Winter can be a series of long, cold weekends stuck in doors with little to do. Instead of sitting around counting the days until the sun re-appears, make use of this time and complete some DIY home reno jobs.
1. Add a fireplace
In a 2012 homebuyer survey, fireplaces were listed as one of the most desired home features. The indulgence of having a warm, snug fireplace to laze in front of through the winter months is incomparable to anything else. If you already have one in your living room, consider the luxury of adding one to your bathroom, bedroom or kitchen. When retrofitting fireplaces, the easiest and least expensive option is to install a gas appliance. Non-messy and highly heat effective, gas fireplaces can be installed within a day and will provide years of warmth and atmosphere to your home, all controlled with the flick of a switch. With a large selection of gas fireplaces being direct-vent, you wont even need to consider a chimney. Gas fireplaces range from $1500 to $3000 and beyond with an estimated $1000 installation fee. It is important to have your fireplace installed by a licensed gasfitter to avoid accidents.
A quick coat of fresh paint is a simple and inexpensive way to brighten up any room. This season, the dreary creams and beiges are out and the more earthly, natural tones are in. Grey has been one of the hottest interior paint colours of the season and will continue to be so beyond 2014. A basic grey, whether it be dark or light enables you to change interior fabrics and colours for years without needing to repaint. Depending on the shade picked, hot and cold neutrals can be entwined to create a cozy and warm winter room. To add spark and interest, add a small amount of metallic colour and texture. The rustic brass look is one of this seasons hottest trends along with stainless steel surfaces. A dash of bold colour and texture can illuminate a room whilst maintaining a cool and relaxed atmosphere.
3. Winterize your deck
After a summer of sunscreen, watermelon juice, spilt mojitos, chlorine and heat thriving mold, the time has come to scrub and seal your deck for the winter months in order to protect and maintain it. First step is to clear your deck from all sun lounges, summer herb pots and furniture. The built up of moisture and moss can have detrimental affects on your wooden decking, creating decay and stains. Sweep off all the dirt and grime and get your hands on a high-pressure washer that will blast off all the grime built up since last summer.
4. Update your lighting fixtures and shades
Bad lighting can make a beautiful room feel cheap and uncomfortable. The secret to beautiful lighting is variety. Variety in shades, variety in height and variety in location. When re-designing the lighting for your home, consider each room individually so that you can enhance the chosen atmosphere of the room at hand. Although the primary focus of lighting is to enhance the ability to see around your home, do not forgot the secondary aspects of lighting that act to enhance ambiance and aesthetics. Each light should aim to have a mood it wants to set as well as a function it wants to serve.
When redesigning your home lighting, consider your light switches as well. There is a large variety on the market today of wall plates and fixtures, some that glow at night to make finding the light switch not just a difficult task. Stainless steel wall plates are smart, contemporary and a modern twist on the boringly regular white plastic plates. The biggest change in lighting today is the shift from halogen to LED lighting. Although initially a reasonable investment, LED lighting is said to pay itself back in 2 years and will save you thousands off your electricity bill in the long run.
5. Invest in Dual Pane Windows
Saving up to 50% off electricity bills, dual pane windows have been proven to be a worthy long term investment. Benefitting your family and the environment, dual pane windows provide warmth, economical savings, safety and security. What allows dual frame windows to provide so much extra benefit is the double layer of glass that is filled with argon gas, delivering superior insulation benefits. During the winter months, dual pane windows preserve the heat and throughout summer, repel it making them the leaders in lowering energy consumption. Being a lot more resistant to breaking, dual pane windows are safer around the home and can be glazed with a UV coating making them optimal in protecting art and furniture that would otherwise fade with sunlight.