By Albert Fontenot
Posted June 2015
“To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition.” ~Samuel Johnson
They say a person’s home is their castle, but what they forgot to tell you is that castle is going to need maintenance, repairs, and updating throughout the years. When that time comes, owning your dream home need not be a nightmare if you are armed with the right information, guidance, and tools.
We have assembled some of the best home improvement blogs on the Internet – to teach you, to reassure you, to inspire you, and to help you marshal the resources you need to live in the home you’ve always wanted and deserved.
Some of these blogs/sites are household names, and many have thousands or even millions of followers and subscribers who routinely turn here for home improvement advice. The fact that so many people use these blogs as their go-to source of information on all things home-related should instill a comfortable sense of confidence in you. You can rest assured that almost without fail, any question or problem that you are encountering with your home improvement projects has an answer that can be found in one or more of these sites.
But this is no mere popularity contest – the sheer number of followers was not the only criteria for inclusion, because content matters. There are a few inclusions here that made the cut because of the level of expertise of the blog authors. In our humble opinion, it is only a matter of time before these “new kids on the block” are just as recognizable as the established brands.
If there is one thing that you should take from this list, it is this: whatever difficulties you are facing with your long laundry list of home improvement projects, there is a solution. With a little attention to detail and a lot of patience, you are going to be able to transform your home into something more beautiful, more personal, and more wonderful than you ever thought possible.
Founded in 2005 by Timothy Dahl, a designer and self-described “do-it-yourself enthusiast,” this web magazine focuses on the trending topics particular to the Smart Home movement. His work has been featured across a wide spectrum of outlets, including the Martha Stewart radio show on Sirius XM, National Public Radio, the New York Times, and Popular Mechanics.
Facebook –3659 likes, Twitter –5395 followers, Google + –42,982 views
Highlight: A Smart Home Study
2. Bob Vila
Known by generations of do-it-yourselfers, Bob Vila has been dispensing home improvement advice on such television programs as This Old House, Restore America, and Home Again since 1979. In addition, he has authored a dozen books about home remodeling, repair, renovation, and how to find and buy your dream home.
Facebook –67,801 likes, Twitter –1,090,000 followers, Google + –591,217 views
Highlight: 10 Spring Home Maintenance Musts
“Do it right, not over” is the mantra of master builder Tim Carter, who offers product and tool reviews as well as literally thousands of tips on both how to hire the right contractors and how to do it right yourself. The blog is very video-heavy, with hundreds of selections to choose from. Ask the Builder bills itself as “the oldest and longest-lasting first-person” home improvement site on the Internet.
Facebook –6095 likes, Twitter –5878 followers, Google + –8813 views
Highlight: Radiant Floor Heating Systems
The unique approach here is how the bloggers focus on DIY home remodeling by following around a group of expert professional remodelers as they tackle their real-life projects. By carefully documenting the techniques used by professionals on actual job sites, One Project Closer can offer specific tips in their how-to guides.
Facebook –4592 likes, Twitter –1437 followers, Google + –4594 views
Highlight: How to Paint an Epoxy Concrete Floor Coating
Established in 1995, this site was named as one of the “Top 50 Sites in the World” by Time magazine. They provide comprehensive and all-encompassing content, including interviews, how-to’s, community forums, and personalize professional advice. The database here covers an amazingly varied set of topics, providing incredibly useful information to help homeowners take on even the most daunting home improvement projects.
Facebook –491,151 likes, Twitter –6698 followers, Google + –91,822 views
Highlight: How to Winterize a Sprinkler System
Injecting humor with invaluable advice, tutorials, and product tests, the Handy Guys can help any do-it-yourselfers complete their “Honey-Do” chores. These two friends have worked in every aspect of home improvement, including projects for Habitat for Humanity and renovating homes that were damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Their site offers both audio and video podcasts, with instruction that runs from the very basic (How to Operate a Drill) to important maintenance tasks (Water Heater Maintenance) to step-by-step project guides.
Facebook –378 likes, Twitter –14,900 followers, Google + –2247 views
Highlight: Hammer Drills: When to Use Them and Why?
This design-focused site is the creation of a group of female friends who are unashamedly overly-enthusiastic about the interiors of their homes. Subscribers to their blog will be kept abreast of the newest fashions and trends within the home design industry. The 11 contributing editors offer a collective insight that is expertly astute, specifically from a female perspective.
Facebook –102,600 likes, Twitter –43,300 followers, Google + –11,136 views
Highlight: Paper Composite Countertops for the Kitchen
The motto of this family blog is “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose, and Remodel!” Do-it-yourselfers on a budget have come to the right place when they visit this site. There is a lot of inspiration to be found here, because it shows the projects undertaken by a real-life couple and the creative measures they take to beautify and improve their home. Dedicated followers will appreciate the homey, intimate peeks into this family’s lives.
Facebook –106,150 likes, Twitter –7538 followers, Google + –622,724 views
Highlight: The Ultimate Guide to Wainscoting
Calling themselves the “do it together” home improvement blog, Building Moxie focuses on the learning process that occurs during any project. Using stories generated from their readership, this site has a wealth of information that is valuable for both professionals and do-it-yourselfers. This is real-world information that was obtained during the journey that begins with trials and tribulations and ends with pure exhilaration at the successful completion of a project.
Facebook –2585 likes, Twitter –8361 followers, Google + –5468 views
Highlight: The Benefits of New Roofing
The focus here is on sustainable living, and this site calls itself “the most comprehensive green living website ever assembled”. The tentpole is an emphasis on green building and remodeling, but this idea has been expanded to encompass living a greener lifestyle in over 200 different aspects of life. Visitors will gain a well-rounded insight into the worldwide global environment, as well as how to employ the latest and greenest practices, products, techniques, and technologies.
Facebook –2441 likes, Twitter –9824 followers, Google + –14,144 views
Highlight: How to Create Thermal Barriers in Your Home
Because this is a “specialty” home improvement site, many do-it-yourselfers will overlook what is offered here. That would be a mistake. Perfectly describing the content as “where craft meets art”, this site provides years of archives going back over 10 years. Although the primary focus is on wood, that area of focus is surprisingly broad, and homeowners who are both savvy and ambitious can find a treasure trove of information, instruction, and inspiration here.
Facebook –39 likes, Twitter –N/A, Google + –N/A
Highlight: Tackling Home Extensions
Home improvement enthusiasts will be familiar with Danny Lipford from his radio and television programs, Today’s Homeowner. In addition, he has made well over 100 appearances on such shows as Live with Regis and Kelly, Rachel Ray, Open House, and the Early Show, among others. With over 30 years’ experience, Danny has been featured in such renowned publications as Better Homes & Gardens, Parade, and Professional Remodeler.
Facebook –1917 likes, Twitter –3081 followers, Google + –20,317 views
Highlight: How to Patch Damaged or Rotten Wood
Aiming to smash the stereotype of women and remodeling, this site squarely targets those individuals who have always wanted to be more handy. The author provides in-depth tutorials on home repair, home improvement, and renovation in a dedicated effort to empower others with the skills and confidence needed to tackle almost any project.
Facebook –55,814 likes, Twitter –6960 followers, Google + –18,950 views
Highlight: Sealing Gaps around Pipes
14. Old House Web
Since 1999, this site has provided information and inspiration for owners and enthusiasts of older homes. Working on an older home has its own unique set of challenges, and the Old House Web offers a list of tutorials and resources to make for smooth project completion. Enthusiasts can swap questions in the forums, homeowners in need can peruse how-to tutorials, and both do-it-yourselfers and professional contractors can find listings for companies that provide specialty products designed for older homes.
Facebook –2649 likes, Twitter –7968 followers, Google + –20,020 views
The creator of this blog is a full-time custom homebuilder and project manager in Newport, New Hampshire, with expertise at every level of commercial and residential construction. Using his extensive experience, the author created this site to provide reliable and accurate information to do-it-yourselfers. Besides expert advice, the site also offers product reviews for the newest and most innovative home improvement and construction products on the market.
Facebook –2491 likes, Twitter –622 followers, Google + –22,532 views
Highlight: Insulating Basement Walls
Although this company operates primarily in northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC, it was able to earn a nationwide reputation when it was rated as a “Top Remodeler” by Qualified Remodeler magazine and when it was featured on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. The blog focuses on various home projects, what customers can look for in a contractor/builder/remodeling company, and “cost versus value” reports.
Facebook –11 likes, Twitter –61 followers, Google + –4700 views
As the site for one of the longest-running home improvement programs on television, this blog has over 700 episodes of valuable information available for the do-it-yourself home improvement enthusiast. Hometime helps find the best tools, techniques, and trends needed to make virtually any project run as smooth as possible.
Facebook –3490 likes, Twitter –143 followers, Google + –954 views
Highlight: Contracting a Home
For over 20 years, Moonworks has been operating as one of the most trusted home improvement companies in Rhode Island. Now, they share their knowledge and expertise with the rest of the world via the Internet, putting out valuable information about windows, roofing, and gutters, as well as general how-to information that every homeowner needs to know.
Facebook –690 likes, Twitter –808 followers, Google + –35,270 views
Highlight: Dominate Winter with a Heated Gutter Guard
HGTV is the #1 provider of lifestyle and home improvement programming, broadcast to almost one hundred million American households. With that kind of exposure, it’s no wonder that this site provides such a wealth of information. Any project you can imagine is covered, interior or exterior, do-it-yourself level or professional grade. The rich content provides step-by-step guidance with clear instructions or convenient video tutorials.
Facebook –605,622 likes, Twitter –168,000 followers, Google + –1,306,005 views
20. Young House Love
The name says it all. One young family + one old house = LOVE. It all started back in 2007, when they decided to document the process as they remodel their first house. They would photograph every step on each project and write posts about the progress to share online. This became a pleasant obsession, because 4 1/2 years later, they did the same thing with another house… then another. A 2012 New York Times bestseller followed, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Facebook –146,126 likes, Twitter –29,700 followers, Google + –130,514 views
Highlight: That’s My Jamb (a.k.a. How to Hang a Door)
When you want sound advice, why not go to the largest home improvement store in the country? Not only do they have project how-to’s, there are also step-by-step guides on how to complete the project, along with buying guides for the supplies and equipment you will need. If the videos aren’t quite enough help, you can communicate with other do-it-yourselfers over the community forums or sign up for one of your local store’s workshops.
Facebook –1,694,775 likes, Twitter –243,000 followers, Google + –34,282,294 views
Highlight: A Christmas Decor in Gold, Silver and Copper
This is where the pros go to learn about the newest trends, products, techniques, and regulations. For homeowners, the information provided here is of critical importance – best industry practices that your contractor should be following, pricing, and detailed product information. The annual “Cost versus Value” and “Top 500 Companies” reports are among the most trusted in the home improvement industry.
Facebook –1170 likes, Twitter –10,600 followers, Google + –8263 views
Highlight: Uncommon Ways to Add Detail
The home improvement professionals here call themselves “the do-it-yourselfers best friend,” and with such a wide variety of resources, both print and digital, they just may be right. The magazine, which is part of the Reader’s Digest family, is the oldest and largest publication specifically designed for DIYers. People read their blog to learn how to maintain and repair their homes, landscapes, and even vehicles. There are a large number of how-to guides suitable for almost any home project.
Facebook –272,148 likes, Twitter –9861 followers, Google + –7,134,684 views
Highlight: New Veranda Deck and Fence for Mom
The founder of Home Tips, Dan Vandervort, has been a recognized expert in the home improvement industry for over 40 years, having written his first book on the subject in the early 1970s. Today, he has authored, produced, or edited more than 30 books and has been featured on the CBS news program 48 Hours, ABC’s HOME show, and three different HGTV programs – the Fix, Help at Home, and Working from Home.
Facebook –3555 likes, Twitter –183 followers, Google + –1440 views
This site promotes “better living through handymanlyness,” and, in truth, is a bit more “hands-on” than many other home improvement sites. First-timers should not let that dissuade them, however, because the advice offered here tackles some subjects that other blogs won’t even touch – foundation work, siding, and framing. If a job does seem overwhelming, there is excellent guidance on how to choose the right contractor for your project.
Facebook –590 likes, Twitter –N/A, Google + –16,525 views
Highlight: Replace A Load-Bearing Beam In A Porch Roof
26. Living Vintage
The goal of this blog is to promote the idea of “deconstructing” old houses and then using the reclaimed materials in the construction or remodel of newer homes. For homeowners who like the idea of useful salvage and repurpose them, this is an extremely noble pursuit. The idea seems to be catching on, because the work done here has been featured in dozens of other home improvement blogs and websites across the Internet.
Facebook –4862 likes, Twitter –249 followers, Pinterest – 6300 followers
27. Sawdust Girl
This blog aims to teach visitors how to “build like a girl,” with instruction on tool basics, remodeling 101, and how-to guidance for a number of home improvement projects. One innovative feature is “The Sawdust Diaries,” where readers and subscribers who have been inspired and educated by the content here can showcase their very own personal projects. This spirit of “you can do this” is the very embodiment of this blog’s theme.
Facebook –32,519 likes, Twitter –4438 followers, Google + –1,513,995 views
Highlight: How to Get Rid of Ugly Wall Texture
This is the personal blog of a dedicated “house-flipper” who buys, improves, and immediately sells for a profit older, outdated, or rundown properties. Homeowners can take a lot of inspiration and instruction from the project journals that are kept here. There are copious amounts of step-by-step photographs showing the individual projects in varying stages of completion. The same budget-friendly stress-free approach used in the “flipping” of homes can be used by homeowners in their own personal projects. Their work was recently featured in Redbook magazine.
Facebook –842 likes, Pinterest – 51,328 followers
Highlight: The Big Box Kitchen Series
This blog site hopes to be the destination of choice for homeowners, landlords, and even renters who want to care for, update, and improve their homes. Just about every topic imaginable is covered here – interior and exterior, repair and renovation, replacement and repurposing. By inviting a host of respected experts to guest-blog, Totally Home Improvement offers a number of insightful perspectives on all things related to home improvement. In addition to the obligatory tutorials, there are also reviews of tools, equipment, and appliances for the dedicated do-it-yourself enthusiast.
Facebook –182 likes, Twitter –27,900 followers, Pinterest – 1047 followers
For more than 100 years, Popular Mechanics has been spreading the gospel about the newest innovations in technology and making those developments available to the general public. What most people don’t know is how the company also is a great source of information about the hottest trends and products within the home improvement industry. Visitors will not just learn how to do something, they will also learn why it was done that way in the first place.
Facebook –194,169 likes, Twitter 1250 followers, Google + –18,473,475 views
Highlight: The Top 6 Digital Deadbolts
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About the Author
Albert Fontenot has been directly involved with home improvement sales and sales management for over fifteen years, managing offices in Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas for a nationwide company. He has won awards in the industry and made recommendations to literally thousands of customers.