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The top ten easy home remodeling projects.

Updated on September 2, 2011

Contrary to what cable TV shows may tell you, home remodeling projects can be simple and don't have to cost thousands of dollars. You can make major improvements to the quality and value of your home with just an off day and some motivation.

10. Curtains/Blinds Are your mini-blinds yellowed, bent, or broken? Do your curtains have a distinctive 70's vibe? Changing window dressings takes less than an hour, sometimes only minutes, and will have a major impact on the appearance of your room. Plus, the only tools required are usually a screwdriver and a tape measure! Measure your windows then go to your local home improvement store and pick a matching set for a room ranging anywhere from ten dollars per window to hundreds, then follow the installation instructions. Afterwards you can goof off the rest of the day feeling like you have accomplished something major.

9.Kitchen and bathroom faucets What? Faucets? I don't have any plumbing experience! Don't worry, you don't need any. If you can follow directions you can change your old dingy faucets for shiny new ones in less than a couple of hours at most. All you'll need is a pair of pliers and maybe a screwdriver. Like blinds, faucet sets range from ten dollars to hundreds and include installation instructions. Measure the distance between knobs before you go to the store and make sure to go under the sink and turn the two water valves off before you start. Your neck may be a little sore from working under the sink when you get done, but your visitors won't have to guess which knob is hot and which is cold anymore. You did hook them up right, didn't you?

8 Switch plates Ahhh! Electricity! Again, don't worry, unless you have a tenancy to twitch uncontrollably, in which case you likely came to this page trying to click on the top ten Home Improvement episodes. If you are a twitcher you also probably should't be holding a screwdriver, which is the only tool you will need for this under a minute job. If you're remodeling, you might find that your switch plates are the only thing left that doesn't match your room. Or if you don't feel like remodeling there are some really snazzy switch plates available at the hardware store that can add a nice touch. Switch plates range from cents to ten bucks. There are no instructions included, so here is a breakdown. 1. Unscrew the little screw in the middle. 2. Remove plate. 3. Line new plate up with little screw hole in the middle 4. Screw in little screw. Wow, you're a regular Bob Vila. While the plate is off DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING BEHIND THE PLATE. Only tighten the screw gently, too much pressure can shatter it.

7 Vinyl No matter how nicely you furnish a kitchen or bathroom a worn out floor will make your home look like a crack den. Luckily, vinyl is simple and cheap. I suggest that your first project be a bathroom so you won't be out too much money if you somehow manage to mess up. This job will take the better part of a day. You can get vinyl for normal sized bathroom for as little as $40. And more glue than you will use for less than $10. Stay away from the peel and stick stuff, it doesn't last. You will need to pry up the base molding around the floor and replace and touch it up when you are done, but i think you can handle that. You can put new vinyl right over the old, just clean the original floor before you begin. If it has holes or intentions fill them in with something that will dry up hard. Floor patch is ideal, but it may not be available in a small size. Roll the vinyl out and cut it with a razor to the shape of the bathroom and make a X for the toilet. Be sure to cut everything a little large.After you glue it in you will come back and trim up the edges. Cutting is the hardest part, use your imagination and you will figure it out. Remember that the molding will cover up some of the edges. You will need a trial with grooves to smooth the glue on the floor. Apply a thin, grooved layer of floor adhesive to the back half of the room and put the vinyl in place, pushing down the center then smoothing out to remove bubbles. Next, pull it back and apply the glue to the other half of the room. Lay that half down and smooth it out, trim it, and replace the molding. No, that wasn't really all that easy, yes, this article is called easy home remodeling projects, yes, I suppose that makes me a liar, but you won't remember because you are high on glue fumes. Enjoy your new floor!

6. Wall repair Be honest. Somewhere in your house there is a wall with a hole in it. Maybe a door got swung open too hard, or maybe you got a little tipsy and decided to practice your high kicks. Now there's a painting hung midway down the wall and your dresser has been moved behind the door. In the bathroom. Stop hiding your shame and patch that wall! All you need is a tub of drywall joint compound($2), some joint tape($2), a wad of newspaper, some sandpaper and paint. Plug the hole with the paper and tape over it with joint tape. It the hole is small you don't even need to stuff it. Smooth over the tape with joint compound. Come back the next day and smooth it over again. The next day sand it. If it needs another pass, do it to it, then paint it when it drys. If you did a good job you won't know a hole was ever there.

5. Landscaping Go outside and get out of the glue fumes and sanding dust. With a few bags of mulch and some landscaping timbers form a border around your home. It will have a huge impact on the appearance of your yard.

4 Light fixtures Don't panic, this doesn't have to be too dangerous, though as a disclaimer I will say do it at your own risk and i'm not responsible in the case of a fire. Or your death. OK, moving on. Pick out some new light fixtures at the hardware store. They range from the usual ten to hundreds of dollars. In the daytime, find your breaker box and turn off the main breaker. Open some windows for light. Now you can work without the risk of electrical shock. The tools needed varies, but you can get them all in a all in one electricians kit for about $15. The fixtures will come with instructions, read them first and follow them very carefully. When you are done go and turn on the main breaker. If the main or another smaller breaker flips, leave it off and find out what you did wrong or call a pro. If nothing happens, check to see that it works, smell for smoke and feel for heat. I know this all sounds scary, but it's really easy overall, the big thing is safety. A simple fixture can take less than 15 min. And once you do a few you'll probably be ready to tackle a ceiling fan.

3. KnobsFrom the doors to the drawers, your house is filled with knobs. Cabinet knobs are obviously easy, but a doorknob can also be replaced in a matter of minutes, and you won't have to wiggle the knob every time you close the door to get it to latch. All you need is a screwdriver to do this job. Don't lock yourself out while you are doing this. I speak from experience.

2. Shower rod, curtain, and rings You probably know how simple it is to change a shower curtain, but changing the rod is even easier. It will either twist slide together or be held expanded with a screw. Changing the rod, curtain, and rings along with decorations can make a bathroom look completely different with minimal effort, and you can get all this for less than $100. And your bathroom won't look like the 60's.

1. Paint I've saved the best for last. Whether you are painting walls, trim, doors or cabinets, painting is by far the cheapest and easiest remodeling project and it also has the most impact. Have fun, be creative. If you don't like what you have done, paint it again. A decent bucket of paint only costs less than $20. You can get a roller and brush kit for $10. Just make sure to cover up anything it might drip on. Year old paint specs will let everyone know your houseplant is artificial.

Do the things on this list and not only will your home look better, but it will increase in value. Unless you burned it down during number 4.


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    • wilderness profile image

      Dan Harmon 6 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      You've made some good points here - there really are a lot of things you can do around the home to change and improve the appearance. Things that don't take a lot of work, cost or experience, just a willingness to dig in and do it.

      Voted up and useful.


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