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Old 06-16-2011, 06:24 AM
 
Location: OR
144 posts, read 407,485 times
Reputation: 46

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First, thanks so much to everyone that has been so helpful with my questions over the last couple of months! This forum has been really great!

I was born in MA and spent 6 years in NH (Durham, Portsmouth, Manchester), before leaving and spending 1 year in CA and 6 here in SC. So it's been a while since I've had a real winter and I think I'm romanticizing it!

I'm trying to remember what it was like in NH. I have always loved winter, but I never had property to maintain (left New England when I was 24), so I don't really remember what it entails - sky high heating bills, clearing walkways/driveway/roof?

We're looking at the Burlington area - likely Colchester or Essex Junction - how different is winter there from winter in Southern NH? How many months would you say winter typically lasts?
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:58 AM
 
Location: Vermont
1,475 posts, read 3,793,302 times
Reputation: 846
Quote:
Originally Posted by JIer View Post
First, thanks so much to everyone that has been so helpful with my questions over the last couple of months! This forum has been really great!

I was born in MA and spent 6 years in NH (Durham, Portsmouth, Manchester), before leaving and spending 1 year in CA and 6 here in SC. So it's been a while since I've had a real winter and I think I'm romanticizing it!

I'm trying to remember what it was like in NH. I have always loved winter, but I never had property to maintain (left New England when I was 24), so I don't really remember what it entails - sky high heating bills, clearing walkways/driveway/roof?

We're looking at the Burlington area - likely Colchester or Essex Junction - how different is winter there from winter in Southern NH? How many months would you say winter typically lasts?
good question

yes winter can be very romantic. beautiful white yards and trees. cozy nights in front of the fire.

it can also be skidding on roads and trying to walk to you car with your hands flailing so you don't fall on the ice.

Since 2004, when I moved here, I'd say 4 or 5 of the winters have been a pain in the ******* butt. massive amounts of snow and sleet. Trips up to the slippery roof to get the snow off. One year I didn't do it and the ice slid down at once and pulled a pipe off, leaving a hole in my roof.

Much will depend on your property. If you live in town and can shovel your driveway no big deal. If you have a garage - great! I live in the country and it's $35 per plow job. Some days it's done twice. I spend on average $500 to $800 a year for plowing. No garage. And the real kicker is the uphill driveway, for which you need 4-wheel drive and still have to worry about partial thaws and refreezing that turns your driveway into a skating rink.

I'm a winter guy, I don't mind winter, but this last one got to me a bit. Ask me about winter next year when I calm down a bit.

As for the length of winter, You are going to be gypped out of a nice April here as we still have snow or mud. gardening season is very short I'm afraid.
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:56 AM
 
Location: Burlington burbs
130 posts, read 248,978 times
Reputation: 85
I've also been here since 2004 and agree about 4 of them have been on the rough side including a record breaking 31 inches in a day one year! First winter in chitt county was OK. Not as much snow as washington, slightly better plowing, and thundersnow! I'd say winter brings out the worst in people because it lasts so damn long, and so frigging cold. If you don't love outdoor sports it's very hard to be enthusiastic about going outside a lot.

We plow our own short drive so no cost apart from literally hours of work. Heating costs around 800-1000 a season for us.
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Old 06-16-2011, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Vermont
1,475 posts, read 3,793,302 times
Reputation: 846
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dippylou View Post
I've also been here since 2004 and agree about 4 of them have been on the rough side including a record breaking 31 inches in a day one year! First winter in chitt county was OK. Not as much snow as washington, slightly better plowing, and thundersnow! I'd say winter brings out the worst in people because it lasts so damn long, and so frigging cold. If you don't love outdoor sports it's very hard to be enthusiastic about going outside a lot.

We plow our own short drive so no cost apart from literally hours of work. Heating costs around 800-1000 a season for us.
not just winters. spring and summer have been affected by excess moisture too. many of the rainiest summers and springs in history have occurred
over the last several years.

is this just a blip? we might turn around and have three dry years in a row. If not a blip and global warming is changing the vermont climate, it could be a tough place to live.
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Old 06-16-2011, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Vermont
5,441 posts, read 15,343,925 times
Reputation: 2641
i guess it depends on how you are equipped or what luxuries you have. do you have a garage..steep pitched roof on the house? pay someone to plow...

block heater... snow tires and AWD.

do you like XC skiing, skiing, snowshoeing etc. i think you can really get out as much as you want if you are willing to be a little brave...

at our condo they shovel and plow for us (they do not warm up our car for us or clear off our car ha), which is very nice.

also this winter i saw many people spending their saturdays raking their roofs
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Old 06-16-2011, 02:05 PM
 
400 posts, read 761,252 times
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When I was a kid I loved winter. Sledding, snow days, snow forts, snow balls, eating snow. It can be quite beautiful when it sticks to the trees, the snow makes everything look kind of clean and I don't care for hot weather. Plus there are no bugs. You imagine winter...every year before it starts, its you in a sweater inside drinking coffee and looking out the window to see the sun gleaming off the fresh snow. It's cozy and things are quiet. And go outside and its cold but you're bundled up and you can see your breath and everything is fresh. And those things do happen but they are really the exception.

By the time the snow comes, its already dark all the time. All day. You get up in the dark and you drive to work and maybe see a little light and then its dark when you go home. Some people deal with it better than others...but I'd be lying if I said it didn't get to me. You see so little sun it almost seems like everything is dead.

As an adult...the responsibilities that come with it make it hard to see its positives. I don't get snow days. My house is a snow fort that I have to constantly rebuild. Inhaling snow blower exhaust fumes while the wind blows the just thrown snow back into my face, giving me a beard of ice. And then I go in the house and watch more of it fall, destroying my just completed work before the light of day even falls on it once. There's a sense of futility to it.

I think the main thing I hate about winter is that you can't really blow the chores off. In the summer I can blow off mowing the lawn or weed whacking and the worst that will happen is things will look overgrown. If you don't clear your driveway you can't get out and it might freeze solid so it can't be cleaned. The news tells you to shovel your roof or it'll collapse but then says not to go on your roof because you'll fall off and die. Meanwhile there probably isn't anyone available to hire to do it because everyone else is doing the same thing.

And the driving. Oh the driving. You can't just go anywhere. You have to check the weather report and it'll probably be wrong anyway. Am I going to get 2 feet dumped on me while I go get milk? Driving to work during a storm is an exhausting experience. It requires more attention and drains you, but also takes more time because the speeds are slower and therefore the previous traffic problems of rush hour exacerbated. By the time you get to work (late) you're to tired to want to do anything. They say to leave plenty of time to travel on the news, but the weather report is wrong and you won't know if its going to snow a foot until it has already happened. Other days massive storms will be predicted and if you get up early you'll just end up at work early and tired when barely anything happens.

By the end of the winter, everyone has sort of gone crazy. They've been in their houses to long and they're frazzled. Everyone is talking about spring and its the only thing keeping you going. You're losing the fight with your driveway, your snow rake broke, your roof is bowing and the snow blower sounds like it needs a tune up. The only thing that keeps you going is soon...soon it has to melt. It must melt.
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Old 06-17-2011, 12:58 PM
 
Location: OR
144 posts, read 407,485 times
Reputation: 46
Thank you all for the honest replies! j_jimerino - that was a great summary!

I think what we've sort of come to is that how much it affects us will be related to how prepared we are for it.

Luckily I work from home, so commuting in the snow isn't really an issue - unless I want to make the trek to NH to my office, which I'm sure I will do less in the winter. My husband will have to commute though... We just traded our 2 cars in for 1 with 4WD in preparation. I told him one with an automatic starter is a must! I remember getting into my Jeep Wrangler with the soft top in the winter when I lived in NH, and man was that cold (I kept blankets in the car with me at all times). Always dreamed of an automatic starter.

Seems like a good mudroom would be essential too. I remember one of my biggest pet peeves with snow was when someone got it in the house and you accidentally stepped in a melted puddle with your socks on.

Shoveling off the roof sounds scary. How many times a winter do you think you end up doing it? I mean, if it only snows 6", do you have to? Or just for major storms?

How much does it end up costing per month to heat a house in the winter?

We do both snowboard, and we're excited to be able to again. We're definitely up for finding new outdoor activities too. We also just remember how much fun we had in the snow when we were kids, and we want our kids (when we have them) to be able to have those experiences too.
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