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

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

Other DIYers are looking for simple updates to freshen up their home’s interiors, like changing cabinet hardware, cabinet doors, or interior door hardware. Marling Lumber and HomeWorks also offer accent wall products (think rebate, weathered barn wood, or brewery boards) – an easy way to add or change the interior look of your home.

Many clients find inspiration in online craft markets or social media, then come to Marling Lumber and HomeWorks in person for the kind of knowledge and service you just can’t get on 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 on everything from cost to longevity of different types of wood.

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

Marling Lumber and HomeWorks, an official dealer of Makita power tools and accessories, also offers the high-quality tools you need to get the job done. To complete the most common DIY projects, Ziegler recommends equipping yourself with a circular saw and an impact screwdriver (instead of a drill).

Marbled wood

Build your own garden bed

• Line the bottom and sides with felt or a windshield / water barrier.

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

DIY Home Renovation: Living With Your Investments

Few moments compare to the first step you take as you walk through your front door, as you are greeted by the memories and smells of your home.
If you want to add some enchantment to your home, now is a great time to consider some home improvement projects that will not only revitalize your living space, but also add value to your property. Whether it’s renovating your kitchen, transforming an old storage room into a comfortable workspace, or outfitting your home with the latest smart appliances, the first step in any DIY project is the same: having a final goal.

Know your goal

Before you make a decision on the type of home improvement project you will undertake, you should consider your end goal: to increase the resale value of your home or to make your living experience more enjoyable. Thinking about the future will help you determine the complexity of your project.


The second most important step in planning a DIY project is creating (and sticking to) a budget. Researching the cost of materials and including incidentals can help you keep a schedule and save you headaches.

A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) is a popular financing option for home renovations because it offers great rates and requires no cash up front.

Headache Saver: When consulting with a contractor, it’s best to budget a little more than the quote, just in case the project goes beyond the estimate.

Project ideas

Reshape: From new appliances to light fixtures, a kitchen remodel is guaranteed to spruce up the most popular room in your home. Kitchen projects
can be overwhelming for beginner DIY enthusiasts, so keep in mind that you don’t have to do it all on your own.

Refresh: Upgrading your home with smart, eco-friendly devices is an interim project that can make your home more attractive to future homeowners and lower energy costs.

Reimagine: An atypical paint job is one of the most effective ways to enhance the curb appeal. By making your home stand out from the rest, it can instantly become more attractive to potential buyers and add an extra layer of warmth and charm to your home.

Brightly colored front door

Getty Images

Getting the job done with UWCU

With interest rates at historically low levels, now is the time to fund a home improvement project through UW Credit Union. “Watch out for early termination fees, prepayment penalties, and closing costs when reviewing HELOCs. Other financial institutions may offer lower rates, but charge additional fees. This is not the case with UW Credit Union, we never charge an annual HELOC fee. – Josh Fetting, Director of Consumer Loans Sales.


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