By: Heather Skyler
You’ve found the home of your dreams, or you’ve at least come pretty close. There’s not quite enough space in the garage, the paint colors are outdated and there’s a spot in the kitchen where the floor squeaks.
Unless it’s newly built, a new home typically requires a few DIY projects, and really, that’s part of the fun. Here’s a roundup of 10 projects that can help get your new home in even dreamier condition for you and your family.
1. Create more space in your garage.
Here are four simple projects to get started, and familyhandyman.com promises that none of these projects take over four hours.
a. Install suspended shelving in that spot between the garage door and the ceiling.
b. Install a lift for heavy bicycles with a pulley system.
c. Hang brackets on the ceiling as a new place to hang your ladder.
d. Create on-the-wall wheelbarrow storage with two brackets.
2. Paint the inside!
New paint can really transform a room. This, of course, sounds simple and obvious, but selecting the right colors for each room and applying the paint correctly require a bit of effort and thought. Here are some tips for picking the right colors.
a. Select colors that you like. Don’t worry about what’s trendy or “typical for a kitchen.” You and your family are the ones who will be looking at these colors day after day, so make sure you like them in the first place.
b. Stick with a unified theme or color palette. If you start by painting the living room a pastel blue, stick with other shades of pastels for the rest of the home.
c. If the room is small and has little natural light, go with a lighter shade of paint to make the room feel more spacious. If you want a cozier, cave-like feel to the room, go for a darker or bolder shade of paint.
d. Take a cue from your furnishings and wall hangings. If you have colorful furniture and numerous bold paintings, choose a more neutral shade for the walls. If you decide to hang minimal art and your furniture is beige, go with a bold color to add personality.
e. Consider painting the trim a lighter shade of the room’s color rather than the more traditional white. This will add variety and avoid the added responsibility of selecting colors that look great next to white.
f. Try it out! Before you waste your time painting an entire room peacock blue then deciding a week later that you hate it, paint only a generous swath of the wall and observe it for several days. It will look different at different times of day and spending time with the color will help you make the right decision.
3. Wash your windows!
It’s amazing the difference clean windows can make. The rooms feel brighter and even cleaner when the light coming through isn’t marred by streaks and dirt. One suggestion for getting streak-free crystalline windows is using a squeegee instead of a spray bottle and paper towels.
4. Create more storage space in your bathroom.
A lot of older homes, and even some new ones, have very small bathrooms. Did people use fewer toiletries in the 1950s or are we using way too many? Either way, we need more space! Here are a few ideas for expanding the storage in your tiny bathroom.
a. Replace the current medicine cabinet with a bigger one.
b. Add shelving over the toilet or in any other unused spaces
c. And for the more ambitious DIYers out there, consider stealing space from an adjoining room or closet by insetting tall cabinets into the wall.
5. Remove the old carpet.
Nothing makes a house look better than freshly done wood floors or brand new carpet. To achieve either of these, you typically have to rip up the old, ratty carpet. This can be easily done by yourself. Who know what treasured flooring you’ll find underneath?
6. Tune up the garage door.
A squeaky or sluggish garage door can make a home feel old and broken-down, and can also be a safety hazard. Since the garage door goes up and down over 1,000 times annually, it’s a good idea to give it an occasional tune-up. Visit Garage Door Tune-Up at familyhandyman.com for easy steps on how to ensure your garage door is in healthy working order.
7. Install shelving ... everywhere!
Storage space is essential to having an organized, clutter-free home. It’s easy to put up shelving in a variety of places, from the mudroom to the home office to the hallway. For numerous creative shelving tips, from using the bottom shelf of an old dishwasher to creating a shelf that doubles as a clothes hanger, visit Easy Shelving Ideas.
8. Create more space in your kitchen!
Ahhh, the kitchen. The heart of the home. Why is it always so crowded? Here are four DIY projects that will help make this essential room roomier and more organized.
a. Add a spice rack to an upper cabinet, or buy a magnetized spice rack to hang on the wall.
b. Install a swing-down cookbook rack under a cupboard.
c. Access dead corner space with swing out shelves.
d. Install roll-out pantry cabinets or shelves.
9. Repair a squeaky floor.
A squeak in the floor is one of those things homeowners ignore for years, but it can actually be quite simple to fix. Each set of floor conditions favors a particular remedy. Here’s one fix: When the floor framing in your house is accessible and there’s a slight gap between the top of the floor joists and the subfloor, try using polyurethane construction adhesive (about $4 per tube) to silence the squeak.
Inject the constructive adhesive into the gap and work it deep with a plastic spoon so it flows toward the nail shanks that are causing the squeaks.
10. Hang stuff on the walls.
Whether it be pictures, mirrors, coat hooks, or more shelves, nothing quite makes a new home feel complete like hanging things on the walls. Hanging items straight, and in the right spot, can be tricky. It helps to have a level to ensure straight lines, and a friend to stand back and give advice.