The Best Home Improvement Magazines

Compensation Disclosure
The recommendations in this article were selected after performing detailed analysis of the various options available, and I have provided links for you to buy from Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This means I may earn advertising fees if you follow the links to Amazon and make a purchase.

The Best Home Improvement Magazines

Here's my set of Home Improvement Magazine recommendations for 2018.

Although many magazines these days are moving to digital only publication, I've decided to keep the emphasis this year on printed magazines, not because I began my media career working on magazines (which I did at age 17), but because I and many others find reading a paper magazine over a cup of coffee more relaxing than reading off a screen.

But don't worry if you're a Kindle user because most magazines below are also available in that format.

Actually, there is a benefit of digital versions mentioned by many readers - that you can zoom in and see pictures and illustrations close-up.

Unlike my previous recommendations, this time my selection of magazines isn't based on sales figures, instead the selection was based on the analysis of the reviews and comments by over 5,900 readers of the print versions of these publications - you can read more about this process below.

List of the Top 10 Highest Rated Home Improvement Magazines

Rank Magazine PolyRated* Sources
1. Fine Homebuilding 945 100+
2. Wood by Better Homes & Gardens 931 70+
3. The Family Handyman 920 950+
4. HGTV Magazine 919 700+
5. Traditional Home 918 175+
6. Old House Journal 913 40+
7. This Old House 904 200+
8. Good Housekeeping 903 1100+
9. Better Homes & Gardens 902 900+
10. Style at Home 897 10+

1. Fine Homebuilding

PolyRated / Sources: 945 / 100+
Issues per Year: 8
<- Click cover for Amazon's subscription price

Fine Homebuilding magazine is the most highly rated by its readers out of all the publications in this list.

It focuses on home building and maintenance with a special emphasis on woodworking and tools for use around the home.

It's not limited to woodwork and features projects you can do yourself both indoors and outdoors.

2. Wood by Better Homes & Gardens

PolyRated / Sources: 931 / 70+
Issues per Year: 7
<- Click cover for Amazon's subscription price

This magazine does focus primarily on helping you improve your woodworking from simple to more complex projects.

Whether the projects are for simple coffee tables or more complex outdoor furniture such as swing chairs, the detailed plans and instructions will have you soon building like a pro.

Readers describe the projects as being Medium to Expert in difficultly level.

3. The Family Handyman

PolyRated / Sources: 920 / 950+
Issues per Year: 8
<- Click cover for Amazon's subscription price

You can rely on this magazine to provide an excellent combination of interesting ideas and a quality read, in fact I often refer to them for ideas and share their content frequently on Twitter.

Each edition is packed full with great home improvement ideas complete with step-by-step instructions, and is wonderfully illustrated making each project easy to follow - much better than the assembly instructions you get from some Swedish furniture manufacturers :).

You'll also enjoy the Great Goofs section where you get to see some of the worst and funniest home improvement disasters sent in by loyal readers.

4. HGTV Magazine

PolyRated / Sources: 919 / 700+
Issues per Year: 10
<- Click cover for Amazon's subscription price

This extremely popular television show has spawned an extremely popular magazine.

The ideas and projects presented are a bit more realistic in terms of budget than some of the other magazines in this category, making it a great source of ideas that you can actually use around your own home.

This down-to-earth approach has certainly impressed house-holds across America making it the number 1 home improvement magazine on Amazon.com's bestseller list when both digital and print subscriptions are counted!

5. Traditional Home

PolyRated / Sources: 918 / 175+
Issues per Year: 8
<- Click cover for Amazon's subscription price

Traditional Home is packed with beautifully photographed homes, particularly ones that have been renovated or remodeled in order to give you ideas for your own home.

In fact the high quality of their photography is one of the most often cited aspects of this magazine in reviews by readers.

If you're looking for exquisitely presented interior design and furniture ideas with a traditional bent, and a few modern ideas thrown in, then this is the magazine for you.

6. Old House Journal

PolyRated / Sources: 913 / 40+
Issues per Year:6
<- Click cover for Amazon's subscription price

Unfortunately, like so many magazines these days, Old House Journal is now only available in digital form, but it's still highly rated by readers. Here's a link to the print version in case they bring it back (it only went away in June 2018).

This is regarded by readers as one of the best publications for getting ideas, tips and advice on maintaining and renovating homes built before 1950, while maintaining the integrity of the original design instead of simply gutting the house and remodeling it in purely modern styles.

7. This Old House

PolyRated / Sources: 904 / 200+
Issues per Year: 8
<- Click cover for Amazon's subscription price

Famous for its range of interior remodeling and landscaping projects, This Old House provides a great blend of both practical and inspirational ideas you can put to good use around your home.

It also contains a lot of practical advice about working with professionals such as designers, contractors, and architects.

The projects are beautifully detailed with illustrations and photographs, as well as providing information and understanding on the tools needed to get the job done.

This is a great magazine to help you both protect and improve the investment you've made in your home.

8. Good Housekeeping

PolyRated / Sources: 903 / 1100
Issues per Year: 12
<- Click cover for Amazon's subscription price

Although not the highest rated, Good Housekeeping is the most popular printed magazine in this list and with 12 issues per year it offers great value.

It is more of a home lifestyle magazine rather than a DIY renovating one and covers topics including home decor, parenting, finances and general wellbeing.

It also offers recommendations on products for use around the home, from electronics to food, based on product testing by the Good Housekeeping Research Institute.

9. Better Homes & Gardens

PolyRated / Sources: 902 / 900+
Issues per Year: 12
<- Click cover for Amazon's subscription price

This magazine has been a hit with readers ever since it first rolled of the press nearly 100 years ago!

It covers a wide range of topics from bathroom and kitchen remodeling, to interior design, gardening, crafts, cooking, health and nutrition, and much more.

Better Homes & Gardens is primarily targeted at women who desire improvement in their home, family, and life in general.

10. Style at Home

PolyRated / Sources: 897 / 10+
Issues per Year: 11
<- Click cover for Amazon's subscription price

Style at Home offers a Canadian perspective on topics ranging from home decor to home entertaining advice - I particularly like their outdoor entertaining setting presentations.

It also offers advice on the best products to get for around the home, and while it's focused on products available in Canada, the advice is also usable in America.

Subscribe today just in case someone in The White House puts tariffs on Canadian magazines tomorrow :)

Home Improvement Magazine Selection Methodology

The Best Home Improvement Magazines

*All of the magazines recommended above were selected based on their PolyRated scores out of 1000.

These scores were calculated by analyzing reports and reviews written by readers and subscribers to the print versions of the short-listed titles (below), assigning a score to each source and then processing those scores algorithmically to produce an overall score that reflects market sentiment about each magazine. Over 5,900 sources were analyzed during this process.

There isn't a widely established definition for what exactly constitutes a home improvement magazine, so based on my experience I came up with the following titles to short-list: American Bungalow, Better Homes & Gardens, Coastal Living, Country Sampler, Do it Yourself, Elle D├ęcor, Fine Homebuilding, Fine Woodworking, Good Housekeeping, HGTV Magazine, Old House Journal, Southern Living, Style at Home, The Family Handyman, The Woodworker's Journal, This Old House, Traditional Home, Wood by Better Homes & Gardens, Woodcraft Magazine and Woodsmith.

I only short-listed magazines intended primarily for a North American audience, and only those with physical paper editions - purely digital options were excluded.

The ten highest rated magazines were then selected to present in the main list above.

      

Comments

I've been a subscriber to Family Handyman for years and I recommend it to anyone who likes to do handyman jobs around the house.