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Preparing Homes for Winter!

By
Real Estate Agent with Innovative Real Estate Group, LLC

It's that time of year (well, not yet in Colorado, we are having some sort of heat wave), we should be preparing for the cold weather around the corner. When I used to work for John Laing Homes, we used to send out these checklists to buyers and homeowners to help them prepare their house each season. These are some of the items that we practice in our home but the list can go on and on...

1. Furnace Maintenance: Make sure you are changing your furnace filer once every 3 months, it's general upkeep but if you live in a rural area, you may want to stock up for the winter months in case you get snowed in.

2. Emergency Kit: It's always best to have some food, clothing, blankets, first aid kits, batteries, flashlights, generator, etc set aside in case of extreme snowfall. Colorado had a huge blizzard in 2006 and many of us couldn't get out of our driveways to get groceries. It's best to have canned food and non-perishable foods packed away for such an occasion.

                        

 

3. Prepare your yard: Your home isn't the only place that needs to be winterized. The first, I consider, most important item would be to blow out your sprinkler system and drain any water lingering in hoses. When water freezes in the pipes, they tend to crack and digging up your lawn to replace parts of the system can be costly to both your pocket book and the landscaping. Best to take this precaution before the temps really drop.

Seal cracks in your concrete so they don't continue to get larger.

Plant spring bulbs now for a colorful Spring garden.                

4. Take care of your equipment like lawn mowers, snow blowers. Make sure they have fresh gasoline (if applicable) in the tanks and be sure not to leave gas in them when they are not in use.

5. Check windows and doors for any gaps that may allow warm air to escape. This can help reduce your energy bill by having a nicely sealed home.

6. If you have a fireplace, make sure it is in order. Contact a professional to care for this.

7. This one I LOVE...get mats to place inside your high traffic area of your home (like your backdoor, front door, patio, etc) to prevent salt and snow from ruining your floors. The industrial ones at Home Depot work great for catching the stuff you track in from your vehicle.

8. Ceiling fans installed can help circulate the air in your house which cuts down on your heating bill.

9. Set your thermostat to 60-72 degrees. Make hot cocoa and curl up in a nice blanket if you are chilly, no need to heat the whole house just because you have a chill...a good movie helps with this every time!

10. Add insulation to areas of your home where colder air can come into the home. Adding it to your attic is a great place and helps keep that warm air you are paying for from escaping.

There are some great websites out there for more elaborate information but these are the ones that we practice every year and have fun doing it.

Heidi :)

Michael A. Caruso
Surterre Properties - Laguna Niguel, CA

Enjoy the warmth while you have it. Keep informing people of the precautions to take for upcoming winter.

Oct 30, 2008 03:42 AM
Rebecca Schrader
Competitive Insurance of Dundee - Dundee, FL

Heidi,

Thanks for the tips...If you have to do this especially when you have little ones! My friends up in Michigan have been very busy getting ready for this Winter...and they do all that you've mentioned...and then some...It's something they take very seriously...We're fortunate here in Central Florida...we only have THREE days of Winter!

Have a wonderful & SAFE weekend Heidi!

Oct 30, 2008 03:50 AM
Heidi Marshall
Innovative Real Estate Group, LLC - Erie, CO

Michael- thanks for the comment!

Rebecca- I've never been to Michigan but I've been to Wisconsin in the winter, it amazed me when you could snow mobile on the lake. You just can't do that in  Colorado. I can't imagine living in Florida, it's a beautiful state, I would never get anything done because I'd think I was on vacation the whole time!

You both have a great weekend as well!

Heidi :)

Oct 30, 2008 08:29 AM