Index of Blog Posts


015: Adventures in Moving and The Psycho Ex

Date posted: April 14, 2017

Selling our house was like ending bad relationship. No matter how hard we tried, the relationship was never going to work. We accepted the fact that it was best for everyone involved to just move on. Were the events leading up to moving day simply due to Murphy’s Law? Or did our house somehow become the psycho ex, making our lives miserable while it still could?


014 The DIY Shuffle (Podcast)

Date posted: March 31, 2017

The Thumb and Hammer Home Improvement Podcast returns after a break of a little over a year. And what a year it’s been.

This is the story of how I managed to turn a house that was in “just-move-in” condition into a construction zone and what we could have done differently to avoid this mess.


The DIY Shuffle

guest room

Date posted: January 16, 2017

A look back at our first year in this house as we shuffled from one home improvement project to another.


Changes and Fresh Starts

Date posted: February 22, 2016

For more than 12 years we lived in a money pit. We already spent over $100,000 on repairs and improvements and were looking at spending another $100,000 to tear down and rebuild the addition. After talking to a real estate agent, we decided to sell that house and start fresh. All real estate transactions are now complete and we have move into our new home. Allow me to show you around….


013: Adventures in Real Estate

Date posted: February 4, 2016

After a four month hiatus, it’s the triumphant return of the Thumb and Hammer Home Improvement Podcast. In this episode, I talk about acting on a life-changing decision we made back in the fall and how everything came together with hours to spare when it all could have just easily fallen apart.


012: The AZ DIY Guy returns to discuss contracts, contractors and pool repair

Date posted: October 15, 2015

John from AZDIYGuy.com recently hired a contractor to repair his pool. In this podcast episode, he shares his experience in hiring the right contractor for the job and relates how he was able to renegotiate a couple clauses in the contract.


011: Big Mistakes Part 2: Not “getting it in writing”

Date posted: October 7, 2015

“Get it in writing.” Seems so obvious, doesn’t it? Why would anyone do work or have work done without a contract? As a homeowner, I have hired contractors and handymen and I have had work done with and without contracts. In this episode, I give a couple examples of when I had work done without a written contract and the consequences. I also explain what should be included in a good contract.


010: Living Smaller (a follow-up)

Date posted: September 17, 2015

In the last episode, Angela Allen of LivingSmall.com shared her philosophy and enthusiasm for downsizing and simplifying. We talked about tiny houses (Angela lives in a very small cabin) but the conversation evolved into so much more than that. In a very general sense, it became a discussion about figuring out what is important in life. And for Angela, working for a house and becoming a slave to the bank was not part of the equation. In this podcast episode, I elaborate on a few of the topics Angela talked about last week, plus I talk my family and our own life-changing decision.


009: Angela Allen talks about tiny houses and simple living

Date posted: September 3, 2015

Angela Allen from LivingSmall.com built a small cabin in the woods and is living the dream. In this podcast episode she talks about how that dream is defined, as well as the virtues of tiny houses, simple living and deciding what is truly important in life.


008: Sarah Fogle from The Ugly Duckling House

Date posted: August 20, 2015

My guest on this week’s podcast is Sarah Fogle from The Ugly Duckling House. Part story-teller, part DIY tutor, Sarah shares her experiences, successes and challenges in fixing up a house that suffered from 20 years of neglect. She uses her site as a running log of knowledge that she has gained in the hopes that it will help others with their own DIY.