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Top DIY home improvement projects

There are many DIY enthusiasts who prefer to spend their annual holidays catching up on home improvement projects. We take a look at some of the top DIY projects that you can tackle in a week or two.

 

Taking on DIY home improvements is not only rewarding when a job is well done, but also in terms of saving money. However, it is important to know what you can and cannot do yourself in terms of knowledge and experience, so we compiled a list of the top home improvement projects that you can do yourself with the right tools and DIY savvy.

Kitchen more than the heart of the home

Apart from being the heart of the home, kitchens are one of the top home improvement projects that offer excellent return on investment.

Keeping kitchens up to date with the latest trends not only means that your kitchen looks good, it also means that your kitchen will give you an excellent return on any money you put in towards improvements when the time comes to sell up and move on.

One of the most popular ways to update a kitchen - without ripping out and starting all over again - is to paint kitchen cabinets, replace countertops, and install new fittings and appliances. However, if cabinetry is not in such good condition you may want to consider replacing damaged or old cabinets, and making your own kitchen cabinets is not as difficult as you think. At a recent DIY Divas workshop, after having all our 16mm SupaWood cut to size at our local Builders Warehouse, we assembled a kitchen cabinet in 15 minutes. You will find ideas and instructions here for DIY kitchen cabinets.

While you may think that Shaker style is a bit old fashioned... think again! Shaker style kitchens can be installed in almost any style and home, painted in modern colours and finished with chic hardware for a kitchen that is trendy and up to date. And a Shaker style kitchen is easy to DIY with materials readily available and cut to size from your local Builders.

There are various finishes that can be applied to kitchen cabinets - old or new - and it all depends on the look that you want for your kitchen. If you are painting existing wood cabinets that have been painted or varnished it is essential to sand the surface with 120-grit sandpaper to de-gloss the finish. Skipping this step will result in a failed paint job, as the paint has not bonded to the wood finish. Even if you use chalk paint, a light sanding is essential.

Spray paint is another option for painting kitchen cabinets and Rust-Oleum have an extensive range of products and all of which you will find at your local Builders. Take a look at Rust-Oleum 2X, Universal or Gloss Enamel spray paint, all of which can be used on cabinets. Of the three, Rust-Oleum Gloss Enamel spray offers the toughest finish but does take longer to dry.

Bathroom bliss on a budget

Bathrooms are next on the list for keeping up to date with trends. While plumbing jobs need to be done by a qualified plumber, there are plenty of other improvement tasks that you can tackle on your own.

Removing and replacing tiles gives any dated bathroom a modern update, but be prepared for the mess and time involved for this project. Personally, I would employ manual labour to do all the hard work of removing the tiles and chipping away the tile adhesive. See tips for tiling here.

While there is a growing trend for alternatives to tiled walls - such as cementitious walls finishes - bear in mind that a tiled bathroom is still currently the preferred choice for home buyers - if you want to sell up in the near future.

If you don't plan on re-positioning bathroom fittings, but do want to replace dated basin and tubs with modern sanitary ware, your local Builders Warehouse stocks a range of affordable designs, or shop around for styles that fit in with your budget.

Having removed and replaced a pedestal sink with a his and hers bathroom vanity arrangement I can say, that while intimidating to think about tackling the project, once started it was easier than I thought. If you don't feel that you have the required skills to do the actual plumbing part of the project, you will still save a fair amount of money by having everything prepared in advance to cut down on the amount of time required for a plumber to finish off.

We offer plenty of ideas and tutorials for a variety of bathroom vanities in our Bathroom Craft section.

 

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