The advent of fall may bring to mind cool temperatures and the start of the holiday season. What might not be top of mind is getting your house ready. But, as you sip your first spiced latte, make a plan to treat your home to some TLC, too.
Prepare the outside of your house by cleaning and storing patio furniture, washing windows, checking and cleaning gutters, caulking windows and doors, and adjusting sprinkler timers, said Glen Riggs, a real estate agent with Elation Real Estate.
“People only remember to clean their gutters when it’s too late, when they’re filled with leaves,” Riggs said. “We know because the rain water pouring out of the gutters.”
As with other chores, decide when it would be best to do it yourself and when you should hire a professional.
“It might be super easy to climb up on a ladder and clean out the gutter for yourself,” Riggs said. “But what happens if you slip and fall off that ladder? Does it make sense to get up there?”
If you outsource, you may be able to save money by partnering with neighbors, and then asking a company for a discount for doing five or six homes.
Seal in warmth
Check on weather stripping, caulking and paint on any doors leading outside or to the garage.
“Sometimes people forget that our garages in the winter get much colder than in the house,” Riggs said. “A super easy way to check that is to close the door. Turn on the lights in the garage, come in the house. If you see light coming through, that means there’s air coming through, as well.”
As for windows, after you’ve washed them so dirt doesn’t turn to mud, touch up caulking and paint.
“Many times around your windows -- especially windows or doors that get a lot of direct sunlight -- the paint flakes off, the caulking deteriorates, and the rain can get into the little tiny cracks and cause much bigger issues in the future,” Riggs said. “Touch up that paint. Get the caulking replaced. It can save you a lot of headache and pain in the future.”
Prepare sprinklers and safety equipment
You may not think about sprinklers once spring and summer are over, but this is the time to adjust timers.
“So many times it’s raining, and you’ve left your sprinkler timers on,” Riggs said.
At the same time, check the batteries on smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
“A good rule is, when you set the time for your clocks, check your smoke detectors,” Riggs said.
Plan for holiday decorating
When you’re ready to decorate for the first of multiple holidays, think about the whole season. You can use the same strings of lights and swap out colored bulbs or invest in smart lights that easily change colors with an app or remote. You can also reuse other items.
“Get a pumpkin that’s a jack-o’-lantern on one side, and flip it around for just the pumpkin side for Thanksgiving,” Riggs said. “Leaves: they work for Halloween and for Thanksgiving.”
Finally, take time to celebrate fall. Visit an area winery for a tasting or festival. Bring home a bottle, and then savor a glass and relax.
“After I get all of my decorations up, whether it’s Halloween or fall or Christmas decorations, I love to get a glass of wine and just watch the fruits of my labor,” Riggs said. “I’ll grab a lawn chair and sit in my front yard and enjoy my decorations!”
Glen Riggs is an agent at Elation Real Estate, which offers a “boutique feel with world-class results” with a team exceeding more than 30 years buying and selling homes in the Tri-Valley. Glen guides new and experienced home buyers and sellers through every step of the process.