A great way to increase the value of a home is to clean out the grout in ceramic tile. This will instantly make old tile look newer, which, consequently, increases the value of your home. This is a quick fix that could mean a few extra dollars in the long run.

If you have older ceiling fans in your home, a simple home improvement is to replace the blades of the fan. This is cheaper than buying a new fixture. Also, if your fixtures match, replacing just the blades allows you to keep the set intact. New ceiling fan blades can give your room a just-renovated look with minimal effort and expenditure.

Do not skip scraping off old flaking paint before beginning your painting project. Painting over old flaking paint will never yield good results. Go buy a paint scraper and scrape off the old paint before starting. Then take a sander and sand down any rough areas so that your new paint coat will look good.

If a squeaky faucet is driving you crazy, chances are you can use this trick to fix the problem: After taking the handle off, detach the faucet stern and apply a thin coating of commercial lubricant to each pair of threads. After you have reassembled it, the faucet should turn on and off smoothly and squeak-free.

When painting the interior of a home, it is important that you do only one room at a time. You do not want to have paint fumes in every room of your home. Also, painting every room at the same time can make you feel overwhelmed. Take your time to figure out how you want each room to look.

If your water pressure seems low, you may need to clean the screens that are located in the head of the faucet. Unscrew the faucet head and soak the screens in a solution specifically meant for dissolving hard water build-up; white vinegar also works in a pinch. The minerals that build up on the screens can reduce the amount of water that can flow through the faucet.

To add style to your walls without spending a lot of money, hang up family photos. While artwork can be costly, picture frames can be picked up on the cheap. Don’t feel like you have to pay for a professional photoshoot. Even normal photos shot with a digital camera can look very stylish when framed.

Don’t underestimate your home-improvement project. Before you get started, put all the necessary steps into a project plan. Estimate for more time than you think the project will take. Then have someone else give you a second opinion on your project plan to make sure you did not leave any steps out.

Give your kitchen a new look by installing a backsplash. Ceramic or glass tiles, metal sheeting, or even broken plates, applied in a mosaic pattern, can make great backsplashes. Placing backsplashes on the walls behind the sink and stove, provide great protection from splashes and stains. You can continue the pattern around the entire room if you desire.

Begin your home improvement projects in the kitchen, where owners can see up to a 500% return on their investment. To give the room a fresh, clean look, paint the cabinets white and replace the hardware. Also focus on the counters; stay away from tile and purchase granite or imitation stone.

If you are doing work near a kitchen, fireplace, or gas appliance, make sure you know where the gas shutoff for your home is located. If there were to be an accident, and gas started leaking into your home, the smallest spark could set it off. If you know in advance where the shutoff is, you can respond faster to the issue before it becomes an emergency.

If you enjoy the outdoors and bright lights, perhaps it is time to replace your windows with larger windows that provide more natural sunlight. The warmth and brightness of the suns rays will give that room a much more lively and refreshing feel, and you may even save on your lighting bill.

For homeowners who prefer a fencing option that is more for aesthetic value than privacy, vinyl and PVC may be the best bet. These materials are more affordable than other ornamental fencing types, can be easily installed, and are available in an immense variety of colors and textures. PVC and vinyl fences are low-maintenance, as they never require painting or staining.

Home improvement can save you money and it is fun. You should also keep in mind that by working on your home, you are building something that is yours. You can transform a house or an apartment into a warm and welcoming home, by putting some extra effort and love into it.

Monroe Hannig has a column regarding Roofing Suppliers