Thanksgiving has almost arrived. I look forward to eating lots of food, watching football and being with family — and 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 pressure of cooking the turkey is something that weighs on you for weeks leading up to the big day.
We hosted Thanksgiving last year for the first time. I have smoked a turkey for the past four years so that aspect did not bother me, but having all those extra people invade my space elevated my stress level a notch. It is a weird feeling being a hostage in your own home; you just keep wondering when that last guest will leave.
This year, I’m going to try and use those guests to my advantage. I have some things that I’ve 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 plastic foam 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 task gets done, my nephews and I will be heading down to the crawl space with some cans of spray foam to make sure the areas where the wall meets the concrete (sill plate) are sealed. Most of the time, a thin roll of foam is laid down in these areas, but it does not always keep the air from coming in. Adding the spray foam is 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 to be addressed when performing an energy audit. Since fixing both is fairly simple and inexpensive, doing so will give you a return on your investment in no time. Probably the biggest area where I see air leaking out 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 by taking the trim off inside and spray-foaming that little gap.
With all the extra help, I should have no problem getting the things I need to do accomplished before the cold sets in for the winter. I have a feeling that my 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 this year 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. Working together on Thanksgiving might be one of my best ideas yet.