Winter Home Survival Guide

Winter is finally here and snow is not too far away. Check out these tips to make sure your home pulls through the winter in one piece.

Gutter Cleaning

Ideally, your gutters should be cleaned out in the fall to avoid debris overflow. Before the first heavy snow hits it important to clean debris out of your gutters. When the snow melts it needs to go somewhere. A clean gutter allows the melted snow to flow easily. If your gutter is filled with debris, you risk melted snow and water running behind the gutters and leaking into your walls. Water leaking into your walls can lead to mold growth.

Proper Snow removal

Heavy snow can be overwhelming for a roof, especially when it piles on after many snow storms. It is only logical to try and remove some of that burden by getting rid of some of the snow yourself. However, when removing snow off your roof, it has to be done correctly or else you risk damaging your roof or possibly even hurting yourself.

You want to invest in a snow rake for this, they’re available in most hardware stores. When removing snow, take off a few inches at a time[1]. Don’t dive straight into trying to scrape the roof clean in one go. Remove icicles from the edge of the roof and make sure your gutters are clean. Avoid stepping on the roof if you can. If going on the roof can’t be avoided, hire a professional or always have another person with you as you work.

Attic Insulation to prevent Ice Dams

Before the winter hits its peak make sure your attic is properly insulated. You want it to be comfortable but you don’t want your attic getting too warm either. A really warm attic causes snow to melt at high points on your roof and freezing back up as icicles and ice dams. Ice dams can block your gutters and cause water damage to your home. If your attic is getting warm enough to melt snow in freezing temperatures then you’re probably losing heat and money. It’s important to have a professional take a look at your attic if this is the case.

These are just a few of many ways you can make sure your house makes it through the winter in one piece.

For more home improvement tips, check out our other blog posts.


Signs it is Time for a New Front Door

Your front door is not only there to look good but to also provide safety for your family. Unfortunately, doors don’t last forever. After a while, they need to be replaced in order to keep providing security and curb appeal. How can you tell when it’s time to replace your main entry door?

Here are some indications that it’s time for a new door.

Hard to close and open

If you have to apply elbow grease in order to open or close your front door, it’s time for a replacement. Your home’s main entry door should open easily and close just as easily. Difficulty opening or closing might result in the expansion of the door material. This is more likely to happen if the door is made of wood or metal. With humidity, wood absorbs moisture and then expands. Difficulty opening might also be because of a problem with the hinges or the door frame.

Worse for Wear

Has your door lost its curb appeal? Doors play an important role in adding to your home’s curb appeal. Dents, scratches, rotting frames and chipped edges lose that curb appeal. An ugly door affects your home’s look. Chips and scratches also leave room for the door to absorb moisture which can lead to rotting.


A good door is properly sealed to avoid drafts and leaks that can cost you in energy savings. Do you have to stuff a rag or towel under your door to keep the cold out in the winter? Then it’s time for a new door. If sunlight is streaming in under, over or on the sides of your front door, it might be time for a replacement. Bad seals cause drafts. Drafty doors make it harder to keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Does your front door check all three of the boxes? We can help with a quality and elegant door. Get a free estimate on our Stylelite Main Entry Doors. Secure, beautiful and quality doors.

Spring Home Prep

Plant buds peak from the ground as we near the end of winter and the start of spring showers is near. Spring will be in full bloom in a few weeks and it’s time to prep for the summer with spring cleaning. Here are a few spring home maintenance tips to help keep your home freshened up and maintained.

Clean gutters

During the fall and winter months, your gutters have collected everything from bird nests to debris and other things that might have clogged them up, making it difficult for melted snow and rain to drain properly. Now that the weather is breaking, spring is the perfect time to clean out your gutters and free them up for the upcoming spring showers. Clean gutters contribute to a healthier home and cleaner-looking curb appeal.

Window Cleaningspring window cleaning

It might have been easier to clean the inside of the windows during the freezing winter months but the spring gives an opportunity to clean the outside as well to improve the overall look of your windows and house. Drafty windows in the winter? for better efficiency, consider replacing your windows.  if you find broken latches, or glass as you clean the windows, it might be time for a replacement.  The HR40 windows come with rain wash clean glass for easier maintenance, so the rain does the outside cleaning for you! All you have to do is keep up with the inside window cleaning.

Clean yard

Curb appeal isn’t just influenced by how the house looks but the look of the yard as well. Snow has melted away it’s time to clean up the rest of the leaves and debris that got caught up in the snow. Rake up leaves and debris, and start caring for your lawn for an overall clean look.

Replace filters and clean vents

Your heater, vents, and filters have worked hard all winter long, time to give them a maintenance cleaning. Vents work best when they’re clean of gunk and dust. Take a day or a weekend and give your vents a thorough clean. Your furnace worked hard all winter and will most likely keep working until it gets much warmer out. Give it a good clean so it runs much more efficiently saving you on energy. You can also use this time to clean out your air conditioners to prep them for the upcoming summer months.

These are just a few of many things you can do to keep improve and freshen up your home for the spring. For more advice on home improvement projects like replacement windows, attic insulation, roofing and more, get a free no-obligation estimate here!

Repurposing your Attic

Attics can be an essential part of any house when used properly.  Unfortunately, most attics go unused and are practically dusty, dark, empty spaces.  Use it for additional storage and living space. Redo your attic into a bedroom, a library, a reading nook, cozy retreat or anything you can think of.

attic bedroom

Here are some awesome ways you can repurpose your attic and get the most out of it. Of course, a properly insulated attic helps keep your home’s temperature controlled.

Attic Supply Storage:

Instead of leaving it as a dusty, dark space you sometimes throw old things up in, your attic can be transformed to store all kinds of things from clothing to craft supplies. If you’re into arts and crafts or work from home, the attic can be cleaned out and have storage shelves and cubicles built into it with lighting so you can store all of your supplies up there.

Reading Nook/Library:

Got an empty attic and in need of a reading nook? You can repurpose your attic to be a reading nook or even a little home library with built-in shelves and reading area. You can climb up to quiet solitude at any moment and enjoy your own personal reading space.


Got a big attic space? Convert it into an extra bedroom in your home.  Fit it with a bed, it could be a transforming bed that comes out of the wall if there isn’t enough room or a normal twin size bed. Build in shelves and a dresser for storage, add in ventilation and you’ve got yourself a livable bedroom.

Empty room :

Or if you don’t want to put anything, keep it empty! Clean it out, add some ventilation and lights and it’ll be perfect for an impromptu playroom, the kids can use it for sleepovers, or to just look at the stars at night.

A properly insulated attic will save you money on your energy bill in the long term. Attic insulation is very important to eliminating drafts coming from the attic and keeping your home feeling cozy and comfortable. Check out some of the perks of home insulation.  

If you have windows in the attic consider replacing them with energy efficient windows.

**credit for bedroom photo: Rustic Kids by Ottawa Photographers Dyanne Wilson Photography

Winter Home Improvement Projects

Home improvement projects are a great way to improve energy efficiency, comfort in your home and increase your property value. Due to the extended nature of these projects, we tend to save home them for the warmer times of the year. That doesn’t have to be the case, there are a few home improvement projects that can be done in the colder months to improve the comfort of your home.


Winter = heating and heating = money, you don’t want to throw money away on inefficient insulation. Make sure this winter you’re not losing heating through the ceiling and drafts coming in from crawl spaces and make sure to insulate the basement as well. You can have a professional come check to make sure your insulation is up to code. For the best insulation in your home, your attic insulation should be at least 16 inches of R-49 insulation. You can also wrap plumbing and pipes with foam insulation to make sure you’re not losing heat that way. Attic and crawl space insulation should be left up to the professionals but you can insulate pipes and water heaters yourself when done carefully.

Gutters and Roof Cleaning

Before the first snowfall, make sure leaf and debris are cleaned off of your roof and gutters. Even if it has already snowed you can still clean them. If you take a day to clean off debris and leaves it’ll be very helpful as now they won’t clog up your gutters and form snow/ice dams when it snows. You can also have gutter guards installed after you clean the gutters to make sure your gutters stay clear the rest of the season. Clogged gutters can cause water to run into your walls and mold to form. This simple home improvement project will help keep your home, gutters, and roof in good condition throughout the season.

Upgrade Doors

Front and interior doors are one of the most noticeable aspects of any home besides the windows and walls.  If your doors are starting to look boring it might be time to upgrade and give your home some personality. You can have the main entry door replaced with a much more modern and energy efficient one. When it comes to the interior doors you can replace those as well with newer upgrades. If you like the current doors but just need to give them some personality, that’s possible too, you can add trimming, repaint, and accessories. For a family home, you can repaint and adorn each bedroom door to reflect the personality of the occupants.

Make your house stand out from the rest of the block, and increase the curb appeal.

These are just a few of many home improvement projects that can be completed in the winter. For free estimates on home improvement projects, sign up here.