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Home looking dated? Five ways to upgrade it

Want to give your place a new look? TODAY home contributor Lou Manfredini shares his easy-to-do repairs that'll put your home in tip-top shape without stripping you of all your cash.
/ Source: TODAY contributor

There is one thing for sure: A well-maintained, up-to-date home is worth more, whether you are selling or staying put. Below are some ideas on a few repairs and updates you can accomplish to keep your home looking great and save some money along the way.

Hanging items on the wall can be a tricky endeavor as many times a simple nail is just not strong enough to hold things in place. Tap-N-Lock™ by ITW makes hanging things on your walls very easy, and these can hold up to 100 pounds depending on the type of anchor. You simply tap the plastic anchor pin into the wall and then choose the correct type of hanging device you want from different types of hooks or screws. They are available at hardware stores and home centers; to learn more, go to Easy Anchor's Web site.

Bringing your tired wood cabinets back to life is a breeze with a secret from the antiques world. Howard’s Restor-A-Finish, when used with #0000 steel wool (the more zeros, the finer the wool) with the grain, will restore the finish. A small bottle costs only about $10 and can cover your entire kitchen. It’s also great to use on fine furniture and comes in different shades to match your wood. Available at most fine hardware and furniture stores as well as at Howard Products Web site.

Granite countertops are becoming more and more popular because the way they are cut and shaped has become more automated and thus brought overall costs down (something you do not hear a lot of these days). But cleaning and sealing your counters are the two steps you need to take to protect your investment. Stone Care International (SCI) makes a terrific family of products for these tasks. The cleaner will not streak or harm the finish. The Spray-N-Seal should be applied every one to two years and is easy to do; simply clean the tops really well and then apply the sealer liberally to the surface. Stone Care's Web site has additional information on how to care for your countertops no matter what they are made of.

OK, this is not a maintenance tip, but it's one that I know many of you have considered: Adding a bathroom, sink or shower in a basement or room where access to the underside of the floor is not possible or too costly. This system sits right on the floor and uses a pump to accept waste water and then pump it up and out. The cost of the main unit is about $1,000, and you can add a tub or sink to the unit as well for a complete bathroom system. When installed, you will hardly know it’s any different from a standard traditional plumbing setup. For more information on the toilet system, visit Sani Flo's Web site. (Check your local plumbing codes to make sure the unit is allowed.)

I hope these tips help you keep your home looking great. Do not be afraid to invest in your home; it is a good use of your money in the short- and long-term.

If you have more questions or comments, please visit Lou Manfredini at .