Winter doesn’t exactly scream “home improvement season,” but there’s really no reason you can’t get your DIY on during the bleak midwinter. Sure, you don’t want to suddenly attempt a new, all-DIY roof before a blizzard, but there are plenty of projects that can improve your home, wallet and life without giving you frostbite or exposing crucial aspects of your home to damage from the elements. There are many easy home improvements for winter that can keep your mind and hands busy.
From winterizing money-savers to dreamy DIYs, here are 10 easy projects you can tackle this winter (definitions of easy may vary).
Home improvement project? Try life improvement project. You don’t know what you’re missing until you spring for a programmable ‘stat. Although they’re pricier than your $10 bargain thermostat, programmable options pay for themselves in savings. Remote access is one of the best money-saving features. No more big bills because you forgot to turn down the heat before your winter week away.
Renting tip: keep the old ‘stat stashed away and do the swap in reverse when you leave.
True, it’s not glamorous, but it’s oh-so-helpful. Plugging leaks keeps cold drafts from harshing your vibe and draining your wallet. Check windows and doors for gaps that can be fixed with new weatherstripping or caulk. Make sure there’s a good seal where pipes enter your home. Check for light switches and outlets on external walls that aren’t insulated.
Have you checked your attic’s insulation lately? Follow up question: Does it even have insulation? It’s a no-brainer investment. Keeps cold air out and your heat in during winter? Check. Keeps hot air out and your conditioned air in during summer? Check.
This could balloon into a bigger project if you discover water leaks or other pressing issues. Otherwise, rolling out insulation should take an afternoon at most. Be sure to get insulation of the right R-value for your region.
It’s never too late to stop the build up of leaves that cause massive drainage issues. Note: This is not a solo job. Even if you have a one-story house, it’s best to have someone spotting you. Or, at the very least, let a neighbor know what you’re doing and have them check in on you.
As long as you’re working with low or no-VOC paint and can easily air out your work space, there’s no reason you can’t tackle winter painting projects. Paint gives you an instant, low budget update and immediate gratification for your work. Go nuts and paint anything and everything. Paint rooms, trim, interior doors, cabinets, furniture, DIY art and more.
Like paint, hardware is a simple, quick swap that can make a huge difference. Try changing interior knobs, cabinet knobs or pulls, hinges and other embellishments.
Often the biggest improvements come from simply clearing out junk and giving what you really love (and use) room to shine. If you’re really motivated, you can probably get away with a huge weekend purge. Most people, however, will probably be happier tackling one room, drawer or closet at a time and may prefer tackling it one or two hours a week.
Arm yourself with the right questions and a steely resolve. Also, make a plan for what will happen with the rejects. Trash? Donate? Save for your annual yard sale?
Running out of room? Stop neglecting your walls. Whether you plan to go pro and add complex between-the-studs built ins or simply want to add a few floating shelves or hooks, your walls can offer valuable square footage for storing necessities or displaying items you love.
Decide If You’re:
You will, at the very least, need a stud finder, nails or screws, a hammer or drill, a level and measuring tape.
Decorative pillow covers, duvet covers, curtains, tablecloths, couch covers: You name it, and it’s expensive. Luckily, with the right experience and a can-do attitude, you can DIY the fabric accessories of your dreams.
Novices can tackle a simple project like an envelope pillow cover in a day, but even experts will need more time for something like a couch cover.
Curtains are a wonderfully customizable option. Rings with clips mean you could stop at hemming your fabric, or you could add grommets, fabric loops or more labor-involved hanging methods.
If you have the space, go full DIY and create custom furniture or storage items. This is an especially great option for renters who may have awkward or limited space to work with. You can create custom-sized, multi-functional items like storage benches or bookshelves to get the most out of your space.
Stop waiting around for spring to arrive, these easy home improvement projects for winter are within reach. If you start now, you might find you have an unrecognizable new living space come spring.