If you are looking at a few weeks of break over Christmas and the New Year, why not make the most of this time to fit in some easy DIY projects to improve your home? There are always little things that you can tackle yourself; check out our experts’ list for your ultimate summer holidays home renovation!
Small improvements can really make a big impact, and you can spruce your house up beautifully to launch 2020 in the right way. Plus, us Renovating Mums love the added feel-good vibes that come from actually doing it yourself.
Some tips before you get started
Know your limitations
DIY and home renovation projects are all about knowing your limitations. Some jobs need to be left to the professionals.
For example, bathrooms can be an expensive but effective investment towards modernising your home. Every bathroom / laundry should have a waterproofing membrane which is designed to keep any water or leaks inside the room and directed to your floor waste. Removing items like baths, tiles etc and replacing them yourself could potentially end up penetrating the membrane and creating further damage throughout your home.
We recommend speaking to a professional prior to attempting to replacing fixtures, to assess the potential risks. It may be valuable investing in a new vanity, shaving cabinet and a coat of paint, or it might be worth saving up the extra funds and completing a full bathroom renovation, eliminating any potential further issues.
Get a Working Bee happening
Why not invite a group of handy friends around to tackle any of the bigger jobs in one day – your home could look like the set of one of those 24-hour transformation shows! Pay them back in beers, wines and BBQ at the end of the day, or like-for-like in time and take turns to do working bees at each other’s houses. You will save money, improve the value of your home and have fun with mates all at once.
See below for great ideas for projects from our expert trades; we have gone directly to the people in the know!
Summer Holidays Home Renovation: Easy DIY Projects to Improve Your Home
Upgrade safety and install childproofing
Childproofing is often a job that gets put to one side – now is the time to get onto this:
- Fix any furniture such as shelves or chests of drawers that could tip if a child tried to climb on it.
- Fix any child proofing fasteners that have come loose.
- Fix any baby gates that have broken or come loose.
- Look around outside and fix any fences or gates that have become a problem, especially anything around the pool area.
- Install Child-Proof Locks on doors and windows. All strata buildings in NSW must be fitted with child safe devices that lock the window opening at less than 12.5cm on windows that are first floor or above to prevent children falling out. This law has come into effect for good reason – there have been huge numbers of children falling through windows.
It’s not an expensive job and the safety devices can be easy to fit. The peace of mind it will provide you with is priceless. Places like MST Window Repairs always have a range of compliant and tested safety devices and are always happy to have a no obligation chat with you about what could work in your windows.
- Also note that flyscreens do not stop children falling. Run your eye over each room of the house and ensure furniture is kept away from windows so children cannot climb up
In the Kitchen
Tips from the team at Just in Place…
- Rearrange your storage with labeled unified containers. We love IKEA for this purpose and suggest spices, dried food and even storage containers for your fridge.
- If you are handy you can resurface your laminated bench top. Your nearest Bunnings has a number of suitable DIY products, ask for advice at the counter according to the specific finish you would like to achieve.
- Give a new look to your kitchen splashback by painting the tiles & re-grouting – finish the job with a good grout sealer to protect against discoloration.
- Find a place in the kitchen or near the kitchen to hang a piece of art, it can be even framed drawing from one of your kids. That ‘pop’ of personality can really lift a space, plus the kids will love seeing their hard work hanging on the wall.
In the Bathroom
Tips from the team at iRenovate NSW…
- Do some easy silicone replacement to give your bathroom that refreshed clean feel. Make sure that you choose the right silicone for the job and check out YouTube for neat ‘how to videos‘.
- Look at replacing and updating handles on your vanity and cupboards. This easy change will bring new life to an old bathroom
- Consider replacing your vanity with a new one, Just In Place have some beautiful original options available
- Re-grout floor and wall tiles (again, youtube has some great videos – thank you Bunnings)
- Add or change accessories like hooks, toilet roll holders, towel rails or mirrors.
- Add alternative storage like baskets for toilet rolls, timber shelving, a bamboo ladder for towels, all of which will add more personality to your bathroom for less $
- A bit of greenery will add positive vibes; this can be placed on a stool, near the basin or try a hanging plant in one of the corners. Go with a full-sized tree or even something small like a vase of flowers or some succulents.
In the Lounge and Bedrooms
Tips from the team at Renovating Mums…
- Think of creating some big impact feature walls – refresh the colour, consider adding texture through wallpaper or even a contrasting lighter / darker colour for more depth
- Indoor plants – bring the outside in! Also consider the pots, you can use woven baskets for that soft organic Hamptons feel or some quirky pieces of pottery, we’re loving these by Allen Designs
- Review your lighting – give your light fittings a good clean and consider new fittings, or even pendant lights for a new look
- Update cushions/throws and add a new rug to the floor to define a space, simple but very effective
- New blinds, sheers and curtains – a continuing trend for 2020 are floor to ceiling sheers
- Add a feature mirror. Consider your placement of mirrors carefully; put them in the best location to bounce light around and increase sense of space i.e. on a back wall.
- Think about a photo wall. This is also a great project to work on with the kids… select some fabulous photos that evoke meaning and memories for you all and place them as a collection on the wall. We love mis-matched frames for that added character and find these look fab in long hallways or stairwells.
- Upcycle! Over that piece of furniture? wish it was white instead of blue? Chalk paint is fabulously user friendly and it is very quick to dramatically change an item of furniture. Normally no sanding is needed which is also a plus! After the repaint think about new handles and knobs…
For Window and Doors
- Clean Your Windows. This sounds like an obvious one but it’s truly amazing what a good window clean can do.
- Replacing Window Hardware. When windows are open, the window hardware, i.e., handles and locks are exposed to the elements. Unfortunately, this means that they can rust quite quickly, especially in homes close to the salt air. Replacing the hardware is easy to do if you have a drill and screwdriver.
- Vacuum out of the bottom tracks of all doors and windows to remove any dirt, sand & debris that builds up over time
- Do not hose down the windows or doors with a high-pressure hose – they are not designed for this and may cause leaking inside or glass breakage
- Check all weep holes in the window or doors sills and if blocked clear any debris to allow water to drain out of the window system when it rains
- Check timber finishes on a regular basis and re-coat if required
- Lubricate any moving parts such as rollers, locks and hinges with a silicone-based spray
- Flyscreens can be cleaned by vacuuming or washing with a soft brush. Allow to dry thoroughly before re-installing.
For the Outdoors
Tips from the team at ED Landscapes & Renovating Mums…
- Think MULCH MULCH MULCH especially over Christmas if you are going away. The best thing to use is sugar cane – easy to buy at Bunnings and easy to spread from the bag. Aim to cover the soil with a 50-100mm thickness of the new mulch and remember not mulch right up to the base of your trees and shrubs as this can cause the base to rot.
- Tidy up and rake leaves, clean out the drains
- Lightly top dress your lawn in the lumpy areas
- Get on top of the weeds
- Consider a small vege / herb garden. It’s a great summer project with the kids and they will love being involved and seeing their hard work bare ‘fruit’. Even a few pots and planters with cherry tomatoes and lettuces will bring smiles.
- Update outdoor furniture with a thorough clean and depending on finish you can give it a quick sand and fresh coat of oil or stain.
- Don’t forget new outdoor cushions for that pop of colour or you can even have your old ones recovered!
Phew…what a list!
Good luck with all of your DIY projects and be sure to get some time off with loved ones as well!
Remember, if you’re looking for friendly advice & support, check in with our FB Community where you can share the highs (& occasional lows) of your projects.