We’ve said it a thousand times, but it still remains true – curb appeal is everything. It’s what draws a potential homebuyer to want to see the inside of your home. Here are 5 simple, affordable upgrades you can make to your home now to improve its curb appeal this fall:
- Landscaping: Add fresh mulch to the base of your treas and other plans, and add seasonal plants like mums to your flower beds for a colorful fall look. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, but you still want seasonal decor for your home, add a fall-themed wreath or to your front door or potted mums to your porch.
- Upgrade outdoor accessories: Replace those faded house numbers, paint your mailbox or get a new front door. These small, but affordable changes can give your house a fresh, well-maintained look that will entice homebuyers to want to see more.
- Keep your lawn groomed. Yes, it is fall and it can be hard to keep up with the falling leaves, but it is important to keep your lawn groomed, especially if you are trying to sell your home. Keep your lawn freshly mowed, the weeds under control, trees and shrubs trimmed and the leaves raked.
- Pressure wash the exterior of your home, your porch and patio or deck. Particularly in the Pacific Northwest where moss can accumulate, it is important to pressure wash your home and outdoor living areas. This also makes your home look cared for.
- Add or upgrade your outdoor lighting. As our days get shorter, outdoor lighting can create an easy-on-the-eyes aesthetic while also providing an important function – a well lit path to your door. Consider decorative lights along sidewalks, flood lights near entrances and new porch lights.
Make sure your home is ready for fall weather with this handy fall home maintenance checklist:
Home Interior Fall Maintenance Tips
- Replace furnace filters and have your furnace and fireplace serviced before you need them.
- Do a fall safety check by testing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and change batteries. Safety experts recommend you do this when the time changes twice a year, so you don’t forget.
- Seal cracks and gaps around windows and doors in your home and basement with caulking or weather stripping. This will save energy and preserve heat in your home during the colder months.
- Check the weather stripping around your garage door.
- Reverse the direction of any ceiling fans so there is an upward draft. This will help redistribute heat that rises to the ceiling.
- Store portable air conditioning units and clean and cover central air units.
- Clean your humidifiers throughout the season to keep them free of bacteria and other germs.
Home Exterior Fall Maintenance Tips
- Drain outside faucets and hoses, and do any repairs or maintenance to sprinkler systems.
- Clean gutters and downspouts, so they can handle the fall rain without getting clogged. If you have old or damaged gutters, make repairs or replacements as soon as possible. New models have built-in leaf guards which will save you from hours of labor and your home from clogged gutters in the future.
- Where possible, direct drainage away from the home. Consider a rain garden to improve drainage on your property while also protecting our waterways from pollution.
- Check the exterior of your home, garage, shed and any other outbuildings for peeling or blistering paint. Make repairs or repaint in try weather. We recommend hiring a professional painter because this can be a time-consuming task.
- Have your roof inspected for loose, damaged or missing shingles. Harsh fall storms and winter weather can compound any existing problems, so it is better to make repairs as soon as possible.
- Do fall lawn maintenance including preparing your lawn and gardens for winter, trimming back trees and bushes that could get damaged by fall and winter winds, and rake autumn leaves which you can then use for compost or mulch. Fertilize your lawn for spring.
- Check your driveway, sidewalk and patio for cracks. Make any necessary repairs.
- Drain fuel from gas-powered lawn equipment like leaf blowers, lawn mowers, edgers and chain saws.
- Clean and store patio, porch and deck furniture.
Yes, this seems like a lot of work, but preventative maintenance can save homeowners time and money down the road. And remember – you don’t have to do it yourself. There are plenty of highly skilled contractors throughout the Kent, Covington, Maple Valley, Auburn and Renton area. If you need recommendations, let us know. Team Marti can offer suggestions!
I know what you’re thinking – clean my siding? Ugh! What a job! [Ask Merle. He’ll agree.] Yes, it can be a lot of work, but cleaning your home’s siding once a year can increase its life and also boost your home’s curb appeal should you ever decide to sell.
In addition to cleaning the siding, regardless of what type it is – wood, vinyl, metal, stucco, brick or fiber-cement siding – you’ll first want to inspect for damage and make repairs.
To learn how to clean your siding, as well as how to make those repairs, visit House Logic. It is well worth the effort!
Now that spring has sprung, it is time to dust off the cobwebs of winter and prepare our homes and lawns for the year ahead. Here is a great article from HGTV.com on home maintenance tips. For the full article, click here.
- Check your gutters and downspots to be sure everything is working properly when the spring rains arrive. Repair any that are loose, leaky or clogged.
- To prevent “spot flooding” in low areas of your lawn, fill in holes and other low lying areas with compact soil. This will help with drainage and prevent bugs from gathering in standing water.
- Using a screwdriver, inspect wood trim around doors, windows and other exposed outdoor wood. Make repairs now to prevent rotting wood later.
- Examine roof shingles for any problem areas that will worsen as the weather gets warmer and wetter.
- Have your chimney flue inspected and serviced.
- Repair cracks in concrete and asphalt.
- Move firewood stored outdoors. It should be at least 18 inches off the ground and two feet away from your home.
- Check hose faucets for winter damage or leaks.
- Have your heating and cooling systems serviced
- Check your lawn tools (lawn mower, trimmer, etc. to be sure they will be ready for use when you need them. Schedule repairs and servicing now.
Like most appliances, the dishwasher is one of those handy devices that we take for granted…until something happens to it! Here are some great Home Maintenance Tips from Old Republic Home Protection on how to make sure your dishwasher is well cared for, so it’s there when you need it!
- Most of the energy used by a dishwasher is to heat water. Check the appliance’s Energy Guide label to see the estimated annual power needed to run it and to heat the water. Look for the Energy Star label to find a dishwasher that uses less water and 41% less energy than required by federal standards.
- Check your dishwasher manual for the recommended water temperature. You may be able to set your home’s water heater at a lower temp as a result.
- Rinsing, soaking and pre-washing dishes should be unnecessary, but DO scrape off large pieces of food and bones from dishes before loading them into the dishwasher.
- Make sure your dishwasher is full – but not overloaded – when you run it.
- Try not to use the “rinse & hold” cycle of your dishwasher for just a few dishes. This cycle can use 3 to 7 gallons of hot water each time!
- Let your dishes air dry, either by using the automatic switch or turning the dishwasher off after the final rinse and opening the door slightly.
Have a great home care tip to share with readers? Email me. I’d love to hear it!
I love American Home Shield’s monthly newsletters and website. They always contain great ideas for maintaining your home, as well as “go to” tips for remodeling, decorating and organizing.
Here’s a resource I find particularly helpful. It contains troubleshooting tips for home systems like air conditioning, plumbing, large home appliances and more. Bookmark this page – you may not need it now, but it will come in handy when you least expect it!