Top Home DIY Projects To Tackle These Holidays

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Renovation Staycation

The December holidays are fast approaching. This year, with budgets being tight, many people may be planning a staycation, rather than going away.

Time off work, coupled with long summer days at home, makes for the perfect opportunity to tackle some home maintenance, DIY, and basic renovations to spruce up your space a bit – and get it looking its best for yourself, your family, and if you are planning to entertain over the break.

Brights Hardware, a family-owned chain of hardware stores based in the Western Cape, has put together a list of summer holiday home renovations and DIY tasks that can be done in a few days, and won’t break the bank – especially as nearly all the tools and products you will need for your staycation renovation are on special at Brights through their annual Christmas sale.

1. Paint It Pretty

“When it comes to homes, looks do count and it’s surprising what a coat of paint can do to transform your space,” says Orlando Luis, CEO of Brights Hardware. “The good news for those with limited budgets is that you can make sweeping changes to your home with just a bit of paint and some creativity.”

“Almost anything can be painted these days – walls, doors, window frames, driveways, patio tiles, metal burglar bars, and many things in between. For an instant lift and refresh, painting the walls of your home – outside and inside – is highly recommended. Follow this with a fresh coat of paint on your window frames and burglar guards (if needed) and finish it off with a splash of colour on your front door and a shiny new door handle. If your front door is in very bad condition maybe consider fitting a new one, just make sure you purchase the same size.”

Moving indoors, after painting the walls, why not consider a fresh coat of paint on the ceiling,” says Luis. “Gone are the days when ceilings were expected to be white, now you can opt for a pop of colour, or paint the ceilings the same colour as the walls – a paint trick that makes rooms look bigger.”

“There are many good paints to choose from to suit all applications and projects.”

2. Make Outside, Outstanding

A surefire way to make a quick impression and get your home looking its best is to tackle the garden and front aspect of your property,” advises Luis.

“Some ideas to easily refresh your outdoor space include removing struggling plants and lawn and replacing them with paving stones and stone chips – perhaps creating a neat path to your front door lined with solar-powered garden lanterns. Or maybe even create an outdoor entertainment area for alfresco dining and add solar fairy lights for extra holiday appeal. If your outdoor furniture is weather-worn, spruce it up with paint (there is even paint for plastic garden furniture) and, if finances allow, you can perhaps treat yourself to a new freestanding braai.”

Luis says that while cleaning up outside, trim back overgrown bushes and trees, pull out weeds and grass that may be invading the driveway and flowerbeds, and possibly add some new planters and pots with fresh flowers and shrubs.

“With the warm weather here it’s also a good idea to pay attention to your pool, if you have one, and do some maintenance on the pump, filter, lighting etc. as well as cleaning up around the paving or the deck area.”

“Other areas to tackle include your perimeter fence – if your wooden fence is old and tired, or your vibracrete has seen better days, a fresh coat of paint or varnish will make a massive difference.”

3. Wash Away Tired Bathrooms

If your bathroom is looking a bit tired and outdated Luis advises that it is a good idea to renovate it – not only for your enjoyment but it will also increase the value and appeal of your home. “Bathroom renovations can range from a full refit – replacing toilets, showers basins and tiles, to just sprucing it up without spending a fortune.”

“If you have a very outdated bathroom suite and are pretty handy with DIY then consider replacing the toilet, basin and shower. The old units can be fairly easily removed but make sure the new ones fit the spaces left and the plumbing points. When it comes to replacing a bathtub it does get trickier and requires a fair amount of manual labour and some building skills,” cautions Luis.

“Easier ways to update your bathroom can include a fresh coat of paint on the walls, a new toilet seat, replacing the taps in the basin, bath and shower, a new shower head, and a new blind or curtain on the window. Bathroom tiles can also be painted,” advises Luis.  “Choose a suitable quality primer and a good quality paint as well as sealant to go over this.  One can also stick vinyl stick-on tiles over your existing ceramic tiles to instantly upgrade your bathroom space.  Bathroom cabinets can get a lick of paint and a new mirror will go a long way to freshening up the space.”

4. Get Your Kitchen Improvements Cooking

Much like the bathroom, a good-looking kitchen goes a long way to make your home more appealing. And also like bathrooms, the kitchen can be given a new lease of life without taking out a loan to pay for it.

According to Luis, things that can be done fairly quickly and easily include painting the kitchen walls, and painting the kitchen cabinets with a suitable paint that will adhere to the surface – whether it is wood, chipboard or melamine. “This will have a large impact on your kitchen,” says Luis, who adds that replacing the cabinet handles will provide a great finishing touch.

“Additional projects that can be tackled in the kitchen include painting the tiles – both wall and floor if desired – or using vinyl adhesive tiles, which come in a huge range of styles and designs, to create a new look.  Other ideas can include hanging a new blind on the window and perhaps installing some open floating shelving – which can be purchased ready-made in a variety of colours and sizes.”

5. Light Things Up And Blow Them Away

“Old outdated or damaged light fixtures which cast a dim light on a room can seriously detract from a space, and it’s a great idea to change it up for something fresh and bright. The good news is that there are many hundreds of light fixtures to choose from to suit any room, budget or taste – and changing a light is not a difficult DIY task, as long as one follows safety protocols and switches off all power to the house at the mains before wiring in a new light,” advises Luis.

“Once your new light is installed be sure to use energy-saving LED bulbs, or invest in smart bulbs which hold a charge during loadshedding and keep the lights on.”

While things are looking up, another good upgrade to make in summer for your home is to install ceiling fans, which are a great way to keep your home cool but don’t use as much energy as air conditioners. “The evolution of the ceiling fan has seen them go from ugly eyesores to designer pieces that can complement any room.”

“Upgrading your home doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult and it doesn’t have to involve contractors. There are a variety of projects for all price ranges and all levels of skill and enthusiasm that can improve your home’s look and feel, and ultimately its value.  Putting a few of these home-improvement ideas into action these coming December holidays will help you get the most out of your home.”

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