Home Improvement Ideas: A Definitive Guide To Updating A Living Space
6-Minute ReadMay 20, 2022
One of the best things about owning a home is being able to transform it into a space that precisely fits your personal tastes and preferences, but it can be difficult to know where to begin with that transformation.
There are so many potential projects to choose from – big ones, small ones, ones that are budget-friendly, ones that require a personal loan for extra financing, professional jobs, DIY jobs and so on. This wealth of options can make the prospect of trying to complete even a single home improvement project overwhelming.
Fortunately, we’re here to help! In this article, we’ve broken down various home improvement projects into digestible categories so it’s easier to determine your priorities and pick a starting point. Time to roll up those sleeves and get to work.
Ideas For Home Improvement By Season
There are some home improvement tasks that are best completed during specific times of the year. Let’s explore some of the ways you can enhance the state of your property in every season.
Spring is a time for new beginnings, so why not seize the opportunity to take on some new projects around your home or tackle that spring home maintenance checklist? It’s a great time to clear any wet leaves that have been matted down by snow on your yard, add seeds to patches of dead grass and start planting bulbs for any flowers or vegetables you’d like to see growing as part of your garden throughout the rest of the year.
It’s also a good time to revisit the appearance of the front of your home – repaint your front door, spruce up your porch decor and maybe even replace your mailbox to make your property look fresh and well-kept after a long winter.
Explore more spring-friendly home improvement ideas.
The warm weather has arrived, so it’s time to dial up the heat on some of your outdoor home improvement projects! Mow and treat your lawn, pull weeds and trim down the shrubbery in your landscaping, re-stain your back deck, clean your pool, repave your driveway – enjoy your days in the sun, but also take advantage of the season to get a good amount of work done on your home’s exterior.
As the weather cools back down, there are a number of projects you can complete around your home in preparation for winter. Clear out your gutters, make sure your house is properly sealed and insulated, add protective coverings to some of your outdoor plants, perform some maintenance checks on your home’s heating system and make any necessary repairs to it before the winter weather properly sets in.
Explore more fall-friendly home improvement ideas.
While the snow is falling and the daylight hours are shorter, it might be a good idea to focus your winter home improvement efforts on the inside of your home. Take stock of the rooms that might be in need of an upgrade, and brainstorm ways you can make improvements without having to crack open the windows for ventilation.
The changes can be small, like setting up an indoor garden or finding new ways to display your knick knacks – or they could be bigger, like fully revamping the furniture, bedding and decor in your master bedroom.
Explore more winter-friendly home improvement ideas.
Ideas For Maintenance-Focused Home Improvement
Sometimes the best way to start your home improvement journey is to first conduct maintenance checks on your home in its current state and prioritize making any necessary repairs before updating entire rooms or creating new spaces. Let’s take a look at a few of the most useful areas to focus on when choosing maintenance-focused improvement projects to complete.
Proper air ventilation and the ability to heat and cool your living space are extremely important components of homeownership, so if your home’s HVAC system isn’t working as well as it used to, it might be time to repair or replace it. Hire a professional to come check out the condition of your HVAC system, and follow their recommendations to ensure that you’re able to continue living in your home comfortably and safely.
Keeping an eye on the condition of your roof and making repairs or full replacements as needed is an essential part of owning a home and keeping its residents safe. When choosing an appropriate type of roofing for your home, it’s important to take the overall climate and your area’s spectrum of weather conditions into serious consideration.
Durability is also crucial when preventing leaks and entry for pests, so consult with a professional to make sure you pick a roof material that’s the best fit for your property.
After years of holding out against strong winds and changes in weather, the siding on your home’s exterior might be in need of a refresh. Replacing your home’s siding can be a great home improvement project, because it not only ensures that your house is properly insulated from the elements – it can also serve to boost the curb appeal of your property.
Light Fixture Replacement
Even a project as simple as replacing the lighting in your home can make a significant improvement to the overall appearance of the space. If the light fixtures in your home are outdated, faulty or aren’t as energy-efficient as you’d like, hire a professional to swap them out for new ones that function optimally and fit your design style.
If you aren’t willing to spend a ton of money to fully revamp your home’s lighting setup, even changing out old light bulbs for ones that are brighter, more fun-colored or more aesthetically pleasing can be an upgrade.
Ideas For Home Improvement By Room
Bathrooms, kitchens and basements are three of the biggest target areas for homeowners when deciding on ways to make improvements to their homes. Let’s go over some ideas for how to upgrade each of these spaces.
Your bathrooms can often be the clearest indicator of whether making home improvements is a priority of yours and whether you’re striving to keep up with modern interior design trends.
There’s a wide array of small and large improvements that can be made in a bathroom, from switching out the hardware on your sink and cabinets, replacing your shower head, recaulking the room and adding a fresh coat of paint to getting an entire new sink, toilet, bath or shower installed.
Bathrooms can also be a great place to add little luxuries into your home – change out your old flooring for heated tiles or add a bidet next to your toilet, and your bathroom will end up feeling more like a spa.
Explore our bathroom remodel guide for more ideas.
While renovating a kitchen can be a big undertaking, it’s also a home improvement project that can have some of the most noticeable impact on your home’s appearance. Start with smaller upgrades, like painting the cabinets, swapping out hardware and replacing the backsplash.
From there, if you decide you want to take the renovations a step further, look into purchasing new appliances, changing out your countertops or even adding unique extras to help you live out your gourmet chef dreams, like a pasta arm or a hibachi grill.
Ready to take on a project? Read our guide to financing your kitchen remodel next.
A basement is a type of space in a home that, when finished, can be used for a multitude of purposes. If it’s currently unfinished, start by insulating and framing the walls, putting up drywall and laying down new floors, and you’ll have a blank canvas with which to create the basement setup of your dreams.
Aside from fulfilling its common use as a catch-all storage space, your basement could be used as – among other things – a "man cave," a game room, a craft room, a wine cellar, a guest room or even a fully functional in-law suite.
Ideas For Creating New Spaces In Your Home
For many homeowners seeking to complete home improvement projects, significant focus is also placed on figuring out what to do with the unoccupied spaces in their house. Whether you have a spare room that’s being used for storing odds and ends or you’re planning to build an expansion on your home, there are plenty of purposes to choose from that you can set for the extra square footage in your living space.
Building A Home Gym
Sometimes creating an at-home gym that’s geared toward your specific fitness goals can be better than any gym membership, however swanky. Move the equipment you already own into your designated workout space, supplement any gaps by purchasing new cardio or strength-training machines, free weights, resistance bands, punching bags, pull-up bars and any other equipment you need.
Finally, hang up some mirrors on the wall to ensure that you’re using proper form while you exercise, and get moving!
Setting Up A Home Office
With the recent uptick in people working from home, more and more homeowners are upgrading their home offices. If you don’t already have one, now might be the perfect time to create a dedicated office space for yourself. Find a desk that gives you a sufficient amount of workspace, a comfortable chair and the proper storage solutions for any supplies or documents you need. Add some decor that’ll keep you inspired, and you’ll be ready to tackle remote work like a pro.
Setting Up A Home Movie Theater
It’s time to break out the popcorn machine! Transforming a designated area of your home into a mini movie theater is a sure-fire way to increase your enjoyment of your living space, so why not go all out?
Pick out the comfiest couch you can find, choose between a big screen TV and a wall projector, install a high-quality sound system, hang up posters for your favorite movies on the walls and make sure the space is well-stocked with blankets, pillows and crowd-pleaser snacks. With a space like this, your house is bound to become the top hangout spot for you and your loved ones.
Setting Up A Home Recording Studio
Are you an aspiring musician or voice actor? Paying for time in a professional recording studio can be extremely expensive, but if you already own some of the necessary equipment and have the skills to record, edit and mix audio, it might be worthwhile to use some of the unoccupied space in your home to set up your own studio.
Look into soundproofing the walls surrounding your studio space, find an ideal arrangement for your instruments, amps, pedals, microphones, speakers and other recording equipment, and you’ll be ready to produce your next hit album.
Setting Up A Playroom
If you have kids, you might feel a desire to give them a space of their own within your house. Using one of the extra rooms in your home as a playroom can be a perfect way to accomplish such a goal, but it might be wise to first consider ways to incorporate storage solutions into the space so it doesn’t immediately fall into disarray.
Look for comfortable, kid-friendly seating that doubles as storage for their toys, set up cubbies and shelves for their dress-up clothes and books, and make sure there are plenty of soft baskets and bins around for storing extra toys and art supplies that would otherwise end up on the floor.
Once storage for the room is planned out, let your kids have a little input into what they want the room to look like! Figure out what additions to the room would reflect their interests and encourage them to explore their creativity – and do your best to bring that vision to life.
Ideas For DIY Home Improvement Projects
In many cases, making a home feel like it’s really yours ultimately comes down to completing a few home improvement projects with your own two hands. Here are a few ways to take the tried-and-true DIY approach to upgrading your living space.
Paint Your Home’s Interior Or Exterior
There’s room for debate over whether you should hire a professional to paint your home, but this is technically a home improvement project that most homeowners are capable of completing themselves.
For interior painting, choose colors that complement the furniture, cabinetry and decor in your living space and that will bring you joy to see every day. Set up your painter’s tape and drop cloth, throw on some old clothes you don’t mind getting paint on and get to work!
If it’s the outside of your home that needs attention, read our guide on how to paint the exterior of your house next.
Give Your Floors A Makeover
Is your carpeted floor starting to look a little dingy? Set aside some time to give it a deep clean! Properly steaming and shampooing your carpets can take years off of the appearance of your floors and make you question why you didn’t clean them beyond the occasional vacuum job sooner.
If you want to take things a step further, consider purchasing strips of laminate flooring that are made to look like hardwoods, and spend a weekend installing them in desired areas around your home. Many companies that sell this type of flooring create strips that are specifically meant to fit together and click into place with ease, so all you’ll need to do is take measurements of your living space and potentially remove the old flooring before installing the new layer.
Create Your Own Decor
Choosing a specific interior design style for your home is a great way to show off your personality, but having decor items scattered around your living space that were actually made by you brings that to a whole new level.
Teach yourself how to create a macrame wall hanging. Attend a pottery class and display your finished masterpieces on shelves. Print out some of your best photography and curate a gallery wall to show it off to guests. If you have kids, get them involved by framing and hanging up some of their artwork on the walls as well. The possibilities are endless – as long as the decor you create really makes your house feel like home.
Ideas For Easy Home Improvement Projects
Once you’ve completed your larger home improvement projects, it’s time to put on the finishing touches! Here are a few ideas for some final easy steps you can take to complete your house makeover.
'Marie Kondo' Your Belongings
An effective, budget-friendly way to improve your living space and make it feel less chaotic is to declutter every room and get rid of any belongings that you no longer need or want. The KonMari Method is one approach you can take to this process – as you sort through all of your possessions, you assess whether each individual item you own "sparks joy," and if it no longer does, you let it go with a sense of gratitude for what it has provided you in the time that you’ve owned it.
Once you’re finished, you should be left with a clean home and a strong sense of love and appreciation for all of the belongings you’ve decided to keep.
Assess Your Storage Situations In Every Room
A small but impactful way to improve conditions inside your home is to make sure there’s proper storage everywhere throughout your living space. By adding floating shelves on the walls, larger shelving units in corners, extra cabinetry, clothing racks, baskets and bins wherever it feels necessary, you’ll be making it far easier to keep things organized and to avoid clutter buildup.
Make Your Home Cozy
Hygge, the Danish interior design trend centered around cultivating a cozy and comforting living space, is all the rage these days. No matter what decor style or color scheme you’ve chosen, it’s always possible to increase the sense of hygge in your home with little additions like warm blankets, squishy throw pillows and candles.
For a bigger cozy undertaking, perform upkeep on any existing fireplaces in your home to ensure they’re in working condition, or consider installing a new, portable fireplace in your living room or bedroom. Regardless of how you choose to do so, making your home feel more cozy is a surprisingly powerful way to increase your sense of a safe and peaceful haven away from the outside world.
In the end, the best way to choose which types of home improvement projects to complete is to consider what kinds of upgrades would make you happiest and safest within your living space. That said, if you’re planning on undertaking large-scale renovations, applying for a home improvement personal loan could make it much easier to achieve your goals without breaking the bank.
Ready to finance one of your home improvement projects? Apply with Rocket Loans today!
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