Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Saving Money With Do It Yourself Projects

Saving Money With Do It Yourself Projects
This summer, I intend to spruce up my home with a number of do-it-yourself projects. Although some home-improvement tasks do require professional help, nearly 80 percent of projects around the house can be do-it-yourself projects. From past experience, I can save lots of money by allocating some time and getting my hands dirty.

As the summer brings with it warmer temperatures and longer days, my family also likes to venture to the backyard to stare up at stars and make s'mores (snacks made from slightly melted marshmallows from the fire), Hershey's chocolate pieces and graham crackers at our firepit, something which I created two few years ago.

For my first home makeover project this summer, it is to upgrade the botany. Over the years, I have planted flowers and greenery around the house. It's something that is fairly easy and you feel confident in taking care of the shrubs and watching them bloom.

In the past, I am not known for having green fingers but through patience, trial and error and reading up on gardening books, I am proud to say my tender, loving care has translated into a very nice landscape area.

Another easy project is plumbing repair and I intend to change a couple of leaky faucets in the kitchen. I picked up plumbing skill accidentally when a pipe leaked in my basement years ago and I gave up dealing with an unreliable handyman.

Basic plumbing repair is not dificult. If you don't know how to do it, just get employees to demonstrate how to fix and install the faucets when you buy them from the store.

There are more options for a DIY enthusiast on a budget. If you're up to the challenge, try these DIY home improvements which will not break the bank.

1. Enhance Your Outdoor Deck

A worn-out outdoor deck can be "rejuvenated" with a good cleaning or staining. You can choose an appropriate stain from a variety of colors, and spray-on products that kill mold.

2. Repair a faulty door

One of the most defects around the house is a faulty door. Getting a handyman is expensive because any DIY beginner can tackle a door that won't close right. All you need is a belt sander, a palm sander, carbon paper, a paint brush and varnish to match the original finish. There is a concise step-by-step instructions here.

3. Install a paver patio

A paver patio is a more advanced DIY project but it also allows you to show off your creativity and handiwork. Try to be unique by laying a foundation of pavers, or decorative square and rectangle stones.

4. Create a wall-mounted clothes rack

If there is enough space in your house, then do away with the clothes dryer. Electric dryers usually require a dedicated outlet with a 240 V current for operation. Depending on your electrical rates and laundry load, the bills will eat into your family budget.

A more energy efficient approach is to install a clothes rack. I prefer one that folds out from the wall and allows you to hang clothes on dowels. Here's what you need: Sandpaper, 1/2-inch dowels, a metal chain, wood glue and paint, among other tools and items.

5. Create Gathering Places For The Family

As a result of this recession, many people are looking for entertaining evenings at home in an effort to save money.

Besides the usual stuff of huddling around the television or a game night of bridge or mahjong, why not take advantage of your natural surroundings like creating a firepit in the backyard?

This can be accomplished by constructing a small firepit on the lawn or by purchasing an inexpensive portable one. You can even take the opportunity to inculcate in your kids some money lessons during these cosy outdoor evenings.