The new year is a time to reflect back on the past and look to the future with optimism. Many of us want to do things in 2014 to improve their life, whether it be health, finances, or completing projects they’ve been putting off. The start of a new year is a perfect time to make a list of your home improvement goals and figure out the steps necessary to achieve them.
Resolve to complete those projects that have been nagging you, or ones on your “honey do” list. Scrape and reapply old caulking around entry doors and windows, reducing heat loss and improving energy efficiency. Inspect your rain gutters and downspouts, repairing any leaks, clearing clogs, and ensuring the downspouts drain away from your foundation. Change the paint color in a room to give it a brand new look.
Do you have any unfinished projects around your house? Life tends to get in the way of completing a project 100%. Maybe you repainted a room in your home, but still haven’t gotten around to touching up the trim. If you finished your basement or completed a basement remodel, make sure your basement windows don’t have any leaks that might damage the drywall.
Make it a goal to improve the energy efficiency of your home. Switch from incandescent to CFL light bulbs. Install a programmable thermostat to adjust your HVAC temperatures up or down depending on the times you are home or away. Turn off lights when not in use, and shut down power to computers and electronics – they drain electricity even when they’re in standby mode. Make sure your water heater temperature is set to 120 degrees. If it’s in your budget, consider replacing your old drafty windows with new energy efficient replacement windows.
Home improvement goals can be as simple as staying on top of home maintenance tasks. Washing your windows in the spring and fall will not only improve your view of the outdoors but also prolong the life of your windows by keeping the moving parts clean. Clean out your rain gutters on a regular basis, especially during spring and fall.
Set home improvement goals that can include tasks to improve your home and help you enjoy it more. And by performing home improvement tasks yourself in the new year, you may be able to achieve multiple goals – more exercise while working on a project, saving money by doing the work yourself, and lower utility bills in the form of improved energy efficiency.