Home improvement costs can quickly add up as you begin to take on one project after another. The good news is that there are plenty of projects that you can do yourself to improve the functionality of your space, prevent future issues, and increase the overall value of your home. DIY projects run the whole gamut from easy projects you can finish in 30 minutes to more intense projects that are a bit costlier and take time and skill to complete. If you’re looking for some easy DIY projects that will help you maintain or even improve the value of your home, look no further. Below are three DIY projects that are not only easy but also important in maintaining your home.
Seal Your Countertops
If you have a newer home, chances are you have a granite countertop. Natural stone countertops such as marble and granite have been growing in popularity for the last couple of decades. More and more homes are featuring natural stone countertops. However, if you want them to add value to your home when you sell it, then you need to maintain them and take care of them. Because granite is a porous stone, it needs to be sealed regularly to keep it from staining and etching. Experts recommend that granite countertops be sealed at least once a year, possibly more frequently if the countertops are used for cooking every day. While this may sound like an overwhelming task, it really is quite simple.
You could hire a professional to come in and seal your countertop for you, or you could simply do it yourself. Sealing your granite countertops is an easy DIY project that is important for the value of your home. You can simply pick up some sealant from any home improvement store. However, there is a wide range of sealants of varying quality. Picking a sealant with ‘fluorocarbon aliphatic resin’ will be long-lasting (5 to 10 years), albeit a bit more expensive, and will repel both oil and water. The first thing you want to do is in the corner of the granite put a few drops of water and see if it has soaked in after 15 minutes. If it has, proceeds with sealing. If not, then you don’t need to seal at this time. When it’s time to seal the granite countertop you want to first clean them, letting them dry for 24 hours. Then follow the instructions on the sealant (it will vary by product). Essentially, you’ll simply put the sealant onto a cloth and rub it onto the countertop, letting it soak in for the allotted time, and wipe off any excess. Basically, if you can wipe down your countertop, you can also seal your countertop.
Clean the Gutters
This is a chore that most homeowners dread and for good reason. It is often a messy job. Sure there are companies you can hire that will come and take care of it for you, but if you are looking to save some money, it is easily a job you can do yourself. Keeping your gutters clean is important for several reasons. Firstly, it keeps the outside of your home looking clean and tidy. This can help the curb appeal of your property. However, a more important reason for keeping them clean is to keep major issues like mold and mildew at bay. Gutters are designed to direct rain away from your home. When gutters are clogged they don’t function the way they are supposed to and water ends up pooling up or even seeping into the walls and roof of your home. Not only does this create an environment for mold and mildew to grow, but it can eventually cause structural damage as well.
Taking the time to clean the gutters is an easy project that can save a ton of money in the long run. You want to clean your gutters at least twice a year (spring/fall). It’s also a good idea to clean them before/after storms as well. Waiting until your gutters are dry can make the task much easier and less messy. All you need is a ladder, standoff stabilizers (to keep the ladder from resting on the gutter directly), and a pair of gloves. This DIY can get dangerous if you don’t do it right. Never attempt to clean your gutters from the roof or over-reach from the ladder. You should keep your waist between the rails and move the ladder as necessary, making sure you have stable footing before climbing up. Make sure to get to this regularly. It’s better to do this chore often as a preventative measure to save your roof and foundation.
Install Under Cabinet Lighting
Under-cabinet lighting is not only a growing trend, but it’s also a useful one. Installing lights under your kitchen cabinets provides valuable task lighting that can help you see what you are doing when you are chopping and cooking. Additionally, under cabinet lighting provides ambient and decorative lighting that can highlight your backsplash and take your kitchen design to the next level. These lights can provide light in the kitchen without having to turn on the harsh overhead lights. Furthermore, these lights are often LEDs, using less energy and burning cool. While many homeowners think that this is a project that must be put off until they finally get around to their kitchen remodel, it is actually an easy project that can you can do yourself.
Home improvement stores sell many different kinds of under cabinet lighting options including puck lights, bars, and LED strips. These lights come in a range of shades from “warm white” to “cool white.” The actual shade of light will vary depending on the type of light and the company so you’ll definitely want to check it out in the store. You can also find motion sensor lights, which can be especially helpful in the kitchen. This DIY project requires some basic understanding of the wiring in your kitchen, a drill, a hammer, under cabinet lights, wire clips, and a hammer. Simply run the wires through the back of your kitchen cabinet, attach your lights under your cabinets, and voila! Important note: you want to make sure that you pick under cabinet lights that cannot be seen to keep your project as professional as possible.
Little Things Go a Long Way
These three easy DIY projects can help you keep your home looking great, and can also help you maintain your home’s value. If you don’t feel like doing any of them, there are companies out there that will do it for you, but you’re looking at much higher costs if you go that route. Instead, set aside a day and get to work. It’ll be over before you know it and you can rest easy knowing you are doing something to help keep your home in tip-top shape.