Make an E-plan for Your House While Kids E-learn

Do the days seem longer as you continue to be sequestered at home because of the spread of covid-19? Yes, many have enjoyed more time with the kids and that’s a good thing. Being sheltered in place has created new routines like using curbside pickup at a favorite restaurant and trying home schooling techniques to keep those little brains working. But what about parents? While kids are e-learning we can do some home project e-planning with the help of a good internet connection.

This idea rises after you’ve decluttered closets, sorted bookshelves and kitchen drawers, and even brought a semblance of order to the catchall caves below bath and kitchen sink cabinets. After binge-watching the high drama episodes of home renovators on HGTV, take a breath and make a plan for your own home and garden.

Planning a home project is good exercise that helps you define the room or space you envision with what you need and what you want. A search engine can lead you to the information.

To make a plan for a project begin with a sketch on paper or use an online design tool to help you visualize. Just type “design a room” or “design a deck” whatever you’re considering in a search and follow the links.

Maybe it’s a stone path you envision meandering through your garden. Use our Cost to Install a Stone Path to learn how much to budget and what’s involved.

Wondering about upgrading your kitchen with new appliances? Use this advice about the life expectancy of appliance before you decide to buy all new ones Life Expectancy of Major Home Appliances.

Always wanted to tap the potential of your basement and make it more liveable? Read about Evaluating Your Basement’s Potential to help you decide.

If you’re considering a bathroom makeover – no matter how large or small – requires planning. Here’s good advice Primer for a Bathroom Makeover.

And finally, maybe your first stop should be and click “Visit”. Type “basement ideas” or whatever you’re looking for in the Search bar and you’ll find a wealth of creative ideas to get you inspired and amazed at the potential in your home.


Easy DIY Jobs for Homebound Homeowners

Gene and Katie Hamilton

I overheard a woman stocking shelves at the grocery store happy to be at work. “If my husband, grandson and I were stuck home for two weeks, someone would get injured,” she said. Those of us in the aisle all laughed with one customer agreeing.  If you’re going stir crazy at home and enjoying plenty of quality time with the kids, why not take advantage of being there to check off some of those nasty little chores you’ve been avoiding. People much more organized than I am tell us how to organize our closets, basements and garages, purging away unused and unwanted items, but I’m suggesting you take it a step further and fix and repair things.

I took a look at some of the job costs for minor repairs and quick fixes and found some easy chores worth doing because you can pocket a nice savings compared with hiring a handyman. With major home centers and hardware stores open for the materials you need, you can order them online or pick up at a local store.

Here are five quick fixes you can do. Some are so small you’d have trouble finding a handyman to do them unless you combine several jobs to make it worth the trip to your house.

Caulk windows. Caulk 6 double-hung windows for $65, the cost of caulk and a caulk gun. You’ll save energy and money heating and cooling your home.

Repair a torn screen. For $20 bucks you can buy what you need to remove the torn screen and replace it with new screening and a splining tool (looks like a pizza cutter) to secure the material in place.

Repair wallboard. That hole behind the kitchen table chair or bathroom door is easy to repair but needs time between the sequence of steps so it’s a nuisance job for a contractor. For $17 buy a wallboard repair kit and patching compound and use a putty knife and sandpaper to make the fix. For damage to textured wallboard get a drywall repair tool with templates to match the texture and patching compound, both about $40.

Repair a toilet. Toilet not working right? Use a toilet repair kit which includes the replacement parts for $75 and tune up the toilet. To diagnose the problem go to

Repair a garden hose. A bent fitting (easily crushed by a car tire) makes the hose useless but you can replace the fitting. Buy one for under $10 and use a utility knife and adjustable wrench to remove the old fitting and slide the new collar over the hose and secure it.

My friend Martha went the whole nine yards. What began as taking inventory of canned goods evolved into a major job of first removing them all, then washing and painting the walls and shelves of the pantry. That’s impressive.

Enjoy spending time with your family at home and get satisfaction from knowing you can make repairs to your home, no matter how small or large.


MARCH Home Checklist – 9 Things To Do This Month


    These 9 items concentrate on making sure the systems of your home are in good working order and keeping them in that condition. Inside jobs involve getting rid of things you don’t use and cleaning and freshening things that you do. If weather permits you can go outdoors and prim and trim tree branches that may have fallen and prune away any dead or broken limbs.

    • Replace filters or wash permanent ones in heating system
    • Flush vinegar through clothes washer to remove soap scum
    • Unclutter clothes closet
    • Clean out refrigerator
    • Clean and organize bathroom cabinet, drawers and closet
    • Check batteries in emergency flashlights
    • Lubricate, test and clean sump pump in basement or crawl space
    • Clean, oil and sharpen lawn tools
    • Prune dead and broken tree limbs

Visit us at to compare the cost of hundreds of improvement projects and decide to do it yourself or hire a contractor.