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Five quick fixes for big improvements around your home
When it comes to home improvement, you don’t need to do a complete overhaul to make a big impact. A “less is more” approach may serve you better, experts say.
“Sometimes quick fixes are the ones you need most,” says Lou Manfredini, host of “HouseSmarts TV” and home improvement contributor on NBC’s “The Today Show.”
According to Manfredini, there are five small projects you can do yourself that can make a huge difference in your home:
• Clean the disposal: Your kitchen sink and disposal work hard, but sometimes they can stink. Every few months, eliminate odor and freshen things up by pouring half a cup of general-purpose disinfectant cleaner down the drain.
Using a small nylon pipe cleaning brush or clean toilet brush, reach in between the sink drain assembly and scrub the sidewalls of the pipe below it, paying special attention to the underside of the rubber flap on the disposal.
• Patch in a snap: Unsightly holes in walls can ruin the look of a room. Luckily, patching those holes doesn’t have to be time-intensive.
For holes smaller than a dime, apply wall spackle with a putty knife. For larger holes, you may need to use a self-stick metal patch to cover it, and then apply spackle to smooth it out.
“Achieving professional looking results quickly and on-budget requires the right products,” says Manfredini.
Use a high-quality wall patch like 3M Patch plus primer spackle and primer in one, now available in a kit for holes up to 3 inches wide. It applies smoothly and has a built in primer, so once the wall is dry and sanded, you can paint immediately, cutting the repair time in half. More information can be found at www.3MDIY.com/patch.
• Peace and Quiet: Plagued by squeaky wood flooring? Try pouring baby powder over the noisy area. Then, wrap a block of wood in a dishrag and tap the boards down with a hammer to drive the powder between the tongue and groove of the flooring and tighten the nails holding it in place.
“It may not work in all instances but I’ve had great success with this process,” Manfredini says.
• Accent with paint: To update a room without investing much time or money, paint one wall an accent color. Half of all paint sold in the United States is white, so why not add bold color to your home like blue, red or even tangerine?
Prep by lightly sanding the entire surface. Patch any holes and then paint using a paint and primer in one. Two coats will give you the depth of color you want and should take only an afternoon.
• Light it up: To save money and help the environment, switch to LED lightbulbs. With all the improvements in color, they can now mimic the warm lighting associated with incandescent bulbs, using two-thirds less electricity.
You don’t have to spend lots of time or money to spruce up your home this spring. Small projects can go a long way towards making it look great.