TIP OF THE WEEK

Impactful home DIY projects can be simple. Here are five inexpensive DIY projects that anyone can tackle easily and inexpensively, according to Sherwin-Williams.

* Make a hardware swap. Instead of investing in replacing kitchen cabinets, update the look of your existing cabinetry by updating the hardware. Crisp, sleek hardware goes best with a modern kitchen, while traditional kitchens reflect a more detailed offering.

* Apply a fresh coat of paint.

* Illuminate a simple change. Sometimes simple updates like adding a new lighting fixture can make a big difference.

* Build a gallery wall. Choose the photos and prints that appeal to you and have fun creating an arrangement you love.

* Breathe new life into your existing furniture. Reupholster your old furniture to reinvigorate it.

SECURITY

Secure your home the smart, affordable way

During the holidays, burglars know many families travel to visit distant loved ones. Plus, homes filled with gifts can be a treasure trove for thieves, according to Iris by Lowe’s. DIY home security systems make it cost-effective to keep your smart home safe and secure during the holiday season and throughout the year.

Professional monitoring of a smart home security system from traditional players and well-known brands can cost nearly $50 a month — and then lock you in for four to even five years or longer. When you’re already spending on holiday shopping and celebrations, the extra cost of monitoring can seem daunting.

DIY systems typically offer the same components, such as security cameras, motion sensors and smart locks, but without the costs of professional installation and the long-term contracts.

SOLAR POWER

Myths about solar panels debunked

Here’s the truth behind five solar panel myths, according to renewable energy expert Roger Ballentine, president of Green Strategies, and LG:

1. Solar panels only work in warm, sunny climates.

Panels can absorb ambient sunlight, even on cloudy days or in regions that get less bright sun. Higher-efficiency solar panels can save you money in any climate and every season.

2. You need a lot of roof space for solar panels.

High-efficiency panels take up less space because fewer are needed to produce the electricity to power a home.

3. Installation is a long, drawn-out hassle.

Adding solar panels to your home isn’t a DIY project, but installation takes only a day or two.

4. If something goes wrong, you’re on your own.

Like any appliance, make sure you understand the manufacturer and installer warranties for your solar panels.

5. Solar panels will look big, bulky and ugly on your roof.

Today’s solar panels are becoming smaller, sleeker and more aesthetically pleasing.

KID-FRIENDLY

5 tips to redesign with kids’ safety in mind

Smart homeowners take a strategic approach to home improvement projects to keep kids safety in mind during the redesign process.

Window coverings: The Window Covering Safety Council recommends looking for the Best for Kids certification label. This is a rigorous program that requires third-party safety testing for manufacturers.

Electrical: Update outlet covers to sliding plug options. With these you never have to worry about replacing the outlet plug again because it closes automatically when not in use.

Furniture and decor: Always stabilize furniture, decor and any other items that could fall over. Safety anchors and brackets are widely available online and at retail home improvement stores. They are quick and easy to install and may save a life.

Interior paint: Before you select your hue, research paints that are appropriate for children. Look for zero-VOC (volatile organic compound) labels and environmentally friendly options.