Ty’s Tips | 3 winter projects you can do… seriously


If you live in the Midwest or Northeast, you might go into “renovation hibernation” when winter rolls around. Unfortunately, some of the fun, life-changing home projects that you can do in other seasons just aren’t possible when the temperature drops (or at least they’re not as fun!). Still, there are a number of projects you can pull off in winter to keep busy. Besides, you’ll probably find better prices at home improvement stores during these cold weather months since contractors are also less busy. So, turn down the heat and let’s get to work!

Update the Walls & Doors

Since you’re going to be spending the next few months inside, why not make it more beautiful? One project you can tackle during winter is replacing — or refurbishing — doors, knocking down walls, installing crown molding or simply painting. This last one might surprise you, because common thinking is that you need a ton of ventilation when painting indoors. But if you use environmentally friendly, waterborne paint that emits minimal fumes, you won’t need to open every window in the house, and the drier winter months will help the paint set faster. When replacing doors, it’s helpful to use the old one as a template for cutting the new one. Make a mark on the old door 10” up from the floor. With the new door on sawhorses, put the old one on top, keeping the hinge side and tops flush. Transfer the 10” mark on the old door to the new one. From this new mark, measure 9-7/8” down to make your bottom cut.

Install New Flooring

Installing wood floors in any season requires that the material adjusts to indoor conditions. During winter, the air is cold and dry, so the tendency is for the floor to shrink. To prevent this, try to maintain the relative humidity inside your home between 35 and 60 percent after you’ve brought the wood inside to acclimate. To be safe, it’s best to let it sit for two weeks prior to installation. Other ideas for avoiding the incredibly shrinking floor is to use engineered flooring instead of solid wood, use narrow boards that will shrink less than wide boards, or choose wood types that are less prone to the effects of moisture, like black cherry and mahogany.

Create Storage Space

Winter is the perfect time to organize your home. Increasing storage space will increase living space, improving the look of your home as well as your peace of mind. De-cluttering is essential for people with kids, and a simple wooden chest is ideal for keeping stuffed animals, building blocks and books off the floor. It’s best to use a hard wood that will age well and is easy to work with, like maple or cherry. Avoid oak since it tends to splinter. If you’re making a hinged top, either use a soft-close mechanism or mount a hook and loop between the lid and wall to avoid injuring little hands and fingers. Eye-pleasing shelves are the storage solution for everything else. Versatile track systems are good for closets and the garage. These systems allow for regular adjustments depending on your changing storage needs. For walls, floating shelves are ideal because they not only create more storage, but can really improve the interior design.


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