5 Home Projects You Can Complete in a Pandemic

by Jessica Larson

The year 2020 has been unlike any other. People have been quarantined, businesses have closed their doors, and workers who’d never worked remotely have been thrust into unfamiliar territory.

Despite so many activities being shut down, one that shows no sign of letting up is home improvement. According to statistics compiled by Hatch (a technology company that serves home improvement businesses), common Google searches related to home improvement have risen steadily since the beginning of the crisis.

It makes perfect sense. At a time when people are spending so much more time at home, many are scrutinizing their homes more closely. Even in states where businesses are shut down, home improvement stores and contractors are considered essential businesses, so there’s nothing preventing you from pursuing projects you want to get done. Many companies can safely operate with social distancing measures intact for their employees and customers.

Looking for inspiration? Here are five home projects you can complete in a pandemic.

Refresh Color on Walls

Does your paint look like it’s seen better days, or are you tired of looking at the same ugly wallpaper that came with your house when you moved in 10 years ago? If so, give these rooms a makeover with some fresh color.

  • If walls are already painted, give them a good primer cover (or, if the existing color is light or you want to use the same color, use a paint that includes primer).
  • Use a handheld steamer to remove dingy wallpaper. It’s a lot easier and faster than traditional scoring and spraying methods. You’ll likely have to do some perforation, but some kinds of wallpaper pull off easily once steamed.

Many rooms can be completed in just a few days. The end result can make your room look like an entirely new space. Then you can reimagine your décor to give it a total makeover.

Finish Your Basement

Have a spacious basement that you haven’t put to practical use? If you’re a more experienced DIY’er or a quick learner, you can wall off all or a portion of your basement to transform it into livable space.

Plan your layout and then research options or details to consider before getting to work. As part of your planning, make sure you set up a plan and time frame for acquiring a dumpster so you’ll have a place to put the debris. Dumpster rental companies are seeing a boost in business as homeowners take advantage of the home improvement opportunities while stuck in the house.

Remember to leave space for a utility room. Take into consideration any waterproofing you’ll need to do to prevent mold growth, and secure the proper permits you’ll need to do the work.

(Side note: One thing you might learn about yourself during this pandemic is that you’re pretty handy. If you’ve lost your job because of COVID-19 closures, now might be the time to start a new side hustle or business. To promote yourself, you can hand out promotional items to people in your neighborhood — especially when they walk by and gape at your gorgeous renovations.)

Plant a Garden

Want to spruce up a dull area of your yard? Even if you haven’t jumped on the crisis-inspired victory garden bandwagon, the weather and timing are still perfect to plant a summer garden. Garden style options include:

  • Creating an informal garden by planting flowers in a non-manicured way
  • Planting a vertical vegetable garden
  • Building raised vegetable or flower beds
  • Upcycling items such as tires, wooden wagon wheels, pallets, gutters, or other unused items in your basement, attic, or shed, and turning them into planters or bed borders. If you’re creative and crafty, do a search for DIY garden ideas.

You still have time to plant a vegetable garden with seeds for a few types of veggies, or you can catch up by purchasing seedlings that have already started to grow. Alternatively, you can go with a beautiful flower garden to attract bees, butterflies, and birds.

Renovate a Walkway or Patio

If you’ve got a broken or pitted walkway or patio, now is the ideal time to fix it. You can either repair what you’ve got and do some resurfacing or contract with someone to do a demolition (unless you’ve got the skills, equipment, and brawn to take this on yourself). 

Walkway and patio design ideas include brick, bluestone, and stamped concrete, to name a few. Since the space is outdoors, if you need to work with a professional, it’s easy to host workers on your property while maintaining social distancing.  

Do a Deep Clean

You may have done some disinfecting inside already, but with the coronavirus still out there — and many more people interacting again in public — now’s not the time to let up. Keep doing those cleanings, but take them a step further by digging in for a big clean: Give attention to all those appliances (large and small), as well as corners, closets, and other areas of your home you’d love to clean but don’t often have the time to address. Think about laundering curtains, spraying down blinds, and shampooing carpets, too. A fresh home is a great feeling!

A quick word of acknowledgment: As amazing as the finished product can be after a home improvement project, getting there can be stressful and tiring. If you’re feeling the need for a break to preserve your mental health, go for a bike ride or a drive (do it barefoot, even — it’s legally allowed in all 50 states). You might even find yourself brainstorming ideas for your next project while out on your ride. 

There’s a wide range of projects — indoors and out — that you can undertake while the pandemic persists. Many of them aren’t affected by social-distancing guidelines. Take a look around your house and identify where you want to focus, then formulate a plan, and put it into action. The work will give you a new focus, and the result will give your home a breath of fresh air.

About our Guest Blogger:
Jessica Larson of The Solopreneur Journal
She's a married Midwestern mom and a solopreneur. She creates online courses for students, and has started and run several other businesses through the years. Her goals are to support her family while still actually spending time with them, to act as an entrepreneurial role model for her two daughters, and to share what she's learned through The Solopreneur Journal. 

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