During the pandemic, many property owners were able to dive into lengthy renovation projects because they were stuck at home and didn’t have elsewhere to go. Now that those days are behind us, some homeowners find it increasingly difficult to carve out time for major projects and are focusing on minor ones instead – specifically, those that can be wrapped up in a single weekend.
How to Tackle a Weekend DIY Project Successfully
Many people get in over their heads when it comes to weekend DIY projects. And the problem often boils down to underestimating the amount of work at hand.
Mallory Micetich, home care expert at home improvement network and information company Angi, says that before you tackle a weekend DIY project, you first need to check off the three T’s:
Homeowners often miscalculate how much time a given project will take, says Micetich. Her advice is “always bake in extra time.” If you think a project will take six hours, budget for eight or nine hours, just in case.
You’ll also need to make sure you have the right tools for the job at hand. If you’re limited to a single weekend, you may not have time to visit your local hardware store on a Saturday morning if you need that full day to tackle your project.
Micetich suggests procuring your tools or materials ahead of time so you can dive right in. “When you’re doing a DIY, the prep is almost as important as the project you take on,” she says.
Finally, says Micetich, make sure you’re really equipped to manage the work at hand. You might think you can manage some minor plumbing or a small demolition job. But there are certain projects best left to the pros, she insists, such as anything involving electrical work.
DIY Projects You Can Tackle in a Weekend
Some DIY projects that might seem like they can be done over a weekend might actually take much longer, cautions Micetich. Tiling a bathroom, for example, can’t always be done over a two-day period, especially for a larger space. But here are some weekend DIY projects worth considering.
1. Paint a Room
When it comes to sprucing up your home, painting is a great place to start, says Micetich. That said, you might struggle to get the specific type of paint or finish you want due to ongoing supply chain issues.
If that happens, you don’t have to abandon your project so much as perhaps change your approach to it. If you shift over to the mindset of “I want to make a visual impact in my room” instead of being stuck on the notion of painting, you can pivot by using photos and art to make a statement wall.
If you are able to move forward with a paint job, be sure to start early in the weekend. You may need to apply several coats, and you’ll need time for the paint to dry before you can use the room again.
2. Add Storage Solutions
You may be surprised at how adding storage to your home can make life so much easier. If you have a large closet, adding shelving could help you better utilize that space. Or you may want to redo the shelving in your pantry so your go-to cooking supplies are more accessible.
Micetich also advises to think about your storage needs beyond your closets. Adding features like coat and shoe racks could help keep your home neater and more organized.
3. Install a Kitchen Backsplash
While tiling a bathroom in a single weekend is a bit ambitious, a kitchen backsplash is a different story. And adding a backsplash could have a huge visual impact.
Micetich says that if you’re going to attempt to install a kitchen backsplash over a weekend, it’s important to pick tiles that are easy to lay. And also, she says, pick up some quick-drying grout.
4. Plant a Flower Bed
When the weather is mild, you may be tempted to tackle a weekend landscaping project. But Micetich warns that landscaping can be surprisingly tricky.
“Mulching seems like a great DIY project until you realize how heavy it is and how much you need to buy,” she explains. Similarly, things like tree removal may be beyond your physical capabilities, and you’ll risk damaging your home in the process.
A better bet is to think small when it comes to weekend landscaping. Micetich suggests visiting your local nursery and planting a flower bed, or multiple flower beds, to give your exterior some color.
5. Do a Yard Cleanup
You don’t need to add flowers or features to your yard to give your home more curb appeal. Another great weekend DIY project is doing a yard cleanup.
6. Stain a Deck
Wooden decks in particular should be stained every two years or so. If yours is due for a touch-up, Micetich says you can stain or paint a deck in a weekend – if you have the weather on your side.
That said, you may need to have your deck pressure washed before you stain it, and that’s something you’ll want to do ahead of time. You want that surface to be nice and dry by the time you’re ready to do your staining.
Are DIY Projects Worth It?
They can be – provided you don’t get in over your head. A recent Angi survey found that almost 80% of homeowners who took on a DIY project wound up making a mistake. And Micetich says that going the DIY route won’t always save you money.
“Contractors have the ability to work more directly with material distributors and score discounts, so what you save on labor, you might spend on higher material costs,” she says. “If you’re going to take (a DIY project) on with the intention of saving money, it may be worth taking a second look at that and getting a quote.”
On the other hand, there’s also the satisfaction of improving your home yourself, learning a new skill and spending quality time with your family in the course of a weekend DIY project. And that’s something hiring a contractor won’t give you.