Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Home Improvement Projects Under $20

I came across a great article on Better Homes and Garden's website and selected some of my favorite ideas. These home improvement projects may not cost a lot, but they will surely make a big difference in how your home functions.

1.Drawer and cabinet dividers are a must when it comes to keeping pans, lids, spatulas, and chip clips in their respective places. Some units match your cabinetry for a completely integrated and customized look.

2. Replace a standard floor grate with a more impressive -- and possibly more efficient -- wood or metal register grille. An inferior grate might not channel air in the best direction for optimum flow.

3. Make sure you have the correct threshold strip at room entrances where flooring changes. Some moldings adjust to various floor heights and have hidden fasteners.

4. Swap flimsy metal curtain rods for a hearty wooden dowel or a rich cast finial-and-ball unit. Match the rod to your wood trim or design elements such as your door hardware.

5. Replace a plastic switchplate with a wood, metal, or ceramic cover. Some are even textured to blend in with marble, tile, or stone surfaces. Do this for light switches, electrical outlets, and phone and cable jacks.

6. Update your cabinetry by replacing the pulls and knobs on all your drawers and doors. They'll keep your cabinets free of messy fingerprints and add a finished look to your kitchen or bathroom.

7. Create a between-the-studs shelf or cubbyhole where you need a little extra storage, especially in a bathroom. Use the space as a magazine rack or to house towels.

8. Hang a hook for each family member near the door where belongings get tossed upon entry. When coats and totes have a home, you'll feel super organized as you grab and go each day.

9. Dress up your windows with an herb or flower garden. Terra-cotta units are an affordable option or construct one from cedar planks. Attach your planter with brackets below a window.

10. Don't walk across the room to grab a towel. Add towel bars where you need them, or move the bars you have to make them more accessible. Hunt for bars that complement existing hardware in your kitchen or bath.

11. Replace mismatched, missing, or damaged moldings, end caps, baseboard, or quarter rounds. Curved areas may require a special piece or trim made of an alternate material.

12. Install a fixture to shed additional light on a dim area. Think about dark closets or corners where you sit and read and decide if you need more illumination.

13. Adding a lower bar to a closet lets you hang tops above and bottoms below and can effectively double your closet space. You might need to move the existing rod up a bit to accommodate the new arrangement.

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