The changing season is perfect for tackling a few minor home improvement projects. It creates a spirit of renewal and a sense of anticipation for the festive holiday season to come.
Furthermore, certain projects become necessary. Winterizing your property can prevent future needs for pricey repairs.
What should you add to your autumn to-do list? Here are eight fall improvements to make to your home.
1. Make Your Entryway Elegant
You’ve heard the saying, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” It doesn’t only apply to individuals – your home’s entryways are the first greeting your guests receive. Why not make them warm and welcoming? It costs next to nothing and requires relatively little effort to paint your front door and shutters a festive shade. While some stick to traditional grays and navies, a dash of bright color can transform your entire facade.
Please don’t stop at your front door if you have an attached garage. Pay equal attention to it to balance your facade. Other options include a rustic wood or industrial steel look if it blends with your architectural style.
2. Protect Your Roof
Your home’s roof takes a beating over the winter, protecting your family from icy rains and handling heavy piles of snow. Give it some TLC to avoid problems.
One must-do to add to your list is gutter cleaning. Tackle this chore as fall draws to a close and after most of the leaves have fallen. Clogged gutters result in water accumulation that can seep inside your home’s walls, spurring toxic mold and even sparking electrical fires that risk your family’s lives.
While you perform gutter maintenance, inspect your roof. Look for broken and missing tiles and shingles and pay extra attention to the flashing around your chimney to prevent leaks. Arrange for necessary repairs before the first snowfall, if possible.
3. Check the Cracks
Your home’s foundation and septic system also take a beating as they cycle through seasonal temperature changes. You should inspect them for minor cracks and take action to prevent costly repairs. A shifting foundation can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage.
What should you look for? Cracks – specifically horizontal ones. Vertical cracks often appear as a result of your house settling. However, those that run horizontally can spell trouble, especially if they’re larger than a quarter of an inch. Take immediate action for large cracks. Try filling in smaller ones with paint to see if it also cracks. If so, the problem is growing and it’s time to call the pros.
4. Change the Filters
Your home’s HVAC system can become damaged if you fail to replace your filters. Furthermore, you could be risking your family’s health. These appliances promote indoor air quality by removing bacteria and viruses – you might want to swap them as your family recovers from seasonal colds.
When else should you tackle this chore? The folks at Energy Star recommend doing so a minimum of every three months, although you may wish to do so more frequently if you have pets or smokers in the home.
5. Green Your Landscaping
The best time to green your landscaping may be when everything starts to turn brown. Why? By doing some heavy-duty lifting now, you’ll enjoy your spring adventures when it’s time to plant.
If you’ve been considering xeriscaping, now’s the time to get rid of that pesky lawn, or at least the areas you don’t wish to keep for puppy potty space. Use a sod cutter or pickaxe to rip up the existing sod and cover it with wood chips to prevent it from returning. Come spring, you’ll be ready to redo the area with drought-resistant natural groundcover or decorative stone that liberates you from Saturday lawnmower duty. You also do the planet a kindness.
6. Winterize Your Pipes
A burst pipe can be a winter nightmare if you live in an area that’s prone to freezing. It’s even worse if it occurs inside your walls, causing a heck of a mess and the need for costly repairs.
Your best bet is to insulate whatever you can by wrapping pipes with sleeves and taking extra care around the joints. Seal any exterior cracks and wall up your crawl space, if applicable.
If you must leave to visit relatives or friends for a holiday, it’s smart to leave a faucet dripping to maintain flowing water and prevent freezing. Furthermore, please don’t turn your thermostat off – your home should maintain an internal temperature of at least 55 degrees.
7. Get Storage-Savvy
When you ask homeowners what they look for in a property, storage space always makes their list of wants. Fortunately, it isn’t expensive or hard to implement a few solutions. For example, a sheet of pegboard can organize small garden tools in your garage and hang that pesky broom and mop.
Consider getting creative if your space is too small but you can’t afford to move. For example, you can often build storage space under your stairs as many tiny-home dwellers do. Seek double-duty furniture such as ottomans that store blankets and toys.
8. Prepare for Snow and Ice
Snow and ice can make walkways treacherous in winter. Furthermore, you may be liable for failing to remove hazards in some jurisdictions.
Now’s the time to invest in a quality snow shovel and stock up on ice melt. Do you have a bit more green? Snow-melting mats cost a pretty penny but can be lifesavers for older adults and those with disabilities who struggle to shovel.
Fall Improvements to Make to Your Home
Why not let the change of seasons inspire you? Revel in the cooler temperatures as you spruce up your homestead and improve your dwelling!
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