Winterizing a House in Vermont

Steps for Winterizing my Vermont House

Winterizing and preparing my house for Vermont winters is actually a job that goes on continuously. My family build the house in 1840 with a stone cellar and single pane windows. A few years ago we replaced 10 of the 38 windows with thermopanes. We chose to place them in windows in the section of the house that we use most in winter.

Houses in Vermont have always shrunk or expanded with the changing seasons. As the temperatures drop, more and more doors close and rooms on the outside or upstairs are left cold and the living space is reduced to those rooms with indoor plumbing surrounding the woodstove.

On a cold sunny day I go around looking for drafts to plug with bits of pink insulation. Each year we try to add more insulation.Last fall trees were cut to thin the woodlot. Those trees were cut unto logs and the logs split for firewood. All that firewood is now drying in the woodshed.

These are just some of the tasks we do to prepare our bed and breakfast for winter. What do you do to winterize your home?

Royalton Bed and Breakfast in Winter

This is the way my Bed and Breakfast looks in winter after a freshly, fallen snow. The storm windows are on. The furnace is refilled.
This is the way my Bed and Breakfast looks in winter after a freshly, fallen snow. The storm windows are on. The furnace is refilled. | Source

Vermont in the Winter

Vermont has several months when the temperatures are so cold that it is necessary to heat the house. If your house is insulated, the windows and doors are tight, the cold winds will stay outside and the inside will feel cozy and warm.

If you have openings around the windows and doors or your walls are thin the house will feel drafty and cold.

You might think that it will be very expensive to insulate a house but that is not necessarily the case. For many years people living in cold climates have found ways to close the holes and stop those drafts.

Beautiful Old Single Pane Windows are Drafty

I love the look of the single pane windows but it is hard to get them tight enough to keep the drafts out and the cold just seems to come right through.
I love the look of the single pane windows but it is hard to get them tight enough to keep the drafts out and the cold just seems to come right through. | Source

Beginning to Winterize Our House

Winterizing is somewhat of a continuous process. Each year we try to make it tighter and more energy efficient. First I concentrate on the windows.

  • We are beginning to replace the original single pane windows with Thermalpane Replacement Windows. 10 done 28 to go.
  • Take off, wash and replace the 4 old wooden storm windows.
  • Clean and close the aluminum storm window.
  • Clean and shove cardboard, folded in half into the edges of the remaining original windows to cut down on drafts.
  • Look for old wooden storms that might fit some of the rest of the single pane windows whenever time permits.

Windows are a big deal here in my house. In 1840 there was plenty of help cutting and splitting wood but living by myself I prefer to spend less time filling the woodstoves.

Good Mouser

A good mouser is an essential part of winterizing your house. A cat is the number one best and easiest way to keep your home free of mice.
A good mouser is an essential part of winterizing your house. A cat is the number one best and easiest way to keep your home free of mice. | Source

Keep a Good Mouser

As summer fades, autumn leaves turn colors and temperatures fall, mice begin to look for warm places to shelter for the winter. A good mouser is essential in preparing your home for winter.

Not every cat is a good mouser and you will not know until your cat is an adult whether your kitty is a good mouser or just a furry pet.


Evicting the Mice

Mouse Traps
Mouse Poison
Hide from the Mice
Good Mouser
Put out traps bated with Peanut Butter
Put out poison
Ignore the problem
Pat, Feed, and Love Your Kitty
Check the traps often
Wait for the smell of dead mice in the wall to go away..
House overun with mice.
Dispose of Dead Mice lovingly left on the doorstep.
Throw dead mice outside in the woods.
Fear the poison will be eaten by pets.
Find another solution.
Mouse Problem Solved.
There are various options for dealing with mice each fall as winter approaches. Part of winterizing your house is to prepare for and deal with the influx of mice looking for a place to live and breed for the winter. Some of them work and others don't

Royalton Bed and Breakfast

Come stay at my bed and breakfast in Royalton, Vt. Enjoy the cozy house as we begin to winterize it.
Come stay at my bed and breakfast in Royalton, Vt. Enjoy the cozy house as we begin to winterize it. | Source

Staying in Vermont

Would you rather stay in a hotel or bed and breakfast?

  • Hotel
  • Bed and Breakfast
See results without voting

Winterizing my Bed and Breakfast

Just because I am shrinking the size of my house for the winter doesn't mean that I can't easily open it back up again, crank up the heat, and invite in lots of guests.

  • I close off the rooms that are not being used at the moment but it is easy to open a door and heat it up again.
  • I welcome guests the year.
  • The warm cozy fire in the living room can heat nearly the whole house even on the coldest days.
  • I do have central heating if necessary.
  • I have space heaters for cold corners when I don't have the central heating going.
  • As Vermonters we find it more pleasant to sleep in colder rooms. We like our heat in the living room. Do you agree?

When you come to Royalton Bed and Breakfast I try to make your experience as pleasant as possible. Please let me know the kind of heat you prefer and I will place you in a room that most closely fits your expectations. Vermont is a warm and inviting place to visit even on the coldest days.

Come Warm Yourself by the Fire

The fire in the living room woodstove heats the entire house. Throughout the summer we cut, split and stack wood so that the woodshed is full. All winter long the fire burns keeping us toasty through the cold Vermont winter.
The fire in the living room woodstove heats the entire house. Throughout the summer we cut, split and stack wood so that the woodshed is full. All winter long the fire burns keeping us toasty through the cold Vermont winter. | Source

Quiche for Breakfast

The table is set and the quiche is hot. The coffee is brewed and the tea kettle is whistling. Will you have fresh squeezed orange juice or fresh pressed cider? Breakfast is delicious at Royalton Bed and Breakfast.
The table is set and the quiche is hot. The coffee is brewed and the tea kettle is whistling. Will you have fresh squeezed orange juice or fresh pressed cider? Breakfast is delicious at Royalton Bed and Breakfast. | Source

Nearby Attractions

Just down the road from Royalton Bed and Breakfast you will find a couple of really good restaurants, and other places to visit. Here are some of the highlights...

  • The Worthy Burger - Grassfed Beef Burgers with organic locally grown vegetable. A bar atmosphere with Vermont micro-brewery beers on tap.
  • Five Olde - A sit-down restaurant with excellent food. Have you tried their baked scollops?
  • Vermont Law School - the top environmental law school in the country
  • South Royalton Market - Organic, whole foods, co-op
  • Killington Ski Area - only a half hour away
  • Tunbridge Fairgrounds - fairs and festivals from Spring to Fall. Don't miss the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival or the Vermont Historical Fair.
  • Quechee Mall with Cabot Cheese Tasting and a huge Antique Mall

There is so much to do and see in Vermont. Royalton Bed and Breakfast is centrally located just off I-89 between exits 2 and 3.

Warm Bedding Keeps you Warm

Warm bedding makes a house feel warmer at night and each of the rooms at Royalton Bed and Breakfast are covered in warm blankets and comforters.
Warm bedding makes a house feel warmer at night and each of the rooms at Royalton Bed and Breakfast are covered in warm blankets and comforters. | Source

Staying Warm at Night

The wood stove may burn low at night but that doesn't mean that you will feel the cold. Each room at Royalton Bed and Breakfast comes with plenty of warm bedding to keep you toasty warm. High quality Egyptian Cotton sheets are then covered in fuzzy warm acrylic blankets.

This may be all that you need in the warmer months but when the cold winds bring on winter chills you will be glad of the fluffy comforters found on each bed. There are also extra blankets carefully folded at the bottom of each bed.

Sometimes you might start the night by wearing socks if the night is especially cold but soon the bed warms right up and you find yourself kicking off those socks.

Good bedding is another key to staying warm in an old Vermont Farmhouse.

Finding your Way to Vermont

A marker1408 Back River Rd. -
1408 Back River Road, South Royalton, VT 05068, USA
[get directions]

© 2013 Evelyn Saenz

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