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?