8 Ways to Spiff Up Your Home for Fall

Posted by Woodrow Aames ~ September 10, 2010

Labor Day has come and gone, but that doesn't mean you don't have time to complete the eight do-it-yourself projects that Kipplinger suggests that you get done before winter's cold breath blows against your house. Kipplinger's idea is that you really want to get some cost-effective improvements done before you're wound up tight in holiday obligations or glued to Sunday football games.

The projects, according to Kipplinger, should all bring a decent return on your investment (each costing less than $1,000), and you can get them done in a day if you're well-prepared.

Here they are:

1. New Backsplashes for the Kitchen

A new backsplash can add "wow" to a tired kitchen for around $14 per 12" x 12" peel-and-stick tile. And it's easy!

2. Add a New Entry Door

Put on a new face for between $100 and $500. If you're up to installing a steel door, says Kipplinger, you can regain a 129 percent return in home value on your investment, or up to $1,500 in tax credits if your door model meets specific Energy Star energy-efficiency requirements.

3. Get Organized

No one likes clutter. (Well, almost no one.) Considering you can grab all the organizers you need at the home improvement store for $500 or less, what's keeping you from clearing out the mess?

4. New Kitchen Sink

For $550, you can put in a new sink and energy-efficient faucet in the busiest room in the house. You can get this project done before lunch if you start early!

5. Get Out the Paintbrush

Want a 250 percent return in home value on your investment? Try a $30/can investment in fresh paint. And if you're planning on putting your home on the market in the future, paint sells!

6. Perk Up The Landscaping

Talk about curb appeal! Landscaping projects don't have to break the bank, either. Kipplinger says you can pump $300 to $400 into new plants and trees that on the flip side can increase your home value by $1,500 to $2,000. Plus, you have a front yard you love to come home to, and a showpiece for would-be buyers.

7. Add Pizzazz with Crown Molding

I love the word "pizzazz" almost as much as the effect it describes. You may need an experienced contractor to handle this one, unless you're a whiz with a miter saw. Crown molding sells for around $5 a linear foot and it can really distinguish your home from the rest of the ones on the market.

8. Complete a Bathroom Makeover

You want to spiff up the bathroom and at the same time recover up to 172 percent on your investment? For around $450, Kipplinger says, you can install a new, energy-efficient toilet and new vanity without having to mess with your existing plumbing.

There! That should keep you busy for a few days before you hang up the tool belt for the winter.

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