5th Annual Before & After Series!

May 30, 2012 | by Jocie (email) |

Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit that’s near and dear to us at OPC and The Better Half. The work Habitat does is tremendous, and they’ve had a huge impact in our local community and all over the world. It’s only fitting that we support the cause (since we too love home improvement), and that’s the reason for our annual Before & After series. We started this event four years ago as a way to help raise awareness for Habitat, and support their mission to provide decent, safe and affordable places to live.

This year, our Before & After series is going to run a little differently than in the past, so read on to learn the details of how you can participate.

Fred volunteering with Habitat Sandtown

How it Works

If you’re not familiar with the series, here’s the basics: you submit pictures and a story from a home improvement project you worked (no contracted jobs) sometime over the past year. Every week of the summer (June 20 – September 21), a winner is selected and their story is published online. Each winner gets a $50 gift card to either Lowes, Home Depot, or Amazon, and we make a donation of $100 to Habitat for Humanity in their honor! At the end of the Summer, the best submission, as voted on by readers, wins a bonus $150 gift card to one of the three stores above.

This year is different and even more AWESOME because we’ve asked 13 other sites to get involved, each hosting a week, picking that week’s winner, and featuring the Before and After article on their site. We’ve got a great group lined up, and here’s the schedule so far:

Week of:Host:
June 17OPC's The Better Half
June 24Pretty Handy Girl
July 1Beneath My Heart
July 8ten june
July 15Southern Hospitality
July 22Charles and Hudson
July 29House of Hepworths
August 5the space between
August 12Remodelaholic
August 19DIY Showoff
August 26My Blessed Life
September 2Home Stories A-2-Z
September 9Bear Rabbit Bear
September 16Burlap & Denim

Ethan volunteering with Habitat Sandtown

Ethan volunteering with Habitat Tuscaloosa

How to Enter

If you want to submit a before and after story, email us your submission at Your entry can be in the email itself or attached as a Word document. Make sure to number pictures in order so it’s easy for us to reconstruct the story, and please attach the pictures as JPEGs even if you also embed them inside the Word document.

Keep in mind that good before and afters include interesting pictures (before, during, and after) and a descriptive story. Here are some great examples from last year.

Alternately, we’re letting people enter via link party to show off their great transformations. Select one of your best makeover projects to share with us below, and don’t be surprised if Jocie pins her favorites to Pinterest.

Please link back to this article | Link directly to your B&A submission | Don’t link to a shop, store or giveaway

Email in your Before & After story

1. 1/2 Bath Remodel
by Michael V.

2. Kitchen Renovation
by Brooke K.

3. Beadboard Kitchen
by Jan A.

4. Dining Room! by
Annie B.

5. Fresh Paint by
Marc S.

6. Powder Room by
Aimee B.

7. Mantel Makeover by
Mallori J.

8. The Pirate Room! by Ronda B.

9. Converted Garage by Lori C.

10. Basement Reno by Jaye L.

11. Bedroom Makeover by Kerry R.

12. B & B Redesign by Omar D.

13. Patio & Back Yard by Jordan H.

14. Salvaged Dresser by Stacy F.

15. Pantry Transformed by Karen M.

16. Office on a Budge by Sharon S.

17. The Master Suite by Emily W.

18. Happy Workspace by Kendra M.

19. Barn Apt. Bath by Pam T.

Tell a Friend

This series is only a success because of the great submissions we receive, and telling your friends and readers about it is the best way to spread the word. Please consider writing an article on your site letting everyone know about the contest. Remember, the more submissions and comments, the more fun!

Grab a Button!

Supporting Habitat for Humanity

<div align="center"><a href="" title="Supporting Habitat for Humanity"><img src="" alt="Supporting Habitat for Humanity" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Supporting Habitat for Humanity

<div align="center"><a href="" title="Supporting Habitat for Humanity"><img src="" alt="Supporting Habitat for Humanity" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Supporting Habitat for Humanity

<div align="center"><a href="" title="Supporting Habitat for Humanity"><img src="" alt="Supporting Habitat for Humanity" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Supporting Habitat for Humanity

<div align="center"><a href="" title="Supporting Habitat for Humanity"><img src="" alt="Supporting Habitat for Humanity" style="border:none;" /></a></div>


Follow us on Facebook to get updates on the contest and find out who each week’s winner is!

As Always, thanks for reading!

If you love DIY projects and a good deal, check out our awesome coupons for all your local Home Depot and Lowes needs!

51 Responses
  1. paintergal says:

    I need to take the time to sit and chronicle our latest renovation. Sometimes, that is more effort than the actual project!

    • Jocie says:

      HAHA, i understand that. I’m writing a post for tomorrow and it is taking WAY longer than the actual project! I’m super excited about it though! Hope you can enter, would love to see your renovation!

  2. JustME says:

    What an awesome way to support Habitat! Which reminds me, once our daughter’s wedding is over I need to head to the nearest Restore.

    Carol, wanna come to Omaha and go with me? 😀

    I have a few projects to write up before the summer has passed.

  3. These buttons are so stinkin’ cute, adding one to my sidebar now!! What an AWESOME series. 🙂

  4. Paul&Aundrea says:

    What a great way to give back! I love everything about H4H…the restore, volunteering, donating…everything!

  5. haus356 says:

    Is a submitted project considered during every contest week (unless it has already won), or is each week an individual contest and only projects submitted that week are considered for that week’s prize?

    • Ethan says:

      Each project is considered throughout the entire series, and readers can submit more than one project. I hope you’ll get in on the action!

  6. What about a project that spanned 2 years time but was just finally finished? I’m not that slow, the project was just that big.

  7. Habitat for Humanity is one of my favorite organizations. Thank you for inviting me to link up!


  8. Nicole says:

    Thank you so much for the invitation. I am excited to be involved with such an awesome project. I linked up my bathroom remodel project and would LOVE to help spread the word by doing a blog post about it next week. Is it okay if I take direct text from your post (so that all info is exact and correct)? Thank you again for letting me know about the project and best of luck to you in your efforts to support Habitat. I’ll send you a link to the published post next week.
    Nicole Estes

    • Jocie says:

      Hey Nicole,
      Thanks so much for spreading the word – that would be awesome!
      Try to paraphrase where you can and if you need to quote, just give us credit. 🙂
      Thanks again!

  9. Nicole says:

    I can’t get any of the button codes to work… has anyone else had a problem with them? I’m on blogger & haven’t had this problem before. The buttons are AWESOME by the way. Any suggestions on what I should try?

    • Ethan says:

      Hi Nicole, I’m so glad you were able to link in your bathroom! Feel free to copy any of the text you’d like, and thanks for sharing it with your readers. I’ll email you to try and work out the button problems. Thanks!

  10. What a cool idea! Thanks for the invite.

  11. Anne says:

    Thank you so much for the invitation!

  12. What a fabulous idea! I just love it … and thanks so much for inviting me to enter. Just a quick question: Do I need to link up the same before and after at all the parties? Or could I mix it up? And on the flip side, would it be okay to link up the same before and after at all the parties?


    P.S. Thank you for your very kind and sensitive comment on my post about how sewing curtains brings up memories of my sister. So sorry to hear about the loss of your aunt.

    • Jocie says:

      Hi Linda, Its only one link party just lasting all summer with ongoing winners. You can link up as much as you want, but you can only win once. If you can share this link party with your readers, we would love you forever! 🙂 Does that answer your questions??

      I thought it was really sweet of you to share about your sister, thanks for putting it out there!

      I’ve been following you on FB for awhile now and really enjoy your blog!

  13. Christina says:

    Thank you for the opportunity to link up to a great party and cause!

  14. What an amazing idea! Thank you for inviting me to participate. I’m more than happy to advertise this on my blog. Way to set a great example!

  15. Jana says:

    Thanks so much for the invite to link up our backyard spa and bar-b-q area re-do. I just did that and with your permission I would like to do a blog write-up to spread the word in the next couple of days.
    It is truly an honor and excitement to me that you seen my little ole blog and wanted me to link-up.
    Thanks again for inviting me to be part of an awesome opportunity such as Habitat for Humanity!

    • Jocie says:

      Jana, Of course, please do spread the word!!! Thanks, and thanks for linking up. We feel the same way – very privileged to be linked with all the other hard working bloggers!

  16. Thank you so much for the invite! Very cool idea! I am linked up with your button and plan to do a little post on your project this week.

  17. So happy to participate in this link up. No matter where one lives, it’s always awesome to support a great cause!

  18. Nicole says:

    i featured your party with an article on my blog today. best of luck on this awesome project!

  19. Thanks for inviting me over. What a great idea for a great cause. I linked up a different project than the one you saw. Are we limited to just one? 🙂

  20. Lori says:

    Where do entries that were emailed show up?

    • Jocie says:

      Hey Lori, Great question. All judges share the email address for email entries. But after you asked, Ethan and I talked about it and it would be great for readers to see the email entries also. Today (or tomorrow, depending on Ethan’s time) we will post one small picture (just like the link up party) to represent the before and after project so readers can see ALL the projects. Don’t worry, email entries are just as important and we love them all!! Thanks, Lori!

      • Lori says:

        Glad I came up with the question! 🙂 That will be cool to see the emailed ones. I know that not everyone has a blog but they have great projects anyway. 🙂 Thanks for letting us see the emailed ones too. I’ll be watching.

  21. WOW! Just WOW! There were so many Before and After submissions that truly knocked my socks off. Thank you for sharing your projects with us.

  22. Hi Jocie,

    It is my honor to link up to such a worthy cause. I love to go to our local Habitat restore. Thank you so much for hosting this link party. I am new to blogging, so getting such sweet comments from such a great blog is soooo encouraging! Thank you for making my day!

    Leanne @ The Burlap Cottage

  23. What a fabulous idea! Heard about it through Ten June. Can’t wait to see the winners!


  24. frazzled5 says:

    this is a great series! Thanks for hosting!

  25. Pat K says:

    Habitant for Humanity is such a worthwhile cause! Bless you!

  26. trebor says:

    Nice, I didn’t know about this! Good on you for working with Habitat…they’re a worthwhile investment of time and money

  27. Alicia says:

    Hi! I just wanted to contact you and apologize for not responding to your invite to link up… what a great cause! Wish I had seen it in time to participate, we were in the middle of moving at the time and blogging took a back seat for awhile. When you have your 6th annual HFH, please let me know! Thanks again!

  28. […] Talking Too Much Beneath My Heart  The Girl Creative  Thrifty Decor Chick The Sasse Life One Project Closer Domestically Speaking  Posted in […]

Leave a Reply