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Which Home DIY Project Should I Tackle First?

home renovation

Whether you own a fixer-upper or plan to sell, there’s always room for improvement—literally. This is where DIY home renovations may come in.

Maybe you’re big on do-it-yourself projects, or maybe you’re simply a fan of HGTV. No matter your experience level, there are a number of simple projects you can take on with minimal outside help. These undertakings make for a great weekend at home, not to mention a great bonding experience with friends and family.

So, let’s break down what home DIY project you should tackle first. In this blog, we’ll go over several appealing home improvement options. We’ll also discuss the benefits of starting a home DIY project and review some situations where it might be best to hire a contractor.

Why Start a Home Improvement Project?

Homeowners love renovations for many reasons. For one, improvement projects lend to personalization and a sense of control over your property. It’s no wonder that Harvard researchers projected $485 million in spending on U.S. home improvement projects in 2023.

DIYers take things a step further—and virtually anyone can DIY at least a handful of simple improvements. Here are just some of the reasons to kick off your own home improvement project:

Cost Savings

Want to repaint your living room instead of hiring a pro to do it for you? DIY projects like this will save you a lot of money. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, DIYers spend just $700 per home improvement project on average. Conversely, homeowners who hire a professional spend approximately $3,000.


Chances are you want to truly personalize your home. While you can always communicate your vision with a contractor, no one knows your taste like you do. This is part of what makes a DIY approach so enticing. Doing everything yourself will give you full freedom to complete tasks your way.


self expression

In the same vein, DIY projects give homeowners a creative outlet. Rather than having someone else tell you what equipment or materials to use, you get to call the shots. This makes it that much easier to show off your unique personality and style. In a DIY project, nearly every design decision is yours.

Home Equity

A DIY project can add value to your home. In addition, real estate agents claim properties sell faster after the owner makes even minor improvements. One study showed that homes sold 10 days quicker after a simple kitchen cabinet repaint. But if you are not looking to sell, you reap the benefits.

Skill Development

Planning on refinishing those butcherblock countertops? By doing everything yourself, you can acquire new skills like sanding and staining. No matter how experienced you are, there’s always something to learn and improve upon. Another advantage is that you’ll see the results of your efforts in real time. Gaining these skills will add to your know-how for future upgrades if needed.

Problem Solving

You can watch dozens of YouTube videos and spend weeks planning your first DIY project. Still, you’ll probably experience some challenges over the course of your undertaking. (Maybe that paint color wasn’t the right decision, or maybe it was?) Every problem presents an opportunity for growth. Taking your time and learning what’s necessary for each upgrade will make your next DIY project easier than the last one.


When you hire a professional for a home improvement project, you’re usually at the mercy of that person’s calendar. But by foregoing contractors and doing things DIY, you can work at your own pace—and on your own schedule. This flexibility is especially important for busy people who prefer to work nights and weekends.

Sustainable Upgrades

Did you know that there are also environmental considerations in taking on a DIY project? Repurposing or upcycling materials can lead to more sustainable living. By selecting energy-efficient windows, for example, you can contribute to important conservation initiatives.

15 DIY Home Improvement Projects to Start Now

So you’re ready to make your mark on your home for the long haul. Or maybe you want to upgrade a few things in hopes of selling the property. Whatever your goals are, you have lots of options for your first DIY project.

Here are 15 Home Improvement Projects You Can Get Started on Today:

Painting a Room


Give your living space a burst of personality with a fresh coat of paint. Before you do your entire house, start with a single room to get a sense of what goes into the job. This project will give you a chance to express yourself, set a mood, and create a cohesive atmosphere. (Keep in mind that a light, neutral palette is considered best for resale.)

Weather Stripping Windows and Doors

Installing weather stripping around windows and doors is a simple yet impactful home DIY project. The weatherstripping acts as a barrier against drafts—preventing heat loss in the winter and cool air from escaping in the summer. Tangible savings on energy bills are an added bonus. What better way to boost your home’s energy efficiency and comfort?

Upgrading Your Light Fixtures

Illuminate your home in style with sleek new lighting. Whether your current fixtures are outdated or simply underwhelming, swapping them out can make a lasting impact. This is because fixtures are more than just a way to enhance a room—they also serve as statement pieces that can transform the ambiance of your space. (Remember to consider safety guidelines and hire an electrician if you’re installing a fixture in a new place.)

Replacing Your Faucets

With new and improved faucets, you can boost the functionality and aesthetic of your kitchen or bathroom in minutes. This seemingly small update can make a real difference by improving water flow, promoting convenience, and adding a contemporary touch. Consider your personality and decide between a sporting modern look or revamping a classic feel. No matter what you choose, new faucets will effortlessly revitalize your space.

Refurbishing Your Cabinet Doors

Give your kitchen a cost-effective upgrade by improving your cabinet doors. Instead of investing in new cabinetry altogether, consider spending the weekend refinishing, repainting, or even refacing your existing doors. Whether you opt for a modern color palette, a distressed finish, or a classic wood stain, this project will help you breathe new life into your kitchen without breaking the bank.

Creating a Home Office Space

work from home

Embrace a remote or hybrid work environment with a dedicated home office space. In addition to the functional benefits, a well-designed home office can boost productivity, concentration, and work-life balance. Start by investing in comfortable, yet productive furniture and complete the project by introducing new shelving or tasteful décor. This is a simple home DIY project you won’t soon regret.

Installing a Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat is both eco-conscious and simple to use. This smart home feature lets you schedule temperature adjustments based on your daily routine—optimizing energy usage and reducing expenses. The easy upgrade will strengthen your home's environmental footprint, all while lowering your utility bills by up to 10% per year. Talk about an electric DIY project!

Building a Raised Garden Bed


Cultivate your green thumb and enhance your outdoor living experience with a raised garden bed. This DIY project will add natural beauty to your surroundings. Not only that, but it’ll give you—and future property owners—a practical space for growing herbs, flowers, and vegetables. Note that elevating the garden bed will simplify maintenance, improve soil drainage, and reduce the risk of pests.

Constructing a Firepit

Transform your outdoor space into a comfortable retreat with a custom firepit. This appealing addition will create a focal point for gatherings and keep your yard accessible well into the cooler months. Note that a traditional stone pit makes for a solid DIY project, while a gas-powered feature will require an electrician. No matter your preferences though, a firepit is so much more than a backyard accessory.

Crafting a DIY Window Seat

DIY window

Maximize style and functionality with a DIY window seat. This charming home upgrade will make your living space more aesthetically pleasing, but that’s not all. It will also offer a cozy, comfortable, and practical place for relaxation and storage. The best part is that you can easily customize the design to suit your preferences. You can even incorporate built-in shelves or drawers for added utility.

Building a Barn Door

Add a touch of rustic charm or contemporary flair to your home with a beautiful barn door. Beyond their visual appeal, these doors are space-efficient solutions that offer an alternative to traditional swinging doors. Choose from a variety of styles and finishes to complement your interior design—from a sliding pantry door to a bedroom statement piece. Learn how to build your own barn door here.

Installing a Tile Backsplash

tile backsplash

Increase your kitchen’s aesthetic appeal and practicality with a stunning tile backsplash. In addition to protecting walls from spills and stains, a thoughtful design will add character to your home. Classic subway tiles, intricate mosaics, and contemporary patterns are all great options. Even amateur DIYers will appreciate the form and function the right backsplash can bring to their culinary space.

Installing Floating Shelves

Infuse a modern and minimalist aesthetic into your home with floating shelves. This easy-to-install shelving style frees up valuable floor space and serves as a great way to cut the clutter. Not only that but there’s a lot of artful customization involved—meaning you can arrange the shelves as decorative displays and as functional storage units. The versatility of floating shelves will make them a dynamic addition to any room.

Creating a Custom Closet Organizer

Streamline your daily routine by developing a custom closet organizer. Tailored to your needs, this simple home improvement project will maximize storage space—making it easier to find and access your belongings. From adjustable shelves to dedicated shoe racks, an organized closet will keep your wardrobe nice and approachable. (This is one of our favorite projects for first-time DIYers.)

Improving Your Garage Storage

garage storage

You don’t need a full-on remodel to optimize your garage. Many homeowners start by improving their garage storage. From wall-mounted shelves to overhead racks, tons of installation options will save you space. Focus on streamlining access to tools and equipment, to make your garage an extension of your home. We’re confident that this project will create a tidier, more relaxed look.

With the right mindset, you can have a fulfilling, transformative DIY home improvement experience. Plan to conduct research before you start your first project—and connect with others who have successfully completed similar renovations.

You’ll also want to follow safety guidelines and know when to outsource the work.

Leave These Home Improvements to the Professionals

There’s nothing wrong with being enthusiastic about improving your home. That said, amateurs should approach certain DIY projects with caution. Advanced plumbing and electrical work, for example, should almost always be contracted out.

The following projects are usually too advanced for novice DIYers:

Garage Door Spring Repairs

You can definitely make your garage more livable without outsourcing the work. However, you should plan to outsource any garage door repairs. This is because fixing tension-loaded torsion springs can be rather complex, with a high risk of injury or property damage.

Wiring Upgrades

home wiring

Generally, you can install a new light fixture by simply turning off the power until you finish the job. But if your project involves any sort of electrical work, you’ll need to hire an electrician. Meddling with home wiring is extremely dangerous when you don’t have the experience to back it up.

Gas Appliance Replacements

If you’re thinking of repairing or replacing gas appliances all by yourself, think again. Without proper training, there’s a risk of a gas leak or fire—so hiring a licensed professional is essential. (Don’t try to install your new water heater either.)

Deck Installations

deck installation

Homeowners are welcome to showcase their skills by restaining their decks. If you’re looking to build a new deck entirely, though, it’s best to hire an experienced contractor. This is because deck installations are heavily regulated structural projects. From safety risks to permitting, there’s a lot to navigate.

By hiring a professional for the above projects, you can reduce your risk of injury, property damage, and municipal issues. Finding the right contractor for your specific needs is key.

How to Search for the Right Contractor

Looking to make some home improvements with the help of a trusted contractor? It’s important to find the best person for the job.

These are just some of the steps you should take to ensure a good outcome:

Read Online Reviews

The first step in finding the right contractor is to conduct research online. Google and Facebook, plus local directories, are a solid place to start. You can also seek recommendations from friends and neighbors. The best reviews, after all, sometimes come via word-of-mouth.

Confirm the Contractor is Licensed and Insured

This may sound like a given, but homeowners must make sure their contractors have the appropriate licensing and insurance. A reputable contractor will have the licenses and insurance coverage they need to protect both parties in the event of an incident.

Review the Contractor’s Past Work

It’s always a good idea to look at a professional’s portfolio of work. This will give you insight into the quality and style of their past projects. Plus, if you decide to hire the contractor, you’ll feel better knowing they’ve completed jobs that are similar to yours.

Evaluate How the Contractor Communicates

Responsiveness and professionalism are important factors in any home improvement project. Communication plays a key role in this. A reliable contractor should be open to discussing the scope of work, answering questions, and providing regular updates.

Request a Written Estimate

The highest-rated contractors in your area will share detailed written estimates with potential clients. Before you commit to the project, make sure their quote includes an itemized breakdown of costs and timelines. This is crucial for transparency and preventing misunderstandings.

By taking the time to vet potential contractors, you can hire the best professional for the job. Keep in mind that for most people, successful home renovations involve a blend of hired and DIY projects.

Trust U-Box for Your Next Home DIY Project

If you are thinking of starting a home renovation project, look no further than a U-Box container. These secure moving and storage containers can be kept right on your property during renovations.

Here at U-Haul, our goal is to offer a stress-free moving, staging, and storing experience—each and every time. With our portable storage containers, we deliver convenience right to your doorstep. You can pack and store at your own pace. Our reliable drivers will transport your U-Box container to and from your residence on the exact days of your choosing. We will even coordinate with local movers via Moving Help to help you pack, stage, or unload.

Get started today and try U-Haul's U-Box service to make your next home DIY project as seamless as possible. Learn more about U-Box container delivery options, and reach out for a fast, accurate quote.