<h2 style="margin: 10pt 0in 0pt"><font size="3" color="#990000">Cold weather offers perfect opportunity to work on these projects</font></h2><p><span style="line-height: 200%; font-family: ‘Verdana’,’sans-serif’; letter-spacing: 1pt; font-size: 10pt">(ARA) – Although spring and summer are typically the seasons we focus on home improvement projects, there’s no reason to put off projects or planning throughout colder months. If anything, it’s the perfect way to spend time while hibernating indoors. From winterizing windows to laying new flooring, there are plenty of ways to keep improving your home year round.</span></p><span style="line-height: 200%; font-family: ‘Verdana’,’sans-serif’; letter-spacing: 1pt; font-size: 10pt"><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">When the seasons change, one of the best things a homeowner can do is an energy audit. Though it’s nice to keep the windows open all summer, drafty doors and windows can amount to hundreds of dollars wasted on home heating costs during winter. An energy audit will help you find and fix problem areas, letting you save money for other projects.</p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">During an energy audit, a contractor may use blower door tests to measure the air tightness of your home, infrared scanners to pinpoint heat leaks or even a simple walk-through to find places to improve your home’s efficiency. Once problem spots have been identified, hanging plastic sheeting, caulking gaps and further insulating areas will translate to big savings on home heating costs.</p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">While auditing the heat efficiency of each room of your house, keep an eye out for the quick fixes and small projects often put aside during the summer months. Though it is great to get outside and build a deck or retaining wall, big projects often overshadow simple tasks such as fixing outlets and sealing cracks. Use winter as time to knock the little things off the list.</p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span></span></p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">For those who can’t wait to get started, there are plenty of projects that can completely change your home without removing walls or installing an addition. </p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"> </p><div style="text-align: center"><object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,29,0" width="425" height="282"><param name="movie" value="../images/banners/12a.swf" /><param name="quality" value="high" /><param name="menu" value="false" /><param name="wmode" value="" /><embed src="../images/banners/12a.swf" wmode="" quality="high" menu="false" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="282"></embed></object></div>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">Introducing new color to a space will help fine-tune an interior’s design or even completely reinvent a room. Winter is the perfect time to modernize your home’s feel with new window treatments, lighting or flooring. New flooring will add both color and character to a room, and is easy to install during any season. Lumber Liquidators offers contemporary and timeless patterns for <a href="http://www.lumberliquidators.com/" target="_blank">hardwood floors</a> like Dream Home Plymouth Plank or Bellawood Brazilian Redwood, which can be installed year round.</p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span></span></p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">Because winter may limit a homeowner’s ability to complete some projects, it’s a great time to plan for spring and summer home improvement projects. There are online tools such as the Home Renovator Suite from BobVila.com and Lumber Liquidators’ <a href="http://www.lumberliquidators.com/rs/rs.jsp?WT.ad=HOME_Right_RoomDesigner" target="_blank">Room Designer</a> that allow homeowners to easily pull together their dream homes. </p>  <p><span style="line-height: 200%; font-family: ‘Verdana’,’sans-serif’; letter-spacing: 1pt; font-size: 10pt">After all your projects, big or small, are completed, use the colder months to set a schedule for spring cleaning and home improvement. Setting an agenda will help you avoid having to rush through the summer to get projects done, and ensure you have the time to enjoy the rewards of your hard work.</span></p></span>