Having a space you can make your own is the best part of being a homeowner, but sometimes new homeowners get too excited and plan big projects they don’t have the time or know-how to complete. Nothing is more frustrating than living surrounded by abandoned DIY projects — not to mention paying to have them fixed — so before diving head-first into major construction, stick to jobs you know you can handle. Want to get your hands dirty but aren’t sure where to start? Here are five DIY projects that are perfect for first-time homeowners.
1. Updating Cabinet Hardware
Switching out cabinet handles and drawer pulls just might be the quickest and easiest way to update the look of a kitchen or bathroom. Get rid of the boring, factory-standard hardware and replace it with something that reflects your personal style, like antique knobs salvaged from a historic house.
2. Repainting a Room
The great thing about painting is if you make a mistake, you can always touch it up.That’s why painting is such a perfect project for new DIYers. If you want to fix scuffed and stained walls or give a room a fresh look, just choose your color, protect everything you don’t want painted, and have fun!
3. Remodeling a Fireplace
A fireplace can really date a room, and it’s such a big feature that it isn’t easily ignored. If your fireplace is cramping your living space’s style, do something about it! Whitewash or paint a brick fireplace to lighten up the room, or try wrapping it in tile or wood for a completely different look. Installing a hanging mantel is another fun option for adding interest to an unremarkable fireplace, and it’s easy to do with these instructions from HGTV.
4. Building a Flagstone Patio
Every backyard needs a space to relax in the shade. Rather than throwing a few lawn chairs out and calling it good, build yourself a backyard oasis in the form of a flagstone patio. Since flagstone patios don’t require mortar or concrete, anyone can put one together.
5. Redoing a Backsplash
Sick of staring at a dated backsplash every time you do the dishes? Or maybe you don’t have a backsplash at all and the paint shows it. Give your kitchen a mini-makeover by installing a tile backsplash. You can go modern and minimalistic with subway tile, add a pop of color with bright patterns and hues, or aim for a farmhouse vibe with beaded board. Of course, this project isn’t limited to the kitchen. Updating a bathroom backsplash is a great way to make a big impact in a small room.
After you’ve gained some DIY experience with these jobs, you’ll be ready to move onto bigger projects. Maybe you’ll decide to tile a kitchen floor or build a pergola, or maybe you’ll realize DIY isn’t your thing after all. If you do set your sights on further home improvement projects, keep in mind that electrical work should be strictly off-limits. Not only could your work fail to comply with building codes, but faulty wiring could pose a fire threat to your home and family. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, electrical problems cause more than 25,000 residential fires every year. Thankfully, since many remodeling projects only involve a small amount of electrical work, hiring a professional electrician can be relatively affordable. For example, HomeAdvisor estimates that installation of electrical switches, outlets, or fixtures costs an average $148-$431 for about four hours of work.
Home improvement projects are a fun way to personalize your space, but not every job is meant for DIY. As you’re first getting your hands dirty in the world of homeownership, stick to small projects like these five ideas and always leave the dangerous jobs to the professionals.
Thanks to Eugene Williams for this article! Eugene has completed countless DIY projects over the last two decades and loves sharing his knowledge with others. Please visit his website DIYDad.info if you have any questions or want for more information.