Beyoncé’s Contractor Reveals Eight Things You Need to Do to Prepare Your Home for Winter

A Stephen Fanukadesigned home ready for winter.

1. Trim your trees

“I always tell my clients to prune the trees and shrubs in their yards,” says Fanuka. “If there are any dead branches hiding in there, they could break off and go right through a window of your home during a snowstorm. You want the trees to be dormant before you start trimming, so the later in the winter, the better off the vitality of the tree. However, it’s not going to kill the tree if you do it in late fall. Once completed, take a look to make sure the branches are a good distance away from all windows.”

Designer Stephen Fanuka.

2. Reroute your ceiling fans

“If you have ceiling fans in your home, you can actually create an updraft by reversing the direction of the airflow,” says Fanuka. “Picture heat blowing from the ceiling vent: It’s blowing in a downward path, and if you switch the direction of the fan, it’s going to push and spread that hot air down to the surface of the room. This will allow you to increase the temperature by a degree or two, saving you not only energy but also money.”

3. Insulate doors and windows

“It’s all about energy,” says Fanuka. “You want to keep your heating costs as low as possible, and one way to achieve that goal is with insulation. Put your hand against doors and windows to see if you feel cold air coming through any cracks. If so, you can buy self-adhesive insulation strips, also known as weatherstrip tape, and stick it right on the doorframe. Sometimes, around the windows, caulk from years before may have dissipated. Go ahead and recaulk those openings, but remember to only caulk the outside perimeters, not the windows themselves.”

4. Review the roof

“You want to check your roof for missing shingles or holes,” says Fanuka. “If there is any damage to the roof, water from melting snow will find a way to get into your home during the winter. You also want to make sure your roof is stable enough to withstand heavy snowfall. If you have a flat rooftop, then blow the leaves, pine dust, and anything else off of its surface because those items trap in moisture when it rains, which, in fact, can create even more damage to the roof itself.”

5. Avoid freezing pipes

“Preventing pipes from freezing is one of the easiest tasks to complete in preparation for winter,” says Fanuka. “First, measure the diameter of the pipe and then go to your local hardware store and buy foam insulation wide enough to accommodate the pipes. Once you place the insulation over the pipe, you are finished. Keep in mind that you also need to be concerned about the water pipes that are against the exterior of the home and automatic sprinklers. With sprinklers, the pipes burst from frozen water stuck inside, so be sure to get all the water out or else you may have to buy a whole new irrigation system the following year.

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