6 Ways To Protect Your Deck This Winter

During the winter, your home’s exterior, including your deck, may be vulnerable to damages if not properly protected. Here are a few helpful home improvement tips on how to safeguard your deck this winter:

1. Clean It Up

You should clear away clutter on your deck. Planters that are left out all winter can cause moisture leaching, which may leave behind wood discolorations. Store them in your garage or under your deck instead. Likewise, patio furniture should also be stacked and stowed away for the winter.

2. Scrub It Down

One of the most important home improvement tips when it comes to keeping your home exterior ready and safe for the winter is to keep things free from debris. The same advice goes for your deck.  It is important to keep your deck surface clean. Just as how debris on your roof can cause damages especially during the winter, debris left to rot on your deck surface will cause deterioration.

3. Remove Mold or Mildew Buildup

Mold and mildew that might be present on the deck surface should be removed, especially because decks are a common breeding ground for them. During the winter, the moisture on your deck will attract mold and mildew, especially between tight boards or cracks.

4. Apply Water Repellant Seal

For the ultimate protection against the winter weather use a high-quality sealant that will fill cracks and coat your deck surface like a shield against moisture and ice. This might require the removal of prior finishes but the result is well worth the extra work. Come spring, your deck will look good and damage-free.

5. Cover With a Tarp

To prevent snow from collecting directly on your deck’s surface, cover as much of your deck as possible with a tarp. The added barrier will help prevent warping. Plus, by keeping moisture out of cracks, you’ll reduce the risk of ice formation that will make cracks worse.

6. Remove Snow

As snow envelopes your home, it is important to remove the accumulation of snow on your house. Just like how snow damages roofing and gutter systems, mounds of snow can also ruin your deck. Remember to shovel in the same direction as the boards run to avoid damaging your deck’s finish. Contrary to what you may think, do not use salt or other ice melting products on your wood surface. They may cause discoloration or damage to the finish.

This Article is by Joe LeVecchi from exteriormedics.com


Why You Should Remodel to ‘Age in Place’ Now

Near the end of When Harry Met Sally, Billy Crystal races to find Meg Ryan at a New Year’s party. When he finally gets to her, he tells her he ran because “When you know you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”

You should think about aging-in place remodeling the same way. When you go to the trouble and expense of remodeling your home, you should also make it a place where you can live safely and comfortably for the rest of your life. And when the job is done, trust me, you’ll want to “move in” as soon as possible.

If boomers think about aging in place at all, we usually regard it as something we can put off until much later in life. Or to be more accurate, it’s something we hope we can put off until much later. That’s because we associate these kinds of modifications with

growing old, which doesn’t sound like much fun.
There’s a better way to think about it, though: Aging in place is about creating a home so beautiful, comfortable and expressive of your personality that you never want to leave. We can’t fight aging, but we can take steps to make our house the place we want it to be.
Aging in Place Remodeling Checklist 

Below are 10 suggestions for updates that, when done thoughtfully, also confer age-in-place benefits. Not only are they good ideas but they’re smart investments. Each one will likely add lasting value to your home. If you have the money and ability, you can do them all at once, but many people prefer to do them sequentially, over a few years. This checklist works equally well for renovations and new constructions.

1. New lighting fixtures They can shed softer light, add a little drama and show your home off to advantage. In the kitchen and bath — as well as halls and stairways — you can install task lighting to brighten your work or walking area and to prevent falls. A world of new technology, including compact fluorescent and low-voltage LED lights, gives more options and makes a variety of effects possible.
2. Updated switching and controls Wireless electronic switches you can control from your smart phone or a bedside console make your home more comfortable now and down the road. Remote controls can illuminate dark hallways, reduce shadows, improve security and alter the mood with just a touch.

3. Shelves near entranceways Install these so you always have a place to put your keys, glasses, purse and groceries while coming and going. This can also become a central place to keep important things, should you find yourself often searching the house for glasses, keys and important papers.

You could also build a shelf outside the door, allowing you to pull out your keys without having to put bags on the ground. While you’re attending to doorways, consider covering entries to keep you protected from the elements, and focusing an outdoor light to shine on the keyhole. You can leave it on at night, install a motion- or light-activated sensor or use a wireless key fob to turn it on when needed.

4. A beautiful and functional kitchen Consider building a prep station with seating so parties and Thanksgiving do not mean sore feet. That lower counter helps younger people, like neighbors and grandchildren, feel included in the action. Get a new range with front burner controls so you don’t singe yourself. Splurge on a fancy new oven with a side-swing door so you don’t have to reach over the lower door to remove hot dishes.

5. A bathroom that feels like a spa A curbless shower makes the space feel bigger and eliminates barriers whether walking, wheeling or shuffling. Additional options to consider: programmable temperature controls that conserve water, multiple jet-spray locations to turn your shower into a masseuse, a handheld wand that lets you reach everywhere easily whether you are standing, sitting or helping.

6. Sinks with sufficient knee space They can make all activities easier. You can use a stool to save energy while applying makeup or getting a close shave.

7. A home elevator This building trend can be pricey, but the luxury of not climbing stairs when you’re tired may be worth it. An elevator is great for lifting furniture, luggage or heavy boxes upstairs or the laundry downstairs. And for people who can’t manage stairs, it can be a lifesaver.

8. Sufficient storage space and space-saving designs Compared with the cost of big-ticket renovations and appliances, it’s a bargain to get your closets, shelves, drawers, pantry, and laundry and storage areas organized the way you want. This will save not only space but time and hassle but provides easier access should that become an issue down the road.

9. Low-maintenance, green landscaping Get over grass! Grow edible foods, native species and easy-to-maintain trees, shrubs and perennial flowers and find ways to reduce your workload. Research species and techniques with lower demands for water and fertilizer. Consider raised beds and planting tables that minimize bending and allow you to sit or stand while you enjoy tending your plants. Smooth, firm paths make the look neater and allow you to roll plants, soil and tools all over the garden.

10. Open and bright space Now is the time to tear down some walls to create a more open floor plan — it’s a more modern look, it maximizes light plus it’s better for maneuvering.

So stop compromising and create the home you’ve always wanted. You’ll be happier, safer, plus the investment you make so you can age in place will begin to pay off as soon as you make it.

There’s a better way to think about it, though: Aging in place is about creating a home so beautiful, comfortable and expressive of your personality that you never want to leave. We can’t fight aging, but we can take steps to make our house the place we want it to be.

Why You Should Remodel to ‘Age in Place’ Now is by Louis Tenenbaum who is a consultant advocating aging in place

Hello from McGovern Construction!

In our effort to provide you with interesting and helpful information in our blog, following is a condensed list from HGTV of “20 Ways to Add Value to Your Home.” Many of you just want to make your home more valuable for the future, but some of you may be getting ready to sell in the improving real estate market.

For more info about any of these, you can read the entire article at http://www.hgtv.com/real-estate/20-ways-to-add-value-to-your-home/pictures/index.html or call us at McGovernConstruction: 508.399.7035.

Happy reading!
The Team at McGovern Construction

  1. Update the home office.
  2. Spring for a sunroom.
  3. Create or renovate a master suite.
  4. Add a family room.
  5. Get a new roof.
  6. Liven up the landscaping.
  7. Invest in a major kitchen remodel.
  8. Add another bath.
  9. Be sure an addition blends nicely with the rest of the home.
  10. Install new windows.
  11. Refurbish the basement.
  12. Add a deck.
  13. Do a major bath remodel.
  14. Paint, paint, paint.
  15. Add to the attic/create additional space.
  16. Build a second floor.
  17. Keep rooms flexible—don’t specialize too much.
  18. Revive the kitchen.
  19. Make minor bathroom changes.
  20. Spruce up the siding.

Welcome to our brand new blog!

Every week, we will be posting helpful home construction and renovation information for you, our readers. Be sure to drop by weekly to see what new tips and information await. And you’ll be able to interact with us by posting your comments and asking questions, too.

You’ll see postings that cover every aspect of our business, from new home construction to condominium repairs, to additions, kitchens, and decks… home siding, windows, and doors… kitchen and bathroom remodels to hardwood and laminate floors to water damage, sump pumps, and more.

Some of our postings will be written by the pros here at McGovern Construction and some will be articles from other industry leaders. We’re sure that you’ll learn a lot and be in the know when it comes to your next commercial or residential construction job. Of course, we hope you’ll choose McGovern, a professional, quality construction, general contractor since 1984!

Visit us next week when our topic will be “20 Ways to Add Value to Your Home.”