Easy Home Improvement Projects for Beginners
If you’ve ever watched Chip and Joanna transform a Texas interior with their signature brand of minimalist, barnhouse chic (i.e. shiplap), you may have been struck with envy—and overwhelm. As beautiful as those HGTV homes look in their “after” shots, it usually takes a lot of work to get them there.
But even if you’ve never so much as cobbled together a piece of IKEA furniture, there are some easy home renovation techniques that will take your space from so-so to stunning, no heavy machinery required.
Here are some home remodeling ideas for beginners, whether you’re looking to spruce up your home for your own purposes or stage it for selling.
Beginner-Friendly Home Improvement Projects
1. Try a Fresh Coat of Paint
It might be the oldest trick in the book, but there’s a reason. It’s shocking how much of a difference a new color can make in your bedroom, bathroom, or living room. (Even if you keep the old color, a fresh coat can brighten it up!)
And so long as you’re generous with your use of duct tape and newspaper, pretty much anyone can paint four walls without issue—though a foam roller might make it easier to get your coats perfectly even.
If painting still sounds like a recipe for sadness and splatters, you could also consider wallpaper, though perfectly aligning the pattern offers its own kind of challenge.
Depending on the paper’s material, it may end up being more expensive than painting would, but can add attractive patterns and last as long as 15 years without needing any touch-ups, as paint does.
2. Add a Wall Decal (or Three)
Not ready to repaint a whole room, but still want to add some interest to your interior? Consider peel-and-stick wall decals, which can add a fun design or inspirational quote to your living area.
Along with being easy to install, many of these wall decals are equally simple to take down again if you decide you’re sick of them. You can find a wide variety of designs online, often for less than $20… so it’s a great way to switch things up without breaking the bank.
3. Hang New Curtains
Installing new windows can be a serious endeavor. But re-dressing your existing windows on the world is a whole lot simpler, and it can still make a world of difference!
If you already have curtain rods, this project really is as simple as purchasing new curtains and hanging them up—which, in the case of your bedroom, can improve your sleep as well as your scenery.
If you have blinds or some other kind of window covering, switching them out for curtains doesn’t have to be super difficult.
Depending on how your windows are built, you can use tension rods that don’t require any drilling or hardware at all to install, though traditional curtain rods aren’t really all that difficult to hang, either. You just need a drill and a level.
Once you’ve installed your curtain rods, you can switch out your window hangings from time to time, whether you got new furniture or just feel like going for a different vibe. If you’re decent with a sewing machine, you can even turn new curtains into a DIY project to tackle while you’re stationed in front of Netflix: two birds, one stone.
4. Light it up
Replacing your old light fixtures can really transform a space with a minimal amount of effort—generally, you’ll just need to unscrew the wiring from your old lamp and then twist in the new one.
But if you’re uncomfortable doing anything electric without hiring an electrician, that’s fine, too. You can leave the existing light fixtures where they are, but add other auxiliary light sources that are literally as simple as plug-and-play.
LED fairy lights add an ethereal feel to a wide variety of interior spaces, or you could simply pile old Christmas lights into a mason jar: ta-da! Cheap, trendy, and way better than overhead fluorescents.
5. Install New Backsplash Tiling
This one might sound like a difficult venture but thanks to the magic of stick-on backsplash it doesn’t have to be. With these, improving your bathroom or kitchen can be easy enough for a kid to do it. (Well, maybe except for that whole thing about lining it up perfectly straight).
Once it’s installed, peel-and-stick backsplash works a lot like the regular tile stuff: it’s typically resistant to heat and moisture, and you can easily wipe it clean and disinfect it. And since it’s so quick and relatively painless to install, if you decide you want to go for a different look in a year or two, it’s no problem.
6. Let Your Garden Grow
Got a bit of a green thumb? A few flowering plants can turn your backyard into an inviting oasis or a pick-your-own salad bar, all while adding a fun hobby and some daily exercise to your life.
And if you’re the type who routinely kills even the “easy” houseplants, you can still improve your outdoor spaces pretty easily. For example, adding edging around your garden can make it even more stunning. While the installation process is relatively easy, it may require some time and a few extra tools.
Cursed with a black thumb? You could also look into the most steadfast outdoor foliage to stack the odds in your favor when it comes to not committing mass plant murder; many varieties require little in the way of sunlight or water, making them relatively fail-proof.
7. Get Organized
If you don’t consider organization a home improvement project, you might just not be organized enough—because having a proper place for everything in your house can go a long way toward improving your lifestyle.
And don’t worry, you don’t necessarily have to go deep and KonMari your entire life if you’re not ready to. Simply adding some drawer or closet organizers can turn your wardrobe from scary to satisfying, and they’re readily (and cheaply!) available at major outlets like Target and Walmart.
Taking on More Substantial Home Improvement Projects?
Maybe you’re just looking to live in a home that more closely resembles those drool-worthy spaces graced by HGTV stars.
Or maybe you’re trying to increase your home’s value in order to grow the equity you’ve made in your investment—or to prepare for an upcoming sale.
Either way, major home improvements (like putting in an addition) can be really worthwhile… but also really pricey. Although those big projects can put a strain on your budget today, they can add to your home’s overall value and also increase your quality of life.
Construction loans, also called personal loans can help you achieve these costly goals without emptying out your piggy bank—and in the case of a SoFi personal loan, you can count on friendly and reliable customer service, transparent terms, and competitive rates for qualified borrowers.
Third Party Brand Mentions: No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp (dba SoFi), a lender licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law, license # 6054612; NMLS # 1121636 . For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal.