Deck FixUps decks

Double the Use of a 2-story Deck

One of the advantages of a second level deck is its expansive view of leafy treetops, another benefit is the untapped potential of the space below the deck. Since the open decking makes the area below it unprotected from rain and snow it’s vulnerable to weather conditions so it’s often allocated as a catch all area. But it doesn’t have to be. There’s a whole lot more that the space can be used for with the addition of an underdeck ceiling. You can create found space and redefine it as a ground level living space or protected storage area with a vinyl ceiling material.

At you can compare the cost of doing a project yourself with hiring a contractor. You could hire a contractor to install the underdeck ceiling below a 14-by-20 foot deck for $2,330. Or, because the material is designed for a handy homeowner to install, you could purchase the materials for $2,000 and do the project yourself, pocketing a 14 percent savings. To learn more go to Install an underdeck ceiling.

And visit us at on your smartphone to compare the cost of doing hundreds of home improvement projects yourself with hiring a contractor.

Do it yourself garages remodeling

What’s in Your Garage?

Today a garage means different things to different people. It can exist to protect a car or to create a man cave, but for most of us it’s somewhere in between. As young marrieds we didn’t have a garage with our first home so it became a must-have on our list of features for our next one. As we moved from house to house our garages evolved from an old farmhouse garage with a dirt floor designed for a horse and carriage to a luxurious 3-car studio and workshop. A friend has a garage so organized and decked out it’s fit for entertaining, ours is a basic one-car unit we use for storage and workshop. Come bad weather in the winter we pull in the car to protect it from snow or ice and it suits us just fine.If you’re inclined to make better use of the garage you have, here’s a link to garage projects in Garage Overhaul and How Much It Costs. The upgrades give you an idea of what’s involved and the price you’ll pay. No matter how practical or elaborate you make your garage the most challenging part of the job is getting rid of what’s there and organizing what’s left so you can find it. Good luck with that.To learn the cost of hundreds of home improvement projects and compare the price of doing it yourself with hiring a contractor, visit us at

Saving Energy

Plan Ahead – Button Up and Save Energy

September is a good time to think about saving energy and the first step to making a dent in your heating bill is to button up areas of the house that let heated air out like the seal around doors and windows. Filling the gaps around the movable joints on the inside of doors and windows with weatherstripping will stop air penetration and lower heating costs.

If you walk around the outside of your house inspecting the joint around doors and windows you may find gaps where cold air seeps inside. Use a good quality 100% silicone caulk to fill the gaps and you’ll plug the leaks from getting inside, another way to button up your house.

There’s a mind-numbing array of sealing materials to choose from at hardware stores and home centers. Choose those that are designed for doors and windows and its ease of installation.

To find the cost of hundreds of home improvement projects and compare the cost of doing it yourself with hiring a contractor go to

DIY Do it yourself September Home Maintenance

September Home Checklist

September may send the kids back to school and bring some cooler temperatures but it’s usually a month of transitions from summer to fall schedules and routines. The same is true for your caring for your home. This month there’s not that much heavy work required because the list of items deals mainly with cleaning, maintaining and inspecting systems to assure they’re in sound working order.

  • Replace air conditioner filter
  • Vacuum and clean baseboard heaters, returns and grates
  • Clean rugs and rotate for even wear
  • Inspect door and window hardware and mechanisms
  • Check fire extinguisher
  • Lubricate, test and clean sump pump in basement or crawl space
  • Lay in supply of firewood
  • Clear outdoor vent of lint build up in clothes dryer
  • Trim shrubbery away from siding
  • Maintain lawn and garden beds by watering, mowing and weeding

Find the cost of hundreds of home improvement repairs and upgrades at and compare how much it costs to do it yourself with hiring a contractor for the job.