The Best Home DIY Projects for Beginners

Someone applying tile to wall.

Whether it’s replacing an electrical fixture or troubleshooting a clogged sink, DIY projects around the house can seem daunting at first glance. Fortunately, there are plenty of projects you can complete around the home that are both inexpensive and easy to accomplish.

Clear a P-Trap

The p-trap is a curved pipe located under the sink that is often the source of clogged drains. To unclog the trap, place a bucket under the pipe and remove the coupling nuts that connect the pipe to the sink. Using a wire brush or coat hanger, clean out any debris in the trap and reinstall. Be careful not to overtighten the coupling nuts.

Replace a Light Fixture

Turn off all power before you start any kind of electrical work. Then, remove the old fixture and untwist any wire connectors. Follow the instructions to connect appropriate wires when installing the new fixture. Normally, the black and white wires will connect to like colors while the ground wire, usually green, connects to a ground screw. Complete the installation by installing the bulb, turning on the power, and testing to make sure everything works.

Update Kitchen Hardware

A man fixing the hardware on a kitchen drawer.

If you want to improve the overall look of the kitchen, consider replacing and updating kitchen hardware. After you pick out new cabinet pulls or doorknobs, you can replace and install the new ones with a simple screwdriver. If you are installing new kitchen cabinets, use a template to ensure accurate placement for each pull.

Install a New Kitchen Backsplash

A new backsplash can really transform a kitchen. While this might seem like a complicated project to tackle on a weekend, there are plenty of backsplash options to choose from that are easy to install. This includes a beadboard for a traditional touch or ceramic and glass for something bolder. Make sure the wall is sturdy before beginning the install and follow the installation instructions for whatever kind of material you choose.

Install Weatherstripping

Air escapes homes through openings that are not properly sealed, such as windows and exterior doors. To improve the comfort level in your home and decrease monthly energy bills, inspect all exterior openings and ensure that weatherstripping is still intact. Install new weatherstripping wherever it is damaged or nonexistent. Permanent weatherstripping should be used around entryways that are frequently opened.

Pressure Wash Exterior

A man pressure washing a house with white siding.

It doesn’t take long for unwanted dirt to build upon the exterior of a house. To give your house a much-needed bath, use a pressure washer to easily clean away the grime. Make sure all windows are tightly closed before washing. A pressure washer can be used on all kinds of surfaces, including vinyl and metal siding. Be careful when using it around softer surfaces, like wood, where a pressure washer can strip away protective layers.

Replace a Shower Head

Improve your daily routine by updating the showerhead. There are a lot of affordable options when it comes to new showerheads and installation is a breeze. Simply remove the old unit with a set of pliers and clean up any old plumber's tape. (Remember to clog the drain with a rag to prevent anything from accidentally falling in the drain.) Install new plumber’s tape and tighten the new head in place.

HVAC Maintenance

Between energy savings and rebates, making sure your home’s HVAC system is running well should be high on your home improvement list. Inspect both outdoor and indoor units for obvious wear, and clean where appropriate. This includes inspecting coils, fan blades, and drain openings. You might even consider draining the water heater if it hasn’t been done in a while. It’s also recommended to check air and furnace filters and clean or replace them if necessary.

Clean Dyer Ducts

Built-up lint can make a dryer work harder and lead to bigger issues down the road. If your dryer isn’t working like it used to, check the dryer ducts. Unplug the dryer and pull it out of the way to access the ducts. Using a vacuum, disconnect the ducts and clean out as much lint as you can. Not only will this prolong the life of your dryer, but it also cuts down on fire risks.