Replace, Repair, Refresh: Easy Home Updates to Do This Winter

When you’re stuck in the middle of winter, it’s easy to dream about spring and all that it brings...warm weather, outdoor activities, light clothing. But with the nice weather also comes a workload that you put off all winter. There’s a reason it’s called spring cleaning, right?

Taking care of some of those chores now offers many benefits. It improves the appearance and value of your house. It gives you something to do on days when you’re boarded up against the ice and snow. And it also frees you up to enjoy spring when it does arrive, knowing that you’ve got a headstart on those fixes and repairs your home needs.

Keep reading for easy home updates that you can do this winter.

Update Your Lighting

You’re never more dependent on home lighting than when the days are short and the nights long. Switching out your light fixtures is a quick and easy job that can be done at any time of the year, but since winter has you stuck inside, it makes sense to look after it now.

The early evenings make you aware of how well-serviced (or not) you are by your existing lighting. Are there parts of the house that aren’t adequately lit? Maybe you never realized how much you depend on your windows for a well-lit countertop.

Most fixtures can be swapped out quickly and can provide a brighter, more cheerful space. Could there be a better time for that than in winter?

Repair the Walls

Unless there’s significant damage or dirt on your walls, they often go unnoticed beyond their color. Yet they can be littered with scuff marks, fingerprints and pinholes. Worse yet, once you notice them, it’s like you can’t stop seeing them.

Patching and painting walls can be done quickly, over a few evenings or a weekend. Make sure to give them a good wash, then fill any holes with spackle and a putty knife. Sand them smooth with fine-grit sandpaper and wash the surface one more time.

At one time there was concern about painting in an unventilated room, but many manufacturers now offer low-VOC paints that are free from harmful fumes. Best of all, the paint will dry quicker in the winter than in the summer thanks to the lower levels of humidity in the air.

Resurface Your Countertops

Getting a fresh, new look for your kitchen countertops is a surprisingly simple process, not much more difficult than painting it. With a bit of time, the right products, and some elbow grease, you can turn the worn, stained laminate counter into a show-worthy surface.

To get a professional-looking finish, put in the effort to properly prep it. The cleaner the surface, the better the resurfacing product will adhere. Always make sure to allow plenty of time for the product to dry. Countertops face a lifetime of chopping, spilling and wiping. Doing the job right means that your counters will be well-equipped to handle the abuse.

Add a Backsplash

While you’re in the kitchen, why not take the opportunity to add a new backsplash to complement your resurfaced countertops.

A backsplash combines functionality and style, offering an easy-to-clean surface that can add a whole new dimension to your kitchen. Pick up some samples to see how the different textures, patterns and colors work in your space, then set a weekend aside to get the job done. You can see the article on installing a kitchen backsplash for more.

Get Decorating

Making improvements to your house doesn’t mean you have to break out your tools and work clothes. It can be as simple as rearranging the furniture or introducing some new décor.

Swap out any pictures you have on display with different ones. Introducing new pieces of art or ornaments can have an impact on any space. Don’t settle with your current setup just because it’s familiar. Try out something new, and if it doesn’t work you can always move things back.

Schedule Big Projects Early

Many contractors and professionals offer discounts if you schedule their services in the off-season. This allows them to plan out their work season, and also allows you to prepare for any major work that you know is coming.

Whether it’s replacing your roof, upgrading your windows, or anything else that can be classified as a major renovation, get your quotes early. Getting discounts on work on this scale can lead to major savings for you. It also gives you plenty of time to prepare, should you need to find alternate living arrangements while the job is being done.

Recognizing what home projects can be handled during the winter lets you make the most of those unseasonable months, freeing up your time for when the weather is beautiful again. It will improve your day-to-day experience when you’re stuck inside, and will add value to your home.