Winter Blahs by Sprucing Up Your Home
Spring is still a few months away, fall is long gone and
summer is just a distant memory. You are stuck in the
middle of winter and you have the February blahs.
This is the time of year when most Manitoba homeowners go
a bit stir crazy and need some relief to get over the
hump. Why not put the mid-winter blahs to good use and
tackle some of those interior renovations and decorating
jobs you have been putting off?
Now is the perfect time to take a look inside your home
and get a head start on those upgrades that never seem to
get done when the weather is nice. Things like carpeting,
wallpapering, painting, adding new lighting, or even
kitchen, bathroom and basement renovations can easily be
accomplished right now while you have the time.
Your main consideration is to assess how much a job will
disrupt the household. In winter, family members don't
have the option of spending time outside during extensive
renovations, so a job such as installing hardwood floors
would be difficult. As well, most major painting jobs need
to be undertaken in the summer when ventilation is
On the other hand, many home improvements make ideal
winter jobs. Installing new carpets is an extremely
popular winter upgrade for many homeowners. Redoing a den,
rec room or bedroom will not only add spice, but give
greater comfort and warmth.
You shouldn't be concerned about replacing every carpet in
your home, because slush and snow are bound to be tracked
throughout. A good move would be to delay re-carpeting
your living room or front hallway until the weather
improves. Anything else is fair game.
Wallpapering is a chore ideally suited to winter. It can
be a bit messy, but can be completed room by room in a
fairly short period. Bedrooms, dens and especially dining
rooms are excellent candidates for sprucing up.
Papering your dining room can be accomplished with minimal
fuss, and a bright new papering job in a child's bedroom
can do wonders to make the winter easier to take.
Lighting is another item that can make your winter more
palatable. Replacing the chandelier in your dining room
can be a real winner and, for an added twist, you could
install track lighting in your living room or den. Don't
forget hallways; an antique lamp picked up at a curio shop
can greatly improve the ambience.
These suggestions could all be considered cosmetic in
nature, but you shouldn't discount the value of
undertaking more major upgrades during the winter.
Functional improvements such as kitchen and bathroom
renovations are among the most likely to increase the net
worth of your home. Surveys have shown that most
prospective buyers rate these above a new pool, deck or
extensive landscaping. In addition, most contractors are
busiest in the spring and summer, so you stand a good
chance of getting a favourable rate if professionals are
Adding new kitchen cupboards is a fairly workable upgrade.
The kitchen can still be used for food preparation during
construction and meals could be eaten in the dining room
Replacing major appliances is also a good option.
Installing a new fridge, stove or dishwasher require the
same amount of effort regardless of the season.
If you are lucky enough to have two or even three
bathrooms, why not select one of them for renovation?
Again, contractors may work for less during the winter, so
you may come out ahead of the game.
Another excellent opportunity for improvement exists in
your basement. If you have been thinking about adding a
new rec room or getting started on an in-law apartment,
the winter offers a chunk of time that could be put to
good use. Apart from laying concrete floors, just about
anything is possible, including putting up walls and
ceilings, or laying carpet.
While you are at it, you could take a look at your cellar
or garage and build that shelving you've been promising
yourself for the last decade or so. It would certainly
help during spring cleaning when you need somewhere to put
all the boxes of winter stuff.
Don't let the mid-winter blahs get the better of you. The
winter months offer a great chance to get some of those
upgrades and improvements over with so you will have more
time to enjoy the summer - when it finally arrives.