Ready or not, you’re a homeowner and that means weekends filled with projects around the house. Before you get lost in your to-do list, focus on these six projects within the first six months. Slowly but surely you’ll ease into the fix-it life of a homeowner, all while improving your new space at the same time.
Install DIY Security
You don’t need to pay a lot of money to have a security system installed. Go wireless and do it yourself.
Long gone are the days of extensive security systems that are too complex for anyone other than a professional to understand. Now you can purchase and install your own wireless security system quickly and easily for $150 or less. The best part: When you start with a simple base system, you can add various components depending on your security needs, including timer lights, window sensors, doorbell security and more.
When synced with your phone, you can get security updates while you’re away from your home, allowing you to keep an eye on home security at all times.
Build Out the Garage
This area of your home experiences extreme wear and tear, yet it can also be a used as a storage area, craft room and play space when necessary upgrades are made.
[Photo: Epoxy flooring, Source]
Don’t let your garage space go to waste. Make a few small changes within the first six months of moving into your new home to turn it into an area where you want to spend time. Here are a few DIY projects to add to your list:
- Install new flooring: Concrete flooring is susceptible to the wear and tear of weather, oil spills and more. Replace it with inexpensive epoxy flooring to increase durability and aesthetic. DIY it or hire a professional.
- Overhead storage: Keep the little space you have available for regular use by putting storage over head. Use this tutorial to get started.
- Insulation: If you want to use your garage year-round, add insulation during the first six months in your new home. Get the garage insulation basics from HGTV before starting.
Fix Your Squeaky Garage Door
It’s annoying — but you’ll never get around to fixing it. Take care of it now.
A squeaky garage door is obnoxious, but it’s also not time sensitive or a priority compared to most other projects. Instead of letting it fall by the wayside, take care of it quickly and easily. All you need is the right product (Hint, it’s not WD-40):
“When you lubricate your garage door, you should use a Teflon- or graphite based penetrating spray. WD-40 maybe be able to fix almost anything else, but it is not best to use as a garage door lubricant. You’ll want to use the Teflon or graphite lubricant spray on the track, the springs and the cables,” explain experts at CSS Garage Doors.
If the squeaking doesn’t stop, hire a professional to take a look because it could mean that parts are worn or rusted and need to be replaced. This small detail is easy to miss during the buying and inspection process, but it’s simple to address.
Build an Outdoor Space
Everyone loves sharing time with friends around a fire or enjoying their morning coffee with a view.
[Photo: Outdoor space, Source]
Building an outdoor space to entertain friends and family is a simple home project that can be as budget-friendly as you’d like. Bonus: If you get it done quickly, everyone can enjoy it at your housewarming party.
Decide what you would like to have in your backyard, including where the best area for it is. A simple table and chairs can likely fit an average-sized back patio, but a fireplace, bench and extra seating may need more room, which means creating a space in your yard.
Fun items to consider purchasing include:
- Fireplace or chiminea
- Tiki torches
- Trees, plants, flowers
- Stone walkway
- Pallet table
- Dart board
Install Ceiling Fans
They’re easy to install, inexpensive to purchase and help you save money long after the sweat equity has been logged.
Installing ceiling fans may sound random, but it’s one of the easiest ways to ensure you pay less for monthly utilities down the road: “Because of the air circulation effect, you can get away with keeping your thermostat a degree or two higher in summer and a degree or two lower in winter, netting a rather large savings,” advises Trent Hamm from The Simple Dollar.
This why it’s a good project to tackle right away — you’ll start saving now, regardless of what season it is. The key is keeping the fans spinning in the right direction. Hamm explains: “… the air directly below the fan should be blowing down on you in the summer and should be pulled upwards away from you in the winter.”
Use Lowes’ step-by-step tutorial for installing or replacing current ceiling fans.
Re-Do the Backsplash
The kitchen is the center of the house — this is something you can do for cheap, while making it look expensive and high-quality.
[Image: Backsplash, Source]
Make a statement with a new, modern kitchen backsplash. There are two options for the DIY homeowner: traditional tiling or peel-and-stick. Traditional is labor intensive, and if you need guidance, This Old House outlines the process in great detail.
What’s easier and less expensive is the newly popular peel-and-stick tiling. While it may sound too “cheap” to be good, DIYers have found that it’s the perfect solution and one that stays long after it’s been installed. Check out this review and installation tutorial from someone who tried it personally. He applied in 2013 and it’s still looks brand-new in 2017.
Now, Start Working
You have your tasks; add them to your to-do list and get to work. You’ll be grateful in six months when your garage door isn’t squeaking, the energy bill is down and your friends are still raving about the epic housewarming party you threw in the new-and-improved backyard.