New Homeowner Tips: Getting your House Ready for Winter

The days are getting shorter, the Canada Geese are preparing to fly south for the winter and crisp cool weather has replaced the heat. Winter is just around the corner. If you’re planning on selling your house this fall, or have recently moved into your new home, here are some annual chores that should be completed before the snow flies.

Check around your doors and windows for drafts, and repair them using caulk or weather stripping. This can save you a significant amount of money on your heating bill. If you’re selling, this is something to include in your listing that you’ve recently done this chore. It’s just one less thing the new owners will have to worry about doing. It will also look good on a home inspection. Also give your outside windows a good cleaning, as this is not a fun thing to do in the freezing cold temperatures. You’ll have a beautiful view of the snow softly falling before too long outside your freshly cleaned windows.

It’s very important to remember to drain your pipes to the outside, and then turn off the water supply to these pipes. If water is left in the pipes in your outside walls, it could potentially freeze and expand, causing the pipes to burst. And a flood is definitely NOT something you want to deal with in your new home, or in the home you are trying to sell! Try and do this quick and easy job before the temperature outside dips below freezing.

Inspect your garage, under your kitchen cabinets, etc., for signs of unwelcome visitors (i.e. rodents) sneaking into your warm house. Fill any gaps around pipes under your sink, etc., that mice may be able to sneak through, and set some traps just in case a furry little guy makes his way into your home. Rodent feces is NEVER a good selling feature! Don’t forget to set a trap in the garage, as this is often where they will hang out. Ensure that anything you have stored in the garage is in plastic tubs, especially clothing, sleeping bags- basically anything soft- as mice will make a nest out of them.

Clean up your yard by raking up fallen leaves, and compost any fall décor such as pumpkins that the frost has hit. Replace these with winter themed decorations. A winter planter with fresh greenery is always inviting. If you’re planning on decorating with lights this holiday season, try and get them up before the temperatures are too frigid. It’s not fun putting up lights when your fingers are frost bitten!

Put your lawn furniture, umbrellas etc., into storage, or sell any big items such as patio sets that you don’t plan to take with you when you move. Remember to take the gas out of your lawn mower and other lawn equipment, as it will go bad in the cold. Cover your BBQ or move it into your garage. Remember that the moving company can’t move propane cylinders, so be prepared to move them yourself.

A little winter preparation goes a long way, and you’ll be warm and snug in your new home. Performing these tasks before you move will leave you satisfied that you’ve left your home safe and sound for its new owners.