Consider These Home Projects When Holidays are Ahead!
The warm days of relaxing on the beach and spending time outdoors have passed. The kids are all back in school (or homeschooling thanks to COVID-19), and you are ready to get your house prepared for the colder months of the year – including the holidays.
Now is the best time to begin planning out all the projects you want to complete before the New Year. Keep in mind that this is also the part of the year when some contractors get a lot of calls for service and repairs. As a result, you need to get on the schedule for your HVAC repairman and roofing contractor. After all, once the temperatures start to drop or rain begins to fall, others in the local area will be calling for service, too.
It is important to note, getting ready for colder weather is not the only reason you should tackle these home improvement projects that you have put off for a while. It will also help ensure your home is in good shape for everyone who is bound to stop by over the next few months.
Considering Your Budget
While tackling various home improvement projects may sound appealing, many homeowners (maybe you included) are concerned about their budget. They are worried that they do not have the funds to cover everything they want to be done. While this may be a problem, there is a viable solution to consider called the HERO Program – The Home Energy Renovation Opportunity. This is a financing option that lets you borrow as much as 15% of the equity in your home to make certain, approved, eco-friendly upgrades.
Currently, there are over 900K approved products in about 50 unique categories. There is also a list of approved contractors who have registered with this program and who you can hire to handle your HERO financed improvements.
While considering what you want to do, making a plan, and securing the funding are all important steps, you may also want to know some of the most popular upgrades that homeowners make this time of year. If that is the case, keep reading.
Does your home have a gutter system? If not, you may be in trouble. Unfortunately, without a gutter system that is working properly, water may begin to pool around your home’s foundation or even near the roof. This may not be that big of a deal for a while, but eventually, serious issues may arise.
Also, by installing gutters over your front and back doors (or any other entryway leading into your home), it will make it much nicer for you and anyone visiting your home. A bonus of installing gutters or even improving your gutter system is that you can connect the downspout to a rain barrel. Doing this allows you to harvest the rainwater to use for your garden.
If you have considered installing gutters in the past, now is a good time to contact a professional to help you with this project. Remember, this is a popular fall and winter improvement, so call as early as you can to make sure you get an appointment.
Make Needed Roof Repairs
Winter is often wet. This means roofing contractors may get booked up quickly.
Have you noticed that your roof is having more issues than it did in the past? If so, now is the time to make the needed repairs. After all, you do not want water dripping on your food and guests during Thanksgiving dinner. Now is the time to get in touch with a quality local roofer and discuss your options.
One of the best things about roof repairs is that they usually are not as expensive as you may think they will be. Since this is the case, it is worth your time to get a few different estimates. Even if you are in a situation where you do not know if you can afford to make the repairs right away, it will be nice to know how much this will cost when you are ready to make the investment.
After you know what repairs are needed for your roof and the repairs’ cost, you can begin budgeting for the work before the heavier rains move in. By doing this, you can protect your home, belongings, and family.
Artificial Turf (Grass)
When was the last time you ventured into your yard after heavy rain? If you have done this recently, you know how muddy and messy things can quickly. If you have kids or pets, these creatures are going to be tracking all that “mess” right into your home. Are you ready to make this mess disappear – for good?
If so, you do not have to wait for everyone to move out. Instead, invest in artificial turf. If you live in an area with water restrictions, this may be even more appealing. If you are concerned that the synthetic turf may impact your holiday fund, remember, this is an extremely eco-friendly upgrade. It can also be paid for through the HERO financing option mentioned above.
Replace or Repair Your HVAC System
If your air conditioning or central heating system is not functioning as well as they once did, it may be a good idea to have the entire system inspected before the temperatures begin to fall. If you do not do this, you are almost guaranteed to have a point this winter where you will wish you had.
This is especially important if you believe you may need a new unit.
It is at this time of the year when most HVAC contractors become extremely busy. That is because most homeowners want to ensure their heating system is working properly before the colder weather finally moves int.
Now is the time to call someone to conduct a full inspection of your system. They will let you know if repair or replacement is the best option. This is another replacement that the HERO fund can cover if you are replacing your current unit with one that is more efficient. The HERO company will also help you find other ways to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home, such as installing an attic fan or new insulation.
Paving Stone Driveways, Walkways, or Patios
When preparing for the holidays and end of the year, you should put a nice, paving stone surface on your list of projects. The instant and significant change in your home’s visual appeal is going to impress anyone who visits. Also, paving stones are completely slip-resistant. This means you can eliminate muddy areas in your yard, and even better, help keep mud from being tracked throughout your home when it rains.
Combining the paving stone patio with artificial grass offers a superior outdoor entertainment area that you can enjoy throughout the year; however, it will be even more beneficial when you can use it directly after it rains.
Outdoor Fire Feature
Fire features are not absolutely essential to make it through the winter, but there is no question they will make your outdoor living area more appealing during the colder parts of the year. Even better, this is the perfect gathering place when you have people over for the holidays.
If you get started right away, you can have a patio fireplace or rustic fire pit installed long before the holidays arrive. Just remember, many homeowners probably have the same idea, so be sure you keep this in mind.
Install a New Kitchen Backsplash
This is a simple change you can make in the kitchen that will significantly impact the aesthetics and design. As a primary focal point, adding a brand-new backsplash will help to provide an outdated kitchen with a nice, new, refreshed appearance. Even better, you do not have to worry about more extensive projects, such as installing new appliances or cabinets to achieve this updated look. With the right backsplash, you can easily achieve the “wow” factor you are going for.
Currently, understated and elegant backsplashes are considered trendy and “in.” Allowing the backsplash to take that supporting role in the kitchen is considered hot.
Try to focus on the material’s beauty, and your kitchen backsplash will achieve a timeless look that you love to show off. If you want a more economical approach to the backsplash in your kitchen, consider playing with different patterns to create an appealing focal point. For example, you can use a cheaper tile to create a Subway style pattern. By doing this, you will elevate your backsplash without it costing too much money.
Improve Your Fireplace
When it comes to making changes, what better place to begin than with the fireplace. Investing in your fireplace hearth before the holidays is something you will love, and your guests will notice. You may even find a way to upgrade the area of your home and make it more functional.
For example, do you want to transition a wood-burning fireplace to a gas or electric unit? If so, now is a good time to make this change. Or do you just want to give the fireplace and mantle area a facelift?
One of the best things about this project is that you can select the amount of work you want to do based on how much time you have before your holiday guests begin to show up. If you have more time (and a bigger budget), you can consider creating a stone façade to the ceiling. However, if your time is limited, simple changes like new hardware or painting the outdated brick are enough to achieve the look you are going for. This is one holiday upgrade you will love to look at throughout the year, once complete.
You need to remember that this type of work may present some hazards. While some DIY projects near your fireplace are simple, others require meeting certain building safety codes. This is especially important when it has to do with a fire hazard. Some changes to the wood trim or hearth near the fireplace may violate these codes, but it all depends on what they are. This means if you are going to engage in a more in-depth project, you should hire a contractor to help you with it.
Change or Update Your Existing Living Areas
For many, one of the main concerns is how they will ensure everyone has somewhere comfortable to sleep when they visit for the holidays. You may cringe each time you think about someone having to sleep on an air mattress. If this is the case, it may be time for you to consider finishing an unfinished area in the basement.
If there is not enough time to remodel an entire spare room, it may be possible to get a little creative with the areas in the home. For example, if you have a home office, why not install a Murphy bed on the back wall? This is a great way to give your company a comfortable place to sleep and a way to hide the bed away when it is not needed.
Another option is to convert an unused nook into a sleeping area for your kids, or kids who are visiting. For example, is there an extra closet in one of your kid’s rooms? If so, you can turn it into a comfortable place to read, spend time, and, when needed, sleep.
Install New Wood Flooring
When you install wood flooring, you achieve two benefits. According to one report, when you replace your wood floors, you are making a smart investment. You may even see an ROI (return on investment) of 106%.
When it comes to selling your home, there are certain factors that all buyers appreciate, and hardwood floors are at the top of this list. Even if you do not have any plans to sell, having hardwood flooring installed offers many other benefits.
For example, if your home has older carpeting that has seen better days, replacing it with hardwood will give your entire home a facelift. Even better, you may be able to eliminate that musty odor that has been hanging around finally.
Installing this flooring during the fall and winter comes with another benefit. You can take advantage of the reduced moisture content and humidity in the air. This helps ensure the flooring does not warp or expand during the installation process.
Renovate and Improve Your Closets
You may not realize it now, but your closet is one of the biggest unsung heroes of your house. This is where you have room to stash and store virtually anything. However, since your closets remain out of sight, they may also be out of mind when you are renovating.
While this is true, now is the perfect time to consider a closet makeover. Even if you cannot get to all your closets right away, starting with one is enough. There is an array of impressive organization systems that can make a closet easy to organize and keep organized. Also, you can get these systems for pretty affordable prices.
When it comes to easy home upgrades, it does not get much easier than a fresh coat of paint. You can transform the exterior or interior of your home with ease when you slap on a new, bright color in a room.
Painting when it is cooler outside is smart, too, thanks to the reduced moisture content. This makes the paint easier to apply, and it will dry faster. If you have plans to sell your home now or after the holidays, this fresh coat of paint can help. Just remember to keep the colors neutral to ensure it appeals to potential buyers. While you do not have to stick with all tans and grays, it is best to go with lighter shades.
Invest in a New Front Door
When it comes to home upgrades and improvements, a new door may not be the first thing that comes to mind. While this is true, there is a pay-off for this upgrade. With a new door, you can make your entire home more energy-efficient; however, it is also appealing to potential buyers if you have plans to sell.
Remember, the front door is often the first impression someone gets of your home. Having a quality front door in place that is new or that has been painted will set the tone for the entire house. This means a new door is always a smart investment.
To find the right door, try to go with a fiberglass or steel door with no windows. These rank the highest for energy efficiency benefits. It is also a good idea to search for a door with the National fenestration Rating Council approval. This is a rating of two factors – the door’s ability to keep heat from escaping and how well the door will deflect unwanted solar radiation.
Upgrade Your Home’s Insulation
While it is not the glamorous upgrades mentioned above, installing new insulation offers many benefits. In fact, you can see an ROI of up to 83% with this simple home addition. Besides being beneficial for your home, you will see significant and almost instant cost savings as your home will be more energy-efficient.
Refinish Your Kitchen Cabinets
You have likely heard the saying – your kitchen is the heart of the home. This is where quite a bit of holiday socializing will take place, which means it is the perfect place to invest in an update. A simple splash of color can help to change the entire look of your kitchen.
The tricky part is choosing the right color.
While it may be tempting to choose a unique or unusual color, consider some of the other things in the room. If there are already many colors, choosing a neutral shade may be best for the cabinets. Also, if your kitchen is darker, choosing white is a smart move, as this can help brighten up the space.
Other options that go well with most color schemes include beige and gray. Even if you choose a neutral shade, you can add accent colors, such as mint green or sky blue, that add more fun to the space.
Preparing for Your Home Renovation Projects
As you can see, there are more than a few ways you can upgrade and improve your home – inside and outside – before the holidays arrive. However, to ensure you are fully prepared for the projects, you need to have a plan. Make a list of your top projects and start chipping away at them one at a time. Never try to do multiple projects at once; it is always best to finish one before moving on to the next.
Also, do not be afraid to bring in professional help. Contractors are there for a reason. This is especially important for more in-depth projects, such as upgrading the fireplace, finishing a basement room, or repairing heavy equipment. Take the time to find the not only the most affordable contractor, but the most professional and skilled. Luckily, Google makes it easy to search for local contractors. For example, you could search for water heater repair company in Sunland and be guided to a water heater repairman that is sure to have positive reviews and plenty of experience right in your local area.
Another important tip to help you prepare for your upgrades is to plan your budget. The last thing you want to do is overspend right before the holidays. Take some time to figure out what you can comfortably spend on these upgrades, and then get started. By setting a budget first, you can minimize financial stress over the holidays.
Ready, Set, Renovate
Now that you have some ideas of the best projects to tackle before the holidays, it is time to get started. With the tips and information here, you are on your way to creating a new, improved living space that you love and that you are proud to show off and share with your guests this holiday season.
When it comes to upgrading your home, there are a lot of things you can do and change. Figure out what you want and then go for it. You will love the results you achieve.
Remember, it is best to start small. Get your feet wet with home renovation before tackling the bigger and more involved projects. Doing this can help ensure you get the results you are looking for.