I love Fall. Particularly in this part of the world. It's the contrast of the bright blue skies with the vibrant oranges that just make me smile. Also, knowing that in just a few short weeks the grey skies will come and the rain will fall makes me love it even more.
While enjoying these few and increasingly few sunny days homeowners should also be prepping their house for winter. Here's the a list of the most critical to-do's – both inside and outside the home.
1. Clear the gutters. I get it, this is about the most unexciting thing to do yourself or spend money on. But clogged gutters can lead to serious problems. If you don't fancy climbing a ladder yourself, bring in a professional
2. Change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Again, very unsexy but it could save your life, or if nothing else it will prevent a 'middle-of-the-night, whole-house-awakening' when just one little battery goes flat and sets off the entire system. Surely, I'm not the only one that's experienced that!
3. Get all gas appliances serviced. Another critical safety tip! And isn't it best to find out now that your furnace has a minor issue, before it turns into a major and expensive issue? Murphy's Law also dictates that if you don't get it serviced now it will fail during the one week of winter that we have subzero temperatures and six inches of snow on ground. Don't say I didn't tell you!
4. If you have a wood burning fireplace get the chimney cleaned out – or swept as we romantically refer to it in England. Doesn't that sound better?
5. Clean and cover, or store inside all the outdoor furniture and BBQ. Even the most weather resistant furniture benefits from a high quality furniture cover. Buy the best you can afford. A few additional dollars spent now will ensure your outdoor furniture last years, not just a few seasons.
6. Aerate your lawn and remove leaves. Admittedly, keeping on top of the leaves is a bit of a losing battle at this time of year, but wet rotting leaves don't do your grass any favors.
7. Replace outdoor light bulbs. Trick or treating is so much more fun when everyone can see where they are going!
8. Plant Spring bulbs. My favorite Fall task. Ok, planting is a little tedious but come Spring that hour or so spent on your hands and knees this month will repay you in spades with an abundance of colorful spring bulbs.