How to Prepare Your Home For Fall

The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting cooler, and leaves are starting to fall from the trees. It’s official, fall is here. Now is the time to finish up any last-minute late-summer maintenance projects, and get your home ready for fall.Just follow the easy checklist, and your home will soon be clean, warm, and ready for the cool days to come.

Exterior Maintenance

Inspect siding. Check home exterior for cracks or holes. Repair them yourself or hire a professional. Find Hire allows you to have the right professional for each and every work that you require.

Clean out the gutters.No one loves this job, but we all need to do it annually. A few hours of work can prevent big problems later on. And while you’re up on that ladder, visually inspect your roof for damaged shingles, flashing, or vents. You can also inspect the chimney for any missing mortar, and consider tuck-pointing if needed.

Turn off outdoor plumbing. Drain outdoor faucets and sprinkler systems, and cover them to protect them from freezing weather to come.

Clean outdoor furniture and gardening tools. It may not be quite time yet to put them away, but go ahead and make sure your outdoor furniture and gardening tools are cleaned up and ready for storage over the winter.

Plant bulbs for spring-blooming flowers.A joyous and beautiful sign of spring is when tulips and daffodils start popping up everywhere. Plant bulbs in April, as soon as the soil has cooled down, to reap big rewards next spring. If you’ve never planted bulbs before, select a spot in your yard that gets full sun during the day.

Interior Maintenance

Prepare your furnace for winter duty.If you didn’t already do it last spring, consider getting your furnace professionally serviced in time for the cold season. At the minimum, though, visually inspect your furnace and replace the furnace filter before turning it on for the first time.

Clean the fireplace and chimney.Clean out the fireplace, make sure the flue is operating properly, and that doors and shields are sound.If you have a wood fireplace and use it often, have your chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional.

Make sure that the windows and doors are sealed properly.Check weather stripping by opening a door, placing a piece of paper in the entryway, and closing the door. The paper should not be able to slide back and forth easily. If it does, the weather stripping isn’t doing its job. Also, now is the time to re-caulk around windows and door casings if needed.

Light the way. Bring as much light into your home as you can for the colder, darker months. To accentuate natural light, clean your windows and blinds, especially in rooms that get a lot of sunlight. Add lighting to darker spaces easily with new lamps. And consider replacing traditional incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient bulbs.

Home safety check.Replace the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide monitors. Create a family fire escape plan, or review the one you already have. Put together an emergency preparedness kit so that you are ready for winter power outages.

If you are looking for a professional to take care of your problems, FindHire is the right place and once you finish with your autumn home checklist, you will be ready to relax in your warm, comfortable home.

How to Be a Handyman

Have you ever felt powerless when faced with a vexing home repair problem? Were you left in awe by a handyman who capably did what needed to be done? You can be that awe-inspiring person. That’s right, “person”. You don’t have to be a man to be a handyman.

Rather than how-to tips for specific repairs, here are some steps to take toward building your home-improvement skills.

Educate yourself

Before you pick up a hammer, pick up the remote. There are helpful TV shows and even entire networks dedicated to sparking new ideas and demonstrating how to complete projects. Keep in mind that the hosts are experienced and time constraints limit the amount of detail they can relay, so some projects will appear artificially simple. If you record the episodes of interest, then go back to take notes and soak it in, you’ll have a better background.

After all the disparagement of home-improvement books advertised on TV, it turns out they were onto something. But instead of making countless payments, hit the library for these and other detailed volumes. Take the time to read and absorb them first; it’s important to resist the temptation of reading as you work. If you follow that course, you’ll inevitably hit a roadblock, have to backtrack, and spend far more time and money on the project than necessary.

Attend workshops or take online classes

The draw of home-improvement centers is addictive. What guy doesn’t like to wander the aisles, fondling tools and eyeing up hardware? Even apartment dwellers are intoxicated by the acres of goodies. Having realized that we’re all essentially loitering with dignity, retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s have capitalized on our browsing with free in-store workshops and how-to clinics.

Some guys don’t want to attend for fear of being identified as “Someone Who Doesn’t Know How,” but don’t let your ego prevent you from watching and learning. Stop fronting and gather around the guy in the apron. The events are low-key and informative, and they provide the benefit of seeing projects completed firsthand.

Get the right tools

All the newfound knowledge in the world is no good to you unless you have the instruments to make it happen. A good habit to develop from the beginning is to always have the right tool for the task. Compile a basic arsenal of tools and supplies before you begin your first job:

  • Adhesives and caulk, plus a simple caulking gun
  • Appropriate-gauge extension cord
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Duct tape (don’t laugh, it actually has legitimate uses)
  • Flashlight
  • Gloves
  • Hammer
  • Level
  • Penetrating fluid, like WD-40
  • Portable work light/trouble light
  • Safety glasses
  • Screwdriver set
  • Stepladder
  • Tape measure
  • Utility knife
  • Wrench set

Help your friends with their projects

We all have friends who hit us up for help with their home projects. For inexperienced guys, the assistance is usually limited to holding tools and shouting confirmations of “It’s on!” or “It’s off!” Friend or not, it’s a damn dull way to spend a Saturday. Since your excuses have probably hit the peak of lameness, accept the challenge, lend a hand and chalk it up to education. You can learn a lot if you watch him and ask questions along the way. And hey, if he gets tired of all your questions, he’ll call someone else to help him next weekend and you’ll be free to work on your own place.

Take your time

With a few simple tools, some patience and a little guidance, becoming a handyman is well within your reach. Books, TV shows, in-store workshops, and online how-to clinics cover the subjects you want with the details you need. Becoming your own go-to guy for household projects might seem a little intimidating if you don’t have the experience, but you have to start somewhere, so jump right in.