10 DIY-Doable Projects for Apartment Renters

If you are a renter—especially in a crowded, noisy city—make your life and abode more enjoyable by completing a few of these affordable do-it-yourself projects.

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  1. Home Sweet Home


    When you move into a big city apartment rental, it's usually a bit broken in. Your two-bedroom is not likely to come with any luxury condominium-esque appointments. The truth is that you're lucky if the light bulbs are new and the walls have gotten a slapdash paint job. In other words, the average apartment lends itself very well to DIY projects of all kinds. Click through to see ten that will get you off to a great start!


  2. Give Your Bed a Canopy


    You don't have to be royalty to outfit your king-size bed with a stylish canopy. Many regular Joes have adorned their bunks with majestic drapes—you can, too. The quick, easy, and cheap way simply involves wall hooks and bed sheets.


  3. Wall-Mount Your TV


    You finally own a futuristic flat-screen TV. It could hang on the wall, but you lazily decide to place it on a stand. What’s the matter with you? Mounting a television isn't hard. (I'll bet yours even came with wall brackets.) So whip out your toolbox, summon your roommate for assistance, and witness your shabby living room becoming a five-star lounge.


  4. Put Up a Shelf


    Why keep the state championship trophies you won during your college football days hidden away in cardboard boxes? Because there's no space left on your dressers? Instead of buying a free-standing shelving unit, try putting up a few shelves. With only brackets, nails, and a hammer, you can make yesterday’s glory part of your apartment decor today.


  5. Upgrade Your Shower Head


    Does your shower head deliver water with the feeble force of a spray bottle? Well, that's not very refreshing. Give your body the equivalent of a power wash: Install an adjustable shower head with multiple settings. If you have a choice, go for a model that is handheld so that you can splash those tough-to-reach areas with no difficulty.


  6. Install a Dimmer Switch


    How can you achieve the ideal lighting subtleties for romantic dinners, cocktail parties, and movie nights in your ten-by-ten-foot living space? Simple. Install a dimmer switch. And don't worry—doing it yourself doesn't require membership to the electricians' union. Besides a careful, cautious approach, all you need to begin setting the mood is a screwdriver.


  7. Replace the Doorknobs


    Midas never got around to touching the inelegant steel doorknobs in your apartment—and apparently neither did the locksmith—because none of them actually locks properly. Swap in new knobs. They’ll give your apartment a freshly renovated feel, and you’ll never again have to worry about your nosy roommate rummaging through your possessions.


  8. Patch Up That Hole


    There’s one thing your real estate agent forgot to mention. The previous tenant had a really bad anger management problem, and that’s why your bedroom has a hole in the wall. Don't hide the damage behind a mini palm tree! With scrap drywall and some miscellaneous tools, you can easily patch the wall and introduce some peace and quiet. 


  9. Regrout Your Bathroom


    Cracks in bathroom grout can lead to such undesirable things as cockroaches, mold, and complaints about leaks from your neighbors in the apartment below. You could wait six months for the landlord to show up with sealant, but another option is to take the initiative and re-grout the tub and tile all by yourself. Your neighbors will thank you!


  10. Put Up a Pull Up


    Chin-ups and pull-ups are great all-around exercises that work the shoulders, chest, back, biceps, triceps and abs. Be wary of storebought contraptions that latch onto door frames; these can damage the wood. Buy or make a basic bar that screws into the door frame. Train for a couple of weeks, then show off your DIY muscles at the beach.


  11. Soundproof Your Windows


    City living can be noisy. Unless you wrap your apartment in a chromium steel, vacuum-sealed enclosure similar to the International Space Station, you won't ever block out the racket completely. Thankfully, you can turn the volume way down by soundproofing the windows, either by hanging heavy drapes or by installing interior storm windows.


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