It’s that time of year again! As beach days and barbeques come to an end, you can devote more time to tackle home maintenance or improvement projects. A well-maintained home increases the value of your property and can help you save money by addressing simple repairs that would otherwise turn into costly expenses if ignored for too long.
Autumn is a great time to spruce up the outside of your home and ensure that it is prepared for the colder weather. Take on these top 10 “Do-it-yourself”, better known as DIY, fall projects.
1. Repair Your Deck or Patio
Now that your deck has gotten you through the dog days of summer, it is the perfect time to give it a little TLC. Because of the more temperate weather, early fall is a particularly great time of year to power wash, stain, or apply sealant.
2. Seal Windows and Doors
There is no simpler and more effective way to cut winter heating costs than to seal windows and doors. All it takes is a little exterior caulking.
3. Clean Out Your Gutters
Prepare for the onslaught of falling autumn leaves by clearing your gutters of any debris that may have accumulated. Be sure to remove dirt, grime, and runoff shingle granules as well as any vegetation that may be growing in the gutters. You can also install gutter guards to keep your gutters clean all year long.
4. Clean and Inspect Your Fireplace
Homeowners who are lucky enough to have a fireplace know just how cozy a winter fire can be. Make sure your fireplace is safe before using it this season by starting with a visual inspection. Examine the firebox (the interior of the fireplace) for cracks, gaps or signs of wear. Smoke stains may be a sign of a problem that could warrant a call to an expert. Consider having the chimney inspected annually to make sure it is free of animal nests and creosote buildup which are both primary causes of chimney fires.
5. Paint Your Front Door
If you are looking for a quick and inexpensive way to boost your home’s curb appeal, look no further than the front door. A fresh coat of paint can give the front facade an eye-catching makeover. Traditionally, a red front door means “welcome” and is one of the most common color choices, but your options are endless!
6. Clean and Seal Your Driveway
When properly applied, driveway sealant protects a driveway from the freezing moisture that both causes and expands cracks. Be sure to clean your driveway first to avoid sealing in dirt and debris. It’s recommended to sealcoat driveways every one-two years.
7. Winterize Your Garden
Prepare your garden to withstand the harsh winter months and emerge next spring in ideal condition. Clean out all the weeds. Plant bulbs. Dig up tender plants and vulnerable bulbs. Protect the garden beds with mulch or hay and wrap shrubs. Drain garden hoses and put them away.
8. Declutter Seasonal Items
If you simply don’t have enough space to keep both summer and winter tools and equipment readily accessible year-round, set up a system to rotate these items seasonally so you can keep everything you need close at hand while avoiding physical and visual clutter. Utilize the walls in sheds and garages to install shelves and hooks to help create an organized space. And take the time to inspect what you have to avoid keeping broken or unused items. Have some items in good shape, but no longer use? Donate them to local charities!
9. Organize Your Garage
Not only can the outside of your home get revamped, but so can your garage! To keep this space clean and useful, install cabinets to store the smaller items that can easily get lost like small tools and screws. Create overhead hanging storage space by adding more shelves to give boxes and bins a home. Add some hooks to the garage walls or ceiling to hang bikes, kayaks and any other large items. There are plenty of ways to organize all of the things in your garage that cost nothing, but a little bit of your time.
10. Power Wash Your House
Dirt and mold tends to accumulate on the exterior of a home throughout the spring and summer. A power or pressure washer can remove this grime no matter what kind of exterior surface you have.
Not all outdoor home maintenance and improvements are expensive, and many can be done by the DIY homeowner. Ready to get started? Avoid getting overwhelmed by creating a list and tackling one project at a time. Before you know it, your home will be winter-ready, protected from the elements, and looking and functioning better than ever. Best of all, most of these projects can save you money in the long run and help your property maintain its value.
Have substantial home improvement projects on your list, like installing a new roof or upgrading windows? If so, you may be able to unlock the equity in your home to finance them. We’re here to help you get started! Reach out to us today or find a local branch near you.