Do It Yourself Home Improvement
Home improvement projects are projects you can do yourself and save money on. But some things are better left to professionals.
Common DIY Home Improvement Projects
- Converting a Garage into a Bedroom
- Decking How to Build
- Remodeling A Basement
- Home Renovations
- Bathroom Remodel Average Cost
- Cost To Paint A House Exterior
If you have tiny cracks in the home, such as around windows or in the drywall, you can use caulking to fix them.
Caulking is also a low-cost solution that can prevent more expensive repairs in the future.
An acrylic latex caulk is essential if you plan on caulking on any vertical surface.
-This caulk will be slightly flexible when it dries so it won't crack later. If you're doing flooring work, choose an all-rubber silicone caulk for the best results because it can withstand moisture and wear better than other varieties.
Painting is one of the most popular DIY home improvement projects, and for a good reason. Not only can painting refresh your home’s look, but it can also help increase its value.
As a way to reduce your energy costs, consider painting every few years.
Painted walls reflect heat better than bare walls, so you can expect to save about 10% on your air conditioning bill by painting all four walls in a room in light colors (white or bright yellows).
Walls painted in dark colors absorb more heat from sunlight, resulting in higher air conditioning bills during the summer months.
On top of those benefits, the painting will also help protect your home from the elements: Our homes are constantly exposed to rain and sun damage
—without proper protection, these elements can cause mold growth within our homes, reaching up to $5 billion annually.
If you don't already have storm shutters installed on your windows, then now is a great time to install them because they will help protect against water damage and insect infestation during rainy seasons like hurricane season here.
Drywall is the ubiquitous material used to construct interior walls in homes and buildings.
Drywall is made of gypsum, a mineral rich in calcium sulfate and water, combined with paper or fiberglass mesh to make the sheets.
The mesh allows for a more even adhesive application and provides an extra layer of strength.
While drywall can be used as a decorative wall finish like plaster or stucco, it's most commonly found as the flat sheet on which you mount cabinets, shelving, and other building materials.
It's not easy to work with: In its raw form, it lacks character; when painted, it can look cheap, but when appropriately finished—with smooth edges applied evenly throughout—it can look beautiful!
Mold and mildew maintenance
Mold and mildew are common in humid climates, and they can cause health problems and be toxic to pets, so it's essential to take care of them quickly.
To grow, mildew must be exposed to high humidity, like shower curtains or bath mats.
You might not see it immediately, but once you do, you'll want to kill it before it spreads further.
Tile replacement is a great DIY project. You'll need to remove the existing tiles, clean the surface, and prepare it for new tiles.
Once you've cleaned up your flooring area, use an adhesive to attach new tile sheets to the subflooring beneath.
Once your new tiles are in place, wipe them down with a damp cloth or sponge so they don't get too dirty while drying overnight.
Make sure you allow 24 hours for them to dry thoroughly before walking on them, or else you might risk cracking them.
Roof and gutter repair
Before you begin: check for leaks. Ensure the roof is safe and in good working order by inspecting it and replacing any damaged shingles, gutters, flashing, ventilation, and chimney flashing damaged by storms or other accidents. Then repair or return these items with the corresponding materials.
Materials needed: hammer; flat pry bar; chisel; hacksaw or reciprocating saw with an abrasive blade; masking tape; waterproof adhesive caulk (if applicable); hammer drill with masonry bit set to accommodate 1/2 inch shank drill bits.
Once you've chosen to replace your windows, it's time to start. Here are some tips for measuring for new windows and installing them:
- Take measurements of each window's width and height. This information can be found in the user manual with your old windows.
- If replacing a double-hung window, measure the rough opening between the frames at both top and bottom using a tape measure.
Make sure there is at least 4-1/2 inches of space between each of these measurements so that you have enough room for glazing material like vinyl or aluminum (if not, consider replacing it with a casement or other type).
- For casement windows, determine which side will be exposed by measuring from one end of the existing frame opening to any part of either side.
Measure up through any mullion hardware above this area; if there aren't any mullions, measure from the inside edge at the bottom frame rail exposed on the exterior face (the inside look will be covered by trim).
-This measurement will give us our rough opening widths from the exterior face where the trim will cover it up.
Create an in-depth budget and timeline.
Before you start, you'll want to create an in-depth budget and timeline. While creating this list can feel like a monumental task all at once, don't be afraid to break it up into steps. For example:
- Create a general budget for the project. Decide how much you're willing to spend on materials, tools, and other expenses that may come up during the project (e.g., food for your helpers).
Add up these numbers to get your total budget amount, and add in a bit more so you have some cushion if something unexpected happens.
- Plan out the project in detail. Break down each step of what needs to be done into smaller tasks and write them down as necessary so everything is transparent in advance—this will save a lot of time later on when things get hectic.
When planning projects like these, it's essential not only to know HOW MUCH but WHEN things need to be done, too, since having people over while they're still working/moving around isn't always ideal.
Make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons.
Before you embark on a home improvement project, ask yourself why you want to do it. Are you doing it because your partner wants the house fixed up?
Do you think it will make your life better or more productive? Are there more personal reasons, like wanting to see what's involved in making something work and learning how things work?
If the answer is “no” to any of these questions, then maybe this isn't the right time for you. If all else fails, try taking some time away from your ideas for what needs fixing and seeing if they still feel essential once the dust has settled.
Being a home improvement expert isn't necessary to do your work, and you can handle many of these projects with the right tools and a little know-how.