During the pandemic, many property owners were able to dive into lengthy renovation projects because they were stuck at home and had nowhere else to go. Now that those days are over, some homeowners are finding it increasingly difficult to make time for major projects and focus on smaller projects instead—specifically, those that can be wrapped up in one weekend.
How to tackle a weekend DIY project successfully
A lot of people are shaking their heads when it comes to weekend DIY projects. The problem often boils down to underestimating the amount of work you do.
Mallory Mitch, home care expert at Home Improvement Network and information company Angi, says that before tackling a weekend DIY project, you should first check the three items:
Homeowners often miscalculate how much time a particular project will take, says Micetich. Her advice is to “always bake in overtime.” If you think the project will take six hours, budget for eight or nine hours, just in case.
You’ll also need to make sure you have the right tools for the job you’re doing. If you’re limited to one weekend, you might not have time to visit your local hardware store on a Saturday morning if you need that full day to tackle your project.
Micetich suggests buying your tools or materials ahead of time so you can dive right in. “When you’re doing DIY, the setup is just as important as the project you’re doing,” she says.
Finally, says Micetich, make sure you’re really ready to manage the work you’re doing. You might think that you can manage some simple plumbing or a small demolition job. But there are some projects that are best left to the professionals, she insists, as anything that involves electrical work.
DIY projects you can tackle in the weekend
Micetich warns that some DIY projects that might seem like they could be done over the weekend might actually take longer. For example, tiling a bathroom can’t always be done over a couple of days, especially for a larger area. But here are some weekend DIY projects worth considering.
1. Paint a room
When it comes to beautifying your home, painting is a great place to start, says Micetich. However, you may struggle to get the specific type of paint or finish you want due to ongoing supply chain issues.
If that happens, you won’t have to give up on your project so much as change your approach to it. If you move into the “I want to make a visual impact in my room” mentality instead of being stuck with the idea of painting, you can pivot with photos and art to create a statement wall.
If you are able to get ahead with a paint job, be sure to start early in the weekend. You may need to apply several coats and it will take time for the paint to dry before you can use the room again.
2. Add Storage Solutions
You might be surprised how adding storage space to your home can make life so much easier. If you have a large closet, adding shelves can help you make better use of that space. Or you may want to reposition the shelves in your pantry so your cooking supplies are easy to access.
Micetich also advises thinking about your storage needs outside of your closets. Adding features like shoe and coat racks can help keep your home more neat and organized.
3. Install the kitchen backsplash
While tiling a bathroom in one weekend is a bit ambitious, a kitchen backsplash is a different story. And adding a backsplash can have a big visual impact.
Micetich says that if you’re going to be trying to install a kitchen backsplash over the weekend, it’s important to choose tiles that are easy to lay. Also, she says, pick up some quick-drying plaster.
4. Planting a flower bed
When the weather is mild, you may be tempted to tackle a weekend landscaping project. But Micetich warns that landscaping can be surprisingly challenging.
“The covering sounds like a great DIY project until you realize how heavy it is and how much you need to buy it,” she explains. Likewise, things like clearing trees may be beyond your financial capabilities, and you will risk damaging your home in the process.
Your best bet is to think small when it comes to landscaping on the weekend. Micetich suggests visiting your local nursery and planting flower beds, or multiple flower beds, to give the exterior some color.
5. Do yard cleaning
You don’t need to add flowers or features to your yard to give your home more attractiveness. Another great DIY project this weekend is cleaning up the yard.
Spend some time removing leaves, pruning bushes, and getting rid of debris. While you’re at it, scrub your yards and driveways for a nice, clean exterior.
6. Deck stain
Wood surfaces in particular should be stained every two years or so. Micetich says if you’re scheduled to do a repair, you can stain or paint your deck at the weekend—if the weather is on your side.
However, you may need to pressure wash the deck before you stain it, and this is something you want to do early on. You want this surface to be nice and dry by the time you’re ready to stain.
Are DIY projects worth it?
It can be – provided you don’t get in over your head. A recent survey by Angi found that nearly 80% of homeowners who took on a DIY project ended up making a mistake. And Micetich says that going the DIY route won’t always save you money.
“Contractors have the ability to work more directly with material distributors and get discounts, so what you save on labor, you may spend on higher material costs,” she says. “If you’re going to do (a DIY project) with the intent of saving money, it might be worth taking a second look at that and getting a quote.”
On the other hand, there is also the satisfaction of improving your home yourself, learning a new skill and spending quality time with your family in the course of a weekend DIY project. This is something that will not give you a contract with a contractor.
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