Upgrade a Basic Bookcase

Put a personal spin on an off-the-shelf bookcase with these easy DIY makeover ideas.

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Stairway Railing Ideas

Stairway railings serve more than a functional purpose -- they give stairs a visual presence and make a staircase a work of art. Find ideas for the perfect railing for your stairway.

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Beach Chic Porch Renovation

A family put a new roof over their heads by turning their back deck into a coastal-inspired covered porch. Learn how they made the big change from their existing porch to their new, cozy family hangout area.

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Give a Plain Mirror a Makeover

Take a plain mirror to the next level with these easy DIY embellishments.

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DIY Outdoor and Garden Projects

Sprucing up your outdoor space doesn't need to be a massive undertaking. Use these inspirational small projects -- including painting rocks to hanging new house numbers -- to instantly improve the look of a garden, patio, deck, or backyard.

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Add Storage Around Stairs

Step up your home's storage capacity by making the most of underused areas below and beside your stairs. Here's a look at 18 homes that beautifully optimized stairwell and staircase spaces.

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Homeowners Insurance

Homeowners Insurance. Information for home design and remodeling.

If you'll be doing the work yourself with the help of friends or family, make sure you have enough liability coverage to protect you if injuries occur. Contractors should have their own coverage, but ask to see a certificate of insurance showing proof of general liability, worker's compensation, and even auto insurance if commercial vehicles will be on your property.

Also, check your contract to find out who owns materials prior to installation. If materials will be stored on your property, you may need more personal property insurance. Verify that your contractor will protect your property while working, because your insurance may not fully cover damage from carelessness such as poorly covering an open roof.

If your project includes structural work or digging a basement, you may need a builder's risk policy, which covers damage from fire, wind, flood, collapse, and vandalism.

When you remodel your house, make sure your insurance gets an upgrade, too.

A survey by the Independent Insurance Agents of America indicated that nearly 60 percent of homeowners who recently made significant structural changes have not updated their policies. That means they may not have enough insurance to cover their homes entirely.

Many owners are surprised by which projects significantly increase a home's value. A new bathroom or new windows and doors can increase value enough to require more insurance. Contact your broker to find out more.

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