construction in quarantine? easy DIY projects you can tackle now
By: Liz Froment
While the "stay at home" restrictions have been lifted, some are still spending more time than usual at home. If you've had a list of home DIY projects on the back burner, now is the perfect time to tackle them.
Easy DIY Projects
Social distancing doesn't mean you can't be productive around the home. Now's the chance to support your local shop and order supplies for your projects. Many offer curbside pickup or will drop your goods right into your trunk—all at a safe distance.
Walls need freshening up? A paint job is a fun, easy task to tackle. You can start on a small project like making a chalkboard wall in the kids playroom or finally getting rid of those lime green bathroom walls you enjoyed for about five minutes 10 years ago.
Get out in the sun! Gardening is a great backyard project, even with limited outdoor space. If you don't want to dig and worry about hitting underground utilities, try a raised bed. For apartment dwellers, work on a little herb garden—think mint, basil, parsley—to freshen up your kitchen.
Staying home means there's plenty of extra time for reading. So why not try a light building project and install a few shelving units to display all your books and trinkets? Plus, a beautiful display of perfectly hung shelves makes for an enviable virtual background during your conference calls.
Speaking of backgrounds, why not frame and hang some of those posters you have rolled up under the couch? Utilize the blank wall behind your couch and turn it into a gallery. Plan out and measure the space, then create a wall full of your favorite images.
Another area of your life that might be desperate for some organization is your closet. You can add extra shelving and racks to better store, stack and access your clothes. You might also want to use this time to go through your clothes and see what's old and doesn't fit—some of it you can donate or give away at area drop boxes.
When you're done making your own masks, put your sewing skills to further use. It doesn't take much fabric to make new pillows or reupholster the seat of your favorite chair. If you have more time and skill, tackle a new set of drapes for your living room.
Call in the Experts and Stay Safe
Of course, there are some projects that might be a bit too much for you to handle. And the last thing you want to do is accidentally cut a line, put a hole in the roof or encounter any other problem that may impact your homeowner insurance.
Unsure if your DIY project is really DIY? Then it's best to put it on hold until life returns to normal.
Best Practices for Social Distancing During Home-Repair Calls
However, the need for home repairs never takes time off—a burst pipe or broken dishwasher means you'll have to call in the experts to help.
In a time where social distancing is essential, having someone in your home can cause extra stress. How can you best prepare? Here are a handful of tips:
Give as much information as you can about the problem over the phone.
Confirm if the company provides proper safety precautions, such as masks for its repair people, and if you can pay online or over the phone.
Have any conversations with the repair person outside from at least six feet apart, if possible, or on the phone before they enter your home.
Have a clear path to the area they will be working and pre-clean it to ensure the area is safe for them.
Keep a distance while repairs are going on in your home. You might also feel more comfortable wearing a mask, too.
Once finished, wipe down and disinfect the area. Be sure to wash your hands, before they come in and once they leave.
Remember, in times like these, it never hurts to take extra precautions to ensure everyone stays safe and healthy.
Liz Froment is a content marketing writer and strategist with a focus towards insurance, real estate and finance.