As a homeowner, summer’s end generally marks the beginning for winter preparation. It’s the perfect time to wrap up outdoor projects and take care of routine maintenance work. More importantly, it’s also an opportunity to avoid costly repairs that may otherwise surface during the colder weather. As you prepare for winter, here are some important end-of-summer maintenance tips to include, so that your home is ready.
Get Rid of Dead Wood
Whether it’s branches or twigs, it’s imperative to remove decaying wood prior to winter. It can cause damage by falling on your house or vehicle during storms with high winds or heavy snowfall and ice. Unless you’re familiar with items like a pruner or chain saw, the safest option is to hire a professional to complete the task at hand.
Clear Clogged Gutters
When gutters are properly functioning, they do three things: Prevent water damage to your roof; keep water from collecting around your home’s foundation and entering through the basement (providing you have those); and deter rodents and other vermin from lingering around. Clearing gutters is as easy as stepping on a ladder and using a garden trowel; however, if you’re afraid of heights or you’re a novice ladder user, contacting a professional is probably the best call.
Should you choose to do it yourself, ladder safety is a must. In 2015, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimated that 256,000 injuries involving ladders and stools were treated in emergency departments across the nation. Whenever you decide to tackle this project, ask someone to join you by holding the ladder. Also, avoid performing any work during wind and rain, and make sure your ladder setup is correctly.
Check Safety Devices
Inspect your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors by performing tests and replacing batteries. Also, locate your fire extinguishers and confirm they haven’t expired.
Replace Air Filter
Air filters for your heating and air system can generally last anywhere from a month to six months. When you purchase the air filter, there’s usually a recommended time for use; however, if you or someone else in your home has allergies, it should be changed more often. The same applies if you have a pet or multiple pets in the home. Changing the filter at the end of summer guarantees cleaner air and better airflow, which can save you money on your energy bills and overall expenses related to your heating and cooling system.
Schedule a Furnace Inspection
Furnaces usually fail during the coldest days of winter – the worst time to find out your furnace has an issue. A simple way to avoid running into this problem is to have your furnace checked by a professional every August before temperatures get cooler. Another reason to have it checked during this timeframe: HVAC companies usually offer pre-winter specials for maintenance visits.
Frozen pipes are another problem you don’t want to encounter mid-winter. The Red Cross suggests adding insulation to places like attics, basements and crawlspaces, as well as other areas where water supply lines are located. These may be under kitchen and bathroom cabinets or in your garage. It’s important to note that it doesn’t matter if they’re hot or cold pipes, both kinds should be insulated. Should you have exposed pipes (those that run against exterior walls), it’s recommended to insulate those as well by using products like a pipe sleeve, heat tape, heat cable or even newspaper.
While these end-of-summer recommendations may take some time and money to address now, these preventative steps are worth taking to avoid costly repairs down the road. They’ll also better ensure your safety and warmth during the time you need it the most.
Photo Credit: Pixabay.com
The leaves are changing color and everything is pumpkin spiced; fall is here! A change in seasons can be a great inspiration for refreshing your home décor, both inside and out. Outdoor spaces like an entryway can be refreshed with a seasonal wreath. Speaking of the outdoors, now is also a great time to check on outdoor floodlights and walkway lights, both for your safety with the sun setting earlier and for that of trick-or-treater’s visiting your house!
During the autumn, the morning air is brisk and daylight fades earlier so it is likely that your family will be spending more time indoors. Everything cozy and comfortable is back in season in your wardrobe so bring these same themes into your living spaces. Simple swaps such as adding thicker throw blankets and pillows in warmer tones like burgundy or chocolate can make a chilly room more comfortable. Plaid patterns or materials like flannel and fleece are perfect for the season. Fresh flowers like mums and miniature pumpkins or gourds can be added to decorative bowls, side tables, or fireplace mantels bringing the colors of the season inside. Rearranging seating furniture can refresh the room while creating cozy spaces for conversation. Natural afternoon sunlight can be replaced with a well-placed lamp.
You might notice that major updates are needed to your indoor living spaces, such as new flooring or wall color. Flooring with warm tones such as walnut or cherry help to make a room feel cozy in addition to being beautiful; particularly when paired with walls painted with lighter shades. Beige or gray wall tones complement these floor choices well and do not clash with seasonal accent items. Deep red, orange, gold, and brown tones in accent pieces go well with warm-toned flooring and light-colored walls. Accents in these rich fall colors will also add visual interest and texture to a room with neutral toned walls.
Scraped wood floors and faded-looking floors are a big trend we’ve seen in the past couple of years, and still see going strong moving forward. Both of these types of floors are found in hardwood and in luxury vinyl tile. Both types of flooring can really transform the look of the room according to the season. For the fall, pull inspiration from your scraped wood floors and add mustard or warm brick colors to your décor. With the faded-looking floors, you can work off of the gray tones and add deep purple or oxblood to your room to really cozy up the space. As for metals, use copper or burnished bronze to bring a bit of richness and depth to your room. Any of these styles can easily and affordably be done with the help of our designers.
We’re coming into the holiday season; a great time to have the discussion with one of our designers about the condition of your floors, or the possibility of having them replaced. Give us a call today to get started on your new fall space.
It’s hard to believe it’s already the end of October, and snowy days are just ahead of us! If you haven’t already begun to decorate your home for the fall season, we have some suggestions for you to incorporate your flooring with the colors of the fall!
The great thing about this season is the multitude of textures available in décor. Burlap, fur, fleece, and other elements can be tied in to any type of room with most any type of flooring. For example, If your floors are a light pine or bamboo color, black and orange blend in beautifully. Try a dark wooden bowl at your entrance, along with burnt orange pillows on your sofa. Dark eggplant purple looks great here too. Try leather pillows for a luxurious look, or a fur throw.
Summer and spring lend themselves to light and airy style elements, whereas fall and winter do well with heavier materials. Use copper and bronze, or stainless steel and wrought iron. Gold is big this season. Try swapping out your dining chairs for wrought iron, or a gold centerpiece. Oak floors are a great compliment to any metal you use and give your home a rustic feel. If you have a large floor vase, add wheat stalks or metal decorative rods to blend the styles together.
Distressed wood floors already lend themselves to a warm, inviting feel. Bring that up to your furniture and use suede stools, vintage items, and textured wall panels to build a room that can be swapped out with each season. Patterns can be used in small spaces or to highlight one large wall. Don’t worry though, these aren’t looks that only pertain to the colder months. With just a few tweaks, you can bring your designed room in to spring, and transition into summer as well. It’s all about the little things, and when you bring in the flavors of fall, the floors will warm up and present a whole new look to itself.
Your floors are the largest design element of your home. Whether you choose flooring that’s modern, vintage, clean or traditional, the other style elements you choose whether it be in furniture or décor will lend itself to an inviting feel for whatever the season may be. Let our stylists help you with certain style elements to see how your room can transition with each season.