Heritage Restoration, Inc.

Do it yourself Spring Tune-ups

Here are some chores and suggestions for the warmer weather. Most can be done either for free or under $200.00.

Make a priority to-do list for you and your house. If you are not sure about a problem or something you want to do, ask for an estimate, they are free.

It will be cold again in 7 months. Start thinking, planning, and investing on how to make your heating and hot water bills less expensive. Hot water heaters can be free after rebates and incentives, with only labor as the expense, saving $70 a month or more.

Inspect your house for damage, or any new problems. Take pictures and save them for next year.

Clean your gutters. Make sure all of your downspouts are connected and functioning. Clean any spouts that go into the ground (A rooter contractor can do that for you).

There are a lot of creative ways to hold up tomato plants. I drive 1” bamboo stakes on about a 30 degree angle about 8 feet apart lengthwise to the planting bed. I then tie some twine to each stake, allowing the tomato plant to rest on each string. Or, cut 1” PVC pipe into 8-foot lengths. Drill a bunch of ¼” holes on the PVC bottom foot or so. Drive the PVC into the soil and plant the tomato plant next to it. Tie it off as it grows. You can water the plant from the top of the PVC pipe.

There are many ways to organize your yards tools in your shed or garage. Screw or nail a horizontal 2×4, or any scrap, on a wall about 5 feet off the ground. Use as much of the wall as you can. Hold up each tool and put two screws or nails under each handle or the shoulder of the tool. You can also cut a 2” PVC on a 45 degree angle into 6” long pieces. Screw two pieces vertically on the wall and drop the handle through. Rakes, shovels, pitchforks, or whatever tool will stay where they belong.

I just want to throw this one out there. A recent lesson learned by a friend, install lattice around the perimeter of your porch so animals don’t die underneath.

Clean your chimney and dryer ducts.

It was a tough winter. Have an arborist inspect your trees.

Manage your moisture and water inside the house. Test your dehumidifiers, sump pumps, and wet/dry vacuum. Be sure your dehumidifier is connected to a drain, or uses a condensate pump to move the water, so you do not have to remember to empty it.

Insulate your basement heating pipes and the house’s water feed, since it can sweat in the summer.

It is better to air seal a basement, making sure windows are tight and little air is getting through, before you insulate a floor.

Use 6-mil plastic on a crawlspace or basement dirt floor to prevent moisture evaporating into your house.

Keep items above your basement flood line, or at least off the concrete with a few boards underneath.

Service your gas engines. Check or buy a generator OR a snow blower if you wished you had one. Tune up the lawn mower. Buy fresh gasoline and add some treatment to it so it will keep longer.

You only have a few cold days left to learn where your house is wasting energy. Mark areas that are cold or drafty. Better yet hire a professional because they can see more in the cold than when it is hot.

Build a compost bin for your food scraps using three wood pallets screwed together in a “u” shape, then wrapping the inside with chicken wire.

Nurseries can have end of the winter deals on trees or plants to make room for the spring stock.

Have someone else clean your windows, even if you have storm windows. It is amazingly cheap, they are much better at it, and they curse less.

Happy Spring!

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