It's not too early to put together a priority list for home improvements or landscaping chores you need to get done before fall and winter. The stressed housing market means many contractors are offering low bids just to get work. Assemble a menu of tasks according to what you can do yourself and by jobs where you'll need professional help in getting your home bedded down for winter.
Autumn is an ideal time to tend to your smoke alarm system, furnace and ducts, door and window insulation, gutters and downspouts, your chimney, and to mend the lawn and garden. Make a appointments with contractors now to inspect and tune up your furnace, inspect your septic system, or install new storm windows. By staging and sequencing now, you can budget for HVAC and fall landscaping jobs without having them all rain down on you in October.
Landscaping, HVAC, and your odds and ends
Care for your lawn in fall. It's a good time to get your soils tested so you can amend pH for the spring. If your lawn needs aerating, you won't find a lot of competition for power rentals as the summer ends.
This is also an opportune time for duct cleaning. Consider making an appointment with an HVAC contractor to handle this critical maintenance for heating efficiency and your family's health this time of year. It may be a long winter before you can open your windows to fresh air again. If your system is up to snuff, be sure to replace all your filters.
Check your gas heating system if you have one. Either call in a contractor or see if your local utility company will examine it for free. Carbon monoxide is a killer.
Other odds and ends to book into your remaining weekends include sealing your driveway, adding fresh weather stripping, re-seed patches in your lawn, and tune up your leaf blower.
Get up on your roof and check for broken or missing shingles and patch up trouble spots. Examine the wood trim and caulking around your windows and repair sections to keep out rain and wind.
Clear debris from your gutters
Before the first serious rains, it's essential that you begin cleaning up your gutters. Nip water damage and potential flooding of lower floors and basements in the bud. If you're not physically up to climbing a ladder with a gutter scoop, call in a gutter contractor. A professional can spot trouble - holes, back-pooling, clogged downspouts - a mile away.
Get out your calendar and line up your fall work before it's too wet and cold to attend to it.