This time, it’s going to be different. A brand new year, brimming with possibilities, and you’ve resolved to move through your house like a whirling tornado of can-do, fixing, painting, and organizing. Welcome to your home improvement New Year’s Resolutions!
1) Lose weight (cut energy use)
Your house is a glutton, gobbling energy like a starved elephant. Gain control by trimming energy use. A good place to start is your HVAC ductwork. Ducts are notorious energy-wasters, leaking your heating and cooling air through holes and loose connections.
2) Quit smoking (purify indoor air)
The EPA lists indoor air quality as one of the top environmental health hazards. That’s because indoor air is full of potential contaminants, such as dust, mold spores, pollen, and viruses. The problem is at its worst during winter, when windows and doors are shut tight.
3) Get out of debt (budget for improvements)
Creating a yearly budget for home improvement and maintenance helps prevent overspending, and encourages you to put aside money for major replacements — such as new roofing or a kitchen appliance — that come up every few years.
4) Learn something new (educate yourself on home finances)
Want a little education that goes a long way toward your financial health? Learning how to improve your insurance score can help you keep your home insurance premiums from getting out of hand.
5) Get organized (de-clutter)
No excuses — that clutter has got to go! Start by creating more storage space so you can stash stuff easily.
6) Volunteer (support your community)
In a world that often seems topsy-turvy, a little altruism helps restore balance. You can volunteer your time and energy to help others, and at the same time help promote safety and preserve the value of your neighborhood.
7) Drink less (curb home water use)
Our houses are thirsty. The average household uses about 400 gallons of water each day. Making a few simple changes, such as installing EPA-certified WaterSense products, could trim up to $200 from your annual water bill. Add to that energy savings from reduced costs to heat water, and your yearly savings could reach $300 or more per year.
8) Spend more time with family (share home improvement projects)
Spending quality time with your family takes quality planning — but it’s worth the effort. Rally your family around these fun-to-do projects to make every minute count:
- Plant a tree. Pile the clan into the family wagon and shop for a tree that’ll become a new member of your family.
- Make a home emergency preparedness kit. Make a scavenger hunt of gathering up all the necessary supplies, such as flashlights, toilet paper, and duct tape, and assemble your kit during an evening together.
9) Get fit (exercise your DIY skills)
Looking to trim a little of the old spare tire? Routine home maintenance and repair is a double win — you’ll burn calories while keeping your house in tip-top shape. Try these essential fix-ups and improvements from CalorieLab:
- Building a fence: 340 calories per hour
- Caulking windows and doors: 280 calories per hour
- Cleaning rain gutters: 272 calories per hour
10) Be less stressed (use maintenance-free materials)
If you want less to worry about, install low-maintenance materials and products designed for durability and long, trouble-free service. Fiber-cement siding lasts for 50 years or more. It’s weather-proof, and resists dents, fire, insects, and rot. It’s exceptionally stable, even with changes in humidity, so that paint jobs last longer than on wood and wood-fiber siding products.
Information from Houselogic.com by John Riha.