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Good morning to all, and welcome again to Saturday Morning Home Repair - LIVE! A weekly gathering of professionals, DIY'ers, hopeless attempters....and the occasional redneck or two. Any questions asked can often be answered, or at least we can try to point someone in the right direction. At the very worst, always make sure to have the duct tape handy...

I was originally going to continue the pros and cons of being a landlord this week, with a concentration on dealing with tenants (the previous installment dealt with the apartment itself). Last week I started piecing things together in my head, with every intention of writing it up mid-week. Honestly, I was. Unfortunately, I got completely leveled by a stomach bug on Monday. Even now (late Friday), I'm still not fully recovered - but at least the 3 year old and pregnant wife have avoided the brunt of it. So, I'm going to do something I'm relatively good at - CHEAT!!!

I originally wrote up a checklist for winter sealing back last February, but with Labor Day come and gone, it's probably worth repeating, if only to open the shop.

1. Check windows for drafts.
Instead of using smoke to find any poorly applied or worn out caulking, the temperature difference between inside and out makes it fairly easy to feel any drafts coming in. Not to mention the cold air can be described as "refreshing" opposed to how cigarette smoke is often described.

2. Check door weatherstripping.
Never do I remember to check this in summer....which leads to swearing at myself come winter. The last thing you want to do is have the door open for an hour while removing old stripping, listening to the heater run continuously. Ten minutes checking the doors and making a list can (if followed through on) make a huge difference in the heating bill next year. And more appropriate language around the mini-me.
The agony of defeat? More like the pain of neglect!

The agony of defeat? More like the pain of neglect!
The large picture says it best. The previous owner must have only added stripping where he thought it was worst instead of doing the whole door frame. The top-right picture is near the bottom, where felt strip was used sometime last century. This door is right next to where I sit....and swear quietly at night when the wind blows. The agony of defeat is nothing compared to the pain of neglect.

3. Take a fresh look at paint.
Walls, ceiling, plaster....periodically freshening up is always a great thing. Painting with all the doors and windows closed up, not so much. I enjoy a buzz as much as anyone, but I'm really trying to cut back on the brain damage these days. Just one or two rooms or walls you would consider the worst, and there's a weekend job by itself. A few rooms a year, and the next thing you know you've remodeled/updated the whole house without even meaning to.

4. Look at your storage situation.
The holiday ornaments are away, all the outdoor summer-stuff is packed away...and then you trip over something you won't use for months, but have no place to really store. Maybe a small shed, a new cabinet in the basement...figuring out what could be more out of the way during the months the house is closed up can make the winter far more bearable. And the best time to build a place to store stuff is when you aren't trying to store stuff.

5. Think about last summer.
Remember the warm summer night with friends over, the grill going, the drinks flowing? If you really think back, I'll bet at some point you said, "Man, if would be great if we had __ out here." Well, now is a great time to figure out how to build/buy/rearrange the outdoor space and map it out. Surfing Craig's list for an outdoor whatever while it's 80 degrees out (instead of actually being outdoors) is kind of silly when you can do so on a cold winter day. A bit of planning ahead can make the next cookout just that much better.

Make this list, and tack it to the fridge, calender, or where-ever it won't get lost. Additionally, write on the calender to check the list and start planning the projects. At the end of the day, the most important thing for any project is to plan for it. At the time you're re-sealing a window on the wane of the warm days, you'll probably rather be outside in the yard or tackling a fall chore...but you'll be glad you spent that day sealing things up come January.

Again, my apologies for what is essentially a republish. Next time around, I will have a full, new piece now that things are a bit calmer around here (getting new tenants situated is a blast, really). But, with the shop now open, we can at least try to answer or help with any questions.


Is it so wrong to cheat during the last warm days of the year?

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