5 Things You Must Do With a Log Cabin In Winter

Log cabins are probably the most popular trend in real estate today. People are in love with these gorgeous dwellings, especially as the McMansions that are so common continue to spread across the country. Who wants to live in something so cheaply made, especially when it looks exactly the same as every other boring house on the block?

But one of the drawbacks about log cabins is that they do require more maintenance. It is worth it, especially when considering value and permanence. After all, a log cabin can last for generations, where a cheaply made house can fall apart before the mortgage is even paid.

Here are five things you must do with a log cabin in winter to keep it in tip top condition.

Inspect The Outside

The outside of your cabin is where problems are most likely to occur. Weather can seriously wear down the condition of the outside and in areas where the climate is more extreme it is worst. Damp is especially bad for wood, which can rot or warp, though sunshine can cause cracks and dryness in the logs.

Every new season it is important than you do an inspection to make sure there are no impending issues that could cause problems. For instance, you might notice a thumb sized area of one of your walls it soft and presses inward. This is a sign of rot and once it has started it can quickly grow out of control. Or maybe you see a plank that has bulged out. This is wood warping, usually caused by moisture behind the wood that has caused it to expand outward.

Catching these things before the snow falls makes it easier to replace or repair anything that needs to be, It also gives you a chance to restain, something you should do to the wood every three to five years.

Inspect The Inside

Once the outside is secure it is time to go inside to see what might be done there. A log cabin is pretty solid and cozy, so hopefully you won’t run into any issues. But there are some that are possible to come across so you should always be vigilant in your inspections.

The first problem to look out for is signs of pests. As the weather turns colder, different creatures are going to seek shelter from the chill. Mice, insects, spiders and even small mammals like raccoons could be trying to find a way into your home as you read this. Once they get in they can wreak havoc, especially those that have burrowed into the wood like termites. They can cause damage to your house, due to scratching, biting, burrowing and waste.

Look for any signs of these critters. Go to the smaller areas of the house, like dark corners, unused rooms, closets, basements, attics or crawlspaces. Put a couple of barrier methods around your house to prevent anything from crossing over.

If you do find signs of an infestation, either bug bomb/spray yourself, or contact an exterminator who can lay out traps or fumigate for you. The sooner in the season you get it done, the better.

Pre-Spring Clean

We have all heard of Spring Cleaning, but Pre-Spring Cleaning may be even more crucial. If your house isn’t ready for the winter it isn’t ready for you to settle in and be comfortable during the frigid months ahead.

This includes removing all dust, mold and dirt from inside your home, freshening rooms that aren’t as commonly used, cleaning carpets or polishing hardwood floors, storing items for warmer months and cleaning/preparing ones for the colder and opening the chute to your fireplace and making sure it is clean and ready to go.

This might seem like a lot of work, but it is going to ensure your winter is a wonderland and not a nightmare.

Clean and Cover Gutters

Your gutters are going to be a major source of problems if you don’t get them regularly cleaned. When they back up with debris it allows rain and snow to gather and overflow, or to stay stagnant and rot the wood of your log cabin until it is cleared out. You want to make sure that never happens and so clean them out every few months.

For winter you won’t want to go out on a ladder and risk falling in the ice. So you should clear them at the beginning of the season and making sure there are no leaves still on trees nearby where they could drop in.

To keep any further debris you can get gutter covers. These little marvels allow you to snap them over the top, some magnetically and some using little clasps. This keeps things out and protects them through the winter.

You can also add an extender to the drain pipe. It will send water further from your home and keep water from building as the base of your log cabin, where it can damage the wood and foundation.

Weather strip Your Log Cabin

Want to keep cozy as the weather gets colder and colder? Stopping leaks and drafts is a good way to do it. Weather stripping will trap hot air in your home and keep it from letting out through cracks under the doors, around windows and even through your chimney, attic or basement.

You can hire someone to do it for you and it can be worth the extra cost to really seal things in. But weather stripping is also a DIY project that is pretty basic for most homeowners. You can find materials and kits online or at your local hardware store. The average cost is around $200 – $300 for an entire house. This can be more or less expensive, depending on if you do it yourself or hire someone to weatherize your log cabin for you.

Tips for Using Recyclable Materials in Your Building Plans

The use of recycled materials in green homes and buildings proves to be one of the most common ways to show sustainability. Aside from economic benefits, seeing recycled or salvaged materials never fail to imbibe feel-good factor to ones mood. Here are some tips on how some recycled materials can be incorporated in your green home.

Recycled woods are as effective as finished wood but they are generally cheaper in terms of cost. Recycled woods aside from structural uses in walls and windows can seamlessly find uses in drawers, cabinets, and shelves.

Old newspapers should not only find its way into paper mache. In fact, they can be used as insulation. Carton egg trays an also serve this very same purpose. Hundreds of dollars can be saved from your pockets with this simple act.

Raid your kitchen of empty wine bottles and mason jars. If you think that they can be used only as pen holders and organizers of tiny tots, you’ll be surprised that they can actually be used to build a house. Search for various inspirations of the internet and see that there is actually a wine farm in Australia which used abu 13500 wine bottles to design water-heating facility. Similarly, there is a Canadian man who used 25000 wine bottles to design his house.

Dating back to the 1900s, empty wine bottles have found various uses in construction of homes. In the United States, you can find several homes which have walls with embedded bottles on them. The idea is like hitting two birds in one stone as it serves aesthetic and structural purposes.

Reimagine your bathroom by using sea-sourced materials. If you’re living near the shorelines, then it is a very wise idea to use natural materials you can find and pick from them. Shells and pebbles of various colors, shapes, and sizes can be perfect inclusions in the walls and floors of your bathroom. Isn’t this idea very refreshing to embrace? This one can also save you from the usual high costs of bathroom tiles in home depots.

Sustainable living is an idea which one may find very difficult to embrace and carry out. But with proper thinking and inspiration, it is actually an endeavor that can become an easy reality. Start exercising your environment-friendly minds. And always remember that your very own household bins can become first-hand sources of recycled materials you can actually use to realize a green home.

8 Things to Consider When Choosing a Strata Manager

Our insider tips to the questions you should be asking your prospective Strata Manager.

Good or bad, most people judge an entire strata agency on the working relationship they have with their strata manager.

We have prepared this short list of questions that you should be asking prior to making a decision to appoint a new Strata Agent.

How many buildings does your proposed new Strata Manager already look after

Your entire strata experience depends on this simple question. Most agents manage large portfolios, to the point where they can spend most of their time putting out spot fires rather than giving you the proactive service that you are looking for.

What’s included in the monthly management fee

Most agencies charge a monthly management fee which covers agreed services. Works performed outside of the agreed services are charged as an additional fee. You can negotiate with an agency to have fixed price disbursements to give you a clearer understanding of how much your scheme will be paying per year.

Qualifications

The Strata Manager that will be managing your building should at least hold a Certificate 4 in Strata Title Management. Ideally this would have been gained through a Tafe course. It is possible to get a Certificate 4 in Strata Management by paying to do a 2 week course. It is also a good idea to ask how long they have been with the agency.

Experience

When approaching a potential new agent, it’s a fair question to ask how much experience the strata manager has that will actually be managing your building and in case things do go wrong, how much experience they have in attending mediation and tribunal hearings.

Reporting

How often are financial reports generated and are they delivered just the treasurer to the entire committee? Ideally this will be available on a monthly basis.

Service Level Agreements

Strata management is customer service. Your new agent should be able to provide you with time frames of when your requests will be actioned, emails replied to and telephone calls returned.

Your money, your input

It’s your building and you don’t necessarily want the Strata Manager to do everything, so it’s important to clarify how much input will you have in approving creditor payments and what level of input will the committee have when the agent is preparing the proposed budget.

Agreement terms

When appointing a new agent, most will try to lock you in for the maximum period of 3 years. If the services doesn’t meet your expectations you are locked in for the term of the agreement, unless your scheme decides to pay out the remaining term of the agreement. It is a better option to sign a one year agreement and see how things go.