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Happy New Year!

Well, it’s time. It’s time to take all of the ideas you’ve had to put off for the holiday season, and move them to the front burner again.  After all, it’s 2011! It’s time to get that new start, that clean slate, that is so appropriate at the beginning of a new year.

Even if you’ve got a list of your own, it may be that many of you don’t. All you know is that you want to plan out the year for all of the projects you’ve maybe talked about, but haven’t really begun to budget against in earnest. Well, hopefully this post will help sort out some of the big ideas, and a few little ones, to set your overall plan in motion – the transformation of your home!

So, here’s the list, broken down by season, to help kickstart your fertile home improvement imagination.

Winter

1. New Floors

You’ve had a season of many feet running over your flooring.  Maybe it’s time to take a look at refinishing those floors, replacing old carpeting and rugs, or taking a look at what makes the most financial sense when it comes to replacing an old and spent floor with one that will serve you for the long-term.  This could mean a slick and functional laminate floor, a stone tile or porcelain floor, or even a solid hardwood floor.

2. Kitchen and Bathroom remodels

These are the rooms in your home that often endure the most traffic, and they’ve certainly been high-profile over the holiday period. Maybe new countertops and vanities are in order. Or perhaps new cabinetry, floor tile, backsplashes, and new fixtures like sinks and faucets are what’s needed to achieve that transformation you’ve been moving toward since before the holidays began.

3. Basement or attic remodeling

One of the trends of last year for many homeowners has been making the most of an existing space in a down market. Basement remodels and attic conversions have been popular choices, not only to increase functionality and comfort in an existing home, but also to increase the home’s saleability once the market improves.

Spring

4. New decking, fencing, and pavers

Decks extend your living space, which is another way to transform your home, and to make the most of the space you’ve got. With vinyl decking, composite decks, and natural cedar deck materials, you can create a staging ground for a transformational approach to outdoor living this year, and for years to come. Quality fencing adds functionality, but also aesthetics.  And pavers, particular natural stone pavers,  help you to establish flow, which is as important outdoors as well as in.

5. Help your garden to ‘wake-up’

By spring, your garden will be waking up, and you can help by making that transition easy for your bushes, trees, and flowers. Also, consider which local plants might make the most sense to add to your garden, to contribute to that whole transformation idea in your outdoor property. Take a trip to the local nursery, and ask your local gardening experts which directions make the most sense when buying and planting new plants. Also, 2011 may be the year to go green in your garden, too.

6. Entryway remodeling
Spring is a big season for transformations. So, why not take a look at the key area responsible for first-impressions: your entranceway or foyer. Also, after a long soggy winter, maybe thinking about a way to make this area season-proof might be in order. What about new tile for the floors? New front hall closet organizers, wall hangers, closet doors, are all great projects for Spingtime, too.

Summer

7. HVAC audit

As things heat up, making sure that temperature control and airflow in and out of your home is optimal. Maybe this means calling in an expert to assess your HVAC system. It’s a good investment, and a great way to make sure that you’re well set up for the colder months to come, even if you’ll be thinking about air conditioning during the summer months.

8. Landscaping and lawn aeration

Lawn seeding and aeration are important to the health of your lawn, and the betterment of your property as a whole. Luckily, with the help of your local rental and gardening center, it’s a job you can do on your own. When it comes to saving costs on materials and rentals, get your neighbors to throw in with you, and get the job done on your whole street.  A pretty neighborhood with healthy lawns are a benefit to everyone. And it’s a great way to contribute to the community spirit of your neighborhood too.

9. Gutters and Downspouts

While it’s bright and sunny, it’s the perfect time to inspect your gutters and downspouts. After all, fall will be just around the corner, and reducing the chances of clogs is more easily done before the leaves start falling. It’s also a great time to do some recon on your roofing, setting you up nicely for the next season …

Fall

10. Roofing and siding audit

Just before winter’s wrath, fall is a great time to look to your exteriors.  Two important ones are your roof and your siding, both being important defenses against the ravages of snow, ice, rain, and other wintry forces depending on your climate.  For the roofing piece, it’s always a good idea to call in an expert, especially if you’re even slightly uncomfortable with uneven surfaces and heights.  Investing in the services of a professional, and removing the risk of injury, is money well spent.

11. Lighting

In the fall, the nights get longer, so you’ve got a little less light to work with.  As such, fall is a great time to assess your indoor and outs when it comes to efficient, functional, and attractive lighting is a great way to spend your home improvement time. Warm indoor lighting, and motion-sensitive  outdoor lighting can help you make the transitions between the long, bright days of summer, to the beautifully melancholy early dusks of Fall.

12. Windows and Insulation re-fits

Along similar lines as the roofing and siding project, another great fall project is the refitting of new windows, stripping, and a general insulation audit.  This project might best start with an energy efficiency test to see where the problem areas  in  your home actually are.   Then, you’ll be ready for winter, the holidays, the new year, and a new plan to contribute to the ongoing transformation of your home!

Cheers,

Rob.

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Rob Jones

Rob served as Editor-In-Chief of BuildDirect Blog: Life At Home from 2007-2016. He is a writer, Dad, content strategist, and music fan.