Surprising Home Improvements That Are Legal To Do Yourself

Rear view of loving couple standing embraced in their apartment that is renovating.
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There are a lot of home improvements that, no matter how much value they will add to your house, they’re not safe or legal to do yourself.

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However, there are a lot of upgrades you can do yourself that aren’t dangerous and well within state laws. Installing these features in your home can add thousands to the resale value, not to mention freshen up the appearance so you’re happier with your living space day to day. 

1. Putting in Crown Molding and Wall Paneling

Crown molding can add a lot of character and class to any room, and installing it is pretty easy. The same is true with wall paneling, which is quickly coming back into style. All you’ll need to do is buy the molding or paneling you want from a hardware store and have it cut to size to fit the room you’re installing it in. You can paint molding if you want a certain color, then you’ll use a nail gun to adhere it to the wall. For wall paneling, you’ll remove any fixtures from the wall, cut out holes for those fixtures in the paneling, attach the paneling to the wall with adhesive, then use finishing nails to secure it. 

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2. Changing Out Light Fixtures

Perhaps you want to replace your 70s chic lighting with something more modern. Or, you want a ceiling fan in your bedroom to make the hot summers a little easier. These are both improvements that you can do yourself without having to obtain a permit or call an electrician. Most of the time, a light fixture can be replaced by unscrewing the wires, removing the old fixture and connecting the wires to the new fixture. Installing a ceiling fan is a little more complicated, but is still something you can do yourself if you’re up for the challenge. Hardware store sites like Home Depot and Lowe’s offer step by step instructions that you can follow to take on projects like these. Not to mention, you can purchase the tools and fixtures needed right there in the online stores. 

3. Replacing Faucets

Faucets can rust and break over time, requiring immediate replacement. Conversely, sometimes the faucet just doesn’t look right with the rest of the room because it’s outdated, or you want to add a faucet for more functionality in your kitchen. Luckily, putting in new faucets is something you can with a few tools and a video tutorial. You’ll just need to be aware of how to turn off your water supply before you start working. To get started, you’ll usually just need a bucket, a wrench, a putty knife and some rags, in addition to your new faucet.

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4. Installing New Flooring

Replacing your floor might seem like an undertaking–and it can be–but it’s also something you can do without having to worry about obtaining a permit or hiring a professional. Putting in new flooring includes removing your current flooring to reveal hardwood floors, installing new flooring of any kind or installing or replacing carpet. You’ll need an array of tools to complete this task, and might need to be able to efficiently cut planks and carpeting, as well as trim door jambs. The great news about being able to DIY flooring is you can save thousands by not having to outsource to a pro.

5. Replacing a Bathtub 

Old tub bumming you out? There’s no law saying you can’t upgrade your tub. The process of removing and replacing a tub is time consuming and might take a few days, but can be made easier with a few other helping hands. Another important thing to look into before you start tearing your tub out of your bathroom is disposal. You’ll need to break up the tub with a sledgehammer or a saw if it’s made of a heavy material like steel. For other tubs, you can remove them whole and take them to a disposal center. Know exactly where you’re going to drop off your old tub before you start installing the new one. Your local recycling center is your best bet, but call beforehand to make sure they’ll accept the bathtub. 

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6. Redoing the Tile Around Your Fireplace

A revamped fireplace can brighten up a space and completely change the vibe of a room. Though installing or removing a fireplace does require a permit, you can give your fireplace a makeover without needing any legal approval. This includes adding or removing a mantel, replacing the tile, as well as building a hearth. 

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About the Author

Sam DiSalvo is an LA-based comedian, writer and actor who's performed all over the country. Her written work has appeared in numerous digital publications. As a copywriter, she's worked with a variety of major brands including GoldieBlox and Thrive Causemetics. Sam loves dogs and is currently perusing leisure suits to buy for her corgi mix, Barry

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