Monday, September 15, 2014

Adventures in Homeownership: Winter Prep List

Since the rumors are flying that this coming winter will put last winter to shame on the East Coast, the husband and I devised a list to prep for (action items/things to stock up on/etc.)

*Disclaimer-I actually enjoy snow and the winter season. Snow is fluffy. I like fluffy things. However, when it's regularly below 20 degrees and my parts are actually in danger of freezing off and we get weekly snowstorms, I have a problem.

 (Our driveway last winter. It looked like this from December to early April.)

Action Items:

-Insulate water heater pipes (our water heater doesn't get that warm, so the pipes are the better bet to cover)

-Clean out gutters (especially if we get hit with the snow they are calling for)

-Trim trees (see cleaning gutters-not trying to have my roof cave in)

-Purchase cheap toboggan (in case we need to move things around our backyard)

-Make a cover for outdoor kitties food dishes (I worry about the outdoor kitties who roam around)

-Getting fort materials (we have high ceilings and with baseboard electric heat, it costs a fortune to heat half of the house. So we are going to make a small fort that we can set up in the living room and just use a space heater to heat.)

-Which car’s alternator has most power/what can we run on an alternator? (We can use our cars as back up power sources in the event of an outage.)

-Test refrigerator in garage (see outages)

-Tinting on upper windows in living room (help with heat escaping)

-Seal front door/reset (our front door/screen were never hung properly so heat leaks out)

-Turn off rear water spigot valve in subfloor (to prevent pipes from freezing)

-Demolish hill by shed by culling sand for cars (there is a small hill of dirt/sand that was just dumped by previous owners so to kill two birds, we need sand in our cars anyway for ice/snowy drives)

-Make door drafts with old socks for sliding glass door (keeping out the cold! Plus, I can get old socks at the thrift store.)

-Finish t-shirt quilt (it's multi-layered, so it will be great for keeping us warm)

-Finish adding lining to living room curtains (we need to add lining to four more panels and that will help insulate the living room)

-Hang three sets of curtains in the husband's office (all windows have old metal slat blinds, which don't provide much help against temperature loss-we have two sets already, just need to take 10 minutes to hang them)

-Lay down compost in garden areas (prep for spring)

-Fix roof leaks (there are two small leaks that despite investigation, we can't find the source. I aim to change that.)

-Make another box for the outdoor kitties (we have one plastic tub that I cut a hole in and lined with a blanket. The kitties seemed to like it, so I plan to make another.)

-Thermally isolate guest bathroom or cover window with mylar/emergency blanket and outside wall with a packing blanket (for insulation)

Items to Buy:

-I inventoried our fall/winter gear and I have a small list of items we need: new snowboots, a new parka and some more long sleeve shirts.

-Get some solar panels and a battery storage system up and running (for outages)

-Stock up on frozen & canned meats (we have a grill outside we can use)

-Get curtain liner for office window (I had to tuck in my curtain last winter because it was very drafty. We sealed it with caulk, but just for added insulation.)

-Stock up: rice/pasta/beans/canned soup/ice

-Fill freezer with extra bread/butter (empty fridges/freezers use more electricity)

-Get two space heaters (infinitely better to heat small spaces than our old baseboard heaters)

-Stock up on toiletries for us & the cats (shampoo/conditioner/soap/vitamins/extra food/litter-better than having to run out in the middle of a snowstorm for toilet paper)

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