home improvementIncrease Home Value by doing relatively minor home projects. Here are tips on how to increase home value that you can do with your own two hands. A home equity loan is an easy way to find the needed cash for major repairs.

Not only can poor lighting on walkways and entryways be a safety and security concern, it also hurts the overall look of your house. Installing low-voltage fixtures for pathways is a pleasant and welcoming feature to guests. Compact florescent bulbs can last up to 10 times longer than incandescent ones and can give your home a soft, cozy feel.

If your front door doesn’t look good, it’s going to reflect on the rest of the house. Increase home value with new weather stripping and sand or refinish the paint or repaint all together. Don’t forget the details. You can polish any hardware on the door and frame the door with matching pottery or planters. If you’re in the market for a new door, an Energy Star-approved door comes with a $1,500 tax credit.

If your shrubs are overgrown and spilling onto the walkway or driveway, it can give the whole property an unkept look. Use simple hand-operated edge clippers or an electric model for the shrubs can keep them in line. An electric trimmer can work wonders for the edges of walkways.

Brownish grass with a lot of weeds can be an eyesore, even if the house itself is beautiful. It costs as little as $10 to test your soil, and find out exactly what nutrients your lawn needs. Next, buy the kind of grass that will grow best in your area. Remember to water in the mornings and when you cut your lawn, make sure not to take off more than a third of the grass height at a time.

Nothing makes a home look weathered quicker than peeling, fading, cracking or flaking paint. To fix it, you need to asses the damage. If it’s just a little dirt and mildew, a good pressure washing can blast that out. But if the problem’s more serious, it’s time to get out the brushes and rollers. Behr Premium Plus Flat and Semigloss paint which costs less than $25 per gallon is an excellent choice. It’s mildew resistant and is designed to last for nearly a decade.

Damaged decks – those with cracks, missing boards, and loose nails, screws or bolts – not only look bad, but can also be dangerous. Take the fight to the deck with your own set of tools to hammer down loose nails and tighten loose screws. If you can replace one or two boards without too much trouble, that may be the end of your deck dealings. But if the damage requires a more aggressive strategy, you may want to think about replacing the entire deck with a new one.

If your windows are cracked, have rotted frames or other visible damage it could be costing you big time in wasted energy. Caulking or installing new weather stripping can eliminate drafts. If the frames are rotted, you’ll likely have to install brand new windows from the outside, which can be costly. The best windows are clad wood and fiberglass windows that help block cold air and rain. The ones that are Energy Star approved will increase home value and earn you a $1,500 tax credit to boot.

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