Keep your home in shape through the year



  • Make a list of projects you plan to complete during the year. Include big projects so you can budget ahead.
  • Check toilets for leaks.
  • Post important emergency info: Location of the main gas valve, for instance, or contact numbers for heating and cooling service.




  • Organize garage or shed; clean, sharpen and lubricate yard tools. 
  • Dispose of old paint, and prop­erly. Add waste paint hardener, avail­able at hardware stores and home centres. 
  • Clean lint from dryer exhaust ducts and vents.




  • Repair window screens. Save old screening for future patches.
  • Build or repair fences and arbours. • Repair deck boards as needed; remove protruding nails and replace with coated or galvanized screws. Be sure to check and tighten bolts in deck supports.
  • Clean and seal wood deck as necessary. Deck stains with at least some pigment last longer than clear sealers.
  • Check the operation of your garage-door opener. Consult owner's manual.
  • Add a garage-door keypad outside for convenience - but be sure to keep it out of reach of young children.
  • Move firewood at least 30 feet away from the house; pull wood mulch away from foundation.



  • Reverse ceiling fans - they should have been blowing upward during the winter-and clean tops of fan blades. 
  • Check to be sure winter wind hasn't lifted vinyl and aluminum sid­ing, and repair as needed. 
  • Wash siding and gutters. You'll have fewer streaks if you start at the bottom. Always be careful with ladders around power lines! 
  • Scrape and touch up exterior paint, paying special attention to window sills, gable vents, garage doors.



  • Clean gas grill and replace any' rusted or damaged parts.
  • Check crawl space for moisture and remove debris. If you spot signs of termites, call a pro.
  • Clean concrete drives, walkways and patios, and repair as needed.



  • Vacuum coils behind refrigerators and freezers to ensure proper operation. (Don't forget about those appliances in the basement or garage.)
  • Check supply hoses to washing machines. If hoses are soft or cracked, replace them. (They seem to break when you're away on vacation.)
  • Remove toe panel from front of dishwasher and check for leaks under the appliance.



  • Trim shrubs away from heat pump compressor, and trim those blocking crawl-space ventilation.
  • Cut back tree limbs that are touching roof. Be careful around power lines!
  • Flush water heater as needed Be sure to turn off power to water heater before draining, and refill before restoring power.
  • Open and close cutoff valves to sinks and toilets. You don't want to discover during a plumbing emergency that valves are stuck.



  • Call heating service to schedule fall heating system checkup; call propane company to fill tanks. 
  • If you smell a musty odour during peak air-conditioning season, check ducts for leaks. Repair leaks with mastic - not duct tape. 
  • Replace light bulbs with compact fluorescents. Information:,/
  • Check operation of door and window locks, and replace as needed before you go on vacation.



  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and replace batteries. 
  • Caulk around windows and doors. If you're going to paint, choose a caulk that's paintable. Pay special attention to places where dissimilar materials such as brick and wood meet. 
  • Be sure weep holes in storm windows are open to allow water to escape. 
  • Vacuum gas logs, and be sure they're properly seated before operating.



  • Add new sweeps to the bottom of exterior doors as needed to block cold air. 
  • Reverse those ceiling fans again. They should blow upward in winter, to push warm air across ceiling and down walls. 
  • Clean gutters. Use a hose to be sure downspouts are flowing freely.



  • Check roof from ground with binoculars. Replace or repair any curled or missing shingles. 
  • Drain and winterize irrigation system; the backflow preventer is most vulnerable. 
  • Seal holes in foundation, espescially spots around pipes and wires where rodents might enter.



  • Create a fire escape plan for family and practice it. Be sure fire extinguishers are properly filled. Information: 
  • Get rid of old medicines, and make sure household chemicals are out of reach of children. Post poison hotline number near phone. 
  • Make sure everyone knows location of main water shutoff, and that you keep access clear. Show neighbour where to find shutoff, too.

Send us a Message!

Lance Phillips


Wendy Phillips


Kelsey Phillips


Nik Prem