If you’re hopeless with a hammer, you might watch shows like “This Old House” with mingled emotions. In your mind, you construct gazebos fit for the next royal wedding. In reality, the birdhouse you built-in seventh grade didn’t even earn a participation prize. Regardless of past failings, don’t give up on your dreams.

The trick to mastering any new skill is to start small and take things step by step. The following five simple DIY projects will empower you to build your DIY experience and set you on the path to competency.

  • 1. Build Some Shelves

Do you have assorted items piled on floors and tabletops? You don’t have to wait until your home needs substantial renovations to clear the clutter. Tame that tiger of a mess by installing shelves to hold knickknacks, family photographs, books, and houseplants. This simple DIY project is the ideal way to cut your teeth.

A simple way to master this process is to start by using a pegboard as a backdrop. All you need are a level, a hammer and nails, a few pegboard pieces, pegs and lightweight wood for shelving. Once you mount the material on the wall, you have the ideal surface for placing your mail as you enter your house. You can also add a hook for your keys.

Once you master the basics, you can move on to more advanced techniques, such as lag bolts to attach thick industrial pipe pieces. Once topped with appropriate shelving, these beauties can handle a heavy load — like that stack of law school books.

  • 2. Change Your Filters and Detector Batteries

Repairing or replacing your HVAC system can cost you thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, many homeowners neglect one of the handiest ways to keep their heater and AC running at peak performance — changing the filter. You can learn how to do this by watching educational videos online. The process takes minimal time to produce maximum savings and efficiency.

You love your family, and you want to keep them safe. One of the best ways to do so is to keep the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors fresh and functional. Fortunately, this process likewise takes seconds to perform. Why not schedule your filter and battery check monthly when you pay your mortgage to make it a snap to remember?

man nailing a board

  • 3. Caulk Your Windows and Weatherstrip Your Doors

When you sit by your front window on a winter’s day, do you catch a chill in your bones? If you do, it’s time to make acquaintances with a caulk gun. You’ll find a variety of types at your hardware store — ask an associate which one they recommend for the job at hand. Follow all instructions, including cleaning the area before applying.

Another frequently seen home energy vampire is your front door. Cracks between the frame and slab let heat escape — and insects enter. You can find weather stripping at any hardware store. You’ll likely spend less than $20 on material, and the application process takes minutes. You’ll nearly pay yourself back in one electric bill. 

  • 4. Construct a Deck or Patio

While this project might sound intimidating, constructing a deck or a patio doesn’t require extensive expertise. It will let you build your DIY experience in cutting wood and pouring concrete.

If you decide to go with a deck, you may want to start with a ground-based model rather than trying a tricky balcony. Your first step will involve attaching the ledger, which is the baseboard connecting your structure to your home. After that, you’ll tend to the footers and joists before laying the boards across the top.

When building patios, prepare to get yourself dirty. You’ll need to do considerable digging, and you might want to rent an excavator to tamp the ground flat. Ensure you take the vital step of protecting this area from insects before laying gravel, pouring concrete or inserting pavers. Once constructed, you’ll have a more challenging time with extermination.

man drawing plans

  • 5. Create a Compost Bin for Your Garden

If you’re like many, you got into the gardening craze during the pandemic shutdowns. A simple DIY project that will save you oodles on fertilizer next growing season is to build a compost bin.

This project will build your DIY experience in combining multiple moving parts, depending on how extensive you make your structure. You’ll need an array of materials for a wood-and-wire three-bin turning model. However, you be rewarded with a spot to reduce food and yard waste, and you can bond with like-minded neighbors by offering them any extra to nourish their crops.

  • Build Your DIY Experience With These Simple Projects

The best way to build your DIY experience is to start small. The five simple DIY projects above will have you swinging that hammer like a pro in no time.


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