Budget Home Improvement for 2012

Why not add home improvement to your New Year’s resolutions? Here are seven budget home improvement projects that will organize your home and make it more beautiful to live in. The cost is low and the rewards are high. So have yourself a happy new year, filled with new beginnings.

1. Organize the Garage

Keeping a garage organized can be a challenge. Simplify matters by building shelves along the walls. Use cheap metal shelf brackets, wood shelves and toggle hooks for hardware. If you prefer cabinets with doors, look for deals at garage sales. Or call a local kitchen installer to see if they have old kitchen cabinets they plan to throw away.

2. Stock Up on Light Bulbs

When a light burns out, it’s good to have a spare light bulb around. To save money, buy light bulbs in bulk. Stock up on every size and watt you use in your home (from the fridge light to the bathroom fixture). Store the light bulbs in decorative baskets at room temperature. You’ll find cheap baskets at craft stores or dollar stores.

3. Add Chic to Old Walls

Home improvement stores sell returned custom paint at 80% off. The lids are market with the paint color. Look for a color that will match your existing room. Instead of repainting the wall from floor to ceiling, consider painting only the lower half, which is typically more scuffed. You can add chair rail molding where the paint colors meet, or glue a wallpaper border, or even just a bright ribbon.

4. Clean Soot-Covered Chimneys

Rather than hire someone to clean your chimney, consider buying chimney cleaning logs. Simply light the log and leave it to burn completely. There is no smell or fumes associated with the burning. In fact, the fire is bright and beautiful. Between two and four logs are required to clean a chimney.

5. Seal Electrical Outlets

To prevent cold air from blowing in through exterior-facing walls, insulate your electrical outlets. Simply use polyethylene foam gaskets, which are found at home improvement stores. They fit under the plastic cover of each outlet. You can also add child safety caps to plug unused outlets.

6. Seal Doorways and Windows

To insulate doors and windows, use a self-adhesive, rubber seal, which can be found at home improvement stores. Glue the seal along the frame of the door or window. Then attach a brush door seal beneath doorways to prevent air from slipping in through the bottom crack.

7. Give Bathrooms a Face Lift

To give your bathrooms a fresh feel, replace old shower curtains with new ones. Bleach old bathroom rugs to give them a new, pale look. And spray paint your bathroom accessories in a fresh, matching color, using outdoor (water-resistant) paint.

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