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Home Improvement Projects to Fit Your Schedule

Ten years ago, you moved into an older house and loved it. Now, you’re itching to get rid of the brass fixtures and flowery decals on your kitchen cabinet handles. 

If you’re handy with a paint roller (or a phone to call a professional), you may be able to update your home’s aesthetic with a few quick home improvement projects.

One-Hour Wonders

When you’ve got an hour or less to spare, consider one of these fast fixes:

  • If the plain-Jane tile in your bathroom is giving you the blahs, tile decals like Tile Tattoos® or TileStix™ can provide an instant makeover. In less than five minutes, you can apply a water-resistant and removable vinyl tile decal. Cost varies by design, manufacturer and retailer, but a set of six tile decals typically costs less than $20.
  • Upgrade your home for today’s technology. For those skilled in electrical work, all it takes is about 15 minutes, a screwdriver and a $25 replacement part to replace an existing electrical outlet with an electrical-plus-USB charging hub. If you need an electrician to do the install, factor in area labor.
  • Replacing cabinet hardware in your bathroom or kitchen can provide these high-traffic spaces with updated style. Most cabinet hardware detaches and attaches with a screwdriver, but using a cordless drill or screw gun will make the project go much faster, as will selecting new hardware that’s configured with the same hole spacing as previous pieces. A five- to 10-minute average time investment for each handle, pull or hinge could be all that’s required for some jobs.

A New Attitude in an Afternoon

If you’ve got a few hours of time to invest, consider one of these projects.

  • Install high-speed Ethernet. A hard-wired, high-speed Ethernet connection can offer the speed you want if your current connection isn’t making the grade when it comes to streaming video to a television or playing head-to-head online video games. Mix and match wired with wireless service to accommodate laptops and mobile technology. Contact your Internet provider about this upgrade.
  • Spruce up your front entry. Replacing or re-painting the light fixtures, house numbers and door can give your home instant curb appeal. While you’re at it, replacing the door hardware (including the knob, lock and lock strike plate—typically sold as a set), doorbell, door knocker, and peephole can add updated detail, too. The cost varies, depending on your hardware choices, but the results can be worth the expense for a fresh new look. 

Weekend Wizard

Got a weekend to spare? DIY decorator Jenna LaFevor from RainOnATinRoof.com suggests painting kitchen cabinets if you’re looking for a project with a big impact and have a couple of days to commit. 

“You just need sandpaper, paint and a poly-acrylic sealant of your choice, which should cost between $50 to $100,” LaFevor says. “Give the cabinet a light sanding, paint it, and after the paint dries, cover with a polyurethane finish. Many people are painting cabinets white for a classic look, but some are selecting light gray with black hardware for an old feel balanced with a modern approach.” 

For LaFevor, who dedicated an entire summer to working alongside her husband to complete remodeling projects in their fixer-upper, the benefits of DIY home improvement exceed financial. 

“You save money,” she says, “but one of the biggest rewards is when people come into my home and say, ‘I love this—where did you get it?’ When I tell them I did it, they’re surprised. When you do it yourself, you take extra pride in your home.” 

A First Tennessee Home Equity Line of Credit offers qualified borrowers a convenient way to invest in fast fixes for their homes. Learn more from our Home Equity section.


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