September 30, 2008
Home-Maintenance Web Sites Help Simplify Fall Chores
By Kathleen Hom
It's time for homeowners to start tackling that fall home- maintenance checklist before the hostile winds and freezing temperatures of winter roll in. For motivation, we found some Web sites and videos that make these chores seem moderately easy.
Sweep into winter with a clean chimney (from the Money Pit): "The Money Pit," a home-improvement radio show, includes an article on its Web site about how to keep a chimney safe. Among the advice: Inspect for cracks or other external structural damage, clean out the flue -- dirty flues are the "leading cause of chimney fires" -- and know what to ask a chimney sweep before hiring one.
Install blown-in insulation (from Easy2diy.com): A cartoon tutorial includes nine narrated frames that make installing blown- in insulation in exterior walls look relatively straightforward. The video includes details such as where to find studs, where to drill holes and how to patch walls. Don't worry about taking notes, because you can scroll down the page for a shopping list, related how-tos, what you need to know before you begin and step-by-step instructions.
Make your doors draft-free (from ThisOldHouse.com): The television program "This Old House" has a Web site full of videos and how-tos from its magazine. In one article, learn the seven steps for installing weatherstripping around a door. The graphics and photos with each step make the project seem less complicated. To help you decide whether you can do this yourself, there's a shopping list, estimated project time and budget, and a warning about the skill level and patience required for the job.
Readying the garden for the chill (from HGTV.com): Good for the novice gardener, an HGTV article offers common-sense tips such as bringing in tender plants and turning off automatic sprinklers. But it also provides lots of links that delve into details about other topics, such as sealing concrete lawn ornaments to prevent breakage and constructing a cold frame to extend the harvest season of winter vegetables.
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