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Published: Thursday, 12/1/2005

Home Makeovers That Won't Break The Bank

Giving yourself a new home -- at the old address -- may be a lot easier than you realize. Countless projects don't even require a hammer.

"People today have the confidence and passion to tackle projects on their own. A few simple fix-ups can really enhance the way someone feels about their home," said Lou Manfredini, known as Mr. Fix-It on the "Today Show" and author of the book "House Smarts." Here are some easy and cost effective suggestions:

Easy Installation

Before changing kitchen cabinets, consider new handles and drawer pulls to update the look. Designers say a switch from shiny brass to brushed metal or stainless steel can completely change the look of a room.

Let There Be Light

Nothing brightens a room like natural light. Updated window treatments can help make that happen. They can be complemented by updated drapery hardware and soft treatments for a unified look.

Clear The Clutter

While more than 80 percent of American garages today are designed for two or three cars, over half of all garage owners say there's little or no room left for vehicles. When gardening tools and outdoor gear trump the family car, an organizer system can help with an assortment of shelves, hooks, racks and baskets, many designed for difficult-to-store items such as wheelbarrows, ladders, power tools and sports equipment.

"It doesn't take a major construction project to give your home a new look or feel," Manfredini said. "A few creative touches can deliver the makeover people are looking for." (NAPSI)

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