While spring may be the time for cleaning, fall is surely the time for fixing. Simple improvements can save money in utility bills as well as prevent costly repairs in the future. Like a well-played game of football, the homeowner needs a good playbook to get ahead in the game. The trick is, by the time it is October many areas might be into the first quarter — on the way to frigid temperatures – so prioritize and use this valuable time to the best advantage.
Play it Safe
A good bet is “Safety First.” Start simple: look at entrances and exits in and around the home and consider how they may be affected by the change in seasons. Look at safety issues around moisture, temperature and light. Are there areas that are particularly dark that need more lighting? Would motion-sensitive or timed lighting options be beneficial? Are there areas where debris collects and creates a safety hazard? Identify issues and resolve them now to minimize risk of injury later.
During fall and winter months pathways, entrances and exits can become compromised. Sometimes the paths or stairways might become slick with ice, snow, water, leaves or even moss or algae growth. Be sure to clear and clean these areas, making repairs to cracked or uneven walkways, securing loose boards, ensuring safe passage. Additionally, having a place for shoes and gear when people enter a home so entrances and exits remain clear can prevent unnecessary trips and falls. In cooler climates, this is a good time to create space in hall closets for bulkier coats and to put out the umbrella stand. Perhaps providing a basket for gloves and a tray for wet shoes and boots, along with an absorbent entry mat to ensure that surrounding floors don’t become wet and slick.
Fall is an ideal time to clean gutters ensuring that water will not build up and overflow and either puddle or freeze. Additionally, while the ladder is out, look at the eaves and assess the roof. Look for signs that wildlife might have tried to gain access, and consider putting up hooks for holiday lights – after all, the ladder is out, and holiday lights will provide more light around the home in the dark months. Change any burnt out or flickering bulbs in outdoor areas, putting in energy-saving bulbs so that lights may be left on longer without regard to cost.
In areas prone to icing, ensure that supplies are stocked. Consider storing sand, salt or kitty litter to help melt ice or gain traction. Any generators should be in good working order with fresh fuel that is properly stored.
Marie Dinsmore, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist
The Dinsmore Real Estate Team | www.dinsmoreteam.com