Do It Yourself Home Improvements
Easy home improvement projects
Starting a home improvement project can be a daunting task, but if a homeowner starts small, the house will brighten up in just a few weekends. Here are a few easy home improvement jobs to get you started:
- Change light switches / electrical plates. A low-cost and easy home improvement is replacing light switch and outlet casings. Often, they become dingy or damaged over time. Go from room to room and count the number to be replaced. You can finish this project in an evening.
- Replace handles. Even if you don't have the money to replace cabinets in the kitchen, bathroom or other storage areas, wash and polish the cabinets and then replace the hardware. By replacing the hinges and handles, you can modernize the cabinets and give them a fresh look.
- Paint. One of the easiest and most inexpensive home improvements is painting a room. Sometimes no one notices when you paint, but everyone notices when you need a paint job. Prioritize rooms and work through the house until all the ones that need a coat of paint are finished. Be sure to choose colors that work for both the room's size and its purpose. Darker colors will make a room feel smaller, while lighter colors can give the illusion of space. Also, bedroom paint colors should be subdued to promote restfulness; save the bright colors for offices and rec rooms.
- Clean carpets. If you don't have money to replace dirty carpets, using a cleaning machine can lift a lot of dirt from the carpet and freshen it up, leaving it in much better condition.
- Change light fixtures. Dated fixtures can really take the style out of a room. Purchase new light fixtures and install them. Usually a new light fixture can be installed in less than and hour, and can be replaced in any price range that suits your budget.
- Replace flooring. There are great products that nearly any homeowner can install themselves. There are several styles of tiles, laminate and wood flooring that can be laid by the homeowner that will really improve the look of a floor. Most of these can be completed in a weekend and for a few hundred dollars, depending on the size of the room.
- Update your bathroom. There are few simple improvements that can update a bathroom - replace worn, dated or grungy faucets, toilet seats and towel bars. Each of these simple replacements gives a bathroom a face lift without a lot of time or expense.
- Stain / paint wooden decks. This can usually be done in a weekend. Be sure to replace any rotten boards before refinishing. For the cost of a few gallons of stain or paint, it can really improve the first impression of a house.
- Update the exterior. If your house needs a paint job, get it painted. Patch up any siding, brick or stucco that may be damaged. (You will probably need a professional to repair brick, but you can easily find out how to do stucco and siding repairs yourself, as long as they're minor.) Paint the trim around windows and doors, and consider adding a walkway or some kind of yard feature to draw attention.
- Caulk, insulate, patch. Even though they're ordinary home improvement tasks, they are worthwhile. Go around the windows, doors and the foundation of the house. Look for cracks or separation that can lead to rodents and insects entering the home, as well as moisture damage and heat / air conditioning loss. These three small improvements can improve fuel and electricity bills while also keeping unwanted creatures out of the home.
With a few easy and inexpensive home improvements, your house will be a warmer, cozier and brighter place to live.
By Mary Jane Suttor