Spring is in the air, and home improvement is at the front of my
mind. There are many changes I want to make to my house this year,
and I've got to keep the budget in mind. Luckily, I've learned how
to improve my house without breaking the bank.
Here are some of the tips I've accumulated with years of home
It's winter and the holidays are over. Now you're stuck inside because of the weather and broke from the shopping and going a little stir crazy from staring at the same four walls. This is the perfect time to do some simple home improvements that have big payoffs. I'm not going to suggest knocking out a wall or putting in another bathroom, but there are quite a few cheap and easy things you can do that will have a big impact and change the whole look of the place in a weekend.
If you are truly broke and snowed in, I even have a suggestion that doesn't cost a dime or involve leaving the house.
The first and simplest suggestion: Re-arrange the furniture. If you are going to do some of my other suggestions you are going to have to move it anyway, so this is a good first project.
During a recent wind storm, a small section of my roof was damaged. A few shingles went flying into the night and the wood beneath got a little bit damp. Nothing major, but something that needed to be addressed nonetheless.
Although this was not a huge expense, I wanted to save as much money as possible and I wanted to avoid dealing with a potential roofing scam. To do this, I figured I would have to call in at least two roofing experts for quotes.
Before I got around to the second contractor, though, I had already made up my mind.
This week I did a little home project that taught me an important lesson about saving money. Unless you have a good reason for it, don't rush and improvise and try to cut corners, or in the end the time you think you are saving will be more than made up for in money you spend later. It all started with my previous blog post where I outlined how to fix a dripping faucet. Since I had done this before, I decided it to tackle it on a lunch break between my coupon hunting duties at Savings.com.
There is nothing to be gained, unless you are stranded on an island or in some kind of reality show competition, by using the wrong tools. Don't rush into these things. Investigate, reconnoiter the situation, go to the store and get the right tool for the job before you get in to deep and go past the point of no return.
Read on, because I did not do that. I charged right in past that point and it cost me time and money.
Have you ever flushed the toilet, only to go back to the bathroom an hour later and find it still running? Do you live alone, but wake to the sound of water running in the middle of the night? It's not ghosts, it's your toilet's flapper valve.
Toilets are fairly simple. They are far less complicated than your TV, for instance. Still they are more complicated than the kitchen sink. When it works normally, the flush handle opens the flapper flooding the bowl and sending your deceased goldfish down the drain. How Stuff Works has a great cutaway diagram of a toilet, with flush-able animation.