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3 Small Home Projects that Pay Off Big

The home-improvement boom shows no signs of slowing. Half of homeowners recently polled by Houzz.com, a design and remodeling site, say they plan to start or continue renovations at a median cost of $10,000. Cooking alfresco If you love to grill and entertain outside, an outdoor kitchen might be just the ticket. A gas grill, built into a weatherproof base, is the centerpiece, but you can add a burner, shelves, even a refrigerator. Cost: $7,350 to $14,200. A fire for all seasons. A chill in the air doesn't mean you have to take all activities indoors. You can extend your patio season with a fire pit. Cost: $149 to $3,995. A personal sauna Want to bring the Scandanavian tradition of sauna to your home? Consider a personal sauna heated by electricity or wood and prepare to sweat out your cares. Temperatures can reach 190 degrees. Cost: $4,000 to $15,500. For more great low-cost improvements to your home go to Kiplinger.com and search "small house projects."

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