TODAY

TODAY   |  October 18, 2013

Fifty bucks to a better home

Eric Stromer, HGTV home improvement expert, demonstrates the best DIY projects to refresh your home’s exterior for fall, like a personalized mosaic mailbox and a fun tree swing for the kids.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we're back on this try day friday with more of "today." here with some simple projects you can do yourself for 50 bucks and under is home improvement expert and host of home wizard eric strober.

>> welcome.

>> this is what i want to talk to you about today. this is a good example of a friend i did for my house. my kids love it. this is some wood, with some paint. let's see your paint skills. you can go ahead and paint your 2 by 4, 2 by 6 material before, cut it to size and assemble that swing in a matter of minutes and before you know it, you got kids all around swinging.

>> i love to spanpaint. i love to paint.

>> you're got at it.

>> your neighbors may not like it, but, yeah, yeah.

>> okay, good. stop now. you can do it all day. look how nice that looks ultimately. again --

>> hoda.

>> sorry.

>> oh, gosh.

>> come on, let's do another project.

>> okay.

>> for mailboxes, i've done this, a traditional mailbox, you can fancy it up with some tile, glue it on there. you can get these at any big box store . try it on your end. you can try it.

>> i'll try it just for fun.

>> comb on this mastic which is easy to do.

>> what is that?

>> mastic. it is an adhesive, goes right on the mailbox.

>> peel this off?

>> leaf it on. place it any way you want or do single or individual pieces if you want to give it that nice feeling. we could take a little more time, but that's basically ultimately --

>> looks good.

>> not bad.

>> for a couple of dollars, fancy up the mailbox.

>> cool. that's going to heat up the mailbox when the sun starts hitting that.

>> i'll tell you what's going to happen, if the rain hits it, it will watch off and look clean and will look fantastic. grout it after that, grouting is very simple. apply the grout into the cracks like that. 45 degree angle with your float and rinse it off with a sponge and then you got the nice cracks filled up. looks beautiful, right? you can buff up that haze and get the finished look. this is exciting because nighttime is a great way to enhance the way your home looks. if you have a little bit of lighting, it can improve the exterior. you can light a tree like we see here and at night it gives you the dramatic look and feel to the property, right?

>> and doesn't have to be electric. those solar ones are great now.

>> right.

>> and what is so nice about the solar stuff is it is basically one light for about $46 here and if you're around a corner where you don't get sunlight but still want to have light, they now make it so that the panels can go around the corner of the house and get the sun during the day. at night, it still lights up.

>> very cool.

>> this, no wiring necessary. just plug it in the dirt and then get your light at night and again, for 45 bucks, you can did a dramatic transformation on the exterior of your house.

>> i love that. we did that.

>> the other option is to wire it with a traditional transformer, but that's a lot more effort and work and money, obviously. i think that's a great option. and then these are great because these are l.e.d. light strips and these culley come in six foot lengths and they're about $40 for a six-foot length. you can find different price points. what happens here is you never have to replace this lightbulb.

>> ever?

>> about a 15 to 25-year period in terms of how long they last. you can adhere it to the bottom of any railing, can hide it and get that dramatic