The Nuts and Bolts: May 13, 2013

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A little DIY, FYI…

Home Improvement App Launches

A new app is on the market that makes the home improvement process much easier for newbies needing a little help. Without having the speak the language or know how to compare contractors, the Friend Trusted's home improvement and remodel app gives users the power to easily setup projects and see which contractors are best for the job.

The creator of the app, Friend Trusted Inc. (, regards the service as “a free personal assistant that guides [home owners] through the home improvement maze from project inception to completion: all while finding them the best provider at the best price with the most convenient delivery method possible, their smartphone.”

The company views the home improvement market as two groups comprising a $57.2 billion dollar industry. The first group consists of weekend warriors and DIYers who know their way around a project, while the second is home owners who need to make improvements but have no idea where to start or who to hire. This app targets the latter group, serving up home projects in an easily digestible manner. Don’t know which contractor to hire? The app will suggest a list to you with user recommendations and ratings. Want to discuss the project with a contractor but intimidated by the lingo? The app gives you the ability to communicate your needs without having to speak the language.

NARI Offers Tips for Home Improvement Month

The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) offers a list of tips to give home owners a hand during Home Improvement Month. Here are a few of their tips...

When preparing for a remodel, NARI stresses the importance of researching your project before you start. This will give you a clear understanding of your return on investment, the price, and scope of work. They also caution to research the values of your neighborhood to keep your spending in line with the worth of surrounding homes.

NARI also suggests planning your project around the long-term. Never make a home improvement for a quick resell, you’ll only lose money. Instead, recognize what you and your family needs for a better quality of life, and build around that.

For more tips from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, head over to

Life Hacker Examines Which DIY Projects We Can (Should) Take on Ourselves

Life Hacker has released an interesting article teaching home owners how to decide whether or not a project is a good DIY, or if they should leave it to the pros. The first category they factor in is time cost. It’s important to know how long a project will take you based on its scope and your experience. If you’re redoing your entire kitchen and only have the weekends to do it, maybe a DIY isn’t the best route. But if you’re painting or landscaping and can space that out over a longer period of time, it could be worth it to DIY it.

Next, Life Hacker looks at the risk level of the project. DIYs can be dangerous if you’re inexperienced and suddenly find yourself with a hand full of wiring. If a project has the potential to injure you or damage your home, it’s probably best to think carefully about doing a DIY. Sometimes a project can seem simple enough (like knocking down a wall,) but if you’ve never done it before and have little knowledge about your house, you might findyourself busting down electrical wiring and worse. Be careful!

Lastly, Life Hacker asks the simple question: Do you have the skills? Often times when we plan out a DIY, we give our craftmenship a little more faith than we should. They stress not to be lured in by TV shows that make projects look incredibly easy. Experts have a nasty habit of making us think things are more simple than they are. Make a list of what you absolutely know you’re good at when it comes to home improvement skills. Be honest, it will save you time and money.