5 Things To Do To Get Your Yard Ready Before Winter

1. Racking leaves

When it comes to racking leaves in the fall you can save them by putting them on your garden for mulch.

I have noticed others just go over them with the lawn mower making a finer mulch that works very well also.5 things to do to get your yard ready before winter




2. Planting Tulip, Daffodils and other flower bulbs

Weather is still warm enough to spend some time out on your yard, if you want to get more colorful blooming on your yard next Spring, time is perfect to plant some tulips and daffodil bulbs.

You can find some stores have them this time of the year, so people can get them easily.

Soil is still warm and soft to dig some holes with the help of your gardening tools and place these bulbs according to each plant directions, just follow each instruction for depth and placing for each plant.

Bulbs can stand winter chilly temperatures once they are planted, and you will enjoy  a nice colorful yard next year.5 things to get your yard ready before winter


3. Keep squirrels and chipmunks out of your house

Squirrels and chipmunks can be a pest during this time of the year, while they live happy in your yard during the nice weather during Spring and Summer, with the first chilly temperatures both will look for the easiest way to get into your home.

They will try to get inside your house walls and make a nest to live in during the long and cold Winter.

To avoid this, check all out side of your home, if you see any holes, you can put some wire net to cover them, this way you can keep them out.

If this don’t keep them out and they keep trying to get inside, you can set some traps to catch them alive and relocate them far from any house or farm.

I find the chipmunks seem to do the most damage as there always digging holes around your house and property. Had one dig a hole under my above ground pool, and before I could catch it the liner in the pool had dropped about a foot into the cavity it made.

Cute little critters but can do a lot of damage around your home.5 things to get your yard ready before winter.



4. Bring inside all your gardening tools

After you finish all the tasks you need to do before cold temperatures get where you live, be sure to bring all your gardening tools inside, if you have a shed or a covered garage it’s better to keep all tools inside, they won’t rust and will last longer saving you some dollars.

Garden hoses should also be drained and stored away, and not to forget to turn off any water lines that go to these hoses.


5. Cover with evergreen dry needle leaves your strawberries plants.

I have found if I cover strawberries with evergreen pine needle leaves plants will stand the chilly winter temperatures pretty well, next Spring when weather turns warm enough you can take off those needle leaves  from strawberries plants and they will continue to grow and produce some nice strawberries for you and your family.

Also works well for other plants that need protection over the winter months.

For your Garden

Once your garden is cleaned out in late fall, then it is a good time to rake some leaves to cover it, and will act as mulch for next years planting.

You can also throw more leaves on in the spring and work everything together.

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You could be surprised to find some plants already blooming.

Now you have a few things to do to get your yard ready before winter weather hits your area, if you need more tips for a particular issue on your yard, leave a comment.

You can read also How to Prepare Your House For Winter

Now it’s your turn, how big is your yard? write a comment.



Spring Cleanup Tips

Yahoo, Survived Another Winter

Spring again and some spring cleanup tips for outside and around the home. Winter can leave a lot of branches scattered around the yards, along with last years leaves and whatever else.spring cleanup tips

Wheelbarrow and Rakes

Usually a good rake and wheelbarrow work very well for this cleanup. This is also a time to prune off any dead branches from trees or hedges that you might have. Last winters heavy snows broke off many branches in this area, winters pruning I guess.spring cleanup tips


Most of the leaves you rake up can be dumped into a compost bin if you have one.
Or you can put them on the garden and worked them into the soil with a garden tiller. Try to get the leaves that do not have too many evergreen cones or seeds in them, or you might be  pulling more weeds from the garden then you wonted to.leaves


If you have a stone or brick patio or walkway is a good time to check it for damage from ice and heaving. You might need to level some places and fill in the cracks with sand or stone dust or what ever was originally used.walkway

Fences and Pools

If you have any wooden fences then is a good time to check for any thing loose or broken or if it needs new paint. Another thing to check is a pool deck if you have one. The level of it will often move during winter, and it also might need a new look with stain or something that was used before. Just wait until temperatures are above ten Celsius, fifty Fahrenheit before beginning to paint.


You can also clean the leaves out of your flower beds if you think it wont snow again. Even add a few tulip bulbs or daffodils that will give some color in early spring. If you have an extra space plant some wild flowers to give the honey bees a helping hand.flowerbed

Cement Foundations

Also check your exterior foundation of the house as sometimes ice will cause the cement to come loose or cracks form. These can be easily repaired with some Portland cement using a three part sand to one part Portland cement or two sand to one cement. And you can add a bonding agent which is a form of glue and sold at most hardware stores. If you have small cracks then wet them and go over with a sponge and cement mix and the will fill in nicely.

Fruit Trees

If you have any fruit bearing trees such as apple or plum  or blueberry plants, its a good time to cut out any dead branches and do some pruning on them.fruit trees


This is also a good time for cleaning windows, just to give you a better view of your cleanup outside. Best to do the outside of windows first and I use a product called windex which seems to work well. Paper towels or newspapers for wiping are recommended. If the windows are vinyl then you have to be careful with the newspaper as the print will come off on the vinyl and not look so good.window


If your house has siding then a pressure washer works well for cleaning this Starting at the top and working your way down and you should be left with a cleaner look to the place.


Another place to clean is any outdoor lights, as these usually fill up with bugs. Give them a good wash with dish soap and water then reinstall them. Might even help you to see better at night.


You also might wont to check the roof for loose shingles or if you have a tin roof have a look at the screws which can come loose. If it needs going over best to hire some one that’s good at that job.roof


You may also wont to put up a few bird houses to keep the birds around for the summer, and also the mosquito population down a little. Check for any standing still water in an old pail or whatever, and empty them  as this is a good place for mosquitoes to raise a family.bird house

So anyway spring is a good time to do a cleanup around the place to keep things going smoothly.

Best of luck with all your projects and leave a comment if you like, its always appreciated.


How to Install Eavestroughs.

If anyone ever gets the urge  to keep the rain from entering there basement , then here is a few suggestions on how to install eavestroughs.


On most older eavestroughs they were usually attached with large spikes, and over time these will often come loose leaving you with sagging troughs. Today they have brackets that are screwed in to the face board of your house and hold much better over time.eavestroughs


Your eavestroughs should drop about an inch in every twenty feet. If your house has a forty foot span then is advisable to start in center and slope both ways. This will require having two downspouts at each end.

Plastic Troughs

If you are going to put up plastic rain troughs then there is a sealant for them that is much like PVC sealing used for plumbing. Depending on the manufacture, some of the plastic troughs  have rubber seals where they join together and at ends for downspout. Most of the plastic troughs come in ten foot lengths, and very easy to cut and work with.eavestrough

Sealant for Gutters

The metal rain gutters also have a special sealant that looks a lot like silicone you buy in the tubes, but is designed for metal outdoors. When using it apply a good thickness on the joints and feather it out so it is even with bottom of trough. Sometimes you may wont to go over the joint another time after first coat has dried.


The brackets that hold up the troughs are spaced about two feet apart. Also you should keep the trough just below the level of roof edge, because in winter ice could do some damage to them if put to high.

Downspout Connection

For the downspout drop on metal troughs just lay it on the gutter and mark the hole to cut out. A multipurpose saw or tinsnips works well for this. If you use aluminum rivets to attach on the drop spout then in the future there should be no rust.downspout connection


For the downspout make sure each piece fits inside the next, and these can be riveted or sheet metal screws used. Also be sure to attach the down pipe fasteners into something solid, and galvanized screws used for this. Just yesterday I had to reattach a down pipe that had come off a brick house, simply because someone had neglected to put any anchors where the fasteners attached.

Plastic Down Pipe

If your using the plastic downspout, then the elbows can be glued  or a few screws to hold them together. Adding a short piece of down pipe or flexible hose at the bottom will keep water away from your home.


In the fall after the leaves are off the trees its a good time to clean the troughs. If using a ladder always be careful as they have a tendency to slide on metal or plastic gutters. A pair of rubber gloves, trowel, or scoop works well for the cleaning, and then flush remaining dirt with a garden hose.


There are covers made for eavestroughs that will keep the leaves and branches out, and work very well for this purpose. They do however let smaller pieces of dirt in that can build up over time and make cleaning more difficult. So is something to do a little research into if your thinking of covers for the gutters.

Installing a Floating Wood Floor

Here are a few ideas if you are going to install a floating wood floor in your home.


The first thing to do is to measure your rooms. Measure the length and the width then multiply these two figures to give you the total square feet of your room. After this it is advisable to add  about ten percent more for waste. Then you can order the amount of floating floor for your dimensions.floating floor


Depending on the company that made your wood flooring there may be a little different instructions from each maker. Is best to read what is recommended on the packages for your flooring. Usually most floating floor boards are tongue and grove with the ends having to snap lock together. When starting the tongue of your board often goes against the wall, and the joints need to be staggered for each row.


The tools you can use for this project are a tape measure, utility knife, jigsaw, chalk line, chisels, and miter saw for new mouldings and cutting. Also a multi tool works very well on the door jambs, and a tapping block and pull bar to keep some of the boards tight fitting.multi-crafter

Getting room ready

To get your room ready the first thing is to move all the furniture out, then remove the baseboards. Next you will need to take a piece of the new flooring plus the underlay and use it to mark where the door jambs need to be cut. This is because the flooring will go under the door jambs as there is no moulding to cover them there.

Room Size

Now before beginning the floor I usually measure the width of room so that we don’t end up with a small piece on one side, and a full width on the other. If your worried about your measurements you can lay out a row of boards across the room to find what you have on both sides. If your walls are a little crooked you can chalk a line to keep your first row straight.


Next thing to do would be to lay out the foam underlayment, and then you are ready to start laying the floor. On the first row if you have to cut a board and your left with a piece that’s around eight inches or more then it can be used to start your second row. And remember to keep your boards six to twelve inches away from the joint in the first row, you can always check instructions on package about this as it may vary.


There needs to be a quarter inch space left around room for expansion. For this purpose I have cut quarter inch plywood spacers which work real well. Another thing to mention is that your floor is usually laid parallel to the longest wall in your room, but irregular shaped rooms may require a different layout.Installing a floating floor

Door Jambs

Next you can continue laying the floor , and where you cut out the door jambs they should be given a good vacuum before installing boards under them. The multi purpose tool  I mentioned before works very well for the cutting, but even a handsaw will work.Installing a floating floor


Once you have your floor all laid down you can then put back the baseboard mouldings around the room. Then the quarter round which will cover the space you left for the expansion.floating floor

Another Room

If your doing a floating floor into another room is best to leave a three quarter or inch gap at the doorway. This you can cover later with a threshold trim T door strip which come in a variety of sizes.Installing a floating floor

If anyone has more ideas on laying a floating wood floor just leave me a comment.


Installing Exterior Prehung Door


This time we are installing an exterior prehung door on an older sugar house, or sometimes called a shanty. Its a building where maple syrup is produced here in southern Quebec.shanty

Barn Door

The original door on this building was more like a barn door,  with the steel wheels that roll along a track. These were not overly efficient at stopping the breezes from blowing in. This door had one wide board across the top and bottom and then various widths of boards nailed on the vertical. New rules and regulations for maple syrup production said it had to go.door on shanty


Anyway I just lifted the old barn door off its track and laid it on the ground. Left the track on the old building as it seemed to add a little to the looks of the place. Then measured the opening for the new prehung steel door, the same that many homes have. Of course the opening was way wider then the new door, so would have to build a rough frame inside the opening and used two by sixes for this.

Fitting Door

Installing the door would be fairly easy as it came already in a frame pre made. I had to shorten the door and frame by about five inches,  and as the door had a metal covering I used a metal blade in the saw to get it to size. Then a little filing to smooth the metal out and was able to reattach a weather strip on the bottom of the door. Also had to cut bottom of frame to match up with door. Now it was ready to install in opening I had made with the two by sixes.

Leveling and Squaring

I usually leave about a half inch around door frame for levelling and squaring it into place. Place three sets of shingles around sides of door and a couple on the top. Then when level and square you can screw through the door frame where shingles are located into your two by sixes of the rough framing. Also try to make sure to put shingles where the latch will be, as this will prevent any movement in the future and keep the door latched properly.

Finishing Opening

After this you can finish filling in the rest of the opening where the barn door came off. In this case I used the old boards from the barn door and cut the nails holding them on with a metal blade so I would not totally wreck the boards. The old boards really came in handy as they matched up with the look of the place. Then added a pine trim around the door to finish it off, and well it looked quite good when all finished.new door

If anyone ever gets a chance to do a project like this, then I hope some of these ideas will help you out. Wish you the best of luck with things.

Any comments are always appreciated. Have a great day.


Spring Cleanup Time

Winter Is Finally Over

Now that spring has arrived and the snow disappeared, yahoo. Once again it will be spring cleanup time, and a chance to try to get the place looking better.Spring


In my case for spring cleanup I usually start by racking the lawns. But because last winter was hard on the trees, especially the pines and other evergreens. There had been quite a few branches broken off from the heavy snow, so first on the list this year will be branch cleanup. After about a week of working when free time allows the branches and racking will be finished, and the place will start looking a little more respectable. This will give a much needed curb appeal to your place.Lawn Care


One of the next things you might wont to do is start looking for the screens for all the windows checking to see if there in good shape, no holes. On some homes in this area changing double windows and installing the screens is a twice a year event. Always make sure screens fit well because mosquito and black fly season is arriving. If anyone has any great ideas that work to keep the mosquitoes away, let me know.old windows


I don’t know how it is in the rest of Canada but here in southern Quebec spring means letting the ladybugs out, as they seem to hibernate over winter in most peoples houses. Somebody thought it was a good idea to bring extra ladybugs into the area about five or ten years ago, and now in the fall they migrate into the homes. I have seen the outside walls of homes just covered with them before winter approaches. I have nothing against ladybugs but they can leave a nasty bite if the mood strikes them, so in my opinion I don’t think it was a great idea to bring more into the area.

Flower Gardens

Another thing you could check is the cleaning up of your flower gardens, and getting them ready to plant. You might wont to  add a few new flowers after the last chance of frost. Also good to clean up where the daffodils and tulips will wake up after there winter sleep. Always a good racking in these areas improves the looks.Flower gardens


There always seems to be something to repair around the home with warmer weather arriving. You might wont to check your roof and any paint that has taken a beating from winter. Fresh paint or even touch ups always improve the looks. Also check the house numbers as if any thing like mine they have a tendency to blow away during the winter months.New paint


If your inclined to grow a garden it is a good time to get it going also. Always nice to have fresh veggies later in the summer, and seems to add a little extra to your home. You can start some plants in the house early in the spring, but I often find its as about as cheap to buy from the local flower stands that open up late April and May. Tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, celery and other vegetables are already started and ready to plant.Gardens

Air Conditioning

One other thing you might wont to check is your air conditioner system, just to see if its working right. Its almost a guarantee there will be some warm humid days coming this summer and a cooler house sure makes for easier sleeps at night.Air conditioning

General Cleanup

Something else for the to do list is usually a clean up in the house also, give a few rooms new paint, clean windows, and floors, if wood or tile, or try fresh paint on the outside porch floor. Just generally a good spring cleaning inside and out will get your place back in shape. The spring to do list can get quite long so I wish every one the best of luck on there clean up.New look Any one wishing to leave a comment or some new ideas, always appreciated. Take care Wayne..

Repairing and Making Furniture

There are times when keeping your house in shape you might be called upon for making and repairing furniture. This could be anything from fixing a broken chair to making a table, or even trying to make a set of cupboards or anything else around the house made with wood products.table


If you happen to have a chair where the rungs have pulled out of place, then this can be  an easy fix with some carpenters glue. Most of these wood glues take two to three hours to set up, but I usually leave them clamped up over night. Also before gluing be sure to clean out where they mate back together so you have fresh wood for the glue.


Another project to try if anyone is interested in making a table for the kitchen or living room. It is not to difficult to do, first thing is to buy some pine two by sixes. You will need eleven or twelve of these eight feet long. I made my first table top five feet six inches long by thirty two and a half inches wide, which is six two by sixes glued together. A two by six bought at the hardware store is actually an inch and a half by five and a half inches, and this will make a very solid table.table

Dowels and Pins

When gluing together I used wood dowels three inches long by half inch in diameter, and about six to each piece of two by six. You will need a level surface to line them up on, and before drilling holes for the wood dowels check that the grain of wood  on ends of two by sixes are opposite of each other, as there is less chance of warping in the future this way. After drilling the first board I use small metal pins that are designed for the size of the wood dowel holes. Insert these in the predrilled holes then press next two by six against first one and you will have your marks to drill next wood dowel holes perfectly aligned.Repairing Pins Dowels


After all holes are drilled then insert the wood dowels and apply wood glue, and press all six pieces together. I personally use pipe clamps but there are many different kinds on the market today for this type of job. You will also need C clamps to hold the two by sixes level on your gluing platform as you apply pressure to the pipe clamps. I usually leave this clamped together for a couple days before removing them. It will be ready in less time then this as the glue bottles recommend two to three hours but I always leave a longer time so less chance of problems.clamps wood dowels

Table Top

After removing the table top from the clamps then it is time to start sanding to get a smooth finish to the wood. I usually start sanding with an eighty paper then work up to a finer sand paper, something like a two hundred to finish. In also rounded the corners, just because I thought it looked better. The legs are four two by sixes glued together and can be cut later to any design you like. I made them twenty seven inches long and put two feet rest with felt on them to protect the floor. For this I made pieces seven inches long by two and a quarter wide by one inch thick. Then after everything is sanded it can be finished with a varathane or whatever your choice is , as there are also many different products on the market for this.

The Table Legs

Attach the foot rests to bottom of legs with a couple screws, then the legs are screwed to bottom of table top by attaching a one and a half by two by fourteen inch long piece to top of legs with four bolts. Then screw through this into table top with five or six screws. Legs are then joined together by a length of two by six cut down to three and a half inches wide, narrowed at the ends and held in place with two wood wedges. My table has stood up to wear for twenty five years or more with zero maintenance.


Other furniture can be made also,  from bookcases to magazine holders or end tables for your couches. Also make yourself a bar counter using the same methods as the table top, just cut to size. For book shelves you can use one by ten pine, some wood screws, sand the pieces before putting together. Then finish up with varathane. I have used a latex varathane on some projects and it seems to stand the test of time quite well, plus is easy to apply, dries fast between coats, and brushes clean with water.

Magazine Holder

To put together a magazine holder also use one by ten pine and a one inch wood dowel fifteen and a quarter inches long for the handle. Make the bottom, sides, and ends, and put together with wood screws, varathane and its ready to use. There are many different designs for this, I just copied one that was an antique my mom used to have.magazine stand,

Wood Projects

Most of these projects can be bought at stores, but they will not be of the same quality if you make them yourself. Plus having something made by your own hands is always a good reward in itself. I usually use pine because its very easy to work with and takes less time to sand and finish then many of the hard woods like oak or maple. In my case the floors in the house are pine so I try to keep things matched up.

If you have any other ideas just leave a comment, its always appreciated.


How to Build a Deck


At sometime or another you might wont to know how to build a deck onto your home. I think just about every deck will have its own unique design, and just where you would like to build it onto your home.decks for improving home value

Wood for Deck

Most wood used for this project are two by sixes treated and four by four post also treated. The decking can be two by sixes treated also, but have seen different sizes used for this. The four by four post can be put onto concrete deck blocks that are designed for the post to sit in. Some places may require  post holes dug and cemented with a bolt sticking out of cement so a special metal bracket can be attached to keep post well anchored. I have also put up  decks made from all cedar but that can be very expensive.wood for decks

Attaching a Ledger Board

The first thing is to install a ledger board against the house using a two by six for this. Take siding off the house where you wont it installed and mark the right height and level for where deck is to sit. This can be attached with half inch bolts or lag screws four to six inches long, just making sure they go into solid house structure. Best to drill holes first as it makes life easier. One other thing to remember is to install the two by sixes with the crown of the board up, and this also applies to the other joists you will be using.

Perimeter Joists

Next is to put up the perimeter joists for the deck, then once up you can level and make it square. Always measure the diagonals from ends of ledger board to make deck square with house. The perimeter joists will attach to the four by four post that are set on your cement blocks, using bolts to connect post to ledger boards. Make sure to have post on the four corners  as these will be part of the railing later. Most people set the post about six feet apart but can be closer depending on size of deck, and also post set where ever center of deck is, once again depending on size of deck.post and supports for deck

Post For Deck

Other post for your railing  should be attached now before you put in joists. These can be six feet apart up to a maximum of eight feet, but the six foot span will make a stronger railing. I usually attach the post to the inside of the perimeter joist leaving the full thickness of four inches. Have seen some with a notch cut out so post sits on top of joist. but this only leaves two inches of wood holding post so personally I prefer the solid four inches. There are metal brackets that attach to the perimeter boards and the four by four post sit in these and screwed into place making them extremely strong for the railing. It may cost a few dollars more but is safer and stronger with the metal brackets.four by four post used for decks

Floor Joists

Next you wont to attach the treated two by sixes floor joists. These are put every sixteen inches so you can mark the ledger board and the outside perimeter the same. For these there are also metal face mount joist hangers, usually around a dollar a piece and work very well. Have seen these nailed on but I prefer screws in case there is a little adjusting to do later, makes it much easier. Don’t forget to put the crown of joists up as you install them.ledger board and floor joist for how to build a deck


After joists are all installed then you can start putting on the two by six flooring, beginning at the outside perimeter joist and working towards the house. Cut out for  the post and I usually leave an inch overhang at the outside perimeter board, but that’s up to you as some like it even. You can space the two by six flooring using eight or ten penny nails, anywhere from one eighth to one quarter inch gap. I usually just cut three or four  pieces of wood the right thickness for the space, or use some stir sticks for paint. I find this works better then nails for  spacing because often the two by sixes are not perfectly straight and need to be adjusted, and with pressure the nail spacers will sink into the wood  where with the wider wood spacers will not. When your flooring  gets closer to the house check for both sides being even in case spacing needs to be adjusted or you have to rip a two by six.two by six decking for how to build a deck

Attaching Flooring

To attach the flooring I use three inch decking screws. Most people screw the floor down by going through the two by sixes into the joists, is fast and easy. Another way if your deck is three or more feet off the ground is screwing the flooring on from the under side, going from an angle through the joist into the flooring, and drilling a pilot hole first. Its a little harder to do but your flooring has no holes screwed in the top of it, and does look real good when finished, plus less chance of rot in the future. Have done three or four decks like this plus a few porches, customers were very pleased with the look.screws for how to build a deck

Deck Railing

The next part of the process is to add the railing and any more post that you might need. Railing is usually three feet high wit the post extending about another ten inches above that. If your deck is five feet ten inches above ground  then railing should be placed at a height of forty two inches. The bottom two by four rail can be set at two to four inches above deck floor, and the vertical pieces for the railing have no more then a four inch gap between them. They are often made out of two by two treated lumber sawed on an angle at top. These are the leveled and screwed into place.railing for deck


If your plans call for stairs then you will need a couple post set onto the perimeter board of the deck Attach these with metal brackets designed to give the post a solid mounting. Every deck will be different so one of the easy ways to calculate the two by twelve stringers for length rise and thread is to use one of the stair calculators on the internet. There are a few excellent ones out there. Just give the height of your floor on deck from the ground or cement base your stringers will sit on, and the rise which is the height of step. Most have a rise between seven to eight inches, and the angle of stringers is usually between thirty five to forty two degrees. One of the most common rises on stairs is seven to seven and a half inches, and you can use two by sixes for the threads. If the steps are over thirty six inches wide you will require three stringers.stairs for deck

Railings For Stairs

If you are adding railings to the stairs, then two more four by four post are required at the bottom. These can be anchored into cement and attached with metal fasteners for strength. These can also be attached to the inside of the stringers by adding a two by six across stringers at back of post, plus a short piece of four by four on the sides of post. All pieces are then bolted together and metal fasteners also used, These have to be extremely solid so take the time to do it right. Add the two by fours between post for railing cutting the angles at top and bottom, then add the verticals with once again no more then four inch spacing. A handrail can also be added after inside the stair railing for getting a better grip.deck stairs

Post Caps

For the post around the deck  you can add solar LED light caps for them. There are many different types of post caps out there so is just what ever you happen to prefer.


If anyone would like to leave a comment or have some new ideas on decks, its always appreciated.






Outdoors Ideas For Your Home

Front Doors

If your front door could use some new paint, or if its wood some sanding and varnish would get it looking like new again. This is not to expensive a repair, so will also give you a few more outdoor ideas for your home to keep them looking good.new doors for your home

Add a Few Lights

Another way to keep home looking good is to add some solar lights along the driveway or walkway. If you wont to do it cheaply check out the dollar store. These lights are about twelve inches high so if you wont them higher just mount them to wood dowels or broom handles.

 Window Boxes

Window boxes in the summer also give a nice look to the place. There not to difficult to make, a few two by six for the borders and some plywood for the bottoms and screws to attach together. Something for a weekend project.


A new mail box will also will also show you care for the place, or new paint on the old one. If a new one required try a treated four by four for the box to sit on, also best to check with your local postal service to get the right height. I put in a hard plastic one purchased from the local hardware store, and it seems to take the ware of winter very well. No holes in it yet after two years of use.mailbox


When spring arrives with warmer weather purchase some flower pots for around the front of your home. If you have a place for planting flowers try perennials in your flower beds. some that bloom in early spring, then summer, and others later in the fall so you have great colour for the season. The annuals have to be planted each year, but tend to have more flowers.improving home value flowers

Windows You Can See Through.

Keeping your windows clean is another good option, probably twice a year and more often if you live where there is  a lot of dust, gravel roads as an example. Some of the newer windows unlatch and fold into the house making them real easy to clean. Some of the older homes need the double windows replaced with the screens spring and fall, so that’s when they get cleaned at the same time. Always be careful  installing and cleaning while using ladders.improving home value windows

Garden Sheds

Something else to keep the placing looking clean is to build or buy a garden shed to store the tools in. If building make it big enough to accommodate the lawn mower, and what ever else is laying around outside exposed to the elements. These sheds can store away a lot of clutter on your property.

Old Trees and Flowers

If you have had any old trees that had to be cut down, instead of digging out the stumps try hollowing out the centers and fill with flowers. This can end up looking really neat. Some older trees are rotten in  the centers making them easy to hollow out while newer ones you can use a chainsaw to form a place for flowers.improving home flowers

Porch Lights And Rain Gutters

Also putting new porch lights up if yours are not in the best of shape can give the home a better look. And check the house numbers, if there hard to see try upgrading them to a more visible area and a larger size. Another thing is to keep rain gutters clean of leaves and twigs as the build up can cause ice to back up on the roof. Might even cause leaks if your roof is not in good condition.


If anyone has any other ideas to keep the outside of your home looking great drop me a note.

If you like these Ideas for you outdoor, feel free to share

See you soon back here with more ideas for Improving your Home Value


How to Remove Snow and Ice

The Joys of Winter

Keeping your home up during the winter months can involve some snow shovelling from roofs and driveways. Its often not an easy thing, and if your not in good physical shape is best to hire someone for the job, so here is  a few ideas on how to remove snow and ice.snow and ice

To Much Snow

Snow blowers make it easy to clean driveways, well at least easier then shovelling. Living in southern Quebec Canada we often get a few major snow falls. A couple of these storms and the roofs can have three feet, ninety centimeters or more of wet heavy snow on them.


If roofs don’t have a steep enough pitch this can lead to an extreme weight on them. An example of this trailer roofs and also a few homes. Shovelling snow off roofs is not something I would recommend for the average homeowner. Having done many roofs its something you need to be very careful at.


One thing today is that we now have roof rakes, which are usually priced at about thirty dollars from your local hardware store. These are a plastic shovel twenty four inches wide that attach to aluminum poles. The poles come in five foot lengths and clip together so making it easy to reach snow on roofs, often while standing on the ground. By the way its a great invention.roof rake


Another problem here in the northern climates is ice build up, which occurs mostly in the valleys and edges of roofs. The reason for this is usually not having proper insulation in the attic, and heat from your home is escaping upward to the roof. One protection for this you can try is to purchase a heat cable which attaches to your roof  with clips supplied. This electrical cable plugs in and radiates a heat to keep ice dams from forming, and comes in different lengths.


You might also wont to keep some sand or salt handy for ice on your walkways. If you decide on salt or other products designed for this from your local hardware store, always use sparingly as they can do damage to cement walkways and your plants, and might not good for winter birds at your feeders. Best to check the ingredients first before using. If anyone has found a natural product to use drop me a note, would be interested.winter birds

Keeping The Power On

If your area seems to lose power when ever freezing rain or high winds occur, I would recommend buying a generator. This is not something you use often but can come in handy. In nineteen ninety eight there was an ice storm here, and I lost power for two months, which was quite an experience. Ice on tree branches was two inches thick or more and you could hear branches and trees falling everywhere, it sounded like a rifle or shotgun going off every few minutes. Will have to write an article about that event another time. So this gives you an idea why a generator is needed at times.

Long Winter

Also if you find winter long and get what we call cabin fever, you can always start your own website at Wealthy Affiliate and write about whatever is of interest to you. Its free to join and is about the only place on the net that’s not a scam, so if you have any interest take a look.


If anyone has any comments or ideas about how to remove snow and ice this winter, drop me a note, have a great 2015.