Many DIY projects are unsuccessful when it comes to adding value to your home. Unfortunately, most homeowners are not expert craftsmen. Sure you know how to use a hammer and a saw and have been known to hook a tape measure to your belt, but when it comes to the fine, finishing details, you just don’t have the skill or practice to make it look professional. There is a reason why you became an accountant, lawyer, or doctor and not a finish carpenter, plumber, or electrician. And for the same reason, the finish carpenter didn’t choose your career.
I would never even consider working on my $30,000 car myself, yet everyday people take it upon themselves to perform major DIY projects on their $300,000 home. From rewiring electrical to running new plumbing lines, people educated with little more than a YouTube video think they are instant experts. While the major work should be performed by professionals, there are some simple projects that even the most amateur of DIYers can tackle.
Instead of tiling your own shower or adding a new gas line for your stove, here are five projects that you could (and probably should) take on:
1. Paint your front door. Every 4-6 years you should pull out the paint can and enhance your front door. If your home faces east or west, your door takes a daily beating from the sun causing the paint to fade. You may also want to consider changing out the hardware on the door too.
2. Hang new ceiling fans or light fixtures. As times change, so do the popular styles. Many homes boast the same fans and lights from the year they were built. It’s hard to believe but 1994 was over 20 years ago, and while that doesn’t seem that long in some ways, check out pictures from around that date and see what you were wearing. Yep, a house built in 1994 looks like that too.
3. Install new door knobs and hinges. Brass is out. Brushed nickel and aged bronze are in. While changing knobs and hinges may cost about $20 – $40 per door, it’s a simple DIY project that can easily upgrade the look of your home.
4. Upgrade faucets. Just like door knobs, brass faucets are no longer complimentary to your home. New faucets can be a quick, inexpensive upgrade to a bathroom, which might eliminate the need to update counter tops and cabinetry.
5. Change your light bulbs. I promise this is something you can do yourself. It may sound ridiculous, but properly lit rooms can make a home sparkle. Under lit rooms are gloomy. So, unless the Addams Family look is your goal, bump up the wattage or add a lamp. Guests will love seeing the new ceiling fans, door knobs, and faucets. Add some exterior lighting and that front door will pop too.
If you are planning to stay in your home for several years, not every upgrade is necessary. To enjoy your home, you don’t have to have the latest in brushed nickel or aged bronze, but it’s best to stay up with some of the trends so you don’t get too far behind and later have a massive renovation project. In addition, when the day comes to sell, these simple and fairly low cost projects could be the difference in finding or losing a buyer.