When temperatures plummet or snow falls, it can be easy to forget that your home still needs maintenance and care. It also may need a few cold weather home improvement projects, even though they may be even further from your mind. With real estate markets slowing more and more people are choosing to make their own home improvements instead of buying or building something new.
A number of home improvement and maintenance tasks are best left for the summer, spring and fall, there are still plenty of indoor projects you can do in the winter that can increase the value of your home without leaving you out in the cold. Here are 5 home improvement projects you can tackle when the temperatures plummet.
1. Finish or remodel an attic or basement
One of the best things you can do to raise the value of your home is to increase the usable square footage. The best way to do that is to finish any unfinished spaces. If you have a basement or attic that was finished in the 1980s or earlier, it might be time for an upgrade. Even just installing new carpet, tile or wood floors, painting and upgrading trim or molding can give you a fresh new look for as little as a few hundred dollars.
Finishing a partially finished basement or attic may run you a few thousand, but if you want to finish a completely unfinished basement or attic, you might look into taking out a home improvement loan. In the current housing market, however, chances are good that increasing the livable square footage of your home will pay off handsomely.
2. Clean and organize the garage
While it can still be somewhat chilly in the garage in winter, it still beats the sweltering temps of summer. Winter is also a great time to clean out the garage because it generally ends up taking a backseat to other projects in the spring, summer, and fall.
Cleaning out the garage does more than just create more usable space (and a place to actually store your car when it snows), it can also be a good opportunity to start staging items for an early spring yard or garage sale.
3. Build a built-in bookcase, window seat or mudroom bench
Built-in bookcases, cabinets, shelves or other types of storage are always highly desirable and don’t require a lot of carpentry skills to accomplish. You can generally complete a project in a weekend, and often for less than $100. You can save even more money by using reclaimed items that will not only save you money on materials but are already partially finished.
4. Refinish kitchen cabinets
Once your garage is nice and clean, it will often provide plenty of space to work on home improvement projects. Instead of spending thousands of dollars to replace your kitchen cabinets when its time for an upgrade, you can spend a few hundred dollars and some elbow grease refinishing them instead. You can generally refinish kitchen cabinets in a single weekend, depending on how large your kitchen is and how much help you have.
5. Change out your hardware
One extremely inexpensive home improvement project that even the most handy-challenged homeowner can do is changing out the hardware on doors, drawers, and cabinets. Just changing out the hardware on semi-outdated cabinetry can give it a fresh, modern look without the labor and expense of refinishing. If you really want to go all out, you can also paint your doors and cabinets to give your home a complete makeover and give your home a fresh, updated new look.
The likelihood is, you probably spend more time indoors during the winter than any other time of year. A little time, money and elbow grease can make that time all the more enjoyable – and increase the value of your home at the same time.