Ah, Fall…visions of apple picking, hayrides, pumpkin carnivals…and the reality of a whole heck of a lot of home maintenance projects!
“Winter is coming.” So say the Starks of Winterfell (for all of you Game of Thrones fans), and they are not wrong.
Fall is the season in which we clean up, close up, pack up, and store all of our summer outdoor playthings, and prepare for the cold days and nights ahead when we spend the majority of our time indoors.
Ahem, well, maybe not as much for those of us who live in warm climates.
It really wasn’t so long ago that I lived in a part of the country that had real winters, so I know how important it is to complete home maintenance tasks in the fall. Even though I don’t have to do a lot of these projects, I’m well aware that most of us have to do at least some, if not all!
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Fall Home Maintenance Projects
And I’ve got quite the list for you!
Before you scroll down and see just how many items are on this list, let me be clear in saying that not ALL of them will apply to everyone!
Pick and choose the ones you need and happily skip over all the others.
I’ll also leave it to you to determine how you want to approach this giant list of projects. Are you the type to knock everything out in one weekend? Or do you prefer to space your projects out over the course of a few weeks or even a couple of months?
We all have our unique ways of getting things done.
When there’s a lot to accomplish, it’s usually best to do it in a comfortable, familiar process. Just know what projects are MUST-Dos and get to those first.
Of course, it goes without saying that some of these must be done when the weather is clear. Best to start with those outdoor projects and move indoors as things get colder and damper outside.
Fall Home Maintenance Projects: Your Home’s Exterior
- Clean gutters and downspouts
- Inspect your roof, foundation, and siding and make any needed repairs
- Inspect your windows, doors, and their frames and make any needed repairs
- Check that any exposed pipes (such as in your crawl space) are well insulated
- Locate the water shut-off valve for your home and know how to turn it off
- Block any small holes or entrances that critters could use to enter your home
- Pressure wash the house exterior
Fall Home Maintenance Projects: Your Property
- Trim and prune trees and shrubs
- Rake leaves
- Fertilize and reseed the lawn
- Clean, winterize and store your lawnmower, outdoor tools, and grill
- Clean, and store or cover outdoor furniture
- Move cold-sensitive patio accessories inside
- Move potted plants indoors if overwintering or empty them and clean and store the pots
- Drain and turn off your sprinkler system
- Inspect outdoor walkways – porch, steps, sidewalk, deck, patio – to eliminate walking or snow-shoveling hazards
- Add outdoor lighting around your home
- Drain and store outdoor hoses
- Turn off exterior faucets
- Purchase and stack firewood
Fall Home Maintenance Projects: Your Home’s Interior
- Wash your windows
- Shampoo carpets
- Wash area and throw rugs
- Do a thorough decluttering and dispose of the items appropriately
- Clean and dust baseboards throughout the home
- Clean your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry
- Purchase winter food supplies that can be stocked in advance
- Purchase household basics that can be stocked in advance
- Review and practice your fire escape plan with the entire family
- Wash and rehang curtains
- Dust blinds and shades
- Give your oven a thorough cleaning
- Vacuum under and behind couches and beds and vacuum upholstered furniture
- Wash bed pillows, comforters, and mattress pads
- Switch lightweight bedspreads to warmer comforters and replace cotton sheets with flannel or jersey.
- Collect your cold-weather supplies – shovels, ice scrapers, snow blower, emergency kits for car and home – in an easy-to-access location
- Dust all ceiling fans, reverse their direction to blow warm air downward
- Flip or rotate all mattresses
- Add weather stripping to seal off cracks and gaps in window and door frames
- Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguisher, and flashlights, replace batteries as needed, and purchase extra batteries to have on hand
- Replace summer screens with storm windows and doors
- Check that your attic insulation is thick and even, but not blocking any vents in the eaves
- Remove and store window air conditioner units
- Vacuum radiators, baseboard heaters, and grates
- Move paint and other freezable products from the garage into the house, or dispose of them appropriately
- Deep clean the kitchen as it will be heavily used in the next few months
Projects to Delegate to a Professional
- Have the chimney professionally inspected and cleaned, and install a cap on top to prevent critters and birds from entering and getting trapped inside
- Arrange in advance for someone to shovel snow from your walks and driveway
- Have the furnace or boiler inspected and maintained, replace the filters
- If your roof is aging, have it professionally inspected and make any needed repairs
- Have your pool professionally closed down and covered
Leave Time For Fun and Relaxation
Despite the fact that there’s so much to do, don’t forget to take the time to enjoy the beautiful fall weather.
There are so many wonderful activities to engage in this time of year, so make sure you build some fall fun into your schedule!
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Final Thoughts on Your Fall Home Maintenance To-Do List
Yes, it is quite a list (I told ya!).
However, working your way through the projects that you need to accomplish, in your own time frame, ensures a far more comfortable, safer, healthy winter.
It’s so worth it to plan ahead!