July 16, 2024


Built General Tough

DIY Home Improvement

There are plenty of reasons homeowners decide to tackle projects themselves, from saving money to enjoying the hands-on experience. But when it’s time to pick up supplies or get some helpful hints, Marling Lumber and HomeWorks is the place to go, with locations in Madison, Janesville and Waukesha.

Josh Ziegler, branch manager of Marling Lumber and HomeWorks’ Madison location, says do-it-yourself decks and garden beds are the most popular projects among southern Wisconsin homeowners this spring.

Other DIYers are looking for simple updates to refresh their homes’ interiors, such as changing out cabinet hardware, cabinet doors or interior door hardware. Marling Lumber and HomeWorks also offers accent wall products (think shiplap, aged barn wood or brewpub planks) — an easy way to add to or change the interior look of your home.

Many customers find inspiration in online craft marketplaces or social media and then come to Marling Lumber and HomeWorks in person for the type of knowledge and service you just can’t get from the internet. Their team of experts can walk you through finishes or color profiles, weigh the pros and cons of composite decking and answer questions about anything from cost to the longevity of different types of lumber.

“When you search online, there could be hundreds of styles of cabinet hardware or doorknobs, for example,” Ziegler says. “But there’s no replacement for seeing the finish with your own eyes or feeling how it contours to your hand.”

Marling Lumber and HomeWorks, an official Makita Power Tools and Accessories dealer, also offers the high-quality tools you need to get the job done. To complete most common DIY home projects, Ziegler recommends gearing up with a circular saw and an impact driver (instead of a drill).

Samples of deck options available at Marling Lumber

Marling Lumber

Build Your Own Garden Bed

• Line the bottom and sides with felt or an ice/water shield.

• Choose the right wood. Cedar lumber is attractive and fairly stable. Pressure-treated wood is sturdier and more resistant to weather, insects and rot.

DIY Home Renovation: Living with Your Investments

Not many moments compare to the first step you take walking through your front door, as you’re greeted by the memories and smells of your home.
If you’re interested in adding to your home’s enchantment, now is a great time to look into some home improvement projects that will not only revitalize your living space, but also add value to your property. Whether it’s remodeling your kitchen, turning an old storage room into a cozy workspace, or equipping your home with the latest smart devices, the first step in any DIY project is the same – having an end goal.

Know Your Goal

Before making a decision on what type of renovation project you’ll be taking on, you should consider your desired end goal – to raise your home’s resale value or make your living experience more enjoyable. Thinking ahead will help you determine how complex your project will be.


The second most important step in planning a DIY project is creating (and adhering to) a budget. Doing research on the cost of materials and including incidental cost can help you maintain a schedule and save you some headaches.

A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) is a popular financing option for home renovations because it offers great rates and doesn’t require any cash upfront.

Headache Saver: When consulting a contractor, it’s better to budget for a little more than quoted, just in case the project goes over the estimation.

Project Ideas

Remodel: From new appliances to lighting fixtures, a kitchen renovation is guaranteed to spruce up the most popular room in your home. Kitchen projects
can be overwhelming for beginner level DIY-ers, so keep in mind, you don’t have to do it all by yourself.

Refresh: Upgrading your home with smart environmentally conscious devices is an intermediate project that can boost your home’s appeal to future homeowners and reduce energy cost.

Reimagine: One of the most effective ways to boost curb appeal is an atypical paint job. By distinguishing your house from the others it can instantly become more attractive to potential buyers and add an additional layer of warmth and charm to your home.

Brightly colored front door

Getty Images

Getting the Job Done with UWCU

With interest rates at historic lows, now is a great time to finance a renovation project through UW Credit Union. “Pay attention to early termination fees, prepayment penalties, and closing costs when looking at HELOCs. Other financial institutions may offer lower rates, but charge additional fees. That’s not the case with UW Credit Union, we never charge annual HELOC fees.” — Josh Fetting, Consumer Lending Sales Manager.