Tired of baking bread and zoning out in the evenings to Netflix? These easy projects may be just the thing you need to keep yourself busy – and reinvigorate your space! – while staying at home.
Easy Home Improvement Projects for Safer-at-Home Orders
COVID-19 cases are on the rise and stay-at-home orders are being renewed in many states. So if you’re looking for something to do around the house, these simple home improvement projects can help increase the value of your home and make it more comfortable to live in it.
Here are 20 easy home projects to tackle during the coronavirus quarantine.
1. Freshen a Room with Paint
Painting a room is a low-cost way to give it a completely new look and feel. Maybe you want to go basic white or to add a splash of color on an accent wall. However the spirit moves you, take your time with cleaning the wall first and taping the trim so you don’t have to fix too many mistakes.
2. Install Safety Systems
If you have a smart home security system you’ve been meaning to set up, now’s the time! Most take minutes to install. Consider adding some additional safety systems, too.
For example, homes are twice as likely to experience water damage than fire and theft combined. Water sensors are easy to install and connect with your smartphone to monitor leaks. Just place them in areas that might be prone to water damage.
3. Update Cabinet Hardware
If you want to give your kitchen a new look without spending on a full remodel, change out the hardware on your cabinets. You only need new hardware and a screwdriver. If you’re mounting new hardware on cabinet doors that had none before, create a template so you mount them uniformly across all cabinets.
4. Revamp Your Walkways
Freshening up your walkways adds to your home’s curb appeal. For this project, you only need a power washer to wash dirt, grime, and algae off of bricks, cement, and stones. If you don’t have one, you can rent a power washer from most home improvement stores. For extra credit, plant some colorful annual flowers along the walkway to make your entrances more inviting.
5. Add Crown Molding
Don’t be intimidated by a crown molding project. It’s an easy way to spruce up your space. Use a coated polystyrene, which is lightweight, easy to cut with a handsaw, and simple to apply with a joint compound. Remember to measure twice and cut once.
6. De-Grime the House
Homes accumulate dirt and grime on the exterior walls and eaves. Tidy up the exterior with a power washer. Spray your home’s walls starting from the top and work your way down. It’s cheaper than repainting, and it really brightens up your home’s facade.
7. Install a Stair Runner
Have some bare stairs in your home? Install a runner – it creates traction that makes your stairs safer. You’ll need a non-slip runner and tacking to set the runner in place. Be sure to measure the space and outline the runner so the tacks are uniformly lined up on the stairs.
8. Install Weatherstripping
Lower your energy costs this winter by installing weatherstripping around windows and doors. You can use peel-and-stick strips and place them around doors and windows to keep cold air from entering your home through gaps. That keeps the furnace from kicking on more frequently and reduces overall energy consumption.
9. Replace Your Furnace Filter
While you’re thinking about energy consumption, take a few minutes to change the furnace filter. It’s especially important during a pandemic to improve your home’s air quality. It also reduces the work the furnace needs to do – it’s harder to produce heat through a clogged filter – and that keeps your heating costs lower.
10. Install New Window Treatments
New window treatments can refresh the look of a room, keep heat out, and help improve energy efficiency in your house. Best of all, they are easy to switch out if you already have curtain rods installed. Just measure the length of your windows, find new curtains that are the right length, and replace your old ones.
11. Shampoo Carpets
Carpets endure a lot, from grass-stained shoes to muddy paws to accidental spills, so now’s the time to give them some love. Deep clean your rugs by renting a steam cleaner. Vacuum your carpets really well before you steam clean them to make sure you have as much of the dirt, hair, and dust out of the carpets for a more effective clean.
12. Paint Kitchen Cabinets
Just as painting a room can dramatically change its look, painting your kitchen cabinets can give your kitchen a whole new feel. Remove the doors of all cabinets. Sand the doors and cabinet frames and clean any dust and grime. Put on a fresh coat of paint. Let the cabinets completely dry before you reinstall them. For extra credit, combine your freshly painted cabinets with new hardware for an updated look.
13. Clean Dryer Ducts
Lint in your dryer duct doesn’t just make your dyer less efficient – it’s also a fire hazard. This home improvement task is more about muscle than cost. Unplug and move the dryer out of the way and vacuum the duct with a shop vac to clear the space. Clean the area behind the dryer while you have it pulled out.
14. Drain Your Water Heater
The sediment that collects at the bottom of the water heater can cause it to lose efficiency and work harder. Connect a hose to the drain valve at the bottom of your water heater and direct the water out or into a bucket. Experts suggest draining your water heater every two years to optimize its performance.
15. Create a Chalkboard Wall
Give your little ones a place where they’re allowed to write on the walls by creating a chalkboard wall. Chalkboard paint is inexpensive and an easy way to transform a room that you may need as a home learning environment.
16. Install a Programmable Thermostat
Replace an old dial thermostat with a programmable one – it’s easier than it seems! You can program your thermostat to run lower during the day and increase it at night, depending on your preferences. Customizing its output can reduce your energy bills. Here’s a how-to video to help you get started.
17. Install Lamp Dimmers
This is a super easy home improvement project and it can transform your home’s lighting. Simply find a plug-in lamp dimmer (about $20 at most home improvement stores), and plug the lamp into the dimmer and the dimmer into the wall. Voila! You now have ambient lighting.
18. Create a Compost Pile
Use a plastic barrel or similar container to start a compost pile. Let nature do its work so you can save money on soil and fertilizer for your garden. You can put kitchen scraps in the compost pile daily. You’ll reduce the amount of chemicals you use in your yard and reduce the amount of trash you throw out.
19. Divide Perennials
Want to prepare your garden for the spring without spending a ton of money on perennials? Take ones that you already have that are at least three years old and divide them. Thinning perennial plants also prevents a section from overgrowing. The best time to do this? Before the fall frost begins.
20. Get Some Houseplants
Nothing livens up a room quite like a new plant friend. They decorate your space and improve the air quality. Plus, if you work from home, plants can also boost your productivity by 15 percent. Researchers found that plants in your workspace can make you feel more physically, cognitively, and emotionally involved in your work.
New to greenery? Check out our beginner’s guide to houseplants to find the right plants for you.