DIY projects that look great and save you money

Wednesday, November 08, 2017 06:59AM
Try these simple home projects to make your house look great and save you money.


David Mackey has been working for ABC13 for almost 20 years. He's been working on Stretch Your Dollar for most of those years. During that time he's picked up a few tips.

He says anything you want to do for home repair you can find an instructional video on YouTube, guaranteed.

Here are a few of his favorite do-it-yourself projects that can have a big impact.

Mackey says if you really want to make your house look updated, the best thing you can do is swap out the old switches with the paddles. This will give any room a more modern look.

First step: Make sure you kill the power to the room.

If there's only one switch for the light, you should only have three wires to deal with. Connect the wires to the new paddle in the same way, and reinstall.

"If you're taking the time to switch out the switches, the next thing you can do is switch out the plugs. I go with the squares that give it a really sleek look," says Mackey.

Most plugs have only three wires just like the light switches. But, when Mackey switched out his he found four. This means they're something known as "daisy chained."

In this situation you need to make sure you connect them all or you will have an outlet not working somewhere else in the house.

The tip here is to make sure both white wires are on the silver and both black wires are on the gold. And always connect the copper line to the green screw for grounding.



Can lights can make a big difference for both the look of a room and money savings.

"One of the best ways to save money and reduce your energy cost is to get rid of some of this hot track lighting. So, we will replace it with one of these can lights. But these are special. They are LED and only about an inch thick," said Mackey.

Start by disassembling the light, which is actually pretty simple. The light Mackey worked on only had three screws, and only three wires again.

Screw the frame into place, and then connect the wires to their matching colors.

"Once you have your frame in place and the wires connected, all you have to do is take the can light, snap them together and screw it into place," explained Mackey.

With a simple twist, you have a can light.

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