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Winterizing Your Home

Winter arrives before you know it every year and being prepared is something everyone strives for. Follow these simple guidelines to prep your home for winter and save money wherever you can.

1. Cleaning the Gutters

Once the leaves begin to fall, you will need to clear gutters to allow rain and melting ice to properly drain. Clean out gutters by scooping out loose debris, washing out the gutter with a hose, and flushing out the downspouts. Another option you might want to consider is installing gutter covers which allow water to flow through while keeping leaves and other debris out.

Clean Your Gutters

2. Insulating the Pipes

Cold weather can spell disaster for exposed pipes. As anyone who has experienced it already knows, a burst pipe can be a nightmare. To protect your pipes, wrap and insulate them with heating tape. Check for leaks and cracks so that minor repairs can be made before Jack Frost causes major damage.

3. Trimming the Tree Branches

Winter storms can pack quite a punch, sometimes powerful enough to knock down tree branches with the added weight of ice or snow. Falling limbs can damage homes, cars or even the neighbor taking Milo for a walk. Autumn is a great time to check your trees and other landscaping for weak branches.

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4. Insulating your Home

Cut heating costs this winter by checking the insulation in attics and basements. Proper insulation keeps heat from escaping and keeps your home warmer. The Insurance Information Institute recommends that attics be kept 5 to 10 degrees warmer than the outside air to prevent snow from melting and re-freezing, which can cause significant damage to your roof.

5. Cleaning out the Chimneys, Furnaces, Boilers, and Heaters

Before winter arrives, have your chimney or furnace checked. Servicing them once a year can prevent smoke and other damage to your home, helping to ensure your home stays warm. Make sure to keep your homes temperature at 65 degrees or higher to prevent pipes from freezing.

Clean Chimney

6. Sealing the Windows and Doors

Make sure that your windows and doors are properly sealed by double-checking the weather stripping. Use weather stripping and caulking around windows and doors to prevent heat from escaping in cold months, saving you money on your energy bill.

7. Preparing your Lawn and Landscaping

Cold temperatures cause grass and other plants in your landscape to go dormant. Spend a few hours preparing your lawn for beautiful greenery next year. Start by aerating. Renting an aerator is a cost-effective and efficient way to reduce thatch and provide extra space in the soil for water and oxygen to reach the roots. After aerating, spread a quality winter fertilizer to give your grass the nutrients it needs to grow strong.

Protect Your Deck

8. Protecting your Deck

The harsh winter elements can take a major toll on decking, so it’s important to protect it. With a little time and effort, your deck will make it through winter unscathed and ready for outdoor fun in spring. To keep the structure’s integrity intact and wood looking beautiful, clean and seal your deck before winter arrives.

Do you have a winterizing tip that we missed?! Comment below to share with us! Looking information about caring for your home or maybe finding your home’s value? Contact any of our awesome agents for answers and help!

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Furry Friends of Texas

A Furry Resident Guide for The Austin Texas Area

Dog Parks and Off Leash Play Areas 

These free outdoor locations are places where your furry friend can romp around in the sunshine leash-free! For the safety of you, your pet and others, be sure to be caught up on flea prevention and vaccinations and be aware of the behavior or surrounding animals at play. City ordinances apply in parks. Please observe the rules posted on the Parks and Recreation websites and at the parks. 

  • Auditorium Shores 920 W. Riverside Dr, Austin 
  • Barking Springs William Barton Dr, Austin 
  • Bull Creek District Dog Park 6701 Lakewood Dr, Austin 
  • Devine Lake Off Lead Area 1000 Maple Creek, Leander 
  • Emma Long Metropolitan Park 1600 City Park Rd, Austin 
  • Far West ROW Between Great Northern Blvd. & Shoal Creek Blvd, Austin
  • Mary Moore Searight Metro Park 907 Slaughter Ln., Austin 
  • Northeast District Park 5909 Crystalbrook Dr, Austin 
  • Norwood Tract at Townlake Metro Park I-35 and Riverside Dr, Austin 
  • Onion Creek Greenbelt 6900 Onion Creek Dr, Austin 
  • Red Bud Isle 3401 Red Bud Trl, Unit Cr, Austin 
  • Round Rock Dog Depot 800 Deerfoot Dr, Round Rock
  • Shoal Creek Greenbelt 2600-2799 Lamar Blvd, Austin
  • Walnut Creek Metro Park 12138 N. Lamar Blvd, Austin 
  • West Austin Neighborhood Park 1317 W 10th St, Austin 
  • Zilker Dog Park 2100 Barton Springs Rd, Austin

Pet Friendly Restaurants 

These locations are among the handfull of places where your furry friends are welcome to dine with you on a patio! When you arrive, please confirm with the staff where to sit…stay…and eat. 

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Pet Shelters & Sanctuaries 

Community resource organizations providing shelter, adoption and animal control services. 

Veterinary Services 

Receive the best in animal care from these trained and certified medical providers. 

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Life Expectancy of Home Components

One of the biggest fears of any home buyer who is buying a resale home is having to replace systems or components that break down after they move-in. We always recommend buyers get a home inspection before closing on a home so they know more about the condition of their new homes systems up front, but there is only so much an inspector can check. Systems can break down at any time due to normal wear and tear or negligence, often without warning. 

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For that reason, it is valuable to know the average life-expectancy of your new home’s components. This can help you plan for future repairs or replacements projects, though many systems end up working completely fine well past their anticipated useful life! Below, we have a graph for you with all of the major components or you can read the list below that. 

If you are looking for the right inspector of would like help finding the right vendor to repair or service one of your systems, contact one of our awesome agents and we’ll connect you with a great referral!

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  • Air-Conditioning Unit > 12-15 years
  • Water Heater > 12-15 years
  • Roof > 20 years
  • Toilet > Lifetime
  • Shower Enclosure > 50+ years
  • Tub/Shower Faucets > 20+ years
  • Bathtub > 25+ years
  • Refrigerator > 13 years
  • Dishwasher > 9 years
  • Garage Door Opener > 10-15 years
  • Microwave > 9 years
  • Garbage Disposal > 12 years
  • Range/Oven > 13-15 years
  • Kitchen Faucet > 15 years
  • Kitchen Sink > 5-10 years
  • Kitchen Cabinets > 50 years
  • Dryer > 15 years
  • Washing Machine > 10 years
  • Wood/Stone Flooring > 100 years
  • Wood Deck > 10-15 years
  • Electrical Switches & Outlets > 10+ years
  • Carpeting > 8-10 years
  • Exterior Paint > up to 15 years
  • Home Security System & Smoke Detectors > 5-10 years
  • Furnace > 15-18 years
  • Windows > 15-30 years

 

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Austin Area Staycations

Many of us have had to cancel much anticipated vacations and travel plans this summer due to COVID-19. Perhaps a local getaway is an option for you?! Here is our list of the top getaway destinations between Austin and San Antonio.

La Cantera Resort & Spa

Polished rooms, suites & cottages, plus 6 restaurants, 2 golf courses, 5 pools & a spa. 16641 La Cantera Pkwy, San Antonio, TX 78256

Miraval Austin Resort & Spa

Upscale all-inclusive resort offering a full-service spa and two infinity pools, plus luxe dining. 13500 FM2769, Austin, TX 78726

Hotel Emma

Historic Hotel Emma

Refined hotel in a former 19th-century brewery, with elegant quarters, a rooftop pool & a chic bar. 136 E Grayson St., San Antonio, TX 78215

Lake Austin Spa Resort

Upscale, all-inclusive resort set on a lake offering 2 pools, plus a spa & posh dining. 1705 S Quinlan Park Rd., Austin, TX 78732

Lake Austin Spa

JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa

Sophisticated property featuring upscale rooms & 7 dining options, plus a spa & a water park. 23808 Resort Pkwy, San Antonio, TX 78261

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Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa

Riverside retreat set on 405 acres offering many outdoor activities, a spa & a water park. 575 Hyatt Lost Pines Rd., Cedar Creek, TX 78612

Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa

Polished lodging offering a spa & a golf course, plus 3 casual restaurants & a 5-acre water park. 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr., San Antonio, TX 78251

Spa

Horseshoe Bay Resort

Posh lodging on a 7,000-acre resort with golf, tennis & dining, plus a marina & a private airport. 200 Hi Cir N, Horseshoe Bay, TX 78657

Tapatio Springs Hill Country Resort

Polished resort with elegant rooms, a salt cave spa & an 18-hole golf course, plus a posh restaurant. 1 Resort Way, Boerne, TX 78006

Lakeway Resort and Spa

Contemporary lakeside accommodations, plus 3 outdoor pools, a full-service spa & a restaurant. 101 Lakeway Dr., Lakeway, TX 78734

Horsehoe Bay Resort

Kalahari Resort and Conference Center – COMING SOON!

Gigantic brand new resort under construction in Round Rock. To include the largest indoor water park in America, numerous restaurants and a huge ball room with conference rooms. 3001 Kalahari Blvd, Round Rock, TX 78665

TJ Lewis Real Estate has received no commercial gain, monetary or otherwise, by reference of the aforementioned entities, nor endorses any of the aforementioned entities.