Have you caught your first fall vibes yet? The shift is coming! And that means it’s time to pay attention to a few things around your home.
As your reward for checking off some homeowner chores, you get to start decorating for Halloween! Here’s one of our favorite spooky DIYs.
Saying goodbye to summer
Put away your garden tools. It’s time for your garden tools to hibernate. You can take steps to make sure they’re ready to go when it’s time to start growing again in the spring. This article form Garden Design offers tips on basic seasonal cleaning as well as general upkeep. In addition, gas-powered tools should be drained of gas and oil, and stored empty.
Clean and cover the grill. While grilling in the fall can be fun, at some point the weather is likely to force you inside. That’s when it’s time to make sure your grill is all set to sit without use until Mother Nature gets hungry for grilled goodness again. This video from Pitmaster X shows the steps to clean both gas and charcoal grills.
Inside your home
Replace weatherstripping. Drafts are only appealing in horror movies. This time of year, check the weatherstripping on your doors and windows (if applicable) and replace any that’s worn down over time. This writep from Lowe’s is helpful for learning the types of weatherstripping you need for your home and how to install.
Check your fireplace. Wood-burning fireplaces are not only cozy on chilly fall evenings, they can also help save on heating bills. DIY Network gives an easy explanation of exactly how they work, tips for maintenance and optimal fire building, and what to check before getting burning this season. Prefer a video? This one is very informative.
Switch your ceiling fan direction. During colder months, ceiling fans should turn clockwise to push warm air down. Look for a switch to make the change. Fan a bit wobbly lately? These instructions from Family Handyman explain how to balance it while you’re up there.
Clean the carpets. Fall is the perfect time to clean carpets because summer is when they tend to get dirtiest thanks to outdoor activities and in fall it’s still warm enough to open windows while they dry. Apartment Therapy details how to use a steam cleaner. Only up for a spt cleaning? Check out these tips from Popular Mechanics.
Outside your home
Clean the gutters. Generally, gutters should be cleaned out in the spring and fall. The fall clean-out will give you peace of mind that your system will stay functioning throughout the season. This write-up from Home Depot gives detailed written instructions as well as a how-to video.
Check the roof. The roof is your home’s defense against the elements during cold weather, so fall is the time to check it. At the very least, look at your roof from the ground to see if there are any loose shingles that need to be replaced. If you suspect bigger problems or if you haven’t had a professional inspection in years, it might be time to get one. This article from Bob Vila tells you what a professional will look for and why having one may be worthwhile.
Mulch your garden. Many informational sites recommend mulching in fall to protect your perennials. Plus, a possible side effect is adding a layer of deterrent to pests. This DIY Network piece gives you the how-to as well as the reasons both for and against fall mulching … there are a few reasons you may want to skip it.
Winterize the driveway and sidewalks. Cracks are a fact of life that poses most threat when temperatures drop enough to make them worse. Before those freezing temperatures roll in, take the time to check for cracks in your driveway and sidewalks, and give them some attention. These steps from Home Repair Tutor will teach you an affordable method that only takes seven minutes!
Heating and air. Some HVAC issues can be handled on your own, but there are times when it’s best to call in a pro. Some of the specifics will depend on your type of system. HVAC.com gives you some DIYs gives you some DIYs (like replacing air filters and cleaning debris) as well as how to know you need an expert.
Smoke alarms. Fall and winter are the most common seasons for house fires to happen, so it’s especially important to check your detectors. Visit the National Fire Protection Association’s site to review info about using smoke alarms to stay safe, plus installation and maintenance steps.
Carbon monoxide detectors. The CDC says winter is when most carbon monoxide poisoning occurs. Fall is therefore the prime time to get in the habit of checking your detectors. ProtectAmerica explains how to test them (with bonus steps for smoke alarms).
Things to buy
A better rake. You know those leaves are coming! Be ready. Here are thorough reviews of 2020’s best rakes.
Hard working snow accessories. That first snow is so often a surprise. Get set to keep your pathways clear with an awesome shovel, like one of these picks from Wirecutter. Don’t forget the scraper and brush.
A smart thermostat. This one’s a bonus item as it’s not 100% necessary, but it can make regulating the temperature in your home easier and more efficient, and save you money during the coming colder months. Plus, many energy companies offer rebates to help with the price of buying one (thanks to the energy savings that come from having one). Check out CNET’s picks.
More time on your hands?
Check out these 100 ways to get ready for fall from Family Handyman, these tips from DIY Network, and this thorough homeowner maintenance manual from National Warranty.