Take a DIY Approach to Home Improvement

Looking for an effective way to boost your home’s value? You can take a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach to numerous home improvement projects. By doing so, you can learn how to enhance your residence on your own without breaking your budget.

In addition, there are many wonderful DIY home improvement projects that you can complete over the course of a given day, including:

  1. Adding a fresh coat of paint.

A blotchy, inconsistent paint job remains an eye sore that homebuyers are sure to notice. Fortunately, you can add a fresh coat of paint in any room of your home to give this space a fresh, clean look.

You can pick up a gallon of paint, rollers, painter’s tape and other painting supplies at any home improvement store. And ultimately, this home improvement project may allow you to bolster your home’s value as well.

  1. Perform basic landscaping. 

For those who enjoy the great outdoors, cutting the grass, trimming the hedges and other landscaping projects offer an ideal opportunity to improve your home and work outside simultaneously.

Basic landscaping is paramount for home sellers, and those who ignore landscaping tasks altogether may damage their home’s value significantly.

Remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and homebuyers remain unlikely to purchase a residence with high grass and weeds scattered throughout its front yard and backyard. But home sellers who devote the necessary time and resources to perform basic landscaping tasks can improve the appearance of their home’s exterior, and eventually, their home’s value.

  1. Update fixtures.

Switch plates, outlet covers, curtain rods and other fixtures that have been in place for years could use an update. Luckily, you can pick up stunning fixtures that can easily be replaced and may make your home more appealing to homebuyers, too.

Updating your residence’s fixtures represents a fun day project for any ambitious home seller. Each fixture is usually inexpensive to purchase and can be installed quickly and effortlessly. Meanwhile, even a minor fixture replacement could make a big difference in the eyes of a homebuyer, particularly if this individual is searching for a residence with awe-inspiring, one-of-a-kind features.

  1. Replace cabinet knobs and drawer handles.

Who says you need to replace all of your kitchen cabinets and drawers to add a touch of glamour to your kitchen’s décor? Comparatively, you can replace your kitchen cabinet knobs and drawer handles, which serves as a cost-effective alternative to a full-scale kitchen remodeling project.

Revamping your kitchen hardware is essential for homeowners who have ignored their kitchen cabinet knobs and drawer handles for years. But with a simple hardware update, you can improve your kitchen’s décor instantly.

  1. Pick up a new front door mat.

You only get one chance to make a first impression, so why not make the most of it? With a fun, exciting new front door mat, you can make a bold statement any time potential homebuyers check out your residence.

Front door mats come in a variety of styles and designs, and you’re sure to find one that suits your personality perfectly. Also, the right front door mat may help bring a smile to a homebuyer’s face before he or she even enters your home, thus delivering a positive first impression.

Take advantage of DIY home improvement projects, and you may be able to boost your home’s value and help your residence stand out in a competitive real estate market.

Tips to Organize Storage in Your Basement

Oh, the basement. How is it that all of the unused items seem to end up here? If your basement is like most it is filled with items long since unused but you still can’t quite let go of the boxes stacked on boxes. If going down into your basement to find what you are looking for is a chore keep reading to learn how to create a more organized storage space that makes finding things a snap.

Start by doing a major clean out of everything in your basement. Sell or donate anything you no longer have a use for but have put off getting rid of. By doing so you will give your stuff a second life and clear up extra room for a more effective storage system. Organize what you do decide to keep in “like” piles to make putting them in their future assigned places a cinch. Have labels prepared for each of these piles and come up with category names for each one.

Next, you will want to invest in shelving units and plastic bins if you don’t already have some to protect items you will be storing from any potential flooding. Consider shelves made of metal as wood shelves are prone to absorbing moisture and warping. You may also want to add a dehumidifier to control the levels of moisture in the air, which can lead to damage to the items you are storing. If possible plan for storage around the utility area while keeping all paths to switches and appliances free of clutter. If your basement is unfinished and you have a plan to remodel in the future this will keep costs lower as you only need to section off one area instead of two.

When you start placing your bins on the shelves keep the priority levels of their contents in mind. High use items should be more easily accessible than the lower priority ones. Ensure that when labeling boxes they are in a spot that is visible from just a quick glance. You could also add a list of the contents of each box on the label for when a category requires more than one box.

Extra steps for the dedicated: Maximize available space in your basement by utilizing the space under the stairs. Adding shelves here will give you extra storage space that is easy to access. Label switches, breakers, and shut off valves and hang up a flashlight in an easily accessible space for power outage preparedness. You may also want to buy plastic bins in various colors to color code your items categories and make finding them easy with just a glance.

You might think re-organizing your basement is the last thing you want to spend your weekend doing. However, with a proper plan and the right supplies you can create an organization system in your basement that makes finding stored items a snap and an enjoyable process!

Pet-Proofing Your New Back Yard.

If you are a dog owner, and you are making the transition from an apartment or condo into a home, complete with a backyard, then your life is about to get a lot easier.  You’ll no longer have to take your dog on long walks for bathroom breaks, and your dog will be a lot happier being able to freely roam an outdoor area without a leash.  Win-win for everyone, right?  Not so fast.  There’s a few things you’ll need to do in order to avoid some potentially stressful headaches in the very near future.  I’ll attempt to highlight some of the more important ones here.

1.  Fencing – If you are moving to a new home that doesn’t have a fenced backyard, then consider fencing at your convenience.  Ideally, the home you’re moving to would already have this beneficial add-on, but many don’t.  Having some form of fencing installed will ensure that you can let your dog run freely without having to keep a watchful eye on them at all times.

2.  Designate a bathroom spot – Giving your dog complete control of your backyard can create a bit of a problem when it comes to bathroom time.  I really don’t need to go into specifics here….Suffice it to say that your dog can and should be trained to use a particular corner of the back yard for his activities.  Your shoes and yard will thank you.

3.  Keep your garden pet-friendly – If you are planning to make a garden in your new back yard, then be sure that you don’t pick any plants that are toxic to pets.  Many are.  Also, try to incorporate some kind of additional fencing so that your dog doesn’t treat your garden like a playground.

4.  Consider a doggy door – If you want to completely eliminate the need for you to take time out of your day to walk your dog, then a dog door can help you with that.  If you’re moving to a place with long winter seasons, then you’ll need to pick a dog door option that can be sealed easily if inclement weather arises.

5.  Shading – If you’re moving to an area that has hot summers, consider planting some fast-growing trees that will offer shade for your dog to cool off.  Without proper shading, some dogs, especially older ones, can experience distress if left in direct sun for too long.

For additional ideas, visit http://www.ehow.com/how_4779806_landscape-backyard-dogs.html

Frugal Outdoor Hobbies to Enjoy in the Nice Weather

When the nice weather finally arrives, many of us look for any excuse to get outside to enjoy it. I’ve even been known to mow the lawn every once in a while just for the pleasure of being outdoors. But you don’t have to put yourself to work to enjoy the nice weather.

Finding a new hobby can be an excellent way to get outside. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend a ton of money on a swimming pool or a membership to your local tennis courts. So, if you’re used to spending your afternoons and evenings with Netflix on your couch but want to take advantage of the nice weather while it’s here, take a look at these frugal outdoor hobbies that will help you get outside without breaking your wallet.

Fitness

Every time I buy a gym membership I go in with great intentions. I’m motivated and excited to start working out. Then a few weeks go by and slowly my gym bag begins to collect dust. The terrible music, the crowded treadmills, the bros grunting into the mirror… it all adds up to a bad experience. We lose interest in our hobbies when they stop being fun. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to get fit outdoors that are fun and cheap.

  • Run. The simple act of running has been spreading joy since Pheilippides ran from Marathon to Athens to spread the news of victory against the Persians. Once he arrived, however, he supposedly dropped dead. Use that as a reason to start slow and remember to buy a decent pair of running shoes to protect your joints.
  • Bike. Cycling is a great workout and a great way to go sightseeing. Your first thought might be “cycling isn’t frugal” but that’s only true if you aren’t willing to hunt down the great deals on Craigslist and at yard sales, of which there will be many this time of year.
  • Hike. Odds are there are dozens of parks and trails in your area that you’ve never explored. Throw a sandwich and a water bottle in your bag and go exploring.

Relaxation

If you don’t feel like running a marathon just to get outside there are several other hobbies that can help you expand your level of chill while still working on your tan.

  • Meditate. This is truly the master of frugal hobbies in the sense that the only thing you need is yourself. Go out into your yard and the woods, sit or lay down in a comfy position, close your eyes, then notice the sounds and the smells around you.
  • Read. Grab your lounge chair and your library card–that’s all you’ll need to keep your brain busy all summer outside.
  • Yoga. Even if you don’t want to admit it your body needs to move, at least a little bit. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still be relaxed while doing it. Bring your cell phone or laptop outside and watch one of the many great beginner yoga videos on YouTube.
  • Gardening. Not only is gardening frugal, but you’ll actually save money once you start harvesting all the vegetables you’ve grown. Gardening allows you to play in the dirt, learn new things, get outside, and enjoy food you’ve grown yourself. It’s an all-around awesome hobby.