As a homeowner, you understand the work and projects never stop. From routine cleaning to a never-ending “to-do” list, the projects continue every season. Fortunately, not every project requires a huge budget and lengthy timeline. Additionally, industry and real estate experts love to share home improvement tips that help find contractors and determine what makes a difference. Finally, there are plenty of DIY home improvement projects that anyone with a “can-do” attitude and a little patience can complete over a weekend.
DIY Home Improvement Projects That Improve Your Property Value
Homeowners constantly seek projects and renovations that reflect their style and improve their property value at the same time. Unfortunately, not every project or improvement improves home value. For example, certain large, upscale projects, such as kitchen remodels typically don’t increase property value. Conversely, some smaller projects, like a new front door return significant value.
1. Paint the Front Door
As they say, don’t judge a book by its cover. And the cover of your home is the front door. Plus, front doors are the first and last thing guests see when they come and go, so keeping the front door in good condition helps improve the overall value of your home. As a result, painting the front door only takes a few hours and improve the value of your home. Lolly Jane offers a great DIY tip on painting your front door
“The ONLY prep I did to paint my front doors was wipe them down and tape off the little windows inside. That’s IT. The paint did all the work! No, I didn’t take them off the hinges, no I didn’t spray them, yes, I simply painted with a small hand brush. Truly easy and I adore the after color! So fun and vibrant on our old little farmhouse.”
2. Add Seating to the Backyard
Interestingly, the backyard provides plenty of opportunities for increasing your property value. For example, adding a deck helps entertain friends and family. Plus, in the summer, a great backyard provides a fantastic place to hold cookouts and adding a deck is the perfect way to host more people. Deck additions are a fantastic DIY home improvement project (perhaps for a long weekend). For other ways to add seating, Great Day Improvements offers a few more ideas.
“Seating can be added to your backyard in a variety of ways, from a beautiful set of table and chairs to a backyard gazebo. Gazebos can be a great addition to your outdoor space and a rather easy DIY idea. They are attractive and have a variety of design and utility merits. Seating areas can be used for dining, socializing or simply relaxing. For extra appeal, add a beautiful winding path of decorated gravel or marble that leads to your seating area.”
3. Increase Kitchen Storage
Although kitchen remodels typically fail to increase home values, adding storage makes any room more desirable. For example, storage remains a premium in most rooms and in particular, the kitchen. As a result, as Better Homes & Gardens notes, increasing kitchen storage makes any home more desirable.
“Whether your kitchen is large or small, ample storage is always a selling point. Take advantage of unclaimed wall or corner space with open shelves to keep dishes, spices, and cookware within easy reach. Embellish plain shelves with decorative brackets to add personality. If you frequently entertain, consider mounting a wine rack next to cabinetry.”
DIY Plumbing Home Improvement Projects
During the summer, certain activities strain the plumbing system. For instance, if your home has a pool, then filling the pool strains the pipes. Along those lines, watering lawns and gardens puts constant pressure on your home water. Plus, from cookouts to summer guests, the plumbing system remains in use all the time. As a result, a few DIY home improvement projects help improve your home plumbing.
1. Fix the Garbage Disposal
Summer provides some great food and snacks. Unfortunately, our garbage disposals don’t love these same summer foods. For example, avoid putting the fibrous parts of summer fruits and vegetables, such as corn husks or melon rinds, down the drain. Also, avoid putting any bones down the drain that may result from grilling chicken wings or anything similar. Ultimately, understanding what to avoid helps prevent clogged drains. However, clogs still occur, when means fixing the garbage disposal and drain.
“To start, unplug the unit and ensure that are no tripped breakers in the fuse box. Next, attempt to clear the clog by turning the blades manually with an Allen wrench (there should be a hole at the bottom of the disposal). If the blades were clogged, then when you plug the unit back in and turn it on (it might need a minute to cool off – if so, press the reset button on the bottom and try again) everything should work. If the clog persists, but the garbage disposal is clear and working, then additional steps are needed.”
2. Keep the Washing Machine Working
In particular, we remain cooped up all winter and head outside during the summer months. However, all of this activity means more dirty clothes. For example, in the summer, we spent lots of times at picnics, cookouts, swimming and running around or even sitting in hot cars. All this means extra laundry. Therefore, washing machine issues occur as the increased usages takes a toll. Fortunately, there are a few DIY tips that help prevent issues.
“Be sure to stay around the house while doing laundry, so you can catch any problems fast and shut the machine off before they get worse (be sure to call a professional appliance repair technician with any needed repairs or concerns). Some older models may simply need a “break”, so washing your laundry one load at a time instead of doing several loads at once can also help. Finally, move your washing machine out from the wall a little, as this will help keep the water hose from kinking.”
3. Avoid Clogged Toilets
As always, the best way to fix (or avoid) a clogged toilet remains avoiding an issue. However, life and clogs happen. As a result, if a clog occurs:
- Scoop out excess water from the bowl (but leave a couple of inches at the bottom). Feel free to use a shop vac or lay down towels to avoid a bigger mess.
- Plunge. Use a toilet plunger, which are cone-shaped to fit in the drain-hole. The remaining water in the bowl acts as suction, which creates water pressure to remove blockage. Try this a few times.
- Snake or auger the toilet. Following the toilet plunger, use a snake or auger, which are long wires with a corkscrew tip. Feed the wire into the pipe while simultaneously turning the handle clockwise until it hits the block. Keep turning the snake or auger, which allows the tip to screw into the obstruction. This will either clear the block or the debris will stick to the tip of the auger. Be careful putting it into the toilet, this will prevent scratching the toilet in visible areas.
For any plumbing issues that require more than a DIY approach, then make sure you work with a qualified plumber. To help, the experts share some ways to find the best plumber around your area.
DIY Electrical Home Improvement Projects
Many homeowners remain tempted to work on all home projects, including electrical work. For those with the required training and experience, a DIY aptitude helps contain costs and provides immense satisfaction for a job well done. However, for those without the proper skill set, any electrical work turns into a nightmare. Especially electrical work, which presents some unique challenges due to working with electricity.
Please note that the safety, energy efficiency and management of the electricity usage in your home depends on having an experienced electrician to diagnose issues, repair problems, and install or upgrade your services. There are some DIY home improvement projects, but please understand your strengths and weaknesses prior to attempting any electrical work.
1. Add Lighting Fixtures
Adding or upgrading your home with a new electrical fixture provides a great opportunity to show your sense of style. Of course, not every room offers sufficient space for lighting fixtures. The solution? Quick lighting fixes that enlighten closets, steps, pantries or any other small area in your home. However, for the DIYer, take the time to understand your electrical panel prior to attempting any lighting fixture project.
“Depending on your home electrical board and panel, you may not need any professional assistance. For example, swapping out an old fixture with a new fixture offers homeowners with a nice rainy day activity. However, in order to add a new fixture, you may need to upgrade your electrical panel.”
2. Replace Electrical Outlets
Have you recently painted any room in your house? Or made any other decorative changes? If so, then your electrical outlets might not match. Upgrading your outlets and cover plates offers homeowners with another seemingly small DIY home improvement project.
“Although, this electrical work remains a potential DIY project, proceed with caution. For example, ensure the electricity is completely turned off at the breaker. Plus, as with any electrical work, any improper installation potentially leads to injury and/or fire.”
3. Add Some Home Automation
Perhaps the most discussed advantage of home automation remains the ability to control your home temperature. Yet, home automation does much, much more. For example, home automation helps control various essentials like the use of electricity, heat and air conditioning. Plus, automation potentially offers homeowners with extra savings around 20% (on average) or $1,154 a year.
“Home automation lets your electrical system (and related energy costs) work smarter – not harder. Many automation or smart products, rely integrate into the electrical and/or HVAC system. Therefore, for any projects beyond swapping out a thermostat, experts recommend electricians complete any required electrical wiring related to any connected home product installation.”
For any electrical work or inspections, please find the right professional electrician that meets your needs.
DIY HVAC Home Improvement Projects
Every home contains a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. The HVAC system acts as the heart of the home because it keeps everyone comfortable throughout the year. From efficient heating in the winter to sufficient cooling in the summer, the HVAC maintains your home temperature. Although the HVAC system mainly relies on major appliances, DIYers can take a few minutes to keep the system operating nicely.
1. Change Air Filters
Air filters are a key component of a functioning HVAC system. Additionally, changing air filters remains one of the easiest DIY home projects. However, for new homeowners or novice DIYers, simply ask your HVAC tech for a quick training because this is essential to keeping the AC unit running smoothly during the summer.
“The AC pulls air from inside the home, which is cooled by the AC. Then, the air is supplied to the rest of the home through the HVAC system. The air filter prevents dirt, dust, and other particles from entering your system. If the filter is dirty or clogged, it reduces the airflow. The reduced airflow makes the HVAC system less efficient and makes the system work harder to keep you warm or cool you down.”
2. Replace Windows
Not necessarily directly related to the HVAC system, but the windows in your home impact your comfort. For example, leaky windows allow cool air in your home during the summer to escape around window frames to the outside. As a result, your A/C must work harder to keep your home comfortable. Conversely, during the winter, cold external air enters your home through the same leaks, which means your home heating system must work harder to keep your home comfortable. As a result, some new windows (along with proper insulation) works with your HVAC system to maintain your home comfort. But, not sure a window replacement is really a DIY home improvement project? Realestate.com shares some details on the project.
“I would have thought this DIY project was too much for a beginner if I hadn’t just watched a man who had almost zero experience replace all the windows in his house. The key to deciding if window replacement is a good DIY project for you is simple. Do you have aluminum windows in a standard, off-the-shelf, size? If you do, the process of pulling the old ones out and putting the new ones in isn’t that tough and can make you feel great. Especially on a cold winter night.”
3. Schedule a Tune-Up
Not technically a DIY project, schedule a tune-up. In particular, if you find yourself with some time during a weekend, then do some research and find a local HVAC company that performs annual tune-ups. The best companies offer 24/7 service, so although you may not need an immediate inspection, you can schedule a tune-up for a later date. HGTV explains why an annual HVAC tune-up is worth it.
“Stay ahead of the curve with a yearly furnace inspection. It costs less than $100 and lends longer life to your HVAC. Keep a record of your tune-ups to give to potential buyers.”
Find a qualified HVAC technician to inspect your AC system to ensure it is leak-free and operating as efficiently as possible.
Finally, for any plumbing, electrical, HVAC and even water treatment issues, call SolvIt because we have the experience and expertise necessary to fix any home service problem.