Whip Your Home Into Shape For Winter

Paul Denikin

With the summer ending, and the leaves beginning to fall, winter is really on it’s way. The chilly winds, snow, and road conditions will make you want to stay inside more than ever before – and that means it’s time to start prepping your home for winter! You refresh your wardrobe once chilly weather hits, and it’s no surprise that you should switch out some things in your home as well! Take a look at these considerations for winterizing your home – even if you don’t have a lot of time.

Refresh and Revitalize

Just like your wardrobe, it’s time to look around your house and see what needs sprucing up. Fall is the best time to get those painting, cleaning, and minor renovation tasks done. It allows you to keep windows open since the weather is still nice, and helps to ventilate any of the fumes from painting, or the moisture from steam cleaning a carpet. Allow kids to help with the painting, too! They might not be great at it, but making it a family paint party will get them involved and make sure they understand the work that goes into owning a home in the future. Don’t forget to replace or clean any carpets around the house, too, especially if the one in the living room just can’t take any more salt-covered shoes.

This is also a great time to make sure you have a mudroom that will allow you to remove shoes and coats before coming into your cleaned up home! This is easily doable by adding a bench with some cubbies underneath by the front door, as well as a coat rack close to the front door, if you don’t have an actual mudroom. Make sure to remind your kids the first few times they come in covered in snow that that is what the mudroom area is for. Salt does not mix well with new carpets, or even hardwood. Save your flooring the beating, and give guests a place to kick off their shoes.

Comfy and Cozy

Fall and winter are the best times to have guests around, as it can be hard to find some place to meet up and do when it can be bitterly cold outside. It’s the season for parties, and you don’t want your party guests to get cold. To fight this off, make sure that you either check up on your HVAC unit yourself, or call a technician to make sure it’s in working order. You can waste a lot of money by not getting it checked on first thing as it starts to get cold, and making sure there are no leaks in your ductwork. By having both the airflow and the unit checked, you are sure to have the warmest winter yet, and your pocketbook will thank you, too! Make sure to switch out your air filters as well – find the right size for your unit, and do your research on what kind of filter would be best for your home and family, especially if you have any allergies or difficulties with breathing in your family.

Preventing Costly Fixes

As important as it is to make sure your home looks and feels good for winter, there are things that you need to do to make sure you don’t have any serious issues when the snows come. First off, you should take a walk around the outside of your home, make sure you have no cracks in your foundation that small animals or bugs can work their way into. If you see issues, contact a contractor to get them fixed up. Also check for any iffy tree limbs around your home that might snap under the snow and ice – you can either cut these down yourself or, again, call a contractor. You will want to check up on your roof for the same reason – flimsy roofing, or issues with the shingles can lead to big issues under the weight of snow and ice. Finally, don’t forget to clean out your gutters, and even install a cover to keep them clean.

Winter can be one of the best seasons, but making sure you keep your ducks in a row in your home is going to make it the most comfortable one yet!

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Top 3 Things to Do in Buffalo This Fall

Clay Pitsenbarger

Though Fall is about to give way to a much frostier winter season, there is still time to get out and enjoy all that western New York has to offer by way of seasonal fall activity. If to you, the passing of Halloween signals an immediate departure from the world of colored leaves, apple bobbing, and scarecrows, we’re here to help you slow that sleigh ride. Take a few moments to enjoy the later fall season in Buffalo, NY, where there is plenty to do, people to see, and views to enjoy before the trees shed their last leaves. Here are a handful of ideas to make your fall season in Buffalo your most cherished and memorable yet.

Explore Local Fall Features and Activities

There is no shortage of activity in and around the Buffalo area in November and December. Prime time for pumpkin carving has passed, but there is still plenty of cider-drinking, craft-showing, wine-slurping, and light-appraising to be done before the flurry of Christmas season truly hits. One such event, the Fall Wine Festival at Broadway Market on November 17th and 18th, promises lively music and plenty of local wine vendors to try between 10-4 and is free to attend. For those hoping to catch some crafts and see some historical architecture lit up seasonal style, visit the Knox Estate Mansion on November 18th or 19th and pick up thoughtful gifts for family and friends from one of over eighty vendors attending. Or, if interactive imaginings are more your speed, digiPlaySpace at the Buffalo Museum of Science opens to the public for the first time on November 18th. Produced by TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival), the large-scale interactive installations and fast-paced multi-player videogames, immersive green-screen adventures and robotics experiments will offer guests all ages of exciting ways to explore. Admission to the exhibit is offered as part of the cost of admission. So why not grab glass of wine at the Fall Wine Festival, enjoy the sites at the Knox Estate Mansion, and then hop in to digiPlaySpace for a packed day of fall enjoyments?

Go Hiking Near Buffalo with Family and Friends

Spend a crisp morning or afternoon exploring the local scenery. There are far too many gorgeous trails near Buffalo to name, but here are a few to get you started.

Eternal Flame at Chestnut Ridge – Chestnut Ridge Road, Orchard Park

Mosey to Chestnut Ridge County Park, where you’ll find delightful hiking trails and a hidden wonder  – the Eternal Flame. The natural gas leak, nestled within a trickling creek waterfall is a sight you won’t soon forget. The flame is reachable via a trek up a ravine.

Tifft Nature Preserve – 1200 Fuhrmann Blvd., Buffalo

Hikers, children, and birdwatchers alike will delight in this quick getaway to the 264-acre Tifft Nature Preserve. Formerly a landfill, the now-rehabilitated land serves as a lush habitat to native wildlife just minutes from the center of Buffalo. The preserve – composed of wetlands and expansive forests – features hiking trails, boardwalks, and even a glimpse of Buffalo’s industrial heritage by way of factory buildings and urban surroundings.

Zoar Valley – Forty Road entrance

This breathtaking spectacle isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s one of the natural wonders of New York State, with old growth forests, dramatic vistas and heart-pounding recreation opportunities unlike the gigantic, wild gorges of the northwest United States. Found outside the village of Gowanda, Zoar Valley makes for a mighty exploration, and you won’t find any manmade or artificial structures here.

Take a Drive Along the Scenic Byway  

Begin your journey near downtown Buffalo. Take South Park Avenue South for about 7.5 miles. A left onto Big Tree Road will bring you to Route 20A. After 3.5 miles, 20A will carry you to the center of the stunning Village of Orchard Park. Make a right onto Route 277 for 6.5 miles. Pass by Chestnut Ridge Park and make your way towards north Boston. Make a left onto Boston State Road and enjoy a relaxing ride for 15 miles to the Village of Springville, close to the geological wonder of Zoar Valley, mentioned above. A left on Springville’s idyllic Main Street will bring you to another left on US-219. Head South for 19 miles to Ellicottville where you can enjoy a seasonal pint at Monroe Street Brick and Brew. There’s plenty to do in Ellicottville, and it’s easy to make a weekend trip of it. Just check out this weekend guide by AdventureBound.

To close the Scenic Byway loop you’ll head back north along Route 242 for 3.5 miles and make a left on Route 240 in the Hamlet of Ashford. Saunter along the dips and hills of 240 for 30 miles and make a right at Route 47/Mill Road. Enter the charming village of East Aurora. Head back West on Route 20A, once more through the Village of Orchard Park and along to South Park which will lead you back home to Buffalo.

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Christmas Decorating Tips

Now that halloween is over, it’s basically Christmas. Skip the turkey and the mashed potatoes, bring on the wrapping paper and the eggnog (preferably spiked.) And besides the gift giving, the best part of the holiday season is the decorations. The hours of sweating, and hanging, and “now where do I put this” are so worth it when you step back and stare at your masterpiece.

The real struggle is not over decorating. We are all guilty of walking past those “super-cute” “gotta have it” Christmas decorations that rack up our Target bill from weekly groceries to “um your total is $256.” And then once we get home we have no idea where to put the stuffed Rudolph that sings in four languages.

Lucky for you, there may be some solutions for your decoration problem…(other than just avoiding Target in general)

 

  1. Embrace your inner Martha Stewart

Find things around your house that you can transform into cute, rustic decorations with just some paint or ribbon. Things like mason jars, or wine bottles can be used as vases or candle holders. Pop some paint on them and fill them with some winter floral arrangements and you have a cozy, cheap decoration.

             

2. Save that firewood

Using wood pallets or boards work great as a rustic canvas. Any craft store has them, or recycle some pallets. Just a paint brush and some paint work as a simple fix. Even if you aren’t the best painter you can even make simple, cute creations like the one below with thread and nails.

                             

 

3. Oh Christmas tree

Here’s a little challenge for your pine-scented beauty: less is best. This year instead of loading the tree up with everything that has a metal hook within a four-mile radius of your home, try color coordinating and using less ornaments. Not only will it de-clutter your tree; just think, the less decorations you put on it, the less you have to take down, or the less that will get broken…can you believe it? Funny how that works.

Of course, you still should hang up the cotton ball santa that you made in Mrs. Smith’s art class in 1984 because you put blood, sweat and tears into that. But try to keep the crazy stuff to a minimum.  

                

 

  1. Take the Ornaments off the tree

Use some of your extra ornaments to make some simple crafts to display around the house. You can hang them from some lighting fixtures, fill vases with them, or even make your own creation with some extra stuff you have laying around.

                

 

5. It smells like Christmas in here

Want your house to smell like chestnuts roasting on an open fire but without the fire and the chestnuts? Perfect, get ready to get your wax on. We all know that candles are a quick easy fix to make your house smell like Santa’s workshop, but they can get pricey. Surprisingly local craft stores such as Hobby Lobby or Jo Ann Fabrics sell bags of unscented chipped wax, scented oils and even the wicks. This is so easy I don’t know why everyone doesn’t do it. You can put them in anything, but mason jars are usually the go-to. Just melt the wax in the microwave, add a few drops of the oil, stick in the wick and wait for it to dry.

                 

 

The holidays are an exciting time in the Queen City. Whether it’s decorating your current home or searching for a home to put all your great ideas in, keep Red Door Real Estate in mind! Come see us or give us a call at 716.768.1177

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