4 easy home improvement projects to complete this Easter
Yes, the long weekend is just about here. While there can be a lot going on over the Easter weekend – with egg hunts to organise, biscuits to bake and lamb to roast – it’s also a great time to dive into those niggling DIY projects. We don’t mean anything too major, just those little odd jobs you can get done in a few hours.
They might not sound like much, but these small jobs can go a long way to changing the feel of a room and could inspire you to think about carrying out some more substantial home improvements. Here are a few small DIY ideas to get you started…
Fix that dripping tap
Ah, the bane of all homeowners – the dripping tap. If you’ve never repaired a dripping tap before, the idea can seem daunting. But it’s not really that hard. In most cases a leaky tap is a sign of a worn-out washer or ceramic disc valve which can be easily replaced.
First, identify whether you will need to replace it with a rubber washer or ceramic disc by turning the tap — normally the ones that only rotate or quarter or half turn around are the ceramic variety. Once you’ve got your replacement washer, you need to turn off the water supply to your tap using the isolation valve. Next, gain access to the internal body of the tap — this is normally done by removing the tap head (often there is a handle screw hidden beneath the handle cap which simply flips out). Once you have removed the screw, the tap handle will lift off and reveal the top of the valve. Use an adjustable spanner to unscrew the valve, then replace the rubber washer with a new one, or fit an entire new ceramic valve. Finally, reassemble the tap, turn the water back on and that irritating drip should be gone!
Rearrange a room
Now, moving around the furniture in a room might not exactly count as real DIY as you don’t get play with any tools, but it can make a massive difference to your space – changing the light, feel and way you interact with the room. It’s a bigger change, than say painting or wallpapering the space.
It’s always wise to coincide a room rejig with your spring cleaning plans, as moving furniture about can reveal patches of flooring that have sat accumulating dust for years beyond the reaches of the hoover!
Painting a room is a labour and time intensive job — you need to empty the room out, clean it, spend what feels like hours putting masking tape around edges, put down dust sheets etc before you even start to paint it (which you need to do multiple times!).However, up-cycling some furniture with a spot of paint or varnish by comparison is an absolute breeze. You can just take whatever furniture you want out to the back garden on a dry day and complete the whole project in a couple of hours.
There’s a huge variety of specialist furniture paints that dry quickly, are easy to apply and are available in just about every colour and finish you can imagine.
Brave a shelf
Finally, if you really want to put your DIY skills to the test. Then there are few greater challenges for the amateur home improver than putting up a new shelf. Whether it’s for jars of dried goods in the kitchen, books in the living room or perhaps some trendy succulents in the hallway. A new shelf makes a massive difference, particularly in smaller spaces where storage is at a premium.
Plus, knowing how to put a shelf up well is a life skill everyone should possess – a long weekend is the perfect time to learn.
First, if you’re putting the shelf up on a plasterboard wall, you will need to use a stud detector to locate two studs (wooden supports in the wall) to secure the screws into — if you fail to drill into the wood, the shelf will merely fall of the wall after a while. Mark out your two studs, then mark holes for the first bracket with a pencil, add a cross and nail dent to each mark so you drill accurately.
Then, using a wood drill bit, one size smaller than your screws, drill holes into the wall before screwing in the first bracket. Now comes the tricky bit, you need to balance the shelf on the bracket with a spirit level on top. Now draw a short line along its underside across the line you marked earlier for the second stud – this should indicate where you should secure your second bracket. Install it as you did the first one, place the shelf on the brackets, and (fingers crossed) you should now have a perfectly level shelf. Wasn’t so hard was it?
For solid walls, you don’t need to check for studs. However, you will need a drill capable of drilling into masonry and make sure you use plastic wall plugs to ensure the screws are nice and secure.
More to come
Completing a few of these small jobs may just inspire you to think about the rest of your home. The beginning of spring is a great time to start thinking about the more major home improvements you’d like to get completed before the end of the year. Whether it’s a kitchen extension, a conservatory or perhaps a loft conversion, now’s the time to plan the changes that would transform your house into the home of your dreams.