For your convenience we have compiled a list of popular websites with useful product information and how-to information. We have also included links for consumer information and government agencies relevant to home improvement.
(Note: Rafael Lumber does not specifically endorse the information on the following websites and is not responsible for their content. Always check local building codes prior to starting a project. Read the manufacturers instructions provided with tools and products, and seek the help of qualified contractors when necessary.)
- TV and Magazine Related Sites
- Home Improvement Directories with How To Info
- Government and Consumer Information
- Home Design
- Energy Conservation
- Rafael Lumber Vendor Websites
- Industry Websites
TV and Magazine Related Sites
How-to information, including step-by-step guides, photos and supply lists, on dozens of home improvement projects from the producers of the weekly TV show on PBS.
Official site with a how-to library and information on his TV shows.
Home & Garden Television (HGTV)
Thie site provides program guide, links to home and garden material referenced in their many shows, and on the Internet.
This Old House
The companion website to the popular PBS TV series.
New Yankee Workshop
The companion website to the popular PBS TV series.
The companion website to the popular HGTV series.
Better Homes and Gardens Home Improvement Encyclopedia
Offers advice for home improvement inside and outside your home including wiring, plumbing, heating, and cooling systems.
Woodworkers Journal Magazine
The companion website to the popular woodworkers magazine.
Home Improvement Directories with How To Info
Offers information on home improvement and repair, remodeling, redecorating, and plumbing.
Provides home improvement information and resources with a service that matches interested homeowners with architects, designers, and contractors.
Home and Garden Directory
Home improvement directory covering many aspects of home improvement. Sections include decorating, electricity, plumbing, general repair and maintenance.
Home improvement directory covering many aspects of home improvement.
Ask The Builder
Home building, remodeling and improvement Information with links to a variety of products.
A useful Directory for those taking on older houses. Not associated with the PBS-TV Series.
Information and reviews of hundreds of home improvement and building products from appliances to flooring to walls and ceilings products.
Online contractor-finder and general home design information
A large directory of construction and home improvement links
Michigan State University – Home Maintenance And Repair
A simple yet informative website with useful information on home repairs.
Government and Consumer Information
California State Contractors License Board
This California State government site allows you check the license status, workers comp, and bonds of contractors you are considering hiring. (http://www2.cslb.ca.gov/CSLB_LIBRARY/License+Request.asp)
There are also useful guides to hiring and working with contractors (http://www.cslb.ca.gov/contractorEd/FreeInfoPostcard.asp)
and information on contracting (http://www.cslb.ca.gov/contractors/hicontracts.asp)
Information on building codes and building permits
A directory of Marin County governments that have local planning and permitting requirements can be found at (http://www.marin.org/html/governments.cfm)
For unincorporated areas of Marin County contact (http://www.co.marin.ca.us/depts/CD/main/comdev/CURRENT/)
Federal Trade Commission Information
Facts for Consumers on working with home improvement and repair contractors
Federal Consumer Information Center
Advice about home Improvement and covers such aspects as hiring help and financing repairs.
HUD – US Department of Housing and Urban Development
Information on home improvement Loans/grants for low income, Native Americans & Rural home improvement projects
State Consumer Affairs
Good source of consumer information on working with contractors, architects, engineers, and surveyors.
Association of Bay Area Governments Earthquake and Hazard Maps
Provides information on Earthquake Planning and safety. Generates maps of earthquake hazard by zipcode.
Consumer Reports Magazine Online
This is a subscription based service but there is very helpful information on home and garden products, reviews and ratings, etc.
Home Design Forum
A home design discussion area sponsored by ArchitectureWeek
The Not So Big House
Home design advice and information from the authors of the popular book The Not So Big House
Residential Home Design Articles
Articles on home design from ArchitectureWeek magazine
Web Design and Marketing for the Home Improvement Contractor.
Home improvement house plans, blueprints and floor plans for home design construction projects.
Directory of many links to architecture and home improvement sites, plans, etc.
The Log Home Builder’s Association
Good resource point for those interested in Log Homes.
PGE Energy Calculator
PGE has a useful calculator for estimating and planning energy costs for various systems in your residence.
This U.S. government site provides energy on Energy Star related products and energy effeciency.
Rafael Lumber Vendor Website
California Redwood Association
Western Red Cedar Lumber Association
APA Engineered Wood Ass’n
International Wood Products Association
Wood Moulding and Millwork Producers Association
American Wood Council
National Hardwood Lumber Association
CSA Contruction Suppliers Association
National Ass’n of Home Builders
American Wood Preservers Association
National Wood Flooring Association
Wood Flooring Manufacturers Association
Stuctural Board Association
Wood Truss Council of America