Help, the leaves are falling!


I just moved into my house a few months ago. It’s an oldie, but a goodie. And, it needs a lot of work.

Yesterday, a couple of designer friends came over to help me pick out exterior paint colors. It’s amazing how many things you notice when you stand there and stare at your house.

First of all, the leaves are falling…all over the place. The big, old trees are beautiful. But, wreaking havoc with my gutters. Not to mention the fact that one of the gutters is bent with a hole in it. And then there’s the roof. No idea how old that is. Or, if it’s about to spring any leaks.

It’s also a lot chillier this week than it has been. Almost time to turn on the heat. My 11-year old wanted me to do that last night. I told her it wasn’t cold enough. Truth be told, I was afraid it might blow up or something. It’s an oil tank. I’ve never had one before and I have no idea how it works. Or, if it works.

I woke up this morning in a panic. There’s going to be snow on the ground before I know it and I’m not ready. My house isn’t ready. I have no idea how drafty it might be. How cold the floors get. Or, how the oldfangled water heater holds up in the icy temps.

jill2The first thing I did was call the heating and air conditioning people I normally use. I needed someone to come out and explain my heating system to me. And, more importantly, make sure it’s working ok. I also wanted to know if I could get an idea of how well insulated my house is. They said they could look into that too.

The house will be getting painted soon so I’m sure they will notice any repairs needed to my siding. But, what else am I forgetting? What else do I need to do?

Thank goodness for Google. (What did we do before it existed? How did we find immediate answers to all of our urgent questions?) I started searching “fall house projects” and found lots of information. Tons, in fact. A bit overwhelming, but given my cluelessness about my house, I figured I better start reading.

So, here’s a compiled list:

16 Suggestions for Fall House Projects

1. Caulk/seal the windows

2. Inspect the roof

3. Ready the fireplace

4. Repair and/or seal the driveway and walks

5. Reverse the ceiling fan

6. Cover air conditioners

7. Clean yard equipment

8. Prepare your deck

9. Touch up exterior paint

10. Tune up the furnace

11. Power wash your homes exterior

12. Clean carpets (read more here)

13. Clean out and/or repair gutters

14. Winterize faucets and sprinklers

15. Check carbon monoxide and smoke detectors

16. Yard maintenance: rake, trim bushes, aerate, etc.

Sources: Autumn Maintenance Tips, Fall Home Projects, 10 Fall Home Maintenance Musts

Central Maryland Recommendations: If you’re in need of roofing help, contact S&K Roofing. Try Ned Stevens for Gutter Cleaning, Repair and Installation. And, for all that yard work, contact Liqua-Grow Turf Inc..

As I said, it’s a bit overwhelming. And, I can assure you, I will not do all of these things. Reality is, I never have in the past. I think it’s best to prioritize. Take care of the things I know might be a problem like the roof, gutters, and furnace. I should probably check my carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, too. That seems like one of those ‘better safe than sorry’ must-dos.

I won’t use the fireplace, and I don’t have any ceiling fans. (By the way, the reason you reverse your fans is to draw the warm air up rather than push the cool air down. It’s one of those little things that most of us don’t know about. At least, I didn’t until a few years ago.) Fortunately, I also don’t have any wall-to-wall carpets, and I have a yard service to take are of all that lawn maintenance stuff. The rest, well, we’ll have to see.

Good luck to the rest of you. May your homes be cozy, warm, and free from all cold weather hazards this winter.

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