20 Insanely Easy 60-Minute Home Improvements

You don’t need to spend a lot of time to spruce up your home. Try these quick projects that deliver big results.

  1. Freshen Up an Old Room With Paint

    When to Paint

    Pick a bold paint color , then use it to paint just one wall in a room. Covering only one wall will cost less and won’t take as much time as painting the whole room.

    Related: 9 Paint Color Trends You Might Regret


  2. Switch Out Your Faucet

    Replacing a Faucet

    Sick of your drab, leaky faucet? If you can wield a wrench, you can easily install a new faucet. Before you start the job, turn off the water supply. Then just unscrew the connections from your old faucet and screw in your new faucet. Add an aerator, available on Amazon, and you'll lower your water bill at the same time.

    Related: 10 Plumbing Tips Everyone Needs to Know


  3. Clean Your Dryer Ducts

    Cleaning Dryer Ducts

    If your dryer doesn’t work as quickly as it used to, lint could be the culprit. Buildup not only affects efficiency, it also increases your risk of fire. To clean your ducts, first you’ll need some muscle to move your dryer away from the wall. Then you just need a vacuum. Unplug the dryer, disconnect the ductwork, and vacuum out the ducts as well as you can.

    Related: 14 Bad Habits That Could Burn Down Your House


  4. Inspect Your Electrical

    Electrical Audit

    Conduct an audit of your electrical outlets. For childproofing purposes, insert outlet covers into unused wall and power strip outlets, and secure any loose wires. For general safety, look for overloaded circuits and power cords, and adjust as necessary. Frayed cords should be replaced as should any light switch that is hot to the touch.

    Related: 10 Things Never to Plug into a Power Strip


  5. Build Raised Flowerbeds

    Building Raised Flowerbeds

    You can build an 8-foot-square garden bed in less than an hour, using eight 8-foot-long sections of pressure-treated lumber, screws, construction adhesive, and landscape adhesive. Using a saw and a drill, cut pieces to size and secure them together. Add landscape fabric, available on Amazon, to the base to prevent the growth of messy-looking weeds.

    Related: 10 Reasons You Don’t Need a Green Thumb to Have a Beautiful Garden


  6. Scrub Your Pathways

    Cleaning Decks

    Sidewalks, walkways, and driveways can become stained by wet leaves, mildew, and automotive leaks. Get rid of these eyesores with a thorough power-washing.


  7. Update Your Hardware

    Changing Cabinet Hardware

    Once you select new doorknobs or cabinet pulls, installation often requires nothing more than a screwdriver. To mount pulls on doors that never had them before, create a template to ensure that you drill your holes in the same spot each time. 

    Related: 10 Total Kitchen Makeovers—and What They Cost


  8. De-Grime Your House

    Pressure Wash Your House

    With a pressure washer, there’s no need to crawl on the roof to clean your gutters—just aim and spray. A pressure washer also cleans grime off your gutters and your vinyl siding as well. It can even be used to clean your second floor windows. Just be sure that all your windows are securely closed before you start. Many home centers have pressure washers available for rental, or you can purchase one from Amazon.


  9. Install Weatherstripping

    Installing Weatherstripping

    Weatherstripping will make your home more comfortable while ensuring that your furnace won’t have to work so hard to warm your house. Permanent weatherstripping, which has adhesive, is recommended around doors and windows that are opened throughout the season. For windows that will stay shut until spring, consider temporary weather seals or sealant that peels off when it’s no longer needed.

    Related: The 50 Best Products for Surviving Winter


  10. Replace Your Furnace Filter

    Replacing a Furnace Filter

    To improve air quality as well as furnace efficiency, check your furnace filters for dirt monthly and change them at least every three months. A new filter will substantially reduce the number of airborne dust particles. If you have allergies, you might want to invest in a better filter. Replacement is a cinch. Just swap the old one for a new one, and you’re done.

    Related: 6 Signs You Need a New Furnace


  11. Drain Your Water Heater

    Draining Your Water Heater

    Water contains sediment that can collect at the bottom of your water heater. These particles create insulation over time that forces your heater to work harder when it's generating hot water for your shower. The extra temperature stresses the metal, causing leaks. To counteract the sediment buildup, simply drain a quart of water from your hot water heater once every three months. Check your owner’s manual for instructions.

    Related: 7 Health Hazards Lurking in Your Basement


  12. Install a Programmable Thermostat

    Installing a Thermostat

    If your home is one of the millions in America that still has an old-fashioned dial thermostat, it’s time to switch. Programmable thermostats, like this one from Honeywell, allow you to automatically vary the temperature in your home throughout the day. They're easy to install and relatively affordable. To experience the joy of waking up to a warm bedroom while still saving money on your heating bill, all you need is a screwdriver, drill, and (possibly) touch-up paint.


  13. Switch Your Switch Plate Covers

    Wallpaper Switch Plate Cover

    Replace boring beige switch covers with something more decorative. There are lots of options that can be purchased online ranging from antique brass to modern plastic options imprinted with vibrant graphics. Or, you can let your creativity run wild (and save money) by covering your existing switch plates with decorative wallpaper, duct tape or fabric, by using decoupage, or by simply spray painting them a striking color.


  14. Shampoo Your Rugs

    How to Shampoo Carpet

    Enlist a few family members to move the stuff out of the way, then rent a home shampooer to bring your carpets back to life. Most industrial machines take less than 20 minutes to do a room so in an hour, you could have three rooms of freshly shampooed carpets. You're going to be surprised how much brighter your carpets will look… and how dirty that water will be!

    Related: How to Get Rid of Every Carpet Stain


  15. Install Lamp Dimmers

    Rustic Table Lamp

    Nothing says “designer home” like soft and warm ambient lighting. But you don’t have to spend a fortune on track or recessed lighting. Instead, turn any lamp into your home into mood lighting by installing a dimmer cord, like this one available on Amazon. Simply plug the cord into the wall, then the lamp into the other side of the plug. Use the slide switch to get the lighting just right, every time.

    Related: 8 Common Lighting Mistakes Almost Everyone Makes


  16. Start a Compost Pile

    Compost Pile

    Just because you don’t eat it doesn’t mean your garden won’t! Turn your left over food into a rich and nutritious meal for your plants with very little effort by starting a compost pile . You'll save money on mulch, avoid scary gardening chemicals, and end up with a heap of rich soil. Don’t have a yard? Look into a plastic kitchen composter to give houseplants fertile dirt.

    Related: Composting 101: What You Should and Shouldn’t Compost


  17. Create a Chalkboard

    DIY Chalkboard

    Thanks to chalkboard paint and chalkboard contact paper, available on Amazon, you can pretty much create a write-on surface anywhere your imagination takes you. Consider painting the inset panels on doors to leave notes for the kids, or transform the insides of your cabinet doors into message central. Cut contact paper into unique shapes, apply to fridge and you won’t need post-it notes anymore!


  18. Apply Window Film

    Kitchen Window Film

    Do you have a window that has an unattractive view or one that needs to give you a little more privacy? If so, consider covering them with window film, like this option from Amazon. Window films come in a variety of opacities and patterns that mimic everything from etched glass to rice paper. The work requires precision, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be zipping along in no time!


  19. Transform a Floor With Vinyl Tiles

    Cozy Living Room

    If you’ve got an unattractive concrete or old wooden floor in your home, you can give it a new lease on life with peel-and-stick vinyl tiles, such as these from Amazon. Today’s vinyl has come a long way from the ancient linoleum in your grandparents’ house. Now it’s available in patterns that resemble stone, wood or even metal. You’ll be amazed at how good it looks and how fast it goes down!


  20. Stop the Squeaks!

    How to Fix Squeaky Floors

    If you live in an older home, chances are good that you have doors and floors that squeak. You can restore your peace and quiet quickly and cheaply in under an hour. For squeaky door hinges, all it should take is a short squirt of WD-40, which you can purchase on Amazon. To stop the floors from creaking, simply sprinkle some talcum powder on them and sweep it into the cracks. There—the sweet sound of silence!

    Related: 7 House Sounds You Never Want to Ignore


  21. Power Hour

    Power Hour

    You can really make your home more livable in an hour or less.


  22. See the House of the Week


    Discover and admire beautiful and innovative home architecture, from grand Victorians to quaint cabins and all the styles in between. Take a look at the latest images and inspiration!