Fixing up your house is an exciting and exhilarating task… but it’s also an expensive undertaking. If you want to improve the curb appeal of your home without breaking your budget, consider getting in touch with your inner-DIY spirit. Doing projects yourself is a great way to save money, take total control over the outcome, and feel a deeper sense of pride for the place you call home.
1. Paint the Place
Sure, you can call a professional painter and have your kitchen repainted perfectly in a few days, but at a cost. A big cost. Whether you need to repaint the interior or exterior of your home, it’s possible to do the job perfectly yourself, saving a good chunk of change in the bargain. The costs will be only the price of your time and the materials you buy.
A few tips to help you get the professional-looking results:
- Never paint outside in rainy or humid weather. The extra moisture slows paint’s ability to dry, creating a drippy effect – probably not the look you’re going for.
- Sand or scrape cracked, flaking, and peeling areas before you apply primer or paint. The weight of new paint is likely to pull any loose old paint, leaving your walls looking like they have dandruff. Follow this up with a light rinse over the walls to be painted.
- Buy the right tools: brushes, rollers, painter’s tape.
- Remove light switch and cover outlets before starting.
- Apply primer first if you’re not painting on a smooth, clean surface. Interior walls can usually be painted with a paint-and-primer combination.
- Paint from top to bottom, ceiling to baseboard.
A bit of inspection and prep before painting will save you from many unwanted headaches. You can even watch a few handy YouTube videos to solidify your painting expertise before beginning.
2. Install Hardwood Floors
Nothing looks quite as sleek or attractive as hardwood flooring through your entryway and rooms. Fortunately, you don’t need to pay thousands of dollars to have it installed professionally. This DIY task is surprisingly easy to do as long as you’re ready to use a hardwood floor nailer!
Before you begin, determine the square footage that you need to cover. To account for any cuts and waste, it’s best to order 10%-15% more flooring than you predict you’ll need. It’s also important to measure the thickness of floors or carpet in adjoining rooms so that you can select a wood that keeps the floors at similar heights across your home.
There are many (many!) hardwood floor material choices, from mundane to luxurious. Sort through your options to find a design within your price range. Next, get working on preparing the subfloor that your beautiful new hardwood will rest on. Make sure it’s level, remove old nails and staples, and clean with a shop vac. Lay down an underlayment to serve as a vapor barrier and overlap it by four to six inches with every row.
Finally, install your new flooring. Arrange the hardwood planks in an organized and consistent manner. Let your nail gun do most of the work. Now, sit back and enjoy the results.
3. Landscape the Surrounds
Even if you don’t have a green thumb, you can still enhance your landscaping and gardening with DIY projects:
- Layer flowers and low-growing greenery in your front yard.
- Create a rock arrangement for areas that can’t grow plants or are narrow or awkward.
- Install window boxes or outdoor shelves for added character.
- Use brick edging to outline areas of your yard.
- Display flowers in containers along walkways or steps.
The options for landscaping and gardening are truly endless. You only need a few minutes on Pinterest to find enough DIY inspiration to last you a lifetime.
4. Update Faucets and Toilets
This DIY project might not be visible from the outside, but you and your family will certainly be glad to have flushing toilets and running water at all times. A few simple DIY plumbing tricks make it easy to replace old or broken faucets and toilets. Simply buy your selection from a home store like Lowe’s or Home Depot and following the instructions to install. It should only take a few hours for this entire project, from start to finish.
Don’t wait to get out of debt! Read this: A Complete, Step-By-Step Guide to Get Out of Debt.