As you look around your house, you may notice areas that could benefit from a DIY home improvement project—some you might actually be able to tackle this weekend. It’s important to choose DIY upgrades that are achievable according to your skill level, budget and timeline.
The first step of any DIY home improvement project involves some planning. Think about what supplies you need and how much time you can devote to your project. You can find a lot of home improvement tips online from bloggers and DIYers, as well as on the websites of some home renovation shows. Your local hardware store may also offer DIY home improvement demos. And always remember, some of these projects could be dangerous to do by yourself. Get a professional’s help if you aren’t comfortable taking on a project.
Here are five DIY projects, each with three levels of difficulty, that you can start this weekend.
If you find yourself searching around tottering piles of shoeboxes to find your missing work clothes, this DIY home improvement project could revolutionize your mornings.
Some retailers will have you upload the dimensions of your closet online when you order a customized kit, which you can save money on by installing yourself. Others sell easy to install kits that can be adjusted to fit your closet.
You can achieve a more customized look and feel if you measure and sketch out your own system design, then purchase the racks, shelves and drawers at a home improvement store.
You can build built-in wooden shoe racks, drawers and shelving for a more luxurious closet.
If your kitchen is totally functional but its dated look is bringing you down, a refresh of this frequently used room can give a lift to the whole house.
If you choose drawer pulls and cupboard knobs with hardware that require the same placement and number of holes as pulls and knobs you’re replacing, all you really need to pull off this easy upgrade is a screwdriver.
Paint the front of your cupboards and drawers a fun, on-trend color such as clean white, ocean blue or forest green, adding a backsplash of faux tin ceiling tile or stick-on tiles.
If you haven’t laid tile before, attend a class or watch an online tutorial. Laying tile with mortar takes some experience to do well, but you can save a lot of money by doing it yourself.
The area around the front door tends to collect clutter as people go in and out; yet it’s the first area people see when they enter your home. Rein in the chaos to help your home make a better first impression.
Make sure hooks are at the proper height to accommodate the outerwear your family uses most.
To attack two pervasive forms of clutter, electronics and papers, install a wall-mounted charging station and mail organizer. You can buy both readymade, or construct custom versions out of wood or metal.
If your entryway has the room, build a bench where people can sit down to remove their shoes, with wooden lockers or cubbies for each family member behind it.
If you are looking to reduce your home’s water use, you’ll find two big water wasters can reside in the bathroom: older or leaking toilets and old shower heads.
This project may not even require tools; you can screw off most shower heads, then screw on a new one. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the average family could save a whopping 2,700 gallons of water a year by replacing their existing shower heads with ones that earn their WaterSense label, which guarantees that it uses no more than two gallons of water per minute.
You don’t have to be a plumber to carry out this project, but you should look up some step-by-step instructions online if it’s your first time. The EPA estimates that, by replacing toilets with WaterSense labeled models, a household can cut toilet water use by 20% to 60%.
Once the old toilet is removed, it is a convenient time to replace the floor or wall surfaces, if desired. Here, too, you can improve the efficiency of your home. If you feel chilly after getting out of the shower but don’t want to raise the thermostat for the whole house, you might want to install an in-floor heating system, which involves securing heat mats to the subfloor and connecting them to your home’s power system before laying a tile floor.
If your elementary schooler just started middle school, or your tween is entering high school, it may be time for a bedroom upgrade. In an ideal world, when kids have a room that matches their personality, it’ll encourage them to keep the space neat.
Many varieties of wallpaper come in sheets or tiles and are reusable, so if your child tires of the design, it could be passed on to another child. Or, if they love it, they could take it off to college.
Replace a childish light fixture with a ceiling fan and light with a remote, and install blackout shades for late-sleeping teens.
Remove carpeting if there is hardwood floor beneath. Construct a window seat with built-in storage for a cozy and space-efficient reading space.
Once you choose a project and work out a budget, ask yourself how you will purchase the supplies and tools you need. If you plan to pay for the home improvement project gradually over the next few months, putting it on a credit card may not be ideal because of high interest rates.
With an easy application process and, typically, lower interest rates than those on credit cards, a personal loan such as a Marcus Home Improvement Loan may be a wise choice for funding small DIY home improvement projects.