Snow continues to fall in Loudoun County, but it’s never too early to start planning for the spring to come. As many of us have spent more time in our homes these past 12 months than ever before, it’s never the wrong time to do some spring cleaning—and home improvements.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, there are a lot of simple, DIY home improvement projects you can tackle to help get your home spring-ready.

1. Build a High Rise Vegetable Garden

An empty raised vegetable garden box

If you’re interested in planting a vegetable garden this spring, now is the perfect time to build a raised bed. There are a lot of different tutorials out there on how to build one, and we opted for this taller version which was made in less than 90 minutes using 4x4s and 1x6s. We laid some landscaping fabric then added soil before planting some jalapeno plants!

2. Install Weatherstripping

Flowers sit in a wooden vase next to the window

While spending more time at home, you might have noticed some drafts coming from your windows. It’s easier than ever now to install permanent or temporary weatherstrippping around your windows and doors to help eliminate those drafts. You’ll also lower your heating bills by making sure your furnace doesn’t have to work so hard. A great time to do this right after you finish letting the paint dry on your freshly painted front door…

3. Paint Your Front Door

A quaint home with a bright red door and white picket fence

If you’re looking to instantly improve your home’s curb appeal, consider a fresh coat of paint on your front door. Front doors often take a beating from and fade over time because of the elements, and a fresh coat of paint is easy to apply and will instantly give your home new life. Make sure you check with your HOA in case there are any rules about colors or a specific type of paint.

4. Upgrade Your Builder-Grade Shower Head

A rain shower head runs next to a window

Most builder-grade shower heads work just fine, but if you haven’t replaced yours in a while, or if you’d like to upgrade your showering experience, a new shower head can make all the difference. For the most part, replacing shower heads is relatively easy—just make sure to follow the instructions!

5. Swap Your Shower Curtain

A new floral shower current hangs in a bathroom

Since you’re already in your bathroom, it’s also ridiculously easy and affordable to change your shower curtain. Your shower curtain takes up a lot of visual real estate in your bathroom, and a brand new one can freshen things up.

6. Frame the Bathroom Mirror

A framed mirror hangs in a gray and wood bathroom

This bathroom DIY project takes a little bit more patience than upgrading your shower head and swapping out your shower curtain, but framing your bathroom mirror can help add some brilliant finishing touches to your updated bathroom. With a tape measure, some molding, paint, wood glue, and a little patience, you can turn your boring mirror into a piece of art.

7. Install (Magnetic) Carriage Garage Doors

Magnets transform a standard garage door to a carriage-house look

We saw this hack on social media recently, and it’s probably the quickest, easiest, and least expensive DIY home improvement project on this list. Carriage house garage doors offer an excellent aesthetic to your home, but they can be expensive. However, you can order some magnetic garage door hinges and handles to give your garage door that carriage-house look for less than $12—and in less than 12 minutes!

Have you completed any home improvement projects recently? Send us the pictures on Facebook or Instagram so we can showcase your work!

Who doesn’t like good BEFORE and AFTER photos…especially of a home? The photos below were from “Before” a recent renovation of my client’s investment property, which he was looking to sell. He knew he needed to update literally everything in the condo to turn a profit on the sale. In fact, without doing any renovations, he probably would have had to sell the property “as is” and lost money.


And why sell a property “as is,” only for an investor or “flipper” to do the renovation and make a profit? It’s your property…you deserve to be the one earning a return on that initial investment…that is, if you can afford to make another investment in the renovation work.

How To Pay for Necessary Pre-Sale Home Renovations if You Don’t Have the Cash

But what happens if you don’t necessarily have tens of thousands of dollars in cash sitting around to plunk down on a renovation project? Well, if you’re looking to SELL the property, there are some companies that will work with you to creatively solve that problem.

My client and I enlisted the help of Bill Cheek of The Smart Homes Group. Bill was introduced to me early this year, pre-pandemic. His business model seemed to fit with exactly what my client needed…a good, reliable contractor who could do a complete renovation of a one-bedroom condo — and wait to receive payment until closing. 

Yes, you heard that right. While it’s almost too good to be true, some contractors will agree to do this, especially in a hot Seller’s Market like we’re experiencing right now. After all, when homes are often selling in a matter of days or weeks (especially if they’ve been renovated), it’s not a terribly high risk for the contractor. This condo sold in 6 days!


As you can see from the “After” photos above, we chose all the most popular fixtures and finishes — luxury vinyl plank flooring, light grey paint, white cabinets, granite countertops, a beautiful backsplash, and stainless steel appliances — all in a grey and white color palette. EVERYTHING was updated or replaced, including closets and light fixtures…and even the HVAC unit. Bill is often able to search around to find the best prices, too, as long as you’re somewhat flexible on choices. For example, he knew we wanted stainless steel appliances, white hardwood cabinets, and granite countertops in a white/taupe/grey color palette, and he found really high-quality products at a good price.

Contact Bill at The Smart Homes Group for Your Next Home Project

So if you’re thinking about selling a property that needs some work first (whether it’s your primary residence or an investment property), give Bill a call. (But call me, Karen, for the home sale part!!) Even if you’re not looking to sell right away and just searching for a great contractor, Bill and his team tackle traditional jobs like finishing basements, upgrading kitchens and baths, and laying flooring. You name it, they do it. Call him at 813-732-3982, and let him know I referred you. (I don’t get referral fees for things like this…but I like to let the contractors I’ve used know I have enough confidence in them to keep recommending them! Plus, mentioning Karen and Maggie from 15 West Homes means he will take great care of you!)