Guest Post. Image courtesy of Kiruna Sweden/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
It won’t be long before snow and ice hits the season. Now is the right time to spruce up the home for the chilly winters.
TV commercials may portray hardwood floors and expensive draperies as a necessity. Homeowners can receive a nod of acknowledgement when showing them off. However, it’s easy to forget the hefty price to make fancy home improvements.
Luckily, there are ways to be frugal with the process and avoid the post-summer blues. Some of the essential additions can be delightful and can make a big difference to the look and health of your home – without taking a toll on your budget.
Home improvement ideas that yield savings
1. Seal patio and sideways
Cracks in concrete surfaces of sideways and patios can become big in the winter season because of the trapped moisture and cold. A ready-to-apply sealant can be used for sealing cracks and it can be applied directly through the tube. You can also use a caulking gun with the sealant.
A single tube of sealant is available for $10 or less at most brick and mortar home improvement outlets, and it can be applied several times. It is also important to note that rock salt can wear down on concrete surfaces and cause damage to plants and grass when used for the snow, so thawing products that are safe for the landscaping project should be used instead.
2. Work on your windows
Adding to the windows can significantly lower the winter utility bills. For example, new window blinds applied on the windy side of the house or in a room that’s far from furnace can be effective at keeping the heat inside and lowering expenses. The ones that come with thick fabrics allow for maximum insulation.
Another option is to use layered curtains or heavy fabrics to keep the drafts at bay. These can also be matched with the rest of the interior decor. However, large drapes can block out the light and it may not be easy to find frugal curtains during the season compared to normal blinds.
3. Eliminate any insulation gaps
Check for gaps from where the air can escape – air vents, faucets and pluming are some of the places to look. After discovering them, you can use expanding foam to fill them, but avoid sealing any gap near a gas flue because doing so can result in a fire hazard. Also, remember to fill gaps that you may forget; check crawlspace and where the house is meeting the foundation.
Expanding foam, however, may not cut it when it comes to big gaps. The spots that need advanced air-stopping measures can be filled with insulation that is made from natural fibers and allow for sound thermal absorption (such insulation also covers every nook and cranny).
4. Pay attention to the outside
During the winters, the water supply to the faucets outside need to be turned off and proper drainage is required for fixtures. Likewise, irrigation systems need to be drained as well. Both the measures help in avoiding the freeze.
The exposed pipes should be carefully investigated and insulated. They are normally found in exterior walls and crawl spaces. You should manage them with care because water pipe bursting due to a freeze costs a lot to repair.
Have any frugal ideas to add? Feel free to do so in the comments section.