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Dec
17
The Best and Worst Home Improvement Projects To DIY

The Best and Worst Home Improvement Projects To DIY


By Angelina Schmidt


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When it comes to home maintenance, the chore list is never-ending. You could save money with a few DIY home improvement projects, but oftentimes, it may be more cost-effective to hire a professional contractor.


Making curtains, reupholstering dining chairs, and building storage spaces are easy tasks that may take you a weekend. But you may want to reconsider tackling the more complicated chores.


Before you get in over your head, here are the best and worst DIY home improvement projects and -- as a bonus -- four DIY projects that you should avoid at all costs:


Best DIY Home Improvement Projects


Paint


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Just grab some paint, brushes, rollers, and drop cloths and get to work.


Replace old light fixtures


Today’s energy-efficient lighting comes in many styles for the kitchen, hallway, bathroom, and everywhere else in the house.


Install ceiling fans


Ceiling fans increase air circulation and reduce cooling costs, and it only takes a few hours to install one.


Set up a home office


Working from home is popular and necessary these days. A dedicated room for office projects, social media, paying bills, and charging up phones is a draw for would-be home buyers and a must for homebodies. If you don’t have it already, add WI-FI, and invite artificial intelligence assistants Alexa, Siri, Google, or Cortana into your home.


Smarten up


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Add some gadgets to make things easier. Today’s smart homes have some, if not all of these phone-connected gadgets:



  • Color changing light bulbs

  • Automatic lamps

  • Security cameras

  • Ring doorbells

  • Smart thermostats

  • Electric window blinds

  • Lighting


More technology comes to the market every day, and it can have a big payoff when you sell your home. Artificial intelligence increases a home’s marketability.



Worst DIY Home Improvement Projects


Pool maintenance


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Maintaining your pool involves more than digging some debris out of the water. In summer, you must maintain a proper chemical balance, monitor water levels, and keep filters from becoming clogged.


Simple enough, but you also need to cover the pool to keep out algae and pests in the winter.


A professional maintenance service is worth the cost of keeping your pool in good working order.


Landscape design


Mowing, gardening, painting the deck, and repairing trim are all outdoor projects that require some sweat.


While cutting the grass and planting a flower bed are great stress busters, you may want to leave the more complicated landscaping design projects to a professional. Yes, you’ll spend about $4,000 to have someone design and build your landscape, but you could spend even more correcting problems.


Laying Tile


The most used rooms in the house get dingy over time. Tear up the old linoleum or carpet and toss it. Wood and tile floors are more modern and last longer, but are difficult to install correctly. There’s more to it than lining up the squares. Adding grout makes it even tougher.


HVAC repair


With Sarasota’s winter temps dipping into the 50s, heating systems get a workout from time to time. Leave the tinkering to a professional.


DIYers can change air and oil filters, but pipes may become rusted and dirty. Combustion chambers, which create heat where fuel and air come together to spark up a flame, gunk up over long-term use.


Call an HVAC company to service your heating and air conditioning system … You don’t want the AC to conk out in the heat of summer!


DIY Projects to Avoid at All Costs


High-end bathroom fixtures and hot tubs


While it may be fun to bathe in luxury, you’ll want to hire a plumber and electrician for hookups.


Sunrooms


Building a sunroom can be expensive, and really, Florida has plenty of sunshine outdoors!


Plumbing


Most DIY plumbing projects end in disaster. One loose pipe can result in thousands of dollars in water damage. Even an unnoticeable drip can mean mold damage you won’t notice until it’s too late.


Protect Your Investment


If money were no object, your home improvement checklist would be indefinite, but let’s be practical and think about the return on your investment. Projects can be easy or difficult to do, but the bottom line is how much value and enjoyment they will add to your home.


Angelina Schmidt is a writer and home designer who blends the best of the old and the new into her designs. She loves nothing more than sitting outside with a good book and an excellent glass of wine.


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