5 Considerations for Winter Home Renovations

When winter’s chill comes sweeping in from the mountains, naturally it puts limitations on which home renovations you can do, and which will have to wait another few months until spring or summer. However, even with the blustery weather and frigid temperatures, you don’t have to put off making changes and bettering your home environment. Some will even help your house feel cozier, healthier, and all around fresher for when springtime comes around.

Inspect your home’s HVAC unit

As to be expected, the cooler the temperatures are the more pressure is placed on your home’s furnace. Because of this, it’s ideal to have your furnace inspected annually to ensure it’s running in peak operating condition, ideally before the frost sets in to avoid any particularly cold mornings with a broken heater. Doing so will always ensure you have a warm, comfortable house to hide away from the winter in.

Meanwhile, if your home’s furnace stops working for any reason, it’s important to call a professional to help you fix the problem. Trying to fix it on your own, especially if you don’t have much experience, could lead to dangers such as explosions, electrocution, irreversible damage to the unit, and deadly carbon monoxide leaks.

Maximize energy-efficiency

As you may already know, winter can be a particularly expensive time in regards to your utility bill since your furnace uses more energy to heat your home. However, there are many small steps you can take to reduce your home’s energy usage to save money overall in order to offset the greater cost of warm feet.

One of these steps is to search for air drafts around doors, windows, and wall seams, and fix them as they come. Air drafts occur in and around your home’s doors and windows in particular, and you can identify these drafts by running your fingers along your home’s windows to find where cold air seeps inside. When you do find drafts, replace the old weather stripping and use door draft guards to keep the cool air outside where it belongs.

One other area you might not have considered to be rife with air leaks, is around your home’s plumbing, particularly if pipes are not well insulated and there’s a lot of empty space around the pipes in your walls. To fill this empty space, you can use spray foam insulation to seal any cracks in the areas without insulation such as basements, attics, and furnace rooms.

Your attic is particularly prone to air leaks, especially if you live in an older home. To check the status of your insulation, go to your attic and observe the location of your insulation relative to the floor joints. If the insulation is at the same level or below the floor joints, you need more to fill in the gaps. In addition, you can reduce your home’s energy use by turning down the thermostat, especially during the times you’re not home. By turning back your home’s thermostat between 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours a day, you can save as much as 10% on your home’s energy bills

Freshen up your interior

Even with the colder weather outside, there are plenty of interior renovations you can still keep up on, and one of the easiest involves the bathroom which can be fixed up no matter the time of year. You can transform the look of your home’s busiest common areas simply by changing out the faucets, adding new vanity countertops, or giving the room a new coat of paint.

Of course, if you have more of a budget to work with, you might opt to do a complete remodel rather than just sprucing up appliances here and there. With this, it’s important to consult with multiple contractors to see what their suggestions would be, completion schedule, and the cost of the project. Further, researching your chosen contractor’s reputation through the Better Business Bureau and local courts (for any suits or complaints filed) ensures you find the right contractor for the job.

Outside of the bathroom, one way to improve a room’s functionality and transform its look is by simply changing up the furniture placement. When thinking of where to place each item, keep them away from doors or windows, which are areas that tend to be colder in the winter. You’ll also want to refrain from covering heating ducts with furniture, especially during this time of the year when you need a consistent flow of toasty air to keep your home comfortable — not to mention, to avoid a fire hazard!

Winterizing your RV

If you want to protect your home away from home while you’re cozied up by the fire inside, you’ll have to make sure you’ve got your RV on your mind. RVs are the perfect travel companion, but much like your home, you’ll want to add small touches to ensure it’s ready for the winter weather. To do this, the first step is to do a thorough cleaning of both the inside and outside of the RV.

On the inside, remove and clean any items that were leftover from the previous season. This prevents bugs from entering and creating nests, which could invite in too many visitors during the winter months and be a bit of a surprise in store for you when you break it out again in the spring.

Moreover, when cleaning outside and in, inspect all the seals and the roof for signs of cracking, similar to how you checked for air drafts around your interior doors and windows. If there are cracks, this could create moisture buildup inside the RV, leading to the presence of mold. Taking care of these cracks by sealing them right away prevents this.

Ultimately, no matter how chilly the colder months get, it’s important to winterize your home so you can remain cozy during the frosty winter season. Doing these steps can also help you freshen the look of your surroundings and save money on energy costs.

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