This week on the Ally Straight Talk Blog, we’ve been looking at how home improvement projects can help you save money in the future.

But today, the projects we’re sharing can save you both in the near and long term.  These “do it yourself” (DIY) repairs and projects can often cost less than hiring a contractor. Plus, there are many websites that provide step-by-step instructions to make DIY simple.

For example, here are a few relatively easy DIY projects and repairs that might pay off right away and continue to cost you less over time:

Installing a Door Threshold

A door threshold is a strip of metal that is placed beneath the door. It can offer protection from dust, rain, insects and drafts. In the summer months, a door threshold can help keep cool air inside and reduce the amount of work for your air conditioner, which could help you to save on your energy bills. Check out DoItYourself.com for a simple, three step method for installing an aluminum door threshold.

Replacing a Leaky Faucet

Leaky faucets are a common problem in many homes. Not only can they can cause stains in your sink, but they also waste water and increase your water bill. For a quick DIY fix, take a look at this helpful video from Lowes.com.

Installing a Ceiling Fan

If you’re looking to save money on your energy bills, try installing a ceiling fan. Not only do ceiling fans require less energy than air conditioners, but they can also improve air circulation in the room. DIYNetwork.com has a helpful video for how to install a ceiling without hiring a repairman.

Cleaning Air Conditioning Ducts

During the summer, air conditioning ducts can accumulate large amounts of dust. Keeping your air conditioning duct clean promotes cleaner air in your home and can help your A/C work less. Check out DoItYourself.com for a simple 5 step guide to cleaning your air condition duct.

Extending the Life of a Washer and Dryer

Washers and dryers are some of the most used appliances in any home. Making sure they run efficiently and last longer is a great way to reduce energy and water bills. Check out Lowes.com for six tips that could help you extend the life of your washer and dryer.

If you’re looking for more great DIY projects, check out DIYIdeas.com and DIYLife.com. Both websites offer an array of DIY ideas, tips and videos for home improvement.

What DIY projects are you planning this summer? How have you saved money with a DIY home improvement?