Hear that noise? It’s the sound of your weekend draining away! Somehow, those brief 48 hours never seem long enough—especially when you have a bunch of home improvement projects cluttering up your weekend to-do list. Spending all day at the home improvement store, watching a bunch of nonsensical YouTube videos, just to call a contractor in the end anyway? Not exactly our idea of fun!
DIY isn’t always a weekend timesuck, though—you just have to work smarter, not longer. Take these genius home improvement projects, for instance. They have all the perks of a large, leisure-gobbling job: you’ll get a more beautiful, well-maintained home and the sense of accomplishment that goes along with it. You just won’t have to forfeit your whole Saturday to do it! Professional-style home improvement in 60 minutes or less? Here are 20 projects that are our go-tos for a quick fixer-upper.
Clean Your Refrigerator’s Condenser Coils
When was the last time you looked behind you refrigerator? Thought so. Don’t worry, you’re definitely not alone. Cleaning the fridge coils isn’t a glamorous job by any means, but it can improve your refrigerator’s energy efficiency by up to 30 percent and makes it last a lot longer, too, so it’s definitely worth it. Here’s how to get it done fast, from the appropriately named WeekendWorkbench.
Clean Your Range Hood Filter
While you’re at it, you might want to have a look at your range hood filter as well. This guy sits underneath your range hood, with the sole purpose of collecting excess grease, smoke, odors that drift up as you cook. Needless to say, it gets pretty filthy after a while, but nothing that a little baking soda and some determination can’t handle. Get the full instructions from The Kitchn here.
Paint the Front Door
The beauty of this fix lies in its simplicity. A couple coats of paint in a bright, eye-popping color is enough to take your entryways into next-level curb appeal. This is also a great time to finally use that paint leftover from redoing the kids’ rooms. Pick a strong, bold choice like brilliant red, stately navy or eclectic turquoise to put your own unique spin on your front-door decor.
Touch Up Your Baseboards
Baseboards tend to get passed over for the more decorative parts of your home, but the truth is, tiny touches like these easily make or break its overall aura of sophistication. And from their spot on the floor, where they’re subject to grime, dust, and dings, chances are your baseboards could probably use some love. There are lots of simple fixes for any kind of baseboard damage your feet, furniture or pets can come up with. If you just need to cover up a few marks or paint chips, a quick paint touch up will do the job. For gouges and scratches, you can either follow this tip from YouTuber AdamDIY and fill the damaged places with joint compound or replace a small section using this guide from The DIY Network. Either way, it will be well worth the sixty minutes you spend on it.
Switch Out the Hardware on Your Cabinets
This is another place where a small change gets you big-time bang for your decor buck (and effort!). Cabinet handles and drawer pulls often become grimy from years of use, so switching them out with shiny new hardware offers a lightning-quick fix for that problem—while allowing you to modernize outdated kitchen accents at the same time. We recommend oil-rubbed bronze bar pulls, or splurge for a set of glass or ceramic knobs that will really stand out. It’s the closest thing you’ll get to a kitchen remodel in less than an hour.
DIY a Concrete Firebowl or Planter
Concrete planters and tabletop firebowls have a super modern look that makes your exteriors sing! But they’re also pretty expensive, especially when you consider how easy it is to DIY one for yourself. Get the 411 on this stylish project from DIY Creators here.
Fix a Slow-Draining Sink
A slow draining sink isn’t just annoying, it’s also a lightning rod for stains and soap scum. And it’s only a matter of time until it becomes clogged, which often means a much more time-intensive repair. There are a couple of different ways to handle a slow sink: you can go with the traditional chemical drain cleaner, or a less abrasive alternative, such as baking soda mixed with vinegar. Or try one of the more drastic measures detailed here by The Spruce. No plumbing equipment necessary!
Install a New Faucet
This one will make you feel like a bonafide Bob Vila. Replacing a sink faucet is actually not all that complicated and can have a huge impact on your kitchen and bathroom decor. Goodbye rust, hello stainless steel! Lowes explains what you need to know.
Fix a Running Toilet
A running toilet is annoying, sure, particularly when it happens at three in the morning. But it also wastes gallons of water too: not great for your utility bills. Luckily, though, it’s a pretty simple fix, as long as you’re willing to get your hands wet. About 90% of the time, running toilets result from a problem with the flapper chain or the flapper itself, which has the job of creating a seal between the tank and the bowl. Replacing either piece is a cinch. Homeowner Series on YouTube elaborates.
Flush Your AC Drain Line
ACs are pretty miraculous little pieces of machinery, when you think about it. But just like many of our most ingenious contraptions, they do require a little maintenance from time-to-time to keep working in all their wondrous cooling glory. Beyond basic filter upkeep, you need to pay a little attention to your AC’s condensation drain line every so often. The line, which typically sits at the back of your outside unit, has the job of carrying humidity out of your home and depositing it outside as condensation. Algae and mildew can collect here eventually, which may clog the line if you’re not careful. A bad clog can shut your whole system down. Flushing the line occasionally with water and bleach or vinegar can make all the difference—and prevent you from spending a night without AC. More on drain line cleaning here, from Today’s Homeowner.
Install a Rustic Beam Mantle
Fireplace looking a little more busted than rustic? A mantle is a great way to inspire a warm, cozy feeling in your living room—but there’s a fine line between quaint and antiquated. Give yours an updated Brooklyn rustic charm with this DIY beam mantle that you can have finished well before dinner. Full instructions available from Addicted2Decorating.
Hang Pretty Outdoor Curtains
What could be more relaxing than a lazy Sunday morning spent reading the paper on the porch? That is, if the glare doesn’t get to you first! Solve that problem for once and all with this unique and charming solution that’s as easy to install as it is on the eyes! Houzz provides some design ideas to get you inspired.
Make a Spa-Worthy Riverstone Bath Mat
Nothing washes away the stresses of the week like a long soak in the bath. To make yours extra marvelous, some spa touches are essential, like plush towels, scented candles, and this DIY bathmat you can make with some contact cement and 60 minutes’ worth of elbow grease. Find out more on Curbly.
Create a DIY Open Cabinet System
Super-trendy cabinets are just a few minutes away with this clever kitchen hack. In this stylish version from Better Homes & Gardens, trim added to the edges covers hinge holes and gives your cabinets a neat, professional look. And it will probably inspire you to finally clean out your cabinets. Bonus!
Powerwash Your Driveway
Does anything make you feel more powerful than blasting away dirt with a pressure washer? Sixty minutes spent wielding one of these babies will not only make you feel like a home superhero, they also bring the “like new” luster to cement walkways and drives. Take that, grime!
Create a Peel-and-Stick Faux Wood Plank Backsplash
Don’t you just love a good kitchen backsplash? Wood planks, newly in vogue, offer a game-changing backdrop for your kitchen counters. And with peel-and-stick flooring, they take literally no time to get up on the wall. Now that is the kind of backsplash revamp we can really get behind!
Weatherproof Your Doors
Air infiltration and heating and cooling leaks through doors make homes infinitely less comfortable and energy efficient. Even a gap as small as an ⅛ of an inch makes a difference—This Old House says it’s about equivalent to the air allowed in by a 5 ½-inch hole in the wall. With weatherstripping and a door sweep, you can stop phantom drafts in winter and lower your energy bills all year long. Here’s how.
Update Your House Numbers
Your home’s house numbers are sort of the like the font on your business cards: a small chance to add a touch of personality to an otherwise perfunctory feature. We particularly love stainless steel numbers in a classic mid-century font for a doorway that’s a part Wes Anderson and 100% charming. Nothing could be easier!
Wash Your Windows
You don’t even realize how dirty your home’s windows have gotten until you start cleaning them. The difference in visibility gives you a whole new outlook on life—literally! This usually-daunting task becomes simple with the right tools. This Old House explains how to use a strip applicator and squeegee to make window cleaning a cinch.
Sharpen Your Lawnmower Blades
This is one of those “spend time now to save time later” kinds of jobs. Sharpening blades twice a mowing season is an awesome shortcut, since dull blades can add serious drag to your mowing time. Once you nail this technique, it only takes about 10 minutes—and makes you feel like a serious pro around the lawn. More on that here, from The Family Handyman.
Only one last thing to consider: now that you’ve got your weekend chores lined up, what are you going to do with all the extra free time?