6 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home


This year, resolve to get your home in the best condition yet.

These resolutions, developed by Northfield-based Orren Pickell Building Group, will make your home safer, greener and more luxurious in 2014. Some you can accomplish on your own, while others will take a reliable professional team.

Here are six resolutions to get you started:

1. Ready the fireplace.

If you want to snuggle up to a roaring fire, first make sure your fireplace is in working order. To prevent buildup of creosote, fireplaces need to be cleaned out frequently. Also, the chimney should be inspected for obstructions and cracks. And never burn trash, paper or green wood in your fireplace. Seasoned wood is best.

2. Make sure your home is safe.

Are your smoke detectors working? Do you have an adequate number of smoke detectors? Have you installed a carbon monoxide detector? If not, do it today. Get your furnace checked, too. And make it a family affair when it comes to creating an escape route in case of an emergency. Don’t forget to make a list of emergency telephone numbers, and make it accessible for everyone, not just the grown-ups.

3. Create an awesome playroom.

If you’ve got young children, keeping their toys organized and creating a fun place to play should be top on your list. Maybe it’s a third floor dormer you’ve wanted to remodel or the basement with all that extra space that could be the perfect romper room. When picking materials, think like a kid. You’ll want floor surfaces like foam tiles—versus concrete, for example—that provide a soft landing. Make sure there’s plenty of light, too. Caves can be fun, but a bright room is welcoming and a lot safer, too.

4. Remodel that bathroom already.

Whether it’s the powder room that’s a bit unsightly or the master bath you’ve always dreamed of, this could be the year that you finally get it done. A bathroom update will not only lift your spirits, but remodeling will increase your home’s value as well. You’ll want to think about getting easy-care (and non-slip) flooring, as well as an electrical update to accommodate high-powered appliances like hair dryers and straighteners. But before you start tearing out tiles and tubs, get some solid advice from the pros who can save you money and time—not to mention costly do-it-yourself errors.


5. Save more energy.

In the winter months, it’s tempting to keep the lights burning bright. But you can save money and help the environment by becoming savvy about energy use. Unplug appliances when you leave for vacation and turn off lights when they’re not in use. If your washing machine, fridge or dishwasher is on its last legs, consider replacing an old appliance with a more energy-efficient model.

6. Go green.

No need to wait for summer to begin to incorporate eco-friendly elements to your home and reduce your carbon footprint. Using your dishwasher actually reduces the amount of water you might use versus washing the dishes by hand. And speaking of water, turn the temperature setting down on your water heater. No need to shower or bathe with water that’s scalding hot. Adjust the temperature to 120 degrees to save money and, more importantly, keep kids safe at bath time. Don’t forget to fix that pesky leaky faucet, too. According to the EPA, 10 percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day.


Orren Pickell Maintenance Group can help you achieve all or some of your home’s New Year’s resolutions. They’re available 24/7 and have years and years of experience. No job is too big or too small. So whether it’s that leaky faucet you want repaired or you’re ready to start on that dream kitchen, you can count on the dedicated attention and support of the Orren Pickell team. 

With more than three decades of homebuilding experience, Orren Pickell continues to lead the industry in design, innovation and unparalleled customer service. For more information, please call 847-572-5200 or visit their website.