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GruntWorks Guide to Home Weatherization Tips.

Home Winterizing window caulking

How to Keep the Cold Air Out and the Money in Your Wallet.

The rain and cold is coming to the Pacific Northwest! This winter, when the weather outside is frightful, here’s two things that could light up your season: a warm, cozy house and some extra money in your wallet. Here’s our top list of areas around the home that you should look at to improve your energy efficiency and reduce heat loss.

 

Weatherstripping – If you can easily slide a sheet of paper between an exterior door and its frame, it may need weatherstripping. This includes access doors to your basement and attic.

 

Windows – Windows can be weatherized with a few simple steps! First and foremost, replace broken glass and re-putty loose panes. You will want to inspect older windows and if necessary, install new sash locks, or adjust existing ones on double-hung and slider windows. Carefully caulk on the inside around the window and door trim, sealing where the frame meets the wall and all other window woodwork joints. For windows that will be opened, use weatherstripping or temporary flexible rope caulk. For easy year-to-year weatherization, you may want to consider purchasing insulating window inserts.  Insulating window inserts are custom fitted to your windows and can be easily installed and removed for the season changes.

 

Exterior – Weatherizing around the exterior of your home is especially important. Be sure to caulk around all areas where electrical, telephone, cable, gas, dryer vents, and water lines enter the house. You can first fill the larger areas with fiberglass insulation.Caulk around all sides of window and door frames to keep out the rain and reduce drafts.

A common culprit for drafts is your dryer exhaust vent hood. If the flapper does not close properly or is missing, replace it with a tight-fitting model.

 

Chimneys – Cold air infiltration is common with chimneys.  If you haven’t had your chimney inspected this year, make sure your chimney service professional inspects and seals any areas which can be potential air leaks, such as the chimney flashing.  Also, when your fireplace is not in use, remember to close the flue!

 

Lower Heating Bills with Insulation.

One of the best ways to increase the energy efficiency of your home and lower your heating bills is through effective insulation. The good news is, you can have both by investing in insulation and home weatherization.

Adding or upgrading insulation, as well as easy home weatherization, can save you anywhere between 15% to 50% on heating and cooling costs.*  

When you understand heat flow, you will quickly see the importance of insulation. Heated air naturally flows from warmer to cooler spaces. In the winter, warm air inside your cozy living spaces will try to move toward cooler areas such as attics, basements and garages.  Insulation works by limiting this air movement to resist the natural flow of heat.

GruntWorks Cold Weather Home TipsThere are several different types of insulation.  These include: 

  • blanket (in the form of batts or rolls),
  • blown-in loose fill
  • spray foam
  • rigid
  • reflective
  • radiant barriers.

An excellent resource for detailed descriptions of types of insulation is the U.S. Department of Energy website. Here you can also find a handy tool to check which insulation is best for your climate.

Many home energy experts state that the average non-weatherized house leaks air at a rate equivalent to a four-foot-square hole in the wall.

Start at the Top: The Attic

When considering insulation, the attic is a great place to start, because adding insulation there is quick, easy, and cost-effective. Most attics are insulated with loose-fill or batt. Within these options, homeowner must also choose between fiberglass or cellulose. Costs vary, but in general, loose-fill provides better coverage and efficiency when properly installed.

In unfinished attics, you can simply install  layers to the attic floor. Or, if you’re thinking about finishing the attic, you can put the insulation against the roof. Insulating the roof is the better method if heating and cooling ducts pass through the space, or if you live in a humid climate and want to cut down on musty smells coming from the attic.

When insulating an attic, you want to be sure to also seal all areas where air may be leaking into the home. Failure to weatherize areas such as ducting to the outside, chimney perimeters, tops of interior walls, and the hatch or other access to your attic will continue to cost your in energy and money regardless of how much insulation you install.

Do-It-Yourself or Call in the Experts

Whether you choose to try a few DIY weatherization projects or you call GruntWorks to schedule a complete weatherization service; it is important to consider the value of making weatherization improvements.  If you’re still not sure where to start, consider a home energy audit.  You can also contact your GruntWorks Personal Home Assistant with any questions you have about home weatherization. You can reach us at 503-974-8554 or request a service estimate through our website. 

Stay warm and enjoy the season!

*This savings figure varies based on climate, your heating system type and the insulation methods you choose.

 


We LOVE home makeovers, don’t you? Here are 65 amazing home makeovers bringing new life and inspiration to just about every room in the house and outside, too! We’re especially impressed with the home exterior makeover shown below. Wow, what a difference!

If this gets you thinking about updating your current home, feel free to call us at 1-855-My-Grunt or contact us via our website  — we’ve got several amazing customer-approved contractors that are experts in making the drab in your home — well, fabulous.

Click through to Country Living magazine to all the entire, inspired collection of 65 Wow-Worthy home makeovers!


Need help prepping the guest bedroom for holiday visitors?

GruntWorks guest bedroom decorating tipsThe holidays are just around the corner, and along with the gifts and festivities, there are usually overnight guests, too. Are you ready?

How will you make room for Aunt Ida and Uncle Joe when your guest bedroom is being used as a storage unit/island of lost toys/half-finished home gym?  And what about your dream of turning it into an inviting retreat? Relax. This article will get you going in the right direction of making your guest bedroom guest-ready.

Step One: Clear the clutter.

Remove everything but the essentials, and put fresh linens on the bed.  (No clutter, just dull? You’re a step ahead.)

Step Two: Evaluate. 

Do guests have a place to hang and store their clothes?  Do guests have a place to sit down? Is there room for a nightstand or table next to the bed? Is there enough lighting? Does anything need to be repaired or finished before guests arrive?

Step Three: Dream!

Define your wants. Browse design magazines and websites for ideas (check out the hundreds of ideabooks on Houzz.com for inspiration).  Make a list of the things you’d change to make your guest bedroom as cozy, sophisticated and functional as you imagine.

Step Four: Get serious.  

Define your needs. What’s feasible in your time frame (will the paint dry before Aunt Ida arrives)?  What’s feasible for your budget?  Make a list of what truly needs to done.

Finally: Call GruntWorks. 

As your Personal Home Assistant, we take all the time and effort of planning a project off your plate. Whether you want to repair plaster, put up shelves, paint the room, remove or hang wallpaper, build a storage bench, reconfigure a closet, install blinds or curtain rods, lay carpeting, refinish floors, change a light fixture or replace windows–whatever you need, we coordinate the job, from checking references to getting bids to setting appointments.

Booking GruntWorks to take care of everything…  now that is a gift.


The Heart of Your Home: Call GruntWorks for a Kitchen Update

The holidays are just around the corner, and you know what that means. Cookies and treats, holiday dinners, chestnuts roasting on an open fire, in other words—food, and a whole lot of it.

At GruntWorks, we know that the kitchen is the heart of your home. It’s where friends and family always seem to congregate when they come together for a bit of holiday cheer. It means the warmth of a turkey in the oven, kids prowling for cookies, mulled wine and high spirits. Before all of the festivities get into full swing, now might be a good time to consider updating your kitchen to make it as comfortable, functional, and breakfast-dinner-lunchable as possible.

In what ways can you improve your kitchen? To answer that, consider the room, how you use it, and your own personal tastes. Let’s take these point by point.

The Room

Kitchens come in all shapes and sizes. Some are large and wide-open, while others are smaller and more intimate. Click on this link to view small kitchen makeover ideas from House Beautiful. We know how to work with you in order to make your space work for you. Would an island make that big, empty room feel a little less big and empty? Can more efficient shelf and cabinet space ensure that a smaller kitchen is still an uncluttered one?

Under $500 Kitchen Updates

Yep, it’s possible. Updating your kitchen doesn’t have to be expensive. Painting the walls or cabinets can lend a fresh, new look. You can also change out the light fixtures, sink or counter tops for a completely new appearance. For more ideas on how to update your kitchen for $500 or less, check out this video from Better Homes and Gardens.

How You Use It

Do you need more space because everyone always ends up in the kitchen? When you’re cooking an elaborate meal, does it ever feel like you need just a little more counter-space? Or would a breakfast bar make it easier to serve up the kids?

The bottom line is, your kitchen should be crafted to suit your lifestyle.

Your Tastes

Just as your kitchen should fit your needs, it should also fit your sense of style. Whether you’re into classic or modern, metal or wood, or any of the other numerous aesthetic options there are out there, GruntWorks knows how to create the perfect motif to go along with your tastes.

When it comes right down to it, your kitchen is where food, friends, and family come together, which is an activity that is about as Portland as you can get. As a local, community-based business, we understand that that’s what our city is all about—bringing people together for merriment and festivity.

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Simplify your life with GruntWorks Handyman and Home Repair Services, Portland, OR. When you need home repairs, maintenance and improvements, instead of searching, calling, haggling and hoping you’ve chosen the right contractor, call GruntWorks. A GruntWorks Personal Home Assistant will collect quotes on your behalf from our exclusive pool of dozens of prescreened, licensed, bonded, insured and customer-approved service providers. (We have several excellent Oregon kitchen contractors to recommend. We only work with the best!) After you select the best fit for your needs, we make sure the job gets done to your satisfaction. No worries. No hassles. No additional charge for our services – you won’t pay more than if you had gone through the trouble of booking the work yourself.