By: Vern Marker
Your home is your castle, but during the long winter months, you may get tired of being inside so much, particularly if you still have home improvements you’re longing to get done. There are some projects that will simply have to wait until warmer weather, but there are also great home improvement projects you can tackle during the winter that will immediately give your home – and you – a lift.
Replacing Interior Doors
New doors are a great way to spruce up your home’s interior and give it a more refined style. Many homes have standard, hollow, wood doors that are blank expanses with little or no style. Replacing these with interior doors featuring raised panels, carved embellishments or frosted glass inserts will add architectural interest and depth, as well as unify the look of your interior spaces. It’s amazing what a difference a six-panel can make. You might also consider frosted glass panels for the door to a dining area of office, as it will allow more light through even when closed.
While you may not want to take on installing replacement windows yourself during the winter, this is actually a great time to have replacement windows professionally installed. Professional window installers can quickly and efficiently pop out your old windows and install new replacement windows before you even notice it’s cold.
There are some advantages to replacing windows in the winter. You’ll be able to schedule more easily because window installation tends to slow down during the winter months. You’ll also get some great deals on top quality replacement windows; prices are typically slashed during the colder months. The biggest advantage is you’ll get an immediate return on your investment in the way of reduced energy costs. Energy efficient windows mean lower thermostats and a warmer home.
[Mortgage Help: Get your free credit report and see if your credit score is mortgage qualified]Painting
Nothing freshens up a room like a nice coat of paint. The right color on the walls can immediately update a whole room, adding life to tired furniture and changing the mood completely. The new, low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints don’t produce the fumes of more traditional paints, allowing you to paint even in the winter without a headache.
New Window Treatments
Most people hang window shades or curtains and then forget about them. They tend to blend into the background for many people, so you may not notice just how tired-looking they are until you really take the time to look at them. Installing new window treatments, like curtains, Roman shades or blinds will instantly add style and polish to a room. Consider a contrasting color or a bold print if your living room furniture is upholstered primarily in solid colors. The change will give the room a contemporary flare and frame your view of the outdoors beautifully.
Installing a programmable thermostat on our furnace is one of the simplest and least expensive winter home improvements you can make. Although you won’t see the results of installing a programmable thermostat, you’ll certainly feel it. Set it so that during the hours you’re at work, the temperature in your house drops, then comes back up when you get home. You can also set the temperature lower during the hours when everyone is sleeping. You’ll be amazed by the difference in your fuel bill.
Replace Lighting Fixtures and Light Bulbs
Taking down dated ceiling fans and light fixtures and installing new ones is a great way to update the style of any room. Look for something bold and dramatic for a contemporary room, or install a lovely, crystal chandelier in your bedroom for a touch of romance. While you’re at it, consider installing dimmers in rooms like the family room or dining room. The dimmers will allow you to create the right mood or enhance television viewing by adjusting the amount of light.
If you’ve started using compact fluorescent bulbs already, you know they last a long time and are less expensive to use. What you may not know is that compact fluorescent bulbs are now available with in “natural” or “daylight” versions that are much closer to the light spectrum of natural sunlight. Using these bulbs will give your home an instant lift and can even contribute to an improvement in mood during the dark months of winter.
Vern Marker is a freelance writer on a variety of topics including home improvement and decorating. Programmable thermostats, replacement windows and light fixtures are a few of the many tips that will improve your home.
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