Spaces for Life

The ReTouch Home Improvement blog



Spaces for Life: Your Fall Home Checklist

By Lance McCarthy

I don’t know about you, but I got a bit of really cold rain and hail last night.  Not expecting that.  Then as I’m eating some pumpkin bread watching the Royals in Game 2, I got a notification of Daylight Savings on Sunday.  Wait a minute.  Cold rain. A preponderance of pumpkin-ey stuff.  World Series.  Daylight Savings.  This can only mean one thing:  Fall has fallen.

But I haven’t even gotten my body ready for swimsuit season yet!  It can’t be fall!  Oh, but it is.  Now I can start preparing my body for Christmas season (I’m not sure what that means actually), and I really need to start preparing my house for the season change.  

Here are some quick items that should probably be on your Fall Home Checklist.  (I’ll let you take care of your own Fall Body Checklist.  I wonder if that’s a thing?)

  • Change your furnace filter.  You knew I was going to say this.  Now just get up, go down in the basement, and take the 90 seconds that are required to actually do it.  You’ll be proud of yourself afterwards.  Actually, this is a really good time to have the whole furnace system checked out and serviced.  Then they can do the filter.
  • Clean your gutters.  Seriously, this isn’t rocket science.  If it helps any, putting this one off just means you will have to pay me big bucks down the road to replace your rusty gutters and all the woodrot around them, and remember the ice dams last winter.  Yep, those will be back.
  • Check your smoke detectors.  There should be one in every bedroom, one in the hall outside the bedrooms, and make sure there’s one on every floor.  If you set one off, they should all go off.  As fireplace season gets closer, this gets a lot more important.
  • Other fire stuff.  Do you have a fire extinguisher in any areas where there are open flame?  Kitchens, furnace room, etc.  Also, now is a good time to go over your fire escape plan.  Especially if you have kids, it is good to rehearse how to get out of the house and where to go in the case of a fire.  Want a scary statistic?  A modern house is so flammable that you only have about 2 minutes to safely get out.  120 seconds.  I’ll let that sink in.
  • Check windows and doors.  If these aren’t sealed well, they can be adding 10-20% to your utility bill.  Are the storm windows in place and secure?  Are the weatherseals working?  What about the door thresholds?
  • Look over your concrete.  Patios, sidewalks, steps and driveways are going to have ice on them sometime in the next few months.  If there are sections that have sunken, or cracked, now is the time to fix it.  And seal it.  Sealing the concrete can change its lifetime from 5-10 years to 100 years.
  • Get rid of old paint and chemicals.  If these are near your furnace, they shouldn’t be.  If they are in your garage, they will go bad this winter.  Here’s a link to free disposal in Johnson County.
  • Winterize your plumbing.  Make sure any outside water lines are turned off, sprinkler systems are closed, and go ahead and put the hoses in the garage so they don’t deteriorate.  Do you have any plumbing that froze last winter?  It might be time to insulate it or re-run it so it isn’t so vulnerable.

Ok, that should do it.  Now back to eating stuff that has been unnecessarily flavored with pumpkin spice and watch the Royals hopefully win this thing!

You can also view this column with our partner

Ready to Take the Next Step?