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Outdoor Ideas On A Budget

Creating an attractive entrance to your home can have two rewards. First, the enjoyment you derive while living in a home that appeals to you before you even come through the front door. Second, an attraction to possible buyers, and a good return on your investment if you ever decided to sell your home.

When it comes time to update the front of your home, there are affordable front landscaping and curb appeal ideas that will help you get your home in shape fast. The following outdoor projects cost as little as a few hundred dollars to free, and most can be completed in a few hours. If you are looking to sell your home, staging the outside of your home can go a long way toward attracting buyers and boosting offers. These cheap and easy curb appeal ideas are sure to add lasting value to your home and enjoyment to you and your family while you live there and beyond.

Refinish The Front Door.

A peeling or weather-beaten front door can greatly detract from the front of your home. Painting or refinishing the front door can cost as little as a few dollars and may only take a few hours or less. If your neighborhood association allows it, try painting the door a bold color that coordinates with the other exterior colors of your home. Replacing that old door is another option.

Replace Front Door Hardware.

Hardware is a quick and easy way to update your front door, and you can usually purchase quality hardware for around $75.00. Try adding a brass kick plate to your front door. With all the technology today, consider keyless entry system, which is popular because of its streamlined, modern appeal and ease of use.

Update Your Entryway Accessories.

Update light fixtures and clean or replace dirty furniture, that will help to enhance your homes curb appeal. You can easily spend a few hundred dollars on new lights, a mailbox, doorbell and/or doorknocker. Add or replace the address numbers. The address plaques today are designed to withstand any type of weather. House numbers help make your home easy for friends, service professionals and others to find, plus they add instant curb appeal at a very affordable price. Consider adding coordinating address markers or numbers in two places, at the curb and on the house itself to enhance visibility. Think about a welcome plaque or a custom plaque with your favorite saying.

Edging And Mulching.

Your entire property will look nicer and more cared for with edging and a fresh layer of mulch around plants and trees. You can either buy mulch in bags or have bulk quantities delivered at a reasonable cost. Dark brown or black mulch looks the best and the most natural. Stone is another possibility. Stone may cost a little more but, you only have to do it once and it will last a life time.

Prune Plants.

Cut back bushes and landscaping plants to be below windows and porch railings. This will give your home a clean appearance. Having plants below windows allows more light into your home and can also help with security. Make sure to allow for future growth of your pants. Pruning is a fairly easy do it yourself job, but you can always hire a good landscaper to do it for you. Freshly trimmed plants really shows you care about your home and property.

Accent Lighting

A dark and unlit house is an unwelcome sign. Not only does landscape lighting add ambiance, but it also helps prevent accidents and keeps unwanted intruders away. Solar lights are probably the most affordable and easiest way to add extra lighting. If you have some basic wiring knowledge and skills, why not try to add some low voltage lighting. Low voltage lighting can be a little more expensive, but is usually more dependable.

Other Architectural Ideas.

Painted shutters, window boxes, decorative molding, columns or brackets can go a long way in adding value to your home. You can spend as much or as little as you like on these items, and great deals can be found at flea markets and garage sales. Shopping online is always a possibility. Last but not least I would check with your local association before adding any of these ideas.

Home Improvements - Tips For Diy Plastering Jobs

You do not need to call in a renovations contractor to do some of the plastering jobs that come up as part of making improvements to your home. Embrace the DIY spirit if you know you have the knowledge and skill for undertaking such a task. Plastering is not that hard a task if you put your mind into it; you may need to brush up on your skills and knowledge before starting so that you avoid making silly mistakes that can turn into a costly problem.

In light to that, below are some tips that you can follow when doing the plastering. But before we start, you should ensure you have all the materials you require, which you can get from the local home improvement store. Make sure you are aware of the various plaster mixtures available to avoid picking what you do not need. You can inquire about what you should get from the store personnel, also, try to get some advice on how to go about the job, take a look at an interesting site about plastering.

If you are not going to work it a ready-made plaster mix, always read the manufacturer's instructions when mixing the plaster. Never pour water onto the plaster rather add the plaster into the water. You can add until you get the desired thickness. Alternatively, you can opt to add evaporated milk into the water to make the mix thick.

Start and salt cam be nifty things to use when patching up nail holes and small cracks with plaster. Take the start and salt in equal parts, mix the two together and add a bit of water. Use the past to fill in the holes then smoothen the top surface and then apply the plaster mix.

Always work fast after applying the plaster to get rid of the excess. Ensure the plaster properly fill any holes and cracks and then use a wet paintbrush to get rid of the excesses. Removing the excess plaster will help save time and the effort that will go into sanding the surface.

Sometimes, the plaster mixture can dry up quicker than expected when doing home renovations and repairs. If you do not have a hand that is fast enough to get the plastering done before the mixture dries up, you can slow down the drying process by adding a bit of white vinegar into the mix. The vinegar can also help minimize and wastages. Just pick any spills of the plaster and stir it in the mixture to achieve the desired texture.



It is vital to allow the plaster to dry before applying any paint. Give it about a week, let it cure so that it adheres firmly and lasts longer. Doing this will also help the paint to stick to the surface since the plaster is completely dry.

Sanding the surface before applying the paint can help achieve a smooth effect for an even and glossy finish. However, it is better to ensure that you achieve a smooth finish when applying the plaster before letting it cure. It will eliminate the need to sand the surface while wearing protective gear that prevents you from breathing in dust and small particles or them entering your eyes.