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5 DIY Projects That Make a Difference

Maybe you’ve just conquered PCS season and now you want to make your new home shine. Or maybe you’re facing a big move and need to tackle some prep work to get your house ready to sell. Here are a few DIY projects that pack a powerful punch in sprucing up the overall look of your home, and most take no more than a long weekend to complete.


Freshen your front door.

There’s something magical about an inviting entryway. It can give you a sense of pride to pull up and park in front of your home when it’s more pleasing to the eye. To make an instant impact, consider starting with a freshly painted front door.

Take a photo of the front of your house (including the roof) and head to your local hardware store or paint store. You can browse the latest color trends and get advice on what colors and finishes are both practical and attractive in keeping with your neighborhood and style of home. Whether you opt for a more traditional red or black or go whimsical with a sky blue or sunshine yellow, a fresh new coat of color will make any door say, “Well, hello there!”

Some easy add-on projects you also might consider are putting up new house numbers and purchasing new exterior light fixtures in a more modern style. Use warm-looking LEDs to brighten things up.


Liven up the landscaping.

The lawn is one of the first things potential buyers notice. Who can resist the thought of a barefoot-friendly lawn in the summertime? If you lack the patience for starting from grass seed, you can take the faster route by laying down new sod. New sod requires lots of watering and careful attention, so consult with the company you purchase the sod from to ensure your efforts are seasonally appropriate for your area and then vigilantly follow any instructions for installation and care. Once the new sod is established, using an edger will keep your lawn perimeter looking pristine.

Adding a good layer of new mulch to your landscaping beds is another simple and inexpensive landscaping DIY that really helps your home look freshly maintained (and low maintenance because it can help prevent weeds from taking over). Start by trimming up any unruly plants, and then use a metal rake or good garden gloves to help you surround existing plants and ensure even coverage throughout your landscape beds.


Class up your cabinets.

Painting your kitchen cabinets and replacing or adding new door hardware is a relatively easy DIY project that anyone can tackle over a long weekend. Let’s face it—the kitchen is one of the first spaces we want to check out when viewing potential homes, and it’s the space where we spend a great deal of time. The biggest visible surface in many kitchens is the cabinet doors, so they tend to have the greatest impact on our overall view of the room.

Go with white, painted cabinets for a crisp, clean look. Or create visual appeal with white on the upper cabinets and an accent color or darker shade such as black, navy, or gray on the lower cabinets. Just be sure it ties in with any colors in the more permanent features of your kitchen such as the flooring, counter surface, and wall tiles.

Plan to do a lot of taping around cabinets and remove any existing cabinet handles and hardware before sanding or prepping surfaces for painting. To protect your painting handiwork from moisture and grime over time, add on hardware to cabinets that previously didn’t have any or upgrade your existing cabinet and drawer pulls for a fresh new look.


Doll up your dining room.

 There are so many ways to create an elegant visual statement with a few nails, some wood, and a little paint. The dining room is a great place to install a feature like wainscoting, a chair rail, or crown molding to make a huge difference in the overall look and feel of a space.

Wainscoting uses a series of painted trim boards and paneling, usually on the lower half of your wall(s), that once completed makes a sophisticated addition to nearly any room. You can play with the height by starting at a third of the height of a room or higher. Wainscoting makes a stunning visual impact in a small bathroom, for example. The trim and panels can be painted a traditional white paint color, or you can make it literally any accent color you choose. Many large hardware stores sell wainscoting kits or provide DIY tutorials and checklists to help you complete this project in your home.


Beautify your blinds.

Windows are an underrated selling point in a house. They let in light, showcase the views, and create an atmosphere all on their own. Upgrade old blinds to higher-quality wooden ones; white is best because darker or wood-toned blinds can add darkness to a room. You can measure your windows and order custom blinds online, saving big bucks by installing them yourself.

Play with your view, too. If you have a window worth looking out of, consider whether you need window coverings at all (for privacy) or if you could use plantation shutters or blinds that can be lifted up or lowered down from the top to make the most of the view and light in a space. Also look beyond the window for ways to increase access to light and views as well, such as by trimming nearby bushes or tree branches that obstruct an otherwise lovely view.

Even if you’re new to homeownership, these easy DIY tips will make a big difference and leave you looking like a pro. Before you know it, you’ll be frolicking on your barefoot-friendly lawn while potential home buyers will be fawning over your eye-catching front door and wondering what’s behind it.