5 DIY Home Improvement Projects that Newbies Will Love

tjortenzi2012/flickrHave you got that itchy feeling? The one that means you're longing to transform your home in some way, whether large or small? And you're determined to do it yourself. The only problem is that you are a total newbie at the DIY game, so you want something that doesn't demand an engineering degree and a garage full of power tools … a home improvement task that you will not only start but also have a good chance of finishing. Never fear. We have 5 very doable projects for you. They're all easy, quick, and affordable, so pick the one that appeals most and get moving!

Hardware Replacement 

Handsome hardware is a focal point right now in every room of the house. Replacing worn, rusty, or just plain boring knobs and pulls with stylish new models is the perfect upgrade for your cabinetry, closets, doors, end tables -- you name it! This is one of the quickest home improvement projects you could possibly choose to tackle.

TIP: Before you go shopping for replacement hardware, carefully measure the existing layout and make sure that your purchase will fit exactly. That way, you won't have to drill any new holes.

Shelf Building -- Who knew that adding much-needed storage space could make your house look so stylish? What's more, putting up a shelf or two is a just-the-right-amount-of-challenge kind of way to exercise your budding talents as a handyman. You can buy prepackaged kits that include a floating, bracketed, or corner shelf, together with everything you need to hang it. Or call on the spirit of homesteading adventure and craft your own shelves, perhaps from rustic reclaimed wood. TIP: For the sturdiest shelving, locate a wall stud and attach your shelf to that, not to plain drywall.

Backsplash Addition -- Although it occupies a relatively small amount of square footage, gorgeous personalized backsplash can have tremendous impact on the look and feel of your kitchen. You'll be surprised at how easy and inexpensive it is to install a backsplash yourself. TIP: Try one of these simple-to-install suggestions to upgrade the area behind your stove and sink: vinyl wallpaper, preglued tile sheets, or a sheet of glass -- choose either colored or mirror finish.

New Floor Installation -- Yes, really! Even a first time DIYer can rev up a tired floor with a spanking new surface. Vinyl tiles mimic the luxe look of wood or stone, yet need no expensive tools or measuring expertise to install. Just make sure that the existing surface is clean, dry, and relatively level. Then peel the tiles off their backing and stick them in place. TIP: Peel-and-press vinyl tiles are ideal for areas where water resistance and easy care are especially desirable, such as a powder room or entryway.

Wall Painting -- When you have an irrepressible urge to make a difference to your home fast, there's nothing like a can of paint. Painting interior walls is a good place to begin; you can do one room at a time, or even one individual wall. (Try a chalkboard paint accent in the kitchen or a children's playroom.) If you don't already have it on hand, you will need to invest in a certain amount of equipment, like brushes, rollers, trays, drop cloths, and a ladder. However, the good news is that newbie do-it-yourselfers will find it much harder to mess up a paint job than, say, changing plumbing pipes or rewiring the house. TIP: Proper preparation goes a long way to ensure the success of your paint job. Fill any wall cracks and holes, sand, clean, and let dry before you ever pick up a paintbrush.

Laura Firszt writes for networx.com.



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