As the weather gets cooler outside, making sure the interiors of your home are comfortable for you and your family to spend more time inside is important. Especially now, when many of us are working from home and spending more of our free time inside as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Winter home improvement projects can keep your home up-to-date and feeling refreshed.
Winter is a great time for many types of interior renovations, both simple and extensive. A large reason for this is that in seasonal climates, outdoor projects have a smaller window of possibility since they can only be completed in the warmer months due to weather concerns. So if you want to space out your monetary spend on home renovations throughout the year, it makes sense to allocate resources toward exterior renovations during the summer and interior renovations throughout the winter.
Contractors may also be booked up well in advance throughout the warmer months, which can make getting the help of a professional contractor easier in the winter. This is an essential consideration when it comes to making sure any renovations are done correctly, on-time, and with ease.
Here are five interior winter home improvement projects to think about this year as we enter into the colder months.
Add Insulation to Save Money on Utilities
If your home’s winter-proofing is not up to date, that should be the first project on your list as we head into the cooler months. Otherwise, you may find yourself paying astronomical utility bills throughout the entire season.
It’s a good idea to do an energy audit early on so you can identify the problem areas, figure out what type of insulation your home already uses as well as its R-value and thickness, and decide on the best solution. Owners of newer homes can usually get this information from the builder, while owners of older homes will likely have to inspect the insulation itself.
You can inspect your home’s insulation by accessing areas where structural elements are exposed like attics or basements and checking the type of insulation there as well as measuring its thickness. You should also inspect all exterior walls, which can be done by identifying an outlet, turning off the power to it, removing the outlet cover, and shining a flashlight to see if there is insulation present in the wall and get an idea of its thickness. Alternatively, enlist the help of a qualified home energy auditor to ease this process.
Once you determine the insulation that already exists in your home, you can use the energy.gov Home Energy Saver calculator to help you determine how much insulation needs to be added to optimally weatherize your home. If you’re unsure, the expertise of a professional like a licensed contractor can help make sure you’re using the right type and amount of insulation to lower your energy bills and provide you with a great rate of return. For more ideas to prepare your home for winter, see our home winterization checklist.
Paint Interior Walls to Refresh Your Rooms
Although painting has traditionally been a project for the spring or summer, winter is actually a great time to repaint interior walls. The dry air in colder months can help speed up the drying process for new coats of paint. Since winter is not the popular season for paint projects local stores may also offer discounts on paint and related supplies, making it one of the more cost effective winter home improvement projects.
The bleakness of winter and earlier sunsets can start to make your house feel dreary, especially if you’re spending even more time inside now than in previous years. Adding a bright and inviting splash of color can reinvigorate your spaces and boost your motivation and mood. And if your remote work schedule is just as demanding as your in-office schedule (or potentially more demanding, if you’re juggling multiple members of your household working or learning from home at once), then hire a professional to do the job for you.
Change Out Light Fixtures for a Brighter Home Environment
Along the same lines as painting projects, changing out light fixtures can really transform the interiors of your home to keep your spaces feeling cozy and happy when it’s dark and dull outside. Adequate lighting has shown to correlate with a more positive mental outlook, which can help you and other members of your household withstand the reduction in natural lighting during the winter. Having proper lighting in your home can even help to mitigate the effects of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a mental disorder tied to the increased melatonin levels that the body produces when it’s darker outside longer.
You might be surprised how much of a difference lighting can make for the mood of your home. Swapping out tired old light fixtures for newer brighter versions can help make spaces feel much more energized and cheery, which is more important now than ever as we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. You might even consider adding in fixtures where there were none before to improve notoriously dark spaces in your home like basements.
Install New Carpets for Added Coziness
Toward the end of winter is a great time to install new carpeting, after it endures months of snow and slush tracked in from outside. New carpeting can not only improve the aesthetic of your home interiors but it’s also a practical change, as carpet provides a comfortable surface to walk on and can even be considered additional insulation for your flooring. Ultimately, it will help your home to feel warmer, cozier, and more refreshed.
It’s possible to install carpeting by yourself, but costs for the necessary supplies and specialty tools add up, and that’s not even considering the hours of labor it will take you to complete. You’ll have to ensure you’re buying the right amount of carpet for the space, rent tools, move furniture and any other obstacles out of the way (which sometimes also requires removing doors), install tack strips, and obtain and place padding on the inner perimeter of the tack strips, all of before actually putting down the carpet.
Carpet stretching is an intricate skill that can be difficult to perfect on your own, and it’s one of the most important elements of a successful carpet installation. It can also be hard to seam adjacent pieces of carpeting correctly (with patterns matching up and carpet pile direction remaining consistent from piece to piece) if you’re not a professional. For these reasons, it makes sense to hire a professional for the job so it can be done with ease.
Remodel Rooms to Transform Your Home Before Spring
This year, you may be feeling especially antsy and might crave a more significant change in your home since you and your family members are likely spending more time indoors than in prior years. If you’re looking for more ambitious winter home improvement projects, consider renovating a full room such as your basement, bathroom, or kitchen.
These rooms are ideal choices for winter remodels, since they can improve the value of your home in the long-term. If your basement is currently being used as a throwaway storage area, there are multiple options to consider for reclaiming that living space — whether it’s a bar, game room, or home gym for adults or a school, play, or craft area for kids.
A bathroom renovation is the smallest room update out of the three, and bathrooms are important areas of your home that can often be neglected in larger renovation projects. Consider getting a custom walk-in shower or bathtub, updating your plumbing to save on water bills in the long run, and redesigning the space with new tile and finishes to make your bathroom optimal for much-needed self care and relaxation.
Kitchens are an exciting area to remodel since many families spend a lot of time cooking, eating, and catching up together there. You can change your kitchen’s layout to make it more open and optimize your use of space, as well as upgrade appliances and update design elements like countertops, backsplashes, cabinets, and finishes.
If you want more in depth information about winter basement, bathroom, or kitchen remodels read our winter room renovations blog.
Partner with a Licensed Contractor for Your Winter Home Improvement Projects
While DIY house upgrades may seem more cost-effective at first glance, winter home improvement projects can be done more efficiently when you partner with a professional. Renting or buying necessary supplies and tools can be expensive in and of itself and on top of that, unexpected issues and improperly completed projects can actually end up costing you more money throughout the renovation process or down the line. That’s why we recommend working with a licensed contractor to ensure that the work is done correctly.
Our team has the expertise to help you consider, plan, and execute any home renovation project. We can help you get the job done faster and better with our team’s capacity and extensive range of knowledge. At Malek Construction, we focus on collaboration to help you shape your vision and make it a reality. Contact us today, and we’ll make your home feel brighter, cozier, and refreshed by spring time.