More Easy, Free, or Cheap Home Improvements

Whether you want to get your home ready to take advantage of the hot real estate market in Denver or just want a breath of fresh air to help you enjoy your Colorado home more, here are some more no-cost/low-cost, easy, DIY home improvements to try.
  • EASY AND FREE: Group your books by color. It began as a “designer-y” trick for style magazines and catalogues, but there are good reasons to clear out your bookshelves and put the books back grouped by color. Not only does it turn these everyday items into art, but for visual thinkers, this can also be a practical way to find the book you’re looking for. Another idea I got from my stager was to use a neutral wrapping paper for my old photo albums to make them a little more uniform.

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  • EASY AND LOW-COST: Consider window film instead of drapes. If you have a window with a less-than-appealing view, or one that you hate to cover up with drapes but where you still need privacy, adhesive window film can be an affordable, attractive solution. Lowes, Home Depot or even Ace Hardware will have some good choices, and there are even more online. The films are easy to clean, removable, and reusable. They improve privacy and security while still letting you take advantage of natural light. Some films also filter UV rays, protecting carpets and upholstery from fading. This is one idea I’m going to try for the sidelight beside my front door.

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  • EASY AND NO/LOW-COST: Power-wash your deck and patio. Blast away the dust, dirt, dead leaves, and general ick left over after a long winter. You can use a pressure washer as long as the wood is in good shape and you use the lowest setting that will clean without damage. Be careful even with Trex decking (as my husband learned the hard way). Start at a 500 psi setting and work up from there. Use a fan tip setting between 40′ and 60′ tip size and spray with the grain. If you don’t have a power washer, you may be able to borrow one from a neighbor. Most large home improvement stores offer rentals (we found a 1400 PSI power washer for rent at our local Home Depot for $39 a day with a refundable $75 deposit). Of course, you can always use your garden hose and its spray nozzle attachment, though you will probably need to repeat the process a couple of times to get the results you want. You can also power-wash your patio umbrella and patio furniture frames (and the cushions, too, if they are all-weather). Plus this will wash away any spiders and their eggs!

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