Home Improvement

DIY Apartment Projects to Make Your Newly Purchased Apartment a Unique Space


Not everyone is interested in owning a house and having to take on all of the yard work, roof maintenance, and other tasks associated with that kind of real estate. The ideal solution for some people is to purchase an apartment and set about making it into a unique space. Many want to improve their space with DIY apartment projects to make it somewhat different from the other apartments in the building.

If you find that the latter option is a good fit for you, there are all sorts of ways you can update the newly purchased space and make your apartment unique. Here are some DIY apartment projects that will help you begin formulating a plan.


Benefits of DIY Apartment Projects

You don’t have to be some sort of creative genius to succeed with DIY apartment projects. The following projects are simple, cost-effective, and will make your new apartment home. These improvements help you to make your apartment perfect. Here are some of the best DIY apartment projects that you can do to create the perfect apartment for you.


Changing the Floors

When you purchased the apartment, all the floors were carpeted with the exception of the kitchen and the bathroom. While you have nothing against carpeting, it would be nice to go with something different. There are three different DIY apartment projects that you could use throughout the apartment or even mix and match to suit your tastes.

One strategy is to rip up the carpeting and install wood veneer over the existing floor. Wood veneer comes in many different shades and styles. That makes it easier for you to choose something that’s in line with your vision for the space. Some of the perks associated with installing veneer are that the project won’t take that long to complete, upkeep and maintenance is a snap, and you can expect the flooring to last much longer than the standard wall to wall carpeting.

Another way to go is to install vinyl flooring throughout your space. The nice thing about vinyl flooring options today is that they can take on just about any look you want. Does the idea of having what appears to be a marble floor in the dining room sound appealing? What about a living room floor that appears to be a mosaic made with a mixture of stones? You can have these looks and many others by choosing vinyl as your floor covering of choice.

Don’t overlook the possibility of making the best out of whatever is lurking under the carpeting. Once it’s pulled up, you may find that there are already hardwood floors in place. Have them cleaned thoroughly before you decide if they need to be refinished. While there may be some imperfections, those little nicks could add character to the place and fit right in with your decorating vision. If so, then all you need to do is have an expert apply some type of protective coating to the newly cleaned wood and it will be time to bring in the furnishings and accessories.

These three DIY apartment projects can help you find the perfect flooring for your new apartment, and create a space that is truly yours.


Doing Something About the Windows

While you are not a hundred percent happy with the condition of the windows, the cost of replacing them seems prohibitive. Before deciding you’ll have to live with what’s in place, consider these DIY apartment projects.

Have you considered the idea of installing what’s known as retrofitted windows?

There are a couple of reasons why retrofitted windows for your apartment makes a lot of sense. One has to do with the ease of installation. Unlike investing in replacement windows, the retrofit design makes use of the existing window frame. That means there’s no need to rip out the frame and possibly some of the interior and exterior wall materials in the process. Instead, the windows are designed with what’s known as a Z-bar. That bar helps to fill in any tiny gaps between the existing frame and the actual window. Once the window is fitted in position, a few screws and a little caulking is all that’s needed to finish the job.

Another benefit of retrofit windows is that the cost of purchase and installation will fit into your budget easily. Depending on the size and type of windows you want, the difference in overall cost could be as much as 50%. Think of the other DIY apartment projects you could do with the money you save on the window project!


Softening the Look of the Walls

The neutral color of the walls does make it easier to go with just about any type of furniture, but you would like something that’s a little more visually interesting. Using darker colors like jewel tones is not what you have in mind, but adding some color would be nice. You can accomplish this by utilizing a method that was all the rage a few decades ago but doesn’t receive as much attention today.

All you need is a gallon of paint in a color you like, a little water, and some old rags. Mix two parts paint with one part water to make a thinner solution. Dip the rag into the paint and then begin to wipe across the existing wall color.

As you move along, it will be easy to add swirls, somewhat straight lines, or any other effect that you want. You can even bundle up the rags into a ball, dip them in the paint, and daub the wall surface if you like. The result will be a wall that has a textured look unlike anything found elsewhere. Even if a neighbor decides to use the same approach, they will never be able to come up with the same pattern you created.


Mix and Match to Your Heart’s Content

It’s easy to create a picture-perfect room by sticking with one period or one style. It takes real talent to utilize an assortment of odd pieces and come up with a space that’s visually cohesive and inviting. Instead of trying to make your room into some type of period piece, step back and have fun mixing and matching furnishings that most people would find a little out of the box.

It’s fine if the sofa is a Mediterranean style and you choose to pair it with a couple of overstuffed chairs. The styles may be different, but you will unify them with the use of color. The throw pillows on the sofa can pick up the upholstery color in the chair. Use the sofa upholstery as your inspiration for the throw pillows gracing the chairs.

These are only a few DIY apartment projects to make your apartment fit your personality and stand out from the other units in the building. Take the time to explore unique ideas about accessories, painting techniques, and even doing something with the doors and windows. Over time, with all of your DIY apartment projects, it will take on a life of its own and be everything you want it to be.

Home Improvement

Five Tips for Millennial Home Buyers Looking to Buy a House

As the Millennial Generation (or Generation Y) comes of age and begins their ascent into adulthood – with all the fun and responsibility that entails – more and more sectors find themselves at a crossroads, trying to cater to both the needs and style of Generation X and the more tech-savvy Millennial approach to life.

Millennials are generally characterized by their increased use and familiarity with social media and technology in general. They are largely marked by an increased sense of political and social liberalness. Their attitudes about life, politics, and work were profoundly influenced by the Great Recession, and while some researchers have categorized Millennials using terms like “special” and “sheltered,” others have identified them as achieving, confident, and team-oriented.

If you’re a Millennial, though, you know that the only thing that really matters to you are results. Whether it’s in your workout, at your job, or in your search for a new home, you want the best results for the time, money, and effort you put in.

Millennial home buyers looking to buy a home, heed these five tips to make the process as smooth and efficient as possible:


Have Your Finances in Order

Perhaps the most important aspect for all home buyers – not just Millennials – is to make sure you’re in a financially secure spot to purchase a home. This means not only making enough money to afford the monthly payments, but also having enough for a down payment, as well as a nest egg large enough to cover any unforeseen hiccups. Once you’re a homeowner, you will be responsible for fixing anything that breaks – unlike your time as a renter, when your landlord was responsible for the general maintenance of your home.

In addition to paying the monthly bills, you may need to invest in things like lawn mowers and lawn care equipment, shovels or a snow blower, new appliances, new carpeting, paint, and other day-today maintenance items. This means making sure your finances are in peak condition. Whether it means asking for a raise, obtaining a loan from your parents, or buying a home with your significant other, don’t run the risk of becoming house poor.



Do Your Research – On Homes and Neighborhoods

Millennials are largely a generation of information junkies. They are media and tech savvy, and know how to ferret out information that they want or need. Nowhere is this more critical for home buyers than in the home buying process. It’s easy for home buying to become an emotional process – you see a house you love, feature you love, or a park that you love and you jump, buying the property based on nothing more than that gut reaction.

But buying a home isn’t an impulse purchase, it’s a years-long (sometimes lifelong) commitment. Make sure you research neighborhoods that you’re interested in, ensuring that they’ll be a good fit not only for your life right now, but for your long-term goals as well. Make sure you also research what is important to you in a property that you’re interested in. Is it modernization? Square footage? Consider how much work you’re willing to put in – do you want a fixer-upper or a move-in ready home? Are you willing to put in the time and money for roof repairs, external painting or remodeling? Having the answers to these questions in advance of your purchase will ease the buying process.


Tap Into All Available Resources

Millennial home buyers can research all angles of the home buying process – from pre-approval to home search to mortgage and insurance acquisition – using the technology with which they have grown up, the technology through which they harness their power in the world.

Home buyers can get pre-approved for a mortgage online through one of several online mortgage quote companies. Websites like Zillow and offer ways through which home buyers can shop for, examine, consider, and even take virtual tours of homes on the market. Home insurance policies can likewise be purchased online and then digitally sent to the lender of your home loan.

Tap into all these resources – and more – as you shop for your new home. Check in with your parents and older adults you trust who may have experienced this process before so that they, too, can help you make sense of what you have read and researched. Consult your realtor to ascertain their opinions as well. The more perspectives you have, the better.



Take Your Time

In an age of immediate gratification, it’s important to take your time and consider each aspect of the home buying process. Again, don’t rush through the process because you think you’ve fallen in love with a home. Look at multiple homes for comparison’s sake, consider the homes on the market and how the price trends might help you negotiate better. Shop carefully for your mortgage, comparing rates and fees so that your payment can be as low as possible.


Hire a Real Estate Agent

Perhaps the most important thing you can do for yourself in the house hunting process is to hire a licensed real estate agent. Your agent will have the knowledge and experience and must abide by a specific ethical industry standard in helping you search for your house.

A realtor will help you decipher the research you’ve done, help you stave off your emotional responses, and will – most importantly – negotiate the best deal possible for you. They will organize and maintain all necessary paperwork and protect the home buyers interests. Their experience will bring a discerning set of eyes to your hunt, helping you look beyond aesthetics to see whether the important structural elements of the home are strong as well.

The Millennial generation is a strong, capable generation that thrives on information and both ease and speed of access in every sector of life. These can be wonderful, successful qualities, but in the case of home buying, it may be best to temper these strengths with the knowledge, savvy, and experience of your local real estate agent. Before you know it, you’ll be in the home of your dreams!