Winter Home Projects

Winter Home ImprovementsWith the winter coming up, people start thinking about what home projects they can start in the spring. But like most us, the thought of a cold, long winter stuck inside can drive one mad. But you can keep busy this winter by working on some of these easy and rewarding home improvement projects.

The best projects to consider getting started on are ones that can give not only improve your home but can increase your property value and save you money on bills. Here are some great ideas to get your started.

Better Your Bathroom

Winter time is the best time to work your bathroom. There’s no reason you can’t turn that boring bathroom into something that looks like it should in a spa retreat. Consider doing some upgrades replacing the bathtub, or working on the tiles on the floor to not only give the room a facelift.

A total bathroom remodel can be a costly and time-consuming investment, but it’s something those (especially with older homes) should consider. When it comes to bathtubs, sinks, and toilets, consider how much plumbing is going to be involved. Seeking professional help for this is important too, as for the common DIY’er it could be a little too much. Plus as most contractors will tell you, if you’re going to invest in a project, make sure you get it right the first time.

Lighting Updates

In these cold, dark winter months, a little light can go long way. Brightening up a room can warm you own spirits and set you up for the spring with new lamps or ceiling fan. Plus it’s one of the most affordable ways to update any room.

Not only is it an easy money saving option, in terms of upgrading to energy efficient options. LED-style lights are more energy efficient, but with the option of having a dimmer, can set the mood for a room, giving it a new a fresh look. Another form of lighting that is growing in popularity is Steampunk. Steampunk lighting is a cross between vintage and industrial designs.

The Kitchen Backsplash

Upgrading your kitchen can be a very timely and expensive, but adding a nice little backsplash can not only a great addition to any kitchen, but it can be a great winter weekend project.

Consider the personality that you can give to a room with a little upgrades where and there. A few years ago, most hardware stores only had in average 40 tiles to choose from. Today most stores have over 400 styles to choose from. The possibilities to change a room are endless and can really change an entire room.

Installation is a pretty simple process that any DIY’er can do, but be prepared! Make sure you are taking the time to prep and lay out a template that is unique to the area you working with. Plus another great resource to use is free tile classes from your local Home Depot that can help you be the most prepared you can be!

Build Your Better Home – Winter Home Projects from Bart Beasley on Vimeo.

Energy Efficient Improvements

As less and less people are building new homes, most people are buying homes that are now approaching the 100 year old mark. Older homes have their appeal of having some history and character to them that new homes just don’t have.Bart Beasley Old house

Older homes do come with a downside though. Large utility bills being at the top of that list. Luckily, there are easy fixes that can save you money on energy costs, and actually be valuable upgrades to a home. Let’s take a look at some of the best energy saving upgrades you can make on your old home.

Seal Air Ducts

Air ducts move air from your furnace to your living space. Older ducts have a tendency to bleed out heat. It’s a common issue that is just caused by old age in the ducts that can include holes, or just simply loose joints between ducts.

To make your ductwork more efficient try these simple fixes. For the loose joints, just adhesives. For those holes and cracks you might find, high quality metal tape can seal those ducts right up. Regular old duct tape isn’t a substitute for metal tape, with many HVAC professionals calling for you to avoid using duct tape on your ducts.

Furnace Upgrade

Once your ducts are all sealed up and up to modern day standards, considering upgrading your furnace to an Energy-Star rated one. These newer furnaces will cut your heating bills by almost 35% percent and are helping America become more energy efficient. With more energy efficient furnaces, the less fuel we need, and that means less money spent on heating bills.

Seal Windows and Doors

A simple fix to trap heat inside of your home is to simply make sure your doors and windows are sealed well. Weather-stropping and caulk can go a long way with saving your hard earned energy costs. Adding caulk around your windows can seal up major weak points where heat can escape your home. With an average cost of $150 to bring in a professional to seal your cracks, it’s an easy, cheap fix that will save you money in the long run.

Get a Programmable Thermostat

These thermostats are helping homeowners all across the nation by saving money when they aren’t home or are asleep. As long as you’re keeping the difference within a few degrees, most energy experts say you can save money per degree on energy bills. So, for example, if would see a 5% decrease in your bill if you lower your heating by 5 degrees at night.

Good Home Improvement Ideas

bart beasley home imporvement

With more people staying put in their homes, making home improvements is essential. While many home improvement projects won’t add value to your home, there are some projects that can add significant value to your home. Which projects should you invest in? Here are some tips for home improvement projects that can increase the value of your home.

Remodeling the Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of the home and updates in this room can pay off. Statistically, you can expect a recoup of 60%-120% of your investment on a kitchen remodel, as long you don’t go overboard on it. A key factor being, never make your kitchen fancier than the rest of your house or neighborhood.

Getting the biggest bang for your buck on a kitchen remodel is by looking at a color. Fresh paint, can give a kitchen a modern look, and provide a quick cheap facelift to the room. Another upgrade to consider is, replacing old appliances with energy-efficient models. Not only are they upgrades, but because they are better for the environment and they save energy, meaning they save you money.

Reinventing a Room

Taking what you have already, and turning it intoto something great. can be a major upgrade to the whole house, and can also save you money as well. Finishing a basement, converting an attic to a bedroom, or taking that a step further and converting a garage into a bedroom.

Converting a basement into a second living room or a game room can be a great idea, even turning it into a small apartment to rent or our have a family member in there, can make the space useful. Same goes for an attic space, it the attic has high ceilings, turning it in a game room for your kids or a craft room for yourself could be a great idea.

Adding a Deck

Adding a deck increases the value of a home, and is more desirable to have outdoor options to enjoy your home. Cost wise, everything is dependant on how size, how many accessories do you want to have, such as a built-in seating, multiple stairs, grills, and so on.

Doing the work yourself can save a huge chunk of money with building a deck, but the construction isn’t easy. If you decide to go the route of hiring a contractor, shop around before you choose someone to work with. Make sure you get at least three quotes from the contractors you interview. Doing your homework to make sure you’re not getting scammed is another crucial element, to insure you’re getting a contractor you can trust.

Basic Updates

As simple as it sounds, basic updates, add the the most value to your home. Things as simple as keeping the paint fresh, making basic repairs, and replacing rotting wood. Not only are these chores that can keep your home for deteriorating over time, but routine maintenance is something that buyers are always looking for.

There’s many options for projects you can do around the house, whether you are looking to sell or just improve your home there’s plenty of options for projects. If you are planning on a total remodel, concentrate your efforts on smaller projects that can make your home more appealing to you and potential buyers.