Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Winter Maintenance

Inspecting your home and taking care of it with regular maintenance protects your investment and ensures little problems don’t become big expenses. Although we typically think of home maintenance in the spring and the fall, there are a few tasks that should be tackled mid-winter, along with some diagnostic checks that are best performed at this time of year.

In order to ensure your home is healthy and is performing as it should, the following tasks should be on your January maintenance list:

  • Change furnace filters
  • Clean the humidifier
  • Vacuum or dust bathroom fans, smoke and CO2 detectors, and the grilles of refrigerators and freezers
  • Check under all sinks for leaks
  • Test plumbing shut-off valves
  • Check window latches, door knobs, and cupboard hinges and tighten if necessary

When these are complete, and if you are still feeling ambitious, you may want to take on the next list.

  • Feel for drafts around doors and windows. Now may not be the time to repair or replace them, but it is a really good time to take note for when the weather warms.
  • Feel for drafts at the electrical outlets. Again, this probably isn't the time of year when the drafts are going to be corrected, but later you may want to remember where the problem places were. This fix is typically completed when other exterior maintenance is performed, so take good notes--especially if you plan on replacing siding or making future energy improvements.
  • Stick your head up into the attic and look around for signs of frost or mold. You’re only going to see frost in the winter, so now is the time. If you do see any frost, it’s a sure sign something needs to be addressed.
  • Perform an inspection of your roof from the ground. Do you see ice dams? Uneven melting?
  • Check all exterior vents to be sure they are free of snow and ice.

If you happen to find something that is not easily repaired, or something that concerns you, please give us a call. It might be something we can help you with, or it might be a task better suited for a member of our outstanding subcontractor team. Either way, we want to be your first call for any of your home care questions.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Some projects seem to go so fast, especially the ones where we are not replacing EVERYTHING in the room…which is an option we find a lot of homeowners forget is available.

Sometimes homeowners put off updating their old space because they think it might be too expensive, messy or disruptive. Worse yet, when a homeowner becomes disenchanted with the older space, sometimes they begin to put off needed repairs. This is a mistake – small changes now could save quite a bit of time and money later.

One of our recent projects was to transform a kitchen. This homeowner knew what he needed and what he wanted to spend. We knew the budget didn't have enough room to purchase new cabinetry. We offered a solution: replace the counter tops and leave the cabinets. They were still in great shape, well taken care of, and although not the newest style, they worked well. In fact, by not replacing the cabinets, there was room in the budget for a snazzy back-splash, which worked to make that not-so-new cabinetry look downright up-to-date!

The options are endless, and if you do a little something now, you might avoid having to do a lot of something later. Give us a call today, and let us show you what we can do with the budget you have. Even if it’s only repairs to your current space, why not enjoy living in your home now, without the worry and frustration of “the big project” looming in the future.