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January 20, 2020

New Years Resolutions for Improving Your Home

With a new year comes new possibilities and new home improvements. Give your home a refresh by making it more stylish, eco-friendly, safe and valuable for a potential sale in the future. Below we present you with a few home improvement resolutions you can do and how to achieve them:

Improve your home’s energy efficiency

Get an Energy Audit:
Learn more about how your home uses energy and how you can improve its overall performance by getting an energy audit. Through a series of tests, a certified energy advisor will examine things like insulation, ductwork and your home’s air leakage to determine the efficiency of your home’s heating and cooling systems. At the end of the audit, your home will receive an energy rating and you will get recommendations for upgrades to help reduce your energy bills and increase your home’s overall comfort.

Improve the lighting:
Ditch the old incandescent bulbs and switch to LED lights. They last longer and use less energy, saving you more money. Alternatively, introduce more natural light into your home by installing a skylight or larger windows or doors, such as a patio or garden door. Not only does natural light reduce your reliance on electricity, but it can also increase the value of your home as natural light is a key feature many potential homebuyers are willing to pay for.

Draft-proof your home:
Now that the cold weather has arrived, it’s time to winterize your home by draft-proofing the doors and windows in your home. Drafty windows and doors can waste a large percent of your energy use. Prevent cold air from coming into your home and raising your heating bill by sealing up cracks and repairing weather-stripping around draft windows and doors. It’s a simple solution that prevents heat loss and saves you from wasting energy.

Spruce up your curb appeal

Plant trees, fresh greenery or flowers:
Flowers are a quick, cost-effective way to add colour and visual excitement to your yard. If you don’t have the time or money to spend on putting in a garden, try adding some colourful planters or window boxes to frame visual points of your home, like windows and entryways. Play with different pot sizes and colours to create your own style. Trees are also a relatively low-cost way you can boost property value and curb appeal. They provide additional privacy, improve air quality, and cut down on energy bills by providing shade in the warmer months and acting as a buffer against freezing winds in the colder months.

Power-wash everything:
Is there anything more satisfying than getting rids of years of built-up dirt, grime, algae and mold? If you don’t want to spend a lot of money, renting or borrowing a power washer is a great cost-effective option to give your home a refresh. Clean up your sidewalk, driveway, patios, walkways and decks to reveal its true colours and give your home a refreshing, new look!

Paint on your window trims and door:
Renewing the paint on your exterior window trim or front door is a small, low-cost detail that can make a big difference to your curb appeal. Add some contrast and fresh colour to your home by giving the trim around the windows a fresh coat of paint. While most opt for white paint or match their exterior window trim colour to their front door, play around with different tones and create your own unique style. Your home’s entry is the focal point of its curb appeal, so why not make it pop and stand out with a new colour? While neutral colours are always a timeless option, don’t be afraid to go bright and bold!

Make your home safer

Smoke detectors:
The start of the new year is the perfect time to test and replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Even if your smoke detector isn’t “chirping” at the moment, you should replace your batteries once or twice a year. While you’re at it, take this opportunity to check and make sure your fire extinguishers are accessible and in working order.

Motion Detector Lighting:
Lighting is an easy way to make your home feel safer and more secure. Installing motion-activated exterior lights will make it hard for intruders to sneak around your property without being seen. A well light home is less likely to be invaded, so the more lighting around your exterior, the better. Use motion-sensitive lighting to shine more light in darker spots around your property. If you don’t want to upgrade your wired lights, consider solar-powered motion lights instead.

Clean lint from your clothes dryer:
Reduce the potential of a house fire by cleaning out the built-up lint from inside your clothes dryer and exhaust vent. The removable filter cannot catch all the lint that comes its way, so over time, lint gets trapped in crevices deep inside the lint filter trap and dryer ductwork on its way to the outside vent opening. When the lint builds up, airflow is restricted which can lead to overheating and possible ignition. It’s important to clean your dryer vent at least once a year to keep your home safe and dryer running efficiency.

Plan a room renovation

New year, new home!:
Bring new energy into your house, increase your resale value and spend more time enjoying your home with a new renovation. Is there a room in your home you’ve been wanting to remodel for a long time? There is no better time than now to do it! Make it part of your new year’s resolution and start to plan the room renovation you’ve always wanted. Fall in love with your dream kitchen, create a bathroom that reinvigorates you or maximize the functionality of your living room with an open floor plan – the possibilities are endless. Create a budget, create a design, talk to contractors and set a date!

Need to refresh your living space? Westmark can help. From the small details of a single room or a house-wide transformation, our experienced staff will collaborate with you to transform your home into something new!

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