a House into a Home
Laura Emery, Field Editor
A house is a structure that most people
will purchase at some point in their lives, and a home is what it becomes
when changes and improvements are made during the years of ownership. Most
people purchase a house with thoughts and plans of making it their own.
Like an empty canvas to an artist, a
home can be improved in so many ways that depict the style and personality
of its owner. The options are endless. Home improvement is an adventure in
hardware, style, colors, lighting, and so much more. Its elements appeal to
your sense of order as well as whimsy. Do-it-yourself projects are usually
challenging and exciting, but the results are gratifying.
And, now, with the increase of
home-improvement television programming, more people are interested in
rolling up their sleeves and doing home-improvement projects around the
house. Some people are confident enough to tackle full-room renovations, but
others take it in small doses — a switch-plate changed here, or a room
repainted there. If the home-improvement television shows have taught us
anything, it’s that the smallest changes are often the biggest
Regardless of your level of expertise or
the magnitude of the projects you want to tackle, you can captivate your
decorating imagination as well as satisfy your architectural and functional
needs on the World Wide Web — a source teeming with Web sites offering up
tons of tips and tools.
From a to z on home improvement, it’s all on the
world wide web!
Lowe’s has a thorough Web site with
something for everyone. It features sections on everything from weekend
makeovers to tips on how to save energy. Find expert advice, how-to clinics
and creative ideas for your home. Buy top brands of tools, appliances and
building materials at great prices online.
Here you’ll find interesting and
informative articles on topics ranging from affordable wall art to fabulous
The Do It Yourself Network site is
broken down into the following categories: “Autos & Boats,”
“Crafts,” “Gardening,” “Hobbies,” “Home
Building,” “Home Improvement,” “Living,” and “Woodworking.”
Here you can find information on solving your toughest do-it-yourself
dilemmas, check out new products for crafters, learn about digital
photography basics, explore childproof decorating, try native beading, and
If you’ve ever considered tackling a
do-it-yourself project like changing out your kitchen countertops or
flooring, installing a wine rack, constructing a deck, installing a phone
jack, or making your own slipcovers — this is the place to go.
At HGTV.com, you'll find everything you
need to know for any home-improvement and/or decorating project you may want
to tackle. The Web site includes instructions for thousands of
home-and-garden projects, video tips, an interactive program guide and
episode finder, user-submitted photographs, message boards, and more. There
is so much information on this Web site that you will always find something
new, informative and interesting during every visit. Just click on your
favorite topic — Decorating, Remodeling, Gardening, At Home, Crafts — to
learn the latest on enhancing your nest. Also, be sure to visit the HGTV
Store for unique home-and-garden gear.
Another major way to improve your home
is to make it more energy efficient. With the help of Energy Star
appliances, homeowners can reduce high energy bills and improve comfort.
According to the Web site, many common home problems like moisture on window
panes, ice dams, peeling paint and mold can often be solved by improving
Energy Star can guide you in making your
home more energy efficient, whether you do it yourself or hire a qualified
professional. Visit the Web site for more information.
Top Suggested Web
Better Homes &
Most everyone has heard of the Better
Homes & Gardens Web site, but do you really know what this site has to
offer? This is a highly recommended site for anyone who is planning on
decorating a space in their home. It’s packed with useful and interesting
tips and tools for every skill level, but you will need to sign up for a
free membership in order to access it.
If you’ve ever pored over paint-color
samples and wondered which fabrics will coordinate with your shade of wood
furniture, the Color-A-Room section is for you. With this tool, you can
choose between seven types of rooms and multiple styles.
With a few clicks of the mouse, you can
decorate a room with different colors, fabrics, and flooring. In the dining
room, you can even choose the color of your dinnerware, chairs, and
tablecloth. In the kitchen, you can choose your countertops as well as
whether you want vinyl, laminate, stone, tile, or wood flooring. In seconds,
your room comes together before your eyes. Try different patterns with
different colors and mix and match to your heart’s desire. The site also
has information on how to group and place pictures, art pieces, and other
If you’re done with your décor and
want to work on home-improvement projects, visit the Home Improvement Guide.
In this section, there is information on everything from deck planning to
plumbing. The Home Improvement Encyclopedia also covers such topics as
flooring, roofs and siding, woodworking, wiring, and even tiling.
You can use the Plan-A-Garden tool to
create a beautiful garden on your screen. This feature lets you design
anything from a patio-side container garden to your whole yard. Use your
mouse to “drag-and-drop” more than 150 trees, shrubs, and flowers. Add
dozens of structures like buildings, sheds, fences, decks — even a pond!