Build Your Own Kitchen Island

I love the look of a kitchen island. Not only does it add value to your home, but it adds warmth, design and best of all…STORAGE! Adding an island doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. There are so many styles and tricks that can keep costs to a minimum. Here is a short video that shows you how to make your own our of stock cabinets. Look how easy it is…

Think that’s too much work? Well here is a link with 33 kitchen island ideas. Everything from re-purposed desks to bookshelves! If you can dream it, it can happen!


Tips to Increase Your Home’s Value

Increasing your homes value is easier than you think. With these tips and tricks, your home will be worth more in no time!daves house

Plan Your Remodel

Have a plan. Whether it’s new construction or an older home, impulse decisions are never a good idea. Start slowly. It’s a work in progress, not a race. Make a list of the things you want to change and categorize them according to cost. Once you’ve done that, narrow it down to the “must haves” and the “wants,” keeping your budget in mind as well as what ones will add actually value to your home. The rest you can work when you have some spare cash.

Take On One Room At A Time

Whether it’s a simple coat of paint or gutting an entire room, taking on one room at makes things attainable and get’s things done! This way the rest of the house still functions instead of living in complete disorder.

Small Improvements Can Really Pay Off

Homeowners are usually torn between making decorative changes or upgrades. I say do a little of both. Make two lists. One for upgrades and the other for decor. Pick some from each list, the ones that fit your budget and go with them. Add something from alternating lists say every other month. Whether it’s new hardware, a new faucet, new window treatments or a new lamp, over time you will see an increase in your enjoyment of the home and in it’s value!

Clean Your House

Everyone loves a clean house. People can tell a lot about you by how you keep your home. Take one room at a time. Organize and throw out anything that you don’t want/need anymore. By cleaning your house one room at a time you accomplish many things. First, you are able to spot and stay on top of any maintenance issues. Second, you don’t allow dirt and clutter to build up over time. Third and most important, a clean home is healthier and better for your family!

Curb Appeal

Take a walk around the neighborhood. Take note of all of the things you admire about your neighbors homes. Things that make them feel warm and welcoming. When you get back, stand in the road and look at your house. Does it have any of those qualities you liked? If not, change it. Paint the door, add a flower bed, some new light fixtures maybe? Whatever you saw around the neighborhood that you liked. Whatever you do to improve your home’s curb appeal will increase the value of your home.

The Kitchen

Paint the walls a different color. Sounds simple but it makes a world of difference. Maybe paint the cabinets instead or try a different finish on them. If that’s too much try swapping out the hardware. Maybe add a tile back splash* or redo your counter tops.* Add stainless steel appliances or an island. The possibilities are endless.

*For ideas on faux finishes on counter tops and for tile back splash ideas, see some of our previous blogs for step by step videos


As we’ve already covered, keep it clean. The bathroom is the first place to get grime and mold so stay on top of it. Nothing looks worse than that! Try adding a new vanity. The big hardware stores carry box sets now. They come with the vanity, sink and matching mirror. They have several different choices and they are all very reasonable in price. Add an upgraded faucet and it will look like you spent a fortune. You could use the same faux granite technique we discussed earlier on your old vanity. Changing out lighting make a huge difference. If you want to really pamper yourself, install heated towel holders and a toilet seat. Now that’s living!

Pay Down Your Principle 

Before we go there is one more thing to increase value on your home and that is pay down the principle. You don’t have to go crazy but a little extra here and there can make a huge difference in the end. Also look into refinancing. When and if the market changes, so will the rates. Take advantage of lower rates but be careful of the fine print. You don’t want to get into something that could be worse in the long run

Well that’s it for now. Whether you plan to sell or retire in your home, these tips will help you get the most enjoyment and investment out of your home!


Hardwood Repairs

We’ve all experienced it. Whether it’s on a wood floor or furniture, scratches happen! While some of them can be more serious and need professional help, the minor ones you can do yourself. Here’s how…

2015-10-15 12.00.052

Wax Sticks

These are often found in floor care kits. If not it can be purchased at a local hardware store and applied with a Q-Tip.  Make sure not to over apply as you may see it in the right lighting.

Stain Pens

These can be found at most stores. Find the closest color and apply either with the pen itself or again with a Q-Tip or even a smaller paint brush.

Floor repair kits

For larger scratches, they sell a product made of plastic thermo polymers. These can be melted down (melting gun included in kit) and patched into the floor. They come in several shade and can even be mixed to get a shade closest to your own

Redo the floor

There are some example where patching just isn’t an option. Whether its pet stains, different finishes or just a larger damaged area, sanding is going to have to take place. You can try to re stain a darker color but some damages like pet stains will still show through. You can try it yourself but this is where you might want to call a professional. Redoing a hardwood floor is always more work than it seems.

Worst comes to worse, throw a rug over it!

I know it sounds like an easy way out but sometimes easiest and cheapest IS the way to go. Last week I had a new refrigerator delivered. As they were sliding it into place, they made significant damage right in the middle of my kitchen floor. While I work out the details of how and who is going to fix this problem, I decided to throw a rug over it for now and you know what? It’s not so bad. It at least makes it tolerable until I can get it fixed and no one else knows its there. As they say, “Out of sight, out of mind.”


Counter Top Transformation

Last week we showed you how to tile a back splash. But if you have a counter top that you’re unhappy with, why even bother? So this week we are showing you how to transform your counter tops on a budget. Everyone loves the look of granite but not everyone loves the price. Here is a great alternative to update the look of your counter tops and transform your kitchen. It’s pretty simple and the results are amazing!


How To Tile A Backsplash

Everyone loves the look of tile. It adds color and warmth to the home. It even adds value. One way to increase the value even more is to do it yourself. There are so many tools and techniques out there now that can make even the toughest jobs easier for the DIYer. If it’s your first time, start with something small like a backsplash. Here is a great step by step video to guide you through. So grab your tools and let’s go!

Now that you’ve mastered that, you can move in to something bigger like a counter top or shower! The possibilities are endless! Good luck!


Is Your Snowblower Ready For Winter?

As much as we don’t want to admit it, Winter is coming! If you’re like most people, you don’t give your snowblower a second thought until the snow starts to fall and by then, it could be too late. Make sure your snowblower is ready to go with these simple steps….


  • Pull it out of the garage and give it a test start BEFORE the first snowfall
  • Put fresh fuel in it and add a fuel stabilizer
  • Check tire pressure to make sure the snowblower is sitting level
  • Check the condition of your scraper bar and replace if necessary
  • Grease all fitting as per owners manual
  • Change the oil and replace the spark plugs

If your snowblower still will not start it could be caused by a number of things. Old gas, build up on the carburetor or improper storage procedures. If you do not feel comfortable attempting your own repairs, please contact a professional.


How To Snake Your Own Drain

There is nothing worse than a clogged drain, especially in the shower. You’re standing there, trying to get clean while you play beat the clock with the rising water. Most of the time the clogs are caused by hair. If you have a woman around the house, you know what I’m saying!

Drain cleaners can only do so much. So what do you do? Call a plumber every month? Not if you know how to snake your own drain. Here is a step by step video that shows you just how easy it is to do yourself!


Fall Lawn Maintenance

Everyone takes pride in their home and nothing showcases that like a lush green lawn. There is nothing like seeing that beautiful green grass come roaring back in the spring. Well, here are three quick tips to make that happen!


10 Tips For Keeping Your House Warmer This Winter

Winter is just around the corner and along with it comes cold weather and higher energy bills.

No one wants to spend more money than absolutely necessary, so I’ve come up with a 10 tips for keeping your house warmer this winter. So let’s get cozy and start saving money!


Install a programmable thermostat

This will help lower your bill. It automatically adjusts for times when no one is home, like work, school or even vacation.

Allow sunlight in during the day

Open all blinds/curtains and let that sun shine. There are reasons dogs and cats lay in the rays!

Close blinds/curtains at night

This will keep the cold out and the heat in. You may even want to consider buying thermal window treatments. I know they boast energy efficiency.

Use your ceiling fans

Most ceiling fans have a winter mode. Its a little switch that changes direction of the blades. Heat rises, so turing your fan on low will circulate the heat back down where it belongs.

Don’t block vents

Blocked vents cause your efficiency to go way down. Go around and make sure all of your vents ( and returns ) are free from any obstructions.

Seal up any leaks

Go around the outside. basement and attic of your home and caulk any areas where cold air could come in. Windows, doors, etc.. everywhere. For a little help with this, see this guide from on sealing your home!

Make use of your doors

If you are in one room a lot, you may want to consider closing that door while you are in there. You can crank the heat in that one room and it wont disperse to the rest of the house. The same thing goes for room that you don’t use often. Try closing off those rooms so its less square footage to heat.

Use the oven

Baking and roasting are multi use in the winter. You have great food to enjoy but also reap the benefits of the oven heating the kitchen. Most of us don’t use the oven much in the summer so now’s the time to get your baking on!

Throw rugs

Wood and tile floors can be the cause of up to 10% of your heat loss. Why not throw a rug down, even if it’s just for the winter. It not only adds a nice cozy feel but it keeps you warmer too.

Bundle up

Ultimately, it’s you that cares about being cold, not the house. Keep things like slippers and throw blankets handy. Stock up on tea and hot chocolate. Switch to flannel sheets and add extra blankets to the bed. Anything you can think of to make yourself nice and toasty. Let’s face one like to be cold!


How to Organize Your Garage

The leaves are falling and the nights are turning colder. Before you know it, there will frost on the ground and dare I say it…snow! Every year, as the first snow begins to fall, people everywhere scramble to fit their car in the garage. They open the doors and stand back in awe as they wonder how in the world it got so cluttered.

In the summer, we tend to use out garages as storage and then come winter, we are stuck out in the cold! Don’t let this happen to you! Here is a great video on cleaning, decluttering and organizing your garage. Do it now and you wont be one of those people stuck out in the storm!