market today—and just in time for grilling season. Whether you are looking for something compact and portable or something more substantial for some serious summer entertaining, one of these designs is sure to fit the bill. Best of all, each of these 10 top-rated grills retails for under $100. Time to get grilling!
How To: Caulk a Shower There’s nothing quite like a steamy shower to rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit after a good night’s sleep or a ...
How To: Choose Tile Evaluate Your Needs Choosing tile is not as easy as walking into a showroom and picking the right color or pattern. F...
How To: Clean Any Appliance Kitchens can be pretty filthy places: dirty dishes in the sink, spilled food on the counters, cooking oils and grease on the stovetop, and even pet food on the floor. Neglected for just one day, the kitchen may become a haven for germs, insects, and other pests. Regular deep-cleaning—going beyond simply wiping up spills and doing the dishes—is of paramount importance. Take a critical look at your kitchen appliances, and tackle some of the toughest jobs with a few simple cleaners and a little bit of elbow grease. Here are a couple of tips and basic cleaning techniques to keep your appliances both looking and working great.
How To: Clean Copper Copper can be a finicky material; it tarnishes easily even when subject to normal wear. Fortunately, using only commo...
How To: Clean EVERYTHING From shower doors to stainless steel, concrete, and slate, we've collected our best scrub-and-polish advice to aid in your spring cleaning.
How To: Clean Marble Unquestionably, marble ranks among the most luxurious and beautiful countertop and flooring materials. Equally beyond...
How To: Clean Paint Brushes An investment in high-quality brushes is wasted if they are not properly cleaned and stored after use. So invest the ...
How To: Clean Patio Cushions When it comes time to spiff up your porch or patio for spring, cleaning your furniture cushions ranks high on the to-...
How To: Clean Plexiglass Commonly used to construct everyday items from shower enclosures to tabletops, plexiglass (also known as acrylic) off...
How To: Clean Your Cleaning Tools If you're like many homeowners, you make good on a regular cleaning schedule. So maybe you skip dusting once in a while, but your house is pretty clean, right? But the dirtiest places in your home might be hiding in plain sight. We're talking about your cleaning tools! In order to get the most out of them, they need a good sprucing up too. Your household tools can suffer from a buildup of dirt, grease, and grime, making your cleaning efforts far less effective. In fact, every time you use them, you could just be spreading the “gunk” around your home. Here are a few quick-and-easy final steps to add to your cleaning routine that will make all the difference in your efforts to keep your home sparkling fresh.
How To: Clean a Coffeemaker Bleary-eyed fumbling for that first cup of joe can lead to spills, yet despite this repeated abuse during the morning...
How To: Clean a Deck Come summertime, the deck practically becomes an extension of your house. In fact, when decorated according to typica...
How To: Clean a Down Comforter Just about every down comforter has a tag with care instructions that read, "Dry Clean Only. " But if you're on a bud...
How To: Clean a Glass Cooktop Many homeowners invest in glass cooktops because their modern, flat surface makes them both easy on the eye and easy ...
How To: Clean a Hot Tub Owning your own hot tub is an affordable luxury. But while the bubbles may be relaxing, maintaining the unit takes wo...
How To: Clean a Humidifier A hardworking humidifier is a lifesaver during the dry, cold months of winter. Its dedicated function—adding moisture...
How To: Clean a Mattress Wash and dry your sheets and pillowcases once a week—that's all it takes to sleep in clean comfort, right? Wrong. You...
Just in Time: 10 Stocking Stuffers to Save the Day So, it’s almost Christmas and you’ve still got some stockings that need filling. There’s no need to spend hours at the shops or pay a premium online for overnight shipping. Some of these ideas can be put together at home using materials you’ll already have on hand, and others require just a quick trip to the local craft or hardware store.
Keep It Green: How to Make Your X-Mas Tree Last All Season It’s the time of year when Christmas tree lots start appearing around your community, bringing with them a difficult decision–will bringing home your evergreen so early in the season mean having a Charlie Brown-style tree come Christmas Day? Luckily, with these few tips, you should be able to preserve your fresh pine from early December into the new year.
Keep Your Cool with 10 DIY Ice Chests At your next outdoor bash, don't keep going back into the house for drinks! Instead, grab yourself a cold one from one of these clever—and stylish—"ice chests."
Kid-Friendly DIY: 10 Projects Sure to Inspire Summer Fun Summertime is on, and the kids are out of school. Every mom knows that for these three months it's more important than ever to keep the kids busy. But you don't have to schedule your life away with camps, or drop a bundle on activities and games that come in a box. You can make your own fun, and even include the kids in the prep, with some simple, inexpensive DIY crafts that will keep them playing 'til the lightening bugs come out. Make your own finger paint, bubbles, and crayons. Create a fort-building kit and superhero capes that will kick their imaginations into overdrive. Here are 10 of our favorite kid-friendly DIY crafts to fuel your summertime fun.
Modern Farmhouse Vanity While helping her brother with his bathroom remodel, Michelle and Nate of Decor and the Dog concocted a plan for the ...
Modern Wood Slice Shelves After searching with no avail for modern accent shelves, Girl Loves Glam blogger, McKenzie, decided to take matters i...
More Than Meets the iPhone: 9 Add-Ons to Transform Your Mobile Device Thanks to a legion of software apps, smartphones have evolved into "Star Trek"-like communicator devices. Of course, loading up on software isn't the only way to soup up your phone's "app"-titudes. There's actually a slew of hardware gadgets that snap right onto your phone and open up myriad app possibilities. Best of all, these attachments are tailor-made for DIY doings. So before you embark on your next big home renovation or construction project, consider transforming your phone into a DIY toolbox with one or more of the following add-ons.
Mother's Day Gift Guide: 10 Ideas to DIY or Buy Get creative this Mother's Day and give your mom a gift she can enjoy in the garden, the craft room, the kitchen, or in a comfy chair while she's unwinding after a hard day. Find some inspiration in this selection of our favorite gifts for the home-and-garden-savvy mom.
Mother's Day Gift Suggestions The days, and hours, and minutes to Mother’s Day are winding down, but you still have time to find a special home gif...
Over a Dozen Things You Didn't Know You Could Clean in the Dishwasher Did you hear? The dishwasher isn’t just for dishes anymore. As a matter of fact, you can wash a whole host of things you may never have considered putting in your dishwasher. Anything from plastic toys to vacuum cleaner parts to throw pillows can go through a cycle for a quick and easy rejuvenation.
Repurposed Door Beverage Bar If you're like us, spring and summer can mean long, thirsty hours spent DIYing (or even relaxing!) in the sun. But th...
Repurposed Door Coffee Table After posting pictures of a DIY coffee table that she (and readers) loved, Sausha from Sweet Pickins decided to revis...
Repurposed Door Toddler Bed Gail from My Repurposed Life is no stranger to fantastic repurposing projects. But don't let her skills intimidate yo...
Rustic Craft Room Island Addicted 2 DIY mastermind, Katie, reimagined DIY island plans to create a focal-point storage spot for her craft room...
Shelf Life: 10 Bookcases You Can Make Yourself Voracious readers love surrounding themselves with books—but as every bookworm knows, displaying those treasured tomes requires ample storage space, and it can be difficult to shelve them all. Luckily, you don’t need to build an entire library to store and display your favorite reading material. There are plenty of DIY bookcases and shelving ideas to fit even a limited space. Using a little ingenuity and elbow grease, anyone can DIY a bookcase to proudly display a book collection, whether large or small.
Shhh! 11 DIYs for a Soundproofed Home No matter where you live, be it city, suburb, or country, noise is just about everywhere. Even the quietest of neighborhoods regularly experience some level of noise disturbance. So, what’s the best way to tackle the issue? Follow this three-part approach: Reduce noise transmission from the outside, reduce the noise that your household generates, and use sound-absorbing materials to lessen the effects of noise that you do generate. Try these easy soundproofing strategies to maximize peace and quiet in your home.
Show-Offs! 9 Inventive Ways to Display a Collection Why do we feel compelled to collect things? Some of us love the thrill of seeking out unusual items that delight us or reflect our interests, while others save mementos of special trips or times. Whatever your reasons for collecting, part of the pleasure comes from sharing your collections with others. Yet it can be challenging to devise inventive and effective displays. If you're looking for ways to show off a few of your favorite things, here are 10 creative display solutions to inspire you.
Small Miracles: 9 Amazing Home Repair Products Home maintenance is a constant reality for homeowners and renters alike, but it doesn’t have to be painful. If you keep the right products on hand, you can fix just about anything with minimal stress. Check out our collection of favorite household repair products that will make you a believer in maintenance miracles.
The Gear You Need to Fight the Worst of Winter There are plenty of ways — short of moving to Miami — that you can keep ice and snow under control this winter. For a stress-free season, rely on some improved products and techniques — as well as good old common sense.
The Most Frequently Asked Questions of 2014 Does home improvement leave you scratching your head? We compiled a list of the most commonly asked questions at BobVila.com—along with the answers. Click through to see them all. Who knows, maybe this list will help you accomplish some DIYs of your own in the new year.
Weekend Projects: 10 DIY Gifts to Make and Give You don't need to spend a fortune or wait in long lines to give the perfect gift to a loved one this holiday season. All you need to make these gifts are two hands, a few supplies, and a little creativity.
Winter Preparation Checklist Give your home a once-over and tend to winter preparation tasks and repairs before the year’s first frost. “Getting t...
Winterize Your Home in 7 Simple Steps With winter fast approaching, you'll want to make sure you've taken some critical steps to keep your house warm and safe through the colder months. Here are seven simple things you should do now to ensure your house survives winter weather in fine form.
Without a Stitch: 9 No-Sew Projects to Dress Up Any Room The most subtle changes can sometimes have the biggest impact—just witness the effect of new blinds, updated throw pillows, or fresh upholstery. Unfortunately, many of the small-but-powerful home decor projects on the Web require some sort of stitching, patchwork, or embroidery. But there’s good news for needle-phobes! If darning a pair of socks gives you the willies, rest assured that there are lots of ways to make a room pop without first having to thread a needle or fire up the sewing machine—if you even have one. With everyday items like an old sweater, fabric glue, or lots of staples, you can create an accent that can completely make a room. These delightful, low-cost improvements, from a window facelift to a chair rehab, will pay for themselves the minute a guest says, “Wow, I love this!” So, in the spirit of ingenuity, here are 10 DIY home decor projects that don’t require so much as a spool of thread.
Your Guide to Solving 8 Notorious Holiday Stains The holidays are full of food, family, fun—and the occasional freak-out over a stain-threatening mishap. When the turkey grease splatters or a glass of red wine spills, spring into action with these lifesaving (or, at the very least, couch- and carpet-saving) stain removal tips. With these remedies up your sleeve, cleanup will be as easy as pie.
Your Post-Halloween Cleanup Guide If you wound up with more tricks than treats this Halloween, you're likely to have your hands full with a mess: toilet paper in the trees, eggs dripping on your house, maybe even chocolate mashed into the carpet. There’s no reason to get spooked: These 6 strategies for dealing with Halloween hazards will make your post-holiday cleanup a breeze.
How To's & Quick Tips Videos
Retrofitting a Gas Light Bob meets electrician Barry Driscoll, who is retrofitting an old gas light fixture to make a modern electrical one. Then Bob meets with lighting consultant Penny Henderson, who discusses the benefits of controlling lighting for different scenarios.
Playground Construction, Part 2 In Columbus, OH, Bob and other volunteers are constructing a playground. Bob discusss the materials and techniques used in the project, including the octagonal roofs and "wavy" walkways.
Playground Construction, Part 3 Bob makes his third visit to the playground in Columbus, OH to tour the nearly-complete project and comment on its various features.
10 Artful Uses for Old Frames An empty picture frame is the quintessential blank slate. Sure, you can fill it with a photo of your dog, a poster, or a drawing. But why not take it further? With a little outside-the-box thinking, a frame’s possibilities are practically endless. From a planter to a jewelry holder to an herb dryer, this collection showcases 10 brilliant ways to repurpose frames to make useful items for every part of your home.
10 Best Flea Markets for Cool Old Finds Oh, flea markets and swap meets the way they used to be! Vendors selling used items they no longer needed, and buyers scoring great deals—some requiring TLC, others in mint condition. Sadly, though, many fleas these days resemble dollar stores, stocked with poorly made new stuff. That’s why we combed the country for real old-fashioned fleas, where you can still pick up vintage values to add a distinctive touch to your home. So pencil these into your calendar, and let the bargain hunting begin!
10 Classic Ways to Brighten a Dark Room Bringing light to a dark room will immediately make it more appealing. If making structural changes like adding windows, doors or skylights just isn’t in the cards, you can use paint, rugs, lighting, and accessories to transform a cave into a captivating place where everyone will want to gather.
10 Color Picks to Set Any Mood in Your Bedroom Color affects our mood like almost no other design element. To that end, your bedroom color may be among the most important design choices in your home. Whether you want to inspire the idea of serenity, vitality, or romance, the color scheme you select is key.
As it is such a big decision, if you’re not confident in your color choice before painting all four bedroom walls, take advantage of the small sample containers often sold at paint stores and big box hardware stores. You can test a small area of the bedroom first to see how it actually looks on the wall. Colors will be their truest in natural daylight, but lighting can really change the way paint looks. Incandescent lighting skews colors toward warmer, yellow tones, while fluorescent lighting casts a blue hue. You can get an even better idea of how a paint color will look throughout the bedroom if you use paint those samples on a large poster board that can move from wall to wall, next to windows, and into darker corners.
Not sure where to start for choosing a color? Think about the mood you want to inspire in the space. Does your bedroom need to be a relaxing haven? Or, does it need to infuse you with energy? No matter what your needs, these bedroom color ideas will help you set the tone of your bedroom and create the space of your dreams.
10 Creative New Ways to Use Old Bottles Is your recycling bin overflowing with old wine, beer, and soda bottles? Glass bottles fill local dumps and monster landfill sites all over the world. While households can cut down on unnecessary waste by reusing glass bottles for food and liquid storage, many of us simply have more old bottles than we know what to do with. If that's the case at your home, it’s time to get creative! Sometimes, simply adding paint, twine, and other decorative craft supplies is all that’s needed to give an old bottle a new look and new life. For the more ambitious, learning basic glass-cutting skills opens up even more possibilities for making the most of those old bottles. Still stumped? Here are 10 new ideas for upcycling your old bottles. Give one a try, or maybe use one as inspiration for creating something uniquely your own!
10 DIY Ways Renters Can Remake Their Space Life as a renter is a mix of pros and cons. While you don't have to fix the leaky faucet yourself, you don't have the option to change it either. Sure, you have less responsibility, but you have less control as well. Whether you just want to put your own stamp on your living space or are a certified home improvement junkie, DIY projects in a rental can be tricky. Most landlords won't allow you to make any changes, structural or decorative, to your apartment. And you certainly don't want to invest good money in a space you don't own. So, what's a DIYer to do? Here are 10 not-so-permanent solutions that will make your rental feel more like "your" home.
10 Doable Designs for a DIY Rug Though not always considered essential, area rugs provide comfort and warmth for hard floor surfaces, while adding aesthetics to a room’s design. But the hunt for the right rug is not always easy. Whether you've been holding back on buying one because you haven't found the right style, size, or price range, we've got good news: You can make one to fit all of those parameters. If you’re DIY-ing your rug, you can customize it for your own tastes and needs.
Choosing a color is the best place to start. If you already have lots of bold patterns in the room, a more subtle, single-colored rug might be the right counterpoint. If you want your rug to have as much personality as a piece of furniture, let the colors and patterns sing out. When it comes to size, there are a few general rules to follow. An area rug’s dimensions should be based on the seating area, not the entire room. When you’re sitting on the furniture, you want the rug to provide cushion and coziness for feet, so make sure at least the front legs of sofas and chairs are on the rug in a living room. In a dining area, center the rug under the table, with enough space to pull the chairs out on top of it. At the entryway of a home, open the door fully, and plan to place your rug about 6 inches beyond that. Aim to make your rug the width of the door, or slightly greater. Finally, texture may be overlooked, but it plays a huge role in creating layered and lush room design. A rug can provide a necessary element of texture, whether it’s a chunky rag rug or a smoothly painted sisal.
No matter the space you’re working with, you're bound to load up on inspiration from these 10 smart makers and the DIY rugs that now dress up their floors. From a handwoven kitchen mat to a painted area rug, click through these DIY designs to find the style that speaks the most to you.
10 Easy Ways to Bring Beach Style to Your Landlocked Home Coastal style is more than a home decorating trend; it's a bright and breezy feeling that many of us associate with some of our fondest memories. And, one of the great benefits of sand and sea-inspired decor is that you don’t need a waterfront home to enjoy it. No matter what the actual latitude and longitude of the place you call home, bringing a bit of the beach into your home comes down to personal taste. You may prefer some cottage charm, expressed with soft fabrics, subtle blue-green hues and simple coastal accents. Or perhaps a vibrant nautical theme with crisp whites and navy blue is more your style. Here are ten ideas to get you ready to sail.
10 Easy Ways to Build Your Own TV Stand For many, there's nothing more relaxing than curling up in the living room with a great TV show or movie. But are you tired of having to crane your neck to see that wall-mounted flat-screen, or are you looking to replace that standard-issue melamine console? Here are 10 easy, fun, and inexpensive DIY TV stands that will make winding down with your favorite shows even more enjoyable.
10 Holiday Ornaments to DIY with Everyday Stuff There is certainly no shortage of beautiful holiday ornaments. Retail stores are stocked with an amazing array of shiny baubles, all vying for a special spot on your tree. But as pretty—and plentiful—as they are, store-bought ornaments lack the personal touch you give when you make your own. If you're feeling a bit crafty this Christmas, you don't have to look beyond your own home to find great raw materials for a bit of holiday DIYing. Using everything from popsicle sticks to beer cans, you might be surprised what you can make when you let your creative instincts take charge. Here are 10 unique upcycled ornaments to try.
10 IKEA Favorites Made Better by a DIY Paint Job <p>The IKEA name has come to represent smart, affordable furniture for homeowners and apartment dwellers of all ages. But with that popularity comes easy recognition; if you've outfitted your room in purchases from IKEA, it can feel like you own the same furniture as everyone on your block. Fortunately, painting it with a can or a bucket of fresh color is all it takes to make the store's best-sellers unrecognizable. </p><br/>
<p>IKEA furniture may have modern lines, but it’s been in business since the early 1940’s, when it was founded in Sweden by 17-year-old Ingvar Kamprad. It remained a mail order business for several years before opening its first store in the late 50‘s, and then spreading to the rest of Scandinavia. It made its way to the United States in 1985, and has been consistently popular with budget and design conscious buyers. So, don’t blame your neighbor for loving and owning the same IKEA desk you just purchased. Instead, differentiate yourself!</p><br/>
<p>Painting transforms the standard IKEA furniture into custom looks that are uniquely you. These easy redos don’t require a lot of time or money, which means your affordable furniture still won't break the bank after the cost of additional materials. Click through our inspiration gallery to find ideas for painting your next IKEA furniture upgrade.</p>
10 Inventive Ways to Display Family Photos In this age of endless photo-snapping, we all have a backlog of lovely and meaningful images languishing on hard drives or drifting unseen in the cloud. It’s time to rescue a few of these beauties and let them bring happiness to your home as part of a thoughtful display. Here's our collection of 10 intriguing ways to let your digital shots shine.
10 Mini Makeovers You Can Do in Minutes A little change can go a long way. If you’ve been searching for quick (and cheap!) ways to add fresh style to your spaces, look to these easy makeovers that will give your home the updates you crave in no time flat.
10 New Ideas for Shared Bedrooms A house feels most like a home when you share it with those you love—and gathering together with friends and family is even more fun if everyone has a comfortable place to sleep. Whether you have a large family living in a small space or just like to host lots of people at once, let one of these multiple-bed bedrooms inspire you to find a way to accommodate them all.
10 New Uses for Old Dressers The dresser is a sturdy staple of almost every bedroom, but daily wear and tear can put even the best one into disrepair. When it's time to for a new dresser, don't just toss away the old one like last year’s fashions. Instead, come up with a trendy way to repurpose it in your home. Dressers (obviously) have plenty of storage compartments, which can be great additions to spaces like the kitchen or living room. Even if your old dresser is slightly broken, it is easy to replace drawers with shelves, or even transform the dresser into a new piece of furniture. As a bonus, the spare dresser drawers themselves can be used as creative home accents. Click through our photo gallery to pull out a few ideas you can use in your own home.
10 Nice Nooks: They’re Not Just for Breakfast Anymore What is it about a nook that draws us in? The informality? The coziness? Architects often carve nooks out of wasted space—beneath a staircase, under the eaves, by a window, or up in the air. Generally designed for a specific purpose, nooks compel us to curl up with a good book, take a long nap, eat a delicious meal, or to get to work. What do you want yours to do? Get a few ideas from the noteworthy nooks collected here.
10 Playful Examples of Swinging and Swaying Furniture While most people are good at making use of all four walls of their rooms for furniture and decor, many of us forget about the ceiling. Suspending furniture like chairs, beds, and tables from the ceiling puts this "fifth wall" to use while drawing the eye upward to take in the full height of the room. Hanging furniture needs to be securely attached to ceiling joists, which must hold the weight of the piece plus the added weight of people and other objects. It's wise to consult a professional to make sure you are using the correct tools and materials to suspend these pieces safely. Click through our gallery of hanging furniture for ideas that will get your brain into full swing.
10 Quick and Easy DIYs to Do with a Sharpie Everyone loves a Sharpie. Introduced in the '60s, Sharpies were the first pen-style permanent marker on the market—and have since become an iconic writing implement. But they're also a great tool for crafty DIYers who want to make over a wide assortment of unexpected media. So grab a pillow, a plate... even an iPhone case, and let your Sharpie go to town.
10 Small Bedrooms with Huge Amounts of Style <p>Tiny bedrooms can present big decorating challenges. Apartment dwellers as well as homeowners feel the pinch when faced with balancing the need for storage and the desire for a stylish, uncluttered space. The only nonnegotiable item in a bedroom is the bed, so there are lots of small bedroom decorating ideas that can help you make the most of the space you’ve got. </p><br/>
<p>Even though decorating small spaces can be tricky, there are some general rules of thumb to guide you. Keep color palettes simple, and “stuff” to a minimum. A white bedroom, for instance, will feel more airy and less cluttered. Take advantage of all forms of bedroom storage. Underbed storage, in particular, is a boon to a room with limited closet space. An attic bedroom, though charming, can present a challenge for furniture placement. Think outside the box and tuck a bed into the storage space under the eaves. </p><br/>
<p>We’ve pulled together 10 examples of how you can use mirrors, color palettes, multipurpose furnishings, and other small bedroom ideas that will help you to live large in your small space.</p>
10 Space-Saving Ideas to Steal from Houseboats We all complain about being short on space but imagine squeezing your life into a tiny space, then heading out to sea! Houseboat dwellers can teach all of us a thing or two about capitalizing on every square inch. Here are just a handful of creative ideas you can borrow, build on, or copy wholesale—whatever floats your boat!
10 Things Your Bedroom Might Be Missing The master bedroom is more than just a place to rest your head; it's a relaxing respite from the rest of the home. Today's master bedrooms are not just larger than other bedrooms in the house, but they usually incorporate certain design elements that elevate it from a simple sleeping space to a welcoming retreat. If you've been thinking about updating or expanding your own master bedroom, consider these features that every master bedroom should have.
10 Trash-to-Treasure Ways to Reinvent Old Tech It seems that we're updating our computers, smart phones and media collections as often as our wardrobes these days. If you're like us, you've been holding onto your tech cast-offs until there came a prime opportunity to dispose of them. But old or broken devices don't have to be fated to an unused life on a basement shelf or, worse, taking up space in a landfill. These 10 jaw-dropping transformations can give some obsolete technology a second life—and you the inspiration to start rifling through the junk drawer for your next project.
10 Wallpaper Options to Trick the Eye Craving concrete walls, or the look of salvaged wood paneling? We’ve searched high and low for wallpapers that can substitute when your first choice isn’t a possibility. Look no further—we’ve got you (and your walls) covered!
10 Ways to Bring Historic Style Home Today's reproductions deliver great historic style with the added benefits of easy care, low-maintenance, energy efficiency, and ready availability.
10 Ways to Fill a Blank Wall for Under $20 Nothing elevates and personalizes the look of your home more than one-of-a-kind works of art. You don't need to haggle with an art dealer to land something in your price range, though. To fill your walls without busting your budget, check out these 10 unintimidating ideas for creating do-it-yourself artwork that looks like a million bucks.
10 Ways to Give Furniture a Fast Facelift There's no doubt about it—buying furniture can put a strain on your bank account. Instead of blowing your budget on new pieces, give your existing ones a refresh instead, with these 10 simple upgrades that make a big impact.
10 Ways to Make Office Supplies Work Overtime If binder clips or Post-its have taken over your home office desk drawer, you're not alone. All too often, the very supplies designed to keep us organized can end up taking up a lot of space. Luckily, these supplies form the basis of some very clever DIY projects. Take a look!
10 Ways to Organize Your Home with Color Keeping our homes neat and organized is a constant battle. But thanks to some ingenious (and colorful) ideas, the task just got a whole lot easier. These simple tricks will help you use color to conquer toys, keys, computer cords, clothing, and more.
10 Ways to Redecorate Without Spending a Dime Got the itch to redecorate—just not the budget? Rather than begrudgingly waiting for a refresh, you can redesign a room with furnishings you already own. Moving and regrouping furniture and accessories can give you new looks and functionality without spending new money. All it takes is a critical (and creative) eye to shop your home and see what can be repurposed. Just keep these 10 tips in mind as you begin your zero-dollar home makeover.
10 Ways to Reinvent Any Room with Crown Molding Crown molding brings elegance to nearly any space. Whether you choose to use it around windows and doorways or to line the top of the kitchen cabinets, crown molding adds a classic finishing touch that pulls together a room's design elements. Installing crown molding is an accessible DIY project, and there are plenty of places in your home to put it. So, check out our favorite crown molding ideas, and then head on over to the lumber aisle.
10 Ways to Set a "Natural" Thanksgiving Day Table Even though Halloween is past, pumpkins and gourds make great table decorations. That includes white pumpkins, too! Here, a grouping of different-sized white pumpkins mix with natural-hued ceramics to create a fitting Thanksgiving Day table.
10 Ways to Use Leather in Your Next Project Leather is a material that is often equated with luxury, which is why leather can really give your DIY projects that extra-special touch. And despite its luxe rep, it's a pleasure to work with. Because leather is easy to cut and puncture, it can be stitched into pouches and covers for a variety of personal items. It's also a great surfacing material that can be glued in place and is sturdy enough to bear weight. Leather can be used in large-scale projects as well as a slew of small DIY creations that require just scraps of leather or suede, so nothing has to go to waste. Click through our gallery for some leather swag that you can make yourself.
10 Ways to Welcome a House Guest It's a great compliment when out-of-town guests tell you they feel right at home when they visit. And it's deeply satisfying to provide guests with the amenities and thoughtful touches that make them feel not only welcome, but pampered. If you really want your next houseguests to feel delightfully at ease—and more than a little impressed at your hospitality—these 10 tips should do the trick.
11 Big Ideas for a Small Dining Room Cramped dining spaces don't have to put a damper on your family gatherings! You can still entertain with warmth and grace, and leave your guests a bit of elbow room too. These 11 smart, simple, and space-maximizing ideas will show you how to dine in style—no matter how small your square footage.
11 Budget DIYs for an Instantly Better Bedroom The bedroom is a place for rest and relaxation, which is why it's so important that its overall look perfectly matches your idea of a restorative retreat. The high price tags at home goods stores may make it seem impossible to revamp your space on a tight budget, but these simple DIYs prove otherwise. See how these attainable projects add functional style to any bedroom for almost no cost at all.
11 Gifts for Gadget-Loving Guys and Gals Hunting for a gift with real wow factor? This selection of gadgets ticks all the right boxes, satisfying the desire for both fun and function. Click through our carefully curated guide, where you'll find the perfect gift for even the most hard-to-impress DIYer.
11 Insanely Easy 60-Minute Paint DIYs Paint offers DIYers of any skill level an opportunity to make over drab dwellings at the mere lift of a brush, roller, or sprayer. But homeowners often paint themselves into a corner by focusing on interior or exterior walls, floors, and ceilings—which can take a day of work and <i>then</i> dry time—while ignoring less ambitious yet deeply satisfying mini updates, such as painting textiles, ceramics, and other home and garden accessories. Click through for 11 smaller-scale paint projects, each requiring less than an hour, that will prime your home for luxurious living.
11 Lessons to Learn from AirBnB's Tiniest Homes Ever wonder if you're cut out for small living? Through the power and reach of the web, tiny homes are but a click away to rent through a website like Airbnb.com, the travel community wherein members can visit and stay in the most unique locations in more than 180 countries. But even if you can't make