Fall Home Improvement Guide

If spring is the best time of year to give your home a thorough cleaning, then fall is the best time to tackle home improvement projects. Not only are we inside more often, it’s the perfect season to finish things up before a long winter.

With the fall season approaching we can now look forward to cooler weather, the holiday season and a slew of home improvement projects that are perfect for autumn and preparing for the winter months.

If you’ve been thinking of DIY’s or projects around the house but don’t know where to start, look no further than right here for a plethora of old school and new school ideas to spice up the interior, exterior and functionality of your home! 

San Juan Island Home with IPE Decking

Check out these simple tasks you can do to make a world of difference!

Fall is a fantastic time to do exterior wood repair due to dampness in the spring, and heat in the summer that causes obvious and subtle wear and tear in exterior siding, window castings and porches. It is essential to correct any internal damage as it can compound over time and create larger, and more expensive issues for you down the road. 

  • Deep clean and seal your deck, this protects the integrity of the wood and ensures many more years of use out of any porch, patio and deck structures.
  • Check for any loose screws or nails, if you’re going to power wash make sure the outdoor temperature is no lower than 40 degrees Fahrenheit, inspect the deck for any cracks or breaks in the structure and if you notice any make sure to use a wood sealing epoxy to ensure long term longevity, and last but not least add a water repelling stain to any outdoor structures.
  • Put away any seasonal summer items and take the time to clean dirt out of outdoor pots, as the dirt can freeze and expand which will crack your planters and render them useless the following year.  

It is also essential to winterize your sidewalk/driveways as cold temperatures can expand any already existing cracks.

  • Pull any weeds and unwanted plant life especially from any cracks in the driveway as these will only get worse while not being maintained during outdoor maintenance common in the warmer months.
  • Use concrete caulk to seal existing cracks and prevent any unwanted growth to happen, seal with polyurethane caulk to prevent any water from seeping in and freezing, furthering growth.

As we talk about snow and storm heavier season, having clean and effective gutters is essential for the function of your home during the fall/winter season.

  • Thoroughly clean out your gutters and consider adding a mesh or filter to add further protection from errant debris that may come your way.
  • The top three things we see for gutter protection are curved mesh for predominantly handling heavy rainfall and downpours, micro mesh for smaller scale debris, and foam filters for keeping solid debris from impeding water flow. 

It is easy to forget about things like your lawn for the following year, but in the future, you are going to appreciate the extra effort put into maintaining the health of the grass on your property.

  • Re-mulching your perennials will help to keep them safe and healthy from the weather and any hungry predators, growing strong and tall the following spring season.
  • Raking leaves and aerating your lawn allows for the most growth potential and even greener grass then you thought possible.
San Juan Island Home with Western Red Cedar Shakes

Insulation and weatherstripping are other important factors to keep in mind when you are talking about renovations heading into colder weather.

You might be surprised to hear this but windows let out more warm air than opening your door does! Thankfully there are a few steps you can take in order to ensure that your windows are sealed tight and efficiently control the desired temperature within your home.

  • If your windows are older than 15 years old and haven’t been maintained at all, they are in need of a tune up.
  • Another great way to tell if you need a touch up if you’re not sure how old the windows are is if they are hot to the touch during the summer months, and cold to the touch during the winter ones. This is an indication that your windows are not efficiently monitoring the temperature within your home.
  • Get rid of any of your single pane windows, apply caulk to all window seals, replace old weather stripping and lean towards rubber sealing over foam/felt because it lasts up to a decade, compared to the 1.5-3 years that foam/felt does.

Something simple you can do inside, no matter how handy you are, is to switch the direction your ceiling fans turn. During the summer months, have your fan turning counterclockwise to pull hot air up, cold air down. When the weather shifts into getting colder, switch the fan clockwise in order to push warm air back down into the rooms in your home.  

When the weather is warm, it is a lot more feasible to complete any projects outside your home.

That being said, there is no better time to complete tasks such as organizing your garage so that you can bring your car inside when it is cold, and creating more “indoor” areas to utilize for activities not feasible for inside the home. This also gives you a good opportunity to cleanse yourself of any outdated objects and things that you no longer use and you can host a yard sale to make some extra money for the holiday season!

There are many projects, both cosmetic and functional that can protect and propel your home from the colder months. Many of these can be applied year round but these are a few that are more critical to focus on during this time of year.

With all of these tips and tricks you are guaranteed to have the best fall/winter possible! 

Reach out if you have any questions and/or need help finding any materials, tools or recommendations to help your fall home improvement projects be successful.

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