Building something from start to finish is an incredibly satisfying feeling, and all DIYers can attest to that. There is just something about making something with your bare hands that instills a sense of pride like no other–sometimes even regardless of the outcome.
So, what home improvement projects can aspiring builders do without professional skills or an entire team of contractors? Here are some of the best examples:
1. Build a deck
With basic hardware and construction skills, you can build a good-quality deck in your backyard. The process of building one is pretty straightforward; you have to build a frame, then put decking material on top. Unless you want to make a complicated shape, building a deck by yourself should be easy if you have the basic skills.
However, you may have to hire professionals to install add-ons like aluminum fencing or railing. If you want to finish the deck with stains or polish, you may also opt to hire someone for that to avoid buying equipment that you won’t use for anything else.
2. Make a piece of furniture
Building a piece of furniture from scratch is the best way to hone your woodworking skills and unleash your creativity. There are countless types of furniture that you can build, such as dressers, bookshelves, cabinets, end tables, outdoor seats, and tables. But if you’re not confident enough to build big pieces of furniture just yet, start with small home accessories like dish racks, spice racks, mug stands, and small display shelves.
3. Redo the stairs
Taking out the old stairs and building a new one is a major project that requires intermediate construction skills. And unless you want to lose access to the second floor for more than a day, proper planning should be done to ensure that you finish the new stairs as soon as possible.
But if you have the skills, tools, and time to build a new set of stairs, it’s definitely a project that you would want to consider. Not only does a new staircase improve your home’s overall appearance (trust us, it makes more of a difference than it seems), but it can also increase your home’s value.
4. Build a gazebo
A gazebo is a nice addition to the backyard, increasing your living space outdoors while being a great ornamental feature to your property. A simple gazebo (with a square shape and a standard roof) is relatively easy to build. It’s basically a small house with no walls. But if your skills are more advanced, you can build a gazebo with a more complicated shape or design.
5. Add a bathroom
If you have plumbing skills on top of your building skills, consider adding a new bathroom to your house, ideally in dead space (vacant space that you don’t use) where you can easily tie new fixtures to the existing plumbing. The good news is that you don’t have to have a lot of space to build a new bathroom. A 3 x 6-foot space should be enough for a half-bathroom, while a 5 x 8-foot area should be able to house a shower or a bathtub as well.
The bad news is that a new bathroom usually comes with a hefty price tag. And the bigger it will be, the more expensive your total bill will cost. The expenses also rack up if you make a lot of mistakes (and therefore have to buy more material) or choose pricier fixtures and accessories.
6. Convert the basement or garage
A basement conversion tends to be on the expensive side, so why not save money by doing it yourself? If you are a competent builder and can do basic wiring and plumbing work, consider converting your basement into a more functional space like a game room or a spare bedroom.
You can also do the same with your garage. Compared to a basement conversion, a garage is often easier to convert since it is easy to access and requires less wiring, insulation, and plumbing modifications.
7. Replace your wooden fence
Replacing a fence by yourself is very easy if you know how to do basic woodwork. If you have a small to medium-sized property, you may even be able to finish a new fence in just a couple of days, making it a great weekend project to do.
Hone your building skills and improve your home at the same time with these great DIY ideas. With basic to intermediate construction skills, you should be able to do these projects with little to no minimal help. Nevertheless, call in a professional if you plan to do potentially hazardous work, such as electrical wiring or demolishing a wall.