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Top 15 DIY Projects Under $50


15-front door-flickr-miketually
Photo credit: miketually / Flickr


Minor repairs or improvements to common household systems can be completed with quite a few tools and some basic skills. Almost anyone can learn to complete these tasks and save hundreds of dollars on service calls and utility costs in a year.

After a few attempts, the do-it-yourselfer gains confidence in working with home improvement supplies. Success in one room of the house will encourage almost any creative individual to continue with other improvements that make sense.

In addition, the wise DIYer recognizes the tasks that require professional assistance before any damage or injury have occurred. These suggested projects can be completed by almost anyone according to AARP.

15. Front door weather stripping

Walking past the front door should not reveal a dramatic temperature change from the other rooms in the house. An involuntary shiver indicates the need to replace the weather stripping that creates the seal around the exterior doors.

Simple candle tests can be conducted to evaluate the extent to which air is seeping around exterior doors whenever barometric pressure changes or the wind blows from that direction. These minor leaks add up to big energy bills since the house never feels warm. The thermostat will indicate low temperatures even when other parts of the house are too hot. The furnace will cycle more often, which wastes energy.

On a gusty day, spread newspaper on the floor to catch the candle wax, light a candle and pass the candle in front of the door seam. An airtight door will not allow air to pass and cause the candle flame to flicker. In some cases, the door will allow the wind outside to blow out the candle.

Open the door and look at the existing weather stripping. A strip of foam is the most common weather stripping material. The foam strip meets the door to create a seal against wind and moisture outside. Many years of use will leave the weather stripping smashed tight against the doorframe.

Replace the weather stripping with a similar material of identical width, which should match the frame around the door. In some cases, the incorrect width was installed, and the weather stripping was not supported. Home improvement, or hardware, stores carry a wide selection of weather stripping products.

In most cases, the cost will be less than $10 per door. A continuous strip along the side of the door is important because seams will allow air to bypass the door. Once the new weather stripping is installed, conduct the candle test again.