Lee Wallender is a home improvement expert with several decades of hands-on home remodeling experience and over 12 years of experience at providing web-based information about home-related topics.
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- 12+ years of experience providing home improvement advice to do-it-yourselfers
- Over two decades of experience at hands-on remodeling, fixing, and improving homes
- Specializing in lower-cost home remodel techniques accessible to even novice do-it-yourselfers
In 2000, Lee first jumped into home renovation when he pulled back the carpet of his freshly-purchased 1913 farmhouse-style home in his Washington, DC suburb to determine if there was solid hardwood underneath. This was the tantalizing bug that prompted him to remodel the entire home, from top floor to crawlspace.
Remodeling for resale became an important issue for him when the Discovery Channel moved only a few blocks away from his home and it became clear that his community was on a fast ascent. With property values steadily increasing, home renovation with an emphasis on attracting buyers and maximizing resale value now became the focus of his efforts.
In Seattle in 2005, Lee's work and writing took a dramatic shift toward lower cost, economical, homeowner-driven home remodeling. During this period, U.S. home prices plummeted and foreclosures skyrocketed, as the country began to experience its mortgage crisis and great recession. With his sites' traffic increasing, stories came to him from homeowners desperate for smarter and more economical ways to help them hang onto their homes. In 2012, he helped set up the first national database to document the occupation of properties by home squatters.
Prior to the 2000s, Lee worked for the State of California at Hearst San Simeon State Park, otherwise known as Hearst Castle. At Hearst, he gained a deep knowledge of luxury residential building techniques from the 1920s to the late 1940s, as well as Renaissance, Gothic, and Art Deco art. Prior to Hearst, Lee lived in New Orleans and Savannah, Georgia. In Savannah, Lee worked at the historic Kehoe House, developing an interest in Southern architecture and continuing to pursue his passion for vernacular architecture.
Earlier, Lee lived in East Africa, teaching high school in a rural community to the Kalenjin tribe.
Today, Lee continues to write about home improvement and decor for The Spruce, as well as for other publications.
As an undergraduate student in Southern California, Lee's fascination with unique (and in particular mid-century modern) architecture began. At a time when mid-century modern homes were being torn down, Lee first saw the beauty in unique, stylish homes designed by architects such as John Lautner and Joseph Eichler. Lee continued his education by pursuing a graduate degree in English at a prestigious creative writing program in the South.