You’ve got three great material options — granite, quartz and Corian. The first two are stone, and while heavy, will probably outlast your cabinets. Both granite and quartz are easy to maintain, while Corian can be susceptible to stains and scratches if you’re not careful. All three options can increase the resale value of your home as well.The holidays are fast approaching, so if you’ve been waiting for cooler weather before starting your DIY remodeling projects, there hasn’t been a better time to get them started. Here are 10 remodeling projects you should get done before the holidays throw a wrench — metaphorical or literal — into your plans.

  1. Update Your Guest Bathroom — If you’re planning on having guests over during the holidays, or you aren’t, and you have those family members who just show up whether they’ve been invited or not, there’s no better time to update your guest bathroom. A quick bathroom upgrade doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Swap out those old plastic towel racks and toilet paper holders for some made of polished or painted aluminum, add some new lights to improve visibility and update the vanity, and replace the outdated floor tiles with something a little more modern. Before you know it, you’ll have a bathroom that your guests will crow about for years to come.
  1. Install a Ceiling Fan — Ceiling fans are useful in the summer to keep your cooling costs down, but they can be just as useful in the winter to reduce the cost of heating your home. They’re easy to install — most can be done in an afternoon — and they keep your home warmer by recirculating the warm air that comes from your furnace or central heating system.
  1. Add Laminates for a Splash of Color — If you want to add some new color to your home, but you’re renting and can’t make permanent changes to the property or don’t want to pay top dollar for copper or other expensive materials, investigate adding laminates. These adhesive materials can change up the look of any surface, and most can easily be removed when it comes time to restore the room to its former look.
  1. Upgrade Your Kitchen Countertops — Most of us spend a lot of time in the kitchen during the holiday season, whether we’re cooking or just socializing with the cook. Why not upgrade your kitchen countertops while you’re upgrading the rest of your house? You’ve got three great material options — granite, quartz and Corian. The first two are stone, and while heavy, will probably outlast your cabinets. Both granite and quartz are easy to maintain, while Corian can be susceptible to stains and scratches if you’re not careful. All three options can increase the resale value of your home as well.
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  1. Replace or Upgrade Your Light Fixtures — If you live in an older home, chances are, your light fixtures are probably outdated. Upgrading them can be an inexpensive way to breathe new life into your home, even if you’re not a skilled electrician. Most light fixtures — especially older ones — have two wires, so if you don’t mix up the power and ground wires, you can install just about any light fixture. Just make sure you shut off the circuit breaker that powers the room you’re working in, just to be safe.
  2. Get Your Landscaping Ready for Spring — If you’re planning on upgrading your landscaping, you don’t have to wait until spring. Fall is the perfect time to plant spring-blooming plants and flowers. If you cover them so that they’re protected throughout the cold winter months, they’ll bloom as soon as the weather starts warming up. Many flower bulbs require the cold winter weather to activate. They’ll be ready to bloom come spring, so start planning and planting before the holidays!
  1. Organize Your Garage —If you’ve got tools or a workbench in your garage, chances are, the space has gotten cluttered over the summer while you worked on DIY projects in the house and yard. Take the time to clean up and organize your garage so that all of your tools can easily be found.  Once you organize, you’ll be able to find the screwdriver you need to put together a new bicycle your kid got for Christmas, or a hammer to hang a new family photo on the wall without having to dig through a mess of tools and junk. Invest in a cheap section of pegboard and some hooks to hang your tools up instead of just tossing them in a toolbox.
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  1. Redo Your Trim and Baseboards — Most of us don’t think about our baseboards much until it comes time to do spring cleaning and they’re just the dirtiest thing in the house. One way to give your home a new look is to redo the trim and baseboards throughout the house. You can do so by painting them, stripping and staining them or simply removing them and replacing them with new trim. For doors or windows that don’t have trim, applying molding — which can be done with adhesive or simple finishing nails — can give the whole room a new and more refined look.
  1. Frame Your Television — This technique is a trend that’s gaining popularity across the country, especially if the television sits on a mantle or above a fireplace. Instead of just setting your TV up and forgetting about it, build a frame around it. Doing so will turn your television from an eyesore when it isn’t being used into a custom art piece that brings your room together rather than standing apart from it. You’ll need to rework or replace your frame if you replace your TV, but this DIY project is simple and relatively inexpensive.
  1. Update Your Sink Hardware —Again, this problem is a common issue in older houses — the faucets and sink hardware are old and outdated. They might even be beginning to leak. Upgrade your hardware with new faucets, taps and other improvements to make your bathroom or kitchen sinks look as good as the rest of your house. If you don’t like the look of new brass fixtures, pick up some darkening solution — it gives brass fixtures an antique look without any of the hassle of waiting for them to accumulate patina.

Fall is the perfect time to get around to all those little DIY projects that you’ve been planning to finish all year. The weather is cooler, and you’ve got plenty of time to get everything done before all the craziness of the holidays, so dive right in!

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