With the down economy, many people are taking on home improvement projects themselves rather than hiring someone to do it for them. This can save a lot of money if you know what you are doing. However, it requires some preparation and know-how. In this article, you'll find many helpful tips for taking on your home improvement projects.Analyze your reasons for remodeling before you begin any project. If you are remodeling to increase the likelihood of a quick home sale, focus your efforts on the kitchen and bathroom. These two remodels typically have the highest return on investment. If you are remodeling solely for personal reasons, you can begin anywhere you like.If a slamming screen door has your nerves rattled, apply a pearl-sized dab of silicone caulking on the areas of the doorjamb where the door usually hits the hardest. After allowing the silicone to dry for about three or four hours, you will immediately notice a difference in the way the door shuts.When it comes to home improvement, consider adding extra insulation to your home to assist with your cooling costs in the summer and heating costs in the winter. This will save you money as well as keep you and your family more comfortable. The two best ways to insulate are to add weather strips to your doors and ensure that your attic is lined.During summertime, go outside and pick some wildflowers. Place the wildflowers between the pages of an old and unwanted phonebook. Pile about 50 to 60 pounds of books on top of the phonebook to press the flowers dry. After about a week or two of pressing, adhere your flowers to a piece of cardstock and hang them in your room. They create a great focal point as well as a nature friendly approach to home decorating.When making home improvements, plan for the worst. If you're working in a basement or bathroom, plan and budget for mold removal. If you're pulling down the walls in an old house plan to find knob and tube wiring.Create extra seating in your kitchen. If you don't have the space for a full sized kitchen table and chairs, think about using barstools around a kitchen island. This creates a casual area, perfect for eating a quick bite or simply chatting with family and friends. If your kitchen is too small for an island, consider using counter stools.Clean kitchen counters can help to sell a house. Remove everything except your coffee pot, a nice set of knives, and perhaps a bowl of fruit. The cleaner your counter tops are, the more organized your kitchen will appear. Your kitchen will also feel larger and more user friendly.Consider installing eavestrough covers to keep leaves and other guck out of your water drainage system, preventing damage and flooding. A great product approved by Mike Holmes is Smart Screen Gutter Protection, which fits over existing eavestroughs so you don't have to pay to have your entire drainage system replaced.Don't be afraid to use bright colors in the decor of your home. Paint a wall pink or red if you want to. It's only paint, you can always re-paint it later. The most important thing is letting your own personality shine through in the style of your home.Consider the payback when adding improvements to your home. The more personally-tailored an improvement is, the less likely it will increase your home's value to others. Others will not see the same value in your hand-painted kitchen tiles from Italy. Estimate a return of approximately 50 cents for each dollar you put into improvements.An excellent alternative to siding on your home is to replace it with stucco. Stucco comes in a large array of colors and styles and can be versatile and fit your personal tastes perfectly. Stucco is also fire resistant which can be a great selling point down the road if you are trying to move.If you are undertaking home improvements on the outside of a dwelling, do make sure that you continue to keep the look of the property in line with the local area theme or character. Having a personalized property that is considered an eyesore by the neighbors, will not sell well at a later time.If you live in a rural area, consider purchasing a power back up generator. When the lights go out and sometimes your heating even depends on it, you can be without power for hours or even days in seriously harsh weather. A power generator can help you take care of the necessities that you can't do without when the electricity is out.For the budget-minded homeowner working on a plumbing home improvement project, plastic PVC piping makes an entirely suitable substitute for expensive copper piping. PVC has been extensively tested and used for years without danger or failure. It is easy to work with and highly durable. The money saved by using PVC can be applied to more visible, usable home improvements.In addition to insulating your attic, there are other things in your home that you can insulate, one of which being your pipes. Insulating your pipes prevents heat loss as water travels through them from your water heater. This can quickly lead to less expensive energy bills as you will use less to heat your water.Have a large bulletin board in your kitchen or living room, where you can write reminders for yourself of things you need to do or bills you need to pay. Emergency phone numbers, contacts, brochures, postcards and notes to yourself, look better arranged on a bulletin board and won't clutter your refrigerator or other appliances.An extremely simple way to improve your home is to change out your air filters. Not only do allergens and dust creep into your air ducts when the filter is too clogged, but the efficiency of your system can be brought down by neglecting to change the filters. This is very important to do often if you have pets in the house.Using the home improvement tips described in this article, you will be capable of completing your home improvement projects in a cost-effective and timely manner. Keep these helpful tips in mind, and you will be on your way to creating the living space and home you have always desired.