Here's some easy improvements that don't crush the budget.

Pulls and Knobs Open the Door to a New Look

Published: August 19, 2016
Repair and replace door hardware that makes rooms look dingy and outdated. We’ll show you how door and cabinet pulls, knobs, and hinges can give your home new sparkle.
You can slam cabinet and bedroom doors only so many times before you have to repair and replace hardware that is loose, broken, or just plain old and tired. It doesn’t take a lot of time or money to tighten loose hardware, clean globs of paint off a hinge, or replace cabinet pulls to brighten any room in the house.

Repair and Replace Kitchen Cabinet Hardware

Replacing or repairing knobs and pulls on cabinets and drawers is a quick way to give your old kitchen a new look.
Cabinet hardware can be simple or ornate, and ranges from $1 a knob to $45 or more. Here’s your game plan:
  • Repair loose knobs and pulls by tightening holding screws, replacing stripped screws, or plugging gaps with wood filler applied with a putty knife.
  • Count the number of knobs or pulls you need before you head to the hardware store. Estimating will cost you time and money.
  • To replace pulls, which are attached to cabinets by a screw at each end, measure the distance between holes -- not the length of pulls -- to assure a perfect fit.
  • If you’re switching from a two-hole pull to a one-hole knob, choose hardware with back plates that cover door scratches and holes.

Tighten, Polish, or Replace Door Hardware

Nothing ages a room like a loose doorknob. You can tighten mortise-style doorknobs by simply tightening the setscrew on the side of the doorknob. For cylindrical doorknobs, you’ll need to take the doorknob apart.
Replace dated doorknobs with sleek door levers. For easiest installation, choose a lever handle lockset made by the same manufacturer. Prices range from $20 to $160.
Buy a commercial polish, such as Wright’s or Weiman, to make brass doorknobs shine. Warm water and a little dish soap or a homemade paste of equal parts vinegar and baking soda will scrub off dirt and make stainless steel and glass doorknobs sparkle.

Clean or Replace Door Hinges

Telltale paint on door hinges says someone did a sloppy job. To restore hinges, try these techniques:
  • Wash with sudsy hot water.
  • Scrub with a nylon brush or a toothbrush. A wire brush could damage the finish.
  • Brush on paint stripper that is safe for all surfaces.
  • Polish with beeswax furniture polish or brass polish.
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Copyright 2017 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
Planning on Selling Soon? 
Do's and Don’ts of Homebuyer Incentives.


Homebuyer incentives can be smart marketing or a waste of money. Find out when and how to use them. Be sure you’re sending the right message to buyers when you throw in a homebuyer incentive to encourage them to purchase your home. When you’re selling your home, the idea of adding a sweetener to the transaction -- whether it’s a decorating allowance, a home warranty, or a big-screen TV -- can be a smart use of marketing funds. To ensure it’s not a big waste, follow these do's and don’ts:

Do use homebuyer incentives to set your home apart from close competition. If all the sale properties in your neighborhood have the same patio, furnishing yours with a luxury patio set and stainless steel BBQ that stay with the buyers will make your home stand out.

Do compensate for flaws with a homebuyer incentive. If your kitchen sports outdated floral wallpaper, a $3,000 decorating allowance may help buyers cope. If your furnace is aging, a home warranty may remove the buyers’ concern that they’ll have to pay thousands of dollars to replace it right after the closing.

Don’t assume homebuyer incentives are legal. Your state may ban homebuyer incentives, or its laws may be maddeningly confusing about when the practice is legal and not. Check with your real estate agent and attorney before you offer a homebuyer incentive.

Don’t think buyers won’t see the motivation behind a homebuyer incentive. Offering a homebuyer incentive may make you seem desperate. That may lead suspicious buyers to wonder what hidden flaws exist in your home that would force you to throw a freebie at them to get it sold. It could also lead buyers to factor in your apparent anxiety and make a lowball offer.

Don’t use a homebuyer incentive to mask a too-high price. A buyer may think your expensive homebuyer incentive -- like a high-end TV or a luxury car -- is a gimmick to avoid lowering your sale price. Many top real estate agents will tell you to list your home at a more competitive price instead of offering a homebuyer incentive. A property that’s priced a hair below its true value will attract not only buyers but also buyers’ agents, who’ll be giddy to show their clients a home that’s a good value and will sell quickly.

If you’re convinced a homebuyer incentive will do the trick, choose one that adds value or neutralizes a flaw in your home. Addressing buyers’ concerns about your home will always be more effective than offering buyers an expensive toy.