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Winter is a great time to freshen up your home, regardless of whether you are trying to make your new home your own or planning to sell. Here are some great DIY home projects to consider tackling this winter!

 

1. Paint

  • Applying fresh coats of paints can instantly brighten up a home and make it feel new again. If you're planning to sell, this is one of the most cost effective ways to get more money for your home. We always say paint is worth $35 in the can, and $1000 on the wall.
  • While some people prefer to slap samples of a few different paint colours on the walls to determine which one they like best, Benjamin Moore takes some of the guesswork out of selecting a new wall colour with its Personal Colour Viewer web-based program, where you can upload a photo of the room you want to paint and see what different paint colours would look like on the walls and with your furniture.
  • We recommend using a high quality paint that covers over your previous wall well. Time is money, and if you can do the whole room in one coat, it'll save you a lot of time!
  • What colour?! Pinterest and Houzz are great websites and apps to look for inspiration for wall colours. If you're planning on selling, go with a light neutral colour that will appeal to most people. 

 

2. Backsplash

  • In additional to paint, a quick and easy way to brighten up a kitchen or bathroom is with a tile backsplash. Not only is it more hygienic and easier to clean, a tile backsplash can add colour or lighten up a room. Best of all, it can be easily done in a weekend. Here’s a video to show you how. 
  • If you're not up for learning how to do a new project, you can easily higher a handy (wo)man to help you with tile. It doesn't have to cost you a lot, and the finished product is more polished than a plain kitchen or bathroom.

3. Declutter

  • Removing clutter in one’s home can help with feeling more relaxed and settled. Even if you only devote a couple of hours a week to decluttering, it can make a big difference. 
  • Purge clothes you haven’t worn in years! If you look in your closet and see clothing you haven't worn for the last year, it may be time to donate it. We recommend Women in Need (WIN)
  • Shred paperwork you no longer need! 
  • Take time to organize your garage, crawl space, or storage locker so that what you have in there is clearly labeled and easy to access. 
  • This is usually a good time of year to find plastic totes on sale, which are then waterproof in the basement or crawlspace. 
  • If you're planning to sell, you can take your de-cluttering to the next level by also de-personalizing. When you sell, you want your home to be as neutral as possible to the eyes of the buyer. This can mean taking down certain pieces of art, removing family photos and pairing down on personal items. 
  • We always include a home staging consultation as part of a listing package for our sellers. Working with someone who can be objective in how they view your space can be an invaluable resource! It will also make a huge different to your bottom line. 
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Winter and the holidays are quickly approaching which leaves us turning to creative ways to keep the house warm and save a little money while we're at it! Here are a couple of our suggestions of how to keep warmth in your house and cash in your pocket!

 

Let your drapes do some work

 

During the day, pull those curtains wide open and allow the sunshine to help heat! Even on cold days, the sun is still warm so take advantage of the sunny side of your house. Once the sun sets for the night, close the drapes and let them work as a barrier keeping the heat from escaping through the windows. You may also want to consider getting some insulated curtains for your windows. 

 

Get a helping hand from technology

 

You've got a million things on your mind - don't make energy efficiency another one of your worries! Look into installing some programmable thermostats - many will allow you to set up a heating schedule to maintain the warm in your home instead of constantly adjusting it manually. This way, you can program your home to stop heating when your cozy in bed or out at work. 

 

Take the opportunity to redecorate

 

Moving some furniture around your home may help keep your house toasty. Take a walk around the rooms in your home and be sure you aren't covering up any vents or baseboard heaters. Not only can furniture covering them be a fire hazard but it also prevents warm air from circulating. 

 

Ceiling fans aren't just great for summer

 

Your ceiling fans may be sitting needlessly dormant during the cooler winter months. Check your fans to see if they have a 'winter' or 'reverse' setting. This will reverses the fan's rotation; pushing the heat back down into your rooms. Be sure to have your fan on its lowest setting so it doesn't cool the air though. 

 

Lower your heated square footage

 

Just like turning off a light when you leave the room, remember to close the door behind you too! By closing off rooms that aren't in use, this will allow the warm air to better circulate throughout the house If you have floor vents, you can also shut these in the unused rooms - just be sure to reopen them before your in-laws take over the spare room during the holidays! 

 

Look for leaks

 

On a particularly chilly or windy day, take a stroll around your home and feel for drafts and leaks. There are often great hiding spots for leaks including attics, basements/crawlspaces and kitchen hood vents. Many of these spots have direct access to the outside of your home through vents that should be closed in the winter and open in the summer. Don’t forget to check the seals/weather stripping around doors and windows. Check out

 

Heat the house and fill your belly

 

That's right! Two birds with one stone folks. Instead of jacking up the radiator or gas fireplace, take it to the kitchen and cook up some great meals. Comfort food goes hand in hand with a warm home so preheat that oven and get to casseroling. Roast a chicken, bake some cookies or cook a lasagna !

 

Add layers to your wood floors

 

Did you know that uninsulated wood floors can account for up to 10% of a home’s heat loss? Adding carpets and rugs to your décor not only looks great but it also helps to keep your rooms warm.  So check out those holiday sales and add some warmth where you walk!

 

Finally - Heat the person, not the home 

 

Toss some cozy throw blankets on the couch, brew a cup of hot chocolate and slip on your favourite slippers. Heating the person instead of the house is certainly the most cost efficient way but wearing a hat and mitts inside your home is not a good look. Make a few changes to make a big difference and find the perfect balance in order to be comfortable.  

 

Stay warm this winter Victoria! 

 

 

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