As winter approaches, it is a good time to finish a variety of home projects, both indoors and outdoors. Not only will these projects help make your home more comfortable, but they can also improve energy efficiency and prepare your property to safely withstand the winter storms to come.
10 Best Outdoor Projects to Finish Before Winter
Early in fall when the days are still a bit longer and temperatures aren’t so chilly is a great time to wrap up outdoor projects and winterizing. There is still plenty of daylight to work with, and completing these chores in good time will ensure your home’s exterior, as well as your landscape, is ready for winter.
- New Windows – Whether you need windows repaired or completely replaced, it is best to finish this work before an open window is impossible because of winter weather. Consider upgrading windows to double- or triple-paned designs for better efficiency.
- Roof Repair – Repairing a roof can range from fixing small leaks to replacing a few shingles to completely reroofing a structure. This work is best done while there is still warm sunlight to work with, or roof bonding materials may not adhere properly.
- Seal Concrete – Sealing a concrete driveway, patio, or pavers before winter will keep water from seeping into the porous material or existing cracks, where ice can cause more damage. Proper sealant can also protect against discoloration from anti-icing chemicals.
- Fertilize Landscaping – Before plants go completely dormant in late autumn, offer them a good fertilizing to strengthen root growth. This feeding will help keep the plants strong to resist winter damage so they can rejuvenate quickly in spring.
- Winterize Landscaping – In addition to a fall feeding, winterize landscaping in fall. This may include pruning unstable or broken branches, wrapping shrubbery to resist the weight of snow or ice, and adding a layer of mulch to flowerbeds to insulate tender bulbs and roots.
- Winterize Outdoor Equipment – Outdoor tools and equipment, such as the lawn mower, pond pumps, grill, sprinklers, spigots, and hoses should all be winterized so they don’t suffer any damage. Clean and store garden tools appropriately as well so they’re ready for spring use.
- Clean Out Gutters – Be sure all gutters, downspouts, and drains are clear and clean so no ice or snow can build up to cause backflow or leaks. Check gutter alignment as needed, and consider adding metal mesh over gutters to help keep them clear of autumn leaves.
- Clean Windows – Take the time in fall to thoroughly wash windows (both inside and outside) to admit more light throughout the winter months, just when sunlight is at a premium. This will give you better views of winter vistas, and will also help nurture any houseplants that crave more sunlight.
- Prepare for Holiday Lights – If winter holidays mean tons of lights around your home and landscaping, take time in fall to make sure you’re ready for them. Consider installing hooks or other attachments now, before the temperatures make working outside too uncomfortable, and be sure outdoor outlets function properly and safely.
- Stock Up on Winter Supplies – You don’t want to wake up to winter’s first heavy snowfall only to discover that your snow shovel is broken or your snowblower won’t start. Check winter tools in autumn, and stock up on deicing products as needed. Also consider prepping an emergency kit for your car in case winter driving hazards may leave you stuck.
10 Best Indoor Projects to Finish Before Winter
As autumn advances, you will want to move indoors for these chores. Taking care of them before winter arrives in full force, however, will keep you more comfortable and allow you to relax knowing your home is prepared for winter weather.
- Improve Insulation – Adding extra insulation to the attic and walls as needed will help you keep your home warmer for less expense all winter long. At the same time, insulate your hot water heater and any pipes near exterior walls to save energy and minimize the risk of frozen pipes.
- Seal Windows and Doors – Check for airflow leaks near all windows and doors, and add caulking or weatherstripping as needed to block those gaps. Even small leaks can add up to big expenses, and your home will stay more comfortable with even winter heating.
- Clean the Fireplace and Chimney – If your home has a fireplace, autumn is the best time to be sure it is clean and free of debris or buildup that could cause fires. Also check the chimney and all related vents for obstructions, and clean the glass in front of a gas fireplace for the best views of the flickering flames.
- Inspect Fire Alarms – Replace the batteries in all fire alarms, or if the alarms themselves are older, consider upgrading to newer, more advanced models. Similarly, check carbon monoxide alarms as well, and test all safety alarms to be sure they’re working properly.
- Replace Furnace Filters – As you prepare to start your furnace for chillier months, check that all filters are clean and replace them as needed. This will minimize dust and allergens in your home, keeping your air cleaner and helping your furnace run more efficiently.
- Declutter the Garage – As you’re putting away summer tools and getting out winter ones, declutter the garage and discard broken or unnecessary equipment. This is also a good chance to move holiday decorations front and center so they’re easy to access for winter decorating.
- Improve Lighting – As the days dim later in fall and there are fewer hours of daylight to enjoy, upgrading your interior lighting can bring brightness to the season. Invest in more energy efficient bulbs for even more savings, and be sure older fixtures are free of dust and dirt.
- Paint Rooms – If you’ve wanted to paint rooms to refresh the walls, fall is a great time to do so while windows can still be opened for safe ventilation. Repainting will also rejuvenate your space just when you’re about to spend much more time indoors, and can give your home a new look before holiday guests arrive.
- Organize the Pantry – Take the time in fall to check your pantry supplies, especially staples you’ll rely on for winter cooking and holiday baking. Rotate supplies so older foods are used first, and consider stocking up on nonperishable foods or other goods such as cleaning supplies so you don’t have to worry about emergency shopping in winter.
- Clean Carpets – Carpets can be especially dirty in autumn after the summer’s hard use and more bare feet on warmer days. A deep cleaning or shampooing can restore your carpet’s color and pile, refreshing it for the holiday season. Be sure to install mats or boot trays as needed so autumn rain and winter slush don’t make it to the carpeting.
There are many indoor and outdoor projects that should be finished before winter arrives, but by taking each task one at a time, it’s easy to prep your home for winter and be ready to enjoy the season.