Winterizing your home

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Getting your home ready for winter?

These tips can help you get your home ready for the winters that Westchester County homeowners often endure.

 

There are a couple of good reasons why it is wise to winterize your home properly and prepare for the cold temperatures. Firstly, your comfort level in your home. Secondly, by making some slight modifications that are not too costly you can save yourself some money on those dreaded utility bills.

 

Lets start with some of the more simple methods that are cost effective. The first would be filling in the gaps around doors and windows with caulk. Retro fitting a home and looking for air leakage or penetration can be a good way to reduce heating and cooling costs. Besides, when that warm air your furnace is creating is slipping through the cracks of your windows or doors that is your good hard earned money slipping away with it.

 

Proper home insulation is very important for the life of your heating and or cooling unit along with your comfort and savings. A heating or cooling unit has a much more difficult time working under harsh conditions in your attic and or basement, so be sure to properly insulate every single room in the home. If you have sealed your windows, doors, and properly retro fitted your home in the attic and or basement then you may be having an issue with your insulation. There are some economic alternatives that are a bit more effective than your standard Batt insulation such as cellulose insulation. A step further than cellulose insulation would be spray foam insulation, which can be used for sound proofing as well.

 

Ice damming, make sure you clean out those gutters before the harsh temperatures arrive. This will make ice damming and icicles forming less likely to happen, which means less headache for you the homeowner.

 

Chimney’s can be responsible for much heat loss and air penetration during the summer. Make sure you have your chimney insulated with an inflatable blocker, just make sure that the blocker is fit to size.

 

On a larger scale in retro fitting your home, you may want to look into updating your heating and HVAC system to a more energy efficient air system, the pricing varies pretty drastically depending on your budget, but all systems manufactured now are given an energy rating, so choose wisely. A lot of the older steam and oil heating systems are unfortunately wallet burners for the homeowner.

 

Hope you found these tips useful.

 

 

 

Home Renovation Tips

351marbledalerd-29Here are a couple of things to look out for when you are renovating your home, whether it be to obtain maximum value on the re-sale or for your own enjoyment.

 

The Lowest Bidder is not always the best, or worst: When selecting a contractor you want to get a few references within your sphere of influence and have each of them give an estimate of the work needed. Remember, the lowest bidder is not always the way to go, you do not want contractors who are using cheaper materials renovating your home, there is something to be said for paying a premium on better quality work and materials to put into your brand new kitchen and or bathroom.

 

Think it through: You have to understand that if you would like to completely renovate an entire portion of your home, or add an addition, you have to think over the many factors that come with this project. For instance, when renovating your kitchen, you have to consider that changing the countertop to granite countertops, getting brand new custom cabinetry, and stainless steel appliances are not the only elements to the project, there are potential plumbing issues that will arise if you need to add a new fixture, how will this new kitchen match up with your current flooring? should you change the flooring as well? how will this new kitchen match up with your current paint job and our wallpaper and or molding. You really need to think of the big picture and understand that there may be more to it then just changing the countertop.

 

Measurements: Make sure that all measurements are taken well and that all fixtures are reflective of adequate space as to where they are going to be placed, nothing is worse then having to return your new refrigerator or stainless steel stove.

 

Timing: you want to time your renovation when the financially it makes the most sense and also when you have enough spare time, summertime is always a good time for parents, the holidays can be a hectic time therefore many people choose not to do major projects over the holidays.

 

Paint: Make sure you choose the right paint to reflect what the room’s energy should be. semigloss paint has more of a flat look for smaller rooms, while the high gloss may give a more grand and open feeling for the rooms that deserve the most attention. Neutral colors are always a safe way to go.

The little things: Some people lose sight of the things that they do not see often that may be important to the life and comfort of the home such as the insulation, the electrical system, or the windows. These things are often ignored, and although they are not at the top of the list, they should be budgeted correctly, as having an adequate heating/cooling system, proper insulation, and updated electrical wiring is important to the life of the home and will save you time and money if cared for.

 

 

 

 

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