The New Year has arrived and that means so have the resolutions. Home improvement projects are often on that resolution list. Below is a compilation of some go-to improvements to start your 2014 plans on the right foot:
1. Clear the clutter – This first step can lead the way into other projects. Clutter can increase stress, so take the time to go room by room and remove the things no longer used, wanted, needed, or are broken. Donate appropriate items to local charities and recycle when possible.
4. Deep clean – De-cluttering is not all a home needs. Take a day a week and deep clean each room. Set up a regular cleaning schedule to help maintain the hard work put in to making it sparkle. Bathrooms on Monday, dusting on Tuesday, vacuum on Wednesday, etc. 30 – 45 minutes per evening is more manageable than 3-4 hours on a Saturday.
3. Set up for entertainment – Always vowing to spend more time with family, make that resolution happen this year. Re-organize to utilize space better and decorate using plants or pictures to make guests feel more welcomed.
4. Shrink utility bills – Make an effort for everyone in the family to turn the lights off or unplug the games and chargers when done using them. Power down the family computer at night to save on energy bills.
5. Go green– Converting an entire home to more energy efficient materials can be overwhelming and expensive. Instead, take on one project at a time. Change light bulbs to energy efficient versions, update hot water heater thermostats, look into new window treatments, and re-insulate using green and longer lasting insulation, such as spray foam. These projects also help with your energy bills!
6. Use less water – Newer water heaters conserve water. Turning faucets off, using less bath water, and doing larger but less loads of laundry can help reduce water usage.
7. Install a programmable thermostat – A thermostat that controls the temperature of the home as well as saves energy is worth the investment price. Some smart thermostats can be connected to smart phones for easy control.
8. Make it safer – Install a carbon dioxide monitor. Check for radon. Clean our ducts and vents, especially on the dryer, for lent and other flammable materials to help prevent fires.
9. Use maintenance free materials – Anytime home improvement projects are being taken on, homeowners should always look into using longer lasting materials requiring less maintenance. Although more expensive, the lack of maintenance or replacement makes the extra costs worth it in the end.
10. Use projects to bring your family together – A home improvement of a different variety, but equally important. Use projects to bring the family together. Families are always on the go and often miss that necessary family time. Spend one Saturday a month with everyone at home working on a project together.