Suggestions For Your Next Home Improvement Project
Being a homeowner can be a challenge at times, but it also offers you plenty of opportunities to flex your DIY skills. If you have a few projects around the house that need doing, but you don’t want to hire out “commercial tools” to do them, here are some DIY things you can get done this weekend. Handy homeowners can make good use of tools to touch up their property, and the most dedicated and skill-intensive jobs are best left to contractors. You can look online and compare different contractor crews to find the best one for the job. An average kitchen remodeling job will cost $23,913, but that’s only for a full-scale remodel. You can touch up your kitchen alone for a tiny fraction of that price. Many exterior improvements can be done economically. For example, adding a fresh coat of paint to your residential garage doors can help improve the curb appeal of your how. Read on to learn more cost-effective home improvement and DIY tips.
Some home improvement jobs are best left to the pros, but many are quite doable for a homeowner to do alone, such as minor bathroom remodeling or kitchen remodeling. For example, why not apply a fresh new coat of paint to the walls? The color and texture of a house’s walls are important for setting the home’s visual theme and general tone, and a home buyer may decide that the previous owner had very different tastes in color. This does not require any advanced skills; in fact, nearly anyone can do it, and responsible members of the household can help, such as your adolescent children. To get started, you may decide which rooms will be repainted, and then visit local hardware stores to find the right supplies. This ranges from choosing the desired colors to buying enough buckets of the correct paint, as well as the primer. Not only that, but if you do not already have them, you may also buy paint rollers, special tape to protect surfaces from paint, and more. Brushes are meant for a canvas or small details; painting an entire wall is best done with a roller.
Prepare the room for these DIY home projects by scattering newspapers or other disposable papers on the floor, to protect the carpet or tiles from dripping paint. Also, apply tape to wood features or other surfaces that should not have paint on them. Now, once the primer is set, you can use the roller to apply a few layers of paint, all over the wall, and make sure to keep the paint a consistent thickness. Each layer should be allowed to dry before another is applied. These DIY home projects can make a room feel fresh and new, and often at a minimal cost.
Minor Bathroom Remodeling
Heavily involved work will require professional crews, such as putting in a new toilet. But DIY home projects on a smaller scale can be done in the bathroom as well as the kitchen, and not just interior painting. For example, you might not like the old lighting fixtures in the bathroom, and you can replace old light bulbs with new ones, or change the shades on lamps or wall or ceiling-mounted fixtures for a new look. Meanwhile, you can also not only polish and clean off the toilet, but also remove its seat and cover and put on new ones, for a nice new look. Many hardware stores include toilet seat and lid sets, or carpet-like covers that can slip over an existing lid for a fresher look. Some toilet seats and lids have a plastic-like finish, while others resemble wood.
It may be too difficult for you to overhaul all the plumbing in here; that is beyond the scope of DIY home projects. But then again, you might choose to change the showerhead. Showerheads are easy to swap out since they simply screw onto the shower arm that extends from the wall. If you do not like your current showerhead or want one with new features, unscrew it and purchase a brand new one. Some showerheads are simply a wide panel with nozzles, and others are attached to long, flexible metal hoses. Such shower heads are ideal for spraying yourself anywhere, or for washing off a dog in the tub. Some shower headsets do both: a fixed head and a second head that can be detached and moved around, connected to the shower arm with that metal hose. Many of today’s showerheads adhere to strict requirements for water efficiency, which helps a house save on its water bill and help ease the strain on local water tables and aquifers. So, easy DIY home projects include shower improvements, and you can screw on the new head with little difficulty. In some cases, you may need to wrap plumber tape around the shower arm’s threads, but some showerheads don’t even require that step at all. These DIY home projects are quite efficient that way.
New homeowners will soon realize that nothing in their house should be taken for granted, and even the large, seemingly indestructible roof will need care. Replacing all the damaged tiles is work best left to pro roofers, but simple DIY home projects include roof inspection and gutter cleaning. A homeowner can use a ladder to get up high enough to check for roof damage, and even take photos of it for reference. While up there, the homeowner can also clear out debris in their gutters, such as densely packed dead leaves. Doing this helps maintain water flow. If the gutters are clogged, then too much water will build up in one area during rain, and a lot of heavy water will pool on the roof. This makes it easy for rainwater to leak right into the house. Fortunately, easy DIY home projects such as gutter inspections and cleaning can prevent that. Just be careful up there, and use gloves for this work. You might even have someone else hold the ladder steady while you work. Don’t let this work get interrupted with a trip to the emergency room!
Even the air conditioning might suffer from time to time, and simple DIY home projects can help ease strain on the system. For one thing, make sure that nothing is blocking any of the vents, and sweep off or clean off any dust, spider webs, or other debris that is clogging up the vents. Going deeper into the system and cleaning off the blower fans is best left to the pros, but easier DIY home projects range from cleaning off the vents to making the house more HVAC-friendly overall. How? Outside temperatures may interfere a lot with the HVAC system, more than you might realize. During spring and summer, an open window admits a lot of warm sunlight, which heats up that room and even the entire house. This will overwork the air conditioning for sure. In winter, bare windows let a lot of warmth escape through their glass, and that will strain the heater.
So, easy DIY home projects such as installing a rod with new drapes or curtains can prevent that sort of temperature interference. In summer, close blinds and shades that face the sun to keep hot sunlight out, and in winter, close thick drapes to keep warmth from getting out. Double-pane windows are designed to not let any warmth escape during winter, which can also help. Besides, it is a good idea to have blinds and shades anyway, since they are stylish in a room and help maintain some privacy. You don’t want anyone to see right through your windows and spot valuable items that they might break in to steal later. If necessary, automated and motor-driven blinds and screen systems can be set up on large windows, and operate either on a schedule or when the owner uses a remote control. Those automated blind schedules are helpful for keeping out sunlight while the homeowner is away on a trip, for example, since no one is around to operate it directly.
Dryer duct cleaning is loosely related to cleaning off the grates of your air conditioning system. How does a modern dryer dry off and warm up the wet clothes inside? It channels warm, dry air from a duct in the wall and blows that air through its interior. But even this system may suffer from dirt, and a lot of built-up lint, hairs, and fibers will clog that vent. This problem is easy to diagnose when the dryer repeatedly fails to fully dry off clothes inside. So, the homeowner can carry out DIY home projects for their dryer, such as cleaning out the duct or calling repair crews to look over the electrical components. Be careful when moving a natural gas-powered dryer, since it will be a real problem if gas starts leaking. At any rate, moving aside the dryer is essential for removing its air duct hose and accessing the duct in the wall. With gloved hand and long wires and hooks, you can grab and pull out balls and clusters of lint and dirt inside, and this will fix the problem right away. Air may now flow freely again and thus restore the dryer’s function. Waste disposal is also easy for this: just a broom and dustpan to collect all the lint and dirt that gets on the floor.
Let’s not forget the exterior and lawn. Is it time for a concrete crack repair kit? A sagging sidewalk calls for professionals who can perform concrete lifting, but a repair kit is useful for a homeowner who is interested in DIY home projects. Such kits can be found at hardware stores and online catalogs, and they come with all kinds of materials for the job. They are designed to be easy for non-professionals to use, and the materials may easily flow through all cracks and gaps deep in the concrete. This will seal up the cracks and prevent water from leaking, which in turn can help prevent destructive sagging later on. Besides that, filling up the cracks removes unsightly imperfections on the concrete surface, and prevents the cracks from being a tripping hazard. This can also be done on concrete patios.
While we are performing outdoor DIY home projects, let us also consider fence installation. Only very handy homeowners can do this variety of DIY home projects since it is labor-intensive and requires knowledge of the local soil and earth. But if you are able, you can purchase all the fence posts, boards, and other materials necessary for fence installation. First, you will dig holes for the fence posts, and then install the posts and make sure that they are secure (doing all this correctly will require some expertise). Now, you can use hammers, nails, and more to install all the boards to make a wooden fence.
Several things should be noted about a wooden fence. For one thing, make sure that all the support beams are on the inside of the property and not the outside since those horizontal and diagonal beams make for good handholds and footholds. Having them on the outside makes it easy for intruders to climb right into your property. Also, wooden fences are more expensive than chain link models, but they do offer much more privacy, and they easily keep out people and stray animals alike. What is more, you may want to install a gate, so that people can easily get into the yard, should they have a key for it. A gate will be on hinges and should have a lock mechanism on it. Feel free to paint the fence, too.
This is a minor topic, but still counts. Outdoor work is more than just hardware; it can also deal with living things. Landscaping usually means having pleasant greenery in the lawn, and you can buy bags of grass seed and fertilizer and scatter it across the ground with specialized devices shaped a bit like lawnmowers. Pushed by hand, these devices can scatter the seeds and fertilizer all about, and they can be found at hardware stores and stored inside a shed on your lawn. And of course, regularly mowing your lawn keeps all that grass looking its best.
Consider the merits of trees and gardens, too. A tree is quite practical, since these large, tough plants can help prevent soil erosion, and their shade can help keep a house cooler in summer and thus ease the strain on the air conditioning. In cooler weather, trees are a fine windbreak, and they are also very efficient at filtering and cleaning the air. The same is true of bushes and hedges. Finally, why not make a home garden, and surround it with low walls to define its border? Many homeowners spice up their back yards with flower gardens, or they can even grow vegetables such as carrots, peppers, and tomatoes there for some home cooking. But wildlife such as rabbits might try to eat the vegetables, so you might invest in some chicken wire to form a fence that keeps out unwanted wildlife. One last note: studies show that investing just 5% of the property’s value in landscaping can yield an ROI (return on investment) of 150%. That’s quite efficient, even if you’re doing DIY home projects alone.