10 Winter Home Maintenance Tips That Pay Off

The fall is the perfect time to start thinking about winter home maintenance. This is because there are several things you need to do before the season begins to ensure a safe and comfortable winter season in your home.

10 Winter Home Maintenance Tips

‘High’ Priorities:

Gutters –

  • Gutter cleaning is critical to winter home maintenance. Remove debris from gutters. If water backs up, it can cause ice dams or leaks. It can also damage gutters or siding.

Roof –

  • Inspect and upgrade attic insulation and ventilation.
  • Purchase a roof rake for easy winter home maintenance on your roof.
  • Remove snow as quickly as possible after storms.

Trees –

  • Trees can be a big issue, so make sure they are part of your winter home maintenance plans. Keep an eye on any trees close to your house. Winter storms can cause trees to fall. Dead trees will fall much more easily, so if you have any in your yard, it’s best to remove them.
  • Trim branches close to windows or the roof. Snow can make them heavy causing them to break and potentially damage your home, or worse, someone!

A Clean Sweep:

Pathways –

  • Try to clear anything slippery, sharp or that is cluttering your path ways. When it’s cold and raining, snowing, icy or sleeting, these things could be dangerous.
  • Clear your pathways/driveway right away after a snow to avoid injury as well. The longer you wait, the more ice can build up.

snow path clearing winter home maintenance

Chimneys –

Have your fireplace cleaned by a certified chimney sweep every year for your standard winter home maintenance. It’s a safety measure since buildup of creosote from previous fires inside the chimney can actually cause a house fire. You’ll be using it a lot in the winter so it’s imperative that it’s clean before the season.

Water Woes:

Frozen Pipes –

  • As one of the most important winter home maintenance, pay attention to your pipes. Set your heat no lower than 55 degrees. The temperature inside the walls where water pipes are located is colder than the living spaces. This will help to prevent frozen pipes.
  • When the weather will be very cold, let water drip from hot and cold faucets overnight.
  • Try keeping cabinet doors open to let warmer air circulate around your sink pipes. If you open the cabinet doors, remove anything hazardous to children, like household cleaners.
  • For exposed pipes in your attic, basement, or crawlspaces, add extra insulation. Frozen pipes can be a pain, and busted pipes can cause TONS of damage to your home.

frozen-pipe winter home maintenance

Water on the floor –

  • Use mats in entryways of the home, especially if you have hardwood floors. The water that is tracked in can easily damage your flooring. On tile, LVT or laminate, it can cause a slippery surface which could lead to falls, which is never good.
  • Set up an area for wet shoes to avoid tracking it throughout the house as well.

Hot & Cold:

AC/Furnace Maintenance –

  • Have your furnace or boiler checked at least once a year. We recommend this before the winter begins in case you need a replacement.
  • Clean or replace the furnace filter on forced hot air systems or have your furnace cleaned. Do this before winter as well.
  • Maintain your wood-burning stove.
  • When using high-efficiency heating systems, make sure that PVC vent pipes are free of any debris.

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Energy Efficient Windows –

Poorly insulated or old windows can cause money to go literally flying through the cracks.

  • Check caulking around windows
  • Decide if you need replacement windows
  • Check to see if you need new weatherstripping
  • Make sure the walls around windows are sealed. If not, fix them.

caulking-windows winter home maintenance

Drafty Doors –

Your door can play a large part in letting in cold air, and letting heat out. Make sure that you check the things listed below as part of your winter home maintenance checklist every year.

  • Check to see if there are gaps around your doors
  • Check non-functional weatherstripping
  • See if you would benefit from a storm door for extra protection.
  • Open doors to unoccupied rooms to keep an even temperature throughout the house.
  • A new door also gives a great return on investment, so if you do need a new front door, don’t consider it a loss, but a win. You’ll save money on heating and cooling bills and give your home a facelift!

 


Builders Surplus is a full service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We are the leading provider of Ledge Stone, wall tile and backsplash tile in Louisville, Newport, and Cincinnati. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!
Written by: Allie Bloyd

Kitchen Organization: Clean & Clear for the New Year!

Kitchen Organization: Featured Image

Kitchen Organization: Clean & Clear for the New Year!

It’s out with the old and in with the new in 2016! We’re all scrambling around to meet the resolutions that we’ve made to eat more healthy, get in shape, and to get more organized! Kitchen organization is often overlooked – taking a back seat to cleaning out your bedroom, attic, or other space that seems to attract everything you will never need. However, the kitchen is – in my opinion – the epicenter of the home. In my fathers kitchen he even has a TV in there so he can eat, read the paper, and watch football without having to leave the room! This year resolve to change that! Get your kitchen organized to keep up with life and the rest of your resolutions! So how do you organize a kitchen? We’ll give you some of our favorite kitchen organization tips to organize the different areas of your kitchen and how they’ll help you in other aspects of your life!

Pantry Organization

Kitchen Design: Trends & Resolutions for 2016: Pantry Organization The pantry is always in a state of semi-organization in my house. All the canned stuff goes on this shelf, except for one or two particulars. Cereal is at the bottom, and the floor is just covered in unused shopping bags. Other than that you can put whatever your want wherever you want – if I’m hungry enough I’ll dig for it. Going through your pantry, organizing it and throwing out old food stuffs will help to declutter the space. Set up some kind of organization system, large (wide) magazine holders hold canned goods well and shoe organizers that hang on the back of the door are a life saver when it comes to organizing spice packets! A popular tip seen on Pinterest is to use plastic bins (or wicker – if you want that rustic-chic look) to organize the different kinds of food-stuffs you have, like pastas in one bin and after-school snacks in another. Cynthia Ewer posted a great, in-depth article about organizing your pantry over on Organized Home where she states that “A Pantry’s Not a Place: It’s an Attitude.” You can read that article, here, for more tips to get your pantry into shape! Remember that canned goods are often still good way after its marked date; unless the metal is starting to rust, it should still be good to keep. If you do feel that you want to get rid of it consider donating your unwanted (but still good) canned goods to your local food bank!

Refrigerator Organization

Kitchen Organization: Refrigerator Organization You probably already go through your Refrigerator every once in a blue moon to get rid of expired goods and clean it out. But having a system in place can help to rid you of this process and not have to touch another moldy bowl again! Of course, if you don’t go through your fridge that often, my first piece of advice is to start to. Go through, organize and clean your refrigerator at least once a month, more if there’s any extra messiness. When I worked at my local deli at the beginning of college we had an extremely strict cold-box organization system – and we had to clean it out every week. My boss at the time had previously worked at a high-end restaurant as a cook and this is apparently how others taught her to organize a professional kitchen refrigerator. The system organizes the foods by how long they need to be cooked; foods needing little to no cooking time at the top to raw meats and foods that need to be cooked to higher temperatures/for longer at the bottom. This kind of kitchen organization reduces food contamination. So it’s organized similarly as follows:
  1. Top: Foods that can be eaten raw or need little to no cooking. – Leftovers, beverages, deli-meats, ready-to-eat snacks.
  2. Middle: Raw foods that will be cooked. – Veggies and eggs.
  3. Bottom*: Raw ingredients that must be cooked, but need to be cooked longer or to higher temperatures than the shelves above it. – Meats.
  4. Door**: Condiments and items that can be left out or do not have to be refrigerated.
* The bottom of the fridge typically has a couple of drawers that are designed to keep in humidity for fresh produce like fruits and vegetables. While these items can be kept higher in the refrigerator if you decide that you must put your produce in a bottom crisper drawer, keep one drawer specifically for raw meats and another for produce to prevent contamination. If your drawers are on top of each other, stick with the top down rule – meat in the bottom drawer, veggies in the top. ** The door is the warmest part of the fridge, so anything that must stay cold like milk, raw meats, or eggs should be kept in a colder part of the refrigerator.

Kitchen Organization: Food DriveFood for Thought:

The more often you’re able to go through your pantry or fridge – the more often you’ll be able to clear out old, unwanted, or unhealthy foods – and we all know that the less often that pack of cookies is staring you in the face when you open the pantry looking for a snack the more likely you’ll be to stay on track with eating cleaner! Likewise, if you can see fresh fruits and veggies in your refrigerator you’ll be more likely to much on them from time to time!

Shelf & Cabinet Organization

Kitchen Organization: Horizontal Cabinet Trend An upcoming trend that I briefly mentioned in last weeks blog is the move towards horizontal cabinetry. This trend is highlighted by more shallow depth and wider cabinets and shelves. It’s being more commonly seen in upper wall cabinets than base cabinets as decreasing depth there would mean sacrificing counter and prep space. What this kitchen organization trend aims to do is to allow for more room to display and organize kitchen ware such as cups, plates and bowls and also cooking utensils without having to layer things backwards and have to go searching for something. Kitchen Organization: Pull Out Shelves An alternative to this are pull out drawers that are also helping to ease the hassle of having to find a skillet or other item in the back of your cabinet. Builders Surplus offers two different lines that can do some version of horizontal cabinetry and pull-out shelving. Wellborn Cabinets and Waypoint Living Spaces (our custom lines) both offer some options to control the depth of your cabinets and add pull-out shelving!

Kitchen Organization Products

Kitchen Organization: Products

Click here to shop our kitchen organization products!

Kitchen organization can be a daunting task – just like organizing any other room in your home but it’s an important part of home improvement. While magazine racks, shoe organizers, or other kitchen organization hacks might be frugal, little times are they stylish. Builders Surplus favorite kitchen organization tools come from the 11 minutes or less brand. Each item helps tremendously in helping to organize your kitchen and they can all be installed in 11 minutes or less! From trashcan pullouts to lazy susans for your cabinets we think these products are some of the best and make life in the kitchen so much easier!
Builders Surplus is a full service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation! Written By: Kat Flaherty

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