As summer turns to fall, the brisk weather provides the perfect conditions to start tackling outdoor home improvement projects and prepare for the winter ahead. This is a great time to refresh your home’s outdoor space in preparation for the next season and take a hard look at the exterior of your home so you can repair any defects or damage before the cold temperatures arrive. Plan on these three outdoor home improvement projects so you'll be prepared.
1. Replace Your Home’s Siding
Your home’s siding protects its exterior from rain, snow, ice and flying debris, like broken branches. This fall, add inspecting your home’s exterior siding to your list of outdoor projects. Check for signs that your siding needs to be replaced, including cracks, gaps, crumbling spots and insect damage. Subtler signs that it’s time for new siding include exorbitant or increasing energy bills, or drafts from walls, electrical outlets, switches and windows.
Bulging and warping of your siding could be a sign that it’s time for replacement, or even evidence of damage underneath the siding. And, of course, mold, mildew or moisture on the siding is usually a sign that it’s time to refresh your home’s exterior.
These days, you can buy inexpensive vinyl siding that’s relatively easy to install and maintain. Vinyl siding is a market leader for its versatility, affordability, ease of installation and ability to boost a home’s curb appeal or overall value. Other options include stone, metal, brick or wood. However, if you’re looking for something attractive and easy to maintain, vinyl siding is the way to go.
2. Refresh Your Deck or Patio
Whether you’re ready to bring your socializing indoors for the rest of the year or you plan to spend a few more warm evenings on the deck or patio, it’s time to consider performing regular maintenance on this part of your home. Power wash your brick or paver patio and inspect your deck for signs of structural damage. Cooler autumn temps make this the perfect time of year to reseal or repaint your deck and to perform the more labor-intensive maintenance of repairing damaged boards or replacing the deck entirely.
Don’t have a deck or patio? Building an outdoor entertainment space is one of those DIY backyard ideas that seem much more complex than they actually are. Autumn is the perfect time of year to install a paver patio. Pavers are versatile, cheap and not as hard to install as you might think. Paver patios require little maintenance and last a long time. They’re the perfect solution if you want an outdoor entertaining area but don’t have the space, time, money or inclination to install a deck.
When you’re ready to shut down your deck or patio for the season, it’s time to pack away your patio furniture. Make sure any cushions are clean and dry before storing them to prevent mold and mildew growth and extend their life. Store patio chairs and tables in your garage or shed to protect them from the elements.
3. Inspect Your Roof
Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against the weather, and if there are any problems with it, you want to know about them before cold weather hits. You should be cleaning your gutters in the early fall anyway, so go ahead and inspect your roof while you’re up on the ladder. Look for cracked, broken or missing shingles. Check your gutters for the gritty black residue that signals worn out asphalt shingles.
If you need to replace your roof, late summer or early fall is a great time to do it – the weather is still warm, but not too hot, and you’ll have a new roof just in time for winter to protect your home from ice, snow, falling tree limbs and other seasonal hazards. Do you want to end up trying to patch a leaky roof that’s sitting under six inches of snow? No, definitely not.
The transition from summer to fall will be here before you know it. These three outdoor projects will are a great way to help ensure that your home is ready for the winter months ahead!