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Last updated: November 1, 2018 • Home Improvement

Winter Home Improvement Projects

Winter is coming… and, although, because of pop culture, once that phrase comes up all one can think about is “Game of Thrones”, it’s also a reminder that we have to keep ourselves warm. Considering that winter can be one of the best times to buy a house – which, in a way, implies it’s one of the worst to sell a house – a great idea for you is to connect both things and stay warm doing some home improvement projects around the house until the market and the weather get hot again.

With that in mind, we’ve broken down a list of upgrades around the house, those winter home improvement projects for you to do – some are DIY home improvements, some require help, but they are all interesting activities to keep you keep busy and increase your home value.

Let’s take a look at some of the best winter home improvement projects!

New Windows

Of course, this one doesn’t fit the DIY home improvements criteria – only if you’re a seasoned builder. But anyway, it’s a fantastic idea. Here’s why: putting new windows up may seem like a cosmetic winter home improvement project, but it’s very far from that.  Old, outdated windows can be detrimental to energy costs with a lot of cold getting in, which forces the heating to work extra hard to even things out. So, by changing your window to a more sturdy, weather resistant type, you’ll be able to greatly reduce your energy costs, save money and increase your home value. A potential home buyer with a smart real estate agent will ask for your full disclosure regarding any thermal issues (especially in states like Minnesota or Wisconsin, where the winter can be oppressive), and it will be a major turn-off if they find a too expensive electric bill during the season.

So, this winter, consider purchasing double or triple pane windows to reduce your costs, keep your house at the right temperature, and increase your home value. And not only that: for added insulation, we recommend finding the appropriate window shades or blinds – and even curtains –  to add aesthetic appeal, help out to insulate your home further, reduce the energy bill and keep you warm.

Add Insulation

New windows can only do so much if you don’t take care of the overall insulation of your house. Yes, insulation is key in the winter both for keeping the cold from coming in and the heat from coming out. Heat naturally rises, so check your attic to see if it is insulated appropriately to keep the heat from getting out of your home and making everyone in it cold. This is one of those winter home improvement projects that can give you a headache when done alone, and it’s best you contact someone who knows how to work that to help you out. If your house was initially insulated more than 20 years ago, then it’s a done deal that you should check that out and definitely add another layer of insulation. Materials get old and insulation technology has improved; go benefit your house off of progress, my friend!

Caulk Around Windows and Walls

At places where the winter is not intense, this won’t be a problem but during severe winter a simple hole in the drywall – made by a nail or a screw – can be enough to serve as an entryway for the cold. A boring yet important winter home improvement project is scanning along your home’s walls and windows for any potential breach in insulation. Holes in the drywall and around windows are typically problematic areas. Any drafty areas can and should be covered with high-quality caulk to add an additional layer of protection. This one is totally a DIY home improvement; don’t call and pay big bucks for a contractor to basically feel your walls with his hands and put a little caulk over it.


De-Clutter

Enough about stopping the cold from coming in! There are winter home improvement projects that can be done and are not specifically related to insulation problems. Home organization, for instance, doesn’t have to be a spring-reserved cleaning task. While keeping warm inside during the winter, go through your closets, drawers, and any additional clutter-filled areas to organize. Even better: make it a family activity! You can take the Thanksgiving break and ask everyone in your household to get stuff they don’t need and separate it so you can give it to charity, as a way to say grace. Organization can bring new life to your home and make it warm and welcoming for the holidays. So declutter and make your home feel like new!

De-cluttering is not a definite thing, so it’s not like once you de-clutter, you’ll have increased your home value forever. This will only serve that purpose if you’re thinking about selling the home right now. Anyways, de-cluttering is an end in itself – as the benefits of it are felt right then and there, once you get to it – plus, if you get the gist of it, it becomes easier to always do this exercise of de-cluttering, and, in a way, your home staging becomes almost natural.

 

Build a fireplace

Back to talking about the cold, right?

When we say a fireplace, it doesn’t mean the typical fireplace. Is more like a place to host a fire; like a fire pit. It can be outside of the house – if you live in a place that allows for that. This winter home improvement project won’t cost you so much and it can be easily done as a DIY home improvement. Find a place outside in the garden, gather bricks and rocks in a circular shape. Put a metal grid between the rocks on a higher level from the floor. There, the fire pit is ready, but you need to have a comfy place to sit and roast marshmallows, right? So get some chairs weather-resistant chairs around the bricks and rocks, get some nice throw rugs to style it (and help to keep you warm), and add some décor to the place – a rustic wheelbarrow to stand there (and keep the logs inside of it) is a great idea! This is the sort of very cheap DIY home improvement that truly adds value to your home. The home buyer arrives there – doesn’t matter if it’s winter, summer, fall or autumn – and envisions his (or her) family gathering around having a good time during the cold and immediately feel more attached to the idea of getting that house.

 

Purchase Smart Home Devices

Like we said, smart home buyers will want to know about your house’s energy consumption, and heating accounts for approximately 29% of the annual single-family household’s energy bill. With the advent of the smart home devices, the task of keeping track of energy consumption and weather inside the house has become much easier. A programmable thermostat can be programmed to set at specific temperatures throughout the day and can help reduce energy costs. Here’s a stat you and your home buyer will like: programmable thermostats can trim an average of $180 a year from your bill!

As you saw, there are several winter home improvement projects you can do it on your own or with the help of professionals. Here’s one project you shouldn’t do on your own: sell your house! Contact one of our real estate agents and let him/her help, so you don’t spend a long severe winter waiting for offers that never come.

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