If you've got some time on your hands, your mind might be wandering to home improvements. Perhaps a room needs a refresh or your garden could do with de-weeding. But where do you start?
You don’t need a major overhaul to make a difference. There are lots of straightforward DIY projects ideas for homes to transform the space you live in. Here we look at some simple and effective DIY ideas to spruce up your home and make it a better place to work and play.
General DIY tips
Before you get drilling, it’s important to check the following:
If you're renting, check with your landlord before making any changes to the walls or fixtures.
If you’re in a new build, check your agreement to see what you can and can’t do.
Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram are your best friends for inspiration and specific advice.
Don’t do anything you’re not completely comfortable with, especially with power tools. You could end up voiding your home insurance policy.
Compare home insurance quotes
Paint your office
If you’re working from home, separating your work area from other parts of your house can help your wellbeing. Plus it’s an easy DIY project to start with. One way to do this is to give your home office a different colour scheme.
You don't need a specific colour to help you be more productive. But a bright, vibrant colour could help to stimulate you during the working day.
Wherever your relaxation areas are, go for subtle, pastel colours to wind down at the end of the day.
If your workstation is set up in your living room or bedroom, an accent wall in a bright colour can help divide the two.
If you're renting: Get your landlord's permission before painting any walls. They may ask you to paint it back when you leave, or have restrictions on colour choices.
Open up your green space
Surrounding yourself in nature improves your mental health.
If you've the luxury of a garden, you have an important green space to enjoy. It’s easy to give it a new lease of life with these DIY garden ideas.
Take a pressure washer to your patio and decking. Blasting the garden clean is a satisfying task. If you don’t own one, you might be able to borrow one from a neighbour or rent one.
De-weed your garden. Pull up your weeds, lay down a weed-proof membrane and cover with gravel. This should help stop them reappearing. Keep an eye out for invasive weeds like Japanese knotweed.
If you can't get a weed-proof membrane, a garden refuse sack weighed down with rocks should work.
While you’re out there, it might be worth looking at how secure your garden, shed and outbuildings are too.
If you don't have a garden: bring the outdoors in - a potted plant can do wonders for a room and herb plants also work well inside.
Succulents like aloe or cacti are best since they don't need as much watering. You don’t need to splash out on new plant pots either - just use what you already have, anything from an old tin can to a plastic water bottle can work. Just make sure whatever you use drains water well, houseplants don’t like sitting in water.
Upcycle your furniture
If you're tired of looking at the same old furniture, now would be a good time to jazz them up a little.
Decoupage your old wooden tables, desks and storage units to protect them and give them a new look.
It's a fun DIY project, and easy to do. All you do is:
Sand down the surface with medium-grit sandpaper.
Give it a wipe down with a damp cloth.
Paint any bits you aren't papering.
Glue paper to the surface. This can be wallpaper, wrapping paper - whatever! You can use decoupage glue or PVA glue for this.
Cover over the whole thing with a layer of glue.
Add a layer of gloss varnish to seal it.
Cover the basics
With more time in the house, you can finally fix those little bugbears you never had chance to do before:
Fix squeaky doors and creaky floors
Clear your drains and guttering
Replace the sealant around your bath and shower
Re-grout your bathroom tiles.
These should also help keep your home in a good state of repair. This should put you in good stead if you need to make a home insurance claim later on.
Can I still get DIY supplies?
Increased demand in 2020 led meant some materials were hard to come by, but now things are open again you probably won’t have any trouble.
However, instead of buying something brand new, always see if you can save some money and the planet by getting it second hand. Your local Facebook marketplace is a goldmine for second-hand items, as are your local charity shops.
What are some easy DIYs?
If you haven’t got much time or budget, start small and work on straightforward projects. Anything you do can make a change and it’s a fun task for a weekend. The following are all quick and easy DIY projects to get stuck into.
- Make some bunting using old scraps of material – or use clothes you no longer wear
- Spray some old twigs and sticks from your garden or a local park and make them into a floral display
- Don’t have a headboard over your bed? Paint one. You just need to measure the space, draw a guide, and you’re ready to go.
- Transform windows with window film to make them look like fluted glass
- Make your own wreath with flowers, leaves, and greenery you find while out and about
- Stencil and paint the lampshades of a nightstand light
- Create a new kitchen backsplash by buying a stick-on version
DIY and home insurance
If you're doing a small DIY project, you don't need to tell your insurer.
If your project involves building work, or if it changes your home's value, then you should tell them.
In any case, it might be worth adding accidental damage cover to your home insurance policy.
Our research showed that 27% of people have spilled paint when doing DIY.* And 8% have put a hole through their wall or floor.
So if you're attempting something ambitious, having that extra cover might be useful.
*Figures taken from omnibus research carried out by OnePoll on behalf of Confused.com. This was a nationally-representative poll of 2,000 UK homeowners. The research was conducted between 7 and 9 April 2020.