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How to DIY Like a Pro

(ARA) – Home improvement season has arrived, and as do-it-yourselfers take on their much anticipated projects, they may hit a few road blocks along the way. DIY home improvement is challenging and, even with the best intentions, it’s difficult to attain professional-looking results. Lisa LaPorta, design expert and co-host of HGTV’s ‘Designed to Sell,’ offers the following tips to give DIY warriors an edge on their next renovation endeavor:

DIY Projects are Time Consuming
LaPorta stresses that proper planning and execution go a long way in saving time. ‘You want your DIY time to be well-spent,’ says LaPorta. ‘In addition to having a solid design concept and the right tools before starting your project, the execution is crucial. Be sure to take measurements twice and properly prepare surfaces with spackle and primer to prevent the need for ‘do-overs.”

Curb Appeal Appeals to Potential Buyers

According to LaPorta, a fresh coat of paint is actually the least expensive way to increase the value of a home. ‘It’s like money in a can,’ she says. ‘Curb appeal is one of the most important things in terms of home value, so if you’re thinking of selling, prime and repaint the exterior of your house to cover up gutter stains, rust stains or a highly weathered surface. It can make all the difference to a potential buyer.’

DIYers Get Inspired

Tuning in to home improvement shows or talking to friends is a great way to get inspired, but it’s important to get the facts. LaPorta says, ‘DIYers are a lot savvier today because of the abundance of home improvement resources. But the finished product or an hour-long show doesn’t reveal the whole story or all the preparation that went into the project. Be sure to ask hardware store associates for advice before purchasing products. Remember that many home improvement goods can’t be returned, so if you’re not sure, start with a sample size whenever possible.’

Take Time to Prime

‘There’s no good reason not to start a paint project with primer,’ says LaPorta. ‘Primer enhances the quality of paint coverage and the longevity of your final paint job. It’s a better value to start with a $20 can of KILZ Premium primer than to have to buy multiple cans of paint at $35 each to get the same result.’

Inspiration, Then Color

‘Paint is the fun part, but color is tricky,’ says LaPorta. ‘Use the existing color scheme in accessories, a piece of art or fabric to your advantage when choosing paint colors — all you have to do is match. Be sure to grab lots of swatches and bring them home to see how the colors react in different lights and at night.’


LaPorta urges DIYers to take advantage of the how-to resources out there and not be afraid of making mistakes. ‘If you mess up a paint project, a coat of primer is an inexpensive way to get you back to square one,’ says LaPorta.

Courtesy of ARA Content

For home improvement advice, visit JS West Lumber & Ace Hardware Sonora, Ca. or visit and click on the Answers@Ace icon. Answers@Ace is an online resource with information for do-it-yourselfers about hardware and home improvement projects. The Everyday Projects section has pictures and detailed, step-by-step instructions for this and many more home improvement projects.

To speak to an Ace Hardware advisor in Sonora call: 209 532 7446.