The days are getting shorter, there’s a slight chill in the air, and pumpkin spice flavoring is otherwise ubiquitous — fall is officially here.
With the hectic holiday season swiftly approaching, now is an excellent time to finally get around to some of those home improvement projects on your list. From the family room to the outdoor space, there’s plenty of places in and around your home deserving of your attention. For a little motivation, check out our list of fall home improvement projects worth tackling this season.
1. Cleaning the gutters
While that fall foliage is beautiful on the street, it’s problematic for your gutters. As dirt and debris build up over time, it leads to obstructions in your gutter that prevent it from draining properly. Clearing your gutters is a simple job with massive implications for your foundation, one of the costliest areas to repair in your home — do a little preventative maintenance, you’ll thank yourself later.
What you need
- Gutter guards (optional)
- Place a ladder on level ground to reach your gutters.
- With gloves, use your hands and clear out the larger debris.
- Using a trowel or other digging tool, clear out the dirt and compacted debris.
- If you have downspout strainers, remove them.
- Using a hose, wash the gutters — the water should flow downspout.
- With water flowing, identify any leaks near the seams — you can seal these with gutter caulk.
Straightforward in its approach, clearing out your gutters is a pretty physical job. If you want to save yourself some trouble in the future, consider adding gutter guards to your home — they make your gutters far less accessible to large debris.
2. Reseeding the lawn
Nothing makes a statement about quite like a lusciously green lawn. In the backyard space, a healthy lawn is inviting — it’s the perfect excuse to have people over and enjoy the dip in temperatures. The favorable weather is also your signal that conditions are just right to reseed the lawn.
*Editor’s note: We care about sustainability! Make sure you select a winter grass seed that does not require excessive watering to grow. Also, before embarking on this project, ensure your sprinklers are functioning properly and not wasting any water as they operate.
What you need
- Lawn mower
- Grass seed
- Garden seed and fertilizer spreader (optional)
- Drop your lawn mower to two inches or less.
- Mow your lawn — the existing grass should be trimmed extra short to give new seeds the best chance to grow.
- Using quality grass seed appropriate for your region, spread seeds over the lawn area. Smaller areas can be done manually by hand or by using a crank-operated garden seed and fertilizer spreader.
- Apply a thin layer of topsoil to the lawn area — this provides a fertile ground for the seed and encourages growth. Follow the directions listed on the bag for specific instructions.
- Keep the seeds and fertilizer wet for the next couple of weeks. If you have a sprinkler system, program them to run at least twice a day to ensure the lawn area remains damp.
- Identify any trouble areas that don’t seem to be growing in. Reseed these areas and apply topsoil — if your sprinkler is missing these patches, they may need to be manually watered.
- After about three weeks, mow your newly grown lawn. Make sure you raise your lawn mower beforehand or you’ll risk killing off some of the grass.
Who doesn’t love the look and feel of fresh-cut grass? Plan a weekend morning around reseeding your lawn and soon you’ll be the envy of your neighbors.
3. Painting the front door
Somewhat surprisingly, a simple paint job on your front door can make one of the biggest differences to the outside of your home — one people are sure to notice. It’s something you can easily accomplish in the span of an afternoon, too. Fall’s more moderate weather produces ideal conditions for the paint to adhere and avoid any freezing.
*Editor’s note: Does your home have an HOA? Be sure to check what restrictions are in place for exterior paint before you purchase any supplies.
What you need
- Basic tools like a flathead screwdriver
- Dust mask
- Tack cloth
- Approved paint/primer
- Remove the door and all hardware, including knob and hinges.
- With the door in a well vented, outdoor area, begin scraping any loose paint off
- Sand the door until the paint is smooth
- Wipe the door down using a tack cloth
- Apply the paint/primer to the door — start with the brush for the recessed parts of the door and move outward; use the roller for the flat panels.
- Give your door time to dry before reinstalling the hardware and mounting.
If you have some freedom (first) with your color choices and you’re looking for a seasonal feel, opt for something rustic or opaque. Red and black are classic that can give off a classic, stately look — orange and yellow are other popular choices, reminiscent of the leaves that commonly adorn an autumnal wreath. Make sure you select something that compliments the exterior of your home.
Enjoy the season!
Whether you plan to entertain family and friends this fall or enjoy the cozy weather all to yourself, fall is a wonderful time of year to schedule a home renovation project. On behalf of the entire team at Offerpad, we hope you (and your home) have a fantastic season!