Small projects that pay off big

Make your home more appealing to buyers (and yourself) with these easy indoor upgrades you can do on your own.

Replace the overhead fixture
The Dining Room
Replace the overhead fixture
Do-it-yourself: $39 to $300 for the lamp; $40 for tools
What you'd pay a pro: $700
Skill level: 2/4
Time: 4 hours
"People who do a lot of entertaining will pay attention to this room," says Jay Fellhauer, a ReMax agent in Grand Junction, Colo.

DO THIS IF... You haven't replaced the lighting in years, and it's not meant to look antique. Brass should definitely go, says Berlin, since "that springs cheap."

PAYOFF "Good lighting is critical, especially in the dining area," says realtor Camp. "The right chandelier sets the tone and makes a dramatic impact on the buyer."

WHAT SELLS A HOUSE BEST Think universal appeal. In other words, don't go all Liberace if your house is country-style. Also, beware of an oversize or undersize fixture, which can make the room seem out of proportion. Use your dining table as a judge: The chandelier's diameter should be 12 inches less than the table's width.

YOU NEED Chandelier (stick to models that are less than 30 pounds - heavier ones require a fan brace to support, "and you're better off hiring a pro to install that," says carpenter Crowe), metal outlet box, wire nuts, electrical tester, electrical tape, safety goggles, bulbs and wire cutter

THE BASIC JOB First you must shut off the circuit breaker. In most homes you'll be able to hang a lightweight chandelier from an existing electrical box (more likely if it's metal). Expose the wires and unscrew the wire nuts to remove the previous fixture; then match up the wires from the lamp with the wires in the box.

WHERE TO FIND DIRECTIONS Go to lowes.com and select How-To Projects from the Project Center pulldown menu, then Lighting and Electric from the menu at left.

Tile

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Bookshelves

Overhead fixture

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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.