Canadian Woodworking

Top 10 DIY makeover ideas

Renovating or remodeling makes both practical and economic sense. It’s a great way to enhance the look of your home, and also increase its resale value. 

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Renovation projects generally involve maintenance, repair, and upgrading; such as painting or refacing kitchen doors. These are the kind of projects that avid DIYers can typically undertake themselves. Remodeling projects, on the other hand, usually involve changing the design of your home, and can be much more time-consuming and expensive. Examples include adding a sunroom or redesigning a kitchen.

Paint the Walls

Painting is one of easiest and least expensive ways to dramatically change the look of the inside and outside of your home. It’s worth taking the time to patch gouges and fill holes before you begin. Remember to wash the walls before painting.

Replace the Baseboards

Living and dining rooms look so much better with prominent baseboards. A perfect time to redo trim is when repainting. Replace those tiny 2″ baseboards with more compelling baseboards. If you’re really looking to add an aura of refined elegance, install crown moulding.

Upgrade Light Fixtures

Contractors typically install the least expensive, and seemingly most bland light fixtures, they can source. Replace old ceiling fixtures with ones that complement your decor, and consider installing outdoor lighting to enhance your home’s appearance and illuminate the entrance or walkway.

Replace Doors

An appealing front door says “welcome” to your guests and makes an influential impression on prospective buyers. And don’t neglect the back door, particularly if it opens onto a patio or porch. This is also a good time to upgrade the door trim. Renovating or remodeling makes both practical and economic sense. It’s a great way to enhance the look of your home, and also increase its resale value.

Change the Flooring

The quickest method is to install a floating floor as it isn’t nailed or glued down. Other options suitable for the DIYer include engineered flooring, solid wood, cork, bamboo, vinyl, and tile. For basement and garage floors, paint-on epoxy works well.

Reface Kitchen Cabinets

The kitchen is the most used room in most homes, and is, by far, the room that has the greatest impact when you sell. The most visible surfaces in the kitchen are the cabinets. Unless the carcasees are damaged, you can breathe new life into the kitchen simply by replacing the doors, drawers, and handles.

Replace Countertops

Laminate countertops are the least expensive, and probably the most common. However, they aren’t the most economical over the long term. Consider solid surface tops like Corian or engineered stone (quartz).

Replace Sinks/Faucets

A new sink and faucets is a great way to energize a kitchen or bathroom, and the best time to replace them is when you replace the countertops. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is. While you’re at it, replace the showerhead.

Add a Backsplash

The transition from the back of the countertops up to the base of the cabinets can often look bland. Adding a backsplash in ceramic or glass tile can really set your kitchen apart. You’ll need to rent a wet-cutting tile-saw, and make sure to buy about 15 percent extra tile for waste and practice cuts.

Install a Deck

With summers so short in most of Canada, people love to be outside on warm, sunny days. A deck can become an extension of your home. Building a new deck takes more planning and a bigger commitment of time than most of the other projects in this list, but it’s not overly complicated. Don’t forget to get a building permit if required.

Carl Duguay - [email protected]

Carl is a Victoria-based furniture maker and the web editor at Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement.

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