7 Home Upgrades You Can DIY

This post was last updated on October 19th, 2022 at 11:11 am

Upgrading your home is one of the easiest ways to increase its value and improve your quality of life. While spending large amounts of money on whole-room renovations reaps rewards, not all upgrades need to be so expensive and disruptive. There are lots of small changes you can make yourself that can dramatically improve your home.

You can do numerous DIY projects to make your house more of a home with little more than a bit of elbow grease and a few hours. Even something as complex as installing new kitchen appliances or painting can easily be accomplished on the weekend with just a few simple tools. Explore seven DIY projects you can do in your home and get started on improving your house this weekend.

Paint the Interior

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A fresh coat of paint can freshen up any room of your house. Painting is not particularly difficult and can be done inexpensively, only requiring paint, a few brushes and a roller. A gallon of paint can cost less than $20 and cover 400 sq. ft. of wall space.

A large room would probably require around $200 worth of paint. The most important part of painting is the prep work. Tape off any sections you don’t want to be painted, like light switches and electrical sockets, and ensure all floor areas and furniture are covered with protective plastic or canvas.

Always start by “cutting in.” This refers to painting the edges of the walls with a smaller brush or specialized tool before painting the rest of the wall. Also, ensure you use a good primer before painting your new color to help the paint adhere to the wall.

Replace Kitchen Appliances

Installing kitchen appliances yourself is a simple way to upgrade your home and can save you an average of $197 in installation fees. Modern electric appliances can be installed as easily as mounting and plugging them in. Appliances that use gas or are connected to your water lines, like a dishwasher, will require a more complex installation but can still be done by a homeowner with simple tools. Vent all appliances properly and ensure the outlets, gas and water lines you use are rated to handle the appliance.

Update Fixtures

Updating your lighting and bathroom fixtures can be small changes that radically change how your home looks. Many updates can be done on a shoestring budget in less than a day. You don’t need to replace your light fixtures entirely; they can be upgraded for as little as $10 with a few coats of spray paint. Simply change the color and add some shine to your existing fixtures to breathe new life into a room. If they are outdated or beyond help, replacing them should cost between $111 and $286.

Bathroom fixtures can be more expensive, but you don’t always need to replace the entire fixture. Putting a new seat on a toilet can change the look, as can painting your built-in cabinets or changing the handles and faucets.

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Install an Outdoor Kitchen

If you have ample outdoor space, adding an outdoor kitchen is one of the best and most cost-effective DIY improvements you can make to your home. These kitchens can be made of metal, wood or concrete and even use recycled materials and scrap wood to lower costs. Building an outdoor kitchen can be done for around $800 without the cost of the outdoor kitchen appliance packages, including grills, cooking ranges, ovens and refrigerators. They can be built over several weekends, allowing time for concrete to set over the week.

Add Ceiling Fans or Single Room Air Conditioners

If you live in a warm climate or in a place where it gets warm in the summer months, adding fans or single-zone air conditioners can make your home more comfortable and lower your electricity bills. A ceiling fan should be installed 7-9′ above the floor and hang 10-12” below the ceiling. The fan will only consume 75 watts of power per hour, but a conventional central home air conditioner will consume upward of 2,000 watts, representing substantial savings in both energy and money.

Installing a single-zone ductless air conditioner like the MRCOOL DIY mini split can help keep specific rooms like bedrooms at a comfortable temperature when the outdoor temperature soars. These systems come with refrigerant lines pre-loaded so they can be installed by the home DIYers. You simply need to attach the unit to an inside wall, place the outdoor unit next to your home, connect the ductwork and plug it in.

Make Your Home Smarter

Installing some of the latest smart-enabled gadgets can be a quick and easy upgrade to your house. A smart thermostat can help you run your HVAC system as efficiently as possible and lower your bills; a doorbell camera with a remote lock can help keep you safer; and smart light bulbs can help you control the illumination intensity and color of your lights.

All these smart home appliances can increase your home’s resale value and even lower your insurance premiums. Smart door locks and smoke detectors can save you approximately 5 to 13% on your annual insurance premiums, depending on your provider and the type of system you use. This can translate to hundreds of dollars saved every year.

Update Cabinet and Door Hardware

Sometimes the little improvements can make a large change. Changing all your cabinet and door hardware can turn an outdated kitchen, bathroom or home into a more contemporary space. Using only a few tools, you can remove your old hardware and replace it with a newer style and perhaps a higher quality model. A simple knob or drawer pull can cost as little as $2, while more complicated hardware costs over $80.

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DIY a Better Home

Investing in small, inexpensive improvements can help increase the value of your home and make it a more comfortable place to live. You don’t need to do whole-home renovations or spend tens of thousands of dollars. A few weekends’ worth of work and a few hundred dollars can update your home.

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