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10 Home Improvement Ideas For Winter

Sidney Richardson5-Minute Read
December 16, 2020

Excited for that DIY home project you have planned for next summer? What if we told you that you don’t have to wait for the warm season – winter might actually be the best time to renovate! With many people cooped up in their houses due to social distancing and the cold weather, this winter may be the ideal time to get around to improving your home.

Since most people do their home renovation projects in summer, contractors have more availability, meaning you may be able to meet with them and get to work on your project much faster than you would in the summer. Renovation costs are sometimes lower in the winter too, with some contractors offering deals and savings during the slow season.

Interested in getting a project done this snowy season? Here are a few of our home improvement ideas for winter to transform your space and take advantage of the season.

Add A Fresh Coat Of Paint

One of the easiest ways to transform a space is painting the walls. Painting in summer can be difficult because high humidity can cause paint to become uneven and difficult to adhere. By painting in winter, you can avoid issues caused by humidity – and your paint will dry faster, too.

With less light and gray skies, winter can also be a great time to add a pop of color to your walls as well. A different color can completely change the look and feel of the room you’re painting, but it isn’t permanent, so don’t be afraid to experiment! Try a lighter color to make your space feel larger and more open or a darker color to make it feel cozier.

Insulate The Attic And The Foundation

Attics are a very common culprit of energy loss in many homes. Heat can leak out of your home in the winter months if your attic isn’t well insulated. Heat could be escaping your home through the foundation as well, so you could use the winter months to insulate both and make sure you are aren’t spending more than you need to in order to keep your house warm.

Working in the attic can be a humid and uncomfortable job in summer, so take advantage of the cold winter months to insulate your home to make sure it’s more comfortable year-round. If you’re not sure where or if your home needs to be insulated, try consulting an insulation contractor to help determine your home’s needs.

Upgrade The Windows

Replacing your windows during the coldest months of the year might not sound like a great idea, but it can actually save you a lot of money up front and in the long run with energy savings.

While your home may be a bit cold during the installation process, new energy-efficient windows can help you cut your energy expenses right away, so you shouldn’t necessarily wait until spring to install them if you’re looking to save money on heating your home.

Replace The Door And Cabinet Hardware

Door and cabinet hardware are often overlooked as trivial details, but when changed, they can actually alter the entire atmosphere of a space. If you’re looking to change up your kitchen, try swapping the knobs or pull bars on the cabinet doors for something more dramatic than the usual nickel or brass, such as matte black or another “unusual” color.

This small change in decor is a lot cheaper than renovating your entire kitchen while also providing a surprisingly big change to the style of the room.

Switch Up The Lighting

Changing the light fixtures in your home is another easy yet potentially dramatic change you can make to your space. If your current lights are very old, they could pose a safety hazard to your home, so this winter could be a great time to finally change them. Consider making the switch to LED lights too, if you haven’t already. LEDs greatly reduce your energy consumption and impact on the environment.

Besides fixing safety and energy concerns, new lights can also play a huge role in changing the feel of the room they are in. The brightness, color and shadows from a new light can make a room feel more relaxing or even more energizing without having to alter anything else in the room. Since the sun sets earlier, switching up your lights is a great winter home project because you’ll likely be spending more time with your lights on anyway – so why not improve them?

Replace Kitchen Countertops

With lower contractor prices in the winter, it may be a perfect time to think about replacing your kitchen countertops as well. Installing natural stone countertops such as granite will be less expensive in winter, which can be a huge benefit to you since natural stone countertops typically add to your home’s resale value as well. The lower prices do come hand in hand with the danger of damage due to poor weather, though, so make sure that it isn’t below freezing or icy when your countertops are installed.

Build A Deck

While most people tend to think spring is the best time to build a deck, making your deck a cold weather project may actually have more benefits. During the colder months, natural wood dries more quickly and can even be more easily stained because it is typically less hot and humid in winter. By building your deck before spring or summer, you also won’t have to deal with busy contractors and may be able to finish your project more quickly – plus, you’ll be able to enjoy your deck as soon as the weather gets warm again.

Work On The Floors

Changing your floors is a great way to update your home and increase resale value. Like most other renovations on our list, this one is easier and cheaper to do in winter since it’s considered the “slow season.” If you want hardwood floors, it may be a good idea to install your flooring in winter anyway, since floors installed in summer tend to shrink more when colder weather comes around.

Finish The Basement

Finishing your basement is almost always a fantastic idea because it adds usable space to your home and can increase the value of your house by quite a bit. You could transform your basement from a cold concrete room to a personal gym, bar, guest bedroom or whatever you see fit. You could even use the space to make money by renting it out as an apartment space or Airbnb. Like other renovation options, this is a great project to take on in the winter because it will (hopefully) get done faster and cost less than it would in summer or spring so you can enjoy your brand new basement space in the coming warmer months.

Upgrade Home Safety Features

Safety features such as carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms should be on every floor of your home. Winter is a great time to get around to making sure you have them installed or replacing your current detectors and alarms. Less ventilation in your home as the weather gets colder makes carbon monoxide an even bigger threat, so be sure all your alarms are in working order – and clean them to prevent buildup and assure they’re working properly. While this is not a very large-scale DIY project, working and up-to-date home safety features are a huge home improvement that can potentially save your life.

Summary: Take Advantage Of Winter

If you have a renovation project you’ve been waiting to start, don’t be afraid of starting it in winter – you might just get a better deal on materials and labor now than you would any other time of the year.

For more tips, tricks and ideas for home improvement, check out our Rocket Homes® Homeowner Guide and learn how to make the most of your space.

Sidney Richardson

Sidney Richardson is a professional writer for Rocket Companies in Detroit, Michigan who specializes in real estate, homeownership and personal finance content. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism with a minor in advertising from Oakland University.