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Winter “Do’s & Don’ts” for Homeowners

Winter “Do’s & Don’ts” for Homeowners

For all the perks of home ownership, property maintenance is a never-ending job, and each season brings its own list of special chores. Here are a few winter tasks to keep in mind.

DO: Invest in outdoor faucet protectors. Many styles cost less than $2  and are easy to install. Without these covers, cold air can enter your pipes and cause them to burst at the most inconvenient times (not that there is even a convenient time for a pipe to burst). Better yet, wrap any exposed pipes with foam plumbing insulation — also cheap & easy to do.

DON’T… forget to clean out your gutters. Yes, it’s a nasty job and it’s no fun to do, but if your gutters are so full that rain water cascades over them instead of flowing through them, the water is likely to reach your foundation and will eventually cause some serious, expensive damage.
DO: Play detective. Investigate the nooks, crannies, cracks and crevices where cold air can sneak into your house, robbing you of the warm you crave on winter days. The most common offenders are window sills, baseboards, fireplaces and dryer vents. Once you find the culprits, buy a tube of caulk and seal them off.

DON’T… forego a fireplace inspection. A dirty flu won’t just irritate Santa, it may cause a fire you didn’t intend.

DO: Schedule a furnace inspection. Servicing your furnace is NOT a DIY project. Most furnaces have a life expectancy of about 15 years. Failing to service it regularly can reduce that life span by 5 years!
(This next one may surprise you.)

DON’T… level your fridge. Refrigerators have adjustable feet to allow for uneven floors, but you should adjust them so the front feet are slightly higher than the hind feet. That way, the door will never be left open accidentally; it will close itself.

DO:  Invest in a programmable thermostat — or pledge to use the one you already have. Why heat your home when you’re not there?

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Home maintenance checklist for spring

Home maintenance checklist for spring

Keeping up with routine home maintenance can be challenging, both in terms of time and money. Whether you intend to stay in your house for years to come or sell it soon, deferred maintenance – upkeep and repairs left unattended until they become critical – will always cost you more in the long run.

Following is a list of suggested tasks for Spring that will help you stay ahead of the game.   Special thanks to Amy Ecklund, of AmyWorks for this helpful list.

¨ Fertilize the lawn.

¨ Service the heating and cooling systems.

¨ Inspect foundation, basement, or crawl space for cracks and water damage.

¨ Clean gutters & downspouts; ensure that water drains away from the house.

¨ Check roof for damaged shingles. Trim branches that extend over the roof.

¨ Inspect all electrical cords, wall plates and outlets for damage and wear.

¨ Check alarm systems to ensure they are functioning. Replace batteries.

 Best Places to Buy New Appliances

Are new appliances on your wish list? A recent study by Consumer Reports determined the top-rated stores for small and major appliances. Here are the top 4 in our area, for each category.

Best Prices:, Costco, Kohl’s, Sam’s Club

Best Overall for Major Appliances: Lowe’s, Home Depot, Sears, Best Buy

Best Overall for Small Appliances: Amazon, Costco, Kohl’s, Bed Bath & Beyond

McLendon Hardware hosts “How to” clinics

McLendon Hardware hosts “How to” clinics

As a single woman homeowner, I’m always looking for resources to help me learn how to maintain my home. I’m a big fan of McLendon Hardware because I find their staff to be knowledgeable, courteous and helpful. They may not have quite as big a selection of merchandise as the big box stores, and their prices are not quite as low, but I am always amazed by how much they DO have in stock and I find their prices to be moderate/reasonable. Living in West Seattle, I frequent McLendon’s White Center location, but I have had equally good experiences at McLendon’s in Renton and Puyallup.

I recently became aware of the free “How To” clinics McLendon’s offers on Saturdays at their Renton and Puyallup locations. The latest is happening this weekend (Sat. Dec. 3rd). Learn how to fix a leaky roof and how to weatherize your home.

What is your favorite place to get help with home maintenance?

McLendon Hardware "How To" clinics are Free!