With fall quickly approaching, homeowners around the U.S. are hustling to weatherproof their homes for the cooler temperatures. For many, this is the last chance to perform those nagging home improvements that have been in the back of their minds all year. Others want to get a head start on next year’s projects by beginning preparations as soon as possible. In either case, this is the ideal time to bust out your to-do list and make sure your property’s in top condition before the onset of cooler weather.
Fall is the perfect time to replace an old roof. Depending on the size and scale of your roof, as well as your confidence in your experience, you might consider tackling this job on your own. Other roofing projects might require a professional installation crew. Regardless, fall provides great weather for roofing. With the summer sun less of a factor, work crews tend to be more productive during this time. But installing a new roof during these months isn’t strictly for the benefit of the workers. It also benefits your home in numerous ways.
Your first priority is to patch or repair any damaged areas. Depending on the amount of wear and the age of your roof, you might opt for a complete replacement. Not only will this eliminate any potential leaks during the wetter months of fall and winter, but the recent innovation of new, cool roofs will also help your home’s energy efficiency when spring and summer come back around.
New doors and windows can go a long way in increasing your home’s energy efficiency, too, but replacing them isn’t a cheap project to undertake. According to some estimates, installing new vinyl windows within a 2,450-square-foot home costs $15,000. This is quite the investment for the average homeowner, but you can reap the benefits in lower monthly utility bills and an increase in your home’s total market value.
For better results, you might consider replacing the doors and windows of your garage. While this is especially useful if the structure is connected to your house, or if your garage doubles as a living space or workshop, car enthusiasts might want to control the temperature of their garage, too. Not only does this help to preserve the condition of any vehicles or heavy equipment, but it means you won’t have to face the elements to enjoy your hobby during fall or winter.
You might be surprised how a fresh coat of paint can transform a weathered, dingy or otherwise boring home. Making this option even more popular is the fact that one or two workers with little to no experience can easily paint most houses over the course of a few days. Combine this with the increased competition between brick-and-mortar home improvement stores, and this is a project that is relatively cheap and easy to complete on your own.
Before you even begin applying the new paint job, make sure to check your local weather forecast. For best results, choose a weekend that is clear of any rain or excess humidity. Paint still needs time to dry, and it won’t set properly if conditions are too wet, cold or muggy outside.
Installing new or additional insulation, both in your attic and your home’s walls, is one of the simplest and most straightforward methods of increasing your home’s energy efficiency. It’s also a great project to undertake right at the end of summer and before the onset of fall. Not only does this spare you the excess heat that can accumulate in attics during the warmest months of the year, but it gives you the opportunity to upgrade to the newest and greatest materials.
Home insulation has seen numerous advancements over the past 10 or 20 years. Not only are there more options available, including foam, cotton and gel, but even traditional fiberglass insulation has seen some marked improvements over the years. If your home is more than a decade or two old, or if some areas were never insulated in the first place, fall is a great time to start the project.
Many novice homeowners ignore their landscapes in the fall. After all, the impending winter will certainly wreak havoc on any newly planted bushes, shrubs or trees. Despite the onset of colder weather, there are some steps you can take to prepare your yard for next spring.
Raking your leaves and aerating your lawn, although tedious, are necessary to preserve your landscape for next year. Garden beds should be fully harvested and aerated, too. If you have any young or weak trees, bushes or shrubs in your yard, you might consider winterizing them to ensure they survive the oncoming weather.
Whether your improvements serve a specific function, or if they’re simply for looks, these jobs can make the process of coping with winter even easier. Some projects, like the installation of a new roof, might be necessary to keep the inside of your house dry during wet weather. Others, like a new paint job, serve your home’s curb appeal more than anything else. Whichever jobs you choose are ultimately up to you — just make sure to get them done before Mother Nature tells you it’s too late.