Easy home improvements for DIY novices

Easy home improvements for DIY novices

Home refurbishments are a great way to give your home a new lease on life, but the expense of hiring decorators can be a huge turn-off. For many, the idea of DIY as an alternative is just as unappealing.

Thankfully, there is a way to get the best of both worlds. Following these simple guidelines, you can transform your home at minimal expense with some DIY that even the biggest novice will find easy and enjoyable: 

Mood lighting

Adding a couple of free-standing lighting fixtures can help turn any room into a new space or at least one that looks new.

Budget versions of stylish floor uplighters and lamps can be picked up from “big box” home decor stores. The best part is, there is absolutely zero effort or electrical knowledge required to install them. Simply unbox, assemble and plug into the wall.

These simple and affordable lighting fixtures can be a great addition to a room that doesn’t get much natural light. They can also be moved around the room to ensure that they have the optimal desired effect with no electrician’s bill in sight. 

Repainting

There’s no end to the benefits that a new coat of paint can bring to a room. While professional painters will surely disagree, it’s a job that can be done well by simply following a few simple guidelines, so there really isn’t any excuse for putting up with drab or worn-out paint jobs.

The key to selecting an appropriate color is to go for a neutral shade. While it may be tempting to add in a feature wall, you may regret this at a later date if fashions change or you decide to change your furniture. So, opt for a gray, off-white or perhaps a “fashion-neutral” navy (be sure to only use dark neutrals such as charcoal and navy in rooms with plenty of natural light).

Hanging pictures

Does your home look like you live in it, or does it just look like somebody lives in it? The key to making any space your own is to include plenty of personal photos of loved ones or artwork that means something to you.

Hanging photos of friends, family and places that you’ve traveled to is a simple and cheap way to bring a room to life. The best part is, it requires no DIY skills whatsoever.

Choose some sentimental photographs from Facebook and print them out on high-quality black-and-white photographic paper. This can be done cheaply at any copy shop and at many “big box” department stores. Because black and white are neutral colors, your photos will have a classic look that complements any room.

The frames are an easy win, too. Just look out for the correct-sized frames at yard sales and charity stores. Remember to stick with frames that are neutral in color and simple in design.

Ladder shelving units

Ladder shelving units are on-trend at the moment. This is why you’ll see them in stylish city cafes and restaurants and in virtually every home décor store.

If you want to get in on the trend, then consider adding a set of ladder shelves to your bedroom, living room or dining room. Assembly is as simple as putting up a normal ladder, which virtually anyone can do, and you can include ornaments on the shelves themselves to suit any room.

The DIY versions of shelving ladder units require a little more assembly but will spare you the inflated fees that boutique stores often charge for very similar items.

Be aware that these units will have their own shelf life, so may start to look a little dated in a few years’ time.

Window shutters

Shutters may not be the first thing that come to mind when thinking of easy DIY projects. but there are DIY shutters available that won’t break the bank. They also look great and take no time to install.

Most importantly, a new set of window shutters will give any room in your home a fresh new exotic feel. On a practical level, they’re ideal for keeping out the summer sun.

Get back to nature

Greenery is always in fashion. So, why not add some to your home? Aside from the mental and physical health benefits that plants can bring to a home, they can also change the look and feel of a room entirely. They can also be picked up from a garden store relatively inexpensively and require no DIY skills at all.

Necessary Materials for Your Next Roofing Project

Necessary Materials for Your Next Roofing Project

Usually, it is quite easy to complete a residential roofing product, so long as you have everything properly prepared. If, for instance, you want to complete roofing projects with copper nails, you need to have your nails, your hammer or nail gun, and all your other materials ready, as well as your plan of action. Let’s take a closer look.

Your Materials

First of all, not any material will do. The right one for your needs depends on where you house is located. Of course, your own personal preference is also an important factor, but it should not overrule the recommendations of official contractors and certainly not those of your local building codes. Make sure you check those out before you get started, in other words. Usually, you will be able to use ceramic, concrete, asphalt, wood ,or metal sheeting.

Metal sheeting is almost always permitted, not in the least because it is so versatile. Plus, thanks to modern technology, it can mimic the look of various other materials, including tiles and shingles. Communities the world over have used this to create their roofs because it is also very durable. So long as you choose high quality metal sheets, they can last for as much as 70 years with little maintenance. Even the lower quality ones can last about four decades if looked after properly. Thanks to modern tools and technology, the chance of enlargement through nail holes and because of the environment has been all but eliminated. Plus, the metal sheeting is usually already painted for you as well.

An alternative would be wood, which is commonly found in residential roofing. While beautiful, you do have to invest heavily in maintenance, as it is very easy for wood to rot. Furthermore, there are other things to consider as well. Wood is susceptible to insects and other animals. Some wood is more rain and sun resistant than other types of wood, and some kind can even resist certain animals and insects. This is obviously very important for homeowners.

Then, there is asphalt, which is popular because it is often locally manufactured. Furthermore, it is versatile and can be customized to your specific needs. Asphalt, for instance, can be made to look like wood or slate, or any other material that you like. It is quick to put up asphalt and it is very easy to maintain it, particularly when compared to an organic roof. They also last a lot longer.

Last but not least, there are ceramic materials and concrete, which have been popular roofing materials for a long time. These are somewhat heavier materials compared to other roof products, and this weight is something that you need to think about, since your foundations and load-bearing walls do have to be able to hold them. Concrete and ceramic is also a very good insulator and will last even when exposed to the elements. However, they can’t be too heavy or bulky for obvious reasons.

DIY Bathroom Improvements to Consider

DIY Bathroom Improvements to Consider

The real estate market has a steep learning curve, and lacking the knowledge, experience, and foresight necessary could leave you open to costly mistakes. But practice makes perfect. Taking on a few home improvement projects is an excellent way to start.

Aside from improving functionality and comfort, updating your bathrooms adds value to your home. Unfortunately, determining the most suitable bathroom improvement project is not always an easy task. To help you get started, here are some fairly inexpensive but highly effective ideas.

Replace your bathroom floor

DIY floor replacements are a great way to upgrade and modernize your bathroom space. Tile stands out from the various flooring options available for use in bathrooms. Aside from being simple, hard-wearing, and long-lasting, tile comes in different shapes, colors, and designs, and can, therefore, be used to complement just about any style.

As seen in this picture, you can use tile to expresses your personality by creating a signature look and feel. Tile offers endless options. For instance, you can give your bathroom floor an elegantly unique look by installing a large medallion at the center or accentuating the borders with small intoned tiles.

While you’re at it, you might as well enhance the bathroom’s appearance and feel by refinishing the bathtub. You just need to remove the old caulk, thoroughly clean the tub, apply a two-part epoxy to fill any surface chip, sand the rough spots until they are smooth, and spray at least two new coats of paint onto the bathtub.

Improve the lighting setup

It’s unfortunate that some people don’t know the importance of properly installed bathroom lights. Although adequate lighting is essential to the many functions of a bathroom, unflattering shadows are a common concern.

As seen in this picture, sconce lighting fixtures can provide evenly distributed light when installed at the vanity. You can also prevent the occurrence of shadows by installing eye-level lighting solutions. On the other hand, having dimmers and dimmable light bulbs improves the ambience. While dim lighting works well for relaxing baths, you’ll want a brightly lit bathroom for your cosmetic functions. If you have a small bathroom, adding more overall lights is bound to open up space.

Enhance the ventilation

When it comes to the bathroom’s functionality, humidity is one of the biggest concerns. Aside from the fact that mold needs moisture to grow, wet walls are a danger to the structural integrity of your home. Moisture could, therefore, make quick work of any renovation. In most cases, the unsightly spots commonly associated with mold and mildew will develop in the bathroom first, mainly because it is often the wettest room.

To keep mold and mildew from growing, you need to allow proper air circulation. After you’ve showered, leaving the bathroom door or window open could be a great first step, especially since such actions can help ventilate the room. But if you want to draw out moisture and ensure proper ventilation, installing a vent fan might be the best solution. In fact, many would agree that vent fans are a must-have. In addition to being a lot quieter, currently available models come in elegant and stylish designs.

Clean grout

If you don’t seal your grout lines after a tile job, you’ll probably notice variable color patterns before long. Thankfully, superior grout cleaning products are currently available on the market. Although these improved products can help you achieve desirable results, it’s unfortunate that most of them are noxious, making it important to take the necessary precautions. Alternatively, you can use a steam spot cleaner plus a mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Either way, you will need elbow grease and heavy-duty brushes. Remember to allow adequate drying time before you seal the grout.

Jessica Kane writes for Advance Online, a leading provider of web-based OSHA. DOT. and HAZWOPER training.