The 5 Best Home Improvement Projects for Winter

Some homeowners believe that home improvement projects are only to be undertaken during the spring, summer, or fall. But in reality, you can tackle some of them during the winter months (even tasks you should have done during autumn but neglected to). Here are five such projects which may be appropriate for wintertime.

1. Tend to your gutters and roof

It may not be too late to take steps to prevent ice dams and heavy snow loads on your roofs and in your gutters — even if you’ve already had snow. If you can find time on a day where there isn’t much (or any) snow or ice accumulation on your roof, you can install a heated cable system under the first few rows of your shingles. These electric-powered cables will help melt ice or snow to hinder dams or snowpack from forming. In addition to (or instead of) cables, you can mount gutter guards atop your gutters to prevent debris from clogging them up and contributing to ice dams.

2. Insulate or fix plumbing and pipes

Make sure that all exterior pipes and spigots on your home are wrapped thoroughly with foam insulation whenever temperatures are expected to dip below freezing. If you don’t plan on using any of these exterior spigots, go ahead and shut off the water valves that feed them. Don’t forget your interior pipes; exposed metal and copper in basements, attics, and crawl spaces may get cold enough to freeze up. The last thing you need during the winter months is water leakage or flooding caused by burst pipes.

3. Seal up openings

There are dozens of potential areas in your home where cold air can seep in and warm air can leak out. To keep this from happening, start by sealing seams around windows and doors with caulk, waterproof sealant, or weatherstripping. (If you have any old windows that are constantly leaking, consider replacing them with units that are more energy-efficient.) Then inspect places where pipes enter and exit your home and seal those areas up as well. While you’ll want to maintain some ventilation during the winter months, you should still seal any openings around the vents themselves. Finally, make sure air isn’t leaking through the cracks around your interior and exterior light fixtures.

4. Insulate attics and crawl spaces

While it’s technically possible to have “too much” insulation, very few homeowners do — and most of them don’t have nearly enough. To prevent warm air escaping through your ceilings, make sure your entire attic is protected by at least 16 inches of R-49 insulation. Do the same for little-used crawl spaces and basement ceilings as well. Heating or air conditioning ducts can be sealed with metallic foil or duct tape, and you may want to consider building a customized foam box to insulate your pull-down attic stairs.

5. Put in a programmable thermostat

Wouldn’t it be great if your heater can vary the warmth in your house depending on whether or not you’re at home? It can do just that … if you have installed a programmable thermostat. It’s a simple do-it-yourself project that doesn’t cost very much to complete, and the thermostat often pays for itself in energy savings during a single winter season. Once installed, program the thermostat to call for more heat during the morning and evening, and less heat when you’re away at work or school. Some models even let you control these thermostats from your tablet computer or smartphone.

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I recently had the Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet installed on my house. It not only looks amazing, but the guys arrived on time, were professional and efficiently got the job done. I am very satisfied with Gutter Helmet's attention to detail and fulfilling their work as promised. I will definitely tell my neighbors about the Gutter Helmet.
I have had Gutter Helmets for 20 years. In all that time I've never had a problem until recently a bird's nest found its way into one of my gutters. The installer who came to replace the product was the same installer from 20 years earlier. Now that's impressive. Everyone at Gutter Helmet inclusive of the office staff were professional and a pleasure to work with.
Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet just replaced our roof and we could not be more satisfied. The crew showed up early, worked all day and stayed late, were professional and caring regarding the project and the surrounding impact it had on our property and home. They completed the roof quickly and it looks simply amazing!
VERY happy with our entire experience adding Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet to our house. Installing this was a great value for us. The gutters are working perfectly in heavy downpours and with year-long leaves and debris coming down from our river birches. Terrific customer service and a first class product.
We needed our roof repaired due to wind damage. After several quotes, Gutter Helmet was the only company that went into our attic to look and see if more damage had occurred. If it wasn't for them taking the extra time to look at everything, we would have had rotting wood under our new roof. They were very professional and gave a fair quote.
We just had Gutter Helmet installed on our gutters and couldn't be happier. They provided us with useful information about Gutter Helmet and cleaned up everything, leaving no mess behind. We definitely recommend Gutter Helmet to anyone considering this product.

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