Demolition Daze: 7 Ways to Botch Renovating a Home

“Renovating my house was a piece of cake,” said no one ever. Indeed, even seemingly simple projects, like installing a screen door, staining hardwood floors, or refacing kitchen cabinets, can surprise homeowners with unexpected challenges and ever-escalating costs. And the problems multiply if you make certain all-too-common mistakes.

We’re not trying to discourage you from renovating your house, but if you’re planning to give your house a face-lift, be sure to avoid these seven renovation fumbles.

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4 easy DIY home improvement projects you can do in a day

Think you don’t have the time to tackle a home improvement project? Good news: There are a number of easy renovations you can do in one day — without the help (or cost) of a handyman or contractor. Here are four that you can do with just a few basic tools.

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10 tools every new homeowner should own — and 3 they shouldn’t

Ah, the joys — and burdens — of toolboxbecoming a homeowner.

Buying a home is an exciting milestone, but after you’ve completed the purchase and moved in, you’re responsible for maintenance. In other words, you no longer have a landlord to fix that running toilet or leaky faucet.

The upside? Having a few essentials in your toolbox can help you make some common repairs yourself. Being your own jack-of-all-trades can also help you save money, as repair people typically charge about $60 to $65 an hour, according to HomeAdvisor. But you don’t want to cheap out on tools, home improvement expert Bob Vila says.

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How to set your budget for a big home improvement project

No matter what we’re shopping for, home remodelingfew of us like sticking to a budget. But when you’re doing a major home remodeling project, knowing precisely how much money you have to spend and staying within that budget is crucial.

“As contractors, we design our projects to our clients’ budgets,” says J.P. Ward, architect and vice president of business development at Anthony Wilder Design/Build in Cabin John, Md. “Homeowners need to know what their budget is upfront and be realistic about what they can afford.”

Considering a big home renovation? Here’s how to set your priorities, establish a spending limit and stick to your budget.

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Winter drafts can drive up your energy bill. Here’s how to keep the cold out.

On frigid winter days, sometimes you winter draftsjust want to hunker down at home and stay warm. Sounds cozy, right? Well, good luck doing that in a house full of drafts.

Drafts, or air leaks, can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare. In addition to making your space uncomfortable, drafts can drive up your energy bills — as your heating system goes into overdrive to keep your home warm — and even create health risks.

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