When summer comes to an unfortunate close, we swap out breezy dresses for chunky sweaters and go from rocking lilac nail polish to a deep and moody navy. We make these seasonal changes to our appearance, and it only makes sense that we do the same to our home. Start by stashing your collection of patio rugs, and then make your way through this list to ensure that all the gutters are cleared and drafts are sealed while it’s still warm enough to do so (willingly, that is).
SEAL UP THE DRAFTS
Did you know that a possible crack in your window could account for a 10 percent increase in your heating bill? Here’s a trick for finding the culprits: Hold a candle in front of a window or door seal. If the flame flickers, then air is getting through and it needs repair. Seal up windows and doors with caulk, these nifty weather-strips, or upgrade to heavier curtains in anticipation.
LIGHT THE WAY WITH OUTDOOR LANTERNS
Less daylight calls for more visibility at night. Enhance the curb appeal of your home, while adding a measure of safety and security, by installing sleek LED landscape lighting. Place them along walkways and the driveway so your kids and guests can actually see where they’re walking. In fact, this is just a smart idea year-round.
TACKLE ANY OUTSTANDING PAINT PROJECTS
There’s a running list of projects you wanted to complete this summer, but the weather was just too perfect to skip the beach. Now that it’s starting to cool down, take the opportunity to cross items off your list. This is a great time of year to tackle indoor projects since you can open the windows without sacrificing precious air conditioning. (Plus, those summer humidity levels weren’t doing anything for the paint or your hair.) For any project you have lined up, we suggest using KILZ Complete Coat—a paint and primer in one that resists staining, fading and peeling. In other words, you can wave pesky touch-ups goodbye.
SCHEDULE A CHIMNEY INSPECTION
If there’s one thing we love about the fall, it’s curling up in front of the fireplace. To make sure yours is ready for use, make an appointment for a routine chimney inspection and sweep (this should happen once a year, by the way). Make it a point to also test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace the batteries or devices if necessary.
SERVICE YOUR SUMMER EQUIPMENT
Empty the fuel from the lawn mover and give the machine a good cleaning. Turn off the water valves that lead to any outdoor faucets. Dump out the fire pit and store it in the shed. Have any necessary repairs done now so that you can quickly pull things out again come spring.
INVEST IN MATS (LOTS OF THEM)
Unless you want your carpets and floors to fall victim to snow, dirt and mud, rubber mats are a cold-weather requirement. Start the season with a professional floor cleaning and then cover the heavily trafficked areas with rubber pads. Use plastic boot trays so cleanup is super easy.
Photo cred: Michal Průcha