Dust Off Your Toolbox For Easy Weekend

Weekends are a great time for home improvement projects, but many obstacles can stand in the way–finding time, not having the right tools and supplies or just not knowing where to begin.

“It’s a common misconception that do-it-yourself projects require a major time commitment,” says Steve Watson, home improvement expert and host of HGTV’s “Don’t Sweat It.” “But many projects can be accomplished in just a weekend if you start off right with good advice and use dependable resources and products.”

Following are some of Steve’s favorite home improvement projects to inspire do-it-yourselfers and tips to ensure they come out great:

Spiff Up Without Sanding Down

� Project Idea: With children and pets running around, your hardwood floors could probably use some attention. Steve says it’s easy to rid your floors of unsightly scuff marks and scratches without replacing them.

� Tip: It’s not always necessary to sand down the damaged part of wood floors to give them a newer look. Fill in cracks and gouges to make your floor look new again without a lot of time, effort or money. Thoroughly clean and clear off dust and debris before repairing.

From Basement Blues To Basement Good News

� Project Idea: Bored with your basement? Need more space to relax, work or play? Update it with a fresh coat of paint.

� Tip: Beware of deteriorating concrete; it can produce loose sand and pebbles. Repair with acrylic latex block fillers first and use waterproof paint when applying new color.

Display Away

� Project Idea: Create a new mantel to showcase family photos, mementos or artwork. Partially assembled mantel kits are available, but it’s more fun to build your own.

� Tip: Buy samples of available moldings and construct “mini-mantels” to help visualize the end design and determine nailing and fastening requirements beforehand. Remember, check with your local building department for fire-safety guidelines.