Basement Refinishing 101Basement Refinishing 101

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Basement Refinishing 101

When it comes to expanding your home living space, one of the most effective ways to do it is to finish the basement. You can turn a full basement into an entire floor of extra living space. You may even be able to create bedrooms, install a kitchen, and add a bathroom. I created this site to share my experiences with basement renovations and construction. My hope is that sharing what I have learned will help others to see that it's easier than you think to finish the basement and create the space you have always envisioned in your home.

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Old-Fashioned Methods To Save Money On Heating Costs

Winter's on its way, and you dread the long, dark, cold days and nights that come with it, not because of any bogeyman that might be lurking in the wintry shadows, but because you are terrified of the added cost to your energy bills. If you fear your heating bill this winter, battle it bravely with these old-fashioned, but effective, tips to reduce money on your winter heating bill.

Draft Excluders

No matter how efficient your heating and cooling system is, if your home has air leaks around the doors and windows, it will cost more to heat or cool. To fight the wicked winter chills, block any drafts around the openings in your home. For doors, a rolled up towel or blanket can keep Old Man Winter's icy breath from sneaking inside under the edge of the door. Windows can be covered with plastic or insulated using a commercial kit from the hardware store.

Cook Something

One of the biggest producers of excess heat in your home is your oven, and since you have to eat during the winter, you might as well cook things that will help keep you warm inside and out. For warming up your insides, make a pot of soup in a slow cooker. This allows you to grab a mug of soup whenever you feel a chill in the air, and can be a tasty way to keep warm.

For warming your home, try baking something. Whether it's homemade bread, cookies or a roast chicken, running your oven produces heat so you can reduce your thermostat by a few degrees. By spending your time in the kitchen while the oven is on, you stay warm without needing to heat other unused parts of the house. This is a cozy, delicious and simple method to stay warm, the old-fashioned way.

Use Your Fireplace Wisely

If you have a wood burning fireplace that's in good working order, use it. It can heat up a room fairly quickly, so you can lower the thermostat by a couple of degrees. If you have a fireplace, but don't use it, make sure you seal it off, or your warm air could be simply flowing up the chimney and out into the cold.

An inexpensive chimney balloon can be installed in minutes and will completely seal off the chimney, so your warm air stays where you need it. Sometimes referred to as a 'flue plug' or 'flue pillow', these handy gadgets block off your chimney when you aren't using the fireplace, but are easily removed when you want to light a roaring fire to warm your home.

Get Warm And Snuggly

There's a reason why lots of babies are born in September, more than any other months. It's the cold nine months beforehand, and one really great way to stay warm is to snuggle! If you don't have someone to snuggle up to, or if you don't want a baby in September, try a good old-fashioned hot water bottle instead. Turn down your thermostat to around 68 degrees or lower, layer on the blankets, and cuddle up with a hot water bottle or heating pad. Once you fall asleep, you won't feel the cold as much, especially if you are wrapped up snug in your bed. 

If you hate the thought of waking to a cold house, invest in a programmable thermostat. You can set it to a lower temperature during the night, then program it to raise the temperature just before you get out of bed.

Layer Up

If you want to stay warm without cranking up the thermostat, do it the old-fashioned way by wearing lots of layers. Thermal undies, hats and even fingerless gloves are great for puttering around the house, and you can add or remove layers as needed without bumping up heating costs.

You will not have to be cold or face huge heating bills this winter, as long as you use these good, old-fashioned tips to stay toasty and warm. Check out sites like for more information.