We bought our first house 17 months ago, it was built in 1979. There are things
going wrong that we need to fix but we know absolutely nothing about home
improvement. DH works 12 hour days, and I take care of 3 kids so time is an
issue. I am looking for references either books or online so that I am not
taken advantage of by anyone we hire. Our biggest problem seems to be our
master shower. The previous owners put white caulk all in the shower to make it
look new and pretty, and now there is mold coming through the caulk (and not
even strait bleach is helping) and the tiles are shifting and the shower is
actually leaking at the bottom. We are looking at replacing it with a
fiberglass shower we saw at the Home and Garden show, but I still need to
research it further. DH is not really ummm....handy so doing it ourselves is
probably not an option, but I would be willing to try and learn. We are also
looking at replacing the dingy carpet with either hardwood floors or laminate
and will need to do research on that. I tried asking different vendors at the
show, but they all were very biased about their product and I never really got
the information I needed. We have three kids and 2 dogs and I need something
durable, but I don't know the pro's and con's of which is better. We also have
the peel and stick vinyl flooring in the kitchen we would like to get replaced,
but again are not sure if we want to go with laminate or tile. We are pretty
sure the insulation needs to be replaced and several bricks are loose and
cracked around the house that need repair. We also have a brick fireplace that

goes from the floor to the ceiling and there is a huge gap between the brick and
the wall where the house has settled. There is also the brick ledge that comes
up about a foot and a half that we would like to remove, but the fireplace is at
the same height so we are not sure how that would work. Any ideas on where to
get frugal advise and get informed on what all is available and how to do
Thanks for the information!