The first half of 2020 has been interesting, to say the least. We're facing a global viral pandemic that has left many of us sheltering at home since the beginning of March. It's now June, and we've had to do whatever we could to stay busy over the last few months. That includes home improvement projects. Here are some of the most popular quarantine-to-dos people have been tackling.
Throw a Splash of Paint on the Walls
We're all stuck staring at the same walls day in and day out. It's bound to drive anyone a little batty after a while, so why not change things up by painting the walls? The chances are high that you've already got a couple of cans of paint lying around, ready for that project that kept getting put off until you had enough spare time. Well, thanks to the coronavirus, we've got nothing but time.
Make sure you remove any fixtures you don't want to be covered in paint and mask off anything that can't be removed. You don't need to empty the room, but you will want to move everything away from the walls. You'll also want to cover your floor and any remaining furniture with tarps or painter's plastic to keep them from getting unwanted splashes of color.
Start Growing a Garden
The beginning of the lockdown found many of us scrambling to find groceries because panicked shoppers cleaned out the shelves of anything and everything they could get their hands on. That scarcity prompted many people to start their own gardens. Seed sellers saw massive jumps in sales as places went into lockdown.
While you're a bit late for the spring planting season, there are plenty of summer crops and indoor options you can choose from. Do a bit of research or talk to experienced gardeners to see what will work best for your region. If you live in an area with a very short growing season, consider investing in an indoor planter area and some grow lights to ensure you can make the most of your little garden space.
Refinish Your Floors
Millennials make fun of baby boomers for being the generation that put linoleum over hardwood, but it was easier to maintain. If you need a change, why not consider refinishing your own floors? You don't need to spend thousands of dollars to install new flooring. Depending on the design of your home, it could be as simple as taking the floor down to the concrete foundation, polishing it and covering it with a layer of epoxy.
Make sure you do research or consult with a professional before you start applying epoxy to your floors. It's easy to make mistakes that will need major repairs. If you use a roller with 100% solids at a thickness of 10 mm, it will dry at 10 mm. If you're trying to be thrifty and only include 50% solids, the same layer will dry at 5 mm, which means you're losing nearly half your product. Make sure you know what you're doing before you start a project like this.
Declutter Your Home
Are you tripping over all those things you've ordered from Amazon yet? Instead of going on another shopping spree, why not start decluttering your home? Organize the things you're keeping, throw out the rest and make sure everything has a place.
Decluttering during quarantine is going to be a little bit more challenging. No one wants to throw away things they can sell or give to Goodwill, but with donation facilities closed and social distancing putting a damper on yardsales, you may have to get a little bit more creative. Things like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist provide a platform for contactless transactions.
Finish Anything You've Been Putting Off
How many DIY projects do you have waiting in the wings that you've already bought the supplies for, but kept putting off until you had some extra time? As we move into the summer and plan to stay at home, you've got nothing but time. Why not start working on all those projects you've been putting off?
Hardware stores have been seeing a massive uptick in business as people trickle in during the day, armed with masks and hand sanitizer, to get the things they need to complete their DIY projects. The demand has been so high that they've been having trouble keeping up with it. According to warehouse sources, Ace doesn't have a single roll of painter's tape in its 5,000 stores.
How to Call a Professional Safely
While DIY projects are amazing, you will sometimes need the help of a professional to get the job done. Everyone is hesitant to invite people into their home right now, but you can take steps to ensure hiring a professional safely while protecting yourself and your family.
Start by calling around. Some contractors may have closed their doors for the duration, while others may only be taking emergency jobs to limit the spread of the virus. Keep things as contactless as possible — send pictures instead of showing items in person, and use credit cards or digital payments instead of checks or cash.
Maintain your social distancing according to state and federal guidelines, and when the contractor has finished their work, sanitize the area according to CDC guidelines.
Finally, make sure you use the same precautions you would during a service call under normal circumstances. Only hire licensed, bonded and insured contractors, and ask for references before choosing someone to work in your home.
Enjoy Your Home Improvement Projects
There's no telling how long we'll be staying home, so now is the perfect time to start working on those projects you've been putting off. Once they're complete, you can sit back and enjoy a job well done while we wait for the rest of the world to return to normal. If we're going to bunker down for a while, we might as well do so in style.
Megan R. Nichols is a technical writer who regularly covers industrial and scientific topics. Megan also publishes easy to understand science articles on her blog, Schooled By Science, to encourage others to take an interest in these subjects. When she isn’t writing, Megan enjoys finding new shows and documentaries to binge watch.
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