Nearly 70 percent of us own our homes. As adults, we'll change residences more than 10 times. Our homes define us, shelter us, and support us. Whether you want to find a new home, sell an old home, fix up your home, insure it, fireproof it, decorate it, or refinance it, the Web has all the information you need to accomplish these tasks, and much more. The findingDulcinea Homes Guide will lead you to the Where, the Which, and the How Much for your heart's desire.
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Not everyone is a home repair genius, even if we pretend to be from time to time. So whether you're a do-it-yourselfer or prefer to leave everything from changing a light bulb to rewiring your house to the professionals, there are Web sites to help you research and find whatever home improvement help you need.
- Some home improvement projects are best left to professionals; you may end up better off in the long run if you realize your home improvement limitations before you get midway through a project.
- If you are planning to remodel a room (or your entire home), you may be able to find a floor plan online that will work for your project. Many home improvement sites let you browse plans for free and pay if you find one you like.
To find a repair person or repair advice ...
will connect homeowners to prescreened home improvement contractors. Search for professionals by type of work and your zip code. The service is free and easy to use.
Ask the Builder
is written by a man with a few decades of construction experience. You'll find helpful advice about do-it-yourself projects, how to deal with contractors or builders, as well as finding the right product or tool for your job. Many of the summaries before the articles will provide helpful insights and even realistic advice about what jobs might be too difficult for the novice. Ask the Builder also has short, informative video clips.
For do it yourself home repair ...
The National Association of Homebuilders
has a "Remodeling Your Home" section, complete with a remodeling 101 guide and a checklist to see if you need a professional to do the job or if you can handle it yourself.
The DIY Network
on cable television has its own Web site. Learn the best way to paint a room or to organize messy spaces in your home. This site has tips for the beginner as well as links to all of the shows on the network.
has helpful drawings to go with many of its do-it-yourself articles. The site is quite busy, but if you don't mind that you'll be able to find lots of information.
has no-frills advice about home repair, and the section "How Your House Works" might answer questions you have about your electric, plumbing, or another system in your home.
The Natural Handyman
has a very user-friendly site. Although the design could use a little facelift, all of the pages let you know where you are and how to get around easily. You'll find lots of quirky tips such as "Make Your Mailbox Flag More Visible".
has parts and repair advice for your home appliances. Find general explanations of how your appliances work and figure out what might be wrong with them. Look for hard-to-find parts, or e-mail the site for specific repair advice.
will take you through your home improvement projects from planning to finishing touches. You'll find a surprisingly comprehensive list of projects, a community forum and product reviews on this site.
has a learning center with plenty of how-to guides and buyers' guides for remodeling and other home improvement tasks. The site also has interactive product demos so you can check out things like power drills and water filters.
For reference tools and cost calculators ...
The Construction Dictionary
introduces a lot of basic construction technology to help you understand your contractor or figure out your do-it-yourself project.
offers a number of useful tools for home improvement projects. Find things like a garden planner, paint color guides, a water heater buying guide, and a deck design tool.
This Old House
has calculators for some common home improvement projects. Find out how much paint, carpet, tile, insulation, or mulch you'll need for your next project. This site also has tips on how to measure so that you'll be sure to have the right amount of material.
has material calculators for drywall, concrete, roofing, lumber, and more.
offers illustrated guides to building, plumping, mechanical, and electrical codes. The site also sells books to help you keep your construction project up to code and has a number of resources for home construction and renovation.
This to That
will tell you what to use to glue one thing to another: leather to ceramic, plastic to Styrofoam, and plenty of other combinations.
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