Home improvements often give people thoughts of full house renovations, workers everywhere, and complete chaos that lasts for months. The top three completed home projects are bathroom remodels, interior painting, and installing new flooring – all of which seem like massive projects to take on. But in reality, a lot of home improvements can be performed in a few hours or just a couple of days with the right tools, a bit of training, and some confidence.
For any home improvement work, you’re going to need a decent toolset. That includes screwdrivers, a hacksaw, wrenches, a hammer and mallet, a few wedges, and some protective gear (like clear protective eyeglasses and gloves). You can easily find a tool starter set with 50 or 100 items included at any major hardware store, which will give you the basics for most tools needed. Further, depending on what you are going to do, you will need a guide to direct you through the basic steps. Fortunately, that’s at your fingertips with the internet. Videos are the best, giving you both the details and the visual guidance, as well as tips on mistakes to avoid. Watch videos first before doing any kind of work so you know what’s involved, what tools and supplies you need, and how long it will take to do a basic job. But before you get started, you’ll need to decide what kind of project to do. Here are just a few quick options that you can complete in only one weekend.
Replace the Toilet
Tired of that dingy commode in your bathroom that’s been there for a decade? Replace your old toilet with a nice, new modern throne. You can easily buy complete units at big stores. And they come with all the parts and instructions needed. Replacing a toilet is not hard, but you do need time and a bit of muscle with basic tools to do the job. Once you find, buy, and bring home the toilet you want, leave it in the box first. Lay out a big blue tarp next to your bathrooms. Wear gloves and eye goggles to protect yourself, shut off the water supply, disconnect the old toilet from the water line and bolts to the floor, empty the water in it, lift, and remove. Put the old toilet on the tarp out of the way and clean up the area with paper towels. Throw everything away, as it’ll be contaminated. Take off the old gloves and wash them, wash your hands thoroughly, and put on new gloves. Now, follow the instructions to install your new toilet, putting in the provided wax ring first (very important to prevent leaks). Voila! You now have a new toilet after tossing out your old one in the trash. Just make sure to lift with your knees so you don’t throw out your back. Old toilet basins can be heavy.
Re-Caulk the Windows
Around 85% of the nation’s homes were built prior to 1980 and are in need of home improvement. Window frames are the most noticeable and tend to crack and gap over time due to expansion and contraction from temperature throughout the year. Caulking those gaps helps prevent heat or cooling loss which can cost your money. Just get a few tubes of caulking at the hardware store with a caulking gun. Cut off the tip and have plenty of paper towels ready to clean up messes. Squeeze and lay down a small bead of the caulking on the crack, wipe off the excess from the tube, and use your fingertip to smooth the bead into the crack, filling it up. Repeat until the window frame is entirely sealed again. Do this on all your windows and your utility bill will show positive effects.
Change Your Door Handles and Front Door Lock
Old handles look dingy and your front door lock needs to be secure. Over time, they wear out. Changing out a lock only involves a few screwdrivers and can improve your door function in a few hours. Since doors are already precut, it’s simply a matter of removing the old assembly and putting in the new one. Following the instructions and your new door handle will be ready to go in an hour or two. Most door locks and handles come in kits at the hardware store, so you have everything you need in one box.
Replace a Fence Gate
Your side gate for your backyard fence takes a beating and can start to sag over time. Simply take it off from the hinges, use the old gate as a template, and build a new copy with the same dimensions, boards, lengths, and pieces. Add a new hinge set with a tension cable and re-install it on the gate post. The job usually takes about a half-day with the right power saw, nails, and hammer. And in terms of fencing materials, vinyl is several times stronger than wood – so if you want longevity, play around with alternate materials to wood.
With these home improvement tips, you can get an essential project done in just a couple of days and reap all of the benefits.