Home improvement touches

When we think of do-it-yourself, or DIY, most people don’t think of starting projects in winter. No doubt Australia will be facing another hot summer in the coming few months. For a lot of homeowners, now is the perfect time to take care of those minor maintenance and repair projects that remain on the to-do list.

While there are probably a lot of things that could do with some improvement touches, it’s a well known fact that there is a certain amount of pride in every task that gets marked off the list. As a wise man said once, ‘a man’s home is his castle’. In that same manner it’s important to look after your castle and give it the TLC it needs to stay both a home and castle. The following are some suggestions to help homeowners get started on making a difference with their own DIY approach that is also often rewarded with value-adding to the home.


Last year saw the beginnings of a work of art. The new deck your missus always wanted was left unfinished with the promise that next year it will be finished off. Well, it is time to make good on that promise. Assessing the treated wood needed to complete the deck, along with the thinner boards for the white picket fence will not require as much out-of-pocket expense as you had formerly imagined. In fact, with a level in one hand, and a solid plan of action in the other, you are certain this home improvement will be finished in a jiffy.

Leaky Water

You have been noticing some water leakage issues from one faucet to the next. Heading outside, you decide to turn the main shutoff valve off to check to see if the problem persists. To your surprise it does. This seems to indicate that it is time to replace the old gate style main shutoff valve with a ball valve to better ensure that you do not get an outrageous water bill and to cut water waste during the hot Australian summer. It is important to also test the street valve to make sure it opens and closes easily. If not, you may have to change that valve also. Either way, this is not as complicated as it may sound; you just need to arm yourself with a wrench, some flange table info, and a helpful instructional video to do it.

Front Door

Though it may not seem like a major fix, the front door is dark, dingy and in disrepair. Fortunately by replacing it with a brighter-coloured metal door, you will be able to make the front of your home look more inviting to guests and more difficult to break into for thieves. Generally, it is pretty simple to measure your door frame to get the right sized replacement door, and to install a couple of dead bolts to prevent anyone from being able to easily kick in the door. Once the new door is installed, you and your family will be able to sleep better knowing that your front door is far more secure, and for the right property type a new front door can also add perceived value to the property.


At the centre of your driveway is a humongous oil stain. That stain seems to have been there for as long as anyone can remember. Fortunately, with the right chemical cleaners, this simple DIY task can improve the street appeal of the property, by making the driveway appear newer and nicer. Since many chemical products used to clean up oil stains can be pungent, it is important to remember to wear all the necessary protective gear before getting started. You will also want to make sure there are no children around when you begin working on the oil stain. The last thing you want is for someone to get hurt! As always with DIY; safety first, for yourself and for others.


If you’ve noticed that the old wooden steps leading into the house are worn out, this could be not only an eyesore, but an accident waiting to happen. Instead of replacing the steps with more wooden steps, you could decide to replace them by pouring a set of concrete steps instead as a DIY project. Constructing a form and mixing your concrete, you are ready to start forming the steps. Once the concrete has been poured, you level out the cement so that it is nice and smooth as it dries. The result are studier and oftentimes nicer-appearing steps up to the property’s entrance, which can again help improve kerbside appeal and add value.


One by one the repairs and home improvements you make, will make it look like a whole new home and a castle in its true form. If these little home improvement projects end up increasing the appraised value of your home then it was certainly worth all the effort put into the repair work. What is most satisfying however, is that you know the work was done right, because you did it yourself.