We’ve hired out key home remodel elements, but here’s a roundup of DIY renovation projects we’ve figured out how to do and completed. These are all things you can tackle yourself with the right tools and tutorials!
In the thick of a remodel! And yesterday I shared what’s it like to remodel during a pandemic. To summarize: zero stars: would not recommend. It’s been a really crazy time to feel like we need to stay home and not have a home you can stay in!
We’re through the worst part. Once our kitchen and living rooms became functional again, everything felt so much safer! And once I could actually buy food and have a place to store and cook it, we felt like our food and shelter needs were met. May we never take the ability to be home, safe, and fed for granted again!
DIY Renovation Projects
But we’ve had one great thing come of it. Although we have had some contractors come in and out for things we couldn’t do ourselves, we’ve opted to have as few as possible. We’ve reached the point where there are very few things we’ll have to hire out. Thus, we’ve opted to stay home and stay safe and social distance, which means tackling a lot more ourselves than we originally planned.
I’d argue this is the perfect time to do home projects if you have the materials and supplies. As I shared our experiences yesterday, I thought I’d share where we are in the remodel and what we’ve tackled ourselves. Plus, our plans for some home improvement DIY items we have coming in the next few weeks. If you need a little inspiration for projects to do while you’re home, here are some things we’ve found you can tackle yourself.
To date we’ve done the following:
- Painted our kitchen
It only took paint supplies we could call in and order over the phone, and a contact fee pickup. Painting takes time, but it’s a relatively affordable way to change the look of anything!
- Painted our family room
Same as above. But we made sure to plan and prep this area to be more livable and more enjoyable.
- Painted our living room, high ledges around it, entryway, and halls
Hello areas that may feel intimidating. There’s no time like the present to deep clean, and update trim and hard to reach areas while you have some time on your hands.
- Removed tile backsplash
Although we hired out most of our demo, we tackled our kitchen backsplash removal ourselves.
- Updated and added electrical to all the new areas that needed attention and outlets
This can feel so intimidating if you don’t know what you’re doing. However, a pair of electrical gloves and some Youtube videos will set you up for success!
- Added smart home switches and plugs
We’ve been doing this anyway, but as we’ve needed to replace and change a few areas, we’ve given them an upgrade. I can’t tell you the joy of telling an app to turn off all the lights, lock the doors, and set the security alarm every night.
- Installed sinks, hardware, an RO system, and fixed plumbing issues
If you’ve ever wanted to upgrade hardware, water systems, or fix problems, these are relatively easy things to do yourself! Sinks will require working with a fabricator for new counters, but they are easy do install once your counters are cut. Plus it’s one amazing DIY renovation item you’ll use daily!
- Removed a divider wall, patched and drywalled, and built out and textured the area
Go slow and careful is our recommendation, but you may be shocked how easy it is to remove elements and repair old beat up areas.
- Painted two bathrooms
Hooray, paint that will wear better with humidity! Also, bathrooms are often smaller spaces that have a big impact with less time and effort than other rooms.
- Painted trim and baseboards, installed 1/3rd ourselves, and touched up with a final coat of paint
One of the biggest impact projects out there is baseboard and trim updates. Our house looks so much more modern and like a new build thanks to paint and baseboards!
- Tiled an entire bathroom
This was our first tile project, and we were pleasantly surprised that we could figure it all out ourselves. Plus, there are so many affordable tile options, and many places are doing free pickup to keep projects going.
- Tiled an entire laundry room/bathroom area
Once you have one done, it’s so much faster to do the other areas! Plus, our rooms have cohesive tile and it’s a good feeling to make areas feel intentional.
- Sanded, primed, and painted bathroom vanity cabinets
I can’t believe how much work it is to sand chalk paint and help 25-year-old cabinets look like almost new. It’s such a good feeling, and it’s not hard to do! It does take time and many steps. But a few hours every night for a week later, you’ll have a place that’s updated and fits your home perfectly.
- Fixed, reinstalled, and added hardware to bathroom vanity
I have a whole post coming about this, but a few knobs and pulls completely change your space! It was a fun project to grab a drill and new hardware and completely transform our newly painted vanity.
- Built new furniture for kitchen spaces
Our new kitchen has a modern meets classic meets midcentury modern vibe. We needed some new furniture that wouldn’t scratch the new floors and would fit the space. Plus, putting together new furniture you’ll use and love daily just brings a lot of joy!
- Removed dated light fixtures (ready to install new ones once they’re available again)
We had the worst 90’s poster-child light fixtures in our house. It’s been a joy to say goodbye. Now we just need some companies to be able to re-open and figure out shipping so we can add some beautiful new light fixtures to complete our spaces!
And I’m a little tired just typing out that list! But we still have a ways to go!
DIY Home Projects We’re Planning to Tackle This Month:
- Paint new doors
- install new doors
- tile a bathroom
- wallpaper at least one area
- paint the window casing
- update trim in several areas
- organize our pantry
- build new shelves
- hang pictures
- repair drywall
- possibly backsplash the kitchen
So I guess you could say we’re okay with another month or two home! It’s been a crazy journey, but I’m so thrilled with how far we’ve come in a relatively short time. And I’m even more thrilled we’ve done so much of this together, creating and building a dream home we both love.
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