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6 Home Improvement Projects that Pay for Themselves or Save You Money

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homeimprovement

If you own a home, you know that there’s an endless list of home improvement projects that you can do.

Whether they’re already on your list or have been put on a Honey-do list for you, here are some projects that can help save you money, or can pay for themselves in terms of adding value to your home.  We’ve focused more on projects that a single person can do relatively quickly, versus longer term projects or those that require professional help.

 

1. IMPROVE CURB APPEAL

Paint your front door & trim

Everyone knows that paint is cheap, but most people think of painting rooms inside their house.  But what if you took a small can of paint and give your front door and trim a quick coat? This is a quick project and can quickly improve curb appeal.  Lowe’s has a great selection of paint, but of course you can try a dedicated paint store like Sherwin Williams or another hardware store.

Weed and put in fresh plants

Even if you have a beautiful home, it will look less attractive with a messy front yard. Pick up some new gardening gloves and tools, plus some plants and go to work.  If you’re not someone who will be out there watering frequently, look for low maintenance plants like yucca.

Replace light fixtures

Have some old or dated light fixtures outside? Update them relatively easily to give your place a new look.  You can find these at places like Wayfair, Lamps Plus, and Home Depot.  Need some inspiration? Take a look at these examples on Houzz.com.

 

2. PREPARE FOR COLD WEATHER

Caulk your window

Don’t let a draft in during the winter because you’ll have to run your heater longer than necessary. Caulk is really cheap (you can get it for under $10 at Home Depot) and you can easily cover the cost.

Check your filters

You’ve likely run your air conditioning quite a bit over the summer, and now is the time to replace your filters.  You can save money by having clean filters instead of dirty, clogged ones.

Install energy efficient windows

If your windows are old, you may want to replace them with energy efficient ones.  This might be a job that’s too tough for one person, so you might need help with this one!

Bonus savings idea that requires outside help

Have your furnace inspected before it starts getting to cold for any money hogging problems. Ensure that your furnace is heating efficiently so that you don’t waste energy unnecessarily.

 

3. GET RID OF POPCORN CEILINGS

Popcorn ceilings are really out of date, and while it’s time consuming, removing the popcorn is fairly easy and inexpensive.  Here are some how-to tips from DIY network.  You can pick up a Homax Ceiling Texture Scraper for Popcorn Ceiling Removal (yes, there is such a thing) at stores like Ace Hardware or Home Depot and even online retailers like Overstock and Jet.com.

 

4. REPLACE YOUR OLD APPLIANCES, LIGHT BULBS & MORE

How old are your appliances? A 20 year old refrigerator is not very efficient, and neither is an old washer or dryer.  But have you thought about replacing your lightbulbs or other appliances? You can take advantage of appliance sales and pick up something new that is energy efficient and even get a rebate in some cases.

 

5. TAKE A LOOK UNDER YOUR CARPETS TO SEE IF THERE ARE HARDWOOD FLOORS WAITING TO BE EXPOSED

Assuming you own your place, have you ever looked under the carpet? Hardwood floors are both beautiful and have a high perceived value, so if you’re lucky and have discovered hardwood floors under your carpet, watch a Youtube video on how to remove the carpet properly, then refinish the floors and you now have a beautiful new look for your home!

 

6. BUILD YOUR OWN OUTDOOR GAMES

Ok, so this one is more about saving money and having fun, rather than true home improvement, but when you see that the cost for a cornhole board is $50-100 and think about how cheap it would be to make, you can justify taking some time away from your more serious list to build a game or two.  Ladder ball is another game that’s relatively easy to build.

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