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Small Projects with Big Impacts

Most people have a mental list of “if money weren’t an issue” renovations they would tackle throughout their homes.  However, just because most of us are not winning the lottery any time soon doesn’t mean we can’t do any improvements to make our homes more customized for our living.  Many times, small projects on small budgets can make a huge impact and will make your house feel more like your home.  If you don’t personally have the skills to do some of these small home improvement projects yourself, consider hiring a handyman to cross some of these items off of your “Honey-Do” List. 

The following are 5 small projects that can be accomplished in a few days with, or some without, the help of a handyman:

  1. Paint: Few projects can transform a house as dramatically and inexpensively as paint. Whether you paint your front door or the trim in your entire house, the change can be dramatic.  Even if you’re considering selling your home, paint is one of the top recommendations to freshen up your space and give you a good return on investment.  In addition, the right color of paint can really make your space look larger and spacious, smaller and cozier, or even give the illusion of a flawless interior/exterior without having to break down walls or rearrange furniture.  Although painting is a relatively simple task, for those tall, two-story entryways or second floor exterior work, it may be safer to hire a handyman with proper insurance.
  2. Trim & Moulding: Although it looks like a simple task, installing trim and moulding is very tedious and takes a lot of precision to do well. If you want to add a little bit of flair to your dining room, consider adding a chair rail or wainscoting. Crown moulding often adds height to rooms.  Beadboard in master bathrooms or half baths can add charm and texture.  If you aren’t a perfectionist with lots of patience – you definitely want to leave the installation to a pro.
  3. Flooring: A new floor can lend a fresh vitality to any room. For the bathroom specifically, using today’s cost-effective resilient luxury vinyl plank or vinyl tile offers an attractive option for a high-end appearance, but without the high-end price tag. It comes with the latest styles and patterns in a wide array of colors, designs, and textures.  For other areas of the house, hardwood floors could be a good solution, adding warmth and comfort with the benefit of easy cleaning and the option to refinish in the future.  If you have any irregularly shaped rooms, it might be better to hire a handyman.  Uneven or improperly installed flooring can not only detract from your home’s value but can also be a safety hazard.
  4. Lighting & Ceiling Fans: Lighting is an integral part of the general layout and character of your home and should be used as an extension of the overall style of your home. Ceiling fan/light combos are great for bedrooms or living areas to get a little extra circulation going to keep your air conditioning bills lower. Recessed, or can, lights are a great way to brighten up a space with a low profile, simple look.  Installing both options can be tricky for the average DIYer, because often times both electrical and drywall work is involved, so it’s best to leave these tasks to a professional.
  5. Green Features: In addition to the above projects, services that improve the “green” aspect of your home will also make a huge impact on its value and on your wallet. For example, some easy-to-install, energy efficient faucets feature a flow-optimized, water-saving aerator, which uses 30 percent less water, without sacrificing performance. Dual flush toilets are also popular as a water saving feature.  Switching to energy-efficient appliances can also cut down significantly on energy usage, as well as switching to LED bulbs in light fixtures.

When it comes to remodeling, your project does not have to involve huge budgets and whole-home transformations.  Instead, simple upgrades and installations can revitalize any room in your home without stress and without going into debt.  Although these smaller projects may seem minor, the impact that they have on your household is significant.  Regardless of the types of remodeling projects you want to implement, it is important to carefully consider your situation, time frame, skills, and budget before you dive in.  In many cases, you can still get huge benefits from doing minor upgrades until you have the time and budget for that major overhaul you dream of.

Sara Bagwell is a designer for Tracy Tesmer Design/Remodeling in Gainesville. This article originally appeared in the July edition of Lakeside News.