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Top New Year’s Resolutions – Homeowner(s) Edition

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This year, more and more people are resolving to be healthier in 2020. Why not make the same promise to your house? We asked homeowners to tell us their 2020 home resolutions, and their answers may surprise you. 

Home Resolution #1 – A DIY redesign

The house was built around 1910 and has a central staircase with two rooms up, two rooms down, and the kitchen (originally) in the basement. The closest we have to a garage is an old outbuilding with a rotting roof and infested with carpenter ants. that wouldn't even fit our tiny compact car. Our house is on the side of a hill, so an attached garage at basement level makes sense. If you're doing that, might as well use the space above. So, we're building a one-and-a-half story addition with a two-car garage, a large family room (with room to spare for a reading nook, a pantry/closet, and a small office area for me), and two more bedrooms above.

Also on this year's list – rip out the circa-2007 granite and dark cabinets, move the kitchen back to its original location, renovate the upstairs bathroom to create a master suite, and add a new hall bath and a half-bath downstairs.

In the "oh boy this is going to be fun" category – remove cheap fake-hardwood, pull up original hardwood floors, put down sturdy PLYTANIUM® underlayment, and refinish and reinstall original hardwood floors. Also, jack up the joists (and reinforce with simpson ties) in the basement to fix the 1" slop in the floor.

In the "my god I'm insane" category – possibly not happening this year, but eventually – remove the plaster from the ceilings in the old part of the house. Raise the ledgers and joists, so the first floor will have 9' ceilings. Then do the same on the second floor, raising the ceilings into the attic, so upstairs will have full 8' ceilings. (Both floors gain a foot in height.)

- Kate H.

Home Resolution #2 – The three-part plan 

I am not a big believer in New Year's resolutions. I either quit by the end of day one or vow to start at some future date that never comes. So this year, I thought it might be easier if I put the focus on my home. I decided to make three easy goals that I can accomplish:

1. Make my home safer.

2. Save money.

3. Organize.

To make my home safer, I resolve to test my smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors monthly. Don't get me wrong – I have smoke detectors and CO alarms. I have them in all the right spots, but they haven't been tested since I installed them. Props to me for swapping out the ordinary battery ones for the 10-year variety, and in my defense, I did install them about eight months ago. But still – that's seven months of non-testing. I like this resolution because it takes literally seconds to do, and I can feel good knowing our alarms are working.

For saving money – I'm always shocked by how much holiday shopping actually costs me, and I don't always keep track of my spending like I should. When my bills roll in January, I need to tighten the proverbial belt, and I can do that by installing programmable thermostats. This might sound counterintuitive because I am putting out more money, but the cost savings over time on my energy bill will be worth it in the long run. Look at me planning ahead (self high five)!

Now I love the idea of an organized home, but for many reasons, it is just not in the cards for me right now. What I need is a small step, one manageable thing. I'll worry about something else next year, or as I like to say, "That's future me's problem." This year I will make my bed every day. Does that count? I'm counting it. Baby steps, right? Next year, I might tackle a closet. (If you decide to, check out these closet organizers and storage ideas!)

- Megan A.

Resolving to get make your home a smart home? Our smart home guru has TIPS to get you started in 2020. 


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