While the art of a yard sale may seem pretty straightforward, simple alterations in timing, pricing, and display can make the difference between a successful sale and a full-on flop.
In honor of National Garage Sale Day-Saturday, August 13-we talked to Ava Seavy of GarageSaleGold.com on the dos and don'ts of selling your unwanted wares the good old-fashioned way. Follow these tried-and-true tips and you may just strike gold.-Jessica Dodell-Feder
See all our expert yard sale money-making tips at thisoldhouse.com!
1. Drum Up Attention
Place ads in local newspapers, online, or on public bulletin boards. Reserve signs for the day of the event, and only include the sale's date, time, and directional arrows to its location.
Make sure your signs are readable from a distance that will give a driver time to slow down and turn. That means bold, thick, black letters on large, brightly colored posterboard, readable from a few hundred feet down the road.
MORE: Best Reader Reuse Ideas 2011
Blog Posts by This Old House Magazine
While the art of a yard sale may seem pretty straightforward, simple alterations in timing, pricing, and display can make the difference between a successful sale and a full-on flop.Read More »from 5 Tips to Make Money at Your Yard Sale
- This Old House Magazine | Work + Money – Wed, Aug 10, 2011 6:51 PM EDT
Before heading out to the garden, take stock of these 10 common household items-some you might otherwise count as garbage! They may be your new favorite garden tools.Read More »from New Garden Tools...Made of Things You Already Have
MORE: 28 Reader Tips That Save Time and Money
1. Use Yogurt Cups to Trap Slugs
Dig a hole in your yard the size of a yogurt container near any plants being eaten by slugs. Place the cup flush with the ground, and fill with beer or salted water. Bait the rim with sliced potatoes; the pests will crawl into the container and drown.
MORE: 10 Uses For A Garden Hose
2. Use Charcoal to Nourish Your Compost Heap
Mix charcoal into your compost pile to increase its carbon content. (If the pile smells like ammonia, it needs carbon.)
MORE: 10 Uses for Coffee Filters
3. Use Carpet Scraps to Cushion Your Knees When Gardening
Roll up a scrap of carpet and kneel on it when spreading mulch, planting flowers, or weeding.
MORE: 10 Uses for an Egg Carton
4. Use a Christmas Tree to Edge Your Borders
Cut the trunk into 2-inch discs and set
- This Old House Magazine | Work + Money – Tue, Aug 9, 2011 5:42 PM EDT
"Where drinking water is scarce, it doesn't make sense to use so much of it on our lawns and flowers," says landscape designer Nicole Lopez, who works in drought-prone Santa Monica. "You need to match plants to the climate that you live in. It just doesn't work the other way around."Read More »from 5 Drought-Resistant Perennials for Low-Water Gardens
Theses 5 perennials are excellent choices for low-water gardening. Plant information is provided for each, including climate zone information, which links to our Hardiness Zone Map.
See even more drought-resistant perennial plants at thisoldhouse.com.
1. Sedum 'Autumn Joy'
("Sedum" hybrid 'Autumn Joy')
Deciduous succulent with deep-pink to bronze flowers; grows 2 feet tall; prefers full sun, well-drained soil; hardy to -40 degrees F; USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 9.
MORE: How to Make and Use Compost Tea
2. Yarrow 'Coronation Gold'
Golden yellow flowers on tall silvery-gray leaves from mid-summer to early autumn; grows up to 3 feet high; prefers full sun, well-drained soil; hardy to -40
- This Old House Magazine | Work + Money – Mon, Aug 8, 2011 6:28 PM EDT
1. Homeowners Walt and Roberta Purcell relax on their new back stoop, which faces the adjacent Italiante house.Read More »from Before & After: A Ramshackle Little House Gets a Second Life
Roberta and Walt Purcell first laid eyes on this Petersburg, Virginia, cottage while visiting our their Greg and daughter-in-law Marion, who live 2 hours north and bought the adjacent, larger house as a vacation getaway--and potential retirement spot. In doing so, they'd also taken on this little fixer-upper that sat on the half-acre property-known as a "kitchen house," it once served as the summer kitchen and servants' quarters. With just four rooms, it seemed like it could be a cozy home for the couple. Eventually.
In May 2006, they moved into the main house, taking on the renovation.
See this whole house before and after at thisoldhouse.com.
2. Before: Abandoned After a Fire
The house wasn't much to look at, really. Abandoned for 20 years after a fire, the windows and doors were missing, charred, or boarded up. There were no floors downstairs, and the water-damaged
We've spotted lots of period and vintage pendant lights at secondhand stores lately, and we're digging them for a couple of reasons: (1) They're often inexpensive, and (2) they're a snap to fix. This one, from the early 1940s, would look perfect in a small entry hall or over a modest-sized dining table. The glass shade is in good shape, so all it took to get it ready to hang from a standard electrical box was a new socket assembly and some basic rewiring. Practically every piece of an old fixture can be rebuilt on the cheap, so if you stumble across one you like, grab it. Here's the gear you'll need to get it working again.-Sal VaglicaRead More »from Everything You Need to Rewire a Vintage Lantern
For step-by-step instructions check out How to Rewire and Hang an Old Light Fixture
MORE: Beautiful Outdoor Lanterns
1. Wire Strippers
This pair has a snap-in voltage detector for testing the wires before you work. About $20; Circuit Alert
MORE: How to Swap in a Vintage Light
2. Needlenosed Pliers
For crimping the wires together. About $25; Klein
That singular American creation, the backyard deck, conjures up images of idyllic afternoons napping in a hammock or festive get-togethers around the grill and a tub of ice-cold beer. But maintaining that elevated expanse of lumber is a downright chore, what with all the scrubbing, bleaching, and staining that wood requires-not to mention the occasional replacement of a splintered, warped, or rotten board.Read More »from All About Composite Decking
When the less demanding plastic-composite decking appeared on the scene in the 1990s, homeowners happily adopted it, despite the higher price and limited color selection (gray). A decade later, as companies began to offer new products that looked like fresh-cut cedar and Brazilian walnut but never turned gray, sales of composites took off. That kind of popularity represents a big boost for the environment, too, because most composites are made from waste: sawdust, used plastic milk jugs, and shopping bags. Every 20 feet of decking contains about 30 pounds of material that would have
- This Old House Magazine | Work + Money – Thu, Jul 28, 2011 8:54 PM EDT
This Old House Editors screw up, too. Never does a home improver feel so foolish as when he or she makes a mistake and loses money in the process. Trust us, we know. The staffers at This Old House, in our zeal to make our homes a better place, have fallen prey to impulse buying, overspending, mismeasuring, and plain old paying someone else to clean up the mess-the kinds of things that shouldn't happen to anyone, let alone a valued reader. So, to help all our friends avoid the red face and the empty wallet, we humbly offer just a few of the lessons we've learned the hard way. Read on to see how not to let the cost of home maintenance get the better of you.Read More »from 5 Home Improvement Mistakes We've Made, So You Won't Have To
See all of the lessons we've learned from our mistakes on thisoldhouse.com.
1. Spring for the delivery
To save the lumberyard's $20 fee and second-day delivery, I borrowed my brother's hatchback to pick up a bunch of 2x4s. I slid the lumber in from the rear, over the back seat, past the passenger seat, and onto the dashboard. Happy
Choosing a color scheme for a small room is a perfect opportunity to be fearless. Unlike large rooms requiring an equally large investment--in terms of gallons of paint and the labor required to roll it on--your outlay for, say, an entry foyer or hall bath is minimal. So go ahead: Pick a color that you really like, and go for it.Read More »from Our Best Bold Color Ideas for Your Small Rooms
Here are a couple tips:
1. Step back and consider what feeling and effect you want to create. If your goal is to make the room appear larger, go with lighter shades. But if you want to accentuate its coziness, opt for rich, saturated hues.
2. Think about the room's function. Sunny colors often work well in the breakfast nook where you enjoy your morning coffee, while calming shades in a bathroom can encourage you to de-stress in the tub after a demanding day.
If deciding is still too difficult, simply pick a This Old House-approved color combination! See how three small rooms get completely new looks using three different-and daring-paint schemes on
The eight warmest years on record occurred over the past decade. But staying cool this summer doesn't necessarily mean you have to pay a fortune to keep the air-conditioning running day and night. Here are 10 tips-most costing less than $25-that will keep you comfortable and cut the typical $1,000 cooling bill by as much as half. What's needed to get the temperature to drop? Only a little time and a few changes in your routine.
SEE ALL OF OUR SUMMERTIME HOME COOLING TIPS AT THISOLDHOUSE.COM
Tip 1: Install a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat lets you preset temperatures for different times of the day, so air-conditioning is working only when you are home. The least expensive thermostat models ($30) let you set four cycles that, unless manually overridden, repeat every day. Higher-priced models ($50 and up) allow you to create settings for each weekday and for each weekend day.Read More »from Easy Ways to Beat the Heat
These thermostats come with complete directions and are easy to install. Just remove
Would You Live in Any of These Wild Houses? Over the years, we've shown you houses shaped like elephants, toilets, pickle barrels, dogs, and UFOs, to name a few. You've seen cave houses, tree houses, and floating houses. There were houses made of bottles, beer cans, tea cups-you name it! Here's our latest top 5 round up of the world's wildest houses! Who needs an expensive family vacation to see the new wonders of the world when you can see them all right here?-Karen Ziga and Tabitha SukhaiRead More »from World's Wildest Houses: Vacation Edition
Don't miss the all our picks for the world's wild houses on thisoldhouse.com!
1. The Bird's Nest
Village of Harads, Sweden
Here at TOH, we love a good tree house. That's probably why there has been an elevated abode in just about every installment of World's Wildest Houses. We've taken you over to Sweden's Tree Hotel complex to see their modern Mirrorcube tree house in World's Wildest Houses VII. But, if you'd prefer something a bit more rugged, check out the nearby Bird's Nest. Designed by