You've put away the noise makers and silly hats and you're ready for 2010. No doubt, you've made resolutions for getting exercise, cleaning up your diet, and spending more time with your loved ones. Home improvement buffs can also make New Year's resolutions. Here are some good ones to consider:
Change Your Lights According to the Environmental Protection Agency, if every American installed ENERGY STAR replacement bulbs in their five most-used lighting fixtures, we'd reduce greenhouse gasses equivalent to those produced by 10 million cars.
Monitor Your Power Use
ENERGY STAR has an online tool to measure your energy use. You simply plug in your zip code, home age, square footage, total number of residents, and 12-months of utility bills and the calculator does the work. The tool measures power sources including natural gas, electricity, propane, fuel oil, or kerosene.
Complete Projects with Solid ROI According to Remodeling Magazine, mid-range projects including vinyl siding replacements, wood deck additions, vinyl and wood window replacements, and minor kitchen remodeling projects offered the best value for the investment for 2008-2009. On the high-end project list, foam-backed vinyl siding and fiber cement siding replacement projects brought the most return on investment.
Re-paint the Botched Room You did a poor job painting that room and it's been bugging you. Why not get it done in 2010? This time around, paint your trim area first with a brush to frame your rolling area and make the job easier. We have some good tips for the amateur interior painter.
Add a New Sink in the Kitchen Buy a new sink or find a restored model that fits your decor. Stainless steel, cast iron, or solid surface sinks add style and functionality to old, tired single or double-bowl models. Solid surface sinks make good choices if you want to mold it into a new counter top. Replace Ugly, Tired Appliances New microwaves come with computerized memories that store recipes, time, and temperature for meals you cook often. Perhaps your refrigerator is a power hog and you'd like one where you can dial in the temperatures for each separate bin. Compact espresso machines or bread-makers can simplify your life and cut back on drive-through latte costs.
Install Sliding French Doors Transform your living room, den, bedroom, or home office with a sliding French door. A French door can open up any room without your having to break out a wall. Models come in multi-pane, pocket, single, and double designs. They can be expensive, but perhaps this is the year for doing something tasteful for your home.
Beef Up Your Toolkit Keep on the lookout for end-of-year sales on tools and accessories. Add to your kit or replace worn-out tools that you might have bought on the cheap. Spend what you can for quality levels, hand saws, adjustable wrenches, and pliers.
And take a cup of kindness for auld lang syne.