10 low-cost home improvements

Re-dress your windows

Still have those old, rickety aluminum blinds that are a pain to clean? Swap them out for blinds of a better material, shades or shutters. The possibilities are endless, especially at an online store like blinds.com.

But your fix could be much easier: You can just change your drapery panels, even if you're picking a second option so you can swap them out for the season: lighter, summery ones that let in air for summer and heavy, insulating options around your coldest windows for the fall and winter months.

Another easy fix: change the bar from which any drapes hang, or add new tiebacks for a fresh look.

If you're really looking to shake things up, you can add valances or cornices. You don't need to be a master wood craftsman to create cornices. You can buy them specifically for your windows. They cost about $300 for an 18-inch window.