Robin's FYI

For the Do It Yourself (DYI) people

Home and Garden


People have been working on their own homes long before there were TV show and stations that were all about DYI projects. While some did their own, just because they enjoyed it, for most it was simply lack of funds to hire someone... and that hasn't changed.

There are lots of good resources out there for most any project, so I won't be telling you how to replace that deck, or dig your own in ground swimming pool. What I will be offering is what I've learned from experience, so that you won't make some of the mistakes I did. Tips that you can use in your daily life and links to help you find more information.

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Money Pits

All most every house will become a money pit. For those lucky people who buy a well built newer home, they may not see it, but for the rest of us, the only thing more expensive and stressing than children is the house.

A $100,000 house is going to cost $100,000 one way or the other. For some you just buy it for the price, for others you may only pay $50,000 in money, but will do sweat equity for the rest.

When I was younger, I rented until I decided it was time to stop giving my money away and buy a home of my own. Being a single mom at the time, money was tight, so I bought an older fix it upper, that very quickly became known as The Money Pit.

As the years pasted, the kids grew up, the grandparents passed on and I took on the house I had grew up in. While 50 years newer than the Money Pit, and had been well cared for, it too had it's little quarks.

Tips & Tricks

Sometimes we just need a quick fix to a problem. It might be a cleaning issue like a glass of red wine on white carpet, or your new puppy that is doing what puppies do. A broken water pipe, at 3 am Saturday morning in the dead of winter, and you aren't a plumber. Then there all those little quarks like sticking doors, and holes in the wall, from removing all those old pictures.

Sometimes you just want to change the look or add a little something, but need to do it on a budget.

I've written down things I've learned over the years, along with tips and tricks others have offered.


Yards and Gardens

Yards and gardens are very diverse and many times cultural items. By looking at a home's yard you can often tell something about the people who live there. Some will be simple green lawns, while others will have very formal landscaping.

Amount of space, often dictates what you can do. A person living in a densely populated city, may only have a few flower pots on a actually or patio. While the person living in the suburbs will have a nice lot, with front and back yards. Then there is country living, where you have enough land to do most anything you can dream of.

Some people are lucky enough to be born with a 'green thumb'. Anything they plant just appears to grow perfectly on it's own. Many of us were born with the 'brown thumb', just touch it and it dies.

I was born with a 'brown thumb', but now well on my way to having a green one. While for the first 40 years of my life, the only thing you found in my yard was weeds, I did finely succeed at having a very nice yard and flower garden. Then we moved, and I'm starting over.

Just like fixing up your house, there are many great resources on and off line, so I'll try to point you to some of the better ones. To learn and laugh from my experiences I offer you My Garden.



Links To Find More Information

General Information For Homes & Tips

American Lighting Association

Better Homes and Gardens

Bob Vila

California Redwood Association

Chimney Safety

Climate Master

Danny Lipford (Today's Homeowner)

Do It Yourself

National Contractors


Electronic House

Home & Garden Television


Roof Help
The Old House Web

This Old House

This To That (glue advice)

Toiletology 101


  Fine Gardening

Garden Guides

Hallson Gardens (One of the best Hosta websites, also has a very frendly forum!)
Park Seed

Plant Dictionary

Scotts Co. Lawn & Garden

Shopping & Supplies

Armstrong Ceilings, flooring & cabinets

Carpet One


Lincoin Logs


Milk Paint

No Brainer Blinds and Shades

Our Glass Home (stained glass windows)

Smith & Noble Window Treatments

Super Jet (bath tub refinshing)


Warmly Yours (no more cold floors)