November 24, 2023 Bailey Strobel

13 Quick Renovation Projects You Can Squeeze In Before the Holidays

You don’t have much time to update your home before guests arrive for the holidays, but you might wonder what you could get done in that time. Thankfully, there are plenty of renovation projects you can complete in roughly one week or less. Here are some you can use to impress your guests.

1. Add a Skylight

A skylight lets an enormous amount of natural light into your home and gives you an unmatched view of snowfall. It’s not a home renovation anyone would expect to see, which makes it the perfect thing to surprise your future guests with.


Adding one of these to your home might seem like a massive undertaking, but it’s very reasonable. Installation takes as little as one day, depending on your expertise and the model you choose. For example, a flat glass pane is much easier to put in than an electric dome. You only need to cut an opening, lay adhesive, place the skylight, seal the edges and add flashings.

2. Install Hardwood Flooring

Have you always wanted a timeless hardwood floor? Well, there’s no better time than now to get started. If you squeeze the project in before the holidays, you can wow everyone who visits. Even though wood needs to sit inside for roughly one week before installation so its moisture content can adjust, you can finish this project relatively quickly.

3. Add Storage to Your Entryway

Most homeowners would benefit from having extra storage, especially with guests around. If your current go-to place to store jackets and shoes is a bedroom, consider expanding with a quick renovation.


You can get pre-made shelves, cubbies, and coat hooks online or at your local hardware store. To install them, you only need a stud finder, drill and some screws. Overhead storage and wall-mounted holders won’t take up much space, so this project is great even in small rooms.


If you have experience with woodworking, you can build a cushioned bench with built-in storage underneath. Your guests will appreciate having a place to sit when removing all their extra layers.

4. Install Heated Floors

There’s nothing better than having a heated floor in the colder months. If you really want to impress everyone visiting for the holidays, install an electric radiant flooring system. Although the project can take up to three days to complete, you only need to spend roughly three hours on installation.

5. Place a Faux Baseboard

A faux baseboard is an especially useful project if your guests plan on bringing children around, considering it protects your walls from all sorts of contact damage. It also gives them a subtle, tasteful appeal. It should be a quick renovation since it only requires measurements and cutting.

6. Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets

If you want to refresh your kitchen without gutting it, painting should be your go-to strategy. After all, it’s affordable and fast. Your guests will marvel at how good your cabinets look whenever they grab food.


The most time consuming part of a cabinet refresh is waiting for the paint to dry. Since some kinds set more quickly than others, the number of hours you must put into this varies. For example, latex stays wet much longer than matte, but you can speed up the process with fans if you’re on a time crunch.

7. Add Built-In Shelving

Whether you buy pre-built shelves or make a custom version, installing built-in shelving is relatively straightforward. It really only involves measuring, cutting and placing. With previous DIY experience, this project should wrap up after only a few days of work.

8. Install a Handrail

Whether you plan on having small children or older adults around this holiday season, a wall-mounted handrail is one of the best additions to your home. For starters, it can substantially reduce the risk of slip-and-fall accidents. Also, it can act as a statement piece — what else can you put on the wall next to the staircase besides family photos?


While you can carve your own out of wood, there are plenty of pre-built options. You can find virtually every color and material type online. The installation process is simple. In fact, it only takes one day to complete, even if you hand-craft your own railing. You only need to mark where the studs are, drill holes and screw the handrail into the wall.

9. Replace Your Stair Treads and Risers

Do you have any loose, uneven or unsightly stairs? The best time to fix them is before your guests arrive for the holidays. Instead of simply leveling them out, consider replacing your treads and risers. This minor project will make it look like you have a completely new staircase.


The entire process should only take a few days. Once you remove the old material and trim the frame to fit the new treads and risers, you can start securing everything. Although it’s messy work, it costs less than $150 to do and looks fantastic.

10. Paint Your Front Door

There aren’t many ways to landscape when the ground is frozen and most plants are bare. Needless to say, updating your front door color is the easiest way to enhance your curb appeal before the holiday season. This is one of the fastest, most straightforward renovations you can possibly do. In fact, you only need to sand, prime and paint.

11. Update Bathroom Fixtures

Unless your guests are popping in to say hello and leaving, it’s a near certainty they’ll use your bathroom while visiting. Because of this, it’s a great space to focus your renovations on. Updating your bathroom fixtures can bring an entirely new aesthetic to these rooms. Short of ripping out and replacing your sink and toilet, it’s the most impactful renovation.


Generally, installing new fixtures is straightforward and fast — you don’t need any special plumbing knowledge to remove and replace them. If you know what you’re doing, you can wrap things up in a few hours at most.

12. Update Your Garage Door

Since garage doors are one of those things you buy once, they can get quickly dated. Of course, they’re one of the most noticeable things about a home since they take up so much space. Consider getting a new one if you’ve had yours for a while. Instead of installing a plain white one, try models with unique windows, colors or styles.


Now, it’s possible to replace your garage door in roughly six hours if you have help and know what you’re doing. However, dealing with the springs requires the utmost caution since they contain a lot of stored energy. Although this project may be one of the fastest on this list, it requires a fair amount of upfront research.

13. Replace Your Wall Plates

Almost every modern house has electrical outlets and light switches — and they all turn a dull yellow over time. Even though replacing the plates isn’t a massive renovation, it’s one of the easiest and instantly elevates a room. Even if your guests don’t immediately notice what looks so good in your house, they’ll subconsciously pick up on how clean your walls appear.


You only need a screwdriver and new wall plates for this project. Finding and replacing every visible one in your home can feel time consuming because it’s so repetitive, but the job should only take a few hours at most.

The Best Renovations Are the Easiest

In most cases, you can knock out a few renovations in a handful of months. Even if you can only dedicate your attention to them during your weekends, none of these projects are particularly time intensive. They’re perfect if you’re on a tight schedule.