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Articles 10/2/2018 2:04:44 PM

Top 5 Fall Home Improvement Projects

It’s the time of year for pumpkin-flavored drinks, football season, and those projects that get your house looking great and ready for winter. Whether you tackle these yourself or hire someone to help, they’ll save you money and could possibly add equity. Get started today!

1. Clean the Gutters

We might as well begin with the one that’s never considered fun. No one hops out of bed one beautiful autumn day and thinks, “Yes! Today I get to clean leaves and debris from the gutters!”

But making sure your gutters are free from all gunk and blockages can save you huge money. Water from clogged gutters can stream down and erode the soil or clay underneath your house, leading to expensive foundation repairs. Overflowing gutters are also a leading cause of flooded basements—another pricey fix and one that can be avoided… if you just clean them. Do this in the spring too, and you’ll be on top of it!

2. Pamper Your Front Door

Your front door works hard—welcoming guests, keeping out the elements, and setting the tone for the rest of your home. When it looks clean and attractive with a new wreath and fresh paint, the whole exterior seems recharged. Take time to touch up any nicks or chips, replace the door handle if needed, or repaint the entire door. It’s a project you can take on in a weekend with just a quart of paint.

And here’s something interesting; consider an article on Zillow which says that, on average, homes with black or charcoal gray front doors sold for $6271 more than expected. You might get more out of that paint than you think!

3. Check the Windows

Air leaks are a huge waste of energy that can raise your bills quickly when the weather turns extreme. Windows are a major offender since they’re found in most rooms. Take note of obvious leakage problems, either by holding a lit stick of incense near the frame or by checking for condensation or visible gaps. While you’re at it, check the clothes dryer vent and attic hatch. These areas are notorious for leaks too. It doesn’t cost much to install weather stripping or foam sealant and can really save you money.

Sometimes, though, the windows need to be replaced. New windows make your house pleasant and energy-efficient, especially if you’ve struggled with older ones that won’t open, don’t close, or leak water. If you’re considering investing in some, talk to us. We can help with financing options that fit you and improve your home.

4. Maintain your Fireplace

Fall is the right time to call a chimney sweep and make sure your fireplace is clean and ready for those chilly winter nights and toasted marshmallows. The National Fire Protection Association recommends an inspection once a year to make sure there’s not a build-up of toxic creosote, gaps, cracks, missing caps, or other safety issues that might cause a house fire. They can also help identify areas that might be leaking air, and insulate or seal those spots to save on energy bills.

5. Give Your Deck Some Attention

Cleaning and sealing your deck every year can significantly prolong its life, saving you lots of money since you won’t have to replace it. First, check for loose boards and hammer in popped nails or consider replacing them with screws. Replace any boards that have wood rot. Then, power wash the surfaces using a fan nozzle (isn’t power washing so satisfying?) and let the deck dry out for several days.

When completely dry, apply a protective clear sealer or semitransparent stain. If you’re using stain, be sure to test a small area first; different types and ages of wood take stain differently and it might not look anything like the sample at the store. It’s a two-weekend chore but if you do it every year you’ll be happy with the money you save.

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