Tips from a custom home builder: Prepare your custom home for a Utah winter

By Fifty @ Nov 25, 2016

The phrase “Winter is coming” is often repeated on the popular TV show “Game of Thrones, and experts predict this coming winter will be cold with plenty of snow. As the premier custom home builder in North Salt Lake Utah, we have some tips for real estate owners to prepare their homes for the coming months of cold and snow.

As a custom home builder, we recommend you start preparing your real estate and home before the cold weather comes. That way, you can call on your custom home builder as needed with any questions about your new property before you are forced to shell out a lot of money for last-minute upgrades or repairs.

Here are a few of the steps you can take to remain proactive, based on our experience as a custom home builder:

  • Call a furnace or HVAC service company to inspect, clean and tune up your heating system. Make sure they replace air filters and verify the smoke and carbon-monoxide alarms are working properly.
  • Drain and clean your hot-water tank.
  • Reverse your ceiling fans so they push warm air back down to where you are rather than pulling cooler air up.
  • Inside your basement, add insulation around pipes that are near exterior walls to prevent them from freezing and bursting.
  • Consider adding insulation to your hot-water pipes so you get more (and faster) hot water for showers, baths and other uses.

Outdoor preparation

Take a walk around your real estate before the snow falls. Look for things to put away and for potential problems. Think back to last winter. Did you have a lot of icicles on your eaves? Slippery spots on your sidewalks or driveway? Take steps to avoid problems and preserve your real estate investment that a custom home builder carefully constructed.

  • If you have window air-conditioners, take them out, clean them and store them for the winter. Make sure permanent units are clear of debris and covered for the season.
  • Clean leaves, branches and other debris out of gutters and downspouts to prevent jamming, freezing and overflowing. Once water freezes in a gutter or downspout, there’s almost no way to get it out until warmer temperatures thaw it.
  • If your downspouts don’t take rainwater at least 3 ft. to 4 ft. away from the foundation of your house, add extensions.
  • Inspect your roof for any damaged, loose or missing shingles, and replace them before the snow flies.
  • Have a professional check and repair the insulation in your attic to prevent ice dams and icicles. If you had a lot of icicles hanging from your eaves last year, it’s a sign there’s too much loss of heat through your roof. That’s costing you money in heating, and it can damage your roof. Icicles can also endanger anyone who walks onto your property, leading to liability and higher real-estate insurance premiums.
  • Caulk around doors and windows. If you see cracks in the caulk, remove it all and replace it with silicone caulk. While you’re at it, check window putty, which is the compound that seals the glass to the frame. Replace any that’s cracked or damaged.
  • Install or replace weather stripping around window sashes and doorways. You should not be able to see daylight around the door.
  • Turn off external faucets and drain them. Drain hoses and put them away for the winter.
  • If your real estate comes with a lawn irrigation system or underground sprinklers, call a professional to drain the system and prepare it for winter.
  • Stock up now on winter essentials, such as salt or ice melter. Check that your snow shovels are still in good condition. Ice can bend the edges of blades, making them more difficult to use.
  • Instead of raking up leaves, drive your lawn mower over them to mulch them into small pieces. They will decompose and feed your lawn over the winter months.
  • After the last mowing of the year, prepare your mower for winter by draining the fuel or adding fuel stabilizer.
  • Call a chimney sweep to clean your chimney before you start burning wood or gas in your fireplace.

As any qualified custom home builder will tell you, repairing real estate for the winter saves time and money and helps prevent emergencies. It makes your wintertime at home more comfortable and enjoyable, and it adds to the value of your real estate investment. Trust Rainey Homes, a longtime custom home builder in North Salt Lake Utah, with all of your custom home needs.