When you think about home improvement projects, the first thing that probably pops into your mind is an expensive summer project. But that doesn’t always have to be the case. There are plenty of projects that can be done during the cold winter months that also won’t break the bank. To top it all off, these projects often have shorter completion times and potential discounts from contractors who see a slow-down in business during the winter months.
Upgrade Your Bathroom
Working on your bathroom can seem like a long, intimidating, and expensive project, but it doesn’t have to be. New hardware, such as new sink and drawer pulls, is a quick and relatively inexpensive way to give your bathroom a whole new look. If you are looking for an entire overhaul of your bathroom, winter is still a great time. You or your contractor will be able to stay warm while working.
Spruce Up the Walls
It sounds basic, but a fresh coat of paint really can work miracles in a room. Simply changing up the color can update a space while allowing for more light, which we all need more of in the winter. If you already love your wall colors, consider adding some wall décor. Family photos, mirrors, shelving, and other decorative pieces can take a wall from plain to interesting in 5 minutes flat.
Make Small Windows Seem Taller
This might be the quickest and cheapest home improvement project. All you need to do to make your windows seem taller is to move the curtain rod about a foot over the window. This elongates the window and makes it appear taller, along with making the whole room look a bit taller. Most rods are positioned at about 1 inch above a window. Adding the extra couple of inches can make a big difference in a room, with very little time and money being invested.
Replace Light Switch Covers
Light switch covers are a part of our homes that we don’t spend too much time thinking about but use every day. With frequent use, comes grime. Our hands are dirty and leave prints or they can become chipped from so much use. For a few dollars they can be replaced and give your home a little facelift.
Installing a Programmable Thermostat
Technology has greatly changed home appliances in recent years, especially when it comes to thermostats. Installing a programmable thermostat is a perfect winter project as you will reap immediate benefits in the form of your next bill. Nest Labs, a home automation company, released a report revealing that homeowners accrued 10-12% savings on heating and 15% savings on cooling by upgrading.
Programmable thermostats also increase your quality of life by allowing automatic regulation of temperature. You’ll never have to be too hot or too cold again. Well, unless you catch your spouse messing with the settings.
Insulate the Attic
While insulating your attic isn’t exactly the least expensive winter project, it is the one with the largest return on investment ( 116%). If you elect to install an eco-friendly option, you could qualify for tax credits (up to 500%) and could lower your energy use by roughly 10%.
To determine if new insulation would benefit your house, you can evaluate your home through a home energy audit. This will outline how much energy your home consumes, including problem areas.
Refurbish Your Doors
Doors have a very visual impact on the interior of your home. Instead of buying all new ones, you can simply refurbish them. Almost any interior door can be improved with paint, or by installing decorative door knobs for added flare. Molding can even be added to create additional dimension on a budget.
Start Planning Your Garden/Landscaping
If you’ve made your way through your interior home projects and are dying for something outdoor related, you can start planning your garden/landscaping. While your yard might be covered in snow, that doesn’t mean you can’t start making lists of the materials you’ll need, researching the best plants for your area, and even start some seedlings.
If you know what you want ahead of time you can shop sales, and even put in orders at your local nursery for any more exotic plants you might like. Also starting plants from seeds is cheaper than purchasing the plants in the spring and gives you a greater chance at selecting the strongest plants for you garden.
While the winter months can be cold and dreary, that doesn’t mean that home improvement projects must cease until the warmer weather returns. There are plenty of projects both big and small that can be done to increase the value of your home. What are your favorite projects to tackle during the winter months? Let us know in the comments below!