Consider this entire article an analogy for smart living in Montana. Montana is hardly the "untamed West" anymore, but living here is no joke and Mother Nature always decides the rules. Messing with her is a very bad idea. Hence, the good relationships you need to have when you live here.

Any local will tell you the same thing I'm going to share here. When you've been through several winters, you may have even found out the hard way. There's  one business relationship that I have that symbolizes to ME, the most important one to have - but I'll list a few for good measure.

There is a summertime phone call that I never miss placing. It's to my firewood guy. Obviously, we have a wood burning stove and we'll need firewood for the cold winter months. However, if you don't make that phone call early and place your order, you very well might be out of luck come the really cold temps. Firewood companies are VERY busy across Montana, but the smart ones work all year long - meaning you can order your firewood in June. And you should.

If you DO have a wood burning fireplace, it's also super important to get it swept...every year if you use it. Dirty chimneys are the quickest way to burn down your house if you're not careful. So make that appointment and do IN THE SUMMER. If you wait too long, you'll be having it swept when there's already snow on the ground.

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I'd also recommend finding yourself a good plumbing and heating company. Make friends. Hire them a few times for minor things in your home. That way, when you're having a serious issue in the middle of a cold snap, they'll actually answer the phone. It's not unusual for plumbers to have on their voicemail message that they're not taking new clients. Don't be a new client when you REALLY need a plumber if you can help it.

Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash
Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash
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