The advantage of owning your house is that you can truly make it your own. When you were looking at places, you probably had several ideas for redecorating, repainting, and maybe changing things here or there. Now you have the opportunity to turn all those ideas into reality, but let’s face it: do-it-yourself looks easier on television than it is in real life. Also, you’ve just spent a fair amount of money to get your house, so you’ll need to consider your budget before taking on projects. With that in mind, here are five projects most new homeowners should be able to tackle.


Nothing helps you lay claim to a space faster than repainting it the way you want it. Even if you liked the colors when you bought the place, you can make it look fresh and new with a new coat, changing the trim or accents. There’s no better time to repaint than before you get your furniture and belongings in there. Think about having different shades for different rooms, or changing the look of the doors or cabinets. This project is relatively cheap, and while you should talk to experts or watch some how-to videos to make sure you’re doing it right, just about everyone can pick up a brush or roller and make their mark.

Weatherproof Windows

Unless your house is brand-new, it’s probably been weathered through the years. It’s easy to overlook something as simple as checking the weather-stripping around windows. But good weatherproofing not only helps with the bills, but it can keep out allergens and provide subtle improvements to the look of the home. New tubes of caulk or weather-stripping are affordable, the work is quick and simple, and you’ll see an improvement right away. You should also think about other weatherproofing options, such as insulation film in colder climates.

Update Ceiling Fans and Light Fixtures

We see our light fixtures so often that they become part of the background. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t aware when they get dingy, banged up, or look old or dreary. The same is true for ceiling fans–maybe you don’t even have any in your rooms, or they’re old, make noise when they work, and don’t look all that great. While it’s possible to spend real money on these things, affordable and attractive options can be found all over the place. New fixtures in your preferred style will help you feel more at ease. As an added bonus, a good ceiling fan is a cheaper way to keep your house cool than running the AC all the time.

Make some shelves

Before assembling flatpack shelves that almost everyone has in their house, think about going for something just as functional but more interesting. There are plenty of ways to turn old wooden crates, boxes, wicker baskets, or oversized picture frames into shelves just by cleaning them up, and repainting or staining them. Reinforce sides, make sure they’re securely fastend to a wall or assembled in a solid framework and you’ve got shelves that might end up being cheaper than a standard five-shelf bookcase or cube organizer, and looks better, too.

Upgrade Showerheads and Faucets

It’s worth really looking at your bath, sink, and shower anyway. After five years, these fixtures can accumulate rust or detritus, and might need replacement. But more than that, most homes come with standard styles that really say nothing about who you are. A good showerhead or faucet can help you conserve water. Also, the right head can give you better control over how comfortable your shower is. Plus, the work usually don’t take long even if you’re inexperienced.