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DIY Home Improvement Projects for First-Time Home Buyers

How to Make Simple Do It Yourself Improvements to Enhance Your Home


first-time home buyer holding a hammer and wrench

DIY home improvements require patience and attention to detail.

© Big Stock Photo
Ask any of my friends and they'll tell you that I am a DIY remodeling nut. I can't even walk into the restroom of a restaurant without visually measuring the grout lines in the ceramic floor or noticing whether the inside baseboard corners are perfectly mitered. See? I'm obsessed.

Once the DIY bug hits you, it doesn't let go. When I first started doing my own home improvements, I discovered that as soon as I finished with one project, I was ready for another challenge. The projects grew increasingly complex. It's astonishing what you can accomplish with your own two hands if only you would try.

Simple DIY Projects

You don't need to start a DIY project by crawling up on the roof with a circular saw to cut giant holes for skylights like I did. It's much easier to begin with a smaller DIY project to gain confidence. Here are 3 projects anybody can tackle:

  • How to Replace a Toilet

    Dual flush or power-assisted flush toilets are amazingly quiet and efficient. Of course, you better closely examine your bathroom floor before replacing the toilet because if you've ever considered a new floor, after you remove the toilet is the time to do it.

    How to Install a Remote-Controlled Ceiling Fan

    Tired of fiddling with a pull chain that doesn't work or listening to a noisy ceiling fan? Most of the newer models offer sleek designs and offer quiet performance powered on and off by a remote. Spend a little more for a reputable brand and your new ceiling fan will last for decades.

    How to Change a Shower Head

    You don't need to use the excuse that your shower head leaks to want to replace it. You can blame the DIY urge on me because I believe an aesthetic reason is reason enough. But if you really need a logical reason to replace a functioning shower head: if you add an extension arm, you can change its height.

DIY Home Remodeling Tips

Learn from my mistakes and don't jump into a project with both feet until you research it from beginning to end. Get advice from several sources because those sources will differ. You will discover when it comes to DIY, there are always at least 2 ways to do any job, and both could be right.

  • Top 10 DIY Home Improvement Mistakes

    You can learn from the mistakes of others or you can learn from your own mistakes. Personally, I believe it's better to learn from somebody else's mistake. If nothing else, it reduces the number of mistakes you're likely to make by yourself.

  • Pet-Friendly Home Remodels

    According to the APPA, pets live in more than 60% of all the homes in the United States. In many homes, pets are considered to be part of the family. Before you begin a DIY remodel, you might want to make adjustments in your plans to accommodate your pets.

  • 10 Steps for a DIY Kitchen Remodel

    When I remodeled my first kitchen, I carried the contents of my existing cabinets into a spare bedroom, grabbed the sledgehammer and banged away on the cabinets before I realized I could unscrew them from the wall. When I remodeled my last kitchen, I drew up a 10-day plan and acquired every piece of material required before I began.

DIY Home Improvement Projects: 5-Part Series

Over a 10-year period in my life, I bought, remodeled and sold 5 homes. I did all the work myself. Following are the stories of those DIY repairs and improvements.

At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, DRE # 00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.

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DIY -- Replace a Shower Head

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