home improvements - Articles

Remodeling? Avoid These Costly Mistakes

By Vera Gibbons While many Americans are ready to take on remodeling/renovation projects this spring, doing it the wrong way can be costly. Some errors to avoid: 1. Not knowing exactly what you want. If you don't know exactly what you want or specify what you want, you're going to get what the contractor thinks you... Continue Reading »

DIY Projects for Your New Home

By Scott Gamm NEW YORK -- If you have moved recently, preparing the home to suit your tastes and fixing minor damages is undoubtedly a stressful and expensive process. And after shelling out money for a down payment, you may not have enough cash left for a major gut-renovation. Consult AOL Real Estate's Home Improvement... Continue Reading »

10 Home Improvements That Are a Waste of Money

By Jason Notte Want a summer home improvement project? Dig a big hole on your property, throw a bunch of money in it, throw a match in and bury it once the flames subside. This is basically what a select, wrongheaded number of Americans do every year when they see the sun peek out in June and head to Home Depot, Lowe's... Continue Reading »

Viewpoint: Why No New Houses May Be a Good Thing

The news that 2011 may go down as the worst year in the past 50 for construction of new homes brought out many a weeping violin. Sorry, the strings on mine must have popped. Yes, I understand that construction jobs -- the ones that are created when builders build new homes -- are a good thing for the economy. But the... Continue Reading »

Home Buyer Turnoffs: Six Mistakes Sellers Must Avoid

If you're trying to sell your home, you know it's a buyer's market out there. According to BusinessWeek, there is an 8.6-month supply of homes on the market. That's on top of a shadow inventory of 1.8 million homes that are delinquent or under foreclosure proceedings, equating to an additional nine-month supply. With so... Continue Reading »

Renters: Home Improvements That Move With You

Even if you're just renting a place for a short time, it's important to personalize it with the style and conveniences that make you feel at home. If you'd like to make home improvements but hesitate because of longer-term living plans, consider projects that can move with you. "I'm a big proponent of 'make it yours,'... Continue Reading »

Home Improvement Contract Essentials

Big talk about your next home improvement project may be exciting, but don't skip the step of securing a formal, written contract from your contractor if you want to make that dream a reality. Verbal contracts with home improvement professionals may be binding by law, but the details can be hard to enforce if there's a... Continue Reading »

Utility Bills: How to Estimate Costs for a New Home

After a winter like the one we've just had, a lot of people are fed up with utility bills. The most recent forecasts from the U.S. Energy Information Administration put the cost of home heating for 2011 at $2,400 if you heat with oil--a 26% increase over last year. On average, U.S. households can expect to shell out about... Continue Reading »

Smart Home Improvements When You're Staying Put

With real estate sales slow to recover, many Americans are choosing to stay put and improve the homes they have. But all home improvements aren't created equal. Strategic improvements in equipment, systems and materials can add lasting value, increase comfort, and even save you money. The right home improvements can also... Continue Reading »

Home Improvement: Finding the Best Contractor

Home improvement contractors play a key role in many home sales. Sellers may need to do some significant repairs to ready their home for market; buyers oftentimes want to customize or renovate their new purchase as soon as they close. Jorgen Wouters of our sister site, WalletPop, offers some valuable advice when hiring the... Continue Reading »

Top 5 Home Improvement Projects for Fall

Of all the home improvement projects Hyedi Cribben and her boyfriend had on their to-do list, building a patio was one project they were looking forward to completing so that they could it enjoy it during the summer months. So why then did they get started in the fall? "No one likes to do that kind of work in hot... Continue Reading »

Top Home Improvements for Spring

Susan Goldfarb of Albany, N.Y. spent last summer avoiding her backyard. "Our mosquito problems were just above and beyond," she says. "No matter what we did, from sprays to candles to bug zappers, we just couldn't get them to stop breeding in our yard all summer long." Goldfarb spent the winter reading up on ways to keep... Continue Reading »

Home Improvement: Do It Yourself or Hire a Contractor?

Knowing whether or not tackle a home improvement yourself can seem simple: Match the project's degree of difficulty to your own skill level and make a decision, right? Although that line of thinking is a solid jumping-off point, you need to consider other factors before deciding whether you're better off picking up a... Continue Reading »

Top 10 Home Improvements That Pay You Back

If you're planning to sell your house any time soon, home improvements that build property value should be on your to-do list. It's a buyer's market, and between tighter purse strings and plenty of properties to choose from, shoppers want homes that are move-in ready and free of the need for home improvement projects that... Continue Reading »

Rent vs. Buy: Why Scales Tip Toward Renting (but Not Always)

When Susie Figueroa, 42, and her husband bought their bi-level three-bedroom home in Portage, Ind. for $135,000 five years ago, they did so believing that it would serve as a mandatory savings vehicle. Recent events have tested that belief. The number of households renting an apartment or house rose by 3.4 million between... Continue Reading »

Home Improvement Mistakes: How to Avoid and Fix

Home improvements can be like tattoos. Both are high-risk, high-reward decisions. And they both hinge on picking the right one the first time, because some hold up better than others. And if you make a mistake, both tattoos and home improvements can be darned expensive to remove. So, what are these projects, and how do you... Continue Reading »

Top Home Improvement Projects for Your Townhouse

Owning a townhouse isn't for everyone. Yet, for many people who cherish nearly maintenance-free homeownership, living close to neighbors, and communal luxuries (pools, gyms, etc.), they can't imagine living anywhere else. While outsiders may think that the townhouse has a rigid floor plan with preconceived furnishings,... Continue Reading »

Why Move When You Can Improve? Time to Renovate Is Now

Don't let the slow real estate market keep you from having the home of your dreams. You don't have to move, you just need to improve. And this is the perfect time to do so. Never before have all the stars been so perfectly aligned to facilitate the remodeling needed to give you your perfect palace. Materials costs have... Continue Reading »

Home TV Week in Review

You want home improvement TV show updates? Well, we got them. This week we bring you updates on recent episodes of "Tough as Nails," "My First Place," "Designed to Sell," "Holmes on Homes," and more. Here's what you missed.... Continue Reading »

Home TV Week in Review

Think of us like your TiVo. When you are out doing exciting things we watch home improvement shows and keep you updated. Ready for recapping? This week we bring you updates on recent episodes of "Tough as Nails," "My First Place," "Designed to Sell," "Holmes on Homes," and more. Here's what you missed.... Continue Reading »

Home TV Week in Review

We watch home improvement shows so you don't have to. (Or at least fill you in on what you've missed.) Are you ready for some serious recapping? Ok, we'll bring it on! This week we bring you updates on recent episodes of "Tough as Nails," "My First Place," "Designed to Sell," "Holmes on Homes," and more. Here's what... Continue Reading »

Saving Energy Earns Rewards at Earth Aid

We're all doing out part to conserve energy and to make our home utility bills easier on our wallets. But wouldn't it be an added bonus if the money we saved on our electric bill wasn't just money we saved but money we earned? A new company, Earth Aid, has a way to reward energy- and water-savers beyond the money they... Continue Reading »

HGTV's 'Battle on the Block' Wraps in Jersey City

The final episode of HGTV's "Battle on the Block" with host Genevieve Gorder (left) takes place in Jersey City, a gritty North Jersey municipality that was once the seat of power for notorious political boss Frank Hague. With a population of more than 240,000, it's the state's second-largest city; given its proximity to... Continue Reading »

Home TV Week in Review

Did you catch any of the numerous home-improvement shows that graced our living rooms last week? Here's a quick summary: Things were built, kitchens were remodeled, people were made happy. For a bit more detail, this week we bring you updates on recent episodes of "Tough as Nails" (pictured left), "Home Rules," "Designed... Continue Reading »

Home TV Week in Review

Home improvement TV is to home-improvement, what cooking shows are to cooking; essential watching for those who want to keep their habitats updated. We picked up your home-improvement TV-watching slack to bring you up-to-speed on this week's episodes of "Designed to Sell," "Holmes on Homes," "Divine Design" and more.... Continue Reading »

SoCal Remodeling Projects Make Comeback as Economy Improves

Southern California homes are looking good. During the economic free-fall, contractors and builders offered cut-rate services and apparently SoCal citizens responded. And that's helping the remodeling industry make a comeback. A recent L.A.Times story reported that 62 percent of homeowners said they planned to embark on... Continue Reading »

Home TV: Week in Review

Interested in relieving basement and bonus-room boredom? Or averting disastrous bathrooms? We pick up your home-improvement TV-watching slack to bring you up-to-speed on this week's episodes of "Designed to Sell," "Holmes on Homes," "Divine Design" and more. Here's what you missed.... Continue Reading »

Remodeling Won't Help You Unload Your Crummy Home

What do Americans do best? Why, shop and spend lots of money fixing up our homes, of course! If a new survey is correct, we the people are about to do both during the rest of this year. That is, provided we have jobs and an income. American Express says 62 percent of homeowners it recently surveyed intend to spend more... Continue Reading »

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