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Your source for building tips, woodworking & furniture plans, house plans and building advice directly from Dave...

Hi, I'm Dave Osborne. With over 50 years experience as a journeyman carpenter, foreman and contractor in heavy construction I enjoyed working with apprentices and sharing the tricks of the trade that others shared with me. Now I get emails from Members all over the world and we include many of my answers in our Free Monthly Newsletters. Some of my answers include drawings and instructions specific to a project, but may also answer your questions. I use correct construction terminology, so you can confidently inform your building supply dealers or contractors exactly what you need.

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Seasonal 2: Winter Proof Your Home

Before Winter sets in with all its fury, check out the following list to keep your home warm, cozy and secure.

  • Remove all hoses from their hose bibs. Even the frost free hose bibs need to have the garden hose removed so that any water remaining in the valve stem can drain out.
  • Close all vents to the crawl space. The crawl space should be insulated to prevent pipes from freezing. A small baseboard heater or inline heater, along the pipes, is recommended during this time of year, if temperatures in your area drop below freezing. Secure the heater well to prevent problems.
  • Basements should be insulated. I recommend constructing a 2x4 wall in front of the concrete foundation wall, floor to ceiling, installing insulation and vapor barrier. Strap and insulate short concrete walls.
  • Your furnace filters should be changed by now. Cleaning the air ducts is also recommended.
  • In older homes, check out ways to insulate. Foam pads are available under face plates for plugs and switches. Clear film is made for covering single pane windows. Use caulking to fill gaps around windows, doors and siding.
  • Check to see if you have fresh air coming into your home in a regulated fashion. Check out the dehumidifier switches for bathroom fans. Forced air furnaces should have fresh air introduced to their cold air return. Talk to local experts who can advise you on this subject. Usually local government departments have free brochures and advice.
  • Roofs and gutters should be cleaned of moss and debris.

Bundle up, get outside and enjoy the great outdoors in the wintertime.


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