Holiday home improvement: show off your DIY skills

Posted by Jeffrey Anderson ~ November 14, 2012

The holidays are almost here and in no time at all your home may be full of family and friends not seen since last December. You probably already have a pretty good idea of how it's going to go: everyone quietly giving your house the once over, anxious to see what new home improvement projects have been completed.

If you don't have much to show for the past year, it's not too late to avoid the disappointed stares. There are a few DIY-friendly projects that can still be completed before the holidays arrive, and those guests are knocking at your door.

DIY holiday home improvement projects

Which rooms do your guests frequent the most during a holiday visit? Unless they're there for an extended stay, your kitchen, powder room, dining area, and living or family room would more than likely top the list. While you don't have a lot of time, there are still a few projects that can reinforce your reputation as a DIYer extraordinaire.

Here are a few easy home improvement jobs that can be done before the guests arrive, and just as important -- shouldn't put too much of a dent in your holiday budget:

  • Paint -- A new color on the walls can revitalize just about any room -- all it takes is a few gallons of paint and a couple of spare hours for a small space. If you want to give your dining room an elegant appearance for the holiday meal, try a darker shade on the walls and bright white on the doors and trim.
  • Trim -- While you may not want to attempt crown molding, chair railing, wide window casing, and two-piece baseboard are usually quick and easy to install. If you plan on staining the trim once it's in place, choose wood that's clear and free of defects.
  • Flooring -- There are many types of flooring that are considered DIY-friendly and depending on the size of the room, can normally be installed over a weekend. Laminates, engineered hardwood, and even solid hardwoods can be good choices for a homeowner application and don't require too many special tools. However, it might be a good idea to steer clear of carpet or ceramic tile unless you have experience with those materials.
  • Fixtures -- Installing a new cabinet and vanity top can give your powder room a fresh look and be done in an afternoon. Add a new toilet paper holder, towel bar, and vanity mirror and you may convince your holiday guests that there's no limit to your DIY skills.

It's not too late -- strapping on your tool belt now may be able to keep your DIY reputation intact for at least another year.

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