General Home Improvement

5 Home Projects No One Could Mess Up

Although replacing a roof, windows or your HVAC system is a job best left to the professionals, there are some DIY projects that homeowners can tackle without much risk of damage or mess-ups. Here are some home projects that are just about foolproof for even the most novice homeowners.

1. Painting a Room.

With some painter’s tape and quality brushes or rollers, it doesn’t take a great deal of skill to repaint a room and give it a whole new look. Use spackling paste to smooth over cracks, and be sure to use primer if you are covering stains or painting a light color over a darker color. Most paints require two coats for optimal coverage, and using a quality paint will help it last longer and look more professional.

2. Replacing Hardware on Cabinets or Dressers.

Changing out the cabinet handles or dresser pulls can give your fixtures a whole new look with minimal effort. You might need a screwdriver, but that should be the extent of required tools. Just be sure the new handles have the same hole distance as the originals when purchasing.

3. Painting the Front Door.

If your front door is old and allows drafts to enter your home, you may want to consider having it replaced. Steel entry doors have one of the largest returns of any home improvement, with an increase in home value nearly equal to the cost, as well as energy savings. If your existing door is newer and airtight, you can paint it inexpensively to give your entry a whole new look and your home more curb appeal.

Home projects

New cabinet hardware can change the look of your kitchen.

4. Weatherstripping Your Windows

Over time, the seals and gaskets that keep windows airtight break down and degrade, and the caulking that was applied upon installation can crack to allow cold air to get in (or hot air in summer). The good news is that you can replace weatherstripping or even re-caulk your windows yourself to keep much of the air outside where it belongs. If your efforts don’t seem to yield much improvement, you can have the windows replaced professionally to increase your energy savings.

5. Upcycling Vintage Finds and Wood Pallets.

If you can use a table saw (or know someone who can help), you can cut pallets into bookshelves, wine racks or shoe holders that you can paint or leave rough to complement your existing decor. Old windows can become picture frames or rows of hooks for coats, while an old door can turn into a coffee table or side table by adding some legs to the bottom. Even vintage picture frames can become chalkboards by adding plywood and paint. These pieces can give flair and style to your home and change your look without much expense.

Minor projects like these can provide a creative outlet for your inner designer and save you some money on your renovation while leaving the more complex work to the professionals. Moonworks offers a free estimate on any home renovation project by calling 1-800-975-6666.

General Home Improvement

DIY Tips and Tricks: Part 1

Some people are just naturals when it comes to handiwork and fixing things around the house. Others…not so much. This week and next, we’ve got a little something for everybody, whether you’re Handy Andy or his not-so-handy helper. And for those of you who are a little less handy, many of these ideas and projects are great starter tasks for those who want get a bit more comfortable around the toolbox. Let’s get to it with our Top 10 List of DIY Home Improvement Tips and Tricks.

Number 10: Think Vertically.
So often, our home improvement projects are really home organization projects. More specifically, they’re about fitting as much as possible in small spaces without a big mess. The answer, quite often, is to Think Vertically.
• Instead of trying to section bathroom drawers off to fit hairdryers and curling irons,diy tips and tricks vertically mount some size-appropriate, cut-down PVC piping on the inside of a bathroom cabinet door (one pipe for each appliance with a smaller one next to it for the folded cord).
• Sick of that cluttered desk? Think Vertically by installing some shelves all the way up to the ceiling.
• Kids’ toys all over the floor? Think Vertically by painting a large pegboard, adding plastic hooks (safer than metal for kids), and hanging toys along the wall.

Number 9: Think Naturally.
Our homes are filled with far more chemicals than ever before. So it’s nice to know that there are plenty of repairs and maintenance tasks you can perform without any chemicals at all!
• Did you know that rubbing a shelled walnut on small scuffs and dings on your hardwood furniture and floors will disguise those little bits of damage?
• And distilled white vinegar is a natural cleaning solution with countless applications: Google it!
• Need to fertilize your yard? Contact your area’s yard waste recycling center and save money by buying their compost or making your own.
• Gum in your carpet? Don’t reach for chemicals. Fill a plastic baggie with ice, set it on the gum, and wait for the gum to harden before removing the gum with a butter knife or scraper. Better yet, go find the culprit (aka: your kid) and have them help!
• Accidentally set a plastic bowl on your still-hot ceramic-top stove? No problem. Once the stove has cooled off, cover the burned bits of plastic with ice. The plastic will shrink up with the cold, and then it’s easy to clean off with a wide razor blade.

Number 8: Don’t Recycle; UPcycle!
Recycling has long been the right way to go about living an environmentally friendly life. These days, however, people are looking more and more into what’s being called “upcycling.” The premise here is not just to reduce waste and recycle instead of sending trash to the landfill, but to actively recycle things up and out of their former purposes and into new use: upcycling! Better yet, in addition to a healthier planet, you’ll have a healthier wallet because these upcycling tips are major money savers!
• Need a watering can? Next time you finish a bottle of detergent in the laundry room, thoroughly rinse the detergent container. Poke several holes in the lid, and voila! Watering can! Plus, with just those little holes, these watering cans are perfect for little helpers to carry around the house and yard without creating puddles!
• Cover clean, empty soup cans in pretty paper or ribbon for utensil and pencil holders.
• Need some fun bookends for your study? Grab those old license plates out of the aluminum recycling bin, bend them using the edge of a table (protect your table with a piece of cloth) and you have upcycled bookends!
• Looking for picture frames? Take that old, paned window out of the garage and hang it up with photos in each pane.
• Getting ready to toss the old, leftover ceramic tiles from your last remodel? Repurpose these by adding paint or different finishes and felt bottoms: perfect as trivets or coasters.

Up next: Fixing stairs, spackle-free spackling, and building your knowledge base!