The Nuts and Bolts: January 8, 2014

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A little DIY, FYI…

DIY Network's 2014 Blog Cabin Open to Viewers for Online Voting

If you're not familiar with the DIY Network's show Blog Cabin, you're missing out. It's an interactive show that asks the audience (you) to vote on how a cabin is remodeled. This season they are restoring a 1920s lakeside bungalow located in Winter Have, Fla.

“Viewers love Blog Cabin because of the truly collaborative and interactive nature of the show,” said Steven Lerner, senior vice president, programming and development, HGTV and DIY Network. “Fans get to see their design dreams come to life as their favorite DIY Network experts transform the original home into a one-of-a-kind customized getaway that one viewer will win.”

PenFed Foundation Helpes Military Families Attain the Dream of Homeownership

The Pentagon Federal Credit Union Foundation (PenFed Foundation), a nationally recognized nonprofit organization working to meet the unmet financial needs of military members and their families, announced today it helped more than 200 military families across 40 states last year attain the dream of owning their first home through its Dream Makers program by providing a record-breaking $1 million in grants to cover down payments and closing costs.

“Many families struggle to buy their first home, but for military families it can be even harder,” said Christopher Flynn, president and CEO of the PenFed Foundation. “From frequent moves around the country and overseas to trouble saving money for a down payment, members of our armed services often have to postpone this important milestone. Our Dream Makers program helps bridge that gap.”

The program helps military families who are first-time homebuyers purchase their first home by offering grants for down payments and closing costs. Service members and veterans of all branches of the military are eligible to apply including the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense. Widows of service members are also eligible.

To learn more about the PenFed Foundation’s Dream Makers program and apply online visit:

It's All About the Kitchen

According to the Zillow Digs Home Design Trend Report for 2014, kitchens top the list of spaces homeowners plan to remodel in 2014.

Michelle Sanchez, interior design expert with San Diego-based Renovation Realty, confirms that when it comes to renovations, kitchens are a main focus for most homeowners.

“The kitchen is the centerpiece of the home,” said Sanchez. “It often connects the living and dining spaces and is almost always the favorite gathering spot for family and friends. Kitchens can also be one of the most expensive areas to renovate. When making the investment in updating your kitchen, the key is to focus on what you will enjoy most and also appeal to future homebuyers.”

Sanchez encourages homeowners to find inspiration from popular websites like Pinterest, Houzz and Google Images. When renovating, he suggests having a large, open kitchen layout and to place important of the lighting. When debating countertop options, Sanchez regards quartz as a great material, while the use of granite is fading away.