A quick glance at the market capitalization for the big home improvement chains reveals just how popular the home improvement movement has become. According to Yahoo! Finance, Home Depot remains the industry leader with a market capitalization of $56.8 billion, with Lowe's Companies in the neighborhood at $35.7 billion.
So what do those figures illustrate? Perhaps nothing more than people love to work on their homes and that the home improvement industry is still going strong in spite of an economic downturn and housing crisis.
But even the most ardent do-it-yourselfer likely finds it difficult to make the time for home improvements. Commitments to work, family and social life can make it hard to get everything done around the house. However, the following projects are ideal for the weekend warrior who wants to start and finish a project over the course of a few days.
* Paint up a storm. Painting can be the ideal weekend project, one that truly gives homeowners a sense of accomplishment. When done correctly, painting can give a room or rooms an entirely new feel, making a homeowner feel as if the home he arrived home to on Friday night is not the same one he's leaving on Monday morning.
When attempting to complete a painting project in one weekend, be sure to choose rooms that only need paint. In rooms with significant plaster work to be done, the project will likely take longer than the weekend, as the plaster will need to be patched before it dries and then get sanded (rooms with only minor plaster damage should be more weekend-friendly). Choose smaller rooms for weekend painting projects and reap the rewards of a weekend well spent.
* Replace vanity faucets. Another easy project that can make a dramatic visual difference is to replace vanity faucets around the home. Old vanity faucets can be an eyesore. But they can be easily replaced in a single weekend as long as there are no issues with the plumbing and the replacement parts are the same size as existing parts. Homeowners who are aware of or suspect issues with plumbing should consult a professional before replacing any faucets. Risking it and going it alone could result in disaster, one that takes more than a weekend to correct.
* Tile till the heart is content. For first-timers, tiling a floor or even the bathroom walls may prove challenging. But the hardest projects are often the most rewarding as well. Even those who have never re-tiled a bathroom wall or kitchen floor can get the job done in a weekend. However, make measurements during the week and make sure all the materials, including appropriate tools, are purchased and ready to go before the weekend starts. Measuring and choosing tile is time consuming on its own, so all preliminary measuring and tile choosing should be done in advance of the weekend.
* Replace the toilet. For homeowners with older toilets, replacing the toilets might be the ideal weekend task. Replacing a toilet should not take very long, and homeowners will notice their new toilet is not only an upgrade in visual appeal, but an upgrade that's attractive to the bottom line as well. Older toilets may consume anywhere from 3.5 to 7 gallons per flush, whereas newer toilets generally consume between 1.5 to 3 gallons per flush. That helps homeowners reduce their carbon footprint while also reducing their monthly water bills.
Many do-it-yourselfers can handle installing a new toilet. However, those reticent to do so might want to hire a plumber instead. Plumbers might even take the old toilet off the property if allowed to do so.
Weekend warriors can finish a home improvement project over the weekend with a little planning and time management.