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How to Protect Your Home in Cold Weather

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: January 24, 2018

Alabama winters are notoriously unpredictable.  You may enjoy walking your dog while wearing shorts on a balmy Saturday, and have to shovel snow off your driveway on Monday. While the sudden dramatic drops in temperature can be discombobulating, they can actually be harmful to your home—and to yourself–if you haven’t taken proper precautions. Here are a few of the necessary steps you should take every winter to protect your home and yourself.

 

  1. Prevent a Pipe Nightmare

 

We all know someone whose pipes have burst on a harsh winter day—and hopefully that someone wasn’t ourselves! When water freezes inside a pipe it expands and can cause the pipe to crack and burst. It’s a disaster! To prevent this from happening to you, always leave faucets dripping in freezing weather. This minimizes the risk that stationary water will freeze inside the pipe. However, this practice is not a foolproof way to prevent bursting—especially as the temperature drops lower and lower. Some more reliable preventative measures include draining water from any outdoor faucets and sprinkler systems, disconnecting outdoor hoses, and insulating pipes that run through any unheated areas of your home like the attic, basement or garage.

 

  1. Insulate

 

It probably seems obvious that well insulated windows and doors are essential to maintaining the warm temperature inside your home. Unfortunately, because Alabama is in the deep south, new homes are not always built with winter-proof windows and doors. Remedy this problem by putting caulk in any gaps around windows and install weather stripping around doors if necessary. These are relatively easy and inexpensive ways to keep your home toasty and can help you save money on heating costs too. If your home is older, or if you want to be extra vigilant in insulating it from extreme outdoor temperatures, you may even consider upgrading to double- or even triple-pane windows and insulated doors and garage doors to increase the energy efficiency of your home.

 

  1. Stay Warm

 

If you’ve ever experienced a freezing winter day with no heat in your home, you probably took every precaution possible to make sure it NEVER happened again. For those who have managed to avoid it so far, here’s how to make sure you avoid that situation for good.

 

Before it even gets cold, you should change your furnace filter. They get dirty quicker than you’d think—and ever quicker if you have furry family members! Dirty filters can cause your heater to work less efficiently—so you’re not staying as warm, and you’re probably paying more too. Plan to change out your filter every two to four months to make sure your heater functions optimally.

 

  1. Keep it Burning

 

If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace in your home, it can be a wonderful way to keep your home cozy and toasty through the winter. But before you light that first fire of the season, it’s important to check your chimney to make sure it is clear of debris (and possibly little critters!) Debris in your chimney can catch fire, so making sure it’s clear is an absolute necessity. And don’t forget to place a screen around your fire while it’s burning to protect your home from a possible fire or other damage that can be caused by escaping sparks and embers.

 

You’ll also want to keep the flue closed all the way when you’re not using the fireplace to keep your home’s warm air from escaping out the chimney. For extra insulation, install glass fireplace doors to keep closed while your fireplace is not in use. These measures will keep your home warmer and your heating bill lower. You should never be able to feel any cold air coming down the chimney or through the fireplace!

 

 

We hope that this advice will help you keep your home cozy—and your electric bill manageable—through the coldest days of the winter. Check back often for more home maintenance tips throughout the year.

 

 

Why Is It Smarter To Build a Home?

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: November 17, 2017

Why Is It Smarter To Build a Home?

It’s time to move to a new home. Now that you’ve made the life-changing decision, the next step is to decide whether to buy an existing home or build your own. This may be the biggest purchase you’ll ever make, so it’s important to get it right. And more and more, Americans are finding that building a new home is the right choice for them. That is even more true for the Huntsville and Madison, Alabama area. Learn why building your new home is the smart choice:

  1. Your “perfect” home doesn’t exist—yet.

Anyone who’s ever house hunted knows that the process is often tedious, exhausting, and almost always frustrating and disappointing. The truth is, the home that is exactly what you’re looking for—that meets all of your expectations fulfills all of your family’s needs—just isn’t out there. One may have the charm and character you love, but lack all-important storage space. Another is exactly the right size and ideally located but do you really want to spend weeks pulling up that wall-to-wall shag carpeting? (Yuck!) When you choose to build your home you choose every detail from its location and the number of rooms, to the color of the kitchen backsplash and the finish of each doorknob.

 

      2. Save Big

Some people may be dissuaded from building because initially because it appears more expensive. It’s true that you’ll have to pay for the land plus the costs of designing and building it yourself. But over time, you’ll almost certainly save money. For one, you won’t spend a dime on renovations upon moving in. And you don’t need to worry about ongoing home maintenance that can deplete the savings of owners of older homes. Additionally, newly built houses are more energy efficient so you’ll likely pay significantly less on your energy bills each month than you would in an older home. And if the time ever comes to sell, you’re a lot more likely to recoup your costs and even make a profit on the sale, because newer homes are more appealing to buyers. Plus, did we mention Legacy Homes pays all closing costs when you use one of our Preferred Lenders?

 

  1. Be Happier and Healthier

Then there are the things that money just can’t buy (or so they say!): health and happiness. Owners of custom-built homes often report higher levels of satisfaction and happiness with their purchase. They got exactly what they wanted in their home, and they’re free of the ongoing headaches and stress that renovation projects and maintenance causes. They can also rest assured that their houses are free of toxic chemicals that were often used in the construction of older homes like asbestos and lead.

  1. The Huntsville/Madison Area is a Home Builder’s Paradise

Data released by the U.S. Census Bureau in May 2017 shows that the Huntsville area is growing by leaps by leaps and bounds. From 2010 to 2016 Madison’s population grew by nearly 12 percent and Huntsville grew by more than 7 percent with no signs of slowing. And it’s important to note that the growth is coming in the form of high-tech employers and well-educated professionals. Moneywatch.com ranked Huntsville as one of the country’s fastest growing tech cities with a 309% growth of tech jobs in just the last year! So what does all of this mean? It means build your home now! Residential land is still plentiful and building costs are still low compared to national averages. But with continued high-tech growth, land and home values are likely to increase precipitously in the coming years and decades. That makes the house you build now a very smart investment.