5 Home Improvements Every Homeowner Should Know How to Do

Doing work on your house can be extremely satisfying. But it can also be extremely intimidating if you don't know where to start. We asked first time homeowners what is the one repair they thought every homeowner should know how to do. Here's what they said. 

Cleaning the gutters

"Gutters are a lifesaver because they direct the water away from your house. That protects your foundation and keeps you from getting bare patches on the ground where there would normally be a strong runoff. YOu can also use them to install a rain barrel and collect water for the garden, which cut our bill way down in the summer months. But when the gutters get clogged they're not doing their job and they're in danger of breaking. It's definitely a gross chore, but it's so worth it."

-Kelly P.  

Turn off utilities

"It's not exactly a home improvement, but there are a lot of small electrical and plumbing projects that you can't do unless you know how to turn off the utilities. We learned about this the hard way with our first house. We had a pipe burst and no idea how to turn off the water. Fifteen minutes and lots of money later, I learned my lesson. It was the first question I asked our home inspector when we bought our second house."

-Justin L.

Installing a new thermostat

"I'm pretty confident when it comes to home repairs and what I don't know I can always learn on YouTube. I tell all my friends to learn how to install a new thermostat when they get a new house. It's pretty easy and it means they can switch out to a programmable or smart thermostat to help make their home more energy efficient."

-Jacob S. 


"I have a notorious black thumb. I've killed succulents, cacti, I even killed an air plant, which I was told was impossible. When I decided it was time to stop renting and buy a place, I was really concerned about my curb appeal. I mean, no one wants to be the new neighbor with the dead lawn that looks like it belongs in a horror movie. So I asked our local extension office what plants were native to our region and then went online and researched the heck out of them. So far I've been able to keep them alive and I even had a neighbor compliment me on my yard last month!"

-Jackie F.


"Painting is a serious skill. I used to hire someone every time I wanted to change a room around (which was a lot). They did a terrific job, but I started to think about all the money I could save if I did it myself, so I started to learn. You have to be really meticulous to be sure your lines are straight, the coats are even, and you're not making a mess. Once I got the hang of it, it was actually kind of meditative."

-Megan M.

Need more helpful tips and pointers? Take care of the indoors at your new place with these handy tips.