“Home is where your story begins.

...The premise of the tale is that if you give a mouse a cookie, he’ll want some milk to go with it, then he’ll want a straw to put in the milk. And he’ll continue to need one more thing after another. The same holds true for tackling a home project—once you start, you’ll find another one you want to do and then another, and the list never seems to end. Take for example a friend of ours who decided to spruce up her master bath by replacing the mirror. The new mirror looked wonderful, but it made the vanity look outdated. So that had to go. And then she realized that if she ever wanted to replace the flooring, she needed to do it before she installed the new vanity. And wouldn’t it be easier to put down flooring without the toilet? And so on, and on.

We wrote Dare to Repair Replace & Renovate because we know that projects and repairs are never scarce, but time, money, and reliable contractors are. Over the past few years, we have had the privilege of meeting thousands of you across the country at book signings, speaking appearances, Dare to Repair workshops on military bases, and Habitat for Humanity Women Build events. We loved hearing your repair successes, and your desire to learn more and do more. But we also heard your frustration at not knowing how to get started: What tools do you need? What materials should you buy? Do you have the right information? Is the project over your head?

Wow, that’s a lot of questions. But, hey, we think we’ve answered them in this book, our third in the Dare to Repair series.

We provided a pictorial of the tools and materials you need for each project, as well as some ideas for greening your home, We also did all the research, so you won’t have to. We contacted government agencies, institutes, and non-profit organizations for the most up-to- date information. And we reached out to manufacturers for their most cost-effective, user-friendly products, which we made sure to pass on to you. We even went to our favorite home improvement retailer, Lowe’s, and asked for its list of top projects that every woman wants to learn. And, as always, we did every repair and project ourselves, so we can say with conviction, “If we can do it, you can do it.”

Each of you may have a different reason for needing to do a project yourself. It may be that you can’t afford the cost of materials end labor. Or maybe you’ve had horrible luck finding a dependable contractor. Or maybe you just want to raise the bar for what you can accomplish. No matter the reason, the rewards are the same: you saved money and you learned a new skill.

Your home may be the biggest investment you have, but it’s so much more than a monthly mortgage payment. It’s where you place your head at night, and it’s where you literally wake up and smell the coffee. It’s the address you give to your friends, and it’s the haven you can’t wait to return to after a long trip.

It’s where your story begins.

In our first book, Dare to Repair, we invited you to step into the world of basic home repairs to become more resourceful and to save money. In Dare to Repair Your Car, we encouraged you to take the driver’s seat when it comes to maintaining your car to minimize repairs and to stay safe on the road. In Dare to Repair Replace & Renovate, we’re challenging you to take those home projects that are on your wish list and move them to your new can-do list. You know you can do it. We know you can do it. So, just do it. We dare you. ”