14 September 2012

Homeowners Advice: Get Ready for Fall

modern homes by modern architecture specialist and real estate broker Tobias Kaiser
Mid-century modern home near Munich. Photo ©tckaiser
Just because some folks live in warmer climates like Florida, it doesn't mean there are no fall home maintenance chores. Having experienced winter temps in the mid-30s as far south as Fort Lauderdale, we sure won't need snow blowers, but we shouldn't just shrug the cooler season off either by limiting it to removing the occasional dead palm frond.
All homes require maintenance. And to retain your home's best value, it's important to stay on top of projects and repairs, both large and small. Seasonal maintenance is a great way to be sure new issues are quickly addressed.

Small repairs may seem insignificant, but letting them add up over time means an overwhelming list down the road.

Take a personal inventory of repairs that need to be addressed. These could range from paver stones that need replaced in a patio to a large-scale roof replacement. Walk your home from top to bottom and make a list of issues.

Look for paint that needs retouched, tiles that need grouted, loose or scuffed baseboards, broken screens, squeaky doors, and everything in-between.

Budget and prioritize what can be addressed now, what needs a professional to fix, and what needs to wait for available funds.

Fall is also the time of year to prepare your home for Winter. It is much easier to install storm windows during temperate weather than during a blizzard!

Be sure to address each of these issues each Fall:

• Call the HVAC guy: Your unit has been working hard all Summer during this brutal heatwave. Now is a great time to service your unit before the hard work of Winter.

• Check and clean chimney: Dirty chimneys cause hundreds of home fires every year. Be sure to have a professional clean and inspect your chimney each Fall.

• Clean the gutters: It's not just about appearances, though clean gutters do look better. A clogged gutter system can back-up water on your roof and cause leaks.

• Yard maintenance: Be sure to rake leaves and pick up downed limbs during Fall. Empty and put away flower pots. Address flower beds and put down new mulch for a clean appearance.

• Prepare Winter Equipment: Put away your lawn mower (yay!) and service your chainsaw, snowblower, and other fun winter tools. It's better to know now that a tool isn't working than to discover this on a day you need it!

Fall is a great time to address the needs of your property... all in beautiful weather. Take an inventory of your home's needs and be sure to follow through with proper home maintenance. Your home's value will thank you.

How do you prepare your home for fall and winter?

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