5 Achievable New Year’s Resolutions for Your Dream Home
Focusing your thoughts on not just a new year but a new decade provides the ideal opportunity to set about transforming your house into the home you’ve always wanted.
Many people make the mistake of aiming too high with home improvement New Year resolutions, while relatively small changes are more attainable and can make a big difference.
Here are five achievable New Year’s resolutions for your dream home.
1. Make Sure Your Home is Safe and Sound
Electrics can deteriorate over time without you realizing, especially in older homes that still have aluminum wiring or knob-and-tube wiring.
An electrical safety inspection by a professional electrician will tell you whether your home needs any crucial repairs to keep your home and family safe and sound by avoiding electric shocks and outbreaks of fire.
Fully functional smoke alarms are also essential to keep your loved ones and your property safe. Most fire-related deaths are caused by smoke inhalation, and most house fire fatalities occur during the night. Smoke alarms give you vital time to escape a fire, and the BC Fire Code requires every home to have working smoke detectors.
Modern homes tend to be heavy on electrical appliances and electronic devices. You can make the most of them while ensuring your home stays safe by:
Avoiding outlet overload. Each electrical outlet in your home is designed to deliver a specific amount of electricity. Plugging in too many devices could cause a fire or even a small explosion, so use an energy-saving power strip instead.
Limiting extension cords. If you find yourself running extension cords throughout your home, think about getting an electrician to install new outlets. Overuse of extension leads poses the risk of trips and falls – a hazard in itself that can also damage the cord and/or outlet if the lead is ripped out of the wall.
2. Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
Even small fixes can make your home more energy-efficient and cut power bills.
Many electronic devices continue to draw power when in sleep or standby mode so they can access networks and run clocks and timers. According to the Natural Resources Canada government agency, this passive power drain can account for five to 10 percent of your electricity bill.
Unplug gadgets you don’t use that often, and when buying new appliances and devices look for the Energy Star logo – it guarantees lower power usage in standby mode.
Before you go on holiday, unplug as many devices and appliances as possible. You’ll save money that can go towards your next break.
Turn off lights when you are not in the room, consider using task lighting – table lamps, track lighting, undercabinet lights – instead of turning on all ceiling lights.
Even better replace old light bulbs with LED energy-efficient ones, LED use considerably less power and last longer. Meaning you will save money on energy bills and spends less money replacing them.
Be intentional about managing your home temperature. Lowering your thermostat one or two degrees can save you around 10 per cents of your heating bill if using electrical heaters. During winter, set your thermostat between 18 – 20 degrees. Consider installing smart thermostats for even better savings and control.
3. Get Your Home Ready for Entertaining
Home entertaining is a fun way to spend quality time with family and friends, but sometimes the safety aspect may be overlooked.
If hosting more house parties is one of your New Year’s resolutions for a dream home, there may be a temptation to create the desired ambiance by using additional lighting and extra speakers, for instance. This may seem a great idea until everything’s plugged in – and flips an electrical breaker or, even worse, sparks a fire.
Make sure your television, sound equipment, and other electronics are securely mounted to avoid accidents – like a clumsy guest knocking your plasma TV off the entertainment centre into your aquarium!
And bear in mind that extension cords can pose a bigger risk with a crowd of people milling about your house.
4. Create or Renovate Spaces to Enjoy Your Hobbies
You can live life to the full by making your hobbies part of the fabric of your home.
For example, if you’re a budding Christine Cushing or Brad Long, cooking in a revamped kitchen becomes easier and more fun. A kitchen upgrade will also enhance the appearance of your home and add value to it.
If your talents lie more in the DIY area, consider creating a workshop in the garage – ideal for working on projects for your home. Remember that the key to an efficient garage workshop is good lighting that illuminates the entire area so you can see what you’re doing.
If you just enjoy relaxing at home, an entertainment centre can give you endless hours of enjoyment. A new TV with sound system and other electronic media devices can provide a striking focal point and be configured to fill an entire wall or just a corner of the room.
5. Make Your Home More Welcoming with New Lighting
Quality indoor and outdoor lighting is another good New Year’s resolution for your dream home and can help to make your place more welcoming for your family and guests alike.
A high-end lighting system incorporating layered ambient, task and accent lighting can make a bland interior space more exciting and add a stylish finishing touch to your home. Recessed or track lights can work well in bedrooms, kitchens and living rooms, while accent lighting can be used outside to highlight architectural features and improve the security of your property.