Welcome to The Money Pit Blogs!

Share ideas and learn about the latest in home improvement and décor from Tom and Leslie.

Money Pit Blogs

Got an electrician coming out to the house sometime soon?  Make a note to kill several electric birds with one stone.  While he or she is there, have your electrician make these relatively easy upgrades to your home electric outlets:

-- Raise some outlets.  It helps keep them out of reach of...

Did you know that your washing machine might not be washing the germs out of your family’s clothes? 

Over time, washing machines can become contaminated with bacteria, potentially leaving millions of germs behind in your laundry.

To correct this problem, run the washer without clothes using...

Looking to clean out that clutter, donate to charity and maybe even find a great deal on that kitchen sink you've been looking for?  Look no further than DiggersList and the Habitat for Humanity Re-Stores.

DiggersList is a website of home improvement classified ads, and it's giving Americans an...

If you’re looking for a natural, non-toxic wood stain, you might want to raid your kitchen. 

- Coffee, tea and black walnut hulls can be steeped to make a concentrated solution that case be used as a stain. 

- Black raspberries are an effective wood stain when crushed and then rubbed onto...

Make sure your fireplace is in tip-top shape this winter to keep your home and family safe.  Follow these tips for thorough seasonal fireplace maintenance:

-  Check your flue, damper and firebox for creosote build-up.  Creosote is highly combustible and can lead to a dangerous chimney...

Don’t you hate it when you finally get all the lights strung and plug them in – ready for the big Ta-Da! – but all you get is a big WAH-wahhhhhh?

Or what about when you realize the lights you put up that once worked, suddenly don’t? 

Don’t stress yet.  There are a few things you can do to fix...

When snow and ice become a seasonal reality, salting your sidewalks may seem like a necessary evil.  Sure, it helps melt winter ice and snow, but the wrong kind can cause concrete surfaces to disintegrate. 

To keep your walkways in great shape year-round, choose salt made from potassium...

If you have pets, harsh chemical de-icers can be hazardous.  Not only could their delicate paws get a chemical burn from a chemical de-icing product, but pets can even be poisoned if they lick de-icer from their paws.

You can protect your furry friends by choosing a pet-safe de-icing product...

In the market for a fresh-cut Christmas tree?  When you head out on the hunt for that perfect annual pine, keep these tips in mind:

-- Before leaving home, remember to measure the space for your tree BOTH horizontally AND vertically – and bring the tape measure with you to the tree farm!  The...

Are wrinkles or loose spots in your carpet getting on your nerves?  If you’re an enthusiastic do-it-yourselfer, I’ve got good news.  With some rented equipment and a little sweat equity, you can fix those flaws by re-stretching your carpet. 

When areas of carpet become wrinkled and loose, not...

The easiest and cheapest way to redecorate a room?  Rearrange the furniture! 

Rearranging furniture is 100% free, so it’s the perfect way to revitalize the look of your home when you’re on a tight budget. 

You can also trade furniture between rooms – swap a side table, change lamps.  Borrow a...

Giving a family room or guest bedroom a fresh coat of paint is an inexpensive way to “re-decorate” in time for the winter holidays.  A brand new color, plus some accessories to contrast or coordinate – a vase, a throw, some wall art – can give a space a completely new look in a snap.

So what’s...

Stairs are among the more precarious spots in the home, but they can be even more hazardous without the right hardware.  To keep everyone safe, follow these tips for pairing the right hardware with each set of stairs in your home:

-- Stairs with at least three steps should have a hand rail...

Filed under: Saving Money, Transportation, Fraud I did a good deed this week. I caught a shyster trying to sell a car that likely didn't exist and in the process learned a few things about how to protect yourself when buying a car online. It's been a while since I last bought a car. Back then,...

Filed under: Saving Money, Transportation, Fraud I did a good deed this week. I caught a shyster trying to sell a car that likely didn't exist and in the process learned a few things about how to protect yourself when buying a car online. It's been a while since I last bought a car. Back then,...

Filed under: Saving Money, Transportation, Fraud I did a good deed this week. I caught a shyster trying to sell a car that likely didn't exist and in the process learned a few things about how to protect yourself when buying a car online. It's been a while since I last bought a car. Back then,...

Ever wish you could create a light source where you have no window?  Well, you can!  Here is a great idea for anyone who wishes they could have a window over their kitchen sink or anywhere else, but can’t – for example, maybe it’s not an exterior wall.  Here’s a simple project that create a...

Now’s a good time to take a prowl around your own home and be a draft detective.  If you can locate the sources of drafts in your home, you can take prompt action to seal them up and save money on your energy bills year-round.  Here’s a super-simple method for locating those pesky drafts:

The...

Sure, you can buy fire starters for your fireplace or wood stove, but you don’t have to.  Dried pine cones are nature’s perfect fire starters. 

If you’re lucky enough to have pine trees on your property, you can easily gather up pine cones in your yard.  If not, take the kids out to a community...

Are you sure your guests can find you?  It’s not something we think about often, but if your house number isn’t clearly visible, you could get yourself into some unnecessary trouble.  Not only will you frustrate your party guests, but in an emergency, police or rescue vehicles may not find you...