Spring: a time of renewal

By Paula Dias

It has been a long winter in Connecticut and we even had snow in mid-April. But spring is definitely here. It is time to open the windows to air out the house and enjoy the scents of spring! Are you looking for some other ways to freshen up your home? Here are some ideas:

Windows: To make the most of the longer days and brighter sun, wash windows inside and out. Clean on an overcast or cloudy day to prevent the window spray from drying quickly, which causes streaks.

Doors: Refresh the welcome you receive every time you come home. Wash around the front door and touch up with paint if needed. Clean or replace doormats to prevent dirt from being tracked into the house.

Carpets & floors: Vacuum and air out area rugs or send them out for professional cleaning. Replace mats inside doors with lighter ones if desired, or new ones if worn out. Wash floors throughout the area.

Ceiling care: Grab a ladder and make those lights shine! Remove domes from light fixtures and empty dust and other debris; then clean with window cleaner and replace. Wipe dust from light bulbs and ceiling fan blades. Dust cobwebs from corners and areas where ceiling meets wall.

Heating and cooling systems: Replace filters. Schedule a routine service call if necessary. Vacuum heating and cooling blowers and registers. Clean chimney or wood-burning stove and remove ashes from fireplace, if you have one.

Remember, your home is one of your greatest investments and taking care of that investment is critical to maintaining its worth. From small maintenance projects to large renovations, anything you do to your home will affect its value down the road. If you are engaging in a larger project, consider whether or not you will want to do the work yourself or hire a contractor.

Doing a project yourself certainly produces a big sense of satisfaction and accomplishment, especially when it is something you see every day. Be sure you are confident you can safely and accurately complete the project before starting. If you decide to hire someone, be sure to shop around, check references and get a guarantee in writing. Is this project costly? If so, you do have options there as well.

If you are making home improvements and have equity (value) in your home, you may want to consider a Home Equity Loan. To determine the equity available in your home, subtract your mortgage from the value of your home (you can research that on websites such as Zillow or Trulia or speak to a real estate professional.) The difference between your home value and mortgage is your remaining equity. At Sikorsky Credit Union, our loan officers can guide you in determining the right product for your situation. Stop in and see us.

This article was written by Paula Dias, branch manager of the Sikorsky Credit Union Danbury branch. She can be reached at 203-743-3891 or by e-mail at

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