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How to Avoid Big Homeowner Headaches This Winter

ARA Colder weather will soon be setting in over many parts of the country. For homeowners, this means they'll be facing a long list of home improvement and maintenance activities in preparation for winter. Here are some tips to getting ready for winter.

Already time-starved homeowners can spend countless hours working on fall fix-up projects rather than enjoying what's left of the warmer weather. Add this to the increasing day-to-day activities Americans are facing, such as longer work hours, less vacation time and increased family and personal commitments, and you can you see why there's a growing trend toward finding creative ways to balance work, family and the demands of owning a home.

If homeowners can't find the time to do the projects themselves, it's still best to take some preventative measures or consider hiring a professional now rather than waiting until a problem occurs in the dead of winter.

To help homeowners make the best use of their time and streamline their home winterizing tasks, Mr. Handyman, the largest employer of handymen with 250 locations nationwide, offers the following tips for improving your home's efficiency and avoiding costly winter problems:

Proper Insulation Is Key
Knowing the adequate amount and type of insulation for a home's attic and walls can save homeowners a significant amount of money. Seventy-percent of the average homeowner's energy bills during the winter are spent on electric heating costs, so it's easy to see why one of the biggest mistakes many homeowners can make is not taking the time to properly insulate.

Determining how much insulation you need is the first step. You'll want to consider, among other things, if your home is more than 10 years old, what type of home you live in, whether or not you have cathedral ceilings, if your home has a basement or if it's built on a slab, and how you heat and cool your home.

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