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7 Do-It-Yourself Home Improvements

Stop and take a look around your house. Are you delighted with everything in it? This is where you spend a good portion of your day and where you and your family build happy memories. There's no reason why it should be anything less than your dream home.

It can be expensive to hire a professional to redo some part of your home, and choosing a contractor can be a stressful process. Instead of shelling out tens of thousands of dollars for a contractor, why not consider these great home improvement ideas you can do yourself!

1. The deck of your dreams.

With cooler fall weather on the way, you might be thinking about turning your boring outside space into an outdoor living room. Whether you're after a raised wood deck to give your guests someplace to sit or a classy brick patio for lounging by the grill, a usable outside space can make a big difference in how you enjoy your home. A charming, visual addition to the outside of your home is a great way to add value too!

While this is a big project, the rewards are big too. Start by drawing up some plans—remember, you're basically building a series of wood boxes that are bolted together. Draw up a shopping list of things you need and head over to NCCU to finance your new project. Then, head to your local home improvement store for lumber, bolts, and a few new power tools.

2. Paint a room… or the whole house!

If you're not feeling up to building much, you can make the inside of your house feel new again with a fresh coat of paint. Choose colors that complement your furniture and flooring, but choose slightly different shades for different parts of the house. For example, maybe you want to paint your kitchen and dining room in mellow earth shades to give them a sense of coziness, but you want to paint your bedroom a calming blue to help you sleep.

This can be a great project to get the kids involved in, too. Wall paint, sponges, and scissors allow children to paint fun and imaginative shapes on their bedroom walls. A sense of ownership over the design might encourage them to keep their rooms a little cleaner as well. You can get creative in main spaces, too! Try painting an accent wall to change the lighting effects in your living room! Aside from paint, brushes, and rollers, make sure you get covers for furniture and floors and painter's tape.

3. Fix up an entryway.

Your front door is the first thing people see when they come to your home. You want to make sure it says great things about you and your family. A little bit of time and effort can make this part of your house feel more welcoming while also saving you time and effort.

You can make relatively minor changes here. Metal house numbers, trim paint and a few planters can make your front stoop look much nicer. You can also make some serious changes. A new door can really liven up the front of your house. New weather stripping can make your front door more energy efficient to save on winter heating costs. Nice light fixtures can take a little time to install, but they can make your house both charming and safer. Sketch out some ideas, then head to your home improvement store to figure out what you need to make your front door the talk of the neighborhood.

4. Add a splash of class with a tasteful backsplash.

The section of wall above the bathroom and kitchen sinks can see a lot of water damage. Left uncovered, this can lead to mildew and even mold in hard-to-reach places. A backsplash is an attractive option for preventing that kind of damage.

While these are typically done in tile, there's nothing stopping you from looking at wood bead board, ceiling tile, or wallpaper. You could even turn them into a functional addition to your organization system with chalkboard, whiteboard, or magnetic surfaces! Write up a recipe or meal plan to help keep your prep work organized in the kitchen or write a fun morning greeting to your kids in the bathroom! There's no limit to what a backsplash can do for your home. Head down to your local home improvement store to see what kind of material you want to use, and don't forget to pick up adhesive to stick it all together!

5. Create a new outlook with new windows.

Installing new windows can seem like a daunting task, but they'll pay for themselves. Energy efficient windows with new molding and stripping can significantly reduce your energy bills. Plus, having new windows and screens will make your home look well-cared-for when it comes time to sell.

Do some research on energy efficient two- and three-ply windows. Figure out which will fit your budget and hold long-term value, but remember, you generally get what you pay for. Cheap windows won't conserve much energy.

6. Refresh a tired kitchen or bathroom with new fixtures.

Your faucets and knobs see a lot of abuse. They get touched by grimy hands, splashed by soapy water, and built up calcium and rust even if you're careful about washing them. Because they're usually metal, they tend to draw a lot of attention. Dull, streaky fixtures can suck all the energy out of a kitchen or bathroom.

Replacing them, though, is pretty easy. In the bathroom, you can get sleek, modern fixtures that will save you sink space for storage. In the kitchen, consider getting a detachable head with a vegetable sprayer to make cleanups easier. Whatever you do here, you'll end up with a nicer looking kitchen or bathroom.

7. Bring your stuff together with built-in storage.

If your house looks like most others, it's chock-full of memorabilia and keepsakes. Tossed about the room, this can look cluttered and dingy, not to mention it makes it hard to clean and dust. Adding more furniture, though, can make a space feel cramped and tiny.

Instead, think about adding more built-in storage. Whether you just want to hang a shelf over an entryway, put some coat hooks by the door, or build a bookshelf into a living room wall, built-in storage is a great way to display your treasured memories without shrinking a room with too much stuff. Many built-ins require lumber, mounting tools, and a few other gadgets that DIY experts should have no trouble identifying.

When it comes to improving your home, NCCU is ready to partner with you every step of the way. You may have heard about home equity loans and lines of credit, but you may have thought you can't use them for small remodeling projects. However, it's actually one of the most common uses for these types of financing.

Let's talk. You supply the ideas, Northern Colorado Credit Union can supply the home equity loan or line of credit to make your dreams a reality. Contact us or fill out our application and start enjoying the equity in your home today.