DIY Projects For Your First Home | Home Improvement Tips

4 DIY Projects for Your First Home

“Where should I start?”

DIY is a great place to start for new homeowners. The beauty of DIY projects is they are very versatile: they can easily be adapted to your skill level, budget and desired project. With a little extra time and creativity, you can transform your home.

Other benefits to choosing a DIY project are that they are typically cheaper than the alternative and they offer an added sense of ownership and pride in your home.

Since DIY project ideas are endless, it’s important to choose ones that will improve your home’s value at a reasonable cost. A DIY project should make your life easier and more enjoyable.

These are my top recommended DIY projects for first-time homeowners. They won’t break the bank but they will deliver a bang for your buck.

1. Add Crown Molding or Update Casing and Trim

The addition of crown molding to the top of interior walls is a subtle change with big impact. Casing, which is the trim around doors and windows, can also make a huge difference. The replacement of dated crown molding, casing or trim can make a room look newly updated. Go one step further with a fresh coat of paint on the walls, and you’ll basically have an entirely new room. For more information on how to install crown molding, check out these simple eight steps.

modern, bright dining room with wood trim on ceiling
2. Replace Doors

Doors are often forgettable, but don’t have to be. Replace hollow core bedroom, bathroom, and closet doors with wood alternatives for an instant dash of richness. And don’t limit yourself to traditionally-styled options. From specialty woods to glass panels, there are plenty of options to choose from.

3. Clean and Refinish Your Wood Deck

As long as your wood is in good shape, all you need is deck cleaner and wood stain to turn something dated into the focal point of your back yard. You can buy deck cleaner at your local hardware store and wood deck stains are available there or at a paint store. You’ll be amazed to see weathered wood look like new again. If you haven’t done it before, here are step-by-step instructions.

Photo Courtesy of Emily Henderson & Zeke Ruelas
Photo Courtesy of Emily Henderson & Zeke Ruelas
4. Update Your Closets

Add built-in shelving or simply streamline clothes hangers for an organizational boost you’ll thank yourself for every day. Or you can tackle one of my favorite closet upgrades: Lining a traditional closet with cedar. Natural cedar looks great, smells great, and keeps moths and mildew away. It’s a classic and high-end upgrade that’s not terribly expensive or time-intensive. When your friends or family open your closet, they will be pleasantly surprised.

Use tongue-and-groove cedar to line some or all of an existing closet. You can leave baseboards in place if they’re thicker than the cedar. If not, remove them with a pry bar before the cedar installation. Use nails to attach the cedar to the wall studs, or adhere them with a construction adhesive. Prepare to feel like a bona fide fancy grown-up when it’s done!

These are just a fraction of the many DIY projects possibilities. My most important piece of advice is to have fun and don’t be afraid to try new things. The more DIY projects you complete, the more confident you’ll feel. To get started, pencil in a dedicated DIY day on your calendar and enjoy the process!


Host, DIY Network’s Rescue Renovation, licensed contractor and 2009 Stud Finder winner. Kayleen also works extensively with Skills USA, a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to develop a skilled workforce. Kayleen has done custom construction projects, including pergolas, decks and a house.