DIY Home Improvement Tips

Whether you want to improve the value of your home before selling, are searching for an easier fix to cool off your property in the summer, or are just eager to put your hands to work building something, there are plenty of reasons to stock up your tool belt and get to work yourself fixing and improving your home.

Before you jump into a truly “Tool Time” worthy blooper reel, though, there are a few tips we have to make sure the work you do constitutes progress, and not a new reason for repair work, as well as a few suggestions for you to enjoy the results of.

Talk to A Professional

Before ripping down the middle wall to realize that one of the main support beams to the house is between you and your new expanded living room, invite a carpenter, interior designer, or realtor to come by and have a look. Some may be willing to throw you a bone and give you a free consultation, and those who do charge for the time are worth the money; better to spend a bit in the beginning and go in knowing exactly what to do than to make a mess of the job and have to pay more in the long run to fix the damage done.

Save on Air Conditioning

Heat got you down? Plant a tree. It’s not by any means a quick fix, but a shade tree has several benefits for you to use. First, a well placed shade tree can cut your cooling costs as much as 50 percent. Next, if you ever decide to sell in the future, the matured landscaping adds value to your home. This is all in addition to the environmental benefits a shade tree offers, providing habitat for wildlife.

Install A Water Filtration System

If you are ever going to sell, a water filtration system small home improvement can give you an edge over the sellers a block over, and a reason to justify bumping that price tag up a fer percentage points. Not to mention, clean water is always a plus, and with your favorite thermos on hand, there’s no more need to buy bottled water.

Improve Your Home’s Air Quality

This doesn’t just mean an air freshener and dehumidifier in corner, this means a new carpet. Older carpets have seen plenty, and they soak it all right in. That includes all of the germs and pathogens that has settled onto them. Replacing the carpet means a new start without any of those existing germs being present to dirty up your home. Next to replacing the carpet, a deep cleaning and/or carpet shampooing can help to clean up the air to a lesser extent. You can decide which of these is more appropriate by having the air quality in your home tested.

If you happen to be selling your home, it may be more valuable to just replace the old carpet and not bother with a deep cleaning. Old carpets, even if freshly cleaned, still look old. If trying to “wow” prospecting buyers, first impressions and presentation matter, and the newer and fresher the home looks, the better.

The Best Return on Investment Project

If you want the biggest bang for your buck investment, remodel the kitchen. Often, large open kitchens become the social hub at events and having a high-end design with granite or marble countertops, beautifully stained cabinets, and appliances that are both aesthetically pleasant and efficient all work together to meet the gold standard that can help you to close the deal.

Kitchen remodels are generally considered to provide the biggest return on investment of any home improvement project, and the older the kitchen being remodeled, the more value there is in the upgrade.

Use Tools Safely

As obvious as it is to state, it’s just as quickly passed over and left wayside. Misuse causes injury, as well as damage to whatever you may be working on. This includes hand tools, as well, not just power tools. Here are a few tips:

  1. Keep all blades sharp and rust free.
  2. If using sharp tools, always be aware of others in the room, and any potential trip hazards on the floor like loose wires or toolboxes.
  3. No MacGyvering tools. This means no using screw drivers to hammer, hammers to pull out screws, etc. There is a tool for every job, and that tool is designed to do that job safely and effectively.

Louisiana State University has compiled a safety manual for hand tools and portable power tools that you can use for reference when needed. This goes over screwdrivers, hammers, punches, knives, crowbars, air hoses, electric saws, and more.

Use Personal Protective Equipment

Goggles, gloves, and helmets. There’s a time and a place for each of these, and when the time comes, they should not be passed over.

Every DIY project has some degree of risk to it, however small. If you’re welding, wear a welding mask, and if your cutting wire, wear cutting gloves. Some of these are more obvious than others, but all are equally important. If installing insulation, wear a mask, if carrying anything heavy, break out the steel toed boots. A short oversight should never give way to a preventable injury.

The Easy Stuff

There are plenty of quick and easy fixes you can do to spruce up your home, many of which don’t require too much in depth knowledge. As long as you’re willing to learn and cautious with equipment there’s little to nothing stopping the beginning DIYer from getting at it.

If you have vinyl siding, power washing can make your walls shine again. Just point and spray. Be sure to start further back than you need to be, and work your way in. This makes sure that you don’t come out with too much pressure on a given spot right away, doing damage to the siding. Also, be careful not to spray yourself, as you can tear skin with high enough water pressure.

Shampoo your carpet. This was touched on above, but for the beginner not quite confident enough to replace a carpet, a dirty carpet can shine bright again with an industrial shampooer.

A fresh coating of paint is often the easiest way to liven up a room. Just be sure to clean the walls before you begin painting.

Featured image courtesy of

A Simple & Clear Process

Synapse Project Success Plan

Learn how we'll make your project a success.
Get Started