Fall Home Improvement Projects: My Top Ten

Fall is just around the corner, and it’s time is now to get your house ready for fall and winter. Especially in this time of rising energy costs, making certain your house is both efficient and in good repair are at the top of home improvement agendas. I provide my top ten home improvement projects for fall, focusing on energy efficiency and necessary maintenance.

1. Replace your windows if they are more than 10 years old. Windows are the pathway through which most house heat escapes. Not only do new windows increase energy efficiency, but they also increase house resale value. Go for the highest insulating factor you can afford.

2. Increase your house’s insulation. Even if you can’t afford to insulate the whole house, adding another insulating layer in your attic provides significant energy savings and may even be tax deductible. Check with your state’s environmental department for more information and even subsidy programs.

3. Caulk, caulk, caulk! Caulk around drafty doors and windows to prevent heat loss. Caulk is now packaged in single use packages for small jobs.

4. Upgrade your house to CFL light bulbs. This can be done at any time during the year, but it is especially helpful to reduce energy costs in the fall.

5. Furnace maintenance and thermostat upgrade. Fall is the time to get the furnace ready with new filters and a programmable thermostat if you don’t already have one. Do it early to get better prices if you need to call a repairman.

6. Clean your gutters! Gutters are a big pain if they become clogged or, even worse, fall from the house. Ideally, maintenance will be done before the leaves fall.

7. Insulate your pipes and water heater. This project is especially important for those living in colder climates. I hate dealing with frozen pipes, and the best way to deal with them is to not let them freeze in the first place! Don’t forget to insulate outside spigots also.

8. Prepare your garden and flower beds for the spring. Fall is the time to prune bushes and to plant spring flowers. Daffodils and crocus should go in the ground at this time of year. The lawn needs to be fertilized so it can weather the late fall and winter.

9. Add extra outdoor lighting. As the days grow shorter, one helpful home improvement is to add extra house lighting or path lighting. This not only makes your steps and walkways safer, but it also keeps away prowlers.

10. Organize your storage space. Before you need to search for holiday decorations or make space for Aunt Bertha to stay, assess your storage needs. Storage is an often-overlooked home improvement project, but it is especially important if one is expecting guests during the winter holidays.

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