Home Makeover : Project Ideas for Weekend Warriors

1 – Small-Space Tiling

Beginners should remember the two s’s: small and simple. Rather than a bathroom floor that requires cutting around the toilet, look instead to a small foyer or a backsplash for over the sink or stove. Homeowners and experienced weekend warriors, Dan and Sandy Grise of Stratford, Connecticut, were more ambitious: two full adjoining walls. While Sandy was new to tiling, Dan had assisted others. His advice: Research drying times, gather materials in advance, and “send the kids to Grandma’s.”

2 – Ceiling Fan Refresh

These fixtures don’t take long to look dated and worn. Try taking an obsolete ceiling fan and refurbishing it. Lipford explains that this project includes cleaning the blades and metal components with denatured alcohol, rubbing metal surfaces with steel wool and spraying those metal pieces with a nickel-look or other spray paint before rehanging.

Woman painting wall

3 – Wall Makeovers (two weekends)

This one would be best split into two weekends. “You never know how long it’s going to take,” says Dan Grise, who has tackled several rooms, using solutions to release before scraping wallpaper off and prepping the walls.

Weekend 1: Removing wallpaper.

Weekend 2: Paint.

4 – Flooring Refinish (or Replacement)

Lipford suggests vinyl plank flooring, which requires no glue and cuts with a razor.

NAR research fact: Hardwood floor refinishing costs should be recovered in full when selling.


5 – Bathroom Refresh

Install a new showerhead, a bowed shower curtain and “some fantastic-looking grab bars” for safety and aesthetics, advises Lipford.

Tip: A trim kit can make replacing the outer part of a faucet easy.

6 – Closet Organization

Add any number of readily available shelving and rollout pieces. “A lot of people really enjoy this type of project,” says Lipford.

Tip: Purge closet first. If you haven’t worn it in the last year, it may be time to say bye-bye.

Home porch

7 – Curb Appeal

Think fresh mulch, flowers, fertilizer and a new mailbox. And don’t ignore the front door. The Grise family prioritized getting rid of their pink door upon move-in. It took them about 10 hours, since there was lots of detailing to be sanded and prepped.

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