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Thankful for Thanksgiving Guests

Thanksgiving has almost arrived. I look forward to eating lots of food, watching football, and being with family (yes probably in that order).  Hosting Thanksgiving can add a lot of extra stress to the day. Maybe it stresses you out having all those extra people in your home, or the stress of cooking the turkey is something that weighs on you for weeks leading up to the day.  We hosted thanksgiving last year for the first time.  I have smoked a turkey for the past 4 years so that did not bother me, but having all those extra people invade my space did elevate my stress level a notch.  It is a weird feeling being a hostage in your own home.  You just keep wondering if or when that last guest will leave.

This year I’m going to try and use these guests to my advantage. I have some things that I have been wanting to get done around the house before winter really sets in.  After a big meal, who wouldn’t want to help work some of that turkey off?  I have been wanting to go up in the attic for the last few months and finally install a better solution for covering the attic access.  Attic access is one of the biggest causes of air leaking out of your home in the winter. Many times, the drywall or panel is the only thing that keeps the air from escaping.  You have different options when fixing this problem, but my plan is to build a box out of Styrofoam insulation above the attic access and seal all the corners with spray foam. My nieces should be just the right size to get up in the attic and hand me all the supplies I need.

I think after that gets done my nephews and I will be heading down to the crawl space with some cans of spray foam to make sure the area where the wall meets the concrete (sill plate) is sealed.  That might seem like a very small void, but if you take that paper thin area all around your home, it can add up to a large hole for air to leak into the home.  Most of the time, a thin roll of foam is laid down at this spot, but it does not always keep the air from coming in. Adding the spray foam is just further assurance that the air will not make its way inside.

The attic access and sill plate are two of the most common spots I find that need addressed when performing an energy audit. Since fixing both is fairly simple and inexpensive, this will give you a return on your investment in no time.  Probably the biggest area we see air leaking is around windows. Usually, it is not the window itself but the area where the window meets the framing. This can be fixed with some clear caulk or taking the trim off inside and spray foaming that little gap.

With all the extra help, I should have no problem getting the few things I need accomplished before the cold sets in for winter.  I have a feeling that the guests might not enjoy me hosting thanksgiving after I put them to work, but I’m optimistic that everyone will just magically leave after we eat the following year.  And for that I will be thankful. 

Now if any of my family members attending Thanksgiving at my house are reading this, I promise it will not be that bad. And I really could not care less how long you stay, if you don’t mind helping us get those Christmas decorations out. This working Thanksgiving might be one of my best ideas yet.