Baby, it's cold outside. Unless you're a hardcore
DIYer, you're not exactly ripping out walls or installing new siding at this time of year. Though big home renovation jobs tend to grind to a halt in winter, there are actually lots of ways to keep your remodeling project moving forward during the chilly season. Here are 6 ideas for productively passing time until spring arrives:
1. Research contractors.
Planning to hire professionals
for some of the complicated stuff? If so, start calling around for estimates now; winter is a slow time of year for contractors
, too. Those same affordable, trustworthy tradesmen answering the phone in January will be harder to pin down when the weather warms up.
2. Shop for supplies. Business is slow at this time of year in hardware stores and product showrooms.
Sales personnel can devote more time to answering your questions than during the spring and summer months. Even better, you may spot good deals designed to lure customers back now that the holiday season is behind us. Make the most of it.
3. Install hardwood floors.
It's said that winter is the best time of year to install hardwood flooring
. Why? The dry winter air of your average home prevents the newly laid boards from gapping. This is one major project you might want to undertake right now.
4. Top up insulation.
Consider having new insulation laid or sprayed inside your roof. Get your house evaluated before committing to the expense (call your city and ask about free energy assessments
) and save on home heating bills for the remainder of the season.
5. Complete winterizing maintenance.
Now's the time to complete those home winterizing tasks
you've been putting off. When spring hits and big remodeling projects resume, you'll likely neglect these essential jobs to the detriment of your home. Check the chimney, roof and downspouts. Caulk to prevent drafts, install smoke alarms in every room, and wash your home's windows inside and out.
6. Sweat the small stuff.
Itching to get your hands dirty again? Make progress on your renovation by sticking with low-mess, low-odor projects. Switch out cabinet hardware and upgrade light fixtures. Talk about color schemes now so that painting can begin immediately in spring. Whatever minor jobs you complete now will shorten your to-do list when the weather warms up ... so get working!