Buying a home is still one of the best ways to build wealth. If you are looking to add value to your home without breaking the bank there are many projects that will increase your home’s value for less than $1,000.

One thousand dollars can go a long way when it comes to home improvement projects. If you think and plan smart your profit should outweigh your investment. Here are a few projects that will give you the most bang for your buck.

1. Organize Your Home

Declutter your home by organizing closets, cabinets and pantries. Add bookshelves for more storage. Maximize space in the kids’ rooms by installing platform or bunk beds. A neat and organized home is easier to live in and shows better to potential buyers.

2. Make an Entrance

Simply updating and replacing your entry door will spruce up your curb appeal. Not only will the new door look great it can also help save money.  Adding a steel door will save on energy. Most of the new steel doors are made to look like wood. A new door will cost approximately $400.

3. Install a Programmable Thermostat.

Another way to save money is to switch from a manual to a programmable thermostat. Prices vary greatly on these thermostats but don’t expect to pay more than a few hundred dollars for a high end model.  A programmable thermostat can save you $180 a year in energy costs.

4. Update your Cabinets

Cabinet hardware makes a huge difference on how new your kitchen looks. Simply update the cabinet hardware by installing new knobs and pulls in more modern metals and looks. Most large hardware store have a large selection of hardware you can usually buy a 10-pack for approximately $20.

5. No more Bathroom Blues

Bathrooms can be one of the most expensive updates in a home. You can give a bathroom a quick facelift by replacing old tile. Vinyl tiles are inexpensive and easy to install or with ceramic tile can cost as little as $3 per square foot for material and installation.

When you think of cooling your home you probably think of expensive central air conditioning or even a window air conditioning unit. There are alternatives to air conditioning that help keep your house cool.

One alternative is a whole-house fan. A whole-house fan can keep your home cool at a fraction of the cost.

A whole-house fan may sound complicated but the design is simple. A fan mounted in the attic pushes hot air out through attic vents while drawing in the cooler, outside air through open doors and windows. Believe it or not a whole-house fan can purge a house of hot air in two to three minutes.

Whole-house fans are becoming increasingly more popular. They consume only one tenth of the power as your AC. Even if you have AC, the whole-house fan can work as a pre-chiller before the AC is turned on. Use the fan to bring in cooler night and/or morning air, this often lowers the temperature inside the house by 5 degrees (or more).

If you are thinking about a whole-house fan contact your local HVAC installer. They can help you determine the appropriate fan for your home and climate. The average cost for a whole-house fan ranges between $200 and $800.


Garden with stone landscapingDo you dream of a home garden that welcomes the arrival of spring
with a glorious display of spring flowers that seem to emerge from nowhere. Unique and strikingly beautiful, bulb type flowers spend most of the time resting beneath the surface of the cool soil. When the weather warms, the pop up full of vigor and bloom: a delightful addition to any landscape.

Planting Bulbs
Flowering bulbs look best when planted in groupings. Often home gardeners will purchase an assortment of bulbs in the fall and go about the yard planting them in a haphazard manor. That’s fine if all you want is a spot of color here or there about the yard in the spring. When planted in this manner the spring flowers tend to blend into the landscape and do not show up that well. However, if you want to have a bold splash of color, you will want to plant bulbs in large groupings. Planted in mass, bulbs create a magnificent display.

In late spring, consider where you would like to create a flowerbed for flowering bulbs. Prepare the bed by incorporating nutrient-rich topsoil as you til and turn the soil. Add a generous amount of well-composted herbivore manure (cow, sheep, horse, lama or goat) to the bed, working it well into the soil.

Cover the bed with black landscape plastic to encourage organic composting and to prevent weeds from popping up in the flowerbed until you are ready to plant the bed in the fall. If you prefer, you can plant the bed with blooming annuals to keep the weeds at bay and to add a spot of color to the summer landscape.

In the late fall, all you have to do is clean up the bed by pulling out the annuals and any weeds and you are ready to plant bulbs to the depth recommended on the packaging. Squirrels and other rodents are attracted to tulip bulbs. However, they avoid daffodils, crocus and jonquils as the bulbs are poisonous and they sense the danger.

If you anticipate a problem with squirrels eating your bulbs, you can wrap individual bulbs in a bit of steel wool, leaving the tip exposed so that it can grow within the protective barrier you have created. Another way to protect your bulbs is to simply cover the flowerbed with a layer of chicken wire or plastic landscape netting until the bulbs sprout through the soil in the spring.

In the spring when the bulbs sprout up and begin to bloom, it is a good idea to clip off spent blooms as they start to fade and wither. This process keeps the bulbs from producing seed, which requires a lot of energy. You want your bulbs to conserve their energy to store food in preparation of the bulb’s winter resting period.

Although you want to trim off spent flowers, do not trim back the plants tops until they wither and die. The leaves trap the sun’s rays to make food, which is transported to the bulb and stored for later use.

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Color impacts our spirit. The practice of Feng Shui recommends warm, earth tones such as cream, copper, coral and peach to assist in creating a calming atmosphere in the bedroom. If you are looking for a healing vibe in the bedroom, Feng Shui suggests green, lavender or light blue. There are many variations of the colors suggested by the Ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui, however, only you know what will work for you. Keep in mind the opposing colors, such as reds, and oranges are seen as stimulating and will reverse the calming and relaxing effect you are going for in the bedroom. If these colors are used as accent pieces, they will enhance the balance of the room with a romantic vibe. Again, variations of these colors are commonly used depending upon your taste and style.

The Art of Feng Shui believes that the proper position for your bed is far away from the door to your room. Preferably a spot which allows you to see the doorway. This allows for safety and protection during your restful time. Believe it or not, directly opposite the door is considered the premiere spot to place your bed. Using these guidelines will create a healthy and relaxing atmosphere in the bedroom.

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