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

The natural beauty of plants and flowers is a favorite ingredient of holiday decorating, but it can also be hazardous to your health. Some plants that look festive can cause skin irritation from simple handling, and others have berries and leaves that can be fascinating but dangerous to children...

Now that the Thanksgiving feasting is finished, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in many neighborhoods. If you’re getting ready to put your own home in the holiday spirit, make sure safety is included in your decorating plans. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, over...

This week, many of us have full houses and tightly timed schedules for getting a beautiful, bountiful Thanksgiving feast on the table. All this activity may spark some unplanned home emergencies, so while you’re giving thanks for everything that goes right, be prepared to act in case any of the...

Filing a homeowners insurance claim isn’t the most pleasant process, but it goes much more smoothly when you give attention to the details. Every step you take ensures that you get the most out of the coverage you’ve paid for, and the following will ease your way to a properly filed...

Major weather events like Hurricane Sandy leave a lot of obvious structural damage in their wake. But there can also be hidden damage that turns into big expenses later on. A season of weather extremes is just beginning, and no matter where you live, it’s important to do a thorough inspection...

In its recent “Green, Inc.” news series, USA Today uncovered shortcomings in the U.S. Green Building Council’s popular LEED standards for sustainable design and building.

The exposé describes how a program that’s supposed to represent Leadership in Environmental Design also appears to be tied...

You may know that replacing windows boosts a home’s energy efficiency, but new models can also be better for your health. If your home was built prior to 1978, your current windows are likely finished with lead-based paint and exposing your family to harm on a daily basis. Research has shown...

Autumn is the official start of the holiday decorating season—the beginning of that make-everything-festive moment. Now’s the time to add a little warmth to your home, and the best way to make the decorative impact last through November is to think “Falloween.” Create displays and deck the halls...

Do you have an escape plan in case of fire in your home? According to a survey by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), only one third of American households have developed and practiced such a plan. What’s more, many of us overestimate the amount of time we’ll have before a fire...

If there’s a lot of blue happening in your home décor, you’re not alone. According to House Beautiful’s first-annual Color Report published this month, blue is the favorite hue of decorators around the United States. On the way to confirming this love for the blues, House Beautiful collected...

We’re entering a time of year when there’s a lot to do, prepare and repair, and that means plenty of contact with customer service representatives. Whether they’re on the other end of the phone line at the utility company or making an in-person service call at your home, the quality of the...

September is Mold Awareness Month, a time to remember that we can sometimes be unaware of mold lurking in our homes. All mold needs to grow is a little moisture, air and the “food” of organic matter like paper, fibers and dust. And no matter how clean a home you keep, mold will find those little...

Did you hear the one about the Connecticut homeowner who got an electric company refund of $10,500 after discovering she’d been paying to power two nearby streetlights for 25 years? True story, and even though it’s an extreme one, it’s a good reminder of the importance of understanding your...

As summer turns to fall, so begins what is known as the Goldilocks Season for home improvement. The weather’s not too hot and it’s not too cold—just right, in fact, to take on a range of projects around the house! So don’t let the comforts of Goldilocks Season pass you by without making the...

Experts agree that the U.S. has one of the safest drinking water supplies in the world, but that’s no guarantee that what comes out of your tap is absolutely contaminant-free. What’s more, you can’t see, smell or taste most serious water quality problems. Hydrogen sulfide may give off a rotten...

If you’ve got a teen heading for college this fall, dorm room décor is just one of the many categories on your planning, shopping and packing lists. Returning students know how blank, bland and cramped a standard dorm room can be, but even freshmen can be prepared to create a personality-filled...

Painting your home’s exterior is a great way to freshen up its look, maintain wood siding, and add curb appeal. But rushing past critical preparation steps and ignoring time-honored painting techniques can have the opposite effects, ultimately leading to a finish that doesn’t last. Cutting...

If you’re about to commit to a remodeling project or two, you’re not alone. According to the latest quarterly forecast from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, the remodeling industry can count on “accelerated growth” as 2012 winds down and 2013 begins. In fact, annual...

This summer’s record heat has led to a lot of discomfort, health threats and headache for people around the United States, but the one population that isn’t bugged by the high temperatures is bugs themselves. Hot weather is ideal for insect breeding and development, leading to even more pests...

If small-space city living is your style, the current real estate market could be your chance to snap up a stylish studio apartment at nearly a quarter of past prices. A softened market means many properties are now within reach for bargain hunters and first-time buyers, even in famously pricey...