father and daughter painting a wall together while fixing up their home

Simple (and low-cost) projects to fix up your home for the holidays.

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Simple (and low-cost) projects to fix up your home for the holidays.

3 gifts for your home and you.

The holiday season is upon us. Give yourself and your home a gift, by taking the time to jump on a few home improvement fix-ups that can make a difference in your enjoyment and real estate value — whether you’re welcoming family into your home in person or celebrating by Facetime or Zoom.

This is a good time to set a home improvement or holiday budget and stick to it.

Shop for holiday sales. If you were going to ask for new tools for Christmas, maybe it’s best to agree that the gift can be yours early. Make good use of them now, and you can always wrap them up and put them under the tree later.

A weekend and a couple of cans of paint can make a huge difference for your walls. Likewise, a sander, a can of stain, and some new knobs or pulls can turn a consignment-store dresser into a beautiful addition to your home.

Here are four affordable wish-list items you can get started on now:

1. Outside interests

plant on back porch of home

This year, you may not be welcoming guests inside your home or hosting parties. That makes this the perfect time to put your money, time, and efforts into boosting your home’s curb appeal. Fall is an excellent time for planting new shrubs and bulbs.

Nothing says more about your home, your taste, and your personality than your entryway. Paint your front door a color that reflects your interior taste. Perhaps a cool green or a soft blue. If you need or want to replace your front door, consider one with multi-paned windows to add character and allow sunlight into your entryway.

Don’t forget weather stripping to keep out the chill. Add a pretty new doormat, some new street numbers, and a new light fixture or mailbox, and you can put a pretty smile on your home’s face.

Although this may not be the time for planting flowers, use your empty planters to plant small evergreen shrubs that add attractive greenery now. When the weather warms, they can be replanted in your yard.

Sprucing up your entryway by power washing walkways and stoops can also make a noticeable difference.

Don’t forget your garage door. It can cover a lot of your home’s façade space. Give it a fresh coat of paint or consider having a professional install a new door that will add a new look.

Once again, you can select a garage door with windows that can allow sunlight into your garage space. Spending some time to clean and organize your garage can be helpful if you need to use the garage space for activities, during this “at home” time.

2. Keep the home fires burning

What says the holidays more than a fireplace? This may be the year to install a corner fireplace if you don’t have room for a traditional version, add gas logs to an existing fireplace, or maybe build or buy an outdoor fire bowl.

If you have an existing wood-burning fireplace, it’s smart to have an expert chimney sweep do a yearly cleaning and maintenance check. If your fireplace is unusable, fill it with an assortment of candleholders, battery-powered candles, logs, and greenery to make a warm and inviting scene.

If you live in a rented home, a faux fireplace or an antique mantel mounted to the wall will add a holiday touch that you can take with you.

3. New holiday traditions

friends hanging string lights outside back door of their home

Why not make an investment in a few new holiday decorating ideas that you will enjoy year after year?

Decorate your entry door with greenery and ornaments that reflect your holiday traditions. But why stop there? For an even more festive touch, decorate the interior of your entry door the same way. This is especially great for apartment or condo dwellers.

If your door opens to an enclosed hallway with few passersby, then save the glitz for you to enjoy inside with decorations and memorabilia that are meaningful to your holiday traditions. Drape a stair railing or kitchen cabinet tops the same way. Battery-powered lights make adding twinkle all around the house simple and easy.

Easy, affordable touches can include switching out pillows, artwork, and candles for holiday themes.

Finally, and maybe most importantly, if you can’t be with family and friends this year, have them join you in spirit. Ask each of them to send you a favorite photo of themselves that you can have printed and make a photo wall gallery with a matching set of white or black frames. Plan a Zoom celebration where you can show off the set.

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