Replacing a Sliding Door

Replacing a sliding door, getting it in the house, removing the old sliding door and installing the new slider

Erin and her husband spent two full days replacing a sliding door that leads from their master bedroom to a small deck. Neither tight stairs, bugs or heavy rains would thwart their efforts.  The result is a clear view that lightens up the room and provides a gorgeous view of the outdoors. 

Erin lives with her husband and children in Minnesota. She and her husband had more or less completed renovating a 1920’s bungalow style house when they stumbled upon the house of their dreams that just happened to be listed for a short sale. “This sprawling lodge was nothing like... 

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3 Ideas to Create a Cat Friendly House

dogs & cats are popular family pets

Americans love their pets and there are more than 36 million households with cats. That’s why we see pet stores everywhere, with the usual assortment of products for cat lovers. But creating a cat friendly house can be challenging. There are many of cat towers to pick from but here’s a novel idea, why not look for cat products that integrate your home, your furniture and give your cat a way to enjoy the same space. 

You’ll quickly see why I fell in love with each of these creative, cat friendly pieces of furniture. They’re lovely and such fun for this... 

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Time for a Makeover? Mudroom Organization Ideas

great mudroom organization makes it easy to store & find things

One of our best home improvement tips is creating a mudroom in your home. Even a small house with very little space might have a spot near the front or back door for a bench and a couple of hooks. With more space, a mudroom can be as elaborate as your imagination. The real value is with good mudroom organization, everyday gets easier.(Read: Family Mudrooms for Great Family Communication.)

Mudrooms let you stow all of your everyday essentials as you walk in the door, before they have a chance to clutter up tables, chairs, and even the floor in other rooms.... 

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Setting Your Home Buying Priorities

home buying

Your current lifestyle is as important a factor in home buying as anything else. You might want to change it. Or you might not. But one thing is for sure, some things will change. The trick is choosing the right home in the right location to make those changes positive ones. 

Before you embark on home ownership, take a small assessment of how you currently spend your time and how you want to spend it in the future. There are numerous things to consider, and more will arise as you go along. (Read: Lifestyle Changes for First Time Home... 

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6 Home Maintenance Tools No Homeowner Should be Without

home maintenance

Every homeowner needs a reliable set of tools for home maintenance projects. If you’ve ever tried to tighten a screw using the tip of a butter knife, you have a pretty good idea why. 

Unfortunately many, if not most, tools are designed and marketed toward men. Tools tend to be heavier and less comfortable for women to hold, so take your time when buying tools and wait until you find ones that fit in your hands comfortably. I’ll always remember the day I passed 3 hammers around in a group of women. The hammers weighed 8 oz, 13 oz... 

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Invest in Your Home for Retirement Savings

build your retirement savings up through home ownership

Retirement is one of the hardest things to save for because it’s so far in the future, compared to today’s priorities. Maybe you’ve got home improvements you’d like to make or you’re building a house and trying to decide what features to upgrade. You home can provide retirement savings when you make improvements that build financial equity, provided you don’t over-invest.

It’s often said a boat is a hole in the water, into which you pour money. It’s also common knowledge that a new car looses about nine percent of it’s value the instant you drive it off the dealer lot. So it’s no wonder that many homeowners... 

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New Mortgage Calculators for Buy vs Rent

If you own a house, you’ve probably played with one of the many mortgage calculators. These calculators were provided by banks and other lending institutions involved in selling you a mortgage. Their purpose was to show you how much house you could afford. Sadly, traditional mortgage calculators only focus on costs to qualify for a mortgage, never looking at the true cost of home ownership which includes operating, maintenance and repair costs.

Now that housing is big news, the New York Times has developed a calculator that tells a more complete story. While their mortgage calculator focuses on helping prospective home... 

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13 Renovation Lessons Learned the Hard Way

home professionals

Constance has learned many renovation lessons. She’s renovated three houses and is just starting on her fourth. Here she shares her experiences so that you might avoid her mistakes.

Renovation Lessons

“I am a perfectionist, and that’s what draws me to remodels. I keep wanting to improve the function and the quality of the spaces I see, to the best of my ability. I keep learning a bit more each time.” All of her projects have been in California and she’s lived in all the homes she renovated.

Mistakes Lead to Renovation Lessons

Constance’s first renovation lessons came from a poorly built tract home.... 

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What Does a Contemporary Hammock Look Like?

traditional rope hammock hung

We’re spending more time outdoors, with outdoor living spaces getting lots of attention. So manufacturers are coming up with lots more creative furniture choices to help you create these new spaces. Most of us remember the traditional rope hammock we played on as children. The traditional, white rope hung from trees in the yard, or if you didn’t have the right trees, you could also buy a metal frame to support the hammock (shown here).

You can dress up a traditional hammock with color and at Yellow Leaf Hammocks, you to design your own. And I have to... 

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How to Get Children to Help with Household Chores


Household chores don’t have to fall on the shoulders of one parent. While it might seem easier to do everything on your own, in the long run you’re doing yourself and your kids a disservice. 

But the question remains, how can you motivate kids to get involved with chores around the house? There’s no single answer, but there are a few ways to make laundry, vacuuming, and everything else go a lot smoother. 

Teach Lessons Through Household Chores

Kids learn from watching parents, and from handling chores on their own. But they don’t just learn how to complete a task. WebMD... 

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