My back is sore—for good reason, mind you—but sore nonetheless. It’s not the annoyingly pointless Sisyphus-pushing-the-rock-up-the-hill type sore. Oh no. This is I’m-accomplishing-something-and-am-ready-for-more-please-ma’am type; the we’re-learning-new-skills-excited type, if you will.
With the appearance of snow last week, it has now officially become time to get the house ready for winter. Not that it hasn’t already been on our collective minds. A few weeks ago, Vermont Edition had a lovely show about the tradition of heating with wood. Friends are planting their garlic while we’ve removed the shrubs that had been planted too close to the heating oil tank fill pipe (hence the sore back today). And now we’re looking around the house and tallying up the rest of the chores.
For example, looking at the yard, we can see the trees have finally shed all their leaves. It’s time to rake them up and add them to the brush pile. However, we no longer have to worry about mowing the lawn, so it’s a fair exchange. The next big job on our list, then, is getting the windows and doors in order. Like many people in Vermont, we live in an older house with inefficient windows. Unfortunately, new windows are not in our budget this year, so we will be using insulation kits to help keep the warm in and the cold out. The a/c unit that came with the house will be removed from the bedroom and packed away. Finally, draft dodgers and weather stripping will be in abundance to close all the leaks under and around the doors.
We’ve been checking items off the honey-do list, too. A vent has been cut from the living room to the 2nd floor to allow the warm air from the pellet stove to circulate to the bedrooms upstairs Click Here. The broken window in the basement has been repaired and inexpertly caulked so it won’t let in critters looking for shelter (this is one of the aforementioned new skills and apparently caulking is an art we’ve yet to master. Our final results are functional, but not pretty to look at).
We’ve been looking for gaps and holes and have learned the joys of spray foam insulation (again, new skill and big hint: wear gloves as it will stick to everything). There are many smaller jobs we need to take care of as we go along as well (such as deciding if we need to take the rain gutters down and draining the outdoor spigot so the pipe doesn’t freeze midwinter). We are learning that years of apartment living have maybe made us a bit soft in regards to yard work, but in our opinion, the joys of owning our home far outweigh the trials of a few stiff muscles.
To learn more about getting your house set for winter, check out the Efficiency Vermont website. Should you be looking for other services, a handy directory can be found on the Pall Spera website, listing everything from electricians and plumbers to bankers and interior designers.