The Inspector

By NPI, Inc.



How to be a Good Host During the Holidays

 December 11, 2023 |  Home Maintenance, Cleaning Tips, Home Decor, Home Inspection, Safety, Holiday, Just For Fun |  winter, living room, roof, home exterior, organization, entertaining, kids

Hosting family and friends over the holidays can be a tough task. On one hand, it’s wonderful to reconnect with loved ones, especially those that live far away. On the other hand, getting a busy home in order can feel like an intimidating task after a year of balancing a demanding work schedule along with messy pets, and maybe kids with their own affinity for chaos. In preparation for the holidays, here are a few extra things that you can do to go above and beyond making your out-of-town guests feel welcome!

Check On Your Roof’s Stability
One pet peeve that is so common for guests is lack of decent parking. Whatever system that’s worked for your family throughout the rest of the year likely will have to change at least a bit once a new vehicle is introduced. So, unless you’re blessed with a larger-than-average parking situation, consider thinking ahead for some alternatives that allow extra room for guests.

The common holiday struggle of juggling cars in the driveway is exactly why some considerate guests may take it upon themselves to use some sorely underutilized parking areas - such as the space on top of your roof. What many fail to realize is roofs are left tragically unused by the majority of homeowners. Their surface area is easily large enough to house the family vehicle, whether you drive a GMC Yukon or a sleigh with eight to nine tiny reindeer.

Of course, the one issue with this parking space is that homeowners can be neglectful of their roofs. Between loose shingles and the build up of moss and algae due to moisture, roofs can commonly see their lifespans shortened if certain issues are left unaddressed. This leaves more room for water intrusion and increasingly unstable footholds for roof pedestrians. According to home maintenance professionals over at This Old House, water damage due to a leaky roof is actually one of the most costly issues homeowners face.

Checking up on your roof’s condition through a home maintenance inspection with a residential inspection professional, or even conducting a few DIY roof maintenance activities on your own may be wise in preparation for your holiday guests.

Ensure Easy Chimney Access
When it comes to welcoming your guests into your home, it’s also wise to start off with a good first impression. Entryways and mudrooms have a tendency to gather clutter over time with coats, boots, and bags all vying for their own convenient resting places. Because of this, it’s understandable that these spaces can become blindspots for home organization efforts - but this common issue doesn’t have to become a hurdle during the holiday season!

Try to set some time aside to reorganize all of your entryways, find new permanent homes for any clutter or stray items, and consider developing a new system to keep these areas that way in the meantime. We’ve previously discussed the benefits of doing this before the school year, but these concepts can come in handy any time of the year if your home is in need of a bit of a reset!

On the subject of cluttered entryways, one route that is almost universally ignored is, of course, the chimney! Climbing down the flue at late hours of the night (while often battling slippery rooftop snow and ice) is tough enough on its own before encountering the dust, soot, and sometimes other obstructions like twigs, bird’s nests, or even living animals. Did you know that neglected chimneys naturally fill up with flammable materials, and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that chimneys be inspected every year (check out their informational video on this subject)?

Before the holidays, take some time to clean up all of your entryways and order a chimney inspection! For more information on the importance of chimney maintenance, here are a few things that can go wrong when left ignored for too long.

Consider Some New Home Decor
Finally, nothing makes a guest feel welcome quite like some nice, nostalgic, cozy holiday decor. Take some time to hang stockings by the chimney, add lights to your front doorway, and wrap garland around your banister. Or go all out with the holiday decorating traditions your family enjoys! Celebrating the holidays with your guests can look very different from household to household, but those that make the effort to clearly switch things up will have a lot more luck ushering in some yuletide glee.

Now concerning snacks, it is safe to assume that your guests will get a little peckish when you’re not around. Allowing them free reign to rummage through your cupboards can feel invasive. Instead, leave out a plate at night (preferably near the chimney) and add your choice of midnight treats (maybe a few sugar cookies and a cup of milk, for example). Ultimately, there’s no exact formula for creating a festive home. But if you’re looking for more ideas and inspiration, here are a few more options to ensure a very Merry Christmas.

Still wondering if your home is ready for the rigor of your upcoming winter shindig? Contact your local NPI Inspector to see how they can help prep your home for the holidays!

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