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  • Writer's pictureTeam Pinto

Easy-to-Ambitious New Year's DIY Projects to Improve Your Waterloo Region Home

Like many homeowners, you may have eyed a home improvement project in the past only to come up short on time or inspiration.

Don’t feel bad. Nearly half (43%) of all homeowners say their biggest challenge around home improvement decisions is finding DIY time, which also may explain why the same percentage of people say they have unfinished home improvement projects — typically two.

As it's a new year, and you are probably full of all kinds of new energy - and maybe even thinking about selling your Waterloo Region home in 2024 - now might be a good time to channel some of that energy into a project that could add value to your home or infuse it with new style.

Here’s a sampling of projects you can tackle alone — or with a pint-sized assistant in need of a play date.

Beginner DIY Projects for Your Waterloo Region Home

New Faucets

This project requires attention to detail — you don't want to flood your kitchen because you forgot to turn off the water valve — but no prior plumbing experience is required, and a gleaming new faucet can provide a lot of daily delight for a small investment.

You might also be surprised by the difference it will make to the look of your kitchen - or bathroom - and if yours are older faucets, the water saving options you can opt for might help you keep more cash in your wallet too.

Light Fixtures and Switches

Lighting plays a pivotal role in setting the tone and ambiance of any space in your home. By simply changing an old light fixture to something more modern or stylish, you can instantly refresh and transform the look of a room. Adding a dimmer switch offers even more flexibility, allowing you to adjust the brightness to suit different activities or times of the day.

Whether you're hosting a dinner party or enjoying a quiet evening, the right lighting can enhance the mood and create a more inviting atmosphere. Moreover, upgrading to energy-efficient lighting solutions can also contribute to reduced energy bills, making these changes both aesthetically pleasing and practical for Kitchener-Waterloo Region homeowners.

Fire Pit

This is a great one to tackle with kids. Celebrate the finished product with a s’mores party. You can opt to go the very easy route - buying a fire pit and then grouping some new patio furniture around it, or, if you are up for a little more work then digging and building a permeant fire pit is a lot easier than you might think.

Smart Tech Upgrades

You can choose from a variety of smart home gadgets, some of which need little more than changing a light bulb or connecting in a device. Consider the following and then tackle more as you get used to the idea of a smarter home. Which most people do very quickly and then wonder how they ever coped living in a 'dumb' home!

Smart Doorbell

Installing a smart doorbell/camera is similar to replacing a light switch. The procedure begins with the removal of your old doorbell and the connection of the gadget to your Wi-Fi network.

Smart Locks

Do you have a family member who is constantly misplacing their house keys? A simple solution is to replace a typical door lock with a keyless entry system that can be accessed via a touchpad or a smartphone app. This kind of security upgrade is something that also appeals to an increasing number of homebuyers, should you decide to sell your Waterloo Region home in 2024.

Smart Home Hub

Companies such as Amazon, Google, Apple, Nest, Samsung, and others offer smart home hubs that allow you to control connected devices from a single location. The hub is normally "plug and play" and simple to install. However, you may need to do some preliminary debugging to connect all of your gadgets.

Smart Lighting

Purchasing and installing light bulbs is all that is required for this project. However, because each system has its own set of requirements and controls, the upgrading must be coordinated with a smart home system. If you already have a home automation system, make sure the lights you buy will work with it. If you're considering purchasing a new system, keep in mind that it must be compatible with the devices you already own.

Intermediate DIY Projects for Your Waterloo Region Home

Cabinet Refresh

Major changes aren't required to update your kitchen. Change out the door and drawer pulls, paint your cabinets, or remove cabinet doors to create an open-shelving effect to give them a whole new look. Alternatively, if you have too much wall space but not enough cabinets, you can easily build open shelving from the ground up. Homes with open shelves sell for 4.2 percent more than projected, which is a nice bonus.

Barn Door

By replacing a typical swinging door or a closet slider with a barn door that glides on a rail, you can free up space and vary the furniture arrangement possibilities in your room.

In addition, your efforts may be rewarded in other ways: A 5% price increase is related with barn doors as it is a feature that particularly appeals to modern buyers. You'll need a few tools, a second pair of hands, and the step-by-step instructions that come with most barn door kits, which will walk you through the whole process of building and installing your own sliding barn door.

Advanced DIY Projects for Your Waterloo Region Home

Garden Shed

If you have the know-how to build a garden shed, you can find any number of plans and tutorials online to suit your taste. And if you’re not quite up for that challenge, you can still improve the one you’ve got or buy a garden-variety one and make it your own.

Start by imagining whether you need it for storage or extra work or living space, and go from there. Homes with a “she shed” are associated with a 3.6% price premium by the way.

Heated Floors

If you missed out on your true calling as an architect or engineer and ended up with a desk job, this is the type of project you can take on. Your achievement in warming your home from the ground up will make you a hero or heroine in your own home.

It will be labor-intensive and require the confidence of an experienced tradesperson (as well as some arithmetic skills). If you're replacing the flooring in a room and have the opportunity to include a heating element in the process, this is the project for you.

You may still want to consider this project if you lack DIY skills and will need a pro's help. Living with heated floors has to be experienced to get just how much of a positive difference it will make to your Waterloo Region home - especially in our cold Ontario winters - and they are near the top of more and more homebuyers' wish lists, and are one of the features many of them are willing to pay a premium for.

As we embrace the new year, it's the perfect time to start those home improvement projects you've been thinking about. Whether it's updating your lighting fixtures, installing dimmer switches, or tackling other DIY projects, these changes can significantly enhance the comfort and appeal of your Kitchener-Waterloo Region home.

If you're considering larger renovations or even selling your home this year, Team Pinto is here to help. Our expertise in the local real estate market can guide you in making the right improvements that add value and attractiveness to your property. Contact us today for personalized advice and let's make 2024 the year your home shines brighter than ever!

Reach out to Team Pinto — your trusted partners in Kitchener-Waterloo real estate. Let's turn your home improvement dreams into reality and make the most of your property this year!


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