Looking to make the most of your time off around the house this summer, but not sure where to start? Why not try your hand at one of our suggested beginner DIY projects? Whether you’re looking to put a small finishing touch in a single room, or completely overhaul its look with a new floor, here are 6 easy-peasy remodel ideas that anyone can tackle thanks to these DIY-friendly products.
1. Switch to a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats let you change the temperature in your house all throughout the day. You can even program it to change when you’re not home. Turn off the breaker to the furnace and air conditioner. Remove the old thermostat, and connect the new one to the old wires. Drill holes to fix the new mounting plate into the wall. Think about installing the Perfectly Warm Thermostat.
2. Replace a Light Fixture
Redoing an entire kitchen can cost thousands of dollars. Instead of breaking the bank, swap out your light fixture with something fresh. Turn off your power at the breaker box, and replace the fixtures. Connect the wires to the new fixture, and turn the power back on. Consider Cocoweb Calla Pendent Lights over your kitchen island or above your sink.
Install Vinyl Plank Floors
Vinyl floors work great if you have an area of your house that experiences excess moisture. Remove the baseboards from the room. Prep the subfloor so that it remains dry and level. Roll out a moisture barrier, which is a sheet of plastic to protect the concrete subfloor.
Create a starting point to lay the flooring. Determine the center of each wall, and use a chalk line to mark the center of the floor. From the starting wall, subtract a 5/16-inch expansion gap, and snap a chalk line.
Lay out the pieces across the floor, so it resembles a finished floor. Stagger the boards for a more visual design. To cut the planks, line up a ruler and score the board twice with a knife. Snap the plank apart.
Tip: Leave about 1/8-inch space between the plank and any solid structure. This gives the plank some give and space.
The Vesdura 5.8 mm WPC Click Lock Collection offers protection against moisture with the help of its wood plastic core (WPC). To install these types of planks, use the click-lock installation on, above, or below grade. Place one plank at a 45-degree angle, and snap it into place. Make sure the seam is tight and secure. Your board might seem bowed, but once you place the next one on the opposite side, the bowing should disappear. Once you’re done, replace the baseboards and add trim pieces.
Put in Carpet Tiles
Carpet tiles are another easy-to-install flooring option. Just like you did with vinyl plank floors, find the center of the room before you install carpet tiles. Snap chalk lines between the midpoints of both walls.
Lay the tiles out along the floor, and make sure the ones that bump up against the wall are at least a half-tile wide. If the space is less than that, realign the tiles parallel to that wall. Determine which way you want the tiles to look. Most tiles have fibers that lean a certain direction, so look at the bottom to see if there’s an arrow on the back.
Tip: Turning every other tile 90 degrees creates a checkerboard pattern.
Once you figure out your pattern, start back at the center of the room and remove the backing from one of the tiles. Continue this pattern with three other tile squares, making sure each tile bumps up to the others.
If you need to cut the tiles next to the wall, measure the space and draw the matching layout on the back of one of the carpet tiles. Use a utility knife and straightedge to cut along the marks. After you finish the room, take a 75-pound roller to secure the tiles firmly to the floor.
For an easy installation option, consider selecting the Dreya Prism Collection and its carpet tiles. Since they last for more than a decade, the tiles are ideal for any type of indoor property.
Secure Wood Paneling
To install wood paneling, nail furring strips into the wall, one along the floor and one at the height where the top of the panel will go. For floor-to-ceiling options, install three strips with the third one at the wall’s midpoint. Use a level to make sure the strips are horizontal.
Tip: If you want to stain the paneling, do this before placing it on the walls.
Similar to hanging wallpaper, start at a corner of the wall and work your way around the room. Nail the panel to the strips, and continue along the wall until you reach the opposite corner. To cut panels, use a circular saw, and cut from the side of the panel that is facing the wall.
When finished, install trimmings and sand down nail heads. Use similar color stain or paint and cover the heads to make them less noticeable.
Made of 100 percent recycled MDF material, Carrick Wall Paneling’s Decorative Print Collection features realistic prints without the moisture sensitivity of regular wood.
Spruce Up Your Faucet
Even if your faucet doesn’t leak, you can change your kitchen faucet or bathroom faucet to something more up-to-date. Turn off the water supply, and remove the flexible extension from the faucet. Drain the water into a bucket. Unscrew the connections from the old faucet and attach the new one.
American Standard kitchen faucets and Sir Faucet bathroom faucet are stylish options for your sink. Make sure the faucet configuration matches your existing sink otherwise you might end up replacing that as well.
Tip: Add an aerator to your new faucet to help lower your water bill.
The Bottom Line
Living a life of simplicity doesn’t mean you can’t tackle a few DIY projects on your own. With a little patience and a few tools, you can renovate your floors, walls, and a few pieces in the kitchen, giving your rooms a mini makeover.