Spring Zing: Small-Scale Home Improvement Projects with Big Results

(ARA) – After bundling up all winter, spring elicits feelings of joy and excitement with its promise of sunshine, warmth and renewed life. Take the cue from Mother Nature and rejuvenate your home this season. Without spending an overwhelming amount of time and money on an extreme remodel, achieve high-impact results with small-scale home improvement projects sure to give any home zing this spring — inside or out.

Begin by opening windows and drawing the curtains, allowing fresh air and sunlight to infiltrate the atmosphere. Pack away the apple-cinnamon scented candles and potpourri, and introduce aromas of freesia, lavender and rose. Lighten the d├ęcor by exchanging dark-hued linens with white and neutral tones, and incorporate vibrant tones in every room with vases of freshly-cut flowers. Now that your home is infused with spring scents and colors, decide on home improvement projects to pursue.

Gatherings with family and friends often bring everyone to the center of the home, the kitchen. It is an ideal place to begin refurbishing. Ranging from $500 to $800 and a few hours of time, a granite island extension creates an eye-appealing and functional kitchen addition. Granite adds a touch of luxury to any space and has become today’s building material of choice due to its elegance and durability. Just a small amount of this lustrous stone has a big effect, so replacing all of the countertops to upgrade a kitchen’s appearance is unnecessary.

Due to its complexity, professionals should always handle cutting and preparing granite. In an effort to keep the cost to a minimum, homeowners can consult with local suppliers in search of small, remnant pieces of granite. Suppliers frequently have small portions from previous jobs sitting idle in a warehouse and are often willing to sell them at a reduced price. They will provide a template of the desired design for approval, cut the granite to your specifications and deliver.

The homeowner can accomplish the installation in just a few easy steps. After cleaning the existing countertop, run a bead of Liquid Nails Ultra Duty Poly around the perimeter as well as a zigzag bead down the center. Carefully place the new granite countertop in place. Verify spacing is accurate on all sides. If removing the existing countertop is desired, apply a bead of Ultra Duty Poly to the perimeter of the cabinet and continue with installation. Allow adhesive to set over night or a minimum of eight hours.

Now that the inside has been given a breath of fresh air and is ready for entertaining, begin focusing on the outside. Take a step back and look at the home’s exterior. The winter months tend to wreak havoc on the landscaping and the overall appearance of a home, leaving homeowners with a long list of outdoor to-dos. Begin with the flowerbeds by pruning perennials and removing annuals. Add lively new plants infused with the colors of spring. Next, take a look at the home’s overall curb appeal. Have years of winter wear-and-tear taken their toll, requiring a fresh coat of paint?

“Exterior paint not only makes for a beautiful home, it provides a barrier against wind, rain and direct sunlight,” said Vanita Marzette, ICI Paints brand manager. “For many, exterior painting can be an overwhelming undertaking. For this reason, This Old House paint is offering homeowners the chance to win 30 gallons of exterior paint, plus $2,500 to be used towards the labor and materials needed.” Log on to www.thisoldhousepaint.com from May 1 through June 15, 2006 for complete contest rules and to enter to win. The winner will be selected by a random drawing.

Courtesy of ARA Content