If your New Year’s resolution to lose weight or get organized already fell prey to old habits, it’s not too late to make important commitments where they’re really needed — your home.
Weatherization, interior improvements and repairs, even value-added projects such as decks or additions, should be on your short list of things to do, according to The Home Service Store.
The problem is, resolutions tend to be driven by emotion and guilt. Take a few moments — if not a few days or weeks — to really give hard thought to what your home needs and what you can accomplish. Make a list and check it twice — if not more often.
Try to exclude routine tasks that are done as a matter of course, such as lawn mowing or washing dishes. Keep your focus on items that wouldn’t ordinarily get done, not everyday functions.
Break your needs assessment into several elements, including budget estimates. Categories might include:
• Exterior: New paint or masonry repair, clean and repair leaky gutters, caulk around doors and windows, plot a small vegetable garden or locations for new shrubs, replace kitchen counters or cabinet hardware.
• Interior: Do portions of the home need to be weatherized? Do windows or carpets need cleaning? What about adding storage amenities to closets? Or tidying up the garage?
• Target one room at a time for a makeover. Assemble paint chips, wallpaper samples, etc., to help you plan. Keep a design theme in mind that can spread from one room to the next. Rank tasks in each category in order of importance. Then rank the categories. Opinions will vary between household members about what needs to be done and when. Everyone in the family will have a say in the matter — and they should have roles in the projects, too.
Resolve to not bite off more than you can chew. This applies to household budget, available time and your own skills. Homeowners do themselves a disservice when they place too many items on too many lists.
A big list invites big frustrations. You’ll get more satisfaction by polishing off a few items on your agenda.
If your cutting, sawing and painting abilities aren’t the best, don’t hesitate to sub out the work to reputable contractors.
(The Home Service Store manages home maintenance, repair and improvement tasks in more than 130 markets nationwide and can be found at www.TrustHSS.com.)