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Six Home Improvements for the Winter Months

From late August until Thanksgiving, homeowners start making necessary improvements, especially those that will help control heating costs.


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Monday, 19 August 2013

home improvement winterIt may still be summer, but the next couple of months will go quickly. Before we know it, the lawnmower will be stored away for the season and we will start decorating for Halloween. Now that kids are headed back to school and vacations have been taken, it may be time to take a closer look at your home. From now until Thanksgiving, homeowners start making necessary improvements, especially those that will help control heating costs.

During the longest months of winter, you might get tired of being inside all the time, especially if you have some improvements you want to complete. Of course, there are some projects, such as outdoor painting, that will have to wait until warmer weather; but there are some that can be done right up until the first snowflakes fall.

Your home is your castle, but during the long winter months, you may get tired of being inside so much, particularly if you still have home improvements you're longing to get done. There are some projects that will simply have to wait until warmer weather, but there are also great home improvement projects you can tackle during the winter that will immediately give your home – and you – a lift.

Replacing Interior and Exterior Doors

Sometimes it's the simple things that make a difference in your home. New doors are an excellent way to spruce up the interior during winter, but time is running out to install exterior doors. If you've been thinking about getting new storm doors or entry doors, now is the time to get moving. Replace your interior doors with raised-panel doors or doors with frosted glass or carved embellishments. All of these features will add architectural detail and depth to your living space. Consider doors with frosted glass panels for rooms such as offices that lead to naturally sunlit rooms, as they will allow more light to enter even when the door is closed.

Replacing Windows

While it may be difficult to install replacement windows on your own during cold weather months, it is actually the perfect time to have them professionally installed. Not only are the window companies a lot less busy, they can easily pop out old windows and quickly have new ones installed before you even notice the temperature drop.

Many popular window companies offer great deals on replacement windows during the winter months and you will see an immediate return on investment in the form of lower heating bills. Energy efficient windows will keep your home warmer in winter while letting the sun shine through. If you live in an especially cold climate, consider investing in insulated glass that is either double or triple-paned.

The three main types of windows are single pane, double-pane and super-triple-pane windows. The most common windows in most homes are either single or double-paned. Super windows are a more recent development that feature a third pane of treated glass, and in some cases boast a krypton/argon/air gas mix in between the panes. When it comes to insulation and protection from the elements, these windows are unmatched.


Depending on where you live, you may or may be able to paint the outside of your home until October. But interior painting can be done at any time of year. A fresh coat of paint can be just the cure for winter doldrums. In fact, the right shade or "hue" on the walls can give a room an immediate facelift, even adding life to tired décor and furnishings. If you enjoy painting, why not set aside a few winter weekends as "painting weekends" and start shopping for colors now?

New Window Treatments

Even if you cannot afford new windows, it may be time to update your window treatments. Most people tend to hang up shades or curtains and then forget about them, but they can really make a difference in a room. A new look, such as Roman shades or blinds, will add instant style and polish to any room. A good time to look at window treatments is when you're already painting or changing furniture. The new color scheme might be just the inspiration you need to change the window treatments too.

Programmable Thermostats

While this may not be quite as "glamorous" as new paint or new décor, a programmable thermostat should be a "must-do" for any homeowner. Installing one on your furnace is one of the simplest and least expensive home improvements you can do for winter. You may not see the results in the look of your home, but you will certainly see the difference in your heating bills. A programmable thermostat allows you to set a lower temperature for the hours when you are sleeping or when you will be away from home, thereby lowering your energy usage.

Replace Lighting Fixtures

Taking down dated ceiling fans and light fixtures and installing new ones is an easy way to update the style of any room. For a contemporary room look for something bold and dramatic, or for a touch of romance install a lovely crystal chandelier in your bedroom. While you're at it, consider installing dimmers in rooms like the family room or dining room. The dimmers will allow you to create the right mood or enhance television viewing by adjusting the amount of light.

Photo Courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti /

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