3900 N Island Hwy, Nanaimo
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25 Sep 2018

Exterior Winter Prep: Getting Your Exterior Ready for a Long Winter’s Nap

Fall has returned, and with it comes the yearly list of exterior winter prep. Packing lunches and raking leaves is about to become the norm, and along with that, colder weather. Before the frost hits and the dark nights commence, keep your house cozy and your yard set for winter with these tips.

Exterior Winter Prep for Windows, Doors, and Gutters

Windows and doors play a pretty big part in your home’s performance, especially in winter. Windows and doors that are improperly maintained can add to your energy bill and keep you feeling chilly from
drafts. Checking for leaks around windows and doors is an important part of exterior winter prep. Airtight seals helps to lower your energy bill and keeps the heat in. Checking seals is particularly important for single pane windows. If your windows are in bad shape, it might be time to consider upgrading. New vinyl windows keep heat inside the house and reduce your overall energy consumption. Replacing damaged weather stripping is also part of exterior winter prep.

Now’s a good time to remove any excess dirt and debris from window sills and tracks, and give the windows a good wash too. If your home experiences high humidity, it may also be a good idea to invest
in a dehumidifier or lowering the thermostat slightly, to prevent condensation. Prevent damage to exterior walls by giving them a scrub to remove dirt, mould and moss. Doing this as part of your exterior
winter prep can help prevent them from growing in the ideal conditions that wet winters bring. Gutters should be cleaned as well to promote drainage.

Condensation from humidity.

Exterior Winter Prep for the Yard:

Part of exterior winter prep is preparing tools and equipment for winter, as well as making sure that winter tools like snow shovels are easily available should you need them. Prep your equipment for the cool weather by removing gas from tanks and draining water from hoses and water features. Clean garden tools before putting them away to keep them from rusting or degrading. Bring out snow shovels or blowers, salt, and any other tools you need to make your job easier when the time comes. Doing this has the added bonus of keeping you from tripping over the beach chairs to get to them. Checking the roof on your home and the shed is also worth adding to your exterior winter prep, as missing or damaged shingles can allow water to leak into your home or shed.

Broken shingles allow moisture to cause permanent damage over time.

Exterior Winter Prep for the Garden

Another important part of exterior winter prep is the garden! Now is the ideal time to plant some colourful fall plants to liven up your space. It’s also a great time to plant bulbs that will bloom in spring. If you have any plants that need to be divided or transplanted, the cooler weather will make it easier on them. Mulching is another great addition to exterior winter prep, as it will help protect the soil and the roots as the temperatures get colder. Be sure to bring sensitive plants to a sheltered or indoor area to prevent stress. Doing the same with container plants will also keep pots from cracking if the soil freezes. Adding both these things to your exterior winter prep checklist will make the eventual switch to spring a lot easier.

Chrysanthemums and other fall flowers add brightness when other plants start to die off.

Taking the time to do a little bit of exterior winter prep will save you time, money, and a headache later. If you need windows or doors replaced, even in the dead of winter, we’ve got you covered. Whether it’s a new patio door, a sealed unit, or something else, we’d love to help you stay cozy this winter! Give us a shout today!

11 Jul 2018

Deck Designs – Things to Consider

Deck Designs on your list of things to explore this summer? Deck designs and patios are a great addition to any home. In addition to providing a comfortable space to enjoy the outdoors, deck designs can also make a statement! With the ever-increasing supply of products available, the options are nearly limitless to create a visually pleasing space that you feel comfortable in. If you are looking to spice up your patio this summer, we’ve got a few suggestions!

Deck Designs and Railings:

Aside from the obvious safety factors, railings can really bring patios to life. Upgrading or replacing your existing railings can freshen up older deck designs and patios. While there are many materials available for railings, from simple wood to classic wrought iron, glass is one of our favourites! Glass railings provide an uninterrupted view as well as a windscreen. Additionally, they tend to be relatively low maintenance, since they won’t corrode or rust like iron and they won’t require regular staining like wood. We can install glass railings with a top rail or without, so they’re also customizable. Regardless of what you choose, upgrading or replacing your railings can rejuvenate your outdoor space.

Deck Designs, Patio Covers and Awnings:

Patio covers and retractable awnings can go a long way to adding some life to your deck designs and your patios. Both choices allow you to use your outdoor space longer, as they provide protection from sun and rain. Patio covers are fixed structures and they can be made with opaque roof panels, glass, or a combination of the two. They are virtually maintenance free and have a long lifespan. Retractable awnings are not fixed, so you can use them when needed. They are constructed out of fabric and can be motorized or manually set up. Awnings are low maintenance, requiring only a small amount of cleaning to keep them functional. They have a long lifespan as well, though the fabric will need replacing with time. Either option will offer you more opportunities to enjoy your outdoor space!

Deck Designs, Containers and Planters:

Containers also make a statement for your deck designs and your patios. With so many different types and sizes now available, they can be a simple way to add style to your outdoor space. Some planters have directional designs, so if you have glass railings, make sure you like the back design too! Style isn’t the only thing to consider though; the materials your planters are made with can make a difference to how much maintenance you’ll need to do. Metal containers for full sun deck designs and patios may need additional watering as they’ll heat up quickly, and terra cotta or glazed pots may need to be stored during the winter to prevent cracking in freezing temperatures. Make sure your choices suit your deck designs, whether your look is laid back and low maintenance, elegant and sophisticated, or vibrant and fun!

Deck Designs and Plants:

Flowers and herbs can really bring deck designs and patios to life! Whether you want classic greenery or a riot of colour, plants are a quick and easy way to bring a fresh look to your outdoor space. While you’re choosing plants, you should consider whether you will have new flowers replanted every year or whether you will want plants that mature over time. Your local garden centre can advise you on the best plants for your deck designs, patio, and the look you’re going for. If you choose to house multiple plants in the same container, consider planting taller flowers or herbs in the middle of your planter. This is especially important with glass railings, since you’ll want to see your plants from all sides!

 

Deck Designs and Furniture:

Outdoor furniture comes in a wide variety of materials and styles. Many places carry outdoor furniture and can advise you on what materials will best suit your needs. Some considerations include durability, style, and required maintenance. If you already have furniture that you love, consider livening things up with outdoor cushions or a new coat of paint. Furniture makes a statement in your deck designs, so make sure it matches the feel of what you’re going for. Consider whether your style will work with weathering, or whether your look will need to be refreshed regularly to keep the feel you want. Do your research first!

 

Ultimately, whether you choose to upgrade your railings, buy new containers, plant a herb garden, install some shelter, or repaint your favourite chair, make sure you choose something you’re going to enjoy. If you’re comfortable with your deck designs, you’ll be using those deck designs for a long time to come!