Helping Homeowners Stay Home for Good

There is a crisis in Wake County (and much of the country for that matter.) Affordable housing and the ability to maintain a home is a struggle for many people. Ply Gem has made it their mission to help keep people in their homes with the Home for Good Project. In the past few years they have donated over 1.8 million worth of home exterior products.  Organized a small army of local contractors and volunteers to give time to take on a variety of home improvements and home repairs in the communities where they live and work.

I was honored to be a part of the kick off of the 2018 Home for Good Project, right here in my hometown of Raleigh, NC.

When Ply Gem reached out to me about being a sponsor for the Saving Etta project, we discussed how I could be a part of their larger mission to save homes. Ply Gem started the Home for Good project in 2016 to try to help homeowners stay in their homes by providing much needed repairs and renovations to houses in disrepair. Ply Gem reached out to the Habitat for Humanity’s Neighborhood Revitalization program to identify local homeowners who were in need of exterior renovations and repairs.

If you read my blog, you know that Habitat for Humanity is one of my favorite charities. All Ply Gem had to say was “Habitat for Humanity” and I knew I wanted to be a part of this wonderful project!

8 Days, 5 Houses and 400 Volunteers

It began on one of the hottest weeks in Raleigh. The 2018 Ply Gem Home for Good Project kicked off on a Monday with 90 degree heat here in North Carolina. Despite the weather, hundreds of volunteers showed up to make a difference.

Each house had at least a dozen volunteers eager to chip in and make a difference for the homeowner. The repairs involved adding beautiful new energy efficient windows and long lasting maintenance free siding from Ply Gem. The homes also received a variety of other exterior renovations including new roofs (when needed), new paint, and landscaping.

I took a day off from working on Etta and drove my work truck over to the Home for Good Project house I was assigned to. When I pulled up out front of this cute little ranch house, it looked in pretty decent shape until I got closer.

The yard was overgrown and the bushes were growing on the house.

A poison ivy vine had been climbing around the back storage structure and deck for a while. And the siding was in rough shape.

We all worked together to remove the poison ivy and trim branches from around the house.

Within an hour, the over grown bushes and vines were tamed and trimmed.

Next we moved on to maintenance tasks. We cleared the gutters and I took down a downspout to clear a clog.

A group of contractors showed up to start installing the new vinyl siding.

It amazed me how quickly the siding was installed. And the light moss green color was a nice compliment to the house.

The house looked so much better by the end of the day. But, you won’t believe what this house looked like by the end of day eight! Ready to see some dramatic before and after pictures?

Front Before:

Front After:

Back Before:

Back After:

Back Deck & Shed Before:

Back Deck & Shed After:

Hard to believe it’s the same house!

Want to see more? This is another Home for Good Project house around the corner from the one I worked on.

Front Before:

Front During Rehab:

Front After:

The siding, the windows, shutters, and trim were all donated by Ply Gem. Check out those beautiful new shutters, windows, and pediments!

Ready to see another transformation?

House Before:

House After:

New siding, windows, and trim made this house a show stopper!

I can’t get over that adorable yellow front door.

This was such an amazing experience to be a part of. I hope to be a volunteer for the Home for Good Project again next year.

Want to learn more about the Home for Good Project created by Ply Gem? This video will explain more about the program and give you a peek at the actual transformations.

If I’ve inspired you to find out more about the Home for Good Project, take a look at all the projects that are happening around the US! Click here to find out if there’s an opportunity for you to volunteer with the Home for Good Project near you.

Disclosure: This post is a sponsored post for Ply Gem. It was written as part of their sponsorship of the Saving Etta project. I was not told what to write. All words and opinions are my own. I am very particular about the brands I work with, and only partner with companies that provide quality materials and/or services. 

Lowe's Spring Makeover | Pretty Handy Girl

Lowe's Spring Makeover | Pretty Handy Girl

I’m super amped to give you an update on the Lowe’s Spring Makeover plans. If you recall, Lowe’s was partnering with these bloggers heroes to come to the rescue of a few homeowners:

All Things G&D | Beneath My Heart | Brooklyn Limestone | City Farmhouse | DIY Playbook | The Golden Sycamore | Home Stories A to Z  |Just A GirlLiz Marie Blog | Our Fifth House | Pretty Handy Girl  and Lowe’s Home Improvement Volunteers!

We received several applications from these cities that were deemed the top ten hardest hit by the winter of 2014:

  • Boston, MA
  • Buffalo, New York
  • Detroit, Michigan
  • Hartford, Connecticut
  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Newark, New Jersey
  • New York City
  • Portland, Maine
  • Providence, Rhode Island

I was assigned to one city. Wading through all the applications was tough, but ultimately one family stood out.

Lowe's Spring Makeover | Pretty Handy Girl

This sweet family recently moved to the Northeast and was hit by one of the most brutal winters on record. If the weather wasn’t enough to freeze their emotions, having one of their little toddlers hospitalized and losing a loved one certainly crushed their spirits.

When the snow finally melted they were left with this: Read more

Family Organization Door | Pretty Handy Girl

Family Organization Door | Pretty Handy Girl

It’s hard to stay organized when you are a DIY blogger, Mom, wife, cook, cleaner, taxi driver, and a student (taking evening classes for the general contractor exam.) I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve dropped a few balls in this massive juggling act. But, I strive to improve and part of that effort involved hanging a Family Organization Center Door next to the refrigerator.  Did you know there was such a thing? Ha, me either until I saw this half window door at our local Habitat ReStore.

Family Organization Door | Pretty Handy Girl

A vision of a place to plan meals, keep track of chores and keep reminders became clear in my head when I first saw it. Want to see how I took this old door and turned it into a family organization center? Hang around for a few minutes to find out.

(contains some affiliate links)



After finding a door for your organization center, you may need to trim down the sides to fit your space. I had to trim an inch off each side of my door to fit on the side of our refrigerator cabinet. Use a circular saw to trim the door. Using a Kreg Rip Cut will help keep the saw straight.

Family Organization Door | Pretty Handy Girl

For extra stability, you may want to add a caster on the bottom of the door (opposite the hinge side). This is not necessary, but will add extra support.

Family Organization Door | Pretty Handy Girl

Cut scraps of coax cable to fit into the tops of the windows. Read more

12 DIY Home Storage Tutorials | Pretty Handy Girl

It’s January and you know what that means! Time to clean and purge the house of all the excess stuff. Last year I was too busy with projects to purge, so this year I’m taking advantage of some warmer days to clean out our home. I hope you’ll excuse me while I’m in clutter busting HELL mode. In the meantime you might enjoy these 12 DIY Storage Projects to help you organize your home (and hide clutter.)

Make a Coat Rack from an Old Door
 and Make a Shoe Storage Bench with Kitchen Cabinets

full_flow_wall_above_washerLaundry Room Storage using Flow Wall Read more

Painted Vanity Nightstand | Pretty Handy Girl

Painted Bedside Vanity | Pretty Handy Girl

In the quest to makeover our master bedroom and save money, I’ve been painting several pieces of furniture to coordinate with the new bed I built.

One of the pieces I painted was this small desk that doubles as a nightstand. Our bedroom isn’t very large and our master bathroom is even smaller than what can be described as a “master” anything! Doing my hair and makeup in our bathroom isn’t a viable option, especially when both Pretty Handsome Guy and I wake up at the same time. When I saw this little desk at a local thrift store, I grabbed it. Especially because she was only $20!

Painted Bedside Vanity | Pretty Handy Girl

She had lots of age, but not much character.


However, she was the perfect size and had just enough storage for a makeup vanity.

With a light sanding, primer and a coat of Benjamin Moore Advance paint, she is now showing her more glamorous side. Read more