If a DIY project is wallet-friendly and can be done in
a weekend, editorial assistant Sal Vaglica is game to try it. Up next, installing a fireplace-mantel kit like this one from Decorative Concepts
, which he'll use to update the focal point of his living room. To keep prices low, there's assembly required, but nothing that can't be done with a drill/driver, wood glue, fasteners, and a miter saw. Kits come sized to fit your particular firebox and in various wood species, including oak, walnut, and alder. Paint-grade medium-density fiberboard (MDF) starts at about $197.