Preparing Your Home For Winter

Save Energy

With the cold weather coming is a good time for preparing your home for winter. Start with checking your home for any unwonted drafts. Then go around the house and caulk any cracks you happen to find, also a good idea to check around the foundation.


A good caulking to use is Mono Ultra for exterior application, I purchase that at Canadian Tire for about five dollars with tax. A lesson I have learned is not to buy the cheaper variety, as I have seen rain and snow wash it off the house- not good. I presume different countries sell other products so I would recommend trying to get the best, and follow the application instructions on the tube.


Another thing to check for is the seals around doors. If the door is not closing tight against them then your letting cold in and spending more cash to keep the house comfy. If the seals are in good shape then its an easy adjust with a screwdriver for a good fit. If seals are cracked or broken then best to replace with new ones.door seal improvinghomevalue


Windows can let in the cold if there old and just don’t fit well. One of the cheapest ways to block drafts here is buying the plastic shrink wrap that goes on the inside of windows. It just attaches to the inside frame with a tape that’s sticky on two sides, Its not that good looking but does keep the cold out. A kit sells for ten to twenty dollars here in Canada, and is a good investment.    windows improvinghomevalue


If your using wood to help heat your home try to get the chimney cleaned, and have a look at the stove as often the bricks inside it might be cracked and need replacing.Generally a good clean up works  for this. If you have an old stove I would recommend buying a new one as they are much more efficient. A few years ago I purchased a Regency F2400 stove and was surprised at how efficient this was and that it heated my entire house, so I did not have to use any electrical heaters for backup. Its not a cheap investment but in the long run saves you money. stove 003


Check any plumbing that is exposed outside, making sure any water pipes exposed to the elements are drained. When minus twenty or thirty arrives these pipes along with the valves can crack. Also  don’t forget to drain the garden hoses. A little prevention here saves you in the spring when you turn on the water again.


It is good to get gutters cleaned of leaves or small branches in the fall. It keeps the water away from house and ice build up which can do some damage to your home. The roof can also be checked at the same time for loose tin or shingles and caulk around  any vents through roof and chimneys. evestrough improvinghomevalue


Take a look around the inside of your home for drafts, many times the electrical plugs will let in cold air. A quick fix for this is to buy the insulated pads that go just behind the electrical plate, not expensive and a good fix. seal improvinghomevalue

Things to Do

So in the fall is best to go around your home and check everywhere you think a draft of cold air can enter. It will save you money and keep the house cozy, winter is something you need to be prepared for. Any comments just leave a message, take care everyone.

Home Improvements that Increase Value

Roof Repairs

If your home has an older shingle roof and is probably twenty to thirty years old, then most likely shingles might need to be replaced. This is definitely one of the home improvements that increase value.replacing-old-shingles

Checking Roof

Most shingle roofs should be looked at if you see shingles curling up or lifting. A new roof might not be a do it yourself thing, and can be expensive so is something to look into before deciding to renew.cracked-shingles


Having done quite a few roofs through out time, I have seen changes in the way they are installed. One important area today is the underlay. Most roofs have felt paper put down first, overlapping by about three inches as you progress up the roof. A newer innovation is the eves protector, a self sticking membrane that goes on at bottom edge of roof to protect against ice and water backup. This material like the felt paper is three feet in width.membrane-for-roof


Today we apply three rows of this membrane up the roof overtop of the felt paper. Then it is also applied in the valleys and last over the ridges and peaks. Since the membrane is thirty six inches wide we apply it at that width leaving eighteen inches on each side of the center of the roof valleys, then with the metal flashing applied over this. The reason being is that this is one area of many roofs where there is a back up of ice and water due to poor insulation or venting.roof-valley

Membrane Problems

|One problem we have encountered is when the membrane is glued directly to the plywood decking along bottom of roof. When its time to renew shingles the bottom rows are embedded into the membrane and extremely difficult to remove. Personally I would recommend putting down felt paper first with membrane over  it. If there are any other ideas out there on this subject would appreciate the information.membrane-problems

A Few Suggestions

Another suggestion is try to avoid hot days for putting on shingles, as your shoes will mark the shingles-roofs can get very warm. Hard on the shingles and the person putting them on. For anyone attempting this by themselves always work safely, one wrong slip and you could have a real bad day, and if your not comfortable with heights  hire someone that’s qualified and knows what there

Job Done

When your new roof is finished it should last for the life of the shingles, that could be twenty to thirty years depending on quality of shingles. It is not something you wont to do every ten or fifteen years so it pays to buy quality shingles. Also gives you peace of mind knowing there wont be any water leakage entering your home, and also keeps the value up over the years.

Roof work is done, if you have any questions about how to fix your roof, leave me a comment,

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Improving Home Value-How To Renew An Old Floor


Adding a new look to your floors is another way to improve home value for an older new-shine-for-valuehome. Wood floors seem to be one of the more trendy things today, from hardwood to pine or what ever type.

Preparing Old Floor

Having just finished sanding a pine floor that had been painted with a green paint, I can honestly say it consumes a large amount of time. I found the easiest way to remove the paint was scraping by hand first. The floor was twenty five feet by seventeen feet and having found a couple pennies dated nineteen forty one and forty two below the  plywood and old linoleum that covered it, the paint below this was not easy to remove.


The sanding part went well and took very little time to do. As the floor was installed in eighteen seventy or before, a few nicks and cracks seem to just add more character to it.

What Finish To Put On Floor

Having looked over quite a few different products to paint it with. I finally settled on a Minwax Oil Modified Polyurethane. I picked the clear gloss, as I prefer a shine, satin would floor-finishing-for-home-valueleave a duller finish. One thing I found great about this product is that it take two hours to dry, and can be lightly sanded then recoated.The  manufacture recommends three coats, but I did four and it turned out looking great. Also has very little odor and the brushes clean up with water.

A Few Repairs

It was necessary to replace a couple holes on the floor about two feet by three feet with newer pine boards. I have used newer pine boards before in this situation , so through experience I know the newer pine will come to match the older in time.

Something New

Having sanded many floors in the past using drum sanders, edgers, and hand sanders, I decided to try something different. As I do drywall sanding at times and have the disk sander for this, a nine inch model, decided to give it a try. Its not as fast as the drum sanders, but if you take the time it works quite well on the pine floor. A little sanding by hand after and a good vacuum of the dust, then your floor is ready to coat.

If anyone has any new ideas on doing floors, or restoring them drop me a note, always great to get new ideas.