Easy home improvement ideas for DIY beginners

Family Painting Room

Spring is here. And now is the perfect time to take on simple home improvements.

Although many of us are now able to embrace the outdoors again after a long time inside, it’s still a good idea to use this season to spruce up your home. And these easy ways to improve your home are perfect motivation.

In this guide, we’ve rounded up our favourite easy DIY projects for home improvement that don’t require a large amount of experience or cash. So, you can get involved and improve your home on any budget - even if it’s your first time carrying out DIY.

These home improvement ideas can make a huge difference to your indoor life and won’t keep you away from the spring sunshine for long, either.



Paint a room a new colour

One of the easiest home improvement projects for beginners is painting.

A lick of paint can transform the look and feel of a room and offer a much-needed mood boost. To keep the cost of decorating your home low, choose a colour that complements your existing furnishings, as even a slight change of shade can bring new energies.

Here are some top tips for newbie painters:

  • Protect your flooring - To avoid ruining your carpet or hard flooring, cover your surfaces before you start. To do this, place a sheet over the floor and then use masking tape along the edge.
  • Protect your skirting boards, coving, and any other wall fixtures or features, too - Masking tape is your friend, so use it to cover the edges of any skirting boards, crown moulding, door frames, and light switches.
  • Prep the wall - Remove dirt or grease from the walls before painting to ensure the best finish.
  • Use the right tools for the job - A roller brush can help you cover over large areas, but you’ll still need smaller brushes for precision around borders.

For more helpful tips, visit Family Handyman’s helpful step by step guide on how to paint a room.

Fix doors

You can fix door problems with surprisingly quick - and cost-effective - solutions.

Some common issues and fixes for doors are:

  • Door not shutting properly - Ill-fitted latches are often the reason why your door won’t close. To identify what’s wrong, look eye-level at your door latch to see if the latch is centred on the strike plate. If it’s not, reposition it. You should also move the door latch if your door isn’t closing tightly enough.
  • Door sticking or rubbing - If your door is sticking or rubbing, check the hinges. You may notice missing or loose screws. You can fix most issues caused by hinges by tightening screws, adding longer screws, or adding a shim behind a lower hinge.
  • Squeaky door - This is also often caused by a problem with the hinges. Simply spray a lubricant like WD-40 under the top of the hinge pin, use a cloth to catch any excess dripping, and open and close the door several times to work the lubricant into the hinge.

For more detailed information on fixing these issues and more, visit Pretty Handy Girl’s guide on common door problems.



Replace outdated fixtures

Swapping old features for something new can refresh your interiors. But it doesn’t have to be expensive. Second hand can still be new to you. Search local classified adverts and social media for suitable swaps. You may be surprised how much is available at a low price - or sometimes even free.

It’s not just about saving money either. You can make money too. You could sell on some fittings for their vintage appeal, while others might have a scrap value.

Low-cost fixtures and fittings that you might want to replace include:

  • Kitchen cabinets (these can be pricey, but new doorknobs and cupboard handles can still make a noticeable difference)
  • Light fittings
  • Soft furnishings
  • Tile backsplash
  • Ceiling fans (there are stylish LED alternatives available)

Just remember if you are replacing lighting, you may need to get an electrician involved. A DIY bathroom refit may require a plumber for some parts, too. So always leave enough budget to pay professional tradespeople if necessary. If you’re thinking of hiring a tradesperson, read our home improvement article on tips of the trade here.

Create more living space

 You might be considering an extension if you want to increase your living space, but many other cheaper home projects can also give you more room, such as:

  • Spring cleaning - Decluttering can make your home feel more spacious. You may even have a ‘spare room’ that you use for storage that you could reclaim for living. And even if you can’t bear to part with your belongings, paying for storage and transforming your ‘spare room’ could be more cost-effective than an extension.
  • Adding storage solutions - Investing in smart storage solutions - or building your own - can help you keep your home tidy and maximise your space. There are ready-made solutions for almost everything nowadays - from neat jewellery stackers to space-saving spice racks - but you can also get inventive and build a custom solution to fit your home.
  • Utilising your wall space - Shelving is a great way to gain storage without taking up precious floor space. Wall mountings can also give you more room. For example, if you have a TV on a stand, you could place this on the wall instead.

If you have a garden, you can reimagine this space too. For more easy DIY inspiration for your home and garden, visit our list of DIY ideas to help pass the time.

Paint your house exterior

Kerb appeal is important to consider if you’re looking to sell your home or just impress your neighbours.

Painting easy-to-reach areas of the outside of your home is relatively simple. But you should only take on fascias and soffits if you have ladder experience and assistance. If in doubt, always ask a professional - your safety is worth the extra cost.

For more information about how to paint fascias, soffits and bargeboards, visit The Paint Shed’s exterior painting guide.

Looking to fund a larger home improvement project?

If you are thinking about larger DIY projects, you may want to consider a home improvement loan from Shawbrook to fund this.

Interested? Find out more about our home improvement loans.


All loans are subject to status, the interest rate offered will vary depending on our assessment of your financial circumstances and your chosen loan amount. Terms and conditions apply.