Five home improvement projects to do this winter

Winter is a great time to take a chunk out of your to-do list as a homeowner. Here is a list of five home projects you can knock out before the weather starts to warm up and you’re occupied outdoors.

This should be done at the start of winter, but may need done again. Furnace filters typically last about three months during the winter when your furnace runs a lot, so you may want to do it once more as we hit the home stretch.

This is a fairly easy and inexpensive project. You just need to learn what size and type of furnace filter you need. Furnace filters can start at $10, but “you get what you pay for.” Higher quality filters can be worth the cost, especially if you’re prone to allergies. Once you have the right filter, replacing the old one just takes a few minutes.


You can reduce heat loss and save money by adding pipe insulation to water pipes. An added benefit is that you won’t have to wait as long for the hot water to start flowing from your shower or faucet.

This is another inexpensive and easy project. Some insulate pipes with layers of newspaper and duct tape, which works great, however, pipe insulation is a little more efficient and doesn’t cost much more. Depending on how many pipes and what type of insulation you choose, adding insulation to your water pipes can take up to an hour.


Nothing can transform a space like a new coat of paint. After spending so much time indoors during the winter, this can be great to brighten up your home and get you excited for spring.

Your local paint department associate can help you find just the right color and amount of paint to help you cover your walls with a new cover you’ll love. You can also hop on over to the Blain’s Fleet & Farm Painting & Staining blog at for a bucket full of painting tips and inspiration, and check out the interior painting tips article before you start, as well.

A gallon of paint usually costs less than $40, which is inexpensive for the impact it has on your home. You’ll need brushes, primer, rollers, and drop cloths, along with the paint.

This also could turn into a pre-spring cleaning project, since you’ll probably have to move some furniture around to get it done.


Installing new lighting is similar to painting a room in that it can change the feel of a room. New lighting can be one of the trickier projects to DIY, but if you have the know-how, it’s well worth your while.

The process of picking out new lighting and deciding what you want takes time, but is rewarding. New light fixtures let you add your own personal style to your home and make it feel more like it’s yours.

This is one project that you don’t cut corners on. If you aren’t confident in your electrical skills, don’t attempt this without a lot of thought and research. If you aren’t properly prepared or make a mistake, it can be unsafe to do this on your own.

These tips are a must:

  • Shut off the power. Double check and test to make sure it’s off. When you check/test, make sure you test every outlet/light fixture in the room, as some rooms can have multiple circuits, tied to different circuit breakers. If your home’s breakers aren’t mapped, here’s how to map your circuit breaker panel.
  • Always read the instructions on the fixtures and equipment you’re using. It’s important to your safety when dealing with electrical circuits.
  • Never cut wires short. This creates loose connections that can result in electrical fires. Leave plenty of slack in the wires so you have room to make a nice, tight connection.
  • Don’t leave any green, bare or grounding wire disconnected.
  • Pay close attention to how the old light fixture is installed. Take photos as you remove it and refer to these photos as you install the new one. This will help you make sure you install the new lighting fixture correctly.

With some basic electrical skills, you should be able to complete this in a couple of hours. Cost will vary depending on the type of lighting fixture you pick.


Installing a new faucet can take a little bit of know-how. Reading the manufacturer’s instructions for the new faucet can be helpful. They often include detailed instructions for installing the faucet. Remember to turn the water off before you start.

This is one of those projects where watching how-to videos is helpful. No special plumbing skills are needed, but you will want the correct tools. Faucets can range from $50 to $200 or higher, and installing them takes up to two hours.

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