Ty Pennington’s Extreme Home Help

Whether you're painting a room or adding one, renovating is hard work. But you should at least try to have some fun doing it. How I get the job done.

  from Reader's Digest | May 2007

Toolbox essentials

  • Torpedo level
  • Cordless drill
  • Five-in-one painter’s tool
  • Clamp
  • Speed square
  • Tape measure
  • And I couldn’t do what I do without my partner Bayer Aspirin.

Must-know advice for planning a home renovation:

     

  • 1.

    Don't be stupid.

    It’s not smart. Spend a little extra and hire an architect, even for a small job. You’ll save money in the long run.

  • 2.

    Before you start something...

    Make sure you have the cash, time and stamina to finish.

  • 3.

    Surprise yourself.

    If you usually go for taupe, try burnt orange. Don’t always pick the same pattern and colors because you’ve been around them your whole life. Experiment with something fresh and exciting.

Best tune-up
When I work, I listen to powerful songs that keep me motivated and are loud, fast and fun, like those by Iggy Pop, Kings of Leon, the Strokes, the Velvet Underground, Led Zeppelin, Pavement and anything by a new band.

Energy-boosting pick-me-up
Peanuts, for the protein, and frozen grapes, to satisfy my ferocious sweet tooth.

Stress buster
Mistakes happen. Accept them, learn from them and go with it. Sometimes it turns out better in the end — you can make crap into craptastic. Take five deep breaths; drink a glass of water. And never work with power tools when you’re tired, stressed or angry. For me, that’s all the time!