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Getting Your Home Ready for Winter: An Interview with Shawn Kruse of Kruse Home Improvement

By Shawn Kruse

Please tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

KHI is a full-service residential and light commercial remodeling company, offering everything from kitchen, bathroom and basement renovations to additions, as well as doors, windows and decks. We work with our clients to aid in design and layout, then follow through to manage our jobs from start to finish in an effort to go above and beyond on every job.

What are some of the most important things that a homeowner can do to help prep their house for winter?

This time of year it is important to think about preparing your home for the colder months. This can be as simple as making sure all doors and windows seal correctly and applying some weather stripping and caulking, to full-scale window and door replacement. Another important factor is ensuring that your home is adequately insulated and has the proper ventilation needed in both attic and basements to prevent condensation, which could lead to mold and mildew issues.

Something else to consider is having your heating system serviced to ensure it's functioning at maximum efficiency during the colder months by a licensed professional. These things combined should pay for themselves and ensure you get the most out of your home through the winter.

When is the best time to get started on those?

The best time to get moving on some of these would be in early fall. This will leave enough time for any materials that had to be ordered and replaced to get taken care of and will help to ensure you are not scrambling at the last minute to complete them.

Is there anything that homeowners neglect doing that, if they did it now (or regularly), would help them save time and money in the future?

Again I would come back to annual service of your heating system as the most important. It's something that most people don't consider or have to think about until it stops working or something goes wrong with it. Preventative maintenance is very important. This coupled with checking all doors and windows for a proper seal will go a long way.

Can you talk briefly about improving energy efficiency by replacing your windows?

If your home has its original windows and is older than 25 years, it's probably a good investment to consider replacing your windows with a new ENERGY STAR rated product. These would have double or triple glazed glass, low-e coatings, an argon-filled chamber between each pane of glass and when properly installed they are airtight. Any window or glass in your home is going to be an area of energy transfer, but with the technology available in today's doors and windows the loss is significantly diminished.

Any last tips to help Connecticut homeowners get their homes in the best shape for winter?

Simply take a walk around your house and pay attention to any drafts or airflow you can feel. Check out the basement for noticeably drafty areas as well. Cracks in the foundation or any gaps between the concrete and framing can easily be sealed up with expanding foam to eliminate the movement of air.

What's the best way for people to contact your company?

We can be found through our Facebook and Houzz.com profiles. We can always be reached by phone at 860-877-0775 to schedule a site visit if you are considering a potential project at any point.

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