Tag Archives: do it yourself

Winterize Your Home

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It may be Texas, but it’s still a smart idea to prepare your home for winter. Those who suffered through the hailstorm this last spring don’t need any reminders that sometimes the weather here can be unpredictable.

GUTTERS:  If you have gutters and downspouts you’ll want to make sure they’re cleared of debris. If they get clogged it can cause problems when it rains.

SPRINKLER SYSTEM:  Don’t forget to set your sprinkler timer to the rain or off mode for the season. It should retain your settings. However, do not unplug the timer or you will lose your programming.

FIREPLACE:  If you’re like most homes in South Texas, you don’t use your fireplace very often. Before using it, make sure to check that the chimney is clear of soot or creosote buildup and no little critters have set up house.

HEATER:  Time to test the heater, particularly since it hasn’t been run for 6 months. Turn the thermostat to heat mode and set at 80 degrees. The furnace should turn on and warm air should start blowing pretty quickly. Of course you probably know the drill, but it’s best to check it before you really need it. The only thing worse than no heater is no air conditioning! In truth, depending on how old your house is, it couldn’t hurt to have a professional check the system.

FILTER:  Replace that dirty furnace filter. Yup, it’s that easy. Oh, and don’t forget about your humidifier’s filter. Nobody wants dry, papery skin in the winter. Make sure your humidifier’s running at peak potential by cleaning the plates or pads.

STAY WARM:  Check for gaps and cracks around the window sills and doors. You’d be surprised how much you’ll save on your energy bill just by doing some basic weather-stripping and caulking.

FAUCETS:  Don’t forget the outdoor faucets or you could be in for a wild night. Make sure to close any shut-off valves serving outside faucets. Next, open the outside faucet to drain the line. There may be a small cap on the faucet you can loosen to assist the draining. If you don’t have shut-off valves, and the faucets are not freeze-proof, think about getting styrofoam faucet covers, which can be found at your neighborhood Home Depot or the like.

INSPECT DETECTORS:  While you’re on a role, this is a good time to replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and test them to make sure they’re working properly. Similarly, fire extinguishers should be checked, and if you don’t have one add it to the shopping list!

Once your current home is in tip-top shape, start planning for your future one! You can call us at 210-494-5400 to set up a free consultation. If you wish to be added to our private email list for our newsletter, please sign up here.

 

 

Shed No More Tears for Your Abandoned Toolshed

Do you have an eyesore, otherwise known as an abandoned shed,  sitting in the back of your yard, full of old tools, a lifeless lawnmower from the 80’s, and an assorted collection of items you discarded years ago – all collecting dust? You probably hate opening it for fear of what creatures might be nesting there. If this sounds familiar, we’ve got good news for you! With a little TLC, you can turn that ugly shed into a haven of relaxation and enjoyment, what they’re now calling He-Sheds and She-Sheds.

She-Sheds

She-sheds having been growing in popularity in Europe, and are just starting to catch on in the U.S. Women who do everything for their families and their jobs, who can never seem to find a moment’s peace, will vastly appreciate this creative little retreat. There’s actually many different ways you can transform your shed into the ultimate she-shed. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Basic Retreat:  With a few coats of paint, a couple of windows, reclaimed furniture, rug, potted flowers, cozy throw and an electric teapot (just like the Brits), you can create a beautiful little space that’s ideal for unwinding with a good book or taking an afternoon nap.

Yoga Studio: Sure, it’s not a lot of space, but just for you or you and your BFF, it’s all you need. Consider removing the front door(s) and creating a trellis you can cover with ivy. Cover the inside with long flowing wall hangings in colorful prints, then put down laminate wood flooring, and roll out your yoga mat. Don’t forget to hang some sweet sounding wind chimes to help complete your OM space.

The Greenhouse:  If you’re feeling extremely motivated, you can turn an old wood shed into an exceptional spot to grow ornamental or edible plants. This is no easy feat and so we encourage you do your research before launching into this home project. Still with the right plan that includes details like temperature controls and a transparent roof, you will be the envy of your neighborhood.

He-Sheds

He-Sheds are more traditional then their female counterpart. The toolshed’s always been a place where the man of the house can escape for a few beers and to catch the game, but the question is, is your shed living up to its fullest potential?

Ultimate Man Cave: Instead of watching the game on the old throwaway TV, invest in a nice flat-screen that you can mount on the wall. With a few comfy lounge chairs, framed retro posters and a chic fridge stocked with your favorite refreshment, you can relax in style.

Pub-Sheds:  Like the She-Sheds, Pub-Sheds are becoming all the rage overseas. Your shed will be the hot new hang-out spot for all of your friends once they realize they can chill at the bar without paying the exorbitant prices. For the interior, build shelves to store liquor bottles and necessary accouterments and decorate to your liking – English pub-style, speakeasy-esque, whatever you like. You can even up your game by putting in a few taps. Next, build double-doors and a small counter into the front-facing wall that can easily open up to reveal your “pub.” Pull up a few stools outside and, voila, drinks are served!