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

There’s always room for improvement in a new year, especially when it comes to your home. So make a few resolutions now to tackle simple projects that’ll help reduce energy spending, increase safety, and expand enjoyment of your abode. Here are a few ideas to spur your 2014 to-do list. Replace...

As you prepare to undeck the halls, take steps that’ll save time and trouble when you roll out the decorations again next year. Assessing what you have, purchasing replacements, and packing for safe storage and easy retrieval will preserve holiday magic and decorating safety. Here are top tips...

A layer of newly fallen snow may make your home look like it’s straight off of a holiday card, but leave snow there too long, and you’ll be dealing with a different kind of scene. A blanket of snow can hide freezing, leaking ice dams, and even lead to a dangerous collapse anywhere your roof is...

If you played host for Thanksgiving, you know exactly what a difference kitchen ventilation can make—or what it could have made, if only your range hood had been up to the task. The right range hood doesn’t just make cooking more pleasant, it also improves the air quality of your entire home. So...

If you think your backyard trees simply hibernate during winter, think again. The show may seem over once autumn leaves fall, but there’s actually a lot that trees do during winter to get ready for spring. Take tree growth, for starters: most of the growing points in a tree are protected inside...

With Halloween on tomorrow, it’s time to prepare for the happy haunting that comes with trick-or-treat traffic. Go beyond styling your jack-o-lantern and stocking up on candy to ensure the evening is safe and fun for everyone. Clear a path:  Whether you go all out with a haunted yard or keep...

For most of us recycling has become routine, and that’s a very good thing, especially when it comes to plastics. We’re collecting more recyclable plastics than ever, keeping them out of landfills, and choosing products made from recycled plastics when we shop. Just take a look at the following...

Working through a list of to-dos before cold weather arrives? Don’t forget your garage. It’s the coldest room of all, and without some extra insulation and sealing, it could negatively impact your home’s energy efficiency.   Your garage wasn’t meant to be a living space, so it doesn’t have...

Shorter days and dropping temperatures shouldn’t keep you from enjoying your favorite outdoor room. Just warm up your deck or patio with a few new accessories, and bring indoor creature comforts outside for entertaining and family dinners. Get started with a few of the following. Fireside...

For more warmth and healthier indoor air, ’tis the season to change your furnace filter. It may seem like a minor autumn to-do item, but it supports your system’s effective, efficient performance while preventing expensive repairs and keeping indoor air allergen-free. Don’t drop in just any...

You’re about to spend a lot more time indoors, and mice, rats and other rodents love a cozy, warm home as much as you do. Keep these critters out of yours with a few home repairs and adjustments this fall.  

  • Mice can squeeze through spaces smaller than a nickel, and their rodent relatives...

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...