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No-Cost/Low-Cost Home Improvements

Easy, inexpensive ways to make a home safer and more comfortable.

It doesn’t matter if you are a homeowner, renter, or what kind of home you have, there are many no-cost or low-cost improvements you can make to your home that can greatly increase its comfort, safety, and livability.  Begin your home makeover today and discover how small, simple updates can make it easier for you to go about your daily activities while staying comfortable, independent, and injury-free in your home.

No-Cost Home Improvements

  • Open blinds and curtains and raise shades during daylight hours to increase natural light inside the home.
  • Place exposed electrical, telephone, and computer cords along a wall where they can’t be tripped over and always remove all cords from under furniture or carpeting.
  • Remove clutter from stairways and passageways to help prevent trips and falls.
  • Set the hot water heater to 120 degrees to reduce energy costs and prevent scalding while bathing.
  • Remove all scatter and throw rugs that can cause falls.
  • Place items you frequently use in an easily accessible place.
  • Check the carpeting on stairs to be sure it is firmly attached.
  • Arrange furniture to allow for easy passage.
  • Check outdoor walkways for loose bricks or pavers and any debris including wet leaves, moss, or mold that could cause a fall.
  • Trim overgrown shrubbery to provide a clear view from doors and windows.

 

Low-Cost Home Improvements with Products Costing Under $35

Most of the products mentioned here can be purchased at your local hardware or home improvement store.

  • Increase light by using the highest wattage light bulb or compact fluorescent (curlicue) bulb appropriate for the light fixture or lamp.
  • Place double-sided carpet tape or self stick carpet mesh under large area rugs to prevent slipping.
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on all levels of the house, especially outside bedrooms.
  • Install nightlights in the bathroom and in hallways leading from the bedroom to the bathroom.
  • Use a rubber-suction bathmat or anti-slip floor strips or decals in the tub or shower to help prevent slips and falls.
  • Replace knobs on cabinets and drawers with easy to grip D-shaped handles.
  •  Place or mount an A-B-C rated all purpose fire extinguisher in an easily accessible location near the stove/oven so you are prepared for any type of kitchen fire.
  • Install motion-sensor outdoor floodlights to light the way for you and to deter burglars.
  • Replace traditional light switches with easy-to-use rocker-style light switches.


Low-Cost Home Improvements with Products Costing Under $75

Most of the products mentioned here can be purchased at your local hardware or home improvement store.

  • Install easy-to-grip lever door handles on all doors instead of doorknobs.
  • Install a handrail on both sides of any staircase to stay steady on your feet and to help prevent falls.*
  • Install a hand-held adjustable shower head for easier bathing.
  • Mount grab bars next to toilets and bathtubs and in showers for help getting up or down and to help prevent slipping and falling. *
  • Place a sturdy bathtub or shower seat in the tub and/or shower for comfort and safety. 
  • Install off-set hinges on all doors to add two inches of width for easier access.*
  • Install user-friendly lever handle faucets in your sinks and in tubs or showers.  Some faucets even include built-in anti-scald protection.
  • Install a security peephole on exterior doors at a height right for you so you can identify the person wanting to enter.*
  • Install photosensitive porch or entryway lighting that will come on at dusk and turn off at dawn.  A light switch timer can also be installed on interior switches for exterior porch or post lights.*
  • Install outdoor floodlights that switch on by motion sensors to light the way for you and to deter  burglars.*

 

*Best installed by a professional.

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