any good rehab / renovation websites? Project instructions, tips, etc.

Just hoping people could post some of their favorite rehab / renovation / improvement websites.

Looking for all kinds of stuff, structural, cosmetic, etc. Basically sites that have good ideas, instructions, tips, whatever.

Any relevant links would be hugely appreciated!! (click Know-How on top)

You can also use to find more specific info.


WOW!! Thanks for the links, I’m only halfway done going through them, but they’ve got a lot of what I’m looking for.

About to rehab my first house (assuming that the deal goes through - contract for purchase has been signed, money is in place, but haven’t closed yet), and want to hit the ground running as soon as we complete closing!

If anyone has any sites specifically about masonry that would be very useful as well :biggrin

What type of masonry? Laying bricks, stonewalls, concrete, etc?

Well, here’s some of what we have planned:

Stucco siding on exterior that is currently vinyl (maybe aluminum?) siding over concrete blocks. Basically going to rip down current siding and put up stucco siding. Unsure whether we’ll be just using that stuff you put on the concrete blocks to prep it, and then doing 2 layers of stucco, or whether we’d be nailing in that paper/mesh stuff, and doing 3 layers off that. We’ve been getting conflicting advice, but more of it seems to agree that we shouldn’t put the mesh stuff, instead just doing the concrete bonding stuff before the first (of two) layers of stucco.

We were going to put in a wooden fence, but then decided that the costs weren’t too different, so we’re thinking about doing a concrete block fence/wall around the backyard, which would basically be a thinner concrete blocks/rebar, which would then be stucco’d.

The shed is also going to be stucco’d

there’s 2 columns holding up the front awning that look crappy - we’re going to do columns around those with stucco (probably going to build a wooden frame, fasten the frame to the awning and to the concrete block beneath, then just do the vapor barrier/mesh and stucco that, so no real structural work there, just wood frame with stucco over it, it won’t be load bearing).

make a diesel concrete block mail box that will be stucco’d.

Then painting the fence/wall, exterior walls, shed, mailbox, columns all the same (unless we just put the pigment into the final coat of stucco, we’re a little unsure about how we’ll go on that).

This is gonna be some back breaking work lol

I guess you like stucco! I don’t know anything about it, I’ll leave this question to an expert. At least now we know what you need so someone should be able to help you.

Essentially, we know the basics, and know that it’ll be a crazy amount of work. We know about keeping the stucco with proper moisture as it cures, properly scratching it, the basics on how to finish it (though we do want to learn more in that area, specifically techniques aside from teh standard ‘broom’ approach), and especially how to anchor some of the things (mostly the fence).

We’ve talked with a guy who was pretty knowledgable, and he was basically telling us we were WAY overdoing the strength - too much rebar, too much foundation underground, too thick, etc. He made it seem like we were tryign to build a fortress lol, we thought we were just making it really strong/secure. We do want to err on the side of extra secure/perfect, but don’t want to waste time and money by waaay overdoing stuff.

(btw, I have done work with masonry things before, so this isn’t greek to me, I’ve just done little things though. Concrete pathways I have done several, and I’ve also done a very large stone wall (It was a large chimney side, doing the face of it and the sides, so it had the moisture barrier paper / mesh, put that in, and used the flat sided stones (dunno what they’re called) and concrete.)

I should note, if I didn’t already mention this, that this isn’t a quick flip rehab, this is a place we’re going to move into (If I didn’t mention that I’m sure people were banging their heads thinking how horrible of an ROI we’d be getting on this work). Also, the work won’t be contracted, it’ll be done by my brother and I (he also has the same rough level of experienc that I do on these things, but he’s waaaay more knowledgable at wood stuff as he went to tech school (or is it trade school? dunno) and studied that stuff.

ha! you posted while I was writing all that up…

Ya we want it all to have a real nice, uniform look, we’re in a tropical area, so this is a common style. Should look really nice, actually down the road we want to re-do the roof with those ceramic spanish-style red tiles, and have the driveway red to match. That’s a whole other project for a whole other time though, between the interior rehab (almost entirely cosmetic - floors and paint basically), the landscaping facelift, and this stucco stuff, our first month should be pretty much 100% full. It’ll be interesting to see how long it takes 2 guys to do all this, working insane amounts of hours each day, every day til it’s done (haha we all know there will be days off, god, after the first 5 days we won’t be able to walk!)

Those roof tiles look really nice on the right home. Stucco and those tiles really aren’t too nice around here, they would stick out like a sore thumb. (I’m in CT) They do look nice when you’re in an area like FL or SoCal. Just out of curiousity what would it cost to do a roof over with them? They usually priced per square like shingles?

Ya I def know what you mean, I actually lived up in the northeast where that’s not very common, but it’s tropical here and they’re quite common / nice. With a real high quality stucco finish on the house, columns, front mailbox, fence/wall surrounding back yard, etc, all painted tan, the red shingles/red driveway would just stand out so nicely. Oh don’t forget about the perfect, lush green lawn!

About pricing, I have no idea. I wanted to do that off the bat, so I figured 'hey, if the roof’s already straight, then can’t I just lay those tiles on top of it w/o really doign a roof job? Seems simple enough!". Then I started looking into the job, and decided I have enough on my plate wiht the masonry/facelift/landscaping, so I shelved the roof until afterwards. I have no idea on the pricing of hte tiles, they didn’t have them @ home depot, I’ll def post about them when I look into it further, but that won’t be for a while. If everything goes smooth, we should be in teh property in a couple weeks, and we’re figuring it may take up to a month for us to do the things we’re talking about (again, we have no idea. There’s gonna be two guys devoting full time to these projects, so the labor’s there, it’s more about how much we can physically do at a time. After the previuosly mentioned projects are done, then we’ll be looking into the roof/driveway thign (oh and I’m going to build a jacuzzi. I’m soo psyched for that, I’ve been doing side research on them for over a year now, once the backyard is done and I’ve got more masonry experience under my belt, I’m making an inground hot tub (jacuzzi’s misleading - I don’t plan on doing jets or anything, aside from what’ll be needed for circulation. Basically a hot soaking tub, but it’ll be sic when done.)

well, the concrete block / stucco finished fence may be a no-go. You can put up any fence w/o a permit here, except a concrete one. To get the permits, we need to have an engineer draw our plans, so we’ll look into that, but I have a feeling it’ll add too much expense.

The stucco siding was fine to do w/o a permit though, so that was nice. The columns, well, I dunno, didn’t ask. Gonna just go ahead and construct them, they’ll just be wooden frames with stucco, so can’t imagine it’d be much of a problem.