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Home Improvement Projects You Can Do Yourself

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More and more people find themselves staying in their homes for longer than they had planned thanks to a depressed housing market.  However, there are plenty of small projects you can do yourself that just might make you fall in love with your home all over again and potentially increase your home’s value.  Even if you have no do it yourself experience, you can likely do several of these projects.  Others might require a bit of research on the Internet, but they can reasonably be completed by an amateur.

Easy Home Improvement Projects

Paint—It is amazing what a fresh coat of paint in a new color can do to liven up a room.  Not only is this a relatively frugal home improvement project, but anyone can do it.  Gather up a group of your friends and have a painting party.  There are plenty of websites such as Benjamin Moore that can give you inspiration for wall colors and other design elements.

Remember, painting do it yourself projects are not just limited to walls.  The Frugal Girl updated an antique dresser with a coat of paint and knobs, and look at the difference.  She got the dresser for free from Freecycle and only spent $23 on supplies for a nice looking dresser (when she was finished).

Change out knobs—Whether you are replacing the knobs on your dresser or the knobs on your kitchen cabinets, this simply switch out is easy to do and can breathe new life into tired furniture and cabinets.  My mom always did this; she bought plan white knobs and found a friend who was a good painter to paint an image on them to match the room’s décor.  These custom made knob designs enhanced the whole room.  If you don’t want to change the knobs, you may just try cleaning the kitchen cabinet handles.  Sometimes the metal gets tarnished and a good cleaning with a special metal cleaner can make them shine again.

Rip out carpets—If you have an older home, chances are that you have lovely wood floors under your carpet.  However, before you rip out the entire carpet, just lift up a corner of the carpet in an inconspicuous spot.  If there are nice wood floors, you may want to rip out the carpets.  Of course, after that you will likely need to refinish and polish the wood floors, but a local janitorial supply company should be able to give you instructions and allow you to rent out the large equipment you would need.

More Difficult Home Improvement Projects

Install chair rail and/or crown molding—Both a chair rail and crown molding make a room look more finished and can increase the value of your home.  The trickiest element with both is making sure that your measurements are exact; if not, you could have a crooked chair rail or corners that don’t match up on your crown molding.  This Old House offers a step-by-step tutorial, if you are interested in this project.  (Just take a look at the pictures to see how much crown molding enhances a room.)

Create a patio out of pavers—My husband made a paver patio for my mom when we were first married.  Like crown molding, the most important step is to use a level to make sure the pavers aren’t uneven and to slope the patio away from the house so the rain water does not pool by or into the house.  Ron Hazelton offers an excellent video tutorial of how to create a small patio of pavers in one day!  Best of all, his estimated cost for a 6’ x 8’ patio is $125, but it will increase your home’s value more than that.

Installing a ceiling fan—Ceiling fans are a great addition to any room; they can keep you cool in the summer, and in the winter, they can distribute the air so you don’t have to use as much heat.  This project can be a bit intimidating because you have to work with electrical wiring.  However, Ron Hazelton offers another how to video that can help you learn how to do this.  With this DIY project, you can lower your air conditioning bill considerably.

Whether you are looking to improve your home to sell it or just to make it more comfortable and pleasing to you and your family, there are several projects that you can do yourself over a few weekends to spruce up your home, increase its value and reduce your energy consumption.

What other home improvement projects have you tackled yourself?

{ 7 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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7 Responses to “Home Improvement Projects You Can Do Yourself”

  1. Jim M says:

    I’m a big diy-er. In addition to the instant equity that a lot of projects provide, there is the added benefit of living in a space that reflects who you are. I’d rather live the way I envision my life as opposed to the way some builder thinks I should live. I love it when people come to my house and say “wow”.

  2. collegekid says:

    BACKSPLASH! I am actually in the process as I am typing this (my stove has been unplugged for a week now, living off microwave food). Anyways, doing a backsplash in the kitchen gives a whole new look and its fun to do. I am doing it by myself so its easily manageable as long as you can move your own appliances.

  3. There are some “facelift” things you can do yourself too, like replacing the hardware on cupboards and drawers, touching up the paint on baseboards, and repainting in general. It can save a lot of money!

  4. Shirley says:

    Many years ago we added wood paneling half-way up on walls of our dining area. With kids in the house it was originally intended for its washability (kids=spills 🙂 ). It really refreshed and changed the look of that area. Later we wallpapered the top half and I still really like it.

  5. Oscar R says:

    Last year, I did the wall painting of our 1,100 sq. ft. townhouse. I visited the Lowe’s website to get some ideas on interior wall painting. I listed down the materials to be needed. After 4 days, I was able to finish the job.

  6. Melissa says:

    That’s an ambitious project, but I bet it made the place look brand new!

  7. Jayson says:

    I’ve never heard of patio pavers; going to have to look into that one. Meanwhile, your other tips are pretty good, but for someone like me, who discovered that I don’t know how to paint (trust me on this one), it’s usually one of my most costly investments, which is why I’ve only done it a couple of times over the years.

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