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3 Do-It-Yourself Fixes That Save You A lot of Money

There are some things that you should hire a professional to do. Building your house is one of them.

However, these projects will keep houses looking and working great while saving you money. 

How to Install a Stone Paver Walkway

Image via Flickr by AntonPree

If you're as ambitious as a lot of other home owners, the Stephen Dent Construction team has barely started building your house before you start plotting out the next project: a quaint stone path. Once you've picked out the type of stone you want, follow these steps or look up a few other how-to guides to get a feel for the job:

  1. First, decide if your area receives a lot of rain. If it does, you'll need about one-to-two inches of gravel underneath the stones and will need to dig the path deeper.
  2. Once you've cleared out the path and/or laid the gravel, spread a smooth layer of sand over the entire path. Tamp the area down.
  3. Begin placing stones a few feet at a time. Wriggle each stone and try stepping from one to the other to make sure that the stone is stable and level with the others.
  4. Place coarse sand or fine gravel between the stones to keep them firm and even.

While this is a simple project, there's an art to placing irregularly shaped stones together, so keep an eye on your stack of stones to makes sure you use different sizes and shapes from start to finish. Regardless of how you do it, you'll save close to 80 percent of what a pro would charge you by taking this project on your own. 

How to Clean a Spitting Faucet

Image via Flickr by John_X

The most common problem when a faucet spews water is a clogged aerator. By twisting off the faucet tip, you can take it apart and clean each of the parts. Real Simple wisely suggests that you take apart the tip and lay the pieces on a rag in the order they were removed for easy reassembly. If that doesn't fix it, a new aerator is fairly cheap and will still save you from buying a new faucet altogether.

How to Seal an Asphalt Driveway

Image via Flickr by ActiveSteve

The real trick to successfully sealing a driveway is to master the art of the sealant brush. Many people manage doing so for the 60 percent savings they receive when they avoid hiring a professional. Here are five steps to do it:

  1. Use dish soap to scrub away any pools or stains of oil.
  2. Patch any holes or cracks for an even finish.
  3. Prepare the sealant as directed.
  4. Apply a thin layer of sealant to the drive.
  5. Let dry overnight.

If you're still worried that it will be too difficult, think about this: a few years ago, I caught my 90-year-old grandmother sealing her driveway on a 100-degree July afternoon. If she can do it, so can you.

What projects have left you extra money in the bank and an awesome feeling of accomplishment?

 
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