When warmer weather hits, the local hardware store fills up with patrons seeking materials to improve their homes. Even though the summer months seem to lend themselves to home improvement projects, many can wait until winter rolls around.
On average, homeowners spend about $6649 annually on home improvement projects. More and more people are remodeling instead of moving, with around 80 percent stating they’ll stay in the home they’re currently in.
Spacing out your projects allows you to better budget for expenses and avoiding burning yourself out by working too hard at once. If you’re planning to remodel your current home instead of move, here are eight projects you can put off until winter.
1. A Backsplash
When the weather is unusually cold, bring your work inside and update your kitchen. A backsplash is easy to install, especially if you purchase sheets of mosaic tiles or stick with a simple design, such as subway tile. You should be able to complete a backsplash project for under $500, depending upon the materials you choose and the size of the area you’re tiling.
Spring and fall may be the time of year when you typically think about curb appeal, but winter is an excellent time to do some cleanup and fertilizing in preparation for next spring. Clean up loose leaves and twigs in the landscaping and make sure to winterize your plants so they can survive the harsh weather.
If you’re working outside in extreme cold, take precautions by bundling up and making sure you work in short spurts, taking frequent breaks to warm up and get out of the elements. Know the signs of cold stresses such as frostbite and hypothermia and protect yourself from them, too.
Are your heating bills a bit higher than you’d like? Perhaps you need to add some insulation to your attic to keep all the heat from escaping through the roof. Winter is an excellent time to get up in your attic and add some insulation. Not only will it be warmer up there in the winter months, but you’ll see almost immediate energy saving benefits from adding the extra padding.
Simply sealing leaks can result in a 25 percent reduction in the air infiltrating the home, and increasing R-values in insulation further improves energy efficiency.
By Woodgraindesign [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
The darker, dreary months of winter may leave you feeling a bit gloomy. This makes it the perfect time to install new lighting and brighten up the interior of your home. Update old fixtures with more current ones, swap out your standard incandescent bulbs for energy-efficient versions and add recessed lights for extra illumination in your kitchen or living room.
Winter weather also brings moisture and grime you might not have noticed in the summer months. It’s a great time to install new flooring because you can work inside on this project without exposing yourself to harsh winter elements. Choose flooring that’s durable and will withstand the wear and tear of all the seasons.
Think about how warm those floors will be in the coldest weather, too. Radiant heat does add to the overall cost of floors, but it might be a viable option for small spaces like a tiled bathroom or kitchen area.
6. A Programmable Thermostat
Do you spend half your day turning the thermostat up and down? Not only is this inefficient, but it’s easy to forget that you turned it up a bit for your shower time and then rush out the door for work leaving it running at a higher temp for eight hours straight. A programmable thermostat ensures you never forget to turn it down at night or while you’re at work, which results in significant savings.
7. A Water Heater
Another indoor project is installing a new water heater. If yours is older, chances are it isn’t very efficient. Newer models are often more energy efficient. You also have options, such as installing a solar water heater, adding an on-demand tankless system or using geothermal heat.
8. Roof and Gutters
Most winters have a few warmer days where all the snow and ice melts. This is a great time to check your roof for leaks. Replace any loose or broken shingles, check your gutters for debris that might block proper flow from the roof to the ground. Take the time to go up inside your attic and check for any leaks as well.
By U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Lucy M. Quinn [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Before you go up on your roof in the winter, though, make sure all the ice is melted. The last thing you want to do is slip and fall. Take all the safety precautions necessary to ensure you’re working as safely as possible.
Winter Home Improvement
For your home to stay in the absolute best shape possible, improvements should be ongoing. Instead of only working on your home during warm weather, spend a little bit of time every season making it better. Before you know it, your house will be the most beautiful, well-kept one on the block.
Home Improvement Projects to Save for Winter was last modified: by Holly Welles