Tag Archives: remodeling

Yes, You Can Do It Yourself – But You Might Need Help!

So, as I mentioned recently, last month I bought a house. This has, naturally, led to a series of do-it-yourself projects. There were some of the usual things that I have done before: painting, putting up shelves, minor repairs to toilets, water valves to be open/shut/tightened, and lots of cleaning. But we did embark on one major project that was brand new to us, refinishing our hardwood floors. How hard could this be? We’re both college-educated, reasonably intelligent, semi-handy people. We should be able to do this, right?

As it turns out, yes, we can refinish floors. It just took some patience, cooperation, a few rental tools, some library books, several Google searches, multiple trips to the home improvement stores, and lots more time than we thought it would. (Turns out that it works best to do this type of thing when you’re on vacation. Coming home after a hard day at work to sand floors is not that fun.) Below are our before, during, and after pictures. Do the floors look like a professional did them? No, but that’s OK. We like the results, are proud of ourselves and each other, learned a few things about being handy and about our relationship, and (here’s the best part) we get to tell everyone that WE DID IT ALL BY OURSELVES!

Boys’ Room – before

Boys’ Room – during (stain is half done!)

Boys’ Room – finished!

Our Room – before

Our Room – during (after all sanding was done)

Our Room – finished!

Hall – before (we took up mauve carpet only to find tile made to look like wood was underneath!)

Hall – during (under the wood-look tile there was a layer of particle board nailed to the floor)

Hall – finished!

If you’d like to embark upon some home improvement adventures for yourself, the library has a plethora of resources available to assist and guide you.  Below is just a small sampling…

How to Cheat at Home Repair: Time-Slashing, Money-Saving Fixes for Household Wear Hassles and Breakdowns by Jeff Bredenberg

Same Place, More Space: 50 Projects to Maximize Every Room in the House by Karl Champley

The Complete Photo Guide to Home Improvement

Staying Put: Remodel Your House to Get the Home You Want by Duo Dickinson

The Portable Dad: Fix-It Advice for When Dad’s Not Around by Steve Elliott

Refresh Your Home: 500 Simple Projects & Tips to Save Money, Update, & Renovate by the editors of The Family Handyman

What’s a Homeowner to Do? by Stephen Fanuka and Edward Lewine

The Vintage House: A Guide to Successful Renovations and Additions by Mark Alan Hewitt and Gordon Bock

The Complete Guide to Green Building and Remodeling Your Home: Everything You Need to Know Explained Simply by Martha Maeda

Money-Wise Makeovers: Modest Remodels and Affordable Room Redos That Add Value and Improve the Quality of Your Life by Jean Nayar

So, You’re Renovating! Do-It-Yourself Video Collection (DVD)

Spend-a-Little Save-a-Lot Home Improvements: Money-Saving Projects Anyone Can Do by Brad Staggs

Right-Sizing Your Home: How to Make Your House Fit Your Lifestyle by Gale C. Steves

Not So Big Remodeling: Tailoring Your Home for the Way You Really Live by Sarah Susanka and Marc Vassallo

Ultimate Guide Home Repair and Improvement

-Melissa M.

P.S. The floors even got the thumbs-up from my hard-to-please mother! That was when we knew we had really done an OK job.


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Go Home Green!

Make your home Earth friendly every day.  Whether you are thinking of building, remodeling an existing home, or just need to clean up the one you have, the Library has resources that can help you green your home environment.

Build Green and Save Book CoverBuild Green and Save: Protecting the Earth and Your Bottom Line by Matt Belcher
Let this book show you how to select green building materials, make sure your construction activities are green, and explain the benefits of green building practices.

Big Green Book of Recycled Crafts book coverThe Big Green Book of Recycled Crafts: Over 100 Earth-Friendly Projects
Did you know you can fuse together plastic shopping bags and make your own reusable tote? Or that old blue jeans can be turned into at least 5 different crafts? These and other fun and easy projects are explained in this book, along with lots of pictures to guide you.

Home Enlightenment Made Easy: with Annie B. Bond
Watch easy to follow instructions on this DVD for making your own nontoxic formulas to clean your home, fabrics, and even your face!

Green This book coverGreen This!: Volume One, Greening Your Cleaning by Deirdre Imus
Room by room, this book deals with the dangers of commonly used household cleaning products and then gives greener, homemade cleaners as substitute options.

Practical Green Remodeling book coverPractical Green Remodeling: Down-to-Earth Solutions for Everyday Homes by Barry Katz
With useful information such as a simple explanation (and diagrams!) of how geothermal systems work and 10 ways to reduce your water usage, this book goes beyond the typical green building materials recommendations. But it has those too!

Easy Green Living book coverEasy Green Living: The Ultimate Guide to Simple, Eco-Friendly Choices for You and Your Home by Renée Loux
Every room in your house can get clean the green way. Even the laundry gets a makeover. The author includes advice on shopping green, light bulbs, and better choices for personal hygiene that will protect you and the environment.

Big Green Purse: Using Your Spending Power to Create a Cleaner, Greener World by Diane MacEachern
Change the way you spend money and change the world! You’ll get background information about how certain products negatively impact the environment and people, along with alternative options you can purchase to combat these effects.  You have the power!

Green Living by Design book coverGreen Living by Design: The Practical Guide for Eco-Friendly Remodeling and Decorating by Jean Nayar
Organized by area of the house and materials utilized, this book guides you through making informed decisions about remodeling and furnishing your home in an earth-friendly way.

Real Simple book coverReal Simple: 869 New Uses for Old Things
Not sure what to do with those leftover name tags? Use them to label your casserole dish so it comes back home after the potluck. This encyclopedia lists most common household items and ways they can be re-purposed.  You won’t ever need to throw anything away again!

Simple Steps to a Greener Home DVD coverSimple Steps to a Greener Home: With Lifestyle Expert Danny Seo
This DVD gives many “smart and stylish” suggestions for remodeling in an eco-friendly way.  

Your family, your home, and your Earth will thank you.

-Melissa M.

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