Fall — it’s the perfect weather for sweaters, boots, and nearly every kind of home improvement project! Mild temperatures and crisp breezes make spending time outdoors easy. It’s a great opportunity to spruce up your home before the chill of winter takes hold.
Whether you’re contemplating a major upgrade or just looking for a weekend project, here are some ideas to get you started.
Home Improvement Goal: Boost Curb Appeal
With fall holidays and family gatherings around the corner, you want your home to appear fresh and cheery. Bring these home improvement ideas to life to have the most inviting home on the block.
- Paint the front door. If you have shutters to match, so much the better. Choose a paint that complements the main exterior colors and you’ll be on your way to a showstopping exterior. If your door has a side window, consider adding a decorative cling to give a stained glass appearance.
- Powerwash the siding. Dirt, dust and grime build up on siding over the course of years. A simple powerwash may be all you need to breath new life into your home’s appearance. Power washers may be rented at some hardware stores or you can hire a professional to do it for you.
- Add or repair a walkway. If wintery weather turns your walkway into a hazard zone, a new or repaired path could be a safety need. Installing a brick walkway is an inexpensive weekend project if you don’t have a walkway already. If you have an uneven concrete walk, a pro can fill cracks and level it out.
- Install landscape lighting. Light the path up to your door, or make your back patio a little cozier. Solar landscaping lights are a relatively cheap way to make an ordinary space feel special. Any reason to use your outdoor space before winter winds and temps make it off-limits is a good one!
- Wash the windows. While the weather is mild and the breezes are pleasant, take a day to wash all the windows in the house. Buy a squeegee and get ready to be amazed. A simple window washing can let in so much more sunlight — perfect to counteract the cold weather blues.
Home Improvement Goal: A Beautiful Yard
There are a million ways to make your yard a beautiful oasis, but here are a few old reliable tips for a healthy, attractive, happy-looking yard come spring.
- Aerate and fertilize. You can rent an aerator or hire someone to do it, but lawn aeration is an excellent way to encourage strong and thick grass growth, and alleviate soil compaction. Cool season grass breeds popular in the DMV region will benefit from a potassium-heavy fertilizer called a “winterizer,” fortifying them for cold temps ahead.
- Plant grass seed. If your lawn has some bald spots, this is a great time to plant some grass seed. Cool season grass seed is best established between August 31 and October 10, with prime seeding happening within a week of Labor Day.
- Drain your hoses and spigots for winter. Follow our helpful blog post for how to disconnect your garden hose for winter. Failure to disconnect and drain your exterior taps can cause major plumbing problems once temps drop below freezing. Avoid burst pipes and plumbing emergencies by storing your hose inside and draining the taps.
- Trim trees and shrubs. Autumn is a good time to take out the hedge trimmers and garden shears to get your trees and shrubs under control while it’s nice outside. Fall is a big growing season for these plants, so they might overtake the yard and sidewalk if you skip a trim!
- Clean and store lawncare equipment for winter. Wipe off the blades, drain the machines of gasoline and properly dispose of it, and store these tools in a garage or shed, sheltered from the weather.
- Plant hardy bulbs. If your vice is gardening, you ought to try out bulbs. While tender bulbs must be planted in ground in spring, hardy perennial bulbs are planted in the fall. Tulips, irises, daffodils and more will abound your yard when spring arrives. What a great surprise!
Home Improvement Goal: Home Heating Efficiency
If an excellently insulated and sealed home is your idea of paradise, read on!
- Walk and caulk. Take a caulking gun and walk the interior and exterior of your home looking for gaps near windows, feeling along the edges for airflow, and plug them up! Also examine weather stripping on all exterior doors to see if they need replacement.
- Check out your attic. Any cracks or gaps in insulation between the living area and the attic should be filled with caulk or expanding foam. If your loose-fill fiberglass or cellulose insulation is looking thin, consider hiring a professional to beef it up for you, rather than handling those materials yourself.
- Furnace tune-up. Make sure your furnace is primed for optimal performance by getting a tune-up from a professional HVAC company. By getting the 411 on your heater’s health before you need to turn it on, you’ll save yourself a headache and the surprise of unexpected repairs if your machine fails in cold weather.
- Buy a jacket for your water heater. If you have an older water heater, check the R-value of it. If the R-value is less than 24 (or it's simply warm to the touch), consider fitting it with a insulated jacket. This inexpensive measure can reduce standby heating loss by 25-45% and energy savings by 7-16%.
Home Improvement Goal: Major Updates
Fall temperatures are perfect for big home improvement ideas to come to life. Consider tackling these areas of your home if they’re in need of TLC.
- Roof replacement. A full tear-off roof replacement is the best way to go, and this process usually only takes a single day. If your home’s primary protection against the elements is falling apart, autumn is a great time to replace it altogether.
- New furnace. If your furnace is more than 10 years old and you’re unhappy with your energy bills, a new energy-efficient furnace could be a great investment for your home.
- Window replacement. Brand new windows can positively slash your energy bills with double- or triple-paned options.
- New front door. Your home can gain curb appeal and great insulation with a beautiful new front door.
- Paint the exterior. Peeling paint will leave your home exposed to the elements and faster deterioration. Many paints cannot be applied in temperatures below 45 or 50 degrees, so keep that in mind for scheduling.
Your home improvement partner
If you need expert advice or service for any of your home improvement ideas, call the professionals at John C. Flood for help! Our experienced technicians can help you prepare your home’s heating, cooling, plumbing and electrical systems for the cold months ahead. Call us seven days a week to schedule service for your needs.