Save Some Money With These Easy Home Improvements
With fall fast approaching we wanted to put together a little home improvement guide for the fall. The main idea behind this is to address projects that will save you some money in the long run. And maybe some projects that are just fun additions to your house. At Trade Winds Imports we have a lot of experience when it comes to home improvements. There’s some home improvement projects that need to be done before it gets cold out and some that are just cheaper once summer is over. I don’t know about you, but I prefer to work on projects when it’s not hot and muggy inside and outside the house. If you’re thinking about doing a remodel but want to stay on a budget, check out a couple of our tips and tricks for making sure you don’t break the bank.
Insulating Your Windows
Insulating your windows is a classic fall home improvement project. Some people opt to tackle this project in the spring before it gets hot so the air conditioning doesn’t leak out. While that’s certainly an option, keeping the cold air from coming in is a little higher priority for most homeowners. There are a lot of different directions you can go when planning a window insulation project. Luckily, most of the options are cheap and relatively easy!
Why Insulate Your Windows?
You might be wondering if you should even bother insulating your windows. The devil is in the details! As time goes on, insulation around the window starts to wear away. Caulk can start to crack and peel and the next thing you know, your house is freezing and your heating bill is through the roof. The worst culprit always seems to be the bathroom. There’s nothing worse than leaving the comfort of your warm bed to having frozen feet from the cold bathroom floor. If that’s not enough motivation to insulate, I don’t know what is!
Ways to Insulate
As we mentioned before, there are plenty of ways to go about insulating your windows, and most of them are pretty cheap. Some of your options include
Clear Window Film Insulation
- Pros: Lowers windows u value (lower u value = greater energy efficiency)
- Cons: Removing could mess up your window frame paint
- Here’s a quick video on how to install window film insulation!
- Pros: Inexpensive and super easy to use
- Cons: Not the prettiest option available
- Pros: Easy to apply and no mess
- Cons: Can’t open the window
- Pros: They insulate in the winter and bring down heat gain in the summer
- Cons: They only work when they’re closed (limited natural light)
- Pros: Can easily be made with things found in your home
- Cons: They only block the bottom part of the window
With some research you can definitely find some more options when it comes to insulating windows. These are just 5 of the easiest and most common methods!
Cleaning The Gutters
This is a super easy home improvement project that you can get done in a day in the fall. All you really need is a ladder and some gloves! You want to clean out your gutters to avoid clogging and overflow once the weather starts to take a turn for the worse. We don’t recommend trying to clean them out once you realize they’re clogged. By that point, it’s going to be cold, wet, and rainy. No one wants to be outside on a slippery ladder cleaning gunk out of a gutter when it’s cold and wet. If you think that your gutters might need more than a cleaning, here’s a fantastic resource that has some great articles about any kind of gutter issue you might have!
This isn’t quite as much of a project as it is a good idea as the weather starts to cool down. It’s always smart to reverse the direction of your ceiling fan. For the summers, the fan is turning counter clockwise so it can pull warm air up and away. When it gets a little cold, it’s best change the fan direction so it’s turning clockwise, which will push warm air down into the room.
Painting Your House
If you’re in the market to have the exterior of your house painted, early fall is a great time to finally bite the bullet and get it done. In the summer months, there’s usually a serious lack of labor because of the high demand. Additionally, painting companies have a tendency to hire college students on summer break to help with the extra work. Not to rag on students, but you have a higher chance of hiring skilled painters once summer starts to come to a close. As a final note about painting, the ideal paint application conditions are between 50-90 degrees, but the kicker is that low humidity is best. Fall usually falls in that temperature range and is much less muggy than the summer.
Radiant Floor Heating
Radiant floor heating is a project that’s a little more expensive than our other suggestions, but can still save you money in the long run. Radiant floor heating is becoming increasingly popular and is a classic luxurious home feature. However, if you’ve got a small bathroom it really won’t cost you too much. Here’s a great blog post with some tips if you’re thinking about doing a full remodel with the installation of radiant floor heating. Is there anything better than a warm bathroom floor early in the morning?
We’ll address a few of the pros and cons of radiant floor heating so you at least have an idea of what you could be getting yourself into.
- The temperature can be easily adjusted to whatever you want through the a wall mounted thermostat. This beats out traditional radiators which have a tendency to create hot spots and cold spots in a room.
- Underfloor heating requires next to no maintenance to run. A lot of systems will provide 10 and 20 year warranties.
- Radiant floor heating works with wood, tile, stone, laminate, and carpet.
- The installation cost can be expensive. Most companies will charge between $10-$20 per square foot.
- Installation requires about a week to fully complete.
- Radiant heating can change the height of the floor from ½”-1½”.
If you’re still curious about radiant heat flooring, we have a great blog post with way more information!
Hopefully this guide gave you some ideas for fall projects around the house. In the long run, these improvements all have the potential to save you money when the cold weather rolls around. There are plenty of projects to get done around the house, but this is a good place to start! If you’re feeling really ambitious and want to upgrade the bathrooms in your house, we have a great inspiration list of vanities that fit all different styles.