Bargain Babe Weekly Tip:
One of my favorite magazines, ShopSmart, suggests 10 quick home fixes in the July issue that each cost less than $150. Sadly, the story is not online (though a few stores are available here.) So I’ll recap some of the best ideas.
1. Paint the front door ~$30. A half-gallon of paint will cover your front door and give your house a quick lift. The mag’s stylist recommends a bright red, forest green or black to call attention to the entry way (as long as the color compliments the trim).
2. Put up window boxes ~$50. These add instant charm and life to your home. Some boxes can be stained or customized to match your home’s exterior.
3. Hang a door knocker ~$75. Door knockers show a lot of personality and can make a bold statement. Hang your knocker about 4-5 feet from the ground, front and center.
4. Get a new mailbox ~$50 to $100. Touch up your existing one with paint or spring for a new one. Make sure it has a lock if you place it where there is a lot of foot traffic.
5. Upgrade the lighting ~$25 to $50. An outdoor light makes it easier to find your keys but also makes your home inviting. Consider lighting a path, a tree, or hanging a wall-mounted fixture by the door.
6. Punch up the numbers ~$1 to $40. House numbers are like jewelry for your house, so don’t skimp on details. Pick numbers that compliment your home’s architecture.
Julia Scott writes the savvy-spending blog BargainBabe.com.