It's time for a controversial opinion: The winter can be a dull time. Once the magic of the holidays wears off, it's all snow, cold weather and gently scraping ice off your windshield. And with the pandemic showing no signs of letting up, this winter is probably going to hit a little harder than the ones that came just before.
That doesn't mean that you can't emerge from your icy chrysalis with a ton of new skills and accomplishments under your belt. And if that belt is full of tools, you might enter the spring with a lot of changes to show off in your home. Here's a list of the easiest home renovations you can do this winter.
Why You Should Be Renovating During the Winter
If you think that making home improvements in the summer months is more ideal, here are some facts that might help change your mind just a little.
First, if you're going to hire a contractor, the colder months are probably the best time. Not only are rates lower but there may be more contractors available as the busiest time for building and expanding is in the spring and summer.
Second, stores are likely to have more discounts for your home renovation needs. With all the Black Friday and other assorted holiday sales, you may come back from Home Depot with granite you've bought at rock bottom prices (sorry).
Finally, if you're hiring a contractor and planning on traveling during the holidays -- this is more for other years than this one -- you may just leave your old kitchen and return to find a new one in its stead without having to worry about wandering through sawdust and plastic tarps.
So what should you renovate? Well...
Refresh Those Countertops
Say you don't have the time, energy or money to replace your entire kitchen but are ready for something different. Replacing the countertops may be your absolute best bet.
Not only will new counters dazzle all your guests once you're allowed to have some back in your home -- you can just Instagram them for now -- but you won't have to make too many trips from your warm home out into the icy tundra that is January to get them done.
Switch Up the Illumination
Do you ever look at your light fixtures and think, "Someone should really do something about those?" Well, guess what: You're that someone and you're doing something about them. Being cooped up can take a toll on your physical and mental health, so it's important that you try to make your house as enjoyable as possible for you to live in.
One way to brighten things up? Choose some new light fixtures, brush up on your basic electrical skills -- remember to turn off the power -- and get to replacing. Who knew a new fixture could make such a difference?
Don't Make These Mistakes: 20 Renovations That Will Hurt Your Home's Value
Paint the Walls
The colors of your walls may not have bothered you so much when you were spending a good portion of your life outside the home but now that we're all stuck indoors, it's time to make our living spaces places where we want to be all the time. Paint a little dull? Hideous wallpaper taking up too much space in your head? It's time for a change.
There are two advantages to painting in the winter. First, going to Home Depot and watching them mix the paint is fun no matter what time of year it is -- but it can feel like a real outing when you're usually chilling at home due to the weather. Second, that dry winter air can help paint dry quicker.
Don't want to paint? You can easily paste a ready-made mural on the wall you want a do-over on.
Undeck the Halls and Then Deck Them Again
Now that your walls are done, you have two options: Either hang up everything you have just the way it was before or take a weeknight -- or a whole weekend -- to do something different.
You can easily find unique and affordable artwork and knick-knacks on Etsy or at thrift stores. You could also take up an easier skill such as cross-stitch or latch hook to make some art of your own. And the internet is full of tutorials on how to create a gallery wall in your living room.
Change Out Your Showerhead
While some of the renovations on this list may seem like a lot, changing a showerhead will likely only take you a few minutes. Plus, it could result in a more comfortable shower and, in some cases, money saved on your water bill.
As long as we're on the subject of easy bathroom renovations, an at-home bidet is hygienic, easy to install and can help you save money on toilet paper. It can also save you stress the next time a toilet paper shortage hits, but we're not going to talk about that right now.
And don't forget the faucets: They're easier to replace than you'd think.
Replace the Carpeting
Have you come to a point where dirt and mud tracked onto your carpet no longer bother you because "it's so old, anyway"? It might be time for a change. Replacing worn carpeting with something new can make your house look better and keep you warmer and more comfortable.
Having a professional install new carpeting is probably best, but if you want to do it yourself or have an unfinished floor, you can buy peel-and-stick carpeting to create your own design.
Redo and Rearrange the Little Things
Maybe you're not ready to rip out countertops or carpeting, but there are little things you can do to make your winter hibernation a little more pleasant. Consider rearranging your storage spaces (especially in pantries and laundry rooms) for more efficiency, check and replace your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and decide whether this is the time to switch out drawer pulls and knobs on cabinets and doors.