As veteran do-it-yourselfers, my husband and I have tackled just about any job of home improvement in our mobile home
house. We have lived our 20-plus years of marriage, in homes that continually need repairs, improvement, redecorating and remodeling. Having home-schooled our four children, and now with both of us working full time, we are also keenly aware of the struggle to find the time and money to make the necessary repairs. Oftentimes we have had to make the choose a temporary patch up job to get us by so that we could manage our family and work obligations and keep or sanity. We know how the job should be done but perfection isn’t often an option for us.
We also know how annoying it can be to live with half done projects or to have to look at patch-up jobs. Here are our top ten repair/ remodel jobs that can be done in a weekend or less. None of them are ridiculously expensive, nor are they difficult. These projects will give you (and mom!) the most satisfaction and peace of mind for time and money investment. Consider one of these projects as a Mother’s Day gift; she will appreciate being able to cross one more project off from her list.
First, find out what project Mom would like done most and begin with this. Chances are, if your wife or mom is like me, you will know what she wants done! If you can’t find out or you have more time, here are the most common jobs in a house.
Replace an ugly or damaged door: Exterior and screen doors take a great deal of abuse in families with kids. Usually most people will get by with an older door even though it may drive them crazy, simply because they think replacing the door will be a DIY nightmare. In fact we have replaced many interior, exterior and screen doors and they are really quite simple to hang. The important thing is to measure properly. You can get a very nice new door for well under $200. A door can be replaced in an hour or two.
Replace an old window with a vinyl replacement window. In our 100 year old home, we are in the DIY process of replacing windows; we have sequenced our windows, in order of which needed replacing first and which could wait. Replacing a window is similar to a replacing a door. Again the key is accurate measurement. Be sure to read directions carefully. Windows are easy install if you take it step by step. Mom will be delighted with the fresh new look.
Build or assemble a new DIY shelving unit. We moms can never have enough shelf space. Many people are creating great storage spaces by adding shelves with coat and shoe racks underneath in their entry ways. Create a storage unit for mom by installing a wide wooden shelf and placing attractive cloth lined baskets, one per family member. Hang coat hooks underneath for each person also. You can purchase the shelf, hooks and baskets for under $50 from Menard’s or Bed, Bath and Beyond, a great DIY store! Look for $5 and 20% coupons in BB and B flyers. You can use both on a single order.
Install a bathroom over the toilet shelving unit. This shelf can hold linens and toiletry products. There are all sorts of easy DIY shelves project kits at any Home Depot, Menard’s, Lowes or local building center.
Paint a room. Walls with marred and scuffed paint drives many moms nuts. With a $15 gallon of paint, a drop cloth, paintbrush, and a roll of masking tape, you can DIY a fresh new look for any room. See my article on paint choices.
Create a DIY photo wall. Most of us moms have all sorts of photos that we would like framed, but have not gotten around to it. Shop around for unique frames and assemble the photos into a photo wall (see my article on photo walls). You can find beautiful frames for under $10, many under $5 at TJ Maxx, Family Dollar, Dollar General and most dollar stores.
Replace kitchen cupboard doors or door handles. Buy some really nifty drawer and cupboard handles. This super simple DIY project will freshen up any kitchen or bathroom inexpensively. Remember to measure the space between the screws to get the right size handle.
Install a new ceiling fan or low energy florescent light fixture. This is another inexpensive, easy DIY project that will freshen up your home and reduce your electric bills. Remember to turn off electricity first before installing. If you replace an existing light, you will have to do very little with the electricity and the fan or light will be easier to install. The ceiling fan is a great green, earth friendly way to cool a house.
DIY home improvement projects are a terrific Mother’s Day gift and will delight any mom!