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Home Improvement Projects (Without the Home Improvement Contractor)
You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg getting your home ready for cool weather. There are plenty of DIY projects that will protect your investment without damaging your finances. Here, the Aaron Weber Group provides you with a few essential tips to follow.
Garage insulation. Garage insulation is a simple DIY job that can keep your house warm and create a safer living space for your entire family. How To Home Insulation's installation guide can get you started. Read through it carefully and follow the advice regarding the correct direction to install garage insulation.
Seal cracks on windows/doors. That caulk around your windows and doors isn’t there solely to keep them in place. Caulking is a flexible, rubber-like material that seals the window and door frame from drafts. You don’t need to be a professional to fix caulking cracks, but you do need to take steps to ensure it’s done correctly. Window Choice shows you how to complete this important task.
Add window film. Window film is a clear coating that works to insulate against cool air. It’s really useful if you still have single-pane windows, which are common in homes built before 1970.
Close down the pool. If you have a pool, you can’t just leave it open through the winter. But even if you aren’t sure how to properly close your pool for the season, you should at least invest in a pool cover. This will keep the water clean as the leaves fall and, if you buy the right cover, will prevent animals (and curious children) from accidentally falling into freezing water.
Store patio furniture correctly. You might not think about your patio furniture and cushions while you’re winterizing, but you should. It only takes a few minutes to wash these expensive items off and store them in the garage. Before you close them up, make sure they have dried completely, including in the bent area between the upper and lower cushion.
Protect vehicles. Just like your patio furniture, any vehicles you own need proper care and storage, too. For example, if you own a golf cart, look into getting a cover to keep it safe from the elements. Depending on the type of cover, it can also be used to keep you and other passengers warm.
Clean the gutters. Before your gutters get filled with snow and ice, clear them of leaves and debris. While you can’t stop winter precipitation, you can reduce the potential for clogging and thus ice buildup as temps drop below freezing.
Flush the hot water heater. Your hot water heater sits alone in your garage or utility room and you probably don’t pay it any attention until it stops working. But most experts agree that these $1,500 (or more expensive) appliances need a little TLC once a year to stay in tip top shape. Look at your hot water heater. It has a threaded flush valve at the bottom. You can connect a standard water hose to this end to drain your hot water heater of sediment that could otherwise render your unit DOA years before its expected 15-year lifespan. Here’s how to do it.
Reverse ceiling fan direction. This is simple and only requires flipping the directional switch on your ceiling fan. Changing the blade direction will help keep warm air where it belongs, closer to your family instead of the ceiling.
Install draft guards. Draft guards are pieces of foam that fit around the bottom of your exterior doors. They keep cool winter air out and warm air in. Using these can reduce your HVAC system’s energy consumption, which will save money on your utility bills this winter.
Plug the fireplace. Bob Villa recommends adding a chimney balloon to your fireplace if you won’t be using it this winter. Like draft guards, this will keep air flow to a minimum.
Many of these ideas won’t cost a dime but will save you money by keeping your valuable assets safe and sound until spring. Plus, you’ll be more comfortable inside and will save energy, too, which is great for the environment. So what are you waiting for? It’s cold now and it’s only going to get colder. It’s not too late to winterize your home, even if you’re on a budget.
If you're making plans to move, contact the Aaron Weber Group to get all the assistance you need for a smooth home buying/selling transaction.