We are passionate about improving. Just one more project.

Welcome to UpDweller! We want to arm you with all the information you need to improve your home – whether you’re renovating or you’ve chosen DIY as your hobby, we want to help you out. Do you want to understand the difference between an impact driver and impact wrench? Or do you want to know which toolbelt to buy? Maybe you’re interested in knowing more about how to upgrade your kitchen, or you’re unsure where to start when it comes to laying tiles. If it’s to do with DIY, then we’ve got you covered – we’re passionate about the subject, and we want to pass that information on to others.

Here’s a bit more about us, and what we have to offer:

Our Purpose

We want to give you clear, concise information when it comes to DIY. We’ll help you to understand the jargon when it comes to buying new tools, so you can understand what you’re looking at, and make the right choice for you. We also want to give you all the information you need when it comes to renovating: our in-depth project guides will help you to know where to start when it comes to renovating your home, room-by-room. We’ll give you tons of ideas, no matter what your budget.

Our Mission

We write in-depth tool guides. Whether you’re in the market for a miter saw, a paint sprayer, or a rotary tool – we’ve got you covered. We lay out all the information you need in an easy-to-understand way, so you know exactly what you’re looking for. Whether you’re brand new to DIY or you’re a seasoned pro, we can give you valuable information that you need, so you can feel equipped to make the best buying decisions – this is especially important when you’re investing in a pricey new piece of equipment.

We also provide you with detailed product comparisons. Ever wondered what the difference is between a scroll saw or a band saw? We can tell you. Our product comparisons are crammed with information, so you’ll be an expert by the time you’ve finished reading.

Also, we’re proud of our project and material guides, too – if you’ve ever wondered where to start when it comes to renovating a room, you will find the information you need right here.

Our Values

So, what are our values here at UpDweller?

Honesty. We want to give you all the details about a product – the good, the bad, and the ugly. We’ll give you full, balanced tool reviews so you don’t have to waste your time and money on something that won’t work for you. Whatever the verdict is on a particular piece of equipment, we’ll give it to you straight.

Integrity. We won’t promote one brand over the other – our DIY experts will give you accurate, unbiased information. We’re not sponsored or paid to promote any particular product – so you can count our reviews and guides as trustworthy.

Clarity. We want you to feel totally prepared before you embark upon a new product – we’ll do that by giving you all the information you need in a way that is easy to understand. Even if you’re a complete novice to DIY, you won’t have to use a dictionary to understand all the jargon – we’ll explain everything you need to know in plain English. When you go tool shopping next, you’ll be able to understand all the specifications and what they mean.

What You’ll Get from UpDweller

Our DIY experts are here to help you out – and there are a few ways we can do that.

Firstly, our detailed project guides. Are you renovating your home? It can be pretty overwhelming, especially if you’re completely new to DIY and you have the entire house to work on. Whether you want to upgrade the bedrooms, redo your kitchen, or want to create a new living space in your basement, we’ll give you some great ideas about how to upgrade on every budget, as well as what you’ll need before you begin. From setting up your budget, to finding the right materials, to installing everything safely, we’ve covered all the basics that you need to know.

Secondly, we’ll give you in-depth buying guides. Investing in a new tool can be very expensive – so how do you know what to look for? We’ll give you all the information you need. We’ll tell you what each tool does, the types of projects you can complete using it, what features to look for, and an overview of the best models out there (including their pros and cons). That way, you can decide which tools are right for you, and find the best ones on the market – all in one place.

Thirdly, we have our tool comparisons. If you’re not sure what the difference is between a cut off tool or an angle grinder, we’ll let you know. Or maybe you want to buy a drill, but you’re not sure if Makita or DeWalt is the best brand: we can tell you. If you’re stuck between two tools and you don’t know which ones to pick, we can help you to make the right decision before you part with your hard-earned cash. Also, these articles will help you to increase your knowledge when it comes to tools – so you’ll be more prepared in the future if you need to take on a new project.

Lastly, we have our material guides: these are great if you want more information about certain materials, like flooring and plumbing. We’ll tell you everything you need to know, so you don’t have to go searching for it.

If you want to know more about our product guides, here are a few to choose from:

Here are a few of our tool guides:

Tool Comparisons:

Our material guides may also help you out: here’s a few of our favourites:

The Updweller Team

We take on home renovation projects, test out the best tools — one project at a time and then share our lessons with you here! Our team is made up of DIY home reno enthusiasts and specialists who actually attempt to reno their homes and then share their learnings here. We paint. We tear down. We build up. We spend our weekends on yet another project, strolling down the aisles of our favorite home renovation shop. And, now we’re here sharing our findings for all of you!

Here are some faces behind our EPIC guides.

Erin Jamieson, Habitat for Humanity Volunteer & DIY Expert

Erin Jamieson is passionate about making the space you live in as comfortable, affordable, and personal as possible. With her vast nonprofit experience, including for organizations like Habit for Humanity, as well as experience writing for startups, she brings both financial, mechanical, and stylistic advice to make your home uniquely yours. Erin Jamieson holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Miami University of Ohio.

Why am I giving advice on Updweller?

Since I started volunteering for Habitat for Humanity when I was young, I’ve always been passionate about how renovations have the power to transform a space. I want to bring my personal experience to help others have an equally enriching experience.

Where was the first home renovation project you ever worked on?

My earliest memories are of helping my parents transform their dining room.  I helped strip wallpaper, select paint colors, and brainstorm ways to make the room appear larger.

What is the next home renovation project you’re going to get started on?

I have a kitchen renovation that I’m brainstorming for that will have to be completed in a series of steps. I’m eyeing replacing laminate countertops with quartz, replacing old tile floors with bamboo, and finding ways to enhance the use of space.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone getting ready to start their first home renovation project?

Home renovations are exciting but they can also be daunting. I like to start by making a list of my top priorities and a budget. That way, you stay on track and only focus on what’s practical.

What’s one tool you’d recommend for nearly any home renovation project?

It may sound simple, but measuring tape is always your friend.

Alexandra Gavrilescu: Flooring, Painting, Taking on One Home Renovation Project at a Time

Alexandra has plenty of knowledge on all home improvement topics, from renovations to weatherproofing, interior design ideas, DIY projects, and more. You can rely on her expertise because her guidelines are practical and effective. So, we could say that she knows what she’s talking about. Through UpDweller, Alexandra will provide you with a wide variety of handy tips and inspirational ideas that you can use to upgrade your house. Her improvement instructions are accurate and well-tested.

Why am I giving advice on Updweller?

I don’t have a school in renovation or home building expertise but I was very much involved in renovating our apartment right after we bought it. My husband and I were both doing serious work like choosing paint colors for the walls, buying materials for the wooden floors, browsing for bedroom doors, etc. We went to all the main home renovation suppliers and we spent numerous weekends doing these activities. So, I am well aware of how tiring and frustrating this process can be, especially when you have to find the best workers and experts in home renovation, ones that won’t break the bank.

That’s why I feel it’s important to me to share all my acquired insights to help others complete their home renovation with less fuss and hassle than I experienced.

Where was the first home renovation project you ever worked on?

As a child, I used to watch my grandpa do all sorts of renovation projects on his own, at my grandparents’ house. He used to be an electrician but he wasn’t afraid to get involved in many other projects such as roofing, flooring, wall painting, wiring, applying ceramic tiles on the bathroom walls, and more. I liked getting my hands dirty and I was always asking him to give me something to do. My favorite part was painting the walls but when it came to roofs and floors, I’d leave all the work to him, haha.

As a grown-up, I got involved (seriously and completely this time) together with my husband in our apartment’s renovation. We were excited and we tried to establish a budget but in some cases, the materials we purchased exceeded that budget. So, we tried to find the best type of compromise that made us feel good about our choices.

What is the next home renovation project you’re going to get started on?

Right now we are saving money and the plan is to invest in real estate – nothing grand, just trying to buy a humble 2 or 3-bedroom apartment that we want to renovate from scratch and then sell or rent it. The pandemic and all the economic situation have forced us to put this plan on hold for a while but the dream and intention are still there.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone getting ready to start their first home renovation project? 

It’s hard I know but do your best to establish a budget right from the start and try as much as possible to stick within that budget. Search for different local contractors and ask for their quotes. If you can afford it, the best way to go is by hiring both an architect and an interior designer. They are the dream team that will help you avoid decision-making fatigue. Go in person to local stores and feel or see the materials yourself. It’s your space so feel free to personalize it any way you want.

What’s one tool you’d recommend for nearly any home renovation project? 

Hmm, that’s a tricky one since it all depends a lot on what type of renovation we’re talking about. There are handy tools and there are power tools and each of them serves different purposes. Simpler projects require just a few tools that almost everyone has at home, whereas more complex renovations require a wider range of more intricate tools.

What I’m trying to say is that the best way to approach this is by having a small toolbox at home that you can use in most cases. That box should contain tools such as screwdrivers, a hammer, an oscillating tool, pliers, one nail gun, a saw, and a speed square.