Most people start home projects in the springtime when the weather warms up and they get bitten by the spring cleaning bug. If you’re more of a fall and winter person and are feeling motivated to do some work around your house this autumn, here are some project ideas to help you get started.
1. Update Your Kitchen
Autumn is the perfect time of year to update your kitchen since most people spend more time entertaining in the fall and winter when the weather isn’t conducive to relaxing on the patio. Replacing your kitchen cabinets and countertops is a great way to spruce up a worn, drab kitchen, and combining new cabinets with a modern backsplash and a fresh coat of paint on the walls can make your kitchen unrecognizable — in a good way.
If you’re not feeling up to a full kitchen makeover, you can try painting your cabinets, although the results won’t be as satisfying as replacing them altogether. Installing new cabinets isn’t too difficult if you’re handy, but it’s probably not the best choice as a first project if you’re looking to get into DIY.
You might also want to consider updating your kitchen appliances if they’re getting old since you don’t want to have to replace them shortly after installing a new countertop and risk damaging your handiwork. Check with your home warranty to see if it covers replacing old appliances. Many home warranties cover major appliances, so check with your provider to see if it includes home appliance insurance.
2. Install a Smart Thermostat
If the thought of redoing your kitchen fills you with fear, a much simpler and less time-consuming project is installing a smart thermostat. Fall is the perfect time to install a smart thermostat since you probably don’t heat your home much during the spring or summer. Research shows that smart thermostats can help you save significant amounts of money on heating bills by learning your preferred temperatures.
Many companies make smart thermostats these days, and they all offer the same basic functionality, so choose one that appeals to you aesthetically and fits with your home decor.
3. Change Your HVAC Filter
Another quick project that will help keep your home comfortable throughout the winter is changing your HVAC filter. Your HVAC system probably got a lot of use during the summer, and most companies recommend replacing the filter once every three months. Old filters can harbor bacteria and mold that can make you sick, and they’re also not as efficient as new filters.
Luckily, changing the filter in your HVAC system should take less than 15 minutes, so it’s a good short project to start with to help build up momentum for larger projects down the road.
4. Convert Your Garage Into a Living Area
Speaking of larger projects, if you’re looking for a length project to occupy you during the dreary fall weather, renovating your garage to make it a livable space is a good one. This project is not for the faint of heart and can take up to several thousand dollars — and most of your free time for at least a few weeks — depending on what kind of room you’re looking to create.
Converting your garage to a home office is a common choice for people who work from home, but a small apartment is also a very popular choice. Keep in mind that adding a kitchen and bathroom will most likely require a visit from your local building inspector, but it will also increase the value of your home. Renting out a converted garage apartment is a great way to make a little extra money every month, which makes it easier to stomach the upfront costs of building one.
5. Check Your Windows and Doors for Drafts
Fall is the best time of year to batten down the hatches and make sure your home is well-insulated for winter. You can check the health of your weatherstripping by trying to slip a sheet of paper or credit card through while your door or window is closed. Replacing weatherstripping is straightforward, although checking all your doors and windows might take the better part of a day if you have a lot of them.
Don’t forget to check any windows you have in the attic — if you have one — and make sure the doors to the attic are also well-insulated. You’d be surprised how much heat you can lose through a drafty attic door.
Photo by Karl Solano on Unsplash