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Maldon riders raise over $11,000 for hospital

The Maldon team, hospital staff and sponsors including Waller Realty Directors, Rob and Narelle Waller. Photo: Tarrangower Times

A group of Maldon locals participated in last month’s Murray to Moyne bike ride raising more than $11,000 for the Maldon Hospital.

The Murray to Moyne, a team relay ride now in its 31st year, aims to raise much-needed funds for health care. Teams nominate the hospital or health service they will be raising funds for when they register.

This was the first year a team from Maldon has participated.

“We are extremely grateful to the group for supporting the hospital in this way,” says Katrina Sparrow, Director of Nursing at Maldon Hospital. “We’re also thankful for the sponsors, who helped get the team on the road.”

Funds raised will be used to purchase a new CPR dummy and syringe driver for the hospital. Both pieces of equipment will be used within the hospital and out in the community.

“The syringe driver will be used by our palliative care team in the hospital and by our District Nurses who visit people in their homes,” says Katrina.

“We’re in the process of partnering with trainers who will work with community groups interested in teaching CPR to their members. These groups will be able to use the new CPR dummy.”

The hospital held a thank you evening at the end of April for the riders, sponsors and supporters. Waller Realty Directors, Rob and Narelle Waller, were pleased to be able to attend.

“We’re proud to have been one of the sponsors of the Maldon Murray to Moyne team and to see the money they’ve raised go towards purchasing vital equipment for Maldon Hospital,” says Rob Waller. “Congratulations to the riders on a marvellous achievement.”

 

 

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This entry was posted on May 4, 2017, in Maldon.

A Very Castlemaine and Maldon Christmas

castlemaine christmas

Whether you’re looking for handmade gifts, someone to cook your Christmas lunch or a spot to share some carols with friends and family, our region has it all.

Shop local and handmade

The Castlemaine Artists Market showcases over 40 established and emerging local artists, designers and craftspeople. At this year’s annual Twilight Market on Friday 16 December they’ll be joined by the Castlemaine Farmers’ Market so you can shop for presents and produce from over 100 stalls. While you’re there enjoy some great food, cool tunes, a craft workshop or even a cocktail!

Light up the night

Each night, as the sun sets, we put on a show. Local homes and businesses are transformed by everything that twinkles, glitters and glows. Bundle the kids in the car and take a tour. You’ll find maps in the Castlemaine Mail and Tarrangower Times.

Carol under the stars

Gathering with friends and family and a picnic dinner for carols under about a billion stars is the stuff Christmas memories are made of round here.

You’ll find the Maldon Carols by Candlelight in the Shire Gardens on Saturday 17 December where you’ll hear the Maldon Brass Band and other local artists thanks to the Maldon Lions Club. Castlemaine Carols by Candlelight is the work of Rotary Castlemaine with musical theatre company Three’s A Crowd, the Thompson’s Foundry Band and plenty of other local talent in Victory Park on Wednesday 21 December.

Celebrate with food and music

Whether you’re after something kid friendly or a night out with friends we’ve got you covered.

Take someone special for a meal at the Public Inn, housed in Castlemaine’s Old Fire Station, before the Christmas rush. Sample a local craft beer or cider at The Taproom at The Mill, Castlemaine’s recently transformed historic woollen mill. Or grab some friends and celebrate the return of the Criterion Hotel Castlemaine’s famous Christmas Eve Party.

Want a year off cooking the Christmas lunch? Locals, The Bridge Hotel (who recently won Best Regional Venue at The Age Music Victoria Awards – congrats!) and The Five Flags Hotel Campbells Creek are both open with delicious set menus sure to make your day a happy one.

Be part of a country Christmas tradition

Thought Santa only travelled by sleigh? Think again. In Castlemaine and surrounding towns the man in red delivers lollies and icy poles to excited kids from the back of a ute on Christmas morning.

It’s a tradition that started nearly 80 years ago when the Castlemaine Apex Club would deliver food hampers to families in need. It continues today thanks to the dedication of the Castlemaine Past Apexians and it’s a special part of our Christmas morning that’s loved by everyone regardless of age.

Whatever you do this Christmas we hope it’s a safe and happy one for you and your loved ones, from everyone at Waller Realty.

Partnering Seals the Deals

Newstead

Set in a quiet residential setting with semi-rural outlook this brand new home in Newstead had great appeal and, like another property the owner had built in Maldon, sold quickly. Given that the Newstead market is a little bit tougher than Maldon the owner was delighted with this result. He feels that the property sold quickly because he had sought and acted upon the advice and insights provided by Leah Panos during the building process. He described the relationship of agent and owner as a ‘partnering’ and team approach.

wallerrealty.comGiven the success of this partnership it is little wonder that this owner will go on working with Leah! He found her to be pragmatic, willing to do pre-work prior to the sale of the property, an outstanding communicator, insightful about fittings that clients respond to and an ‘amazing’ source of local knowledge.

If you are interested in selling in this region and you want a true specialist who understands price points, what the market is responding to and who is willing to advise you throughout the process ring Leah Panos at Waller Realty. Talk to her clients and they will tell you that the service she provides is nothing short of ‘brilliant’!

 

Seachangers and treechangers! Do they ever come back?

Jules Bondy and Meghan Anders (and dog Lottie) are putting their Northcote home on the market and making the move to the country.

I want to live in a place that’s beautiful!” you cry. “There’s too much traffic, gentrification and too many people. I deserve more than grey concrete and my dog deserves more than a postage-stamp piece of grass masquerading as a park!”

So you pop your city home on the market, and move to where the grass is, apparently, greener. If you’re lucky, there’s a bit of ocean blue, too.

Your friends and neighbours promise to visit, and you visualise your new dining room filled with your (no longer) nearest but still dearest, all drinking wine made from grapes that ripened just five kilometres away, and eating free-range ham, goats cheese and olives all sourced from your new neighbours.

But is it time to wake up and smell the (city) coffee? Just how successful is a sea change, or tree change?

“Once you move out of town you never go back!” says public relations manager Tara Bishop. She says this despite it taking four years to “defrost” her local Bottle O shopkeeper on the Mornington Peninsula and actually get a smile back.

She moved from the CBD to near Rye and loves it. But does she know anyone who’s given up and gone back? “No. They all love it. They’re happier, their kids are happier,” she says.

A place in the country, such as this Castlemaine home, has always had its appeal for many people.

Sam Rigopoulos, director of Jellis Craig in Northcote and Rob Waller, director of Waller Reality in Castlemaine, may both lay claim to coining the term “North Northcote” for regional Castlemaine, but they agree on one thing; those who move from the city to the country don’t come back. They are, according to both agents, happy.

“The only ones that really stick in my mind that didn’t work out were when relationships broke up,” says Waller. “And maybe the odd few where they had to move to climb the ladder at work.”

In fact, Waller sees treechangers acting like magnets. “If you look at couples we sold to, you’ll see that two years later you sold to their brother and sister, and then mum and dad will make an appearance, too.”

We tracked down Helen Bodycomb, who, in 2009, told The Age she and her husband were joining the exodus from Northcote to Castlemaine. Update: they held onto their Northcote property until two years ago, realising they would never go back. “We initially thought we’d be here for a year,” she says now. “I was more keen coming here, but after two weeks, my husband said he didn’t want to leave.”

Still, if things do go awry, buying back into the city isn’t so straightforward, and Waller has seen treechangers get stung. “Years ago they’d sell the house in the city and buy something here, travel the world and buy a new car. Then maybe something would happen health-wise, or they’d want to come back to be near the grandkids, and they’d find they couldn’t come back to where they’d come from,” he says.

Waller says people are being smarter with their money. “Now, if they sell a four-bedroom house in Camberwell, they will buy a country property in Castlemaine and simultaneously buy a townhouse in Fairfield, Kew or Richmond,” he says.

Long-time Northcote residents Jules Bondy and Meghan Anders and their two children attempted to move to Castlemaine over a decade ago, but failed.

“I set it up so our Northcote house would be auctioned one hour before the house in Castlemaine,” Bondy remembers. But no one bought the Jessie Street property. There were no offers, so I couldn’t bid and it was sold at auction. That was bad,” he recalls. Ten years later, a now renovated Jessie Street is hitting the market.

“The draw to the north may have ebbed slightly but it never really left. We saw this gorgeous property, like a dream house, not in Castlemaine, but in Mount Macedon – it’s the new Castlemaine!” he jokes.

Bondy, a public servant, will continue working in Melbourne, and is expecting a 48-minute commute on the train to the CBD, while Anders, a primary school teacher, will look for work closer to her new home.

Anders is Melbourne born and bred, but has long dreamed of moving to the country. “Making the leap now has given us such a deep sense of being alive!” she says, though admits the hardest thing will be losing the proximity to friends and family, and the cinema.

Source: Domain article by Jayne D’Arcy

Selling over the Summer Holiday Period

Summer HolidaysAsk someone when the best time of year to list a home would be, and the holiday season is usually not on the top of the list. Think again! The fact that it is the holiday season means that many people have more time to come and visit  and fall in love with towns like Castlemaine, Harcourt, Newstead and Maldon. The holiday period can mean that folk have time to check out homes that are open for inspection.

There are many positive tips for showing your home over the holidays.

Typical home preparation.

  • Clean every corner of your home.
  • Repair the little things and a few big things.
  • Remove clutter of personal items, extra clothing, large furniture, toys, and pet items.
  • Maintain lawn, clean gutters, trim shrubs, and trees.
  • Power wash, paint or stain fences, home exterior, decks and shutters.

Holiday Decor is a plus

  • Deck the halls with holly and show off seasonal flowers
  • Try a minimalist approach when decorating.
  • Miniature lights outside are inviting and can add ambiance to a home.

Holiday Open Houses are Inviting and Festive

  • Turn the air conditioner on and keep the place cool.
  • Baking before an open house makes the home smell homey.
  • Making coffee and having it out for potential buyers can make them feel at home.

Clean and Inviting tips

  • Go through your home daily and remove anything you wouldn’t want potential buyers to see
  • Refresh any air fresheners in bath and kitchen areas
  • Remove trash right away to reduce odours.

Meet Liz Bell

Sarah and I count ourselves extremely lucky to have had Liz Bell working for us on both sides of the real estate equation. She not only sold our house within three weeks, but in the same period introduced us to our new home and made both transactions seamless. She’s more than just a little bit fabulous.

Liz BellLiz Bell has lived and worked in the Central Victorian Goldfields for many years, having previous experience in media sales and retail management.

Liz’s detailed approach to servicing client’s needs ensures that the process of buying and selling is as streamlined and stress free as possible.  Having renovated a number of properties, Liz brings a unique perspective to the marketing process of real estate with an interior design qualification aiding vendors to present and promote their property at its best.

A firm believer in an open and transparent sales environment, Liz understands that good communication is key to clients achieving their real estate goals.

Small Space Solutions

You don’t have to renovate your home or add on rooms to make it bigger. Instead, there are plenty of ways to make small areas seem larger than they really are. This will come in handy when you’re ready to sell your home and want to impress buyers.

Here are some ideas for opening up small areas in a home:

  • Hang mirrors. Having mirrors on opposite walls makes rooms appear more spacious. It’s also a good way to reflect more light into the room to make it brighter, which can also make it seem larger.
  • Paint. Painting the walls can make a room look more open when you stick to cool tones or white. Another paint tip is to have the crown molding painted the same color as the ceiling to make the room seem wider.
  • Put in bay windows. Having bay windows installed provides a room with a little more space and a lot more natural light. The added square footage and sunlight will give it a roomier feel.
  • Choose furniture wisely. Keep furniture in smaller rooms simple, so it won’t take up valuable space. Look for taller pieces when buying dressers, entertainment centers or shelving units. These can make your ceiling appear higher, which makes the room itself look larger.
  • Go with streamlined cabinets. Kitchen cabinets with simple lines make rooms look less cluttered than ones with ornate designs. You can make a kitchen look even larger by putting in stainless steel appliances, which provide reflective surfaces.

Opening up small areas in a home doesn’t require a big budget or tons of time. With these ideas, you can easily give your home a more spacious look.

Managing Finances

No matter what we do to prevent it, the dollars start flying out the door the second the temperature starts to rise. It might be very cold now but plan ahead and budget for all of known expenses, the extra expenditures still add up — and hurt.  Spring will come!

A coming cost can be the spring clean-up — mulch, new plants and flowers, and vegetable garden start-up. And then there is the rest? It’s all social — neighbors inviting us over for cookouts, dinners out and card parties. Warm weather stuff.

Nice thought as we all shiver and huddle by the fire.

Entertaining as the weather picks up, and even now while it is so cold can be enjoyable. It is fun to have people over for dinner and no one wants to say “no” to social gatherings or dinner nights when you feel lucky to get an invite in the first place.

Still, most of us need boundaries if we truly want to live within our means and stick to our savings goals. And most of us have at least one set of expensive friends — or sets of friends — to deal with.

And, that’s fine. Obviously, other people are entitled to spend their money how they want — even if it is on events or purchases others might see as frivolous. Paying $100 for dinner is enough to make some people puke, but not everyone feels that way.

How to deal with expensive friends

 

Here are a few ways we cope with expensive friends while still maintaining friendships:

Offer to whip up a fancy dinner at home.
We celebrated a special occasion with friends the other night, but instead of going out, we made an epic dinner at home. I’m talking crab legs, avocado egg rolls, spicy cauliflower, and all the extras — and all for less than $30 in ingredients.

That’s a lot for one dinner, sure, but the same meal could have easily cost $200 or more in a nice sit-down restaurant. Splurging is okay sometimes, but it costs a lot less to splurge at home.

Plan a pitch-in.
As long as someone is willing to host, a pitch-in is the perfect way to hang out and enjoy a meal with friends. Not only can it lead to huge savings, but you can also take your time instead of rushing out of the restaurant once you are done. And since we bring our kids with us to cookouts and pitch-ins, it also helps us avoid hiring a babysitter.

Suggest activities first.
This is my favorite trick when it comes to dealing with expensive friends. Any time we have tentative plans with someone, I’ll suggest an activity first. My go-to suggestion is something cheap like a pitch-in or cookout and, of course, I offer to host. Most of the time, it works.

Pick a weekend night to stay home.
Sometimes the easiest way to save money is just to stay at home. Easier said than done when the weather is beautiful, but it is a good strategy nonetheless. I actually find it rather exhausting to have plans every weekend, so we have been trying to stay home at least one weekend night — usually Fridays. Not only is it nice to save money, but it is also nice to have a family night with the kids.

Say “no” when you really don’t want to do something.
There will probably come a time when someone invites you to something you really don’t want to do. It could be a sporting event, an expensive dinner out, or something else. It doesn’t matter. Occasionally, you just have to stick to your guns and say “no.” We have done it before, and it hurts — but it was definitely the right thing. Our noes usually involve invites to expensive restaurant dinners that are late at night. I hate eating at 8:00 p.m. and can’t fathom the idea of overpaying for a meal I wouldn’t enjoy. So when a situation like that arises, I just have to say “no.”

Tell other people about your financial situation.
You don’t have to spill all of the gritty details. However, if you are truly trying to save money, it can help to let your family and friends know. So tell them. Explain your budget situation and tell them about your dreams and goals. They may not share your enthusiasm for frugal living; but if they are real friends, they will understand.

Dealing with expensive friends without losing friendships

For the most part, I tend to believe that it is all about striking a balance. You know you don’t want to be that family — the one that never has the money to do anything fun. But you also don’t want to go off the deep end and spend in a way that undermines your short-term and long-term goals.

For us, it is all about being selective and having fun in the most frugal way possible. It’s not always the easiest choice, but I know it’s the best one. Life isn’t all about having fun today; it’s about saving for tomorrow too. And sometimes, you have to bow out and make the right decision for your family.

How do you deal with expensive friends? What strategies do you use to try to keep the cost of social events down?

Waller Realty is committed to helping our readers save and achieve their financial goals. Savings interest rates may be low, but that is all the more reason to shop for the best rate.

Source: Get Rich Slowly

Advantages Of Open Inspections

Open For InspectionOne of the most important marketing tools that a seller has at his or her disposal is a property inspection. These can make or break a buyer’s decision, and are a vital part of the sales process. It can seem like a daunting task to basically invite strangers to come take a wander through your home. To get a better idea of the space and finer details of a property, buyers may open up cupboards, drawers, and other intimate areas of your daily life. This can be intimidating to sellers, to say the least.

It’s important to remember that there are two types of property inspections. You can arrange to have open inspections or offer private tours of your property when selling your home. Both of these offer numerous benefits but may have different consequences depending on how the inspection process is managed.

Advantages of Open Inspections

Open inspections used to be considered a mandatory part of selling any property, but are now not quite as common as they used to be. In an open inspection, a specific time and date is set for potentially buyers to drop by and walk through the property for a viewing. This event is publicly advertised, so that interested buyers and their real estate agents can plan ahead for it and arrive with questions. One of the major advantages to an open inspection is that it opens up your property to the widest possible range of buyers. This may include several types of buyers:

  • Those who live in the same neighbourhood and are interested in buying
  • Individuals who may be thinking about buying in the future but are not interested in the commitment of a private inspection
  • Buyers who are not yet sure what they’re looking for but are willing to view a variety of properties to find out

The latter two types of buyers may not take the initiative to arrange a private inspection at this point in their property search, so you can only reach out to them with an open inspection. To try and maximise the volume of attendees at an open inspection, they are usually held on weekends.

In terms of practicality, open inspections offer the ability to show a large number of prospective buyers through the home at the same time, rather than arranging separate tour dates.

Check our Open For Inspection list and, if you are interested in buying or selling take the time to visit and see our professional approach to selling.

Home Buyer Deal Breakers

Faulty WiringWhen potential buyers are looking at your home, some things may send them running out the door. They may be able to look beyond wallpaper that just isn’t to their liking, but if you have one of these home buying deal breakers when selling a home, they need to be addressed prior to showing:

Mold

Mold has received a lot of attention for being a pervasive problem that can cause health issues. If you have mold in your home, it can pay to take measures such as replacing a bathroom fan or calling in an expert in mold removal.

Leaks or drainage issues

If you have a water line in your basement, prospective buyers may be concerned. Especially if it’s located where the walls meet the floor, it can mean drainage issues. If it’s higher, buyers may assume your roof leaks or you have damaged pipes.

Similarly, if a buyer sees a lot of standing water in the crawlspace, they may be turned off.

Plumbing problems

Buyers will want to know that the water pressure and drainage in your home is adequate, so they may turn on the faucets and flush the toilets. A water heater with signs of rust or leakage can also be a red flag.

Old or bad wiring

Check plugs and sockets for scorches, and make sure they’re not hot. Flickering lights can also make a potential buyer think there may be electrical issues in your home. Exposed wires are a hazard that will need to be addressed, and they’re a sign that some do-it-yourself work was probably done.

If you have home buying deal breakers when selling a home, you’ll want to have them addressed before showing your home. Once a buyer moves on, you probably won’t be able to get them back.

Surprising Things That Add Value

House SalesAgents are always on the lookout for anything that will up the value of the properties they are trying to sell. Larger sale prices = happier clients + larger commissions, a win-win in any real estate transaction. While some factors (such as property-size or whether or not the home has a pool) are immediately considered during the home value assessment, researchers have uncovered some additional selling points that agentscould be using to their advantage, but are often unaware of.

What are these additional, uncommon factors, you may ask?  Well,  HouseLogic have done a great job of explaining some of these top selling points in their article 9 Surprising Things That Add Value to Your House.” Be sure to check it out before determining the value of your next property. Trust us – you may actually be surprised with what you find! But do take into account that this article originates in the United States.

Inviting Office Spaces

office spaceWe’re constantly on-the-go, so for many of us a home office is our hub at the end of the day. To make your workspace one that motivates and keeps you productive, follow these five tips:

  1. Pump up the accent colours! Bright colours are mood boosters; they inspire creativity and positive thinking. Incorporate a fun colour or two by way of comfortable chairs or an accent wall with complementing artwork, and you will feel instantly more comfortable.
  2. Keep it clean. Nothing interrupts a peaceful space more than clutter, so spend one day pushing through it all and pitching anything you haven’t used in a while. Eliminate multiple copies of documents or books, and set a reminder to do a quick refresher once a month.
  3. Comfort is the key. Invest in a desk chair that will help your posture. Use softer lighting to ease the strain on your eyes. Place an aroma therapeutic air oil diffuser with a citrus scent near your desk – one whiff will wake you up when you start to fade.
  4. Get personal. Frame a few photos that have meaning for you – family, favorite destinations, hobbies – they’ll make you feel at home and keep you focused on personal goals!
  5. Make it interactive! Install a white board or cork board to serve as a living thought-starter. Write down half-baked ideas or tack up an inspirational quote that you can build upon along the way. Some ideas make more sense when brought to life with visuals, others are simply more fun that way.

You can find more tips at FMMagazine.com.

Effective Pruning

pruningTrees are the most prominent component of most home landscapes. They add aesthetic and financial value, and they can help control energy costs as well. But having trees in the landscape isn’t as simple as just digging a hole and dropping a seedling into it.

Trees require some upkeep, and some of the most important tips to maintaining your tree involve the many ways that good pruning can help your trees.

Disease Management

A wide array of diseases can strike your tree. While foliar problems like anthracnose typically infect the entire tree, others like fire blight are confined to random branches on the tree. Because these conditions aren’t reversible once they become active, a frequent treatment is to limit spread by cutting out infected areas.

But good pruning also helps prevent diseases. Wet, fast-growing plant foliage is a perfect environment for fungal diseases to thrive. Air movement and sunlight exposure are key ways of drying foliage, and pruning to favor those two factors is the best way to improve them.

It’s also helpful to other plants in your landscape when you prune your trees. Removing the lower limbs makes mowing easier and permits more sunlight for grass, reducing weeds and moss. The air movement and sunlight penetration taking place high in your tree will also take place in your understory shrubs, bushes, and other plants, helping prevent diseases in areas far beyond the tree.

Break Prevention

Trees aren’t always the best planners. They sometimes create limbs that don’t necessarily go the best direction for structural stability. In time, these limbs get longer and heavier, creating a potentially delicate imbalance that can allow the wind to break limbs out of the tree. That leads to the potential for more than just an ugly tree; falling limbs can damage property and injure people.

An experienced home landscaper can identify these bad-news branches and remove them before they become large enough to create a hazard. If you have any concerns about particular limbs, consider seeking advice from a qualified arborist before taking action. Remember, you can always cut the limb later, but you can never put it back.

Just Plain Beauty

While we’re on the topic of out-of-place branches, we should think about the overall shape of our trees. Each species has its own unique silhouette. Oaks are round and full, whereas maples take on more of an arrowhead shape. Sometimes environmental factors, damaged limbs, and other outside forces can pull a tree out of its normal shape. In those cases, sometimes the judicious removal of a few errant limbs can begin to restore a more appropriate shape.

The Cardinal Sin

Whatever pruning a tree may need along its trunk, it never should be topped. Removing the top branches of any tree creates a wide variety of problems. First of all, this creates an imbalance in the top of the tree that can encourage splits high up in the tree later on. Also, the tree reacts to limb loss in this area by quickly forming soft, fast-growing water sprouts that have little ability to resist disease and insect invasion. And finally, the pruning wounds in a topped tree are facing upward, meaning they cannot heal properly due to exposure to sunlight and wind. These open wounds are an ideal invasion point for insects and diseases.

Stay Green – Heating Older Homes

Radiator2Older homes have a lot of history and character. When you take in the solidity of the walls, and the trim and details molded and applied by hand, you know that they were built with care and built to last. Unfortunately, when it comes to energy efficiency, older homes can leave a lot to be desired.

Old windows were usually single panes of glass in wooden frames; or they were leaded or stained glass that was thicker, but still not insulated. Doors were thick, heavy wood, but had little to no weather stripping to prevent drafts. Walls had almost no insulation to speak of.

As the owner of, or tenant in, an older home you are probably already aware that you need to take special steps to make your home as energy efficient as possible. Below are some things that you might not have thought of.

Contact Your Power Company

Thanks to deregulation, a lot of power companies have to offer competitive rates to attract and keep customers. Many of these companies are also offering customers green energy options for heating and cooling their homes.

It’s a good idea to check with your energy provider each season to see if they offer a green energy option. If you live in a deregulated area, you can also check with the other providers to compare your options. If you find a company that offers a green option, you can transfer your service to them. If no one in your area offers a green option, keep checking with them each season to see if anything has changed.

Weatherproof Your House

Weatherproofing your house is about more than just sealing the doors and windows, and insulating the walls. Although sealing against drafts is certainly important, there are plenty of other things you can do to make your home even more comfortable, and reduce your carbon footprint.

Window and Wall Coverings

A lot of older homes don’t have space for insulation in the exterior walls. Plaster and lath was laid down right on top of the building materials. As a result, the exterior walls tend to get very cold in the winter, and hot in the summer.

Old castles had the same issues with insulation. To deal with drafts, people used tapestries to insulate the walls and windows. These heavy fabrics trapped drafts, and prevented heat from escaping through the walls. You could do the same with your home by hanging large, thick, insulating curtains over your windows; you could even make them wide enough to extend the width of the wall.

At night you can draw the curtains across the windows to seal in the heat; during the day you can open the curtains to in natural sunlight to further warm the room. Even if you plan to put plastic over all your windows, insulating curtains can add an extra layer of protection.

Radiator Reflectors

If you have radiators in your home, you might notice that the wall behind the radiator gets really hot. Well, all that heat actually radiates through the wall and outside your home. In fact, if you were to touch that part of the wall outside your house, it would probably feel much warmer than the surrounding areas.

If you put something reflective, like tin foil, behind the radiator, the heat will bounce off the surface and radiate back into the room. You could also paint the wall with a heat-resistant, reflective paint. The wall will still get warm, but you won’t lose nearly as much heat as you would without the reflective surface.

Adjust Your Thresholds

If you have light coming below your doors, then you need to adjust your threshold. Your threshold should have three or four screws that you can turn to lift or lower the threshold. Adjust the threshold until it is in contact with the bottom of your door; you might see a little light coming through the corners, and that’s ok. The door should be able to swing freely. If it gets caught, or drags then the threshold is too high. The threshold should not wear out, but if you find that you can’t adjust your threshold to fit properly, you might need to replace it.

Insulate Your Outlets

Electrical outlets in exterior walls can let in drafts like nobody’s business. You can insulate your electrical outlets yourself, or hire a professional to do it for you.