Before & After 2010: Submit Your Story and Win!

May 28, 2010 | by Fred (email) |

We’ve been waiting all year for this day to come! Summer is just around the corner, and with it comes our annual Before and After contest! For those of you who weren’t with us last year, here’s how it works:

You submit pictures and a story from a renovation you* worked sometime over the past year. Every Sunday throughout the Summer (starting June 20, 2010) , we pick the best of the submissions we’ve received so far and we run the story on our site. If your submission is picked, you get a $50 gift card to either Lowes, Home Depot, or Amazon. And, the best part – we make a donation of $100 to Habitat for Humanity in your honor!

At the end of the Summer, we post all of the entries together, and the community votes for the best project. The winner gets a bonus $150 gift card to one of the three stores above.

*You (including your family and friends) have to have done at least 75% of the work on the renovation! No contracted jobs for this contest!

Before and After 2010 blue

Raising Awareness for Habitat for Humanity

We started this event two years ago as a novel way to help raise awareness for Habitat. We chose Habitat because we support their mission (decent houses in decent communities) and we like the way they go about it (by requiring those receiving assistance to put in sweat equity into their own homes and other homes in their communities).  We also like that Habitat operates all over the world, so you can view your donation as helping your local community.

Of course, this blog and most of its readers are all about home improvement. And Habitat is about community improvement through housing… it’s a great match.

By the end of the Summer, we’ll have given more than a $1000 to Habitat. But that’s really just the beginning! We hope that you’ll partner with us along the way. Each week, we include a short fact about Habitat’s activities around the world (like their work in Haiti, for example), and we ask that you commit to partnering with them financially by donating online, or by volunteering with Habitat in your own community.

What Makes a Winning Submission?

Two things: compelling pictures (before, during, and after) and a great “how to” story. Check out the 2008 winners and 2009 winners to see examples of winning submissions from prior years.  Here’s one of our favorites from Jenny @ Anything Pretty

before after

Remember, there’s nothing special about the folks who submit entries. Our previous winners generally are not professionals. They’re average folks like you and us!

How to Submit Your Entry!

E-mail us your submission at

Your entry can be in the e-mail itself or you can attach a Word document. If you are attaching multiple pictures, make sure to number them in timeline order so it’s easy for us to reconstruct the story. Please attach the pictures as JPEGs even if you also embed them inside the Word document.

Upgraded Prizes!

Besides the good feeling you get for contributing to Habitat’s mission, we’re also going to send you a $50 gift card to Home Depot, Lowes, or Amazon. Even if you aren’t the weekly winner, definitely check out our Lowes Coupons and Home Depot Coupons to save some dough off your next purchase!

Please Tell Your Friends & Readers!

We’d also really appreciate it if you’d write an article on your site letting people know about the contest. One thing is definitely true about this event: the more submissions and comments, the more fun!

If you’d like to support us throughout the Summer with a badge, there’s a few different colors to choose from… If you don’t see the color scheme that will work with your site, just shoot us an e-mail at with the colors you want and we’ll be happy to make one up!

Before and After 2010 blue Before and After 2010 sunrise

Before and After 2010 orange Before and After 2010 grey

Before and After 2010 green Before and After 2010 yellow

11 Responses
  1. Nicole says:

    I’m there! I’ll have to get a blog post up for you, too. And you know I’ll be entering. We’re kicking off a marathon family project this weekend!

  2. Why S? says:

    This is one of my favorite things about summer! Can’t wait to see the entries!

  3. I love this annual contest, I’ll be posting about it tomorrow !


  4. Yvonne says:

    oh fun!
    Im not sure if i’ll enter since all we did was just decorate and paint..didnt do major work though. Anyone want to view our before and after:

  5. Is it that time again?! I can’t wait to submit a project for this year’s contest. I’ll definitely give a shout out on my blog soon too.

  6. I entered my dining room in to the contest. We did a lot of work on it and it turned out pretty.

  7. Viviane says:

    I entered my $0 Craft Room by sending an email. I will also post about it on my blog. Thank you!

  8. Ann Tucker says:

    I entered, my rental property fire place, have the little color tab up and waiting to hear if I won. Thanks for the opportunity.

  9. Staci says:

    Is the contest still going? I’ve got some horrible before pictures of my house when I acquired it and awesome after pictures. The house had a 10 year roach/mouse infestation and was never kept clean. It was absolutely filthy. I had to rip out all the wood trim, doors, cabinets, subflooring, etc to get rid of some of the smell.

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