In today’s uncertain economy most people don’t have excess money to spend on their homes. For this reason, homeowners are focusing their efforts on small DIY projects rather than hiring others to do large-scale projects. The desire to be smart and save money has forced people to take more creative approaches to home improvement. Below is a list of 10 DIY improvement projects that go along with the need to be economical and environmentally sound.
Environmentally Healthy Paint
One way to make your home a little safer is with paint that doesn’t emit toxic fumes. To find this paint, look at its VOC. If it has a low VOC it means it has organic and safe content. Not to mention a fresh coat of paint can give your home a completely new look.
Lighting can also give your home a completely different look. If it’s too dark it will feel cramped and could even make you a little depressed. Instead of using curtains on your windows for privacy consider window film. You can find it at your local home improvement store. It’s fairly inexpensive and easy to apply on your own.
Drying Your Clothes
You can save space, water, heat, money and the environment by drying your clothes outside when the weather permits. You can set up a portable clothesline or one of those retractable ones that attaches to your home. It may take a little more effort, but think about the benefits. Your clothes will also smell great if there are flowers or trees around.
Outside lights at night are important for both safety and aesthetic reasons. You may want people to see your beautiful porch or flowers when they walk to your front door. Installing lights can be expensive however. Consider buying some solar lights at your local store. The sun charges them during the day and they shine well into the night. They’re environmentally friendly and will save you a lot of money down the road.
Instead of buying a bigger home or adding a room, which are both extremely expensive, find ways to store things more efficiently. This will make your home feel bigger. There are many ways to do this. One of them is with shelving. Add wood shelving or connect baskets to the walls.
New furniture or decorations can give the home a completely new feel. Shop at flea markets or buy antiques to save money and have less of an impact on the environment. Or simply re-arrange your existing furniture.
Bring Nature Inside
In a world that revolves around technology people also want to be able to enjoy the beauties of nature. Bring trees or other types of plants into the home to blur the line between indoors and outdoors. Also look for furniture and appliances that use organic materials.
You might need some help installing these but with a little work you could do it on your own as well. Small solar panels on the louvers capture energy from the sun and send it to your electrical system. They might be an investment but they will save you money in the long run.
This lighting is becoming more and more popular. The bulbs are eco-friendly and energy efficient. Their benefits over fluorescents include lasting longer, being mercury free, and staying cool to the touch.
In addition to making the inside of your home feel more comfortable, there are easy ways to give the outside a facelift as well. Screen doors for example can easily be patched up. Take the patch and weave the strands through the screen, bending them tight.
David Glenn is a home improvement expert. He occasionally freelance writes for Budget Direct, an Australian insurance company that focuses on “cutting the cost, not the cover”. Feel free to check out Budget Direct for a solid home insurance comparison.