Ann Arbor home tips perfect for February:
February is a great month for planning and researching larger home maintenance and improvement projects for completion this year, and for making your home more enjoyable while we’re wintering here in Ann Arbor.
1. Find and Book Contractors
If you are planning repairs or improvement projects for your home this year, reach out and book your appointments now. Many top contractors are booked more than a year out, and schedules are filling up quickly. They are less busy now and you’ll have a better prospect of getting your top picks for contractors booked in a timely manner.
It is important to be mindful that projects are commonly running behind schedule and over budget because of the labor and supply issues we are experiencing throughout the economy. Plan for these contingencies, keeping some flexibility in your timeline and in your budget.
We maintain a list of vetted contractors that our clients have used and have been extremely pleased with. Please reach out for a suggestion.
2. Review your Vacation Home Safety Plan
If you are planning to visit someplace warm, review your plans to monitor your property while away.
- Notify local contacts – Identify a local contact, such as a neighbor, friend, or family member, who can check up on your property while you are away and can take action if something happens in your absence.
- Manage your mail – Sign up to have the post office hold your mail while you are away and consider signing up for informed delivery. This is a free notification feature that gives residential and eligible PO Box™ consumers the ability to digitally preview their letter-sized mail, and manage packages scheduled to arrive soon. Informed Delivery benefits the entire household by allowing users to view what is coming to their mailbox whenever, wherever – even while traveling – on a computer, tablet, or mobile device.
- Contract for snow removal – This will make it look like you are home and will avoid you getting tickets from the city for unshovelled walks.
- Plan for pets – This goes without saying! If you have pets that won’t be traveling with you, it is a good idea to book your pet hotel or arrange for someone to check on your pets (and houseplants) that are staying at home without you.
- Consider smart home security and monitoring – You can choose a DIY system and monitoring or hire a contractor and choose a security monitoring service. Installing a wireless DIY home security system can be as easy as mounting transmitters on doors and windows and connecting a control panel to your phone line. You’ll save $300 to $600 in parts and labor costs. Better yet, you’ll avoid an expensive long-term monitoring contract with a home security company. Instead, you can shop around and choose any monitoring service you like. That will save you about $30 every month — forever. If you want a turn-key solution, consider a system offered by your internet service provider. Xfinity and ATT, for example, offer complete, robust systems, professional installation, and security monitoring.
3. Paint a Room in Your House
What room would most benefit from a freshen-up? Whether you paint it yourself, or hire someone, you’ll appreciate it more this winter while we are spending so much time inside. Painting a room or two is perhaps the best way to freshen up your home and make it feel more relaxing and enjoyable. It’s a great cure for the winter blues. For inspiration check out the Benjamin Moore Color of the year palette, and also check out Sherwin Williams ColorSnap® Visualizer – they offer great ways to visualize your project and get you inspired.
4. Organize your Laundry Room
Add cabinets, get rid of unused items, and rethink storage and laundry processing. The laundry room is a critically important space that often gets overlooked and is squeezed down in many floorplans. There are lots of fun resources and inspiration on Pinterest, and Houzz.
5. Understand your Energy Needs
Starting with DTE, where, if you qualify, you can get a free home energy consultation and free products. Here’s how it works – you qualify for a free Home Energy Consultation if you live in a single-family home, duplex, or condominium (and not a multi-unit or apartment building).
Schedule an appointment with a DTE Energy Specialist who will come to your home for a basic walk-through. The Specialist will check windows and doors, ventilation, and home energy use for efficiency. The specialist will install free, energy-efficient products, and create a personalized home energy profile.
If you are thinking of solar to power those heated floors, electric cars, or you just want to get away from burning fossil fuels, check out Solar in Ann Arbor. The City of Ann Arbor has many solar electric initiatives and this is a great resource page. Think about future needs and other options for more renewable electric power usage and fewer fossil fuels.
To make February a little more bearable, maybe even enjoyable, consider these tips:
- Be mindful of the beauty that is there right in front of us. Take a look around and enjoy the stillness and quiet beauty of the Michigan winter.
- Go someplace warm for a week! Or if that is not in the plans, maybe an overnight get-away to a nearby town such as Grand Rapids, where you can find great music and art, Holland, where they have heated sidewalks and great shopping and dining, or, maybe Traverse City. There is plenty going on in these wonderful Michigan cities and it’s a great way to reconnect and have some fun.
If you have any questions about updates and upgrades to your home, please reach out anytime.