Winter home maintenance tips

image6Winter is coming so be afraid be very afraid, and no, I am not talking about winter zombies or anything similar to that. What I am talking about is your home, the thing is during the winter months your home faces a number hazards. This means that you have to be prepared to keep these risks from happening, if you don’t you may have to spend a lot of your hard earned cash on expensive activities such hiring Roof Repair Direct to conduct roof maintenance, repair or even replacement and in extreme cases you may have to repair the damaged parts of your home.

Remember, hiring a contractor plus buying materials during the winter months is not an easy thing, so be prepared.

Start with the home’s exteriors

The first thing you have to do is add snow guards to the roof of your home, the snow guards will keep the ice or snow from avalanching and damaging property or causing bodily harm. The roof can be a dangerous place; therefore if you have no experience working on the roof you should hire a roof maintenance expert like RRD roof repair to help you install the snow guards.

The next thing is to make sure that your pipes are well insulated especially pipes that run on the outside of the home, this will keep the pipes from freezing. The drains and the gutters should also be cleaned or cleared of debris, if you don’t clear the debris your gutter will get damaged when the debris such as leaves block the melting ice, this will only mean one thing, costly roof maintenance. If you live up in the mountains you’ll want to reach out to RRD North Vancouver.

Energy efficiency

Energy efficiency is very important because it saves you money and keeps your home comfortable, look at it this way, during the winter months your heating system will be running constantly. To keep your energy bill low you will have to find ways to lower consumptions, the best way to do this is to:

  1. cover the big gaps around your doors and windows with weather stripping this will keep the cold air out
  2. insulate your ceilings to keep warm air from escaping
  3. change out your HVAC filters
  4. Inspect and insulate areas where cold air may come in such as crawl spaces and the attic.

Your kitchen

When it comes to the kitchen you should start preparing early, because you don’t want to have repairs done during the winter months. Here are some kitchen renovations tips to help you prepare for winter. Start with the chimney, if your chimney is in poor condition you should get it fixed or replaced before winter. Remember a poorly maintained chimney is a fire hazard, so avoid the risk get the chimney fixed if you have one.

Another important thing is your fridge, during the winter months power outages are common. Therefore you must protect your food from power outages, to do this you should keep the refrigerator at 40 degrees and the freezer below 0 degrees Fahrenheit and keep the doors shut. This will keep the food from going bad.

image7Prepare for emergencies

You should install carbon monoxide detectors, repair roof leaks and make sure that you properly insulate the home. Another important thing is buy an alternative heat source such as a backup generator or a kerosene heater, the point is; don’t over rely on one thing.

Other must haves are:

  1. Camp stove
  2. First aid kit
  3. Flashlights
  4. Heavy plastic sheeting
  5. Duct tape

Types of home construction

image5Have you heard the story about the three little pigs? The first piggy made his home of straw, the second used wood and the last little piggy used brick. Guess who was left standing when the big bad wolf came knocking.
It may be just a story but it loosely tells us something very important about homes, homes may look somewhat the same on the outside but if you check the inner workings of the homes you will discover that the buildings are not constructed in a similar way, this also means that home building companies specialize in different ways to construct homes. Luckily CHBB Vancouver home builders specializes in all types of residential construction.

Wood home construction

Most homes in Canada and the rest of North America have a wooden frame; the wooden frame is designed to support the structure. Home building companies prefer to construct homes with a wooden frame because working with wood is easy and thus doesn’t require too much labor, but there is a problem, wood is getting expensive. CHBB home builders prefer to work with would for residential 2 or 3 level homes but they have been known to use other materials such as steel and concrete.

The reason for this is, in the past timber was readily available but today forests are declining fast, this means that constructing a home with a wooden frame is getting expensive.

Brick home construction

If you have ever taken a trip to Europe or the rest of the world you will discover that most people prefer homes made of brick.

Brick homes may be built of a layer of concrete blocks or layers of bricks, what makes brick homes so popular is that brick made homes can last for a very long time and are more resilient to natural disasters such as earthquakes.

SIP construction

SIP stands for structural insulated panels, these panels are made of wood particles and adhesive, the mixture is then compressed to form a board which is commonly referred to as OSB (Oriented strand board) or as the sterling board. During construction foam insulation is sandwiched between the boards to make a strong lightweight panel.

What makes structural insulated panels popular among builders is that they are easy to install and don’t require too much labor.

Steel home construction

Today home building companies prefer to use steel in construction because; steel is easy to work with, light weight and weather resistant. Another great thing about homes made of steel is, steel framed homes don’t take a long to build. This is because the materials used in this type of construction are made before delivery, meaning that all the home building company has to do is assemble the materials.

When choosing a type of construction for your home it is important to look at the pros and cons of materials used, for example, not all home renovations tips for wooden houses apply to brick houses. Knowing this will make decision making easy.

For instance, let’s assume that you are choosing roofing materials. If you chose roofing material that is not suitable for your location, you will have to spend a lot of money on things such as roof leak repair, the points is, chose carefully and learn the environment before you build. You should contact CHBB custom house designers before make your decision on which materials to use for your home.


Renovations that add value to your home

image3There is a common belief amongst homeowners that home renovations automatically add value to a home, but the truth is this assumption is false. Understand that not all renovations add value to the home, some will add value and others are a waste of time especially if you want to sell the home, this means that if you are renovating with intention to sell, it is vital that you know what to renovate and what not to renovate or you will end up spending a lot of money on something that is of no use to you.

Before you get on that phone and hire a home builder it is important to know renovations that won’t add any value to the home. But if you insist on calling someone contact our good friends at VB Renovations first. Renovations that add least value to your home are:

  1. Home offices: they may appear exciting but home offices add little or no value to the home
  2. Wall to wall carpeting
  3. High end upgrades
  4. Intense landscaping
  5. Swimming pools
  6. Trendy color palettes

Note that I am not saying that you should not carry out the above home renovations; all I am saying is that the above renovations are best done for your own enjoyment of the home. But if you intend to sell the home, the home renovations that will make you more money are:

Kitchen renovations

Your kitchen will add the most value to the home, why? Your kitchen is the center of the home. It is the room where the day starts and where the family gathers in the evening to end the day, this makes it very important; in fact in some homes kitchens are replacing the living room. VB Renovations has a complete kitchen renovation division. Contact VBR Kitchens for a free estimate.

But don’t overdo it; it doesn’t have to be a deluxe kitchen, all you have to do is make is as presentable as possible. For example you can combine the kitchen and the living room to make it one large living/kitchen space.


The bathroom

Bathrooms are also very important rooms in the home; an old bathroom is a turnoff for most buyers. Therefore you should renovate the bathroom, you can save costs by salvaging the sinks and the bathtubs or you can get new ones depending on your budget. Just talk to VBR Bathrooms and focus on the lighting, plumbing and fixtures. Again you don’t have to overdo it just keep it within your budget.

Curb appeal

Curb appeal refers to how your home looks from the outside, this is what will drive people in. think of your home as a model, it has to nice for the pictures if you want people to buy it.

If your roof is in a bad condition repaired or if it is in a worse situation you should talk to a roof replacement company. The idea is to make the home as desirable as possible and in return more people will want to buy the home thus adding value to it.

Energy efficiency

People want to save money and they do this by lowering their energy consumption, this makes it very important to make your home energy efficient. What you have to do is insulate the home and install a proper HVAC system.

Home Addition Tips

image1Before you start thinking about adding additions to your home, it is very important to determine your needs. Understand that home renovations are expensive; therefore it is vital to differentiate your needs from your wants. The point is, if you know what you need you will be able to spend wisely, but if you renovate just because you want to, you may end up spending a lot of money on something that’s of no use to you.

What are your needs? Answering this question will determine how much you need, for example, do you need an extra bedroom? Do you need more family space? Or do you need an extra bathroom for your kids? The difference between a need and a want is a need serves a purpose making it important, whereas a want is just a desire to posses something, for example a hot tub.

Therefore start by determining what you need; this will serve as the objective or as the goal that you want to achieve. The next part is to create a realistic budget.

Create a realistic budget

Don’t burden yourself, create a realistic budget. The importance of this is to keep you from borrowing too much, planning your money will also ensure that you don’t waste it. You should base your budget on what you want to build, for example, if you want to replace your roof with a tile roof, you should budget for the materials, the number of tiles you will need and the amount it will cost you to hire a tile roof repair company.

Don’t cook figures, research and get estimates for the project then create the budget.

Note that, you will need some legal documents in order to carry out home improvement/addition. If you have no understanding of the zoning laws in your area you should find a reliable homebuilder or an expert in the field to fill you in on the process. This is a very important step so don’t hire just anyone, only work with licensed professionals.

image2Find a homebuilder and a designer

You may have ideas of what you want to build but you don’t have the knowledge of how to build it, therefore you should hire a designer/architect to help you plan the addition and a builder to build the addition. Remember a home addition is a complex job therefore you must only work with professionals.

To find a builder you can get recommendations from friends, family, neighbors, co workers, the internet or the yellow pages. Create a list and narrow it down based on cost, professionalism and reliability. Don’t hire someone you are not comfortable with, only hire a builder who understands your needs.

Don’t do it yourself

If the bank is financing the renovations project you are required to hire a licensed builder, also if you lack the skills and experience to do the job you will end up causing more harm than good. Therefore it is safer to leave the kind of job to the trained professionals.