Home improvement projects can be done almost any time of year, but as the season begins to transition, people are looking to fix up the interiors and prepare for the cold winter.

WCH Home Improvement owner George Howard said he is staying occupied these days, doing minor renovations, repairs, and winterizing, too.

“I may be fixing a roof one day, and doing a bathroom the next,” said Howard.

He said many people are looking to spruce up their homes, especially since they are spending more time in them.

“I’m painting walls and adding laminate flooring, building decks and add-ons,” said Howard. “It’s a good time to seal your decks. Wintertime is really hard on wood.”

Laura Young, Zenith Construction and Homes by Zenith co-owner, said they have been seeing a lot of home improvement projects this year, as well – and for the same reasons.

“Many people are at home, and with extra time to plan, homeowners are tackling projects now, more than ever,” said Young. “A big trend right now is the ‘staycation,’ so we are seeing a lot of backyard and patio renovations: gravel walkways, gardens, stamped concrete patios, sunrooms, and backyard fire pits, to name a few. This allows homeowners the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors year-round.”

With homeowners spending extra time in the kitchen, renovations such as backsplash updates and lighting upgrades are popular. Young said these are cost-effective ways to update and modernize a home, and a fresh paint job can revamp a living space.

Homeowners are also repurposing rooms and garages, such as turning them into home offices or gyms.

“The rise of home improvements is a definite silver lining in the construction industry right now, as overall, there are many project delays and site closings due to COVID,” said Young. “Homes by Zenith has been fortunate in that we have taken all safety measures to keep business going and sites open so we can provide for our clients.”

Moving into fall, Young said, they are continuing to see home improvements on the rise.

“Cooler weather will give way to projects such as deck refinishing and repair. Also we will be busy with the prep work for homes to prepare for winter: insulation improvements, installing larger more energy-efficient windows, structural repairs, fireplace additions, etc.,” she said.

Other items to consider treating before the cold winds and precipitation settle in are wood shutters, exterior paint, and asphalt driveways. Howard recommends sealing any areas that may let water or outside air in, such as doors, windows, or roofs. He suggested checking insulation in attics. He tends to use silicone caulk to seal areas because it doesn’t mold or crack.

The DIY Network offers the article “Autumn Maintenance Tips,” which includes cleaning gutters and downspouts, as well as having furnaces inspected. Attics should be checked, not only for insulation, like Howard said, but also for bugs looking for warm spots to thrive.

Those looking to add a new addition to their property must obtain, complete, and submit a building permit application from the city of Tahlequah. To obtain a form, download the PDF or submit it online at cityoftahlequah.com, or pick one up from the building inspector’s office at 111 S. Cherokee Ave. Submit the completed application, including a drawing showing location on lot and a set of building plans, to Building Inspector Mark Secratt for review.

Inspections are required for some aspects of construction. Details and a printable inspection request form are on the city’s website, or call 918-456-0651, ext. 2266.