While you may not be the handiest of handymen, there are definitely home improvement projects that even someone who’s ‘all thumbs’ can tackle. If you want to make the most of your improvement budget or stretch a dollar, it pays to do it yourself.
1.Approach with confidence
Give yourself a pat on the back for taking matters into your own hands! Not everyone has the gumption to tackle DIY projects, so you’re to be commended for believing in yourself. The next step? Continue with that confidence -- you can do this!
2.Use the internet as a how-to
We’re lucky to live in the era of the internet, with plenty of websites to consult for your favorite projects. No need to wait for a “This Old House” rerun, you can access Bob Vila’s wealth of information via website and videos on YouTube. YouTube is a DIYer’s dream, especially for those of you who are visual learners. From replacing dryer belts to cutting trim, you can find out how to tackle almost any home improvement project through a step-by-step video tutorial. The world’s your oyster with information at the tap of a finger!
3.Keep a binder
Dedicate a binder to your home improvement efforts. Not only can you keep all of your plans and material lists in there, but you can also keep receipts and warranties for easy reference. When you go to sell your home in your future, you’ll have a complete record of what you’ve done to improve and upgrade the house, as well as an accurate total of expenditures and products used.
One of the easiest home improvement projects -- and one that can completely change a room -- is to paint. Taking the leap from cool, neutral tones to deeper colors that better reflect your decor or personality can be done pretty inexpensively and doesn’t require a lot of no-how. In addition to your paint (primer & paint in one is your secret weapon here), paint tray and roller, remember to use drop clothes to protect exposed surfaces -- you’d be surprised how much paint splatters -- and embrace painter’s tape. Painter’s tape can be the difference between an amateur-looking paint job and one where your friends won’t believe you’re the artist.
5.Easy does it
Don’t let your DIY confidence go to your head. Tackle one project at a time and make sure you finish each project before starting the next. That friend of yours with incomplete trim in the kitchen...for two years? Don’t be that person.
6.Tackle that leaky faucet
Leaky faucets are a fact of life, especially when you live in a home for a long time or purchase an older house. Because the washers inside faucet handles are made of rubber, they wear out or become compromised over time. Instead of calling in a plumber, shut off the water, unscrew the handle, remove the old washer and pop in a new one. Leak fixed without paying for an hour of a plumber’s time.
7.Shore up your windows
While it may be more difficult to notice in the summer months, when winter rolls around, you’ll know if you’ve got drafty windows. Check the seal around your window frame for any cracks in the caulk, and take care to remove weathered caulk and apply new. You’ll see a nice improvement in your energy bills once you get those drafts under control.
8.Know when to call a pro
There is such a thing as overconfidence. If you find yourself in a pickle with a project, don’t get disheartened, but do pick up the phone. You should also know what types of projects should only be done by professionals and realize when to step back. While not impossible to do it yourself, something like laying flooring or carpeting is a job fit for a professional, as is anything involving plumbing and electrical work if you’re not confident in what you’re doing. Getting electrocuted or flooding your home are not risks you want to take, especially if you’re uncertain about what you’re doing.
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