An unfinished basement or attic, disused bedroom, or decades-outdated living room might seem like wasted space to some but to others, these rooms represent a world of possibility. A home remodeling project, from a subtle re-envisioning to a structural overhaul, can breathe life and energy into even the most tired, lackluster spaces, making your home feel as new as the day you moved in. In this guide we'll show you how to use the breadth of the Web to get ideas, plan your rooms, develop a budget, hire the right professionals, and more.
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A serious remodeling project could mean taking down walls, tearing up floors, and buying roomfuls of furniture. The following sites present you with knowledge, insight, and know-how for getting your project off the ground. They'll help you work out your expectations, and provide some guidelines for getting started.
- It's essential to read about both the process of remodeling as well as about the materials you'd like to use. Make sure the materials you are considering are durable, easy to maintain, and offer a timeless style. You don't want your kitchen to look worn out or dated a year after its completion. Many of the larger home improvement stores maintain Web sites with descriptions and details about the supplies they sell.
- Choose your do-it-yourself projects carefully. If you're not an expert, you may want to leave elements like electrical and plumbing work to the pros. Stick to hanging wallpaper and painting if you want to cut your costs.
- Advice and tips from homeowners who've been there and done that can be invaluable. But when reading blogs and forums, take posts with a grain of salt. Homeowner advice is not expert advice.
For general tips and advice ...
helps you get the home you've been dreaming about. An extensive "Articles
" section documents a myriad of topics in the remodeling process, including kitchen remodeling, when to call an architect, and how to select a contractor.
is the site for Home & Garden Television on the Web. Video clips demonstrate remodel projects in the bathroom and kitchen, as well as a few smaller how-to ideas you could use to change the look of a room in your home. Just browse through the "Channels" on the left side of the screen.
is a great site for do-it-yourselfers. Search the "Most Popular Projects" or the "Index" of projects (scroll down to find it) for step-by-step instructions for things like replacing grout in a bathroom or refinishing kitchen cabinets. Not the handy type? With its detailed instructions and can-do attitude, this site just might change your mind.
Home Energy magazine
has a number of free articles on optimizing your home in terms of saving energy but the site does encourage you to subscribe for premium service. Visit the "DIY" section for a number of full articles on topics such as sealing your home's leaks and how to optimize your ceiling fan.
For forums and blogs ...
Camping With a Mortgage
chronicles the many efforts it takes to restore and remodel old homes: in this case, an 1881 Italianate home. It's sure to provide some handy ideas if you're remodeling your residence, as well as some good chuckles at the author's frustration of spending years and years renovating his humble abode.
offers nearly 40 "Home Forums" on topics like electrical wiring, flooring, lighting, porches and decks, remodeling, and smaller homes. If you're curious about which toilet to buy or whether to use recycled wood floors, this Web site has some worthwhile discussions.
has some great how-to information in their message boards. Real homeowners give their advice on things like tankless water heaters, dryrot, and laminate flooring.
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