painting http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/638/all en-US 4 Paint Colors That Can Boost Your Home's Value http://www.wisebread.com/4-paint-colors-that-can-boost-your-homes-value <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-paint-colors-that-can-boost-your-homes-value" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/blue_paint_portrait.jpg" alt="Blue paint portrait" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you want to sell your home, the right paint color can make a huge difference. No matter what Pantone's color of the year might be, a recent report found that certain colors boost a home's value. Blues and neutrals, in particular, can increase the amount you're able to get for your home.</p> <p>Zillow, the home-listing app of choice for thousands of people who want to sell or buy a home, recently released its 2017 <a href="http://zillow.mediaroom.com/2017-06-01-Homes-with-Blue-Bathrooms-Sell-for-5-400-More-than-Expected" target="_blank">analysis of paint colors and home values</a>. It's pretty interesting. Turns out that the right paint color in the right room can boost the selling price by several thousand dollars. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-questions-to-ask-before-selling-your-house?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Questions to Ask Before Selling Your House</a>)</p> <h2>Greige</h2> <p>You and I and every homeowner out there may have long grown tired of that grayish beige, the go-to neutral for the modern home. But homebuyers aren't tired of it. Zillow reports that as an exterior house color, a lovely shade of greige can boost the sale price by more than $3,000.</p> <p>It's not just about the neutral, though; it's this particular neutral that makes buyers go batty, apparently. Homes with dark brown or taupe exteriors sold for less than their greige counterparts. All neutrals are not created equal when it comes to home sales. Taupe is out. Greige is in.</p> <h2>Navy blue</h2> <p>Navy blue is a perennial in home decor, a classic color that can work with a multitude of design styles. Perhaps its depth renders a solid, enduring feel to a home. Perhaps it's just everybody's secret favorite color. Either way, it turns out a front door painted in navy blue can garner an additional $1,500 in the home sale. Considering that you can paint a door for around $20, this is an update well worth the investment.</p> <p>Navy blue can serve you well in other areas of the home, too. Dining rooms painted navy and sporting white trim can bring almost $2,000 more to the selling price. Go ahead and buy a gallon of interior paint in navy when you pick up that quart of exterior paint for the front door. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beginners-guide-to-finding-your-interior-design-style?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Beginner's Guide to Finding Your Interior Design Style</a>)</p> <h2>Other blues</h2> <p>Here is a short list of interior colors that homebuyers <em>do not like</em>: pink, red, and yellow. Why so much hate for these warm colors? There's plenty of room for speculation (a psychological hive-mind? An innate response to global warming?). Motivations are mysterious; money is easier to count. A pink bedroom will reduce selling price by $200 in some areas, and a red dining room will bring the price down by $2,000. So apparently people literally see red when they see red.</p> <p>Here's a short list of interior colors that homebuyers really do like: blue. Make your world a blue world. Bedroom? Paint in light cerulean for potential $1,800 increase. Bathrooms in light powder blue or periwinkle are very popular, and those home prices got a boost of about $5,000. Kitchens are popular in light blue or soft grayish blue tones, and can add almost $2,000 to your home's value.</p> <h2>Oatmeal</h2> <p>There's one exception to the blue rule, and that's the living room. A living room in blue can reduce a home's value by $800. A living room painted in a light taupe or beige, however, can increase by $1,800.</p> <p>And white is a major negative when it's in the bathroom. Homes with white bathrooms saw a decrease in value of around $4,000. Buyers seem to place a very high value on the bathroom being the right color. Keep your bathrooms blue and your living rooms the color of oatmeal, and everybody's happy.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F4-paint-colors-that-can-boost-your-homes-value&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F4%2520Paint%2520Colors%2520That%2520Can%2520Boost%2520Your%2520Homes%2520Value.jpg&amp;description=4%20Paint%20Colors%20That%20Can%20Boost%20Your%20Homes%20Value"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/4%20Paint%20Colors%20That%20Can%20Boost%20Your%20Homes%20Value.jpg" alt="4 Paint Colors That Can Boost Your Home's Value" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-paint-colors-that-can-boost-your-homes-value">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-problems-you-can-solve-with-duct-tape">13 Problems You Can Solve With Duct Tape</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ideas-for-cheap-festive-fall-decor">12 Ideas for Cheap, Festive, Fall Decor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-home-improvements-that-add-thousands-to-your-listing">9 Easy Home Improvements That Add Thousands to Your Listing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-create-your-dream-backyard-on-a-budget">How to Create Your Dream Backyard on a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/40-ways-to-use-spray-paint-for-cheap-and-easy-decorating">40 Ways to Use Spray Paint for Cheap and Easy Decorating</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Real Estate and Housing decor DIY home projects home value paint paint color paint project painting selling your home Mon, 03 Jul 2017 08:30:15 +0000 Annie Mueller 1975526 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways to Stage Your Home Without Hiring a Pro http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-stage-your-home-without-hiring-a-pro <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-to-stage-your-home-without-hiring-a-pro" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-505618800.jpg" alt="Woman staging her home without hiring a pro" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So, you're selling your home but don't have the budget to hire a professional stager. Who does? After all, supplying and artfully arranging those vintage books, ficus trees, and nesting tables takes time and money. In fact, according to a 2016 article by Realtor.com, professionally staging a 2,000-square-foot home can cost around $2,000 a month.</p> <p>But never fear: By employing a few basic tips and tricks, your humble abode can still look like a million bucks. Here are eight ways to stage your home without hiring a pro. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-unexpected-costs-of-selling-a-home?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Unexpected Costs of Selling a Home</a>)</p> <h2>1. Edit and organize</h2> <p>Not only can you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-a-deep-declutter-can-improve-your-life?ref=internal" target="_blank">improve your life with a deep declutter</a>, it's an essential first step in staging a home properly. Toss out the junk, donate unused items, and consider packing for your move early and storing boxes off-site or in the garage. Once that's done, tame the wild spaces in your home. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-ways-to-organize-a-messy-closet?ref=internal" target="_blank">Organize messy closets</a> and neatly arrange the pantry, basement, and other catchall areas.</p> <h2>2. Clean</h2> <p>Staging is an art, so start with a clean palette. Mop the floors, wash the windows, scrub the toilets, and dust anything that's standing still. In the minds of most buyers, a clean home is a well cared-for home.</p> <h2>3. Pack up the personality</h2> <p>As a stager, your goal is simple: Help potential buyers feel as if your home was made for <em>them</em>. Since you want to appeal to the widest audience possible, it's time to put away the personal photos and bubble-wrap that troll doll collection you've been curating since 1982. Sure, these things may mean the world to you, but they only limit the vision of would-be buyers.</p> <h2>4. Paint</h2> <p>Painting is one of simplest and most cost-effective ways to freshen up the look of a home. Stick with neutral wall colors. Shades of cream and white, soft greens, and subtle blues can add glow to a room without overpowering it. Though flat paint is ideal for nearly every area in your home, choose an easy-clean semi-gloss for kitchens, baths, and mudrooms.</p> <h2>5. Slow your roll</h2> <p>Selling a house is stressful. Besides packing and looking for a new place, you have to constantly bend your schedule around multiple showings and make sure your home always looks pristine. Don't add to the pressure by starting major projects.</p> <p>Forget retiling the bathroom floor, expanding the deck, or transforming the attic into a guest suite. Keep things simple, small, and entirely manageable. The goal is to accentuate the positive, not launch a full remodel. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-50-or-less?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Cool DIY Home Improvements for $50 or Less</a>)</p> <h2>6. Add detail</h2> <p>Once your house is decluttered, cleaned, and painted, it's time to take things to the next level. Spruce up the décor with plush accent pillows, new bathroom linens, tailored bed skirts, and neutral window treatments. If you're buying new, choose simple forms and solid colors that complement what you already own. Top things off by adding a few lush houseplants (skip the fresh flowers; some buyers may be allergic).</p> <h2>7. Expel bad smells</h2> <p>A well-staged home looks good and smells good (or at least doesn't smell <em>bad</em>). Remove pet and cooking odors with a deep clean that focuses on carpets and upholstered furniture. Air things out the old-fashioned way: Throw open the windows and turn on a few fans. Run a dehumidifier regularly to battle musty odors in bathrooms and basements. And remember, it's better to neutralize odors than cover them up with loads of scented candles and plug-in air fresheners. Strong artificial scents can turn off buyers.</p> <h2>8. Take it outside</h2> <p>Yes, curb appeal is a thing. Take your staging skills outside and spend an afternoon caulking windows, touching up paint, replacing broken light fixtures, and power-washing the deck. And green thumb or not, try a few inexpensive ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-ways-to-make-your-yard-look-awesome-for-under-100?ref=internal" target="_blank">make your yard look awesome</a>.</p> <p>Successful staging is all about refinement &mdash; elevating a home's best features and appealing to the tastes of the general public. Though it doesn't take a professional to accomplish either of those tasks, it does require a professional-level commitment and a willingness to take your personality out of the equation. For your trouble, you just might land a top-dollar offer and get the chance to put your own stamp on a brand new place. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-cheap-ways-to-stage-your-home-in-a-buyers-market?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Cheap Ways to Stage Your Home in a Buyer's Market</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-stage-your-home-without-hiring-a-pro">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sell-your-house-faster-with-these-6-house-flipping-tricks">Sell Your House Faster With These 6 House Flipping Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-unexpected-costs-of-selling-a-home">8 Unexpected Costs of Selling a Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-home-improvements-that-add-thousands-to-your-listing">9 Easy Home Improvements That Add Thousands to Your Listing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-improve-your-curb-appeal-for-next-to-nothing">6 Ways to Improve Your Curb Appeal for Next to Nothing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-ways-to-get-your-apartment-deposit-back">7 Smart Ways to Get Your Apartment Deposit Back</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing attract buyers cleaning curb appeal decluttering decorating packing painting selling a home staging Fri, 21 Apr 2017 08:30:15 +0000 Kentin Waits 1931273 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Keep DIY Projects From Ruining Your Life http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-diy-projects-from-ruining-your-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-keep-diy-projects-from-ruining-your-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_wires_electrocuted_000087920375.jpg" alt="Man trying to keep DIY projects from ruining his life" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In the face of the current crappy economy, more people are willing to try to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-50-or-less" target="_blank">save money on home improvement projects</a> by doing their own repairs&hellip;at their peril.</p> <p>With time, persistence, and attention to detail, the average non-klutz homeowner can learn to be handy. But how do you determine which projects are worth doing yourself, and which projects require an expert? Consider the following factors before you roll up your sleeves.</p> <h2>Assess the Time Commitment &mdash; And the Cost</h2> <p>While home improvement stores like Home Depot adjust their DIY project schedules according to the level of expertise, those schedules still assume that the project will be completed without a hitch. Whether you are learning a new skill or trying to level up on an existing ability, make sure to pad your time estimate to give yourself enough wiggle room to fix mistakes. Often, an overly optimistic schedule is not only frustrating but costly, too.</p> <p>For example, painting your own home is often touted as an excellent beginner DIY project. Yes, painting your own house can save you a lot of money. But when budgeting out the cost of your painting project, make sure to include the external costs. Will you have to pay to keep your furniture in storage while you paint? Will repainting your new apartment delay your move from your old apartment? You can (and should) wear a ventilator mask to avoid huffing paint fumes, but what about your pets? Can your dog go to grandma's house while the paint cures, or will you have to pay kennel costs?</p> <h2>Do You Have What It Takes to Get the Job Done?</h2> <p>No. Not mentally. Do you have the right tools for the job? My neighbor spent over two hours on a wet bathroom floor trying to tighten the leaky connection behind her toilet with a pair of pliers. Damp and tearful, she finally went to the hardware store for advice. Although she was offered no counsel for her plumbing aggravation, the store clerk did send her home with a $6.00 basin wrench. Armed with the proper tool, my neighbor was able to tighten the hard-to-reach nut in less than 10 seconds.</p> <p>Although my neighbor only lost 300 minutes of her life and $6.00 to her broken toilet, many projects require more costly, and high-tech equipment. There is a steep learning curve for many power tools. If you don't know how to use a floor sander, you might permanently damage the hardwood floors you are trying to salvage. Even worse, if you are a newbie to home repair, you might not think to buy ear protection. An expert might be able to repair a bad sanding job, but no one can repair your hearing.</p> <h2>Can You Afford to Make a Mistake?</h2> <p>I bought a well-reviewed tankless water heater that my plumber then nixed because he'd seen that model fail too many customers. Even though I returned the water heater in its factory sealed, unopened box, I was still charged a restocking fee by the store. Custom items like granite countertops are not returnable, so one wrong measurement can be very costly.</p> <h2>Trimming Trees Can May Mean Big Fines</h2> <p>Beyond the obvious extreme height + chainsaw = danger involved in tree trimming, amateur lumberjacking carries huge fines in many municipalities. The average cost of tree removal in Los Angeles is <a href="http://www.treeremoval.com/us/los-angeles/#.VvlZO_krJaR">$779 per tree</a>. That's expensive! But the fine for chopping down an oak tree, even on your own property, starts at $6,000 and can include jail time. Homeowners in other cities who only trim heritage trees such as oaks and sycamores without the proper permits can be charged <a href="http://la.curbed.com/archives/2007/11/a_375000_treetr.php">hundreds of thousands</a> of dollars in fines.</p> <h2>DIY Demolition Disaster</h2> <p>When I remodeled my bathroom, I saved $300 by doing my own demolition. In addition to getting a solid workout by swinging a sledgehammer, knocking out three layers of old tile and lathe was weirdly stress relieving. One of my neighbors also loved doing demolition. That is, he loved doing demolition until he knocked out a load-bearing wall while renovating his kitchen without a permit. His kitchen is now renovated, but not how he envisioned it. He blew his entire renovation budget on a very expensive and hideous support beam to keep his house from collapsing.</p> <p>I should also note that before I began my bathroom demolition, my contractor physically outlined the electrical and plumbing lines on my bathroom walls with a Sharpie before I ever picked up the sledgehammer. Replacing accidentally broken plumbing is one of the least sexy ways to spend money.</p> <h2>Play It Safe With Roof Repair</h2> <p>Reconsider doing your own roof repair for safety reasons alone. Likewise, if your home is over one story tall, consider getting a professional to clean your gutters. Or, at least, use a <a href="http://amzn.to/1Urt0yS">shop vac</a> or <a href="http://rochesterguttercleaning.com/tophat/aboutus.html">gutter vacuum</a> that you can operate from ground level.</p> <h2>Don't Blow Your Budget on Rental Renovations</h2> <p>I always rented places that I could repaint to my liking. Of course, using your own money to spiff up a rented space isn't smart financially. It's not your house. You just live there.</p> <p>If you are like me, then a little money is worth the price of turning another person's house into your home. However, if you are saving up to buy your own home, or just want to sock away more cash for retirement, education, or travel, it's smarter to treat your rented house as a crash pad where you sleep and store your things. Any DIY projects you do to improve your rented space is money and time you will never recover.</p> <h2>Death by DIY Pest Control</h2> <p>As a beekeeper, I am always getting calls from hysterical homeowners about &quot;Angry Killer Bees.&quot; When I arrive at a client's house to do live bee removal, I always ask diagnostic questions so I can assess the safety situation for the client and their neighbors. Here is a sample diagnostic question: &quot;Were the bees angrily chasing you around the backyard before you sprayed their hive with hairspray and then tried to light it on fire with a tiki torch?&quot;</p> <p>Many over-the-counter <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052970204563304574318231044370704">pesticides for home use</a> are also effective pet and people killers. Before laying down any kind of poison in your home, do some research and follow safety protocols to the letter. Although it seems counter-intuitive, professional exterminators have safer, less toxic methods of pest control at their disposal than consumers.</p> <h2>Leave Utilities to the Professionals</h2> <p>Doing your own gas, water, and power work is a really good way to damage you and your home. Even the smallest gas leak can lead to an explosion or carbon monoxide poisoning. Each year, thousands of people are injured or killed due to electrocution or electrical fires. Leaky plumbing can cause water damage and mold, potentially making your home unlivable and unsellable.</p> <h2>Beware Those Nine Dreaded Words</h2> <p>&quot;While we are at it, we might as well&hellip;&quot;</p> <p><em>Mission creep</em> is the super villain of DIY. Replacing the disgusting, damaged vinyl flooring in my kitchen with new linoleum will take me two days total. I've replaced two kitchen floors already, so I know I can do this job, over a weekend, all by my lonesome. Of course, this two-day schedule does not include moving out all the appliances, transferring my frozen foods to a neighbor's freezer for safe-keeping, or repairing the baseboards. Nor does it include the time and money involved in repainting the kitchen walls &mdash; a project that can only be done with the appliances removed &mdash; that's also on my to-do list.</p> <h2>Just Because You Can, Doesn't Mean You Should</h2> <p>I know how to hot wire a 1965 Nova using just a flat head screwdriver. But, just because I know how to rip an old car, does not mean that I should take the Chevy to the levee &mdash; even though the levee is dry &mdash; at every opportunity.</p> <p>According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, there are <a href="http://www.esfi.org/resource/do-it-yourself-diy-electrical-safety-216">37,000 nail gun injuries</a> every year in the United States. If the thought, &quot;Maybe this is beyond my skill level&quot; flickers through your mind even once, you should consider consulting an expert.</p> <h2>Losing Frugal Credibility Has a High Cost</h2> <p>It's 11 p.m. and I am painting my dining room, myself. I am an excellent painter. Martha Stewart would hire me. Painting my own dining room cost me just $100 in supplies.</p> <p>Unfortunately, I have had to work the dining room redo around my actual paying job schedule, so it's taken me six months of intermittently stripping paint, sanding, caulking, priming, painting, painting, and repainting to almost finish my newly spectacular dining room. My ceiling is silver leafed. Guests gasp when they behold the decorative finish on my china cabinets. I am so pleased with my work. My husband, however, could care less how magazine-ready the dining room looks. After months of eating off a drop cloth-covered dining room table, he's tired of painting without ever picking up a brush.</p> <p>So, while I won a frugal remodeling battle by renovating my own dining room, I have lost the frugal war. My husband now doubts that we can scrape, repair, and paint the exterior of our house in one month. He wants to pay a professional painting contractor $17,000 to do this job.</p> <p>The true cost of painting the dining room myself: $16,900.</p> <p>Don't be me.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-diy-projects-from-ruining-your-life">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-home-improvements-you-should-always-negotiate">9 Home Improvements You Should Always Negotiate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-50-or-less">15 Cool DIY Home Improvements for $50 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-paint-the-exterior-of-your-home">How to Paint the Exterior of Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cheap-and-easy-diy-kitchen-improvements">20 Cheap and Easy DIY Kitchen Improvements</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-20-or-less">10 Cool DIY Home Improvements for $20 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Home contractors Do It Yourself fixing home improvements painting renovations Wed, 06 Apr 2016 10:30:07 +0000 Max Wong 1682552 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Smart Ways to Get Your Apartment Deposit Back http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-ways-to-get-your-apartment-deposit-back <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-smart-ways-to-get-your-apartment-deposit-back" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_paperwork_000063885707.jpg" alt="Couple finding ways to get their apartment deposit back" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Forking over a security deposit, sometimes equivalent to one month's rent, is a necessary evil &mdash; especially when there's no guarantee you'll get it back. It's a considerable amount of money when you factor in that most apartment lease terms are relatively short (anywhere from three to 12 months), and you'll have to shell out yet another deposit for your next place.</p> <p>Also keep in mind that landlords can charge you for repairs that exceed your deposit amount. Therefore, it's important for you to know what the standard repairs are and learn your landlord's expectations for the condition of the apartment when you return the keys. And, get it in writing!</p> <p>Here are six ways to ensure you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-ways-to-make-your-apartment-awesome-without-losing-your-deposit" target="_blank">get your apartment deposit back</a>.</p> <h2>1. Talk to Your Landlord</h2> <p>The first thing you can do is have a conversation with your landlord. Do this early on &mdash; at the signing of your lease, if possible. Minor repairs should be expected, but clear up any other expectations. In most cases, things like carpeting is a standard replacement, but smaller landlords might want to abate the expense by taking carpet cleaning fees or replacement costs out of your deposit, where it will cost a lot more than if you were to do it yourself.</p> <h2>2. Clean the Unit</h2> <p>It's not only polite but common courtesy to leave the apartment in the same condition you found it. Be sure to clean and wipe down appliances, including the stove and refrigerator, and take out your trash.</p> <h2>3. Retouch</h2> <p>Don't leave structural damage, like large holes, destroyed tiles, and exposed fixtures. Small holes that are left behind after hanging curtains and pictures are okay and you shouldn't worry about those. They key is to get the apartment in as close condition as possible to how it was given to you.</p> <h2>4. Resolve Any Maintenance Issues</h2> <p>If something is broken in the apartment, have it fixed prior to your departure. For instance, although that leak under the sink that you failed to report wasn't your fault, it caused the cabinets to rot and now they need replacing. The landlord could charge you for this if it's not discovered until after you moved out.</p> <h2>5. Remove Any Add-Ons</h2> <p>If you've put up partitions or walls, even with the landlord's consent, have them removed even if you think it's an upgrade to the apartment (unless otherwise expressed). Your lease contract more than likely states that these types of structural changes will be removed at the tenant's expense.</p> <h2>6. Bring Back the Original Paint Color</h2> <p>If you're going to paint, be sure to change it back to the original paint color when you leave. If you do not, the landlord has the right to charge you for this. It will cost more than if you were to do it yourself or contract a painter. Also, ask what the original color is. It's very important that you don't have the walls painted <em>off-white</em> just because off-white paint is on sale, when in fact, the original color was <em>white</em>. Making that mistake once cost me $400 from my deposit.</p> <h2>7. Take Photos</h2> <p>Upon your departure, take photos to document the condition of the apartment. This is evidence against any future claims that there was significant damage to justify the withholding of a security deposit. And basically, when you leave, the apartment should be in move-in ready condition with the exception of needing a thorough cleaning.</p> <p><em>Have you ever lost part &mdash; or all &mdash; of your rental deposit?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/qiana-chavaia">Qiana Chavaia</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-ways-to-get-your-apartment-deposit-back">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-landlords-cant-ask">10 Questions Landlords Can&#039;t Ask</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-moves-to-make-if-you-need-to-break-your-lease">8 Moves to Make If You Need to Break Your Lease</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-to-ask-before-signing-a-lease">10 Questions to Ask Before Signing a Lease</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space">The 11 Best Websites for Renting Your Extra Space</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-sublet-your-apartment">The Easy Way to Sublet Your Apartment</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing apartments cleaning landlords painting renting security deposits Thu, 31 Mar 2016 09:00:19 +0000 Qiana Chavaia 1672230 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Improve Your Curb Appeal for Next to Nothing http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-improve-your-curb-appeal-for-next-to-nothing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-improve-your-curb-appeal-for-next-to-nothing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_sitting_outside_000066201595.jpg" alt="Couple finding ways to improve curb appeal for almost nothing" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you're selling your home, or simply looking to spruce it up, improving your curb appeal is a great way to increase value. But it can be really expensive if you head off to your local home improvement warehouse and buy items at full retail. That said, with a little bit of planning and forethought, improving your curb appeal can be done for next to nothing. Here are six ways to make it happen.</p> <h2>1. Score Free Mulch</h2> <p>Having a fresh layer of mulch or bark in your flower and planting beds is a fantastic way to improve your curb appeal. But buying individual bags can be darn expensive, especially if you're doing a large area. So instead, try calling a local tree trimming service and ask if they have any free mulch available. After all, many such businesses have excess woods chips available and are happy to find ways to get rid of it. Often they'll even deliver a truck load to your home if they happen to be doing a job in your general vicinity.</p> <p>Worst case scenario, you might have to swing by their work yard and shovel up a truck load. But you can't beat the free price tag, and your plants and flowers will thrive with the new mulch. Plus, it will help keep down weeds and give your yard a fresh new look.</p> <h2>2. Find Great Deals on Paint</h2> <p>Another cheap way to effectively spruce up the front of your home is with a fresh coat of paint on your front door, shutters, or moldings. While the job itself can be fairly inexpensive if you can tackle it yourself, a great way to save even more is to look for &quot;whoops&quot; paint at Home Depot, Lowe's, or even from your local paint store. These are the paints that were either incorrectly tinted or were rejected by the customer and are being sold at a big discount.</p> <p>Simply ask an employee where their &quot;whoops&quot; shelf is located and check out the colors they currently have available. You can typically get paint for 50%&ndash;75% off the original price. Surprisingly, many of the colors you'll find are quite neutral in color and would look beautiful on your home as either a main or accent color.</p> <h2>3. Hide Garbage Cans and A/C Unit</h2> <p>If you have garbage cans or an A/C unit that can be seen from your front yard, consider building an inexpensive <a href="http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/outdoor-projects/how-to/a9248/hide-those-ugly-garbage-cans-with-a-diy-privacy-screen-15710370/">lattice screen</a> to hide them. In a few short hours, you can hide these big eye sores. Lattice screens can be made of either wood or vinyl. The vinyl option will cost more upfront but will require less maintenance in the long-run.</p> <h2>4. Big Discounts on Plants</h2> <p>Surprisingly, one of the single best ways to score deals on plants, shrubs, and flowers to beautify your front yard is at your local nursery &mdash; but only on specific days. Almost every nursery across the country has two big sales per year. One is in the fall when they clear out a large chunk of their inventory before winter, and the other is in early spring when they offer discounts to entice shoppers to start planting for the warmer months. These two sales often see discounts in the 50% off range making them no-brainers for those looking to improve their home's curb appeal.</p> <p>Be on the lookout for sales flyers from local nurseries and score savings that will typically beat the big-box stores, plus the quality of the plants and trees is typically much higher.</p> <h2>5. Add Garage Door Hardware for Updated Look</h2> <p>A really cheap way to spruce up an otherwise ordinary garage door is to add new hardware to give it a terrific new look. For less than $35, and 30 minutes of your time, you can upgrade your door with inexpensive hardware. The new hardware will really make your garage door a focal point rather than an eyesore.</p> <h2>6. Find Deals on Exterior Lighting</h2> <p>New exterior lights can really improve the look of your home, but if you've ever priced them, you know they can be expensive. But having worked at The Home Depot, I have a tip that can save you a lot of money &mdash; they almost always have floor model light fixtures for sale at a steep discount.</p> <p>Due to a large and ever-changing inventory, they're constantly updating their stock with new lighting fixtures, which gives you ample opportunity to save on floor models. Simply ask an employee what floor models they are trying to get rid of and they'll point you to the best deals &mdash; deals that can light up the front of your home, and beautify it in the process, at 50% to 75% off the original price.</p> <p><em>How do you improve your home's curb appeal without breaking the bank?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-ways-to-improve-your-curb-appeal-for-next-to-nothing&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Ways%2520to%2520Improve%2520Your%2520Curb%2520Appeal%2520for%2520Next%2520to%2520Nothing.jpg&amp;description=6%20Ways%20to%20Improve%20Your%20Curb%20Appeal%20for%20Next%20to%20Nothing"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Ways%20to%20Improve%20Your%20Curb%20Appeal%20for%20Next%20to%20Nothing.jpg" alt="6 Ways to Improve Your Curb Appeal for Next to Nothing" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-improve-your-curb-appeal-for-next-to-nothing">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-50-or-less">15 Cool DIY Home Improvements for $50 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-home-improvements-that-add-thousands-to-your-listing">9 Easy Home Improvements That Add Thousands to Your Listing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-dumb-ways-to-scare-off-potential-homebuyers">10 Dumb Ways to Scare Off Potential Homebuyers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sell-your-house-faster-with-these-6-house-flipping-tricks">Sell Your House Faster With These 6 House Flipping Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-paint-colors-that-can-boost-your-homes-value">4 Paint Colors That Can Boost Your Home&#039;s Value</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Real Estate and Housing cheap fixes curb appeal home improvement landscaping painting renovations Tue, 22 Mar 2016 09:30:35 +0000 Kyle James 1677207 at http://www.wisebread.com Don't Let These 6 Home Décor Flaws Ruin Your House Hunt http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-these-6-home-d-cor-flaws-ruin-your-house-hunt <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dont-let-these-6-home-d-cor-flaws-ruin-your-house-hunt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_moving_in_000076924219.jpg" alt="Couple not letting home decor flaws ruin their house hunt" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Looking to buy a house? The search can feel incredibly daunting, especially when you start digging for all the imperfections before offering. Unless you're buying or building a brand new place, you'll probably need to contend with a few turn-offs. Here's what to ignore, how to fix common cosmetic issues, and when you might be able to negotiate. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/be-a-smarter-home-buyer-by-avoiding-these-12-house-hunter-cliches?ref=seealso">Avoid These HGTV House Hunter Mistakes</a>)</p> <h2>1. Paint Color</h2> <p>You've probably seen it on those house hunting shows. A young couple walks into an outdated house, and the first thing they say is: &quot;Oh, I cannot deal with this paint color!&quot; The same goes with wallpaper. These home features really aren't features at all. They're as easy to change as your lipstick or tie.</p> <p>Though it can be hard, try looking beyond the personal design choices of the current homeowners when it comes to paint colors (curtains, furnishings, etc.) and view the home as a clean slate. The good news? You can buy a can of paint at your local hardware store for around $30 and spend a few hours on a weekend customizing the look to suit your tastes.</p> <h2>2. Flooring</h2> <p>My first home had a puke-green carpet from the 1960s all throughout the main level. It even stretched into the kitchen. The second floor, on the other hand, had gorgeous oak hardwoods. So, before we offered, I made sure to ask the agent if those same hardwoods might be underneath the carpet. Her answer? Yup! Not only that, but these hardwoods had been protected for much of the life of the property under that ugly rug.</p> <p>Flooring choices can sometimes be as easy to change as paint color &mdash; with a little more elbow grease. Of course, you'll want to investigate any issues like creaking or potential stains. Otherwise, find a good DIY video and get going. You typically start in a corner of the room and go from there. After you've rolled up the carpet and padding, remove the strip around the perimeter of the room and any staples that might still be in the floor.</p> <h2>3. Outdated Look</h2> <p>Sometimes you walk into a property and it just feels, well, dated. Usually it has something to do with the light fixtures or maybe the faucets and other hardware in the home. Try to take a count of the things you don't like and head to your local home improvement store to price out replacements. Then make your plan of attack according to your budget.</p> <p>In my current home, all the ceiling fans (and there were many!) were brassy and loose. Over the course of a year, we went room by room and changed out the fixtures to our liking. In the bedrooms, we did plain white ceiling fans. In others, like the dining room, we chose a nice hanging light to add interest. Once you get the hang of the basic electricity involved, it's quite easy to do yourself &mdash; and it makes a huge difference in the look and feel of the home as a whole.</p> <h2>4. Kitchen Cabinets</h2> <p>If you're anything like me, the kitchen is the first room you want to see when touring a home. Some kitchens can be downright frightening, especially if they are full of old, dark cabinets. Before you cross that listing off, examine those cabinets carefully. If they are in good condition, you might consider giving them an inexpensive facelift that could dramatically improve the home.</p> <p>When we moved into our current digs, the kitchen was a dark den of sorts. But it contained many cabinets in good condition. Instead of gutting and replacing everything for looks (which didn't fit into the budget), I spent just $100 on paint supplies to give the cabinets a clean coat of white. The result brightened up the space considerably and only took me a weekend to complete.</p> <h2>5. Roofing Issues</h2> <p>Does the roof look like it's seen better days? You should know the age from your listing sheet. Even if you don't find out the roof is in bad repair until your inspection, this issue is one that might give you some room for negotiation. Or not. It's definitely an area you don't want to totally ignore when signing on the line. A new roof, according to Angie's List, can set you back anywhere <a href="https://www.angieslist.com/articles/what-average-cost-replace-roof.htm">between $5,000 and $25,000</a>.</p> <p>Though the age of a roof itself might not give you much power, if it shows obvious signs of neglect &mdash; press the issue. You might be able to get all or part of the replacement paid for by your seller or a lower purchase price overall. And make sure you get good clarification from your inspector on if the roof needs total replacement or a simple repair. Replacing a few damaged shingles may cost as little as a hundred dollars if you can find a good handyman.</p> <h2>6. Old Windows</h2> <p>It can be a bummer to fall in love with a house that has old windows. Of course, sometimes they're still functioning just fine. Other times, you might find cracked panes, ones that won't open or close, or worse. According to Angie's List, <a href="https://www.angieslist.com/articles/how-much-does-it-cost-replace-windows.htm">vinyl replacement windows</a> cost between $450 and $600 each. Feeling overwhelmed when you multiply? Consider this: Wood windows should last a good 30 years. If the home's windows are still in their prime &mdash; repair of a few is much less costly than replacement of all.</p> <p>Definitely try to negotiate the repairs into your contract. Have your inspector go around and make an itemized list of the ones that aren't working well and then get a quote for a local shop for either replacements or repairs to present to your seller. If you have home improvement skills, you can also try fixing some of the common issues yourself. For example, if the window won't open, try to find the root cause. From there, tighten any loose screws, lubricate the hinges, and check the operator for any signs of disrepair.</p> <p><em>What home &quot;issues&quot; don't register as issues for you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-these-6-home-d-cor-flaws-ruin-your-house-hunt">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/house-hunting-these-features-will-save-you-big-over-the-long-haul">House Hunting? These Features Will Save You Big Over the Long Haul</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-buy-a-house-without-a-mortgage">4 Ways to Buy a House Without a Mortgage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-house-hunting-red-flags-you-cant-ignore">12 House-Hunting Red Flags You Can&#039;t Ignore</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-homeowners-associations">What You Need to Know About Homeowners&#039; Associations</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-stage-your-home-without-hiring-a-pro">8 Ways to Stage Your Home Without Hiring a Pro</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing flooring house hunting kitchens new homeowner painting roof Windows Tue, 15 Mar 2016 10:00:07 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1672233 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Easy Home Improvements That Add Thousands to Your Listing http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-home-improvements-that-add-thousands-to-your-listing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-easy-home-improvements-that-add-thousands-to-your-listing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_painting_wall_000050211242.jpg" alt="Woman making home improvements that will add thousands " title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone wants to get the maximum dollar for their home when it's time to sell. But not everyone wants to get swamped by a giant renovation project all for the sake of selling. Fortunately, there are easy home improvements you can do that increase the cosmetic appeal of your home and make it more attractive to buyers, leading to more money in the bank for you.</p> <h2>1. Prune and Plant</h2> <p>Your landscaping has a huge effect on your home's curb appeal, and it doesn't cost much to spruce it up. It's also a task you can do yourself to save yourself some extra bucks. Prune back overgrown trees and shrubs, and make sure the lawn is mowed and neat. If your front yard is a bit bare, planting some shrubs and plants can make it look cared for and manicured. Ask your local garden center for some free advice.</p> <h2>2. Freshen Up Your Kitchen and Bathrooms</h2> <p>While renovating the kitchen and bathrooms can bring a large return on your investment, they also are among the most expensive projects to tackle around the home. If you're not planning to overhaul the kitchen and bathrooms entirely, you can still enhance them cosmetically. Remove dated wallpaper and paint the walls a soothing color. Replace mildewed caulk and scrub dirty grout. Change the cabinet pulls for something more modern, and the faucets for something that feels substantial and stylish. Hang a new shower curtain and clean towels, and give everything a thorough cleaning.</p> <h2>3. Clean Your Carpet</h2> <p>Dingy carpet is pretty much certain to turn off potential buyers. If replacing the carpeting isn't an option, at least invest in a thorough deep cleaning.</p> <h2>4. Replace Dated Lighting</h2> <p>Bringing dated light fixtures into this decade can do a lot to make your home seem modern and attractive. Even inexpensive fixtures found at your local home improvement store can be a huge upgrade compared to decades-old monstrosities (unless of course, those monstrosities are trendy again now). Old ceiling fans can be replaced with sleek modern varieties. Consider also <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-brilliant-diy-light-fixtures">adding a statement light fixture</a> to impress potential buyers (it needn't break the bank; just look it). Save on electrician costs by having him/her install several fixtures on one trip for a discount.</p> <h2>5. Doll Up Your Door</h2> <p>Much like the landscaping, your front door is one of the first impressions buyers will get of your home. If it's looking a bit worn out, consider painting it and replacing the hardware. You don't have to spend a lot to get a more contemporary handle and lock, and it will give your home's curb appeal a fresh look.</p> <h2>6. Repair the Little Things</h2> <p>Broken light switch or outlet plates, broken drywall, missing light fixtures, missing trim, rattling fans &mdash; none of these seem like a big deal by themselves, but taken all together can make your home seem distressed and really turn off a potential buyer. Consider hiring a handyman to repair a bunch of these little things at once.</p> <h2>7. Paint Walls and Trim</h2> <p>A layer of paint can do wonders to make your home seem newer and more valuable. Like it or not, many potential buyers will focus on scuffed walls, dated paint colors (or bright paint colors), or yellowing trim. Fix any gouges or dings in your walls with some spackle, and paint your home a fresh neutral to keep things bright and appealing. Paint your trim a bright white to make your home seem updated and clean.</p> <p>Painting the exterior of your home can also be an excellent investment, as curb appeal is a big factor in appealing to potential buyers. Consider doing the job yourself, as painting is one of the easier DIYs you can do around your house.</p> <h2>8. Renew Your Deck</h2> <p>A tired, worn-out old deck can be enlivened with a good power washing and a coat of stain, as long as the wood is still sound. Keeping your deck maintained and in good condition sends the message that the interior of the house is in good shape, too. Add a seating arrangement so potential buyers can picture themselves enjoying the space.</p> <h2>9. Add a Programmable Thermostat</h2> <p>Potential buyers like to see energy-saving upgrades in the home, and installing a programmable thermostat is one of the easiest ways to do this. For a couple hundred dollars, these thermostats can save you money by customizing when to heat or cool your home.</p> <p><em>Any little fixes we missed? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-home-improvements-that-add-thousands-to-your-listing">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-improve-your-curb-appeal-for-next-to-nothing">6 Ways to Improve Your Curb Appeal for Next to Nothing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-stage-your-home-without-hiring-a-pro">8 Ways to Stage Your Home Without Hiring a Pro</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-paint-colors-that-can-boost-your-homes-value">4 Paint Colors That Can Boost Your Home&#039;s Value</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-sell-your-home-to-pay-down-debt">Should You Sell Your Home to Pay Down Debt?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-50-or-less">15 Cool DIY Home Improvements for $50 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing cheap renovations curb appeal home improvements landscaping painting selling your home Wed, 09 Mar 2016 10:30:23 +0000 Camilla Cheung 1668458 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Cool DIY Home Improvements for $50 or Less http://www.wisebread.com/15-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-50-or-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-50-or-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_painting_000023944106.jpg" alt="Couple doing cool diy home improvements for $50 or less" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Not all great home improvement projects cost an arm and a leg. In fact, there are lots of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-20-or-less">cool DIY home improvements</a> that you can do for under $50. None of these jobs requires serious craftsperson skills, nor do they require specialized tools homeowners are unlikely to have in their garages.</p> <h2>1. Free Yard Makeover</h2> <p>Pick up trash, remove clutter, trim overgrown bushes, weed flower beds, edge your driveway and sidewalks, and generally get your yard in shape. It doesn't cost anything to do this if you already have the tools, and it can make your yard look a lot nicer and you'll feel better every time you come home.</p> <p>Tools required: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004R9YE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00004R9YE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=6J5D7JK7U3HEFEO6">Saw</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00002N66H/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00002N66H&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=GNDD6QTMKD6EEBFD">hand pruner</a>, and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00U2KFXAK/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00U2KFXAK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=SK2UHJY7AJO4DWRI">manual edging tool</a>.</p> <p>Cost: Free!</p> <p>Time: One day.</p> <h2>2. Remove Worn Out Carpet</h2> <p>If you pull back your old, worn out carpet in a corner of a room to see what is underneath, you may be surprised to find a hardwood floor. Even if the floor under the carpet is not in great condition, a hardwood floor may be an improvement over ugly, distressed carpet.</p> <p>Tools required: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000CRBHJE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000CRBHJE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=I3YZZTIQNS4DZ2BP">Carpet knife</a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00002N5VN/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00002N5VN&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=MOFSLIPMVF6FTNXA">pry bar</a>.</p> <p>Cost: Free!</p> <p>Time: One day.</p> <h2>3. Replace Old Outlets and Light Switches</h2> <p>It is cheap and easy to replace worn out light switches and electrical outlets with brand new ones. Check local building codes to make sure this is considered a DIY project and turn off the circuit breaker before touching the wiring. You can even get replacement electrical outlets that have built-in USB ports for charging your phone.</p> <p>Tools required: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CDIY3HS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00CDIY3HS&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=BVMD2IFAEWKZZLUX">Screwdriver</a>.</p> <p>Cost: Roughly $3 per switch/outlet.</p> <p>Time: 30 minutes.</p> <h2>4. Paint Your Front Door</h2> <p>This small project can make a big impact on your home's curb appeal. New paint can make an old door look new again. Choose a color that matches your siding, but makes your door stand out.</p> <p>For any painting project, save money by getting &quot;mistint&quot; paint at the paint counter of your home improvement store. If you are flexible on the color, you can get a $40 gallon of paint for $10 or less. You can even mix mistint paints together to adjust the color &mdash; for example, mixing in some lighter paint to make a lighter color.</p> <p>Tools required: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002YC6FNS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002YC6FNS&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=5ZTCXWFNDD7DGS5I">Paint roller</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00002N6HD/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00002N6HD&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=MWYJSWWSEVD7KOVF">paint brush</a>, and a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004HW7GMC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004HW7GMC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=N7BQDSB5U6U77BSE">paint can opener</a> (or screwdriver).</p> <p>Cost: Around $20.</p> <p>Time: Two hours.</p> <h2>5. Paint Your Shutters</h2> <p>You can easily remove your shutters and paint them a different color. If you have a second story, you'll need a ladder to unscrew your shutters. Paint your shutters, allow them to dry for a few hours, and screw them back in place for an immediate, cheap upgrade to your home's exterior.</p> <p>Tools required: Paintbrush, paint can opener, and a ladder.</p> <p>Cost: Around $20.</p> <p>Time: One day.</p> <h2>6. Install Built-In Bookshelves</h2> <p>Create some built-in storage and a display area in your living room by installing built-in bookshelves. Locate the studs in your wall and install rails to hold metal shelf brackets. Place wood shelves in the shelf brackets and you'll be ready to load it up.</p> <p>Tools required: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000IKK0OI/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000IKK0OI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=3H4U6W7BTTNSLZ2C">Stud finder</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005LTNLDI/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005LTNLDI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=5C7WYCE2F7JUUWQB">drill</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BQR7TU/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000BQR7TU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=3NP3IMIR5LJACOUI">level</a>, and a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009CMV9D4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B009CMV9D4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=RQRJM5DNRTIYRGX3">saw</a>.</p> <p>Cost: $35.</p> <p>Time: One hour.</p> <h2>7. Update Your Porch Light</h2> <p>Does your front porch light look like something out of the 1970s? Mine was literally from the 1970s, and I replaced it with a brand new one. This simple upgrade made the entry to my house look decades newer.</p> <p>Tools required: Screwdriver.</p> <p>Cost: $35.</p> <p>Time: One hour.</p> <h2>8. Garage Threshold Kit</h2> <p>I had water and leaves coming in under my garage door and decided to do something about it. Installing a garage threshold helped keep my garage dryer and cleaner. You'll need to clean the garage floor and let the adhesive for the threshold cure for a few days before driving on it, so remember to park outside when you start this project!</p> <p>Tools required: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0001N9YD0/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0001N9YD0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=YI2UDNZCEO6MTBPU">Caulk gun</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00002X204/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00002X204&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=U36OKRYWNSHOEK4N">utility knife</a>.</p> <p>Cost: $35.</p> <p>Time: One hour.</p> <h2>9. Paint a Room</h2> <p>If your walls are standard white, almost any other color would be a dramatic improvement! You'll need to move furniture away from the walls and put down drop cloths to protect your floor during painting.</p> <p>Tools required: Paint roller, paint brush, paint can opener, and a ladder.</p> <p>Cost: $40.</p> <p>Time: One day.</p> <h2>10. Mount Your TV</h2> <p>Installing a wall mount for your flat screen TV will free up space and is less expensive than buying a furniture stand. Make sure to choose a wall mount that is rated to handle the weight of your TV.</p> <p>Tools required: Stud finder, drill, and a level.</p> <p>Cost: $40.</p> <p>Time: Two hours.</p> <h2>11. Install a Clothesline</h2> <p>This is one of my favorite projects since it will save money on electricity, and save wear and tear on your dryer. In most yards, you will want to set a couple of 4x4 posts in concrete, screw 2x4 cross bars onto the posts, and install eye hooks onto the crossbars. Next, tie clothesline string between the eye hooks. If you are lucky, you can find a couple trees that can handle a clothesline instead of installing posts.</p> <p>Tools required: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005Q7CFGO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005Q7CFGO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=FLG3LT7IM4PTXF77">Manual post hole digger</a>, level, drill, and a saw.</p> <p>Cost: $50.</p> <p>Time: Three hours.</p> <h2>12. Install a Workbench in Your Garage or Basement</h2> <p>Install a built-in workbench in your garage or basement to make a work surface and storage area for your tools and project materials. I found used countertops and kitchen base cabinets for free. You can also use 2x4 boards and 3/4 inch plywood to build a workbench from scratch and anchor it to the wall. Put up some pegboard on the wall over the workbench for handy tool storage.</p> <p>Tools required: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000P9H4VO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000P9H4VO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=EDP7B47N6VX5SLBO">Circular saw</a>, drill, stud finder, and a level.</p> <p>Cost: $50.</p> <p>Time: Three hours.</p> <h2>13. Install a Countertop Over Your Washer/Dryer</h2> <p>Install a countertop over your washer and dryer to make a surface for folding clothes and handy storage, as well. You will need to install 1x2 inch wood strips into studs to support the countertop which can be a sheet of 3/4 inch plywood cut to size. I had a 4x8 sheet of plywood cut at the home improvement store to save time and so it would fit in my car for the trip home.</p> <p>Tools required: Level, stud finder, drill, and a saw.</p> <p>Cost: $50.</p> <p>Time: Three hours.</p> <h2>14. Build Up Soil Around Your Foundation</h2> <p>The easiest way to keep water out of your basement is to build up soil around your foundation so that water will flow away. You can buy 50 pound bags of soil for a few dollars each, or bring in a truckload of soil for a larger project.</p> <p>Tools required: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000B6Q6BA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000B6Q6BA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=2IYBSCNO2MYZDQUM">Shovel</a> and a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004S1YK/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00004S1YK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=RCSGVDBXA37NJKNL">rake</a>.</p> <p>Cost: $50.</p> <p>Time: Four hours.</p> <h2>15. Install a Programmable Thermostat</h2> <p>If your home has an older thermostat, you are missing out on energy savings and convenience. A programmable thermostat can automatically adjust the temperature setting when no one is home and at night to save money. You can easily replace your old thermostat with a basic <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0088A5X5G/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0088A5X5G&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=SX32K6QSUJGH7XNR">programmable thermostat</a> for $50 or less.</p> <p>Tools required: Screwdriver.</p> <p>Cost: $50.</p> <p>Time: Two hours.</p> <p><em>There are a lot of cool DIY projects you can complete for under $50 to make your home a place you will be proud of. What is your favorite cheap home improvement project?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-50-or-less">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-improve-your-curb-appeal-for-next-to-nothing">6 Ways to Improve Your Curb Appeal for Next to Nothing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-paint-the-exterior-of-your-home">How to Paint the Exterior of Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-diy-projects-from-ruining-your-life">How to Keep DIY Projects From Ruining Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-20-or-less">10 Cool DIY Home Improvements for $20 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-diy-home-renovating-for-you">Is DIY Home Renovating for You?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Home curb appeal improvements maintenance painting renovations Mon, 19 Oct 2015 15:17:56 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1593635 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Cool DIY Home Improvements for $20 or Less http://www.wisebread.com/10-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-20-or-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-20-or-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_diy_painting_000017057578.jpg" alt="Woman doing best DIY improvements for less than $20" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you have an extra weekend and $20 burning a hole in your pocket, then a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-diy-landscaping-and-gardening-skills-that-will-save-you-money">DIY home improvement project</a> may be just what the doctor ordered. We've compiled a list of some of the best DIY home improvement projects that can give your home a facelift, without making a dent in your pocketbook. These affordable upgrades can add curb appeal and even value to your property, without requiring a large investment of time or money.</p> <h2>1. Add a Fresh Coat of Paint</h2> <p>A fresh coat of paint can completely transform a room or piece of furniture. Experiment with different colors and trims to update any room in your home. If you don't feel like painting the whole room, consider adding an accent window frame or accent wall by choosing one or two walls to paint. You can even add stripes or dots to any wall for a unique, sophisticated touch. While you're at it, add a fresh coat of paint or spray paint to your air vent covers.</p> <p>Total cost for a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005NHJEYI/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005NHJEYI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=RZU323EML5VOYX56">quart of interior paint</a>: $18.95</p> <h2>2. Paint the Front Door</h2> <p>Adding new paint to the front door will make it feel and look completely fresh and renewed as soon as you or a guest drives up. Often, a door can become covered in scuff marks, signs of weather changes, and other exterior damage. A fresh coat of paint can help cover that damage and make your door look like new again. While you're at it, consider painting the inside of the door as well, which can add an exciting accent to your home. It should only cost you about $15 for the paint and supplies.</p> <p>Total cost for a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00291RKCE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00291RKCE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=LJPC5OUAMCCGU6YM">quart of exterior paint</a>: $17.07</p> <h2>3. Change a Window Treatment</h2> <p>Choose an inexpensive fabric treatment to update the window in your kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom. Drapes and window coverings are available in all different colors, designs, and price ranges, so you can find the perfect fit for any room. You can even use fabric remnants on small windows.</p> <p>Total cost for a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0041HYB7Q/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0041HYB7Q&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=QFGMNB5Y5AOEOUF4">new window shade</a>: $9.38<br /> Total cost for <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E18ZE5I/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00E18ZE5I&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=3BCJU4Y3WOB2336N">new window panels</a>: $5.00</p> <h2>4. Install a Message Center</h2> <p>A message center can help you get organized and allow you to leave notes and reminders for your family. There are several possible message center options for your home, including:</p> <ul> <li>Install a premade magnetic, cork, or dry erase message board on any wall.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Buy chalkboard paint and paint any surface you like for an instant chalkboard message center anywhere. You can even add chalkboard paint to your cabinets to draw or write inspirational words.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Use an inexpensive glass panel to create a DIY dry erase board. You can then paint the back of the glass panel to match your kitchen or office decor and color scheme, and frame the glass panel to complete the look.</li> </ul> <p>Total cost for a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00114ZT78/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00114ZT78&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=HK4XNHOQNGCDN5D2">magnetic dry erase/cork combo board</a>: $12.99</p> <p>Total cost for <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000RMPLJ6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000RMPLJ6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=JNVEI2FVGXNQVHY2">spray-on chalkboard paint</a>: $3.74</p> <h2>5. Add a Wall Decal</h2> <p>Wall decals are extremely affordable, simple to install (they work like a sticker), and can completely change the look of any room. They can be applied in an office, bedroom, kitchen, or bathroom, and are available in a variety of colors and designs. You can also use self-adhesive and repositionable wallpaper to create a unique accent on any wall. You can experiment with different patterns, colors, or even shapes!</p> <p>Total cost for a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C3UOKOM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00C3UOKOM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=XEBD5DTDCICJRTBB">vinyl wall decal</a>: $3.99</p> <h2>6. Upgrade Doorknobs and Handles</h2> <p>Installing new doorknobs or spray-painting old ones can transform the look of any door, making it look more polished. The same can be done for the handles and drawer pulls on any of your cabinetry. These are simple projects that won't cost much and can make old doors and furniture feel like new.</p> <p>Total cost for a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003F3FBQC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003F3FBQC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=OVE2672B37KKZRPG">new privacy doorknob</a>: $10.50</p> <p>Total cost for <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009PXR85S/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B009PXR85S&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=PLVHKTDZVVVMDFOO">10 decorative cabinet handles</a>: $11.15</p> <h2>7. Add Hooks, Shelving, and Storage</h2> <p>Hooks can be easily added to any room to increase space and allow you to hang up things like your bathroom towels and robes. Consider adding hooks or shelving to your closet for an instant storage upgrade. You can also install floating shelves in your bedroom, office, or bathroom. This can add the extra storage you need to better organize any room. You can also use them to display unique artwork, vintage finds, and other decorative items that display your personal style.</p> <p>Adding labels, dividers, and clear plastic bins can help instantly organize things and make it easier for you to locate all of your items at a glance. If you decide to add more storage, keep your eyes open for used or refurbished furniture that you can use around your home. With the right paint and handles, any furniture can be transformed.</p> <p>Total cost for <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FSORW4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000FSORW4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=XW2PWQXDNUHQE5QP">six medium hooks</a>: $7.07</p> <p>Total cost for a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008AD0JAA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008AD0JAA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=54SM6C2A2DS5MGAP">set of three floating shelves</a>: $19.95</p> <p>Total cost for a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000XJKD9G/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000XJKD9G&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=L53BQVM4DNN7FLCE">12-drawer plastic storage bin</a>: $17.99</p> <h2>8. Change Electrical Plate Covers and Wall Outlets</h2> <p>Whether we like it or not, electrical plate covers and wall outlets are in every room of the house. Take a look at yours and replace any that are cracked, stained, or just need an upgrade. There are a variety of affordable electrical plate covers to choose from, or you can paint your current switch plate and install an affordable frame around it for a decorative flair. While you're at it, consider also replacing your wall outlets or upgrading to USB wall outlets, which can also charge your mobile device.</p> <p>Total cost for an <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00002NARM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00002NARM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=C5C4BSGZPN2THFWJ">electrical plate cover</a>: $1.18</p> <p>Total cost for a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0065KWUCK/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0065KWUCK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=WNVM5GIMGPCESZZG">three-outlet wall mount with USB ports</a>: $14.99</p> <h2>9. Upgrade the House Numbers and Doorbell</h2> <p>The numbers in the front of your home are the first things a guest will look for as they're driving by looking for your home address. You can easily and affordably install new metal or wooden house numbers or simply add a fresh coat of spray paint to your current ones. You can also install a new doorbell for under $20, adding a modern, vintage, or retro flare to your home.</p> <p>Total cost for each <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005AZK4GK/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005AZK4GK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=QXGN3D3WQEBDTGVP">brushed nickel house number</a>: $5.98</p> <p>Total cost for a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001PO7I4G/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001PO7I4G&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=5AOFNDJ6NRZB4SCI">satin nickel doorbell</a>: $7.00</p> <h2>10. Take Up Gardening</h2> <p>Decorating with potted plants, hanging plants, and flowers is a home improvement project that will continue to provide benefits to your home over time. Visit your local nursery to speak with someone about what plants may be right for you, based on how often you want to garden, your budget, and the look you are trying to achieve. With the right plants and flowers, you can add a decorative touch that welcomes you and your guests.</p> <p>Total cost for a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000DZH3XO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000DZH3XO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=BL2YS6CXQWXIJF5D">gardening tool set</a>: $15.02</p> <h2>Bonus: Clean Up and Get Organized</h2> <p>Nothing transforms a home like getting rid of clutter and giving the place a good cleaning. Give your home a spring cleaning by shampooing the carpets, cleaning the furniture and upholstery &mdash; and don't forget about your filters and vents. Get rid of what you aren't using and donate what you can. This will instantly make your home feel bigger and can even help clear allergens.</p> <p>Total cost for a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00W1UVZVA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00W1UVZVA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=VKXO2OHQ3R3SQAZL">spring cleaning kit</a>: $19.99</p> <p><em>What are your some of your favorite DIY projects under $20? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-20-or-less">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-create-your-dream-backyard-on-a-budget">How to Create Your Dream Backyard on a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-cheap-ways-to-dress-up-your-garden">17 Cheap Ways to Dress Up Your Garden</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/secret-lawn-tonic-recipe-from-golf-course-groundskeeper">Secret Lawn Tonic Recipe From Golf Course Groundskeeper</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cheap-and-easy-diy-kitchen-improvements">20 Cheap and Easy DIY Kitchen Improvements</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/diy-home-improvement-10-free-options-for-training-and-advice">DIY Home Improvement: 10 Free Options for Training and Advice</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Home decorating gardening home improvement painting value Wed, 02 Sep 2015 21:00:35 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1544911 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Paint the Exterior of Your Home http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-paint-the-exterior-of-your-home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-paint-the-exterior-of-your-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/43214834_4e0c661809_z.jpg" alt="painting house" title="painting house" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Even the nicest, most expensive homes are protected by a skin less than a millimeter thick. Ah, the miracle of paint. If you keep your home's exterior paint in good condition, it can actually save you thousands in home repairs (as well as keep neighbors from gathering in your yard with pitchforks and torches, eager to rid the block of an unsightly blight).</p> <p>Repainting your house is not a casual, finish-in-a-day project, though, especially if you're going to do it right. Here are the steps you must take and the tools you should have at hand to give your home a facelift.</p> <h3>For the Best Results, Do Your Prep Homework</h3> <p>Painting a house is an exercise in patience and preparation, and any painter will tell you that proper prep work is three-quarters of the battle (and yes, about three-quarters of this feature).</p> <p>First, you'll need to start with an honest inspection of your home's exterior. Are the gutters leaking? Do you have rotten wood under the downspouts? Are shingles split? Is mildew building up behind an overgrown foundation planting? Is ivy eating your home? Before you begin to prep your house for painting, you'll want to address any and all of these issues. Only then can you scrub-a-dub your house, since paint won't adhere well to dirt.</p> <p>There are a couple of ways to accomplish this cleaning. You could use your hose and pick up a washer wand attachment meant for cars, or with a stiff push broom. This Old House <a href="http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20180479_20399507,00.html">recommends using a cleaning mixture</a> of one gallon of water to one cup of bleach and one cup of a phosphate-free cleaner like a TSP substitute. Once you've washed, remember to thoroughly hose down your siding.</p> <p>If this job is a really big one, or you're a particularly impatient homeowner, you might consider using a power washer. You probably can rent one locally, or you can buy one like the <a href="http://www.fleetfarm.com/catalog/product_detail/tools/power-tools/pressure-washers-accessories/powerboss-3000-psi-pressure-washer-20309">PowerBoss 3,000-PSI Pressure Washer</a>, which has a 25-foot hose, a 1-gallon detergent tank, 4 quick-connect spray tips, and delivers up to 3,000psi. Take care with a pressure washer, though; they have been known to break glass, drive water under siding, or even strip siding off of a house when used improperly. You've also got to wear goggles and protective clothing when operating a power washer.</p> <h3>Get Ready to Paint...With Even More Prep Work!</h3> <p>Next, you'll need to...continue to prep your house's siding for painting. It's time to replace any damaged shingles (from power washing!), patch any noticible holes, adjust popped nail heads, treat mildew, sand rust stains, re-caulk joints, reglaze windows, and generally make sure the you have a clean surface that is water- and air-tight. Now's also the time to trim shrubs and trees away from the house.</p> <p>Of course, the most time-consuming task to prepping your house for a new coat of paint involves the laborious scraping away of <em>old</em> paint. There are a variety of tools and methods you can use to get a smooth, uniform surface. But, before you begin scraping, consider the risk of lead paint. If your house was built before 1978, you might want to take a paint sample to a local lab for testing. If the test comes back positive, you should absolutely hire professionals to scrape your house; they know how to do it without spreading the toxic material.</p> <p>If the results come back negative, consider then how you want to proceed. For those who aren't afraid of working up a sweat, a wire brush, putty knife, and a pull scraper are the right tools for scraping off old paint. The wire brush can easily remove very loose paint. The putty knife will handle more reluctant paint chips, and the pull scraper will attack larger areas of loose paint. The <a href="http://www.buy.com/pr/product.aspx?sku=227415370">Allway 2-1/2&quot; 4-Edge Extendable Pull/Push Scraper</a> has a blade that retracts to access the scraper with chisel blade. It's also threaded to allow use of an extension pole, and features a soft grip.</p> <p>For paint that doesn't come off easily, a heat gun can help break the bond between the wood and the paint. The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0025ZA76A">Pit Bull 1200-Watt Electric Heat Gun and Paint Stripper</a> puts out hot air at 570 or 900 degrees, and includes four heat gun nozzles. Another way to remove paint is with an electric paint stripper, which grinds paint off. The <a href="http://www.buy.com/prod/wagner-paint-eater/223014378.html">Wagner PaintEater</a> is a great tool to have, although you'll need to buy replacement disks with use.</p> <p>After scraping the majority of the surface area you'll paint, you'll have to tackle the borders between the remaining paint and the bare wood with an orbital sander in order to eliminate lines in the final paint coat. The <a href="http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3371389">Skil 7492 Random Orbit Sander</a> has a 5&quot; sanding surface, micro-filtration, and will warn you if you are applying too much pressure.</p> <p>Finally, if you're considering using a paint sprayer for the job, you'll need to carefully mask off any spaces you don't want to paint, including windows and door knobs. But be careful with a spray gun: in the hands of the inexperienced, it can lead to uneven coverage, thin spots, drips, and overspray. The extra prep work associated with a paint prayer often eats into the time savings, and of course the equipment isn't free. The&nbsp;<a href="http://www.landmsupply.com/product-templates/featured-products-all/wagner-procoat-airless-sprayer-2800-psi">Wagner ProCoat Airless Sprayer</a> has a 2,800psi electric sprayer with a 1/2 horsepower motor, capable of spraying .24 gallons per minutes. It has a 25-foot hose and commercial-grade spray can.</p> <h3>Take Paint and Application Tools Into Consideration</h3> <p>Once the prep work is done, it's time to select your paint and equipment. Almost all house paint today is acrylic latex, which, in modern formulations has excellent durability and is easily cleaned with water. It's versatile in that it also adheres to both latex or oil-based primers. However, if you're painting cedar or redwood shingles, you'll want an oil-based paint. The same applies to high-traffic areas such as steps, porch floors, and cast-iron ornamentation.</p> <p>Now comes the question of how much paint you will need. You'll first want to prime your house, especially if you have a significant amount of raw wood showing. Once that is dry, two coats of finish paint will usually give you the most long-lived protection. To determine the precise quantity you'll need, simply calculate the square footage of the surfaces and compare it to the manufacturer's coverage claim. If you're using a different color for trim, you can estimate you'll need a gallon for every six gallons of your primary color. A pro tip is to, once you've bought your paint, pour all of it into a larger vessel and mix all the gallons together before beginning the job. By mixing it together you'll eliminate the slight differences in tint.</p> <p>While paint can be expensive, don't be afraid to invest some money on your brushes, either. The right brush can make big difference in the smoothness of your coat, and properly maintained, brushes can last for many years. If you're using an acrylic latex paint, you'll want a brush with nylon and polyester filaments. The bristles should be of uneven lengths in order to maximize paint holding. The bristles should also be chiseled &mdash; the bristles on the inside of the brush are longer than those on the outside. A 5&quot; straight brush and an angled trim or sash brush for borders and edgings should see you through painting your house. If you have to paint ornate metal work or porch railings, consider a lamb's wool glove applicator.</p> <p>You'll also probably <a href="http://dealnews.com/features/Reach-New-Heights-and-Save-Money-How-to-Select-a-Ladder-to-Last-a-Lifetime/547405.html?eref=wisebread">need a ladder</a>, like the <a href="http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=100658955">Werner 22-Foot Telescoping Ladder</a> which features slip-resistant rungs, numerous configurations, and support for up to 300 lbs.</p> <p>When you're painting, try to work in the shade as much as possible; it's just more comfortable! Expert painters tackle their projects by painting a stripe the width of the surface (in this case, your house), then move down and paint a strip beneath that one and work their way to the ground. It's important to paint the trim after painting the body of the house. And to paint doors, it's best to remove all hardware, remove them from their mounts, and paint them horizontally.</p> <p>Painting a house can be a time intensive and laborious process, but it's one that rewards patience and persistence. You'll be living with the new color and the quality of work you've put in for at least 10 years, so make it count. If you do it right, those neighbors won't be rioting on your front lawn; they'll be looking to your home as the local standard of excellence.</p> <p><em>This is a guest post by </em><a href="http://dealnews.com"><em>Dealnews</em></a><em>.</em></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> A DIY exterior paint job can save you a lot of money, but it&#039;s not a casual, finish-in-a-day project. Here are the steps and tools you&#039;ll need to do it right. </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dealnews">Dealnews</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-paint-the-exterior-of-your-home">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-50-or-less">15 Cool DIY Home Improvements for $50 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-diy-projects-from-ruining-your-life">How to Keep DIY Projects From Ruining Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-curtains">How to Make Your Own Curtains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-home-diy-projects-you-can-do-in-one-day">10 Home DIY Projects You Can Do in One Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-improve-your-curb-appeal-for-next-to-nothing">6 Ways to Improve Your Curb Appeal for Next to Nothing</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Home budget home projects painting renovations Thu, 21 Jun 2012 10:24:34 +0000 Dealnews 935294 at http://www.wisebread.com Repaint Your Old Furniture for a Budget Décor Update http://www.wisebread.com/repaint-your-old-furniture-for-a-budget-d-cor-update <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/repaint-your-old-furniture-for-a-budget-d-cor-update" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/red paint.jpg" alt=" Repaint Old Furniture for a Budget Décor Update" title=" Repaint Old Furniture for a Budget Décor Update" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="145" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you frugal shoppers are anything like me, you probably have a pile of hand-me-down furniture from your parents, siblings, in-laws, or college roommates. Few of us can afford to buy an entirely new set of living room furniture all at once, and so we hold on to those old pieces, getting by until we have the cash to buy a new desk or get that coveted coffee table.</p> <p>My husband and I have a plethora of old wood furniture finished in a honey-oak stain. Most of the pieces are hand-me-downs from the in-laws, and we&rsquo;re definitely grateful for these sturdy, well-made pieces of furniture. Unfortunately, our rental apartment also has an abundance of honey-oak stained cabinets and bathroom vanities. It is just a little too much honey oak for my taste. In the living room, our coffee tables and a large desk with a hutch were both finished with a honey-oak stain, and this past weekend, I decided to change that. With a leftover quart of interior trim latex paint, I gave my desk new life for just pennies and a few hours of my time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/more-bang-for-your-buck-paint-me-frugal">Paint Me Frugal</a>)</p> <p>Just painting the desk white gave my living room a new lightness and freshness that was balm to my tired soul. It inspired me to move a few accessories around to create a cute vignette of photo frames and vases on top of the hutch, making that corner of the room cheerier and prettier. Best of all, this little living room update was completely free, with leftover primer and paint that we had lying around the house.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;ve got a piece of old furniture that you can&rsquo;t stand the look of anymore, consider repainting it for a cheap (or free) home décor update.</p> <h2>1. Decide if It&rsquo;s Worth Painting</h2> <p>Not every piece of furniture is a good candidate for repainting. If it has a lacquered, glossy finish, paint may chip off easily. If it is made of solid wood, you may want to think twice before covering up that lovely wood with a coat of paint, which is truly a pain to strip off if you change your mind. Our hutch was made of particle-board with a veneer, but was sturdy enough to last another few years, making it a good choice for painting.</p> <h2>2.&nbsp;Sand and Clean the Surface</h2> <p>Make sure you put down a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-smart-uses-for-sheets">drop cloth</a> or newspaper under your piece. Rough up the surface of the furniture with 120-grit sandpaper so that the paint will stick. Clean it thoroughly with a damp, lint-free cloth, making sure you remove all dust and particles from the corners. Let the wood dry.</p> <h2>3. Time to Prime</h2> <p>Prime the surface with a layer of water-based primer. This is really important, as otherwise the surface underneath will show through your paint, and you&rsquo;ll have to apply several layers, which is both more expensive and more gunky looking. Let the primer dry according to the instructions on the can.</p> <h2>4. Paint</h2> <p>Using a soft-bristled brush or foam brush, fill in all the corners and edges of the furniture with your choice of latex paint. Paint all flat surfaces with a small foam roller, making sure you&rsquo;re applying the paint evenly. Don&rsquo;t put too much pressure on the foam roller, or you&rsquo;ll get roll marks all over your paint finish. Touch up your work with a dry foam brush to pick up any excess drips of paint before they dry.</p> <p>Let the first coat sit for a few hours until dry to the touch. Apply a second coat of paint.</p> <p>Two coats may be all you need; I&rsquo;ll let you decide if you need a third coat. Let it dry according to the directions on the paint can, preferably overnight.</p> <h2>5. Apply a Top Coat</h2> <p>If your piece of furniture is going to be receiving lots of traffic, I&rsquo;d recommend finishing the surface with a clear top coat to protect it from spills and scrapes. The easiest thing to do is to apply a thin coat of water-based polyacrylic using a soft bristle brush or a foam brush. You may want to try the polycrylic out on a small, hidden part of your furniture first to make sure it doesn&rsquo;t yellow as it dries. Water-based poly dries fast, so work quickly. For a nice shiny finish, sand the piece lightly with fine-grit sandpaper before applying a second coat of polycrylic.</p> <p>There you have it! Painting your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-used-furniture">old furniture</a> is easy and cheap, and if I can do it, anyone can!</p> <p><em>Have you ever refinished old furniture? How did it turn out?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repaint-your-old-furniture-for-a-budget-d-cor-update">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-20-or-less">10 Cool DIY Home Improvements for $20 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-50-or-less">15 Cool DIY Home Improvements for $50 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-a-bed-for-cheap-and-look-good-doing-it">Build a Bed for Cheap (and Look Good Doing It)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-paint-the-exterior-of-your-home">How to Paint the Exterior of Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-diy-projects-from-ruining-your-life">How to Keep DIY Projects From Ruining Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Home furniture painting refinishing Wed, 22 Jun 2011 10:36:13 +0000 Camilla Cheung 591368 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Smart Uses for Sheets http://www.wisebread.com/11-smart-uses-for-sheets <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-smart-uses-for-sheets" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000009674561Small.jpg" alt="Man sleeping" title="Man sleeping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You put them on beds. You store them in closets. What else can you use a fitted or flat sheet for, you might ask? As it turns out, these versatile cuts of cloth are becoming increasingly valuable in today's rising cotton market, and they are fabulous for assorted uses. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/it-can-be-done-how-to-fold-the-perfect-fitted-sheet">It Can Be Done: How to Fold the Perfect Fitted Sheet</a>)</p> <h2>Painter's Cloth</h2> <p>When giving a room a fresh coat, laying down some kind of protective cover for your flooring is just smart. The plastic cloths that you buy at your hardware store aren't always the best choice, however. The paint takes forever to dry on them, leaving a greater opportunity to step in spills and track the paint all over. (The surface of plastic sheeting is also very slippery, making it dangerous to place ladders on top of.)</p> <h2>Furniture Covers</h2> <p>You could buy commercial furniture covers for your sofa and chairs, but in a pinch, sheets work very well (and cost much less). Just tuck the sheet around the cushions to keep it in place and cover with a nice quilt or throw pillows. Since they come off easily, you can remove it in seconds in case of a spill or stain and throw it directly into the wash. This is a great solution for a busy family room or for day-cares and homes with small children.</p> <h2>Berry Catcher</h2> <p>Not every yard will have fruit trees, but if you need a quick way to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tasty-treats-to-make-with-mulberries">harvest mulberries</a>, shaking the tree branches and letting the berries fall onto a spread-out sheet is the best way get the berries down safely (for you and the berries).</p> <h2>Tablecloth</h2> <p>Depending on the size and shape of your table, a flat sheet may fit on it with no alterations. If you have small, rounded, or custom-made tables, you will need to tailor the sheet to work. Either way, sheets are generally cheaper on a clearance sale than seasonal tablecloths, and you can pick from many more styles this way.</p> <h2>Curtains</h2> <p>You can, theoretically, use sheets as actual curtains, provided you adjust for length and create some way to hang them (either by sewing on tabs or affixing hooks). A more design-friendly and professional way to use sheets as window dressing is explained in this tutorial for <a href="http://www.freelancehomeschoolmom.com/drop-cloth-curtains-diy/"> drop-cloth curtains</a>, which combines canvas painter&rsquo;s cloth and a patterned sheet for one fabulous curtain design. Use more sheets for more flair. They are much more affordable than custom curtains.</p> <h2>Emergency Ladder</h2> <p>You will only want to do this with sheets in good condition (and having a real commercial ladder is preferred), but in a pinch, sheets can provide a way for older children or adults to <a href="http://www.wikihow.com/Escape-from-a-Second-Story-Fire"> escape a 2nd story room in a fire</a>.</p> <h2>Plant Cover</h2> <p>In the case of hail or an unexpected hard freeze, you can protect rose bushes or garden vegetables with a sheet. Just drape over them lightly (or place over clothesline that has been strung over the plants). We keep a few in our garden supplies for just this purpose.</p> <h2>Animal Bedding</h2> <p>Living on a farm, you never know when you'll need extra blankets or cloths for a birth event or medical purposes. You can also keep sheets that are stained, holey, or otherwise unusable for actual human bedding as a comfy material for your dog house or pet carriers. (Never throw out sheets. Most animal shelters would love to have them for their foster pets.) If your dog likes to chew, however, be careful to keep sheets with tears out of its space.&nbsp;They make tasty (and dangerous) snacks!</p> <h2>Clothing</h2> <p>I don't sew, but I've seen some adorable creations from pillow cases and sheets that I would wear myself. Sheets in great condition can be sewn into dresses or accessories like head coverings or scarves. Much like Fraulein Maria used the nursery drapes for stylish outfits for the Von Trapp kidlets, you can find patterns for all kinds of clothing made specifically from sheets. (Of course, if you find sheets on clearance that are actually more affordable than custom-cut fabric, you can adapt any pattern to use with the sheets.)</p> <h2>Quilts</h2> <p>Sheets aren't always sturdy enough to be used in some quilting designs, but they make a great backing or patchwork component for many quilts.</p> <h2>Baby Gear</h2> <p>Nursing covers can be very expensive, and considering that they are essentially sheets that have been cleverly sewn to cover a mother's body during breastfeeding, you could make one yourself with the <a href="http://www.handmade-adelaide-baby.com/nursing-cover.html">right pattern</a> and a pretty sheet. (Better yet, make two or three!) Other <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-a-new-baby-really-needs">baby necessities</a> that you can make from sheets include stroller covers and burp cloths. Sheets for baby cribs and playpens are also very expensive, given the amount of fabric used. If you are handy with a sewing machine, why not create your own from an adult-sized sheet?</p> <h2>Hay and Cow&nbsp;Movers</h2> <p>This bonus tip will fit a very small portion of our audience, but sheets are one of the most versatile and accessible tools for moving heavy objects on the farm. We've used them to move hay bales and cows when we haven't had machinery for either. Google for specific examples, but when a cow is down from illness, a few strong adults and a sturdy sheet can save the life of your <a href="http://www.thefreelancefarmer.com/2010/03/maggie-cow-moos-for-camera.html">bovine friend</a>.</p> <p><em>Regardless of your lifestyle, everyone can benefit from a good sheet.&nbsp;What have you used them for?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-smart-uses-for-sheets">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/another-36-uses-for-tin-foil">Another 36 Uses for Tin Foil</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips">14 Effective Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pet-flea-shampoos">The 5 Best Pet Flea Shampoos</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-places-to-stash-cash-in-your-home">The Best and Worst Places to Stash Cash in Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Home painting pets reuse sewing sheets Wed, 20 Apr 2011 10:36:11 +0000 Linsey Knerl 528190 at http://www.wisebread.com Fun and Cheap Ways to Get Creative When You’re Bored http://www.wisebread.com/fun-and-cheap-ways-to-get-creative-when-you-re-bored <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/fun-and-cheap-ways-to-get-creative-when-you-re-bored" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/finger_painting.jpg" alt="Finger painting" title="Finger painting" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="145" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Time is short, you have a pile of things to do, and you&rsquo;re feeling a little less than stellar. Seems like every drop of creative energy has all but dissipated into thin air. And you&rsquo;re oh-so-bored with your ever increasingly mundane, do-the-same-thing-every-day lifestyle. So what can you do to amp up your creative juices and get some of the good stuff flowing down on the page (writers), on the canvas (painters), in your job (anyone), and in your life in general (everyone)?</p> <h2>Fire up your fingers and get painting</h2> <p>Finger painting, that is. And it&rsquo;s not just finger painting, really. It&rsquo;s finger painting; it&rsquo;s foot painting; and it's any other part of your body you&rsquo;d like to slather in paint (think clean thoughts here!) and apply to a canvas or piece of paper. Elbows make fine tools for swiping long swaths of paper. Big toes are good impromptu brushes.</p> <h3>Cost</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s cheap to get a basic set of primary colors &mdash; around $8. Plus you can do this with friends, family, kids, and adults&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;anyone who likes their art to be a little more physical. I&rsquo;d say do some pottery, but that&rsquo;s a little more complicated and expensive. But a chunk of clay at the art store could be only a few bucks too.</p> <h2>Dust off the pencils and get drawing</h2> <p>It's easy to do anywhere you go. All you need is a pencil and a piece of paper, and you&rsquo;re all set. You can draw anything, anywhere, anytime. If you want to engage the other side of your brain, use your non-dominant hand and see where it takes you. Sometimes all you need is twenty minutes of doodling and, wham! There&rsquo;s the new idea you&rsquo;ve been looking for right there in front of you, where you couldn&rsquo;t see it because you were too busy looking.</p> <h3>Cost</h3> <p>A pencil and some paper. Sometimes that&rsquo;s free, and sometimes you need a couple of bucks to get it.</p> <h2>Pull on your tennis shoes and get moving</h2> <p>A little bit of physical action may be all you need to spark your creativity. A jog, a walk, some yoga, a round of serious salsa dancing, maybe a bike ride through your neighborhood. Bonus points here because getting your exercise gets both your creativity and your health on. My best ideas hit me on bike rides in the countryside.</p> <h3>Cost</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;ve got the shoes already, this one&rsquo;s totally free.</p> <h2>Change up the scenery and get traveling</h2> <p>Even if it&rsquo;s only to a different neighborhood. It&rsquo;s all too easy to get sucked into a routine that bores you to death. A simple walk somewhere new or a conversation with a stranger in a new café can be the perfect solution to your doldrums. And you never know, you might even meet someone who will become a great friend later on. I&rsquo;m all for random meetings. Some of my best friends are people I met in very random and unusual ways.</p> <h3>Cost</h3> <p>Somewhere close to your house? Possibly free. Somewhere a little further out? Depends on where you want to go. Could be the cost of a bus or subway ride.</p> <h2>Dig out some pens and get writing</h2> <p>Writing is not only creative, it&rsquo;s therapeutic. So don&rsquo;t worry about what you&rsquo;re writing. Just pull out a piece of paper and go for some serious stream-of-consciousness writing. Whatever&rsquo;s in your heart and soul can hit the page and free up some space in your head for new ideas and concepts. Do it every day for 10 minutes, and see what happens.</p> <h3>Cost</h3> <p>Paper and a pen. Could be free or could be a few bucks. If you want to do it on your computer, it&rsquo;s totally free.</p> <p>No matter the cost, really, it&rsquo;s all about making space in your head and your heart for the good stuff to reach you. And doing a little something new in your life every now and again is the best way to create the space to receive those goods. So let&rsquo;s get to it.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sasha-a-rae">Sasha A. Rae</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fun-and-cheap-ways-to-get-creative-when-you-re-bored">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-the-most-out-of-warm-weather-weekdays">15 Ways to Make the Most Out of Warm-Weather Weekdays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-have-energy-after-work">7 Easy Ways to Have Energy After Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/massive-list-of-things-to-do-while-watching-tv">Massive List of Things to Do While Watching TV</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-quick-workouts-you-can-do-during-commercial-breaks">9 Quick Workouts You Can Do During Commercial Breaks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beat-back-the-zombies-4-ways-to-avoid-sleep-deprivation">Beat Back the Zombies: 4 Ways to Avoid Sleep Deprivation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Productivity creativity drawing exercise painting Sun, 31 Oct 2010 17:00:09 +0000 Sasha A. Rae 274723 at http://www.wisebread.com But is it ART? http://www.wisebread.com/but-is-it-art <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/but-is-it-art" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000026694469_Double.jpg" alt="woman hanging art" title="woman hanging art" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="145" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What would you say if I told you that I filled my entire living room with completely original works of art for less than $300? We're not talking kid's stuff &mdash; no crayon drawings, no attempts at self-expression. Art by real and struggling artists, both schooled and self-taught?</p> <p>You'd tell me that I am truly a brilliant shopper, right?&nbsp;Thank you.</p> <p>The other day, my mum and I were wandering through Costco Homestore, after having returned something (a couch, bless Costco and their liberal returns policy). We were gazing at the wide range of home accessories &mdash; vases, mermaid sculptures, large mirrors, and finally, row upon row of &quot;art.&quot; Paintings, mostly, or reproductions of paintings. Whether or not we recognized the artist or the painting (yes, there were the usual ubiquitous Van Gogh sunflowers) seemed irrelevant. The art, to put a technical term on it, was <em>meh</em>.</p> <p>Mum commented, &quot;I know everyone wants to find a nice big piece of art to hang in their home, to make it feel original. But it feels like you would really take a risk buying art at Costco. Lord knows how many other people are buying the same painting to make their home feel 'original'.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Mum,&quot; I said, &quot;That's why I buy all of mine on eBay.&quot;</p> <p>My mother doesn't touch computers, so she sort of nodded in a condescending way, and continued looking at insipid copies of watercolor masterpieces, shaking her head in dismay.</p> <p>So I didn't convert her then and there. But I mean it when I say that eBay can be the greatest place to find original art.</p> <p>Like many public sites, where content is generated by users, you have to do some wading to find the good stuff. If I try to find a date on Craigslist (and I have done so in the past), I have to spend some time sifting through the &quot;hi howr u my nam john luk 4 good time call me hahahaha lol&quot; before I find the literate guy with all his teeth. Such is a case with buying art on eBay. In fact, when I do a query for eBay art, I go to the Art section, then select Paintings, then Original, and THEN go do a boolean string in the search box to weed out the stuff I'm not interested in, such as &quot;nude.&quot;</p> <p>Not that I don't like nudes, and I've bought a few, but there are some truly unfortunate renderings of the naked body out there, and I try to avoid assaulting my eyes with truly amateur, and immature, work. I might also remove terms like &quot;Picasso&quot; or &quot;contemporary,&quot; and then sort the results by distance or price. You'll still end up with a shocking number of fraudulent-seeming options, but you can sort of scroll through and ignore. Also, there are a lot of dumb people selling on eBay who thing that &quot;original&quot; means &quot;handmade.&quot; So you'll still find lots of repros of DaVinci.</p> <p>Even after I do my search, I still have to skip forward to roughly page 17 of the results before I find something that I like.</p> <p>The thing is, there are lots of really good artists who start selling on eBay because it's simply easier than trying to go out and work with a gallery. Or maybe their work is too &quot;out there&quot; or not prolific enough for some galleries. Whatever. It's a winning situation for you, because YOU can get great art for a steal, and the artist gets exposure and positive feedback, both crucial to eBay success.</p> <p>My favorite artist, hands down, is a guy named <a href="http://myworld.ebay.com/pieboy" target="_blank">John Swinton</a>. John is a Canadian who sells his original creations, and I've bought three of them, two watercolor/mixed media on paper, and one portrait in oils. Not only do I love his work, but it is frequently commented on by people visiting my home. The fantastic thing about John, in addition to be a fast and reasonable shipper, is that he is truly selling original work. No repros from mainland China. His prices start low, and if you're lucky, you can get out with a painting and shipping for under $30. You won't find THAT at Costco.</p> <p>Some other great finds on eBay include scrolls of Chinese and Korean calligraphy (read the fine print to make sure that they are original and not posters) and antique botanical prints from European science manuals. I've completely decorated my townhouse with eBay art, and it's all incredibly unique. AND, it's cheaper than the grand &quot;art&quot; found at Costco or Target, so how can you beat that?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/but-is-it-art">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-christmas-shopping-with-this-clever-gift-card-strategy">Save on Christmas Shopping With This Clever Gift Card Strategy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/snipe-an-ebay-auction-save-a-fortune">Snipe an Ebay auction, save a fortune.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-gifts-for-5-or-less">25 Great Gifts for $5 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holiday-gift-giving-for-the-truly-broke">14 Gift Ideas for the Truly Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ultimate-gift-guide-thoughtful-ideas-for-every-list-and-every-budget">Ultimate Gift Guide: Thoughtful Ideas for Every List and Every Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping art decorating eBay gifts online shopping original painting print Fri, 26 Jan 2007 18:32:46 +0000 Andrea Karim 223 at http://www.wisebread.com