Thursday, April 12, 2007

10 quick ways to upgrade your home

Home improvement usually means a ton of money to be spent on upgrading various part of your home. According to Bankrate.com, it doesn’t have to be that way. Here is their list of the top 10 ways you can improve your home on the cheap.

1. Make your kitchen really cook.
The kitchen is still considered the heart of the home. For a few hundred dollars, you can replace the kitchen faucet set, add new cabinet door handles and update old lighting fixtures with brighter, more energy-efficient ones. If you've got a slightly larger budget, you can give the cabinets themselves a makeover. …


2. Give appliances a facelift.
If your kitchen appliances don't match try ordering new doors or face panels from the manufacturer. Many dishwasher panels are white on one side and black on the other. It can be as simple as removing a couple of screws, sliding the panel out and flipping it over. …


3. Buff up the bath.
Next to the kitchen, bathrooms are often the most important rooms to update. They, too, can be improved without a lot of cash. Simple things like a new toilet seat and a pedestal sink are pretty easy for homeowners to install, and they make a big difference. …


4. Paint.
New paint makes everything look clean and bright again. And don't forget the ceiling. Paint the trim a contrasting color. …


5. Step up your storage.
Old houses, particularly, are notorious for their lack of closet space. If you have cramped storage areas, add do-it-yourself wire and laminate closet systems to bedrooms, pantries and entry closets. …


6. Mind the mechanics.
Spending a few bucks on nitty-gritty stuff. "It's often very worthwhile to hire an electrician, plumber or handyman for a couple of hours to look over your electrical services, wrap or fix loose wires, fix any faulty outlets, and check for and fix any water leaks," Perry says. "Those details tell a buyer that someone has really taken care of the home and can really influence its price."


7. Look underfoot.
Carpeting is another detail that can quickly update a home and make it look cleaner. A professional carpet cleaning is an inexpensive investment, especially if your rugs are in good shape and are neutral colors….


8. Let there be light.
If you have boring recessed lights in your dining and living rooms, consider replacing one of the room's lights with an eye-catching chandelier. …


9. Reframe your entry.
It's the first thing you, and your guests, will see. Repaint of refinish that front door and if you have a basic steel front door that has gotten dented, consider replacing it with either another inexpensive steel door or a fiberglass, wood grain door for slightly higher cost. …


10. Consider curb appeal.
Although it sounds obvious, a nicely mowed lawn, a few well-placed shrubs and a swept walkway makes a great first impression. As the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. What buyers see when they first drive by your home is tremendously important. …


10 cheap ways to upgrade your home

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