Even if you’re not terribly handy, there are many simple household repairs that you can easily do yourself to avoid unnecessary time and expense. This is especially true in the winter, when little improvements can make a big difference in your comfort and energy consumption.
If you’re like most people, your home is your single largest investment, so it’s common to be apprehensive about tackling home repairs if you have little experience. However, learning to do some basic home maintenance is a smart way to protect and maintain your home’s value without having to locate, schedule and supervise a contractor.
These common household fixes to winter-proof your home are easy enough for a novice, but might just give you a boost of confidence to tackle bigger projects in the future.
Painting. There’s no time like the dull, dark days of winter to realize how dim a room may be. When you’re spending more time indoors anyway, it might as well be for a productive purpose, like adding some life to a dreary room. Whether you update the entire space or simply add an accent wall, painting is a low-cost, entry-level way to enhance your home’s aesthetic appeal.
Seal air leaks. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average home has a half-mile of gaps and cracks where air and moisture can enter, and these air leaks account for 25-40 percent of the energy used for heating and cooling a typical home. Filling gaps and cracks brings immediate savings while making the home more comfortable and environmentally friendly. It actually takes little time or skill to fix air leaks, which are especially common around doors and windows.
Add insulation. Another energy-saving idea you can tackle by yourself is improving your home’s insulation. A great deal of the home’s heat escapes through the attic, but adding more insulation can help trap warmth, making your home more energy efficient. Insulation also helps resist moisture infiltration and condensation, which is particularly concerning during the winter months.
Tile accents. If you’re overwhelmed by the idea of laying your own tile floor, starting with some accent tile is a simple way to practice. A bathroom or kitchen backsplash is a small space that requires a relatively small amount of material and a well-defined workspace. When selecting your tile, be conscious of how much trimming you’ll need to do to accommodate features like electrical outlets; choosing a smaller tile or using sheets of tile may make that step easier.
Add storage. Spending extra time indoors is likely to remind you just how cluttered some areas have become. Take advantage of the time to organize and add storage elements to help keep your space neat and clean. Organizer shelves and closet systems are typically easy to assemble and can serve as functional additions to your home.