Beat Cabin Fever: Top Home Projects to Conquer this Winter
Let’s face it, we all love the first half of winter but the second half tends to drag on for what feels like forever! The novelty of the holidays, outdoor fun in the snow, and playing Yahtzee around the fire with friends & family gives way to boredom and yearning for warmer weather and fresh starts. Take advantage of this time of year by addressing some home maintenance and improvement projects. We recommend that you start by walking through your home to take inventory of what needs addressing in each room. Start with maintenance-type items and then allow yourself to get creative with cosmetic improvements. Here is a list of our top recommendations:
- Fix loose towel bars and toilet paper holders by unscrewing the fixture and check the drywall anchor that holds the bar in place. Pull it out and replace with something more substantial like a toggle bolt or E-Z Anchor.
- Repair blistered ceiling paint above showers and baths by scraping off old paint and repainting with exterior-grade paint that is designed to withstand heat and moisture. If you don’t have a bathroom exhaust fan, consider installing one.
- Tighten up loose door, furniture, and cabinet handles with a screwdriver. If the screw just spins without tightening then replace with a larger screw.
Loud and Clear
- Quiet squeaky door hinges with a squirt of powdered graphite in the pin where the hinge pivots.
- Fix creaky floorboards with off-the-shelf repair kits like Squeeeek No More. These kits contain easily concealed screws to further anchor those troublesome boards.
Prior, Proper, Preparation...
- Replace your ionization smoke detectors with photoelectric or dual-sensor detectors to ensure the best reliability. Learn more here.
- Check your water shut-off valves on your toilets and sinks for rust which can accumulate over time and render them non-functional. Lube them up with WD-40 and turn on and off to work the lubricant into the threads.
- Proactively replace the batteries in your carbon monoxide and fire alarms annually to avoid the loud chirping reminder that the units will emit.
- Replace any cracked drain hoses on your clothes washer, icemaker, and dishwasher to avoid future floods.
- Install programmable thermostat
Clean as a Whistle
- Remove and clean the grates of your stove’s exhaust vent. If you have a microwave above your stove then remove and replace the filter. Grease builds up over time and can reduce the efficiency of air flow.
- Clean out residual lint in your dryer’s vent pipe. Pull the dryer away from the wall and disconnect the vent pipe. Vacuum out lint trapped in the pipe and also in the hole coming out of the dryer. Take it a step further and venture outside to vacuum or clear out the external vent so air can flow easily.
- Install a new backsplash – updating your kitchen backsplash can enliven your familiar kitchen surroundings. Look to ceramic subway tile for a traditional, monochromatic, and clean feel or choose from a wide range of glass mosaics in square or rectangular shapes to pull existing paint and countertop color through the theme. A backsplash is a great way to polish up on your tiling skills if you want to do it yourself.
- Change out hardware – replace the pulls on your kitchen or bath drawers with new styles. Choose brushed nickel for a modern look, polished brass for a transitional feel, or glass & ceramic for a traditional look.
- Install an accent wall – reclaimed wood accent walls are super popular right now. Look at local suppliers like Front Range Timber in Broomfield or Collector’s Specialty Woods in Denver.
- New paint – Order up a few sample cans of paint from your local home supply store and try a new color on your walls. Make sure to paint a test patch on different walls in the same room to gauge how the color appears in different light. A color that appears perfect when painted on the sunniest wall may see too dark on the other walls that do not get as much light during the day.