Several years ago, a tree on our property became infested with ants. When the insects found their way into the house, we called an exterminator who offered to eradicate the ants for $800. Then we called our Cooperative Extension agent, who recommended a sugar and baking soda solution that cost less … [Read more...] about How I got rid of ants and saved $790
When Grayson Bell moved into a new home in Raleigh, North Carolina, he planned to replace his 27-year-old water heater. The founder of personal finance blog DebtRoundup.com, Bell thought he could save money by installing a tankless water heater. But after consulting more than a dozen plumbers, he … [Read more...] about How to choose a water heater: conventional or tankless?
The idea of saving hundreds, or maybe even thousands, of dollars when making home repairs is enticing. Surely you can repair those cracks in the wall, right? Or caulk around the bathtub. Or install a new toilet. Or change a light fixture. Or, emboldened by the seeming ease of repairs on home … [Read more...] about 11 tips to avoid DIY home repair disasters
You’ve decided to sell your home, and you want to get top dollar for it. And you’ve seen TV shows where homeowners spend thousands of dollars staging their homes for sale, but there’s an important detail to consider: You don’t have thousands and thousands to spend. The good news is there are many … [Read more...] about 10 cheap, easy ways to stage your home for sale
When you think of spring cleaning, things like scrubbing floors, sprucing up cabinets and straightening closets come to mind. But spring is also a good time to perform routine home maintenance. Ignore these crucial home upkeep tasks at your peril. Fail to clean the gutters, for example, and you … [Read more...] about 12 home maintenance chores you should do now
When you sign up for broadband Internet service, you need a modem that converts the digital signal into something your computers, phones, TVs and other connected devices can talk to. The big cable and phone companies make it very easy for you by offering to rent you a modem to use, but you don’t … [Read more...] about How to save on Internet by buying your own modem
Lead is a hot topic these days with water crisis in cities across the United States. Even if your water is safe, there can be lead hazards throughout your home, especially homes built before 1960, which may have lead paint. Lead may also be in soil, jewelry, toys, furniture, cosmetics and … [Read more...] about Free lead testing kits for home hazards
A rain garden is a shallow planting area designed to capture and filter rainwater runoff before it reaches the sewer system. Most of the rain that falls on your property is collected by rain gutters or flows from driveways and patios into the street. All of this runoff is diverted into the storm … [Read more...] about How to build a rain garden
You bought a new home, and the list of projects that need to be done is larger than your bank account. Or, the home you bought years ago is looking a little dated, and you don’t have the money to hire someone to give it that much-needed face-lift. Many easy do-it-yourself projects that will … [Read more...] about 18 cheap and easy D-I-Y home improvement projects
Hiring a contractor to do a major home renovation is difficult for most of us. We're risking a lot of money, so it's important to avoid costly mistakes. Since it's not something we do often, we have few opportunities to practice and improve our skills. Even for experienced home renovators, hiring … [Read more...] about How to find a reliable, honest home contractor
It's not a pleasant topic but what would happen if your home were damaged, burned down, or otherwise destroyed or your property was lost or stolen? Would you have the ability to recall everything you had in your home? Trying to remember when you bought your television in the midst of a disaster is … [Read more...] about Prepare a home inventory before disaster strikes
Most families at some point reach a difficult real estate crossroads: Do they renovate an existing home to fit their current needs, or do they go out and buy another house that’s already the way they like it? This is a question with no one-size-fits-all answer, although most families can make the … [Read more...] about Should you renovate your house or buy a new one?