50 Do-It-Yourself Blogs: DIY Must-Reads for Home Improvement Projects

Posted May 28th, 2010
by HomeownersInsurance.org Staff (4 comments)

You look upon your new (fixer) house, with its peeling paint and sagging floors, and think to yourself “I can do that. Couple weekends, little elbow grease…” Then you read the wisdom of these hardened DIYers, and you’ll either roll up your sleeves and get started (a little smarter) or, you’ll knuckle under and hire a contractor. Either way, there is much to learn, grasshopper. Read on.

  1. No list of DIY blogs would be complete without a mention of Houseblogs, a community of bloggers who can’t seem to stop working on their houses. So…much…to…learn…
  2. Retro Renovation is another must-read, especially for anyone into mid-century modern.
  3. The Old House Web blog offers savvy advice on a wide range of projects for the IDY homeowner.
  4. House in Progress, written with a wry wit, chronicles the adventures of a Chicago bungalow and its owners during the home improvement process.
  5. The Home Improvement Ninja will sneak up behind you with his sharp, lethally accurate sense of humor and make you laugh, and you won’t even see it coming because he is so stealthy.
  6. The 1902 Victorian blog has been on the DIY home scene for a long time and is a treasure trove of stories and information.
  7. Likewise, Young House Love is an iconic home renovation blog by two enthusiastic DIYers.
  8. Greg at the Petch House is restoring lovely 1895 Victorian to its true glory, a project not for the faint of heart. Go Greg!
  9. Read This Old Crack House to see Gary Leitzell take the concept of urban renewal to a whole new level.
  10. Casa Decrepit no longer lives up to its name, thanks to the heroic efforts of its owners.
  11. Anyone who appreciates history—not only architectural history but also the histories of individual people—will enjoy Foxcroft; the blog does a nice job documenting the stories of previous owners.
  12. If you’ve ever wanted a craftsman or bungalow with some lovely woodwork, you’re sure to enjoy the Tiny Oak Park Bungalow.
  13. Beacon Hill Bungalow documents a renovation in Beacon Hill (Seattle, not Boston) with good humor and useful details.
  14. Dawn & Jeremy Peterson’s Bungalowcious is a yummy smorgasbord of renovation strategies and stories about a bungalow in Portland, Oregon.
  15. Bungalow Insanity: Insane? Or…brilliant? Perhaps a bit of both. You decide.
  16. There must be something about bungalow style that brings out the DIY instinct. (They’re architecturally interesting and historic, yet seem relatively small and manageable…at first…) Bungalow 23 is a thorough and thoughtful look a renovating a Twin Cities bungalow.
  17. Home Sweet Split Level brings you the 1950’s in all their shiny glory.
  18. Mid Century Modern House on the Prairie brings you home renovation goodness from Calgary.
  19. Life in the Prairie Box takes you on a journey through an American Foursquare renovation, with meditations on sustainability along the way.
  20. Project Ranchalow brings you 1940’s style and DIY tips with wit and verve.
  21. Save the Pink Bathrooms will help you appreciate that 1950’s tile in your powder room. Besides, it would be a pain to replace, right?
  22. Nick and Trissa’s Pigeon Point Project in Seattle is a great compendium of stories and advice.
  23. Chicago 2-Flat: Now that they’ve renovated, it’s on to décor with thrifty vintage finds aplenty. Check the archives for great DIY info.
  24. If you feel that you might need to be talked out of this whole renovation thing, check out the Devil Queen. It will make you think twice, and if you choose to go ahead…well, at least you know what you might be getting into.
  25. Step right up and get your Stucco House restoration tips from this friendly Twin Cities blogger.
  26. How do Andrew and Meredith at Our Castle get all that work done with a baby around? Secrets, please? Do you two sleep?
  27. Just a Girl With a Hammer tackles it all, with energy and heart.
  28. Go on—see what’s behind Door Sixteen. (A lovely Victorian rowhouse, but don’t take our word for it—go check it out yourself.)
  29. Kathy at Pineapples and Parquet has a good eye for design—take a peek!
  30. 416FixerUpper shows you what’s possible with a dream and a lot of sweat equity.
  31. Meryl at The Picardy Project documents a multitude of DIY projects and also shows you how to make a stellar lemonade (assuming that you, too, have access to a bountiful Meyer lemon tree.)
  32. House flipping might not be quite the trend it was a few years ago, but the Flipping Couple stays in style.
  33. The Quarry Orchard keeps it real. Who can’t relate to “Project ADD?”
  34. We Could Make That is a stunningly appropriate motto for a DIY blog, and Chris and Amy truly capture the risk and reward of doing it yourself.
  35. Shane and Casey are the epitome of can-do spirit, from flipping stairs to stripping wood.
  36. Notes From the Heartland is a delight to read— and worth it for this wallpaper removal tip alone.
  37. Hip House Girl is slowly renovating her 1926 brick bungalow and we get to follow the process. Yay!
  38. Discover life at the Chateau Whitman with Kristi and Rob as they renovate, decorate, and relate their adventures in fixing up their house.
  39. Kelly likes to spend time Tearing Up Houses (and putting them back together) and she’s gotten pretty good at it over the years.
  40. Kim and Scott’s Yellow Brick Home showcases their Chicago style beautifully.
  41. Sara at Russet Street Reno has a great slogan: “DIY or die trying.” An honest and humorous look at the joys of DIY.
  42. Sunny’s Life in Rehab shows just how hard it can be to kick the DIY habit…but really, would you want to?
  43. Kevin and Layla over at The Lettered Cottage are a “little bit country and a little bit rock n’roll” and their home is lovely.
  44. Micah and Casey have opened their Yellow Front Door to readers who can now witness them tackle everything from unexpected mold to dog-related rug issues, all with good cheer
  45. Ann Marie at White House Black Shutters shares her adventures in DIY, along with the occasional mouthwatering recipe and cute photos of her little girl.
  46. The DIY Showoff is a treasure trove of useful ideas with great before/after inspiration…and the place to go if you want to boast about your DIY successes!
  47. Aren’t we all just One Project Closer? Then how come it never seems to end? Fred, Kim, Ethan, and Jocie can sympathize (and offer up some A+ blogging while they’re at it.)
  48. Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog shows how she budgets her DIY projects, and learning from her insights is WAY better than waiting for Great-Aunt Esme or the Tooth Fairy to leave you some cash.
  49. 3 Acres and 3000 Square Feet highlights life in a 1973 fixer-upper from one very busy couple…check out their list. After you stop feeling bad because you haven’t done nearly as much with your house, be sure to check out posts on going geothermal.
  50. Last but most certainly not least, the DIY Diva definitely knows her way around the power tools.

These DIY homeowners show that full-scale renovations require dreaming and determination in equal measures. Many thanks to them for sharing their insights, missteps, goals, and victories with the rest of us. After…it’s not really home if you don’t work on it, right?

Categories: Advice

What people are saying:

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  • Posted June 15th, 2010 by Amanda F. at 9:44 am - Reply

    My husband and I just bought our first new house and it is definitely a “fixer-upper”. I’m pushing him to get new carpets, but he thinks we should wait until Bogey (our 1-year Portuguese Water Dog) is fully house broken. I just can’t stand walking on shag any longer!


  • Posted June 16th, 2010 by handyman ted at 1:33 pm - Reply

    “House in Progress” is a pretty clever name. I feel like it describes every place I have every lived, much to my wife’s chagrin.


  • Posted November 4th, 2010 by Steve at 5:48 pm - Reply

    Funny thing about older houses though is that they are the best. We bought a condemned house once built in the early 1940′s. Rock solid! Real 2 x 4′s and a slate roof.


  • Posted November 16th, 2010 by Molly at 2:34 pm - Reply

    What a great compilation of sites.. I’m already hooked! I’ve been on the computer for 3 hours just reading through these.. it’s nice to know that I’m not alone in the fixer upper battle!

    -Molly


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