Eight easy winter home improvement projects, ideal for over weekends when you’d rather stay indoors.
With cold weather keeping us indoors, winter is the perfect time to tackle a few jobs around the home. Here we offer ideas for eight winter home improvement projects, with links to comprehensive “how-to” guides.
1. Insulate windows
Adding insulation around draughty windows is inexpensive and doesn’t require specialised tools.
It can make living spaces warmer and much cheaper to heat.
Different materials, from silicone sealant to insulation foam, are available for this purpose. The choice should depend on the severity and location of the “gaps”. An assistant at a hardware store, or the labels on the insulating products, can give suitable advice.
How to: insulate your windows for winter.
2. Regrout bathroom or kitchen tiles
Regrouting tiles isn’t a small job, but the results certainly are satisfying.
Doing the work can also save thousands of rand. It may make it unnecessary to consider replacing the existing tiles.
First, existing grout (or at least a top layer of it) has to be removed. Ideally, ensure that all the old material is removed to a depth of about 3 to 4 mm.
Apply new grout, mixed according to the specifications on the packaging, to the tiles using a grout spreader. Wipe away excess, and then lightly wipe the tiled surface with a dampened sponge. Leave to dry for at least 24 hours and end with a final wipe of the tiles.
How to: regrout tiles.
3. Line kitchen shelves
Getting the measurements exact is the most challenging part of lining kitchen shelves and drawers.
After that, it’s simply a matter of cutting the adhesive paper to size and carefully applying it to the surface. Use a sponge or squeegee to remove air bubbles.
Plain wrapping paper will also do at a pinch. It can simple be taped into place.
How to: line kitchen drawers and shelves.
4. Remove household mould
In parts of South Africa that experience wet winters, dealing with household mould is an on-going challenge.
Getting rid of mould requires protective clothing, elbow grease and the correct cleaning products.
How you approach the task should depend on where the mould has grown and how much it has flourished. Different surfaces typically require unique cleaning products, processes and equipment.
5. Paint the garage floor
Painting a garage floor can transform the look and feel of a garage.
As with all paint jobs, preparation of the surface is key. After clearing out the space and sweeping the floor, check for oil, grease or rust.
If these are present, you’ll need a high-pressure hose and a quality cleaner/degreaser. Getting the floor completely clean, even and non-greasy is a vital step.
Once the surface is dry, an epoxy or concrete floor paint can be applied with a long-handled roller. Remember to work from the back of the garage towards the door so that you don’t (literally) paint yourself into a corner.
How to: paint a garage floor.
6. Fix creaking doors
When it comes to fixing creaking doors, a generous smear of lubrication on the hinge pin is often sufficient. The lubricant can be anything from Q20 to Vaseline.
The challenging part is removing the pin. This is best achieved using a hammer and nail.
How to: stop squeaky door hinges.
7. Replace old or leaking basin taps
Removing and replacing a bathroom or kitchen tap is much easier than you might imagine.
All that’s required is an adjustable wrench, a roll of plumber’s tape and – depending on the tap’s location – an ability to squeeze into tight spaces.
Turn off the water at the stop valve. Disconnect the water supply tubes under the sanitary ware and remove the old tap. Then replace with the new tap.
How to: replace a bathroom tap.
8. Refinish kitchen cupboards
Refurbishing kitchen cupboards typically involves more than a paint job. Doors need to be removed, cracks and imperfections repaired, and surfaces sanded.
Then it’s on to sanding, priming and painting.
Doing this work yourself can give your kitchen a great, new look, without requiring that you spend thousands on professional renovation.
At XtraSpace, we don’t directly assist with DIY or winter home improvement projects – but we do offer clean, secure self-storage units, ideal for storing tools, supplies and furniture or other items you need out the way. Contact us for more information or browse to find a branch near you.