Category: Home Improvement

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How to Replace Exterior Window Trim

Welp, we had some rot. Specifically, the trim around one of our exterior windows was rotting away. How can you tell if window trim is rotting away? It feels like a sponge when you poke it. Wood is not supposed to resemble a sponge. Since winter is coming (don’t laugh, we have embarrassingly short summers!), Mrs. Frugalwoods and I are trying to knock out a few needed projects on the exterior of the ol’ Frugalwoods home and...

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12 Ways to Get a Steal on Craigslist

When we bought our house two years ago, we had essentially no furniture. To give you an idea, I’d made my previous dresser out of cardboard boxes–so, we were faced with a pretty blank slate. Solution? Craigslist, make our own, garage sales, and the side of the road. But most especially, Craigslist–the font of incredible used goods. If you haven’t purchased new furniture recently (or ever), take a gander at the prices. Go ahead and look. Mortified? Horrified? I...

18

7 Ways to Become A DIY Hero

Is your toilet making an ominous gurgling sound? Front door lock getting harder and harder to turn? Perhaps your doghouse lost a shingle or your light-switch no longer switches. The normal (non-FIRE) busy professional will confidently tell themselves, “Self, you’re important and have a full-time job!  It’s not worth your time to try and fix that. Plus, you’re a klutz and what if you make it worse?” Not worth your time. That’s a funny phrase. You’ll see people do...

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How to Refinish Kitchen Cabinets: Part 2

Howdy! If you haven’t read Part 1, you’ll want to do that first. Step 12: Prep your primer (and later, your paint). Pour a small amount of paint into a personal paint cup/old plastic container. Don’t dip your brush into the gallon because it might contaminate the whole supply–eek! With a personal paint cup, if you get debris on your paint brush, you’ll only ruin a small amount of paint. Use a hammer and nail to punch small...

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How to Refinish Kitchen Cabinets: Part 1

Refinishing kitchen cabinets is an excellent frugal alternative to installing new cabinets, which can cost thousands of dollars (say what?!). While I won’t lie to you–this is a time-consuming endeavor–it yields a major impact and isn’t difficult! It’s such an inexpensive alternative to completely renovating a kitchen and you could get creative with colors. This is probably my favorite frugal home improvement. We went with white because we already have grey walls and a green backsplash and...

6

Master Bedroom Makeover: Frugal Finishing Touches

After completing the biggies in the Frugal House master bedroom makeover: painting the walls, refinishing the gold mirrored closet doors, and refinishing my poor old jewelry chest, there were a few small, very inexpensive DIY projects that really polished off the room. These are what I call high impact, low budget projects–they make a huge difference in the overall appearance of the room, but they’re just not that expensive. First: a new light fixture. The existing...

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DIY Furniture Refinishing for Under $20

I have a fantastic jewelry chest/hutch that came to me as a hand-me-down from my family. I love its many compartments and slots for various bits and bobs, but it was suffering from a case of ’90s oak and gold finishes. I knew that we couldn’t redo our master bedroom without addressing this, ahem, little eyesore.                 Now I am CERTAIN there’s a more correct way to do this, but,...

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Refinishing Gold Mirrored Closet Doors

One of the, shall we say, special aspects of our master bedroom were the gold-framed, sliding, mirrored closet doors. I knew they had to go as part of the master bedroom revamp…or did they? I conducted a great deal of research into options for replacing them and everything I found was super expensive. Closet doors are not cheap and even making our own would entail significant materials costs. So, we decided to paint them. I wasn’t sure if this would...

10

Master Bedroom Makeover for Minimal Money!

One of our first Frugal House projects was updating our master bedroom. It was in sorry shape with bruised-peach walls and classy gold ’80s accents. We went from before to after for $163.70–learn how! In this post I’ll focus on how we painted the walls. See these posts for specific rundowns on each project in the room: Refinishing Gold Mirrored Closet Doors  Refinishing Furniture Final Frugal Finishing Touches (curtains, light fixture, and the dog corner!) Total Cost: $163.70 (includes all of...

9

Home Improvement the Frugal Way

The #1 rule of renovating and remodeling frugally: doing the work yourself. Mr. Frugalwoods and I have discovered that most supplies and equipment are fairly inexpensive and can be used on multiple projects. Labor is where high costs come into play. For this reason, we tackle projects that are heavy on the labor and low on the skill. In other words, stuff that takes a long time to do but doesn’t require advanced technical knowledge. And, we’ve had to...