Whether you are playing host or you just want to get in the spirit, we have a few tips to help you prepare your home for the holidays.
The holidays are upon us, and that means different things to different people. Regardless of your beliefs or how you observe the season, now is the time to start planning. Alternatively, maybe you don’t care even a little about the holidays, but the holidays also mark the end of the year. For some, it may be time to deck the halls, but for you, it may be time to take advantage of expiring tax credits (although that doesn’t fit quite well into songs).
So with the holidays looming, we have a few tips, big and small. If you are planning to host family and friends, you are going to leave your home to do a little traveling, or you just want to get a few things done before the New Year, here are a few ways to prepare your home for the holidays.
First off, if you are planning to do any work that requires you to hire a contractor (or any service-related professional), you should plan ahead… way ahead. Service professionals tend to get very buys around the end of the year. Sometimes that is down to people rushing to winterize their homes before it is too late, sometimes it is because people have a little more time off than they usually do. On top of that, service professionals are like everyone else, and many of them take time off around the holidays, limiting their availability – and those that don’t often charge extra for working over holidays.
So, if you do need any work done and it can’t wait until after the New Year, contact the service professionals now. It will get more and more difficult as the year comes to an end, so plan ahead.
Clean Your House and Store Things
This is good advice year round, but if you are having people over this holiday – either to stay or just to stop by – you may want to do a little spring cleaning… or late fall/early winter cleaning, as the case may be.
Start with any additional clothes you may not wear anymore. Round them up and give them away – regardless of your beliefs when it comes to the holidays, being charitable this time of year cuts across all religions and creeds. Extra blankets, food, and anything else to help the less fortunate as the weather changes can go to a charity or organization of your choice.
Once you’ve done that, you may want to consider some bigger moves for practical reasons, like getting rid of excess furniture. Decluttering your house is never a bad idea, but if you plan people coming through your house on a regular basis, the more room the better. Store any unnecessary furniture in an out of the way place like an attic or basement, or consider a storage unit.
Make your Home as Efficient as Possible
With more people coming through the house over the next few weeks, you should strive to make sure your house can process the additional numbers.
To begin with, start by checking your plumbing. Whether you have people staying over or not, you may want to consider hiring a plumber to look things over. Your water and sewage lines should be ready for higher than normal usage, so if you think you may need to have them looked at, now is the time. The same is true of any appliances related to these lines, including garbage disposal.
Speaking of water, if you have been considering a new water heater of any kind, now might be the time to do it. If you have an older water heater, it may just make sense to upgrade now to an energy saving unit, or even a completely tankless water heater. Home improvement stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot run Black Friday sales like most retail locations this time of year, so now is a good time to consider upgrading.
Now May Be the Time to Remodel Your Bathroom
Although it will be partially dependent on your preferred contractor’s schedule, if you have been considering a bathroom remodel, as long as it isn’t too extreme, now may be the best time possible to look into it.
There are good reasons to remodel your bathroom regardless of the time of year – for one, it can help increase the value of your property – but there are practical reasons to consider if you have people coming over.
If you have been thinking about doing a small to moderate redecoration that involves anything more than moving some things around, now is a great time to consider doing it. Maybe you’ve been thinking about painting your living room, or maybe you want a new front door. You may or may not need the help of a professional for the work, but starting the New Year with a new look – even if it is relatively minor in terms of time and money spent – can help change the feel of your home and give you the sense of starting fresh.
Explore Local Tax Credits
This will be dependent on the state and city you live in, but certain renovations, remodels, and home-related purchases include tax credits, which expire or roll over in the New Year. Some even expire for good, so if you are already planning on doing whatever the tax credit is for, you should do it now.
For example, in Oregon, there is a significant tax rebate for solar panel installation, but that tax credit is going to be significantly lowered at the end of this year. The difference in installing solar panels on December 31 and January 1 can potentially save you thousands of dollars. That is something of an extreme example and will only affect a small number of people, but the idea remains.
Perhaps a more accessible example is that most states offer tax credits for purchasing energy efficient products and systems. If you want the tax credit when you file your 2017 taxes, you will need to purchase/install those systems now.
Contact a Contractor Now to help you Prepare Your Home for the Holidays
If you need help this holiday season, please contact Fleschner Construction now to schedule a consultation! And from all of us at Fleschner, happy holidays!