Preparing your home for winter encompasses a number of things. Depending on how harsh winter conditions are where you live, it can be anything from simply turning on the heating more often to fully kitting out your home with a range of gear designed to combat snow, ice, and other challenges the winter brings. But there is more to preparing a home for winter than simply keeping out the cold. With the winter comes Christmas, or more than that, the whole holiday season. And there is quite a lot of work that goes into preparing any residence for those one or two weeks when festivities are nearly daily, and a well decorated home exudes festive cheer to the whole neighbourhood.
Indeed, preparing your home for winter is as much to do with decorative elements as it is with practical ones. And it isn’t just Christmas. It is important to have your home looking well during the winter, and a winter garden is quite a different kettle of fish to a summer one. Many other décor elements in the house will follow this seasonal shift, whether they are anything to do with Christmas or not.
Homes With Kids
And what about those family households with children? Does a parent’s winter preparation duties differ much from anybody else’s? The answer to this is almost certainly yes. As you will know if you have any, children change everything, and the winter brings with it a whole host of new challenges where children are concerned. Not only is the winter the time when they are most under threat from seasonal illnesses, but proper child safety also differs somewhat during the winter. The imperative to ensure everything is snug and warm inside is even more important – a chilly house is no place for a young child.
And beyond even this, there is also the enormous difference between preparing a home for an adult’s and children’s Christmas. You may find that festive cheer – much like everything – changes when kids come along. Ensuring a fun and safe Christmas for your kids is one of the great gifts a parent can give. There is little we all remember as fondly as those early Christmases, and every parent wants to make sure theirs go as well as possible – year on year.
So, preparing the family home for winter is a multi-faceted task, ranging across weatherproofing, practical concerns, safety measures, decoration, and preparing for the holiday season. Put like this, it sounds like a lot of ground to cover – so where to start? Well, the winter is cold, so let us begin there.
It’s All About Heat
There are no prizes for guessing that the most important aspect of winter home preparation is the conservation of heat. And if you have little ones, this only becomes more important. Properly conserving heat inside your house during the winter comes down to a combination of the appropriate infrastructure and a range of good habits that can stop you losing heat. The benefits fall into two camps. Not only will it keep you warmer, but proper heat conservation will reduce both your energy bills and your home’s impact on the environment.
First off, you should make sure you have an adequate heating system and good insulation. Look for a system that efficiently and evenly heats up your home and doesn’t waste too much energy while it is doing it. It is worth investing in top range heating systems and insulation where this is concerned. You will feel the benefits not only when the winter comes around, but also in the amount of energy you will ultimately save. Beyond this, properly conserving heat in the winter months is a matter of weather proofing. It is advised you start this in autumn in order to get the jump on winter. Here follows some of the weatherproofing essentials.
Clear the Gutters
Clogged gutters do not drain properly. And in the winter, this can lead to ultimately costly repairs. Trapped water tends to freeze and expand, causing real physical damage to your gutters.
Check Out the Chimney
The main hazard that a chimney poses in the winter months is down to the fact that it will have been unused for months by the time you light up that first toasty hearth.
The residue that builds up can actually be a real fire hazard and be dangerous to kids if it enters the home. You might not always have to clean out the chimney, but you should certainly check it out to see if you do.
Make Sure Windows and Doors are Sealed
If the caulking or sealant around the doors and windows becomes a little degraded earlier in the year, chances are you will not notice this until it is too late and your home is suffering from heat-sapping draughts. Be sure to check in the autumn and reapply if necessary.
Prepare the Exterior
So you’ve ensured everything is safe and warm inside ahead of the winter months. After this has been done, you might want to inspect the outside of your home to see if it’s up to standard for the months ahead. If snow is something you can expect where you live, then it can be very aesthetically pleasing to have a nice white blanket over the lawn. Nevertheless, you might want to avail yourself of a good snow shovel (search here) in order to clear it off any hard surfaces. Snow can be a lot of fun for the kids, but there are some places where it is certainly a hazard, so look out for this.
The colder months are also a great time to get some beautiful winter and Christmas decorations up. The trick is to identify which ones are specific to the holiday season and which are more “general winter”. Nobody would have a luminous Rudolf statue on their lawn in November or January! Bright lights are always a good move in winter to offset the gloom of the dark and short days. Anything that gives your home a sense of warmth and cosiness is a great idea at this time of year. And why not help your kids build a snowman out on the lawn? These are a delight for children of all ages.
There is no reason for winter to be a gloomy, cold, or otherwise unpleasant time of year for your family home. With a little advanced planning and by making the most of winter’s natural charms, it can be one of the most joyous.