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Home Improvement Buying Guide

by Staff Writer

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Couple painting a wall for home improvement

Crafting your home into a comfortable and attractive space is an ongoing project. Whether you're just replacing one fixture or embarking on a large-scale remodel, making style choices and home improvements can be very rewarding. This home improvement buying guide summarizes a few of the projects that you might consider trying in your home.

What You Need to Know:

  1. Wall coverings: If you want to make a big change to the look of any room, consider wall coverings, including paint, paper and paneling. New paint or paper can be a weekend home improvement project.

    Wall Covering Options

    • Painting: Paint is a simple option. Choosing just the right color is probably the most difficult part. After repairing any flaws in your wall surface, you can tape off windows, doors and fixtures to protect them while you're painting. After a few coats, your room will have a completely different tone.

    • Wallpaper: Wallpaper is bit more complex. Wallpaper accents, decals and striping can add contrast and texture to a room. After choosing the right pattern and preparing the walls, you will be ready to start adhering paper to the walls. With a little patience, this home improvement project will bring an impressive change.

    • Panels: Wall paneling is durable, attractive and probably requires the least maintenance. You can place wall panels directly over studs, skipping the whole drywall experience, or retrofit wall panels on top of existing drywall. Wall paneling with contrasting trim can be stunning.

  2. Flooring: Changing the floors is another great home remodeling option. The texture, color and durability of flooring materials are your main considerations for flooring home improvements.

    Flooring Materials

    • Hardwod: Hardwood flooring is always among the most desirable home improvement materials because of its warmth and beauty. Oak, maple and cherry wood are traditional flooring options, but more exotic woods, like cork flooring and bamboo flooring, are becoming popular, as well.

    • Laminate: Laminate flooring has become a popular alternative to hardwood, noted for its ease of installation, durability and appearance. Simulated hardwood can be an inexpensive alternative to actual hardwood flooring.

    • Tile: Tile is a great home improvement material that covers not just floors, but any surface. Tile comes in so many colors, textures and sizes that it's easy to find the perfect tile for your home improvement plans.

  3. Kitchen and bath: New plumbing fixtures and bath hardware can be a great change for your kitchen or bath. Install a new vessel sink for a modern touch to your guest or master bath. Maybe your old kitchen sink is great, but a new faucet is in order. For larger home improvement plans, a soaking tub or a new shower can be the centerpiece of your new bath. Lots of home improvement projects for kitchen and bath can be done in a weekend.

  4. Saunas, spas and hot tubs: Sauna and steam rooms can be a luxurious home improvement, inside or outside, that doesn't need to break the bank. Whether you prefer the dry heat of a Scandinavian-style home sauna or the fog of a Roman-style steam room, either fixture will be a relaxing addition that will bring value to your home. Modular saunas and steam showers can be assembled in a few hours if the rest of the plumbing and wiring is already installed.

  5. Large appliances: Replacing that old refrigerator, oven or washer and dryer with new large appliances can be the finishing touch on your home improvement project. Match your appliances to the styles and colors in your new home renovation, and be sure to keep appliances in mind when choosing new cabinets, installing doors and placing electrical outlets. New appliances are a quick home improvement that doesn't require much retrofitting and adds value to your home instantly.

  6. Yard care: Home improvement plans include your landscaping, too. Make sure you have basic garden tools, like hoses and sprinklers or mowers and trimmers, to keep the grass green and manicured. Keep everything organized in a tool shed or in the garage with storage and organization solutions that save space. The type and amount of garden equipment you'll need depends on the size of your yard and how much work it needs.

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