<h2 style="margin: 10pt 0in 0pt"><font size="3" color="#990000">Weekend DIY projects mean lasting home improvements</font></h2><p><span style="line-height: 200%; font-family: ‘Verdana’,’sans-serif’; letter-spacing: 1pt; font-size: 10pt">(ARA) – With the national median home price down double digits from the same time last year, it’s no surprise that many homeowners are deciding to stay put. As a result, many are looking for ways they can improve their homes. Luckily, there are many do-it-yourself, cost-efficient home improvement projects that will do just that.</span></p><span style="line-height: 200%; font-family: ‘Verdana’,’sans-serif’; letter-spacing: 1pt; font-size: 10pt"><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">"Right now, people are looking for ways to get more enjoyment from their homes because they know they are going to be living in them longer," says Tom Sullivan, founder of Lumber Liquidators, the largest specialty retailer of hardwood flooring in the United States. "However, with the economic uncertainty, homeowners are focusing on projects that provide a big return without a big investment."</p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><strong>Below are some simple projects that can be completed in as little as one weekend:</strong></p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><strong>Build a new backsplash in your kitchen</strong></p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">Building a new backsplash is an easy way to showcase your personality and add character to your kitchen. Character can be added by implementing tile design tricks, such as placing tile diagonally to add dimension to a room or placing tile in patterns to form interesting mosaics.</p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">No matter which design you choose to create, the most cost-effective way to build a new backsplash is to research several tile options before making your final tile purchase. Experts say that, in general, ceramic and porcelain tile are the best options in terms of cost, starting at $10 per square foot.</p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><strong>Replace your old bathroom vanity</strong></p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">Standalone vanities are a hot trend in bathroom design because they provide the look of furniture, adding a more comfortable feeling to a bathroom. Vanities are available in many different styles and sizes, ranging from small sizes, which are about 18 inches in width, to large sizes, which are about 72 inches in width. With such diverse vanities to choose from, there is a vanity to suit any taste and replacement timeline. </p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">Vanities can be installed in only a matter of hours with the correct number of people. Installing a vanity usually requires at least two people in order to make the installation process move quickly and smoothly. However, the size of the vanity will determine how many people should help to install it.</p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><strong>Replace your carpeting with wood flooring</strong></p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">Wood flooring can increase value and add style to your living room. Light woods can make a room appear larger, medium woods can make a room appear more traditional, and dark woods can make a room appear warmer. </p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">"The introduction of so many new species, colors and types of flooring in recent years allow homeowners a lot of options when renovating a room at various price points," says Sullivan. "At the same time, innovations such as click flooring have made it easier for DIYers to install a new floor."</p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"> </p><div style="text-align: center"><object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,29,0" width="425" height="282"><param name="movie" value="../images/banners/12a.swf" /><param name="quality" value="high" /><param name="menu" value="false" /><param name="wmode" value="" /><embed src="../images/banners/12a.swf" wmode="" quality="high" menu="false" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="282"></embed></object></div>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">Installing wood floors on your own can cut down on the overall cost of your flooring project and can easily give your living room a beautiful new look from between $1,000 and $2,500, depending on the size of your room. For more information on wood flooring, visit <a href="http://www.LumberLiquidators.com/" target="_blank">LumberLiquidators.com</a>. </p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">Projects like these make your home look unique and get a great return on your very affordable investment. </p>  <p><span style="line-height: 200%; font-family: ‘Verdana’,’sans-serif’; letter-spacing: 1pt; font-size: 10pt">Courtesy of ARAcontent</span></p></span>