If there’s one good thing to come out of the pandemic this year – it’s the time and focus to get our homes whipped into shape. From repairs to renovations, investing in home projects has skyrocketed since Spring. Houzz, the online project platform reported a 58 percent jump in searches for remodeling professionals, and with vacation spending at a historic low, families are instead diverting money into making their homes more comfortable and functional.
If you’re slow to jump on the trend, or considering which project to tackle this winter, here are a few thoughts to get you from basic blueprint to finish line in no time.
First Question: Why the Remodel?
Before you break ground or break down a wall, ask yourself this: why are you starting the project? Knowing your real motivation will influence everything from budget to choice of fixtures and finishes, as well as the deadline for completion. Are you thinking of selling your home in the spring to take advantage of all-time-low interest rates – and seeking to add value or spruce up before sale? Realtors say a modern kitchen; bathroom update or painting your home is the best money you can spend. Or if your project is for livability and adding a little luxury, then maybe it’s time to consider a small addition, a backyard oasis to escape too much family time or even a man-cave or “she shed” project. Whatever the project, start by setting a goal, allocating a budget for materials and determining if you can handle everything or need a pro to lend a hand.
Winter Wonderland – Three Project Types
People think spring and summer are the time to get started on home projects, but the opposite is true. Winter is much less busy with school activities, sports and travel (Covid-permitting), so it’s the perfect reno window. Drier air helps paint dry quickly and being inside more maximizes the enjoyment you get from even a small upgrade.
As you plan, think of projects in three levels of time and monetary investment: 1. Refresh: repainting walls and woodwork or changing your pulls and handles throughout the kitchen for a fresh, clean look; 2: Replace: tearing up old carpet to install stunning and practical new hardwood like Madrid White Oak from the StyleLife collection , or perhaps switching out your kitchen counters to create a dramatic look; and 3: Renovate: adding an extension to your home or getting a pro to help to tackle the big stuff.
Start Small, Get Big Benefits
Start small and get the ball rolling. Choose a project that can be tackled in a few days and may cost no more than a few hundred dollars – depending on your tastes. Change outdated light fixtures throughout a room, floor or entire home. Other quick fixes that might not even cost as much: The laundry room is a workhorse in your home but always overlooked, and yet some touches can dramatically improve laundry day life. Give the room a fresh coat of white paint, add shelving and hooks, replace random baskets with all-the-same items for a uniform, intentional look and better storage of laundry coming and going. Is there something practical you can do that will save money too? Add weather stripping to your windows and doors to protect against winter wind, or spend a weekend installing insulation in an unfinished attic. They’re not sexy projects but they will save you money day in day out this winter and beyond.