Some jobs around the house may not require a professional contractor but we use one anyway.
Whether we’re unsure about the required expertise and tools or we don’t think we have the time for it, many of us underestimate our capabilities.
Granted, the DIY approach is not for everyone, but for those who are willing to try, it can save more than money. You’ll learn new skills that stay with you for life.
So, what are some home improvement projects you can do yourself?
Here are five home projects to get your home market-ready, and they’re actually easier than you think. We’ve also included free, online resources that will guide you through each process from beginning to end.
1. Painting your Home’s Exterior
Painting the railings, front and back doors and window trim are all jobs that require basic tools and none of them will take up much of your time.
If your home needs a fresh coat of paint, find a good brush or sprayer and get to work. Also, you won’t have to worry about picking color combinations with these simple paint jobs—just use your existing palette.
Helpful resource: If home’s entire exterior needs a facelift, you can do this DIY-style for a few hundred bucks as well.
Average project cost: $500
Average timeline: 2 to 3 days depending on weather conditions
2. Installing Hardwood Floors
Floor installation doesn’t often come to mind when you think of DIY jobs. But, with a little resourcefulness, you can revamp your flooring all by yourself.
The easiest approach to installing hardwood floors is to use a floating floor. In a floating floor, the individual wooden strips are glued together or used in a locking tongue and groove system. So, you don’t have to nail down any pieces, hence the name floating floor.
Also, you won’t have to worry about polishing floating floors as they come pre-polished.
Helpful resource: Here is a detailed explanation of how you can install a laminate floating floor.
Average project cost: $3-$5 per square foot
Average timeline: 2 days
3. Replacing a Faucet
Here’s a project that can add some shine to a drab bathroom or dull kitchen. Updating faucets is also an easy fix that requires basic tools and skills. Just make sure that the new faucet can attach to the sink in the same way as the old one did.
There are many different types of faucets in the market, so check each opening of your sink before buying a replacement.
Helpful resource: Here is a description of the tools and methods for replacing a faucet.
Average project cost: $15-$500 or more depending on the faucet you purchase
Average timeline: 1 hour or less
4. Taking on Tile
There are a variety of stylish tiles you can choose from when updating your kitchen backsplash or bathroom floor. The installation process is simple, requiring a drill, a grouting sponge and a tile-cutting tool. The type of sponge you will need will vary from surface to surface. For a dry painted wall, the DIY Network recommends using a coarse-grit sanding sponge.
You can also refresh a tiled surface by regrouting it.
Helpful resource: Hiring a professional to regrout your tile can cost upward of $600 for labor alone. You can take this project on yourself for a fraction of the price, but you should expect to spend two to four days chipping away at it.
Average project cost: $2-$7 per square foot
Average timeline: 2 to 4 days
5. Installing Cabinets
Installing cabinetry requires a drill, bolts and drywall anchors. To make things quick and easy, install a wall-mounting cabinet.
The rule of thumb for cabinet height is 72 inches off the floor. Of course, you’ll want to confirm whether this is the right height for everyone that’ll use the cabinet.
Helpful resource: Follow these steps for DIY cabinet installation.
Average project cost: $60+ per linear foot (stock cabinets are cheapest, custom are most expensive)
Average timeline: ½ day or more depending on how many cabinets you’re installing
Before attempting to fix an appliance or major home system, check if you can get it done for free by an expert. If the item is covered under warranty, call the manufacturer or the home warranty provider to get in touch with their technician.
Having a DIY approach to household fixes saves money, but do consider the time and skill factors. For instance, if you have only a couple of hours to spare on the weekend, a floor installation might not be the right project to do yourself. Similarly, if you’re finding it difficult to follow instructions for a project, then it’s probably not for you.