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

Before you say goodbye to the green, green grass of summer, help it into healthy hibernation for fall and winter. Even though it may not look like it, there’s a lot going on with your lawn during cold-weather months, and you’ll like what you see next spring if you handle a few lawn chores right...

If you’re ending summer with a new home, be sure paint it before you move in. That’s the advice from experts at the Paint Quality Institute, and real estate and home improvement pros agree. Before you load in a stick of furniture or empty a moving box, consider these six reasons to lead with a...

As the housing market continues its upswing, so does remodeling activity, and the trajectory is expected to continue into 2014. According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard’s latest Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA), the general strengthening of the housing market...

Back-to-School season is the most wonderful time of year for parents, and the shopping that comes with it has made it the second-most-wonderful season for retailers. This fall, spending for grade schoolers through college students is expected to reach more than $72 billion, with the typical...

The start of August often means the arrival of two other things: heat and drought. These can make landscape care more challenging, but just as you’d keep yourself hydrated in the heat, you also have to make sure trees are getting the water they need. To deliver proper tree hydration without...

Want to add dimension and drama to your home’s landscaping, and more livability to outdoor rooms? Install low-voltage lighting. Thanks to today’s versatile lighting kits, you can create designer-quality results with a little DIY skill and prep work. Start by gauging how much lighting you need,...

While you’re enjoying the great outdoors this season, make sure ticks aren’t along for the ride. Ticks and the Lyme disease they carry are major threats to health, so be smart about protecting yourself and your family whenever you’re outdoors with the following precautions.   Suit up:  Always...

You’ve finally decided on a paint color for that room makeover, but do you know what kind of sheen you’ll need? For the best project results, you have to go beyond color and quality to choose the sheen that makes the most sense for the room and its uses. Here’s a quick primer on paint sheens and...

Good news for your neighborhood: the great American porch is back in style. According to recent Census data, porch construction has been on the rise for about ten years, with nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of new homes built in 2011 including a porch, compared with only 42 percent of new homes...

Working in your yard is a great opportunity to combine exercise and the pursuit of outdoor beauty, but it can also lead to injury if you’re not dressed for the job. Whether your chores are big or small, make sure you’re suited up for safety.   Sturdy work gloves are a smart start, giving you a...

Now that school’s out for summer, homeowners start turning their attention to making high grades in energy efficiency while staying cool and comfortable indoors. According to the second-annual Lennox Home Energy Report Card survey, most are putting in a good effort, but many need to do better to...

Now that the kids are home for summer, keep vacation fun and safe by taking precautions indoors and out. This season is especially active and challenging, so make sure everyone understands the importance of safety, and do all you can to protect kids from summer dangers in the following...

If your grilling gear could use an upgrade this summer, look to the latest shopping advice offered by Consumer Reports. They’ve just completed new ratings of more than 100 gas grills, and besides telling which are tops, they’ve identified the five features that really count. 1. Look for...

Want to heat your swimming pool on the cheap? Make the most of the summer sun. Even if you already use the sun to warm up your outdoor pool, the following adjustments can help you extend swim season by up to three weeks. Harness daylight: To soak up maximum heat during the day, your pool should...

Hoping for a smooth home sale? Be on your guard, because whether you’re the buyer or the seller, some of the biggest deal-breakers can hit right before a sale closes. Here are five home sale pitfalls to avoid. 1. Surprise home inspection results: Once the contract has been signed, the buyer’s...

While many homeowners are staying put these days, summertime is still prime moving season for those who plan to relocate across town or across the country. If a house move is in your near future, save money and protect your belongings by doing your own packing with methods used by the pros. Here...

As you turn toward a summer routine of cooler temperatures indoors, make sure your ceiling fan does the same. A ceiling fan can be a big help with indoor comfort, allowing you to spin down overall energy costs with just the flick of a switch.   The ceiling fan’s secret to a cooler summer is its...

If you're more motivated to improve your present home than move to a new one, you're not alone. According to the U.S. Census Bureau's recent American Housing Survey (AHS), homeowners have been busy modernizing their kitchens, finishing basements and ramping up overall home efficiency--all to...

As you head out to your yard this spring, you may discover you’re not the first to get your paws in the dirt. Deer, rabbits and groundhogs can be pleasant reminders of the wonders of this season, but they’re also destructive intruders, trampling and chomping on all your hard work. Before you...

As gardeners once again dig into the most popular hobby in the U.S., many are hopping online for inspiration. One place they’re going for ideas is StumbleUpon, the mobile and desktop exploration tool, and recent rankings of its 30 million users’ top gardening “stumbles” (searches) revealed a...