Condo Blues: 25 DIY Home Improvements You Can Do in 15 Minutes or Less

Sunday, May 6, 2018

25 DIY Home Improvements You Can Do in 15 Minutes or Less

When you think of doing home improvement projects to add value to your home, most people immediately think of the big, long, and difficult DIY projects like remodeling a room or landscaping.

While I agree that kitchen and bathrooms sell houses and are super nice to have, it is often at the expense of those little quick and easy home improvement projects that pile up around the house and if done early, can save you the time and expensive needing to do a big, huge DIY project later on down the road.

Grab your tool belts and Do It Yourself Honey! lists. Be prepared to save a ton of money knocking out these quick and easy DIY projects when and where you can.

25 Quick and Easy DIY Home Improvement Projects that Pay Off Big!

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Disclosure: I have included some affiliate links to the products I have used and recommend in this post for your convenience.

1. Replace the 1/2 inch screws on the hinges of outside doors with big 2 inch wood screws for added security. It will not guarantee that a bad guy won’t be able to kick open your locked front door and rob you, but it will make it much, much harder.  Crooks go for the easy targets because they are lazy.

2. Reinforce a tension shower curtain rod with new brackets to keep it from falling.

If the shower curtain rod is going to come crashing down it will always be in the middle of the night. True story.

3. Check your doors, windows, electrical outlets and switches on outside wall for air leaks and drafts. How air is drawn to cool air (and vice versa) and will leak out of the bottom of your windows and doors which will make your heating and air conditioning systems  (HAVAC) to use more energy to keep the house warm or cold which will cost you extra money. You can read how to Check for air leaks and drafts the quick and easy way on Condo Blues here.

4. Change or clean (f you use a reusable furnace filter) your heating and/or air conditioning filter monthly.  Our builder gave us the tip to change it on the first of every month (or as close as possible) to help us remember to do it. It makes a difference during the winter and the summer, especially as an allergy sufferer. Furnace filters never go on sale, but I get a 10% off price break when I buy furnace filters on Amazon Subscribe and Save. Also, I never run out!

5. Insulate your garage door. The extra insulation makes a difference when keeping  the garage cooler in summer and warmer in winter to extend Workshop Season.

6. Start a compost pile if you like to garden. Starting or setting up a compost bin is easy and quick. The actual composting process of turning your yard waste and kitchen scraps into fertilizer will take longer.

7. Make compost tea fertilizer to naturally fertilize your plants if you are a gardener.

There is a reason why gardeners call compost Black Gold – it works the best out of any natural or commercial fertilizer available! Read my Condo Blues post How to Make Compost Tea to learn how!

8. Naturally kill Japanese beetles and grubs in your lawn and garden with Milky Spore. Milky Spore is a beneficial bacterial that attacks Japanese beetles and their grubs as it spreads through your lawn and garden. It is child, pet, bee, and fish safe.

A lazy gardener’s best friend. I always forget to reapply pesticides after it rains.

9. Naturally kill fleas, fungus gnats, and other garden pests with Beneficial Nematodes. Beneficial nematodes are a type of roundworm that feed on a slew of bad insects while leaving people, animals, and plants alone (unlike other roundworm species.) They are like Sea Monkeys that actually work for a living. You mix the the little critters with water, apply them once during cool Spring or Fall weather (nematodes will die if you apply them on a hot summer’s day,) and let them chow down for the season.

10. Check and add or replace the weather stripping (it looks like this) on the windows and doors you found leaking air in Suggestion 3. This is important for during winter and summer.

11. Check and add or replace door sweeps similar to these to the bottom of outside doors for the same reasons as in Suggestion 3. They also make weather stripping for sliding glass doors which are notoriously energy inefficient without a little home improvement help.

12. Caulk cracks around the house. A fresh bead of caulk around kitchen and bathroom fixtures, tile, or cabinets makes them look newly installed.

13. Insulate your electrical switches and outlets on outside walls. They can leak air too!

14. Paint your front door. A quick and easy way to add curb appeal!

15. Hang a storage shelf above a door. Living in a small house I have to find extra storage where I can.

Welcome to the Surf Lounge! AKA my bathroom.

16. Install a water filter system and never pay for filtered water again!

It took me longer to find the tools I needed to do the job than installing my Filtrate water filter under the kitchen sink. The filters last 6 months each and are very affordable, even more so if you buy them on Amazon Subscribe and Save (which is also the only way I remember to change the filter!)

17. Clean and unclog a dishwasher that will not drain before automatically buying a replacement.

Note to self: I could have avoided this home improvement entirely if I didn’t use the dishwasher to remove paper labels from jars. Guess what was clogging the dishwasher drain to the point we thought we’d have to replace it? Don’t be me.

18 Touch up or fix nicks and scratches in furniture, appliances, and baseboards

19 Fill nail holes, dents, and such in your doors, walls, etc..

20 Clean your dryer vents. This dryer lint cleaning kit has everything you need to help prevent dryer fires.

21. Switch your light bulbs to more energy efficient LED light bulbs as the conventional or CFL light bulbs burn out.  Tip: The one dollar LED light bulbs at Dollar Tree work and look just like the more expensive brand I bought earlier. They fly out of my local DT so I buy them from Dollar Tree on line and have them ship them to my local store for free shipping!

22. Change the batteries in your smoke detectors. Safety first!

23. Move the furniture so it isn’t blocking air vents if possible to keep your HVAC system from working harder to heat and cool the room.

24 Add air vent directional covers to heating and cooling vents under windows to prevent the treated air from traveling up the wall and through air leaks in the window frame.

25. Call a pro to fix that thing you can’t or don’t have time to fix. I can’t tell you how many projects I have been putting off because I forget to make one simple phone call.

For more ways to kill Japanese Beetles in your garden check out the following ideas - and more! below!

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