It’s winter, and the weather is starting to get really nasty. Now that you are stuck inside so much longer, you might be thinking that this is a really bad time for home improvement projects. After all, it’s so much easier when you can open the windows and go outside to complete construction projects in winter. But the fact is that there are a lot of things that you could be doing right now that will make you more comfortable after winter activities, and to help get you ready for spring.
Here are 6 home improvement projects you can do this winter:
When was the last time you took a look at your insulation? It’s almost certainly been a long time… if you ever looked at it at all. If you are disappointed with the warmth of your house, it might be your insulation. Insulation prevents heat loss, which is the rate at which the heated air leaves your home. So take a moment to check your insulation. Most regions in the country have an R38 rating for insulation, which means 10 to 14 inches of insulation. If you inspect your insulation and see that it is inadequate, ask your local HVAC contractor for advice on improving it. Most states’ energy companies have rebate programs for upgrading your home’s insulation, so this project may cost you a whole lot less than you’d guess.
2. Maintain HVAC Equipment
If you are really freezing, then it’s time to check your HVAC equipment. How is your furnace functioning? If it’s more than 10-15 years old, you may want to consider replacing it. Furnaces operate best at peak efficiency, and older models are much less efficient. Otherwise, take care of your equipment. Clean or replace your furnace air filter when it is dirty. And when the weather finally starts to thaw, get a head start on preparing your air conditioner for use.
3. Finish the Basement
Perhaps you enjoyed your unfinished basement and its cooler temperature during the summer. But now that it’s winter, you’re nowhere near as happy with that cold, empty space. This is a great time to finally finish your basement. During the winter, business for contractors is usually much slower. So you could schedule some work with the expectation that it would be done quickly and maybe even at a discounted price.
You have had it with your flooring, so it’s time to get something new. If you are tired of your freezing cold laminate flooring, perhaps you’d be happier with carpet. Or, you could put in solid hardwood flooring and add in a large floor rug to complement your room’s décor. As with the basement, flooring might be a great task to complete during the winter because a contractor will be easier to schedule. Or if you want to make this a DIY project, you can do it on your own. Just make sure you do the research to make sure you are able to do this project the right way.
5. Have Fencing Installed
Did you know that some fencing companies will offer discounts on fencing during their slow months? Even if you aren’t able to achieve a discount, most fencing companies have slower times during the colder months, so you can be able to get a fencing project done in a fraction of the time it would take in the spring or summer. So, think about having a fence installed around your home in the winter, so that you will be able to better enjoy your yard when the warmer weather arrives.
6. Redesign a Room
Perhaps the simplest and cheapest task is to just redesign or repurpose a room. It can be an interesting exercise in practicality to reorganize the furniture in one room without buying a bunch of new decorations or new furniture. You may find that you were not using that room to the best of its potential, and the new design is much more useful. If you find a little extra cash after you have paid your holiday bills, then you can also consider some new accessories for the room. Maybe new drapes or blinds are in order, or just a few new well-placed accents.
Winter can be a very boring time of year, particularly for someone who likes to spend time working on their home. But you there’s no reason to feel like you have to just sit and watch TV until spring. Get going on these projects, and when the weather warms up, your home will be better than ever.
Nicole is a writer for the home improvement industry. She loves helping home owners learn more ways to make their homes the best they can be. She recently had fencing installed around her home by Awards Fencing, and she can’t wait to enjoy her fenced in yard in the spring!