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Home-and-garden
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An inviting way to welcome visitors is with a lamppost casting light on a driveway or walkway leading to the front door. It's a distinct feature for a home, as well as a safety measure that assures safe footing and easy passage. Don't think about tackling this job unless you're a qualified electrician because it involves installing new wiring, which must meet the...

Home-and-garden
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A convection wall heater solves the problem of getting heat to a room that a heating system doesn't reach, like a drafty room at the end of a hall or an out-of-the-way bedroom. Since it mounts on a wall, it works well in a small space like an always chilly bathroom on a winter morning. The installation is straightforward because it's a ceramic flat panel unit plugged...

Home-and-garden
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Replacing old laminate kitchen cabinets can be expensive, but a cheaper route is to paint them. That's assuming the cabinets are structurally sound and you're up for a major household disruption. That disruption is caused by several steps required to prepare, paint and finish the job with plenty of drying time in between.

Home-and-garden
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This is not a favorite job for most homeowners, but it's an important one because cleaning and repairing a gutter system prevents soil erosion and water damage to the siding and foundation. We call it grunt work because it's messy and unpleasant, but it's so inexpensive to do compared to the high cost of water damage. Your reward is knowing every time it rains, your...

Home-and-garden

Never trendy, always in style; that's a wood blind, a nice addition to any style room. You'll find them in a nice selection of shades-- from tinted white to deep ebony-- with slats that range in width from 1 3/ 8 inches to 2 3/ 8 inches. Take a walk around the window design center or window treatment section of a home center or go online, and you'll see defining details to consider.

Home-and-garden

Button up your windows, and protect your home from cold air entering in the winter and warm air escaping in the summer. Apply caulk with a caulk gun wherever there's an opening, even a small one around window frames. It's especially important around older windows, where gaps can occur and allow air to infiltrate.

Home-and-garden

Lighten up- your entrance, that is. Make your home accessible at night with a porch lantern to brighten the area and assure safe footing in the evening. A bright light at night is also a good deterrent to intruders who prefer a dimly lit entrance.

In this series, NerdWallet interviews new homeowners across the country about their unique homebuying journeys and the financial decisions that helped them along the way. Email vlai@nerdwallet.com to share your…

Home-and-garden

An awning style window is a popular choice as a replacement because it provides light and opens outward to catch the breeze. The sash closes tightly against the frame, making it better than a traditional double-hung unit at stopping air infiltration. It's often used in a basement or kitchen where light is wanted over a sink.