Tuesday, January 2, 2024 / by Bell Home Team
As we embark on a new year, the allure of home improvement projects beckons. However, the key to a successful and stress-free DIY journey lies in a well-paced approach. Join Jamie Birdwell Branson from Yahoo!Life as she provides a month-by-month guide to conquer do-it-yourself tasks that will maintain, enhance, and beautify your home throughout the year.
January - Repaint the Baseboards
After the hustle of holiday gatherings, assess the wear on your baseboards and consider a fresh coat of paint. Start the year by transforming not only baseboards but also door and window trims for a renewed look. Best practice for a smooth paint job is to clean the baseboards, window and door trims first to ensure you don’t paint down lumpy and gritty dust particles. Also, don’t forget to utilize semi-gloss or high-gloss latex paint; this will make it easier to clean in the future.
February - Add Attic Insulation
As winter wanes, evaluate your attic insulation to ensure efficiency in both heating and cooling. If your house seems colder than it should in the winter, and warmer than you’d prefer in the summer, you’re probably in need of an upgrade to your attic insulation. This two-fold project enhances your home's HVAC performance and contributes to long-term energy savings.
March - Clean the Gutters
In Upstate New York, March may seem a little early to be thinking about spring cleaning. However, before spring showers arrive, clear your gutters of debris accumulated during the fall and winter months. This will help protect your home and roof from potential water damage and can remove a possible breeding ground for unwanted pests like mosquitos and rodents. Not up for cleaning your gutters yourself? Explore the added benefit of installing gutter guards to prevent debris overflow and having to put in the elbow grease to maintain them yourself.
April - Prevent Summer Pests
As warmer temperatures approach, safeguard your home from pests before they come pillaging for free room and board. The best way to start is by checking for cracks in the siding, examining the roof for broken or rotten shingles, and sealing around windows and doors. Sealing around windows and doors with caulk to fill itty-bitty openings is the simplest way to help prevent unwanted critters and can boost the appearance of your newly painted window and door trims! Proactive measures in April can keep termites, ants, and silverfish at bay come summertime.
May - Power Wash the Home’s Exterior
Keep your home's exterior looking pristine by power washing away algae and dirt buildup from prior seasons. May offers plenty of dry, sunny days perfect for restoring your house's curb appeal. Don’t have a pressure washer? You can generally rent one from Lowe’s or Home Depot for about $50-$100 per day. Make sure to read the operations manual and be advised of safety precautions before use. After your up and running, and see some of the results from pressure washing your homes exterior, you’ll likely want to pressure wash your deck, patio, sidewalk, driveway, and whatever else you can. Pressure washing provides super satisfying results.
June - Refresh Your Home’s Curb Appeal
After the awe of your freshly washed home, you’re going to want to spruce up the exterior even more. Enhance curb appeal by painting door trims, replacing the doormat, or updating exterior lighting. Consider a bold door color change for an impactful transformation. Experts are reporting some interesting hues to be seen on doors in 2024, including lilac, pastels, sage green, navy blue, and terracotta.
July - Clean and Polish Your Floors
Give your floors some extra love and attention after enduring the strains of the year. Steam clean carpets for a fresh look and apply restorative treatments to polish wooden floors. If it’s been awhile since you’ve had the flooring installed, consider refinishing hardwood for a look that will make visitors think they’re brand new (not to mention this project will return the favor with a high ROI if you decide to sell).
August - Repair Steps and Railings
Ensure safety from trips, slips, and falls by addressing any cracks or broken railings on stairs and walkways. Not surprisingly, stairs are amongst the most accident-prone areas of the home, so keeping these spots in top-notch shape is of utmost importance. This preventative measure is especially crucial before fall festivities and holiday gatherings begin again.
September - Prune Your Perennials and Plant for Fall
Engage in early garden maintenance by pruning perennials to protect them from impending frost. Making sure you get to this before the first freeze is best practice to any gardening expert. Also, use September to plant fall vegetables, such as collard greens, peas, lettuce, and radishes. To go a step further, adorn the garden with solar-powered lights for a charming touch during the shortened daylight hours.
October - Vacuum the Radiators, Baseboard Heaters, and Heating Grates
This essential DYI job may be the least favorite on some homeowner’s lists, but always pays off once temperatures drop. Prepare your heating system for the upcoming cold season by vacuuming radiators, baseboard heaters, and heating grates. For tougher grime, remove grates and use a soft-bristled brush or cloth soaked in warm soapy water to scrub away the dirt. Rinse the grates thoroughly with clean water and let them dry completely before reattaching them to the wall vents. This simple step enhances efficiency and improves indoor air quality.
November - Spruce Up the Bathroom
As holiday gatherings approach, freshen up your bathrooms by swapping in new towels, repainting baseboards, and trim (if you didn’t take care of that in January), and checking fixtures. Attend to details like changing shower heads, faucets, and even the toilet seat for a rejuvenated space. Last but not least, check the caulk around the tub and shower to ensure it’s still intact. If it’s peeking or cracked, it’s time to scrape out that old caulk, clean, and lay down a fresh bead of caulk once the surface is fully dried.
December - Brighten the Lighting
Amidst festive decor, take a moment to maintain everyday light fixtures throughout the house. You might be surprised at how much dust can collect on these everyday use items. Carefully clean out accumulated dust inside ceiling fixtures and sconces, and don’t forget inside the recessed lights. While cleaning, use a microfiber cloth for the best finish. If holiday decorating is your thing, consider adding festive adornments or swapping in colorful bulbs to add a seasonal ambiance.
Original article by Jamie Birdwell Branson at Yahoo!Life