ialicante mediterranean homes 475803

If winter hasn’t arrived in your neck of the woods yet, it will soon. If you are new to maintaining a household, there are a number of specific chores that you need to do before and during the coldest season of the year.

In today’s blog, we’ve listed a few of the most important tasks – check them out below.

(1) Clear your gutters of debris

Yes, we know it’s an arduous task, but it’s a necessary one. Gutters clogged with leaves and other plant debris trap water. Standing water freezes, melts, and then re-freezes throughout the winter months.

Before you know it, ice dams will not only damage the system that directs water away from your property, but they will also force water into your roof. Here, it will freeze, melt, and then re-freeze just as it does outside, causing untold amounts of damage to its structural components.

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2) Seal up any and all drafts

Hate sky high heating bills? So do us. Avoid a repeat of last winter’s scandalous high payments by getting rid of every draft you can find in your house.

Start by running your hand along each of your windows – if you can feel a light breeze, you’ve found a draft. Get a caulking tube and seal around the edges until the leak ceases to exist.

Drafts also occur along doors, in fireplaces, and attics. Installing door sweeps, closing the fireplace cover when it is not in use, and installing the best insulation you can buy are all ways you can fix these issues in sequence.

3) Get your chimney swept before and during winter

When home owners buy a place with a fireplace, many fail to realize that it needs to be cleaned on a regular basis. Failing to sweep out a chimney can lead to the buildup of dangerous gases, like carbon monoxide. Additionally, accumulated debris can also lead to a flue fire, which can threaten your entire home.

This isn’t something you can do on your own. Call a professional chimney sweep, and they’ll get the job done in a safe and professional manner.

(4) Never turn the heat off when away from home

People do this to save on heating bills, only to come back to the biggest mess of their lives. When the heat is shut off to a home in winter, your pipes will eventually freeze. Ice expands, causing them to burst.

This sprays water everywhere, cutting off an essential service and creating an expensive remediation bill. When leaving home in winter, keep your thermostat at 60f/15c – you’ll thank us later!

Modern homes come in all shapes and sizes. Many are constructed to a standard design, with timber frames or brick and mortar walls. If your home is in a city, you have complete freedom to design a structure that suits your needs, as long as it is up to code and in keeping with the rest of the homes on your block. If you are designing a country home, you might want to pay more consideration to whether it blends in with its environment.

Forest cabins, lodges, and country homes are usually built with the local environment in mind. After all, a steel, concrete, and glass structure would look out of place in the middle of a beautiful forest. It might be OK on the coast, adjacent to a beach, but that would depend on the other properties in the vicinity. However, it’s much better to design a home that blends in. There are many ways to do this.

Timber Buildings

Timber is a readily available and sustainable building material. Timber homes are long-lasting provided the right timber is used. If you want to create an eco-friendly home, use recycled timber or timber cut from a sustainable forest. Use logs to clad your home and design the interior with locally sourced timber. This is a traditional way to build a home – if you need inspiration, look at settler homes. A timber house blends in perfectly when constructed in a forest setting.

You can also use timber cladding to line the exterior of a house built from steel and concrete. Timber cladding ages beautifully, with the rich, warm color slowly fading in the sun, wind, and rain. Eventually, the cladding may need to be replaced, but you can extend its longevity by using wood preservatives.

Natural Stone

Stone is another material that adds something special to a home. Choose from a huge range of different stone finishes, such as this Kafka stone veneer. Crushed stone chips can be mixed with concrete for a tough, weather resistant finish, or stone half-slips can be stuck to the exterior to make it appear that the walls are constructed from solid rock.

Hobbit Homes

If you have ever seen the Lord of the Rings movies, you will be familiar with Peter Jackson’s vision of a Hobbit Home. Hobbits live in homes built into the side of the hill. Rooms are carved out of the earth and aside from doors and windows, it is hard to tell there is a home there.

Creating a hobbit-style home isn’t always viable, but if you are building on a slope, it’s worth investigating whether you can build into the lee of the slope and disguise the roof so from above, the structure is hidden. If the front façade of the building is largely glass, it will be very light and airy, with great views over the surrounding area.

Don’t forget to consider the merits of green roofs, where natural grasses are sown to create a living roof.