Typically, there are two reasons why we end up not following through with home upgrades: the task is either too expensive or too difficult … or sometimes, both. And while the do-it-yourself route is perfect for reducing or eliminating the cost and labor concerns, many of these so-called DIY projects require professional help. But where there’s a will, there’s a way. All it takes is a little bit of research to figure out what your options are for the home upgrades you really, truly CAN do yourself. Below are three projects to consider for your next home improvement endeavor:
Replace the Flooring
If you’re still stuck with that ugly vinyl or linoleum flooring, don’t worry about the cost of buying new tile or wood when all you have to do is pick a paint color and head to the hardware store for some simple supplies.
What you’ll need: latex primer, paint, painter’s tape (if you want to add stripes), TriSodium Phosphate (heavy-duty cleaner), paint rollers and brushes, orbital sander and 180 or 220-grit sandpaper, caulk (if the floor has holes in it and needs to be repaired before you paint). Once you’ve gathered all of your supplies, follow these directions from DIY blog View Along the Way.
Build an In-Ground Pool
You want to keep cool during the summer, but inflatable or plastic above-ground pools can sometimes look dingy or cheap. Luckily you can buy in-ground pool kits that are easier on the wallet than the cost of a contractor, and less stressful than having to locate and transport materials all by yourself. In The Swim is a great resource that provides you with several options: you can either pay to have experts plan the entire building process in one week, or you can choose to do all of the planning yourself with the option of over-the-phone expert assistance at no additional cost. All you do is order the pool kit and then decide if you want the expert planning, optional phone support, or if you’re ready to tackle the job entirely by yourself.
Note: Make sure you have the proper permits and follow the specific zoning regulations for building a pool or you could be subject to major fines later.
Install a Bay Window
A bay window adds dimension to your home’s exterior, allows more natural interior light and provides a cozy perch for reading, napping or just watching the world. This is probably the most complicated of the three DIY jobs in this article, but really it’s just a matter of simple carpentry skills and recruiting a helper or two for the heavy lifting.
What you’ll need: tape measure, drill, hammer, level, stapler, caulk and caulk gun, screwdriver, flat pry bar, circular saw, bay window, exterior casing, 2x4s, shims, roofing felt (or building paper), drip cap, flashing, plywood, roofing, finishing nails, staples, roofing nails, interior trim, casing nails and insulation. Then take a look at the step-by-step directions from DIY Advice. Remember these directions are for installing the window itself, so if you want to add a seat or bench with the window, plan accordingly. Visit the Pretty Handy Girl blog for detailed instructions on building a bay window seat with underneath storage.
Just because a project says it’s DIY doesn’t always mean you can do it all without at least a little bit of advice. Be sure to always pay close attention to directions and seek professional assistance if you find that you’re in over your head.