DIY: Outdoor Wooden Benches

Now that it’s sit outside weather (minus these pesky cicadas along the East Coast!), it’s the perfect time to build your outdoor oasis! Moving to a new home with a backyard opened our eyes to how expensive durable outdoor furniture can be, so Andy took it upon himself to build us some wooden benches for outdoor entertaining and relaxing. 

Interested in making some of your own? Here’s his steps for building our benches that you can replicate in your own backyard. 

  1. Start with your measurements. Determine how big your space is, how many benches you want and how you want them laid out. We went with one long and one short to maximize our space and materials. We had space for two benches to take up about 8 feet and 4 feet respectively in length. We also knew that we didn’t want to make custom cushions, so we based the width off of a standard cushion size we found online. The ones we liked came in 4 foot sections and the wood comes in 8 foot sections. Perfect!
  1. Position + cut wood to measurements. The seating area of the longer bench measured at eight feet using four pieces of wood for the seat and two for the back with no cutting. For the smaller bench, we cut the wood in half, using two pieces for the seat and one for the back. We used pressure treated 2×6’s for the seat and 2×10’s for the back. This gave us a seat depth of 18 inches to match the cushions and just under 20 inches for the back. For the back, test out some different angles on seats you have around your house, ours had about a 2” of tilt from the top of the back to the bottom.
  1. Build your armrests. For the sides, we used 4×6’s and long lag bolts to secure them together, turning the top on to the side to create an armrest. These are all 24 inches long, meaning that we could cut a 10 foot long one into 5 pieces to create each side with no waste. Put one 4×6 cut piece flat on the ground then another on its side above that. Use a drill bit to create two holes about half way through the 4×6 wide enough to drop the screw in. With a smaller drill bit than the bolt, drill a hole through the rest of the hole and slightly into the piece below it to make your screw go in easier. Then screw in your lag screw to join the two (we used these 6” exterior grade heavy duty screws). Now add the next piece sideways on top of it. Repeat the hole drilling process in slightly different spots front or back so that the next lag bolt doesn’t go into the hole meant for the other ones below. Repeat for the last piece and again for the other side piece. 
  1. Secure the armrests. Lay the built sides on the ground. Use two brackets for each piece of wood and, using exterior rated screws, secure them to the sides and make sure the ones for the seat are the same height down from the top of the arm rest. Now, using the same approach, secure four brackets for the back rest pieces making sure the other side mirrors. We also added a stack of 4×6’s 2 high  in the middle of the bench to reduce any sagging, we used 12 foot long 4×6’s instead of 10 foot so that there would be 2 2 foot sections leftover for this. If you choose to make a middle support, make sure it’s the same height from the underside of the 2×6 seats to the ground as is on the side supports.
  1. Assemble. Stand up your two sides (and set the middle support if you need one) and lay your first seat part across. A second hand will be useful for this part if you have a partner or a friend. With the top on laying on the brackets, go from underneath and use one inch screws to screw up through the bracket into the 2×6 seat. Any screw one and a half inches or longer will poke through the wood. You’ll want to leave a small gap between the seat pieces and back pieces to allow water to drain through.  Find a small piece of scrap or small tool to use as the spacer, I used a large screw driver for roughly ⅜” gap. Once all the pieces are secured, give it a go! If need be, you can always adjust and rescrew the brackets to make it more to your liking, depth, angle of the back, etc.
  1. Sand + Paint. An orbital sander will quickly clean up rough edges or round down the armrests. We used a deck paint on the benches so that it would stand up to elements and require minimal maintenance. Use a large paint brush, roller, or sprayer if you have it, for two or three coats.

Now throw on those cushions, crack open a beer, and enjoy your new favorite lounging spot!

Sourcing Budget-Friendly Materials for DIY Projects

Are you someone who always chooses the most expensive option when you’re shopping? Us too! Somehow the most expensive and unattainable is always the one that jumps out on the page or in the store. While it means you probably have great taste, it makes budgeting on materials for new projects really challenging. 

There are certainly some moments where spending the money is worth it, especially if it’s an appliance or new technology, but there’s plenty of  home decor or finished that can be achieved for a fraction of the cost. A $300,000 house doesn’t need to have one million dollar finishes, but you can make it look that way. It’s the exciting thing about trying to live a more DIY and sustainable lifestyle! 

If this is your first time updating or upgrading something in your home, it can be a little hard to figure out where to start. Find some inspiration for what you’d like your finished product to look like – whether that’s on Pinterest, in a magazine, or in a store. Getting the vision down is critical because it will guide your work to the end result. From there, research how to execute – whether that’s sanding, painting, reupholstering, or upgrading a specific part of the fixture. Each project will be different, so there’s less of a one-size fits all approach here. Find one thing that you want to begin with and experiment from there. 

Our butler’s pantry in our new home!

We love interior brick and it’s been featured as a built-in bookshelf at our old house and as a feature wall in our new home. We upcycled brick on both projects, digging through piles of unusable and broken bricks on a local job site to find ones that were only slightly chipped or overlooked, and saving them from ending up in another landfill. You may not have as much as construction in your community as we do, but a poke around some salvage yards and antique stores could also be just as effective in finding new old materials of many shapes and sizes. If you also love brick and can’t find something you love, home improvement stores also sell embossed panels that are 4’x8’ and can be painted to look like real brick!

Another DIY-focused project in our home that we love is our gas fire pit. The top is a concrete block that Andy hand poured in the backyard (more on that process later!) and the surround eventually needed to be covered to hide the gas tank and supports below. We could have continued to work with concrete, but it would have required additional labor and cost. After looking around our local home improvement store, we found some metal roofing for only about $20 per sheet and reduced what our costs would have been if we used stacked stone or concrete. It also reduced time spent on the project, which freed up opportunities to work on other rooms around the house. Is it the same upscale finish or quality that concrete or stacked stone would have offered? No, but it was a creative way to get to our end result and we love to add stickers from our favorite breweries to the metal. 

When you’re working on a tight budget, it’s important to bring a bit of creativity into each project and sourcing your own materials is a great way to keep costs low. Search for old items that have potential to be upcycled into something new – even if it’s just one piece of it – or think about how an affordable material can help achieve your vision without breaking the bank. The most important thing to do is just jump in and start attempting to create. It’s okay if you don’t succeed the first time – enjoy the experience of trying to make something of your own. After all, that expensive piece that you were looking at in the first place will probably still be there waiting for you if you need it! 

How to Refinish Old Barn Doors

Barn doors can be an easy first home DIY project for someone that’s new to renovating and wants to add an extra design feature to their home. Alexa isn’t an expert when it comes to cutting trim or replacing a faucet and she successfully embarked on this project one afternoon with a friend in the backyard! 

Even though they’ve come to be associated with farmhouse design styles (it is a barn door after all!), we love barn doors because they’re so versatile. They come in many different styles, they can be painted or stained almost any color you want and diversified with different types of fixtures. A barn door could fit into an Italian Tuscan style villa or a mid-century modern home or a rustic farmhouse – it’s all about what you make it. 

We knew that we wanted to have a barn door feature in our home and our butler’s pantry presented the perfect opportunity to create a fun visual feature in our kitchen, while also dividing the room when we had guests visiting. We bought our barn doors at our favorite local antique and salvage store, The Old Lucketts Store, in Lucketts, Virginia. It’s always great to shop local when you’re starting a DIY project because you can get your materials at a discount and support the local small business community.  

Before we started cutting and sanding down the doors. While the pink paint was amazing, we deduced that it was likely lead-based and wouldn’t be ideal to have flaking off on to our floor.
  1. Measure the size of the door & cut as needed

Before you buy the barn doors, it’s important to know what size you’re looking for and how you’ll get it there. It’s unlikely that you’ll find the perfect fit instantly, so we’d recommend purchasing a larger door than needed and using a circular saw to cut it down to size at home. Depending on where you buy it from, some retailers may have the tools on site to cut it for you. Know what elements of the door you want to keep, whether it’s more of the top or bottom or somewhere in between. 

The doors we purchased had been kept outside for a long time and the bottoms were starting to become one with the dirt in the ground, so we removed about 3 inches from the bottom and an inch from the top too to fit our opening. Be sure to look at the clearances and dimensions of your barn door hardware so you know what thickness the door can be, recommended over sizing based on the opening so that there aren’t gaps on the top or sides, and how it’ll need to be mounted to the wall.

  1. Sand down the doors to remove old paint, varnish and stain

Old doors have such a history behind them (pun intended?) and you’ll want to decide how much of it you’ll want to see come through in your project. Wire brushes, putty knives, or sanders can all provide varying styles of finish, or use a combination to dial in the look you are going for. We used a combination of all of them and an initial swipe with a power washer to knock off the flaking paint.

For sandpaper, 220 grit is a safe bet to start. We found that it strripped off just enough paint to dial in our desired look without digging in too much or taking too long. The higher the number, the smoother the sand paper, so if you have a lot of layers of paint that you want stripped off, you may be able to start with a rougher sandpaper to knock off the bulk of it.

Our doors had been painted pink at one point and we deduced that it was likely lead-based paint and needed to come off. While we sanded, we noticed the paint had left these white marks on the doors, which we decided to keep for added character. 

  1. Choose a paint, varnish or stain

After you’ve dusted off the remnants of the sanding process, you’re ready to style your doors as you want! There’s pros and cons to choosing a paint, stain or varnish for the doors, but ultimately it’s about what you’re looking for in design and ease of application. Paint will coat the doors in any color that you want. Stain will sink into the wood and bring out its natural color with darker tones. Varnish adds a protective layer to the wood without changing the color, just brightening up its natural tones with a coat of protective finish. Some brands offer a stain and varnish combo for color and protection. Use your own judgment on how many coats to add to the doors, but remember that a little goes a long way! Make sure you read the back of the container for proper application and curing times. Some products give off fumes for days while the product cures, so be prepared to use a well ventilated and dry space as needed.

We used Restor-A-Finish in Golden Oak. 

  1. Finish with fixtures

In addition to the color, the character of the doors can really come out in the finishes you add, like handles, hinges, or barn door hardware and all work in tandem. We opted to not use handles because we wanted bypass barn doors and a handle would keep them from passing in front of each other. Keep in mind that hardware can become a statement piece on its own, so make sure that it compliments your door and space accordingly.

Once you’ve chosen your fixtures, take some time with the drill to install and voila! You have new barn doors that add some character to your home! 

Our finished product. Not too shabby!

Do you like the barn door style? Share a photo of ones you have in your house or absolutely love.  

How to Phase Your Home Renovations

It’s tempting to want to fix everything all at once when you move into a new home that could use some attention. We understand why – you want your new home to feel like one and not something that the previous homeowner left behind. No one feels relaxed taking a shower in a bathroom that hasn’t been updated since before they were born or cooking in a kitchen with aging appliances and peeling backsplash. If you’re like us, you also want to have your friends and family over to your new house as soon as possible and you don’t want them feeling unimpressed or commenting about how much work you have ahead of you. 

But, it’s important to phase renovations throughout your home. It keeps you focused on one project at a time, instead of starting a bunch of different projects around the house and then having to decide how and where to divide your time. It could leave some areas unfinished for months, depending on the scope of the project. Renovation phasing also helps you keep an eye on costs in case things get more expensive when planned, which they usually tend to do. 

We’ve used renovation phasing as we worked on our current property and found it incredibly beneficial to maintaining our budget and, more importantly, our sanity. Here’s a few ways to incorporate renovation phasing into your next project:

  1. Identify the areas that need the most attention and where you spend the most time 

Begin your home renovation by determining the home’s most urgent needs first. It might be that before you can redo the kitchen or the main bedroom that you have to replace the roof or the HVAC system. These are critical costly fixes and have to be addressed before making necessary but cosmetic changes. From there, map out which areas of the home are most important to you and where you spend quality time. You’ll want that space to be finished early so you can enjoy it for the longest period of time – whether that’s the backyard, the kitchen or the main bathroom, you and your budget will decide where to start. When in doubt, it’s never a bad idea to start in the bedroom, since it’s an area where you spend most of your time at home (in non-pandemic days anyways!) and where you go to relax.

  1. Create project-free zones throughout your home 

Once you begin a full room renovation in your house, like the kitchen or main bedroom, find a space that you can organize and keep clean for the duration. In a new house, it can be tempting not to fully unpack spaces that you know will be renovated later, but it’s important to create a space where you can step away from the project to relax without the mess and stress. It’s especially critical if you have kids or pets that can’t wander into an unfinished space unattended. Try to space your major projects out by levels if possible – for example, if you’re renovating the kitchen, make your main bedroom a comfortable space to unwind, as opposed to your living room that might be next door and catching some residual dust and temporary storage area. It may not be the perfect space, but know it’s a temporary solution that might motivate you to work faster!

  1. Scale projects appropriately

Renovation phasing also doesn’t mean that you have to go all in on one big project or only start one thing after you’ve finished another. Once you’ve gained more confidence and experience, you can start a few smaller projects at a time and work on the incrementally. For example, we worked on our kitchen backsplash while we also painted the walls, floor and window trim in our main hallway and kitchen. The brick for our backsplash was stored and cut outside, so the weather had to be nice enough to partially work outside to complete that project and we used rainy or colder days to complete inside projects. It also helps when you can have two (or more!) people working on something at the same time! Alexa usually paints while Andy handles anything that involves a saw. We also find that taking a break from a  large lengthy project with a small quick project can help provide some much needed instant satisfaction and a mental break. It’s truly all about balance and committing to getting the project done. 

If you have the resources, you can always close on your new home before closing or moving out of your old one and begin renovations before you even move in. This method, while not attainable for everyone, can be extremely helpful for families who can’t have their children running around an unfinished space or if the home needs immediate updates before you can even move in. However, it’s likely that you’ll have to do some renovation phasing at some point in the project after moving in, so it’s a great exercise to practice when you have competing wants, needs, and budget constraints. 

In our current home, we renovated our main bedroom, bathroom, and closet first because we wanted it to be our safe space where we could rest at night and escape from the rest of our home projects. It also happened that the main bathroom was completely unusable when we purchased the home, so our main space in the home aligned with our main need. As we worked on this project, we did hire a crew to help us install a french drain and regrade our backyard so that we could create an entertaining space for friends while we renovated the main floor later on. We were able to scale our projects appropriately in two different spaces in the house without breaking the budget or feeling like we didn’t have anywhere in the home to go. 

Not complete, but we were functional at this point, which was a huge moment in our journey! No more microwave meals!

Which space would you renovate first? Comment below – we’d love to hear from you! 

Setting Expectations for Quality in a Home Renovation

Whenever we’re outside working on the yard, our neighbors always ask about the progress we’ve made on the renovation, commenting on the saws that have become a staple of our lead walk or what they see us hauling in from the truck each weekend. DIY draws attention and it’s very rewarding! 

Despite having high standards for our own, non-professional work, it is always important to set the right expectation for how the final product will turn out. The flips that you see on HGTV look immaculate because they’re professional and while you can replicate some aspects of that work, it’s likely not going to be the same if you do it yourself.

In any DIY project, it’s important to begin by taking stock of what you feel comfortable and uncomfortable completing yourself. For example, if you’re renovating a bathroom, you probably want to call a plumber to help you with any changes to underground or behind the wall plumbing issues. But, you might be comfortable laying the shower tile and installing the new vanity and sink yourself. 

Do you expect the plumber’s work to be perfect? Yes, especially because you can’t have your shower leaking or flooding and you paid a professional to do professional work. Do you expect your tile and sink to be perfect? No, but if your guests can’t see the pipes under the sink, it might not matter as much. 

Everything you see here – except for materials – is completely DIY!

DIY is a money-saving tactic and you have to decide where you’re willing to save money on quality. This isn’t an excuse for bad or lazy workmanship, but you can’t sweat an imperfect paint job or a slightly uneven tile if you’re doing something on your own. It’s a part of the learning process – and the fun! As mentioned earlier though, you should absolutely expect near perfection and professionalism if you hire a contractor or tradesman to complete a project. You’re investing money in their ability to deliver and that’s what they need to do. 

If you’re newer to DIY, start by completing early projects in areas that might not draw as much attention. If you’re looking to learn drywall repair, start inside a closet where the end result will be blocked by clothes or storage bins. You wouldn’t want to start out with redoing the whole ceiling of your bedroom that you’ll find yourself staring at every morning and night.

When we were in the midst of our kitchen renovation, we found ourselves on the high end of our budget and needed to find places to save. We initially planned to have our island professionally painted, but we decided to paint it ourselves to save on cost. Instead of buying a paint sprayer that a professional likely would have used, we opted for a high-quality paint and primer from Farrow and Ball and a fine roller to get the cleanest finish possible without a sprayer. We knew that with the lighting and layout, there’d be very few angles that would allow you to see some of the small paint imperfections and texture from a roller. 

We decided to paint our kitchen island ourselves, saving a portion of our budget for finishing other parts of the kitchen or if we had an emergency situation later on.

Looking at it now, most people wouldn’t notice the imperfections at all unless they wanted to get under the cabinets with a flashlight. If a professional would’ve given us a 10/10 finish, we pulled off a solid 7/10. For us, doing it ourselves for about $200 and two days of work was much better for our budget than the quote we received for $1200. By choosing to DIY our paint job, we were able to keep our slightly upgraded appliances that we had been looking forward to for months.

As we mentioned in one of our previous posts, your budget will be full of negotiations in order to maximize your vision within your budget. Figuring out where you can or can’t DIY sometimes depends on where you can or can’t compromise on quality. We’d love to think that everything we make is perfect, but it’s far from the truth. We have prioritized stretching our budget through the projects knowing that we might have an occasional out of level tile or bubble in the paint finish, but this is all a part of the DIY process and all a learning experience.

Where have you compromised on quality to save on budget? We’d love to hear your crafty ways of DIY-ing your own spaces to save!

Your First Project: A Budget

Planning a new room renovation or project is such an exciting time. Whether you’re creating plans for a new cozy bedroom or giving your half bath some much needed TLC, the most important step is to align your vision with your budget. This part can make building something new a little less exciting, but definitely more fulfilling. 

Big ideas are fun in the moment, but it can lead to dissatisfaction with the finished project when the budget didn’t support the plan. Thinking within your budget – and let’s be honest, maybe a little over it to prepare yourself – can help you set realistic expectations and keep you on track during a project. It’s not the easiest first step for a home renovator either. Most construction projects come with an automatic “extras” fund because you can’t always plan for everything, but it is important to try. 

The budget process can be exhaustive, mostly because it’s really abstract. If you’re new to home renovation projects, it can be helpful to call in a contractor or two to provide you a quote on a space and get a general idea of what ballpark budget you’ll need. From there, you can also do some online or in-store research on fixtures, materials, and finishes to estimate costs. 

To put it into some perspective, we created a budget for a bathroom remodel to give you an idea of our process. Note, these figures aren’t indicative of a true bathroom renovation, but this should help you outline how you’ll plan a renovation once you have a rough budget. 

Let’s say we want to update a full guest/kids bathroom. We set aside $5,000 for the project, but know that we have an extra cushion of $1,500 that we’re saving for another project later if we need it.

Next, assess what we are working with in the bathroom. The bathtub has seen better years, but still workable and the floor tile can stay with a good scrub. But the rest of the bathroom has got to go.

Once you know what we need, we can move onto the fun part of imagining the space and creating a wish list. We want: 

  • A tile accent wall with built in shelves
  • A new bathtub/shower combo
  • New floor tile
  • A new toilet
  • Convert our single vanity into a double
  • A new mirror
  • A new light fixture
  • A fresh coat of paint

This is the part where you can shape your budget around your needs and your wants. Your direction will be a negotiation – not just with design, but with components of the budget. 

For example, getting a double vanity means we need to bring in a plumber to move pipes behind the wall and a new light fixture means bringing in an electrician. These trade costs, in addition to buying the new vanity and light fixture, can add up. In this case, maybe you decide to keep the workable bathtub and floor tile in order to get the plumber for the double vanity and you get a light fixture that you can install yourself. It’s all about what you want versus what you have the budget to do. 

Here’s two budgets that help break down the bathroom renovation step by step, which can also help you create a timeline of what needs to come first. Realistically, there are dozens of different paths for this scale of project, based on renovator preference and need, but these examples can give you an idea of where to start. 

Option 1

Plumbing/electric/HVAC: $1,000 (3 different contractors needed)

Double vanity materials: $1,750 (cheaper finishes but double the material)

Refresh floor tile and tub: $250

New toilet: $200

Misc accessories: $300

Light fixture(s): $500

Drywall and paint: $500 (do it yourself)

New shower wall tile: $500 (porcelain)

Option 2

Plumbing/electric/HVAC: $250 (DIY)

Single vanity materials: $1050 (nicer cabinet and top)

New tub and floor tile: $1000

New toilet: $200

Misc accessories: $500 (real metal TP holder and robe hook)

Light fixture(s): $250

Drywall and paint: $750 (paying someone to do the work)

New shower tile: $1000 (marble)

In addition to helping you stay financially on track, writing out and walking through your budget can help you visualize where you can gain and lose in order to create your vision. Again, getting a more expensive tile might mean that you need to save on the tub or the light fixtures. Outlining each item with estimated costs can help you move numbers around if something comes in over or under budget during the project. 

You should also anticipate that you likely won’t hit your budget right on target. It can happen (and is always welcome!), but you should always anticipate spending a little more and prepare for any unknowns that could pop up. Pricing out the anticipated route is important, but budgeting or having access to the funds in case things arise is also important for long term success in your DIY life. 

You should also have a backup plan for a worst case scenario – you’re unable to finish a project and you need to call in some help. This is also where getting some of those initial quotes from contractors can come in handy. If you get too deep into the work and can’t finish it, you’ve already had someone come out to estimate the project and know their costs to complete. You always want to have a professional on hand, just in case! 

A budget helps you maximize the execution of your vision, while protecting you from overspending or under delivering. No matter the size of your budget, or the project, your budget is the outline for your project that will evolve overtime, but always remember that it is adaptable as long as you have the funds. Don’t be afraid to move around numbers as the project progresses, or decide to spend more because you saved earlier or vice versa. You don’t necessarily need all your ducks in a row to embark on projects, but starting with even a modest budget outline can help you stay grounded and financially responsible. 

How do you like to budget for renovation projects? We’d love to hear your techniques! 

Getting Started with a DIY Project

Today’s renovation shows have bred the idea that renovating is easy and accessible to everyone. Some projects can be with enough practice, confidence and determination, but knowing how much to take on can be tricky for first time renovators. It is difficult to know the full extent or cost of a project when you are just starting out, even when it’s something small. 

Our backyard was sloping in toward the house and needed to be completely regraded. We removed the brick that covered the back, regraded and installed a french drain to keep water flowing away from the house.

We always take pride in telling people that we did the work on our projects and it is usually followed by a comment about how they wish they had the experience to do it themselves. But to be honest, most of our projects are a first for us too. Whether it’s renovating a kitchen or building an outdoor bench, a lot of it is trial and error the first time – fueled by just enough confidence to set forth on a vision without fully knowing how it’ll turn out. Some things may have to be redone, rethought, reengineered, or recycled into a completely different project, but that’s part of the fun.

Before embarking on one of these projects on your own, there’s a few questions that you need to ask yourself:

  1. Is the time and money put into a project expendable enough that it wouldn’t be the end of the world if it all had to be scrapped half-way through?
  2. Are you mildly confident that the new skill sets learned off of YouTube or blog posts will work eventually?
  3. Is the project very difficult, but worth trying to save money?

If the answer to these three questions is yes, you’re probably ready to give your project a try on your own first! 

After regrading, we laid the brick back down and added pebbles to the side of the yard to make the space more dynamic.

As always, the first place you want to start is with your budget. How much will this project cost you and (hopefully) save in the long run? You can begin this by starting a comprehensive list of materials – maybe overbudgeting a little in case you need to go back to a home improvement store more than once. You’ll also want to estimate how much it may cost if you have to call in a professional to finish the job if it is something essential to the home. You can redo built-in shelves as many times as you want, but if your shower is out of commission for a few days, it’s going to become an emergency situation FAST! 

In addition to compiling a resource material list and budget, it’s also important to develop a timeline on the project, especially if it’s something that might cause an inconvenience to your daily life. Some projects can be done at a leisurely pace in the backyard, basement, or a non-essential room, but others can create a big inconvenience on your day-to-day activities. Creating a timeline for your project will ensure that more essential projects are completed on a reasonable timeline and motivate you to stay on task. 

From there, it’s all about trial and error until you find your way. We lovingly refer to most of our projects as just messing around because that’s usually all it is. A lot of these larger projects are  new to us, requiring new tools and skill sets for each project and not fully knowing what the final product will be. You can start with a picture in your head, but after getting into it, the project might evolve into something else. Not being afraid to get your hands dirty and getting out of your comfort zone is important to any home DIY’er.  Start with smaller projects to build up core skills, like using a drill or getting familiar with saws and work your way up. If you haven’t used a saw before, you probably don’t want to rip up your floors to install hardwood, complete a couple of pieces of furniture or shelves first and work your way up.

Our finished entertaining space in the backyard!

Sweat equity not only makes financial sense, it also builds pride. DIY is incredibly rewarding and something even those with no renovation. experience should try. Start by wading into the shallow section, not diving off the deep end.

What was your first DIY project or what do you want to start with next? We’d love to hear what you’re working on!