8 DIY Home Improvement Projects You Can Do This Fall
Looking back, we may label 2020 the year of home improvement projects. Peeking out my window, I currently see four different contractors' trucks at my various neighbors’ homes. Being inside has forced a lot of us to see the flaws in our homes and to finally take the first steps in completing some major home projects.
But what if you don’t have room in your budget for a big renovation? Don’t fret. You can improve your living space by doing small projects, one at a time. And you can save even more if you do them yourself. Here are some easy DIY home improvement projects you can tackle this fall. Choose projects that will help keep your home cozy, safe, and energy-efficient for the winter months. There’s no telling yet how long we’ll be spending more time in our homes, but we can prepare now and make our spaces more inviting, comfortable, and even more cost-effective.
Paint your front door.
Whether you decide to make a big, bold color change or freshen up your current color, painting your front door is a relatively quick and easy way to improve the look of your home. As with all painting projects, the prep work is the most important. Remove your door from the hinges and give it a quick sanding and a good clean before you start painting. With proper planning, this project can be done over a weekend.
Expected time: 1 day
Expected cost: Under $100
Clean your gutters.
This home improvement project is the least favorite among most homeowners, but it needs to be done, regardless. Before winter, you want to ensure that your gutters are in good shape to prevent leaks in your roof or water damage inside your home. The tools needed are likely items you already own, but the most important include a ladder, gloves, a scoop or trowel, bucket, and a hose. It should be noted that if you're uncomfortable on a ladder or have any concerns about doing this yourself, you should pay to have it professionally done.
Expected time: 2-3 hours
Expected cost: $50-$100 for supplies
Change out hardware.
A very quick and easy way to update a kitchen or bathroom is by swapping our hardware. Drawer pulls and cabinet handles are affordable and easy to remove and re-install. Be sure to research the dimensions and the placements of the holes for the screws so they match up with your current hardware, making the swap much easier.
Expected time: 1-2 hours
Expected cost: $50-$75
Install a programmable or smart thermostat.
A DIY project that can save you money year-round, a programmable or smart thermostat allows you to set a daily schedule for the temperature of your home, saving you money while you're away or asleep by keeping the temperature cooler (or warmer in summer months) than during the day. A smart thermostat takes that convenience even further by giving you control from your mobile device through an app. Create vacation modes, turn the heat higher from your car on your way home from work, keep it cooler for your pets while you are away, there are a lot of perks and options, making this a very worthwhile upgrade.
Expected time: 15 minutes
Expected cost: $200+
If you're lucky enough to own a power washer, now is the time to bust it out of storage and put it to work. If you've noticed some dirt and grime on your siding, it's best to clean it before it causes any damage to your home. While you've got the pressure washer out, go ahead and spray down your deck, porch, and patio to also keep those damage-free and ready for next year's spring setup.
Expected time: 2-6 hours
Expected cost: $150 - $250 for the pressure washer
Not a fun or pretty upgrade by any means, but definitely a must for drafty homes before winter. Whether it's for your doors or windows, you can buy weatherstripping at Lowe's or your local hardware store and install it yourself fairly quickly to stop the cold air from sneaking in and cut down on your energy bill during the colder months of the year. Choose your weatherstripping carefully by selecting based on location and ease of installation for your specific windows and doors.
Expected time: 2-3 hours
Expected cost: $50-$75
Replace window treatments.
A quick and easy way to cut your energy bill even further is to hang some blackout curtains with thermal panels. You can swap them back to something lighter and airier in the spring if you choose, but at least for winter, it's worthwhile to swap out for energy-saving blackout panels. Overstock has thousands of blackout curtain styles to choose from in every color to suit your home. Be sure to measure appropriately and buy curtains that cover your entire window to ensure energy savings.
Expected time: 1 hour
Expected cost: $50+
Change out furnace filters.
To help extend the life of your furnace and to keep your air clean and energy costs down, replace your furnace filter every month, particularly in the winter and summer months. We normally see the best sales and prices at Home Depot or Walmart. We currently have a great deal posted for a 3-Pack Allergen Furnace Air Filters for $16 at Walmart.
Expected time: 5 minutes
Expected cost: $10-$20
While all of these easy home repairs come with some upfront cost, the overall payback will be worth it. By doing it yourself you're saving on the cost of labor and getting your home in good shape to avoid further costs in the future due to damage or excessive wasted energy. For more DIY home improvement motivation, visit our online coupon pages for Home Depot, Lowe's, TrueValue, and Ace Hardware.