I’ve been renovating my home for about 1.5 months now and I’ve made some really good progress. I have finished about 30% of the bamboo flooring installation, installed all new kitchen appliances, repainted the entire house, and have started replacing some outlets and light switches.

Here is the kitchen before we moved in. These are the old appliances and unfortunately you can’t see the horrible linoleum floors.


And now here is the kitchen after our new appliances and beautiful new bamboo floors.

Kitchen 1-20-13 web

This wasn’t cheap and it wasn’t easy but our kitchen is coming together really nicely. I installed all the appliances myself (with some help from my fiancee and a friend, thank you both!). However, there are two websites that helped me immensely through the process.

YouTube Knows Home Improvement

I know I’m not breaking any new ground here telling people about YouTube, but it’s actually an incredible resource when you’re trying to figure out what the heck to do with a home renovation.

Reading paper instructions can be hard, especially when they are using words or terms that you might not be familiar with. When you’re watching a video it really gives you the knowledge and confidence to do it yourself.

Before I decide to jump into any DIY project I’ve never done before (which is pretty much all of them) I ALWAYS search for it on YouTube and see how hard it looks.

If there isn’t a video for what you want to do, then it’s probably complicated enough that you’re going to need to hire someone to do it for you which brings me to the second most important website for home renovators.

Angie’s List is a Great Deal

Once again I’m not uncovering hidden gems here. Almost everyone knows about Angie’s List. If you aren’t familiar, it’s a website where people leave ratings for home maintenance and repair companies like plumbers, electricians, home inspectors, lawn service companies, and more.

When you run into something you can’t do yourself then you’ll have to hire someone and Angie’s List is a great way to find a great contractor.

The problem with Angie’s List is that you have to pay to become a member and see the reviews. However, this really isn’t an issue when you look closer.

First of all it only costs about $40 a year, which is a small price to pay for good service on your home. A bad contractor can easily cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars if they don’t do the work correctly or if they screw you on price.

Secondly you can see how much people paid for certain services (when reading reviews) so you can get a rough idea of how much a particular service should cost so you don’t get swindled.

You can also literally save money because many of the companies provide coupons exclusively for Angie’s List users. I have already saved $50 with my Angie’s List membership ($25 from my inspector and $25 from a plumber).

Finally, when you call someone and say you found them on Angie’s List, they know that you have the ability to post a negative review if the service is not exceptional. A smart business owner will make sure you are taken care of so you give them a good review.

When you run into something you just can’t do yourself (for me it’s plumbing) then you’ll need to call a professional. And when you need to find a professional there’s no better place than Angie’s List to find it.

Readers: Where do you go to get your home renovation information?

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