Easy DIY Home Improvements
Home repair can be expensive and time consuming, and even a small job can cost big money if you call in a professional. With a few tools and a few skills, there are some repairs you can do yourself!
The many benefits of homeownership come with a few liabilities, and one that every homeowner comes up against is the need for maintenance and repair. All homes eventually develop issues that their owners just cannot ignore. Whether it’s leaky windows in the winter or broken AC units in the summer, some repair and improvement projects must be taken care of if you want to maintain an acceptable quality of life and preserve the value of your home.
Some improvement projects need to be done by professionals. If a job requires specialized skills or tools or involves potential hazards, doing it yourself is not an option. There are still many worthwhile projects that you can do yourself using basic tools if you are reasonably handy and willing to get your hands dirty. You can often find instructions and detailed videos online, so study up, get prepared, and get to work!
Here are some projects you may be able to tackle by yourself:
Average Cost: $156
If your home is leaking warm air in the winter or cold air in the summer, you’re losing money. Weatherstripping your windows and doors, which is essentially adding foam strips to the inside edges of doors and windows, will help reduce your heating and cooling bills. You place weather strips in areas where you can feel outside air leaking into an indoor area. You can save hundreds of dollars in the long run with only a small investment.
Fix Leaky Pipes or Faucets
Average cost: $25
If you have the right tools and a little expertise, you can fix your leaky pipes. The materials needed to repair a broken pipe section are relatively inexpensive, and doing the work yourself instead of calling a plumber can save hundreds of dollars. Not sure how to do the job? You’ll find hundreds of YouTube video guides on how to change the pipe yourself quickly and easily. Be sure you know which pipes carry what, and be very careful around pipes carrying hot water or pressurized steam!
Repair Squeaky Doors
Average cost: $5.00
Squeaky doors can be a problem. They don’t sound good, and the squeak indicates wear and tear on your hinges. The fix, in this case, is easy and cheap. You can resolve most squeaks by applying a metal lubricant, such as WD-40. A simple spray from the can will provide the proper lubrication to put a stop to the squeak.
Average cost: $250
A new coat of paint can do more than just add aesthetic appeal. Paint will seal up any small leaking areas in your walls, prevent termite damage, and save your fingers from getting a few unwanted splinters. Doing the work yourself will save you hundreds of dollars over hiring a professional painting service, and you may even have some fun during the process.
Reseal the Driveway
Average cost: $125
If you have an asphalt driveway, it’s a good idea to seal it once every 3-10 years, depending on where you live. Sealing the driveway will help prevent cracks from forming and large chunks from breaking off. These chunks and holes can cause damage to car tires, so it’s a good idea to keep your driveway in shape. You’ll need only basic equipment, all of which is reasonably cheap to purchase. You can find many online guides for how to DIY this project.
Change Broken Bathroom Mirror
Average cost: $258
Over time, bathroom mirrors may break or crack. Once crack forms, the mirror may be a danger if further cracks form and pieces fall off. You can easily replace a broken mirror, or just install a new one to improve the look of the bathroom, at relatively low cost. Most mirrors are packaged with the tools needed for installation, making it easier to perform this project yourself.
Install New Exterior Door
Average cost: $300
Doors are your first line of protection. A broken or old door can be a safety hazard. Old doors may provide inadequate insulation and security. Installing a new door will make your home safer. You can install one easily and cheaply, with only a few tools.
Install New Door Locks
Average cost: $35
Locks are essential for your security. If you’ve lost keys or if your old locks are vulnerable, installing new locks will help better secure your house against invasion. You can choose to install a new lock on the door handle or add in a deadbolt. Either option is easy to do yourself with the right tools.
Install Window Film
Average cost: $20 - $50
Window film can add necessary privacy to your home. If you have windows that you would prefer others could not see into, window film will help prevent those on the outside from looking in. You will also add protection against theft, as burglars will often look inside windows to see if there is anything worth taking.
Replace Furnace Filter
Average cost: $4 - $50
Furnace filters will eventually build up dust and other particulates. Once that happens, dust and other particles can start building up, contributing to poor air quality. For elderly adults and children with respiratory problems, this can lead to issues with breathing. Changing the filter will also reduce how hard the furnace must work to circulate warm air, which reduces your energy costs. Filters that pick up more particulates from the air will be more expensive but are worth considering.
All of these are worthwhile projects that produce substantial improvement at a reasonable cost. It is still important to follow the old rule that says “measure twice, cut once.” Before you start a project, be sure you understand exactly what’s involved and that you have the tools, materials, and skills to finish the job. Hiring a professional to fix your mistakes is both expensive and could be embarrassing, but with proper planning and preparation, you will not need to do