I know I'm not the only one that is getting a little antsy to get back "out" there. It's been a couple of months now and most of us are still playing by the rules and maintaining our social distancing. To us, I say "Good on ya!". While it's pretty safe to say that we'll never be back to what we considered "normal", we will at least return to something more like real life pretty soon. To those of you fed up with the rules and not wearing your masks, I simply encourage you to stop for a second and think about someone besides yourself. Remember, the mask is not for you, it's for everyone else.

Last week we talked about getting your lawn and yard ready for the summer, but what about your home itself. Since the weather is not always amazing in New England, what can we do on those lousy weekends (or, who are we kidding, Tuesdays!) to update our homes. Today I have a few suggestions that might just fit the bill. We're going to explore some DIY projects that you can tackle on your own. You may want to watch a few tutorials just to get some pointers. But in the end, you'll have an updated section of your home that you can be proud of and that might even help your house get sold! Let's dig in.

From the outside-in, the first thing you can do is install a "Ring" doorbell. These are really handy devices and increase your home security in a flash. One of my favorite things about the doorbell is if you are not home (or even if you ARE) you can see who is at your front door. This is super handy for package deliveries and, during a pandemic when food deliveries are so popular, to see if the pizza guy is here! There have been multiple examples where we have been able to speak to the delivery person while stuck at work. This helps confirm who you are and whether or not they will leave the package at the front door.

Another great, indoor project for bad-weather weekends is installing new flooring. The vinyl tile options are countless and those "floating" floors are really simple to install. They are great for entryways that get lots of traffic as well as smaller areas like bathrooms and closets. One of the best parts of these floors is the cost. You are not all that concerned if you cut one in the wrong shape (which you WILL do) or break one while trimming it. Also, since they are inexpensive and easy to install, you won't worry about a broken tile in the future since you can easily replace it and go on with your life.

I installed "engineered flooring" in my house on basically the entire first floor. I have always disliked the "click - clack" of those floors when you walk across them and they move around (since they "float"). In my case, I ended up gluing and stapling each piece of wood in place. While I don't envy the job of removing that floor, should the owners ever take that path, I loved how solid and firm it felt and was silent regardless of where you stepped.

Painting is always one of my favorite projects to tackle on a rainy weekend. It gives a room a fresh new look and gives you, the painter, a solid sense of satisfaction. Before you start picking colors, take a look up. If your home still has that lovely popcorn ceiling, stop shopping for paint and go buy a scraper. "There are lots of great tutorials for removing popcorn ceilings on the Internet," notes Badger Realty agent, Peter Pietz. "You'll want to check for asbestos first, but the results will be well worth the work," he continued.

Once you get the ceilings cleaned up, you can make that your focus for the painting project. I promise you it will not be as easy as painting vertical surfaces, but with modern sprayers and some good work (on your part) taping and masking off the walls, it will come together nicely. Be sure to do a little research on the type of paint you want to achieve the look you're after. High gloss and matte finishes will each have their own strengths.

Lastly, and least sexy of all the projects, clean your windows. I know this sounds like a terrible idea, but I'm confident you will appreciate the results. If it really IS raining, you certainly can't clean the outside of the windows (unless you're super fancy and your windows tilt-in!). But you can most certainly tackle the inside windows just about any time. This project will not only leave your home smelling a bit cleaner, it will pay big dividends in that your "fishbowl" existence will now be slightly improved because of your ability to actually SEE out the walls of your bowl!

We're all going a bit stir-crazy and we are all anxious to get back to some semblance of normalcy. I'll simply encourage you to be patient for another few weeks and focus on what you can be doing inside (and around) your home to pass the time and improve your property. Focus on the benefits of this time at home.

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