9 Winter home improvements to tackle

If you are a homeowners looking to make upgrades to your home, consider taking on that project during the winter months. Not only will you be able to get a head start on these projects, but you will save on costs as well! Here are 9 winter home improvement projects you can take on this year!

1. Get A Jumpstart On Curb Appeal 
One of the best winter home improvements to take on (before the REAL winter weather hits) is fertilizing your landscaping. This task becomes super affordable during the winter months, as demand for mulch and fertilizer is very low. Add fertilizer to trees, shrubs and grass to tide them over during the winter months. Not only will this provide your yard with nourishment during the cold, it will also provide optimal care and protection of your yard until springtime. Just because its cold out, doesn’t mean you can slack in your yardwork! This preparation tactic is not only inexpensive, but only requires a few hours of your time to get started.
2. Apply New Paint (Interior) 
Another great winter home improvement project, is applying a fresh coat of paint to the interior of your home. Not only is this inexpensive (roughly $30 a gallon) but this indoor improvement project also offers a significant value to homeowners, both in the short term AND in the long run. If you are a homeowners looking to sell, consider pale neutrals to offer a blank canvas to potential buyers. Sure, YOU may like a bright red kitchen, but not everyone has the same eclectic tastes as you do! Another fun thing to note – interior painting offers one of the higher return on investments (ROI) on your home.

Is there anything a little paint can’t fix? You’ve been staring at your neutral colored walls every day for months. Want to brighten your mood? Try repainting, you’re stuck inside anyway, you might as well put a fresh coat of paint on your interior walls! The winter months often call attention to the fact that certain rooms can be very dark when the sunlight doesn’t shine in. Even just painting one room in your house could completely revitalize it.

Make sure you crack open the windows to let in fresh air while you’re painting.

Seal Openings & Air Leaks
    I know I’ve said it before (twice actually…) But maybe 3rd time is the charm! Sealing your home from air leaks is a SURE FIRE way to not only keep warm, but to save money! Besides windows, identify other areas in the house where you can prevent heat from escaping. Drafty doors and windows, openings around pipes and vents should all be targets. You can use sealant, caulk, or weatherstripping to fix those weak areas. According to EnergyStar, sealing leaks can improve the overall quality of your home and help to fix many common problems, such as:

    • Reduce noise from outside
    • Better humidity control
    • Lessen pollen, dust and insects from entering home
    • Lower chance for ice dams on the roof/eves in snowy climates
    With winter here, now is a better time than ever to set aside time to seal and weatherstrip the problem areas in your home.

    4. Install Programmable Thermostat
      This must-do winter home improvement project lets homeowners customize the heating and cooling of their home to fit their needs, regulating the temperature in their home and drastically reduce heating (and cooling) costs. With different programming options available, including the ability to control some thermostats remotely, this improvement project will not only enhance your quality of life, but save you money in the process.

      Nest Labs, a home automation producer, released a report last year revealing that homeowners accrued 10-12 percent savings on heating and 15 percent savings on cooling by upgrading to a programmable thermostat. Although every manufacturer has different savings claims, Nest users reported saving between $10-$20 per month.

      5. Add A Tile Backsplash To Kitchen/Bathrooms
        You may have noticed that the vast majority of winter home improvement projects on this list consist of indoor upgrades focused on small details that make a huge difference. If you are wanting to add a little more POP to your area than painting alone offers, consider adding a tile backsplash! One of the more “fun” options is adding a colorful backsplash to kitchens and/or bathrooms. Tile backsplashes typically fill in the wall space between your counter tops and your top kitchen cabinets, but they could extend all the way to the ceiling. They also look nice above a bathroom vanity. This home improvement idea will add some personality to a room’s look, giving it a ‘splash’ of color and creativity, and helping to accessorize and emphasize your counter tops, cabinets and appliances.

        The cost for adding a tile backsplash will vary depending on the size of the area you want to tile, the type of tile you want to use and so on. The options for adding a backsplash are endless. The combinations, colors, styles and shapes are as limitless as your imagination.

        Adding a tile backsplash is a fun project that can actually be completed in a relatively short amount of time. And it does not have to wait for good weather.

        Insulate The AtticOkay, so adding insulation doesn’t exactly make your heart pound with excitement. But it will lower your utility bills, and help make your home more comfortable and eco-friendly.

        Crawl up into your attic. If you can see the floor joists, then you need more insulation. Since heat rises, you could save quite a bit by adding another layer of insulation up there.

        Insulating your home’s attic is one of the best winter home improvement projects that REALLY pays in the long run. Adding insulation has been proven to produce the largest return on investment (116.9 percent) for homeowners, this project will not only help to lower your energy bill (anywhere from 5-10 percent), but it’s also eligible for tax credits (up to $500). That is a LOT of money you can save JUST by adding some insulation to your attic!

        Let’s do the math… let’s say you spend $500 insulating your attic. That’s a $84 profit right off the bat based on the ROI. Figure in a $200/month energy bill and you can save $240 over a years time PLUS the tax credit… that’s $824 savings over the course of a year! You can also add insulation in your basement and in crawlspaces to prevent heat loss there as well. If you’re sick of the cold of winter, insulating your attic is a great way to keep yourself both busy and warm.

        7. Refurbish or Replace Your Doors
        Your front door (and front door area) are often the first things people see when they drive up to your home. Homeowners should understand the visual impact interior doors can have on a home. Instead of being out of pocket to replace them, one of the more popular winter home improvement projects is to simply refurbish them. Try sanding and adding a fresh coat of paint (make sure it can withstand the suns glare if you are doing the front door… faded doors are a big ‘No-no”), adding a decorative knob and even adding molding to give your door some dimension.

        Not sure if you want to bother with refurbishing those doors? New entry doors are another way to make your home more efficient when it comes to keeping the heat inside. They can also make your home look more modern and polished.

        8. Work on your floors
        Is your carpet threadbare? Is your vinyl torn and scratched? Have your hardwoods seen better days?

        Winter is the recommended season for having hardwood flooring installed. You may have heard that wood expands in the humid conditions of summer and spring, and then contracts in winter dryness. For this reason, it is usually recommended that you install hardwood floors during the cold months. Because as the days warm up, the wood will expand, maintaining a good fit.

        Not looking for hardwood? Consider new carpeting! Putting in carpet (or even adding a carpet over existing hardwood, tile or laminate…) is a great winter project because it can increase the comfort of your home dramatically. Good-quality carpets have low heat conduction, making them fantastic natural insulators. Carpet also works as a simple heat barrier, which is particularly useful if your subfloor is a cold concrete slab or is built over a draughty crawl space. According to Shaw Flooring, “Unlike other types of flooring‚ carpet is a natural insulator‚ providing additional warmth in cold seasons. The use of carpet in a wall–to–wall application actually increases the R–value‚ or insulation level‚ of the carpet area‚ potentially saving homeowners like you utility costs while reducing energy use.”

        If you don’t like carpeting, there are plenty of other home flooring ideas such as tile and laminate that you could also consider. And make sure to plan your install AROUND your holiday plans! Contact us TODAY to discuss all the great flooring options we have to offer!

        9. Declutter
        I know technically its “Spring Cleaning” but when Spring gets here, the last thing you’re going to want to do is spend your time sifting through those piles of junk in your basement, organizing closets and hauling items to donate. You’ll want to be outside, enjoying the fresh air, sunshine and flowers.

        Winter is a great time to work on getting organized (did you know January is “Get Organized Month”?). So, devote time every week to decluttering in general and organizing what you decide to keep. Start small. Pick a weekend to dedicate to your closets. The next weekend you can spend some time in the garage. Don’t try to tackle the entire house at once. Do this and you’ll find yourself with a broken spirit, huddled on the couch looking for the remote. Start small, and go slow. Focus on one shelf, or one corner, and work until you’ve got that space looking exactly how you want. This way you’ll be able to see the progress you’re making. Be sure to get the entire family involved. Older kids can take care of their own closets. Spouses can help with the garage, attic and other storage areas.

        Pick a great charity and donate the “gently used” items for a nice tax break, and to help someone out in need. If you have any old coats, we would love to help you declutter by taking them off your hands! We are collecting old coats all winter to donate to the needy in our community!

        Winter home improvement projects can be fun, fulfilling, and even money-saving. You don’t have to look far for projects that you can do right now. And by the time spring arrives, you’ll be ahead of the game.