New Homeowner’s DIY Guide: 6 Small Projects with Big Savings

Getting your first home is a major life milestone. However, many new homeowners find that the costs can quickly add up after a while, from repairs to renovations.

You can save a lot by doing some projects to get around these daunting costs. Homeowners aged 35 to 65 years spend an average of 22% of home improvement dollars on DIY projects.

Rather than breaking the bank on contractors, there are many small home DIY projects you can affordably do with proper guidance.

This DIY guide will explore handyman basics, budget decor ideas, efficiency upgrades, and more – helping you tackle projects that yield big savings as a new homeowner.

With a bit of time and elbow grease, you can personalize your home while keeping more cash in your wallet.

Let’s dive in!

Essential DIY Tools and Equipment You Need

DIY Tools

When it can sound costly initially, owning basic tools is a must-do if you’ll be doing small DIY projects in your new home.

Having a good selection of basic DIY tools allows you to take on common DIY home projects and upgrades as they arise by yourself.

Here are some essential basic tools every new homeowner should have on hand.

  • Hammer – for driving and removing nails
  • Screwdrivers (flathead and Phillips) – for screws and assembling furniture
  • Tape measure – for precise measuring during projects
  • Utility knife – for cutting boxes, carpet, drywall
  • Pliers – for turning nuts and bolts
  • Adjustable wrench – for gripping and turning fixtures
  • Cordless drill/driver – for driving screws and drilling holes
  • Ladder – for accessing high areas
  • Hacksaw and handsaw – for cutting pipe, wood, trim
  • Caulk gun or putty knives – for sealing cracks and filling holes
  • Sandpaper and chisels – for smoothing rough edges and removing material
  • Claw bar and pry bar – useful for pulling, prying, and demolition
  • Stud finder, level, clamps – for locating studs, keeping work level and hands-free
  • Safety gear – gloves, goggles, dust mask

You can purchase quality starter tool kits affordably at home improvement stores like Home Depot or Lowes for under $200.

If you change your mind about any tool you have ordered online, you can always use an online cancellation service to cancel your order.

6 Small DIY Projects with Big Savings

1. Quick and Easy Home DIY Repairs

Easy Home DIY Repairs

As a new homeowner, you’ll inevitably face minor repairs.

While service calls are pricey, many issues can be addressed by yourself.

Having bought some of the basic tools, you can do small DIY projects, including,

  • Minor plumbing repairs (which can cost you $100 service)
  • Installing ceiling fans (You’ll avoid paying a $100 installation fee)
  • Replacing door hardware (You’ll avoid paying a $105 installation fee).
  • Fixing a leaky faucet by replacing washers – $10 DIY vs. $125 plumber
  • Patching holes in drywall – $20 DIY vs. $300 pro patch
  • Replacing a broken window pane – $80 DIY vs. $350 for a glass company
  • Fixing sticky doors by sanding down the edges – $15 supplies vs. $100+ carpenter
  • Replacing caulking around tubs and sinks – $12 caulk tube vs. $175 plumbers

You can always watch YouTube tutorials to build handyman confidence for these recurring issues.

With a few basic skills, you can avoid expensive service calls.

2. Home Decor Projects

From dated furnishings to bland walls, your new home might need some personal touches.

With thrifty DIY projects, you can upgrade your space on a budget.

You can refresh your dated furniture with chalk paint to reupholster. Hiring a professional can cost you around $350.

Doing the same project yourself will cost you – $40, saving $310 in the process.

Other small home decor DIY projects include;

  • Displaying your favorite photos in a picture ledge made from wall-mounted lumber – $20 vs. $140 premade
  • Upgrade lighting with drum lamp shades in bold patterns – $35 vs. $100 custom shades
  • Build modern floating shelves with inexpensive brackets and wood planks – $25 vs. $110 premade
  • Give your space rustic charm with an easy wood crate side table – $15 vs. $180 rustic table
  • Sew window curtain panels from cotton sheets or adorable fabric – $20 vs. $80+ custom panels

With a little creativity, you can give every room personality without overspending. Shop sales on materials and put in some DIY elbow grease instead.

3. Energy-Efficient Upgrades

You can improve your home’s energy efficiency to lower monthly bills and increase comfort, too.

Some energy-efficient DIY upgrades to consider include;

Applying caulk and installing weatherstripping around doors and windows. It will cost you $15 just for the materials rather than paying a $200 service fee.

Other energy-efficient DIY projects include;

  • Add insulation to the attic and garage – $250 in materials vs. $700+ for hired installation
  • Install a programmable thermostat – $50 vs. $150 installation fee
  • Seal ductwork with mastic paste – $30 vs. $150 fee
  • Swap out light bulbs for LED – $40 vs. $100 installation
  • Replace air filters monthly – $15 each vs. $40 service charge

4. Gardening and Landscaping Small DIY Projects

Landscaping Small DIY Projects

Curb appeal matters, especially for resale down the road. You can always freshen up the exterior with these easy, budget-friendly plant projects.

  • Plant an inexpensive succulent garden in unique containers like baskets – $40 vs. $240 pro installation
  • Edge and mulch planting beds to define the spaces – $60 supplies vs. $350 pro landscaping
  • Hang charming string lights on the patio for ambiance – $25 vs. $150 electrician
  • Add personality with painted planters and ceramic animal sculptures – $60 vs. $200 pro designer fee
  • Grow beautiful climbing vines on a simple trellis against the home – $75 vs. $300 pro trellis

With this DIY know-how, you not only create a welcoming exterior space but also enhance your property value.

5. Organization DIY Hacks for Small Spaces

If you’re after limited square footage comfort, you’ll need creativity for perfect organizing. Here are DIY solutions to help maximize every inch.

  • Optimize cabinets with lazy Susans, risers, and adjustable shelves – $40 in supplies vs. $150 carpenter fee
  • Install a space-saving coat rack inside the front door – $25 vs. $70 premade
  • Use under-bed bins and racks to triple storage space – $40 vs. $125 professional install
  • Build a desk into a closet for a secret workspace – $60 supplies vs. $200 carpenter
  • Add shelving to awkward nooks like under the stairs – $30 vs. $100 pro job

6. Painting Techniques and Accent Walls

A fresh coat of paint works wonders and will cost you far less than pro painting. Here are some DIY painting tips you should do for your new home.

  • Lightly sand, fill holes, prime, and paint walls in a weekend – $100 in supplies vs. $1000 painter quote
  • Create an accent wall with layers of paint washes in coastal hues – $75 supplies vs. $300 pro accent wall
  • Use painter’s tape and foam rollers for clean edges – $15 for supplies
  • Paint the backs of bookcases, kitchen islands, or cabinets for a bold color – $50 vs. $250 pro

Create a DIY Toolkit

Assemble a home maintenance toolkit making sure to stock up on consumables like painter’s tape, screws, nails, picture hanging kits, sandpaper, and safety gear like goggles, gloves, and a mask.

Look for a sturdy and durable toolbox or portable caddy to neatly organize your tools. Label containers and outline the contents with a permanent marker. Hang a peg board to store frequently used tools within easy reach, too.

Properly equipping your DIY toolkit prepares you to handle repairs, installations, and upgrades smoothly. You’ll save significant money by not having to hire contractors for minor home projects.

Bottom Line

Being a new homeowner comes with learning experiences. But by tackling minor repairs and upgrades yourself, you can customize your space while avoiding costly service calls.

Use this guide to complete beginner DIY projects that make living in your home more affordable, comfortable, and personal.

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