Here’s a checklist to help you stay on top of your projects at home.
To do now
Exterior repairs: it isn’t too late to make a few improvements to the exterior of your home, but don’t tackle anything too big. Take the time to make minor deck repairs or paint your fence; just make sure you give it a good clean and light sand first.
Plan your year
The end of summer is a good time to plan any home improvements you want to complete throughout the year. Get in early and take the time to lock in contractors for indoor jobs during the winter months and start scheming up that new outdoor entertaining area so you’re ready to hit the ground running in spring.
Autumn & winter
Clear the gutters: once the leaves have fallen, be sure to clean your gutters and inspect them for any damage. Co-founder of Builderscrack, Jeremy Wyn-Harris says it’s important to make sure any necessary gutter repairs are done before winter sets in. If you decide to hire someone to check your gutters for you, Wyn-Harris recommends getting them to check the roof for any loose or broken tiles while they’re up there.
Painting: Stuck inside and at a loss of what to do on a moody autumn or winter weekend? “You can get into the DIY-mood by doing the fairly straightforward job of giving a room a paint touch-up,” Wyn-Harris says. “There is some technique involved but it is fairly simple to learn and a wet weekend is the perfect opportunity to start.”
Tackle small indoor projects: The colder months are ideal for tackling smaller projects you put off all summer. Patch up holes or scratches in your walls using joint compound and a putty knife from your local DIY store. While you’re tackling other small projects around the home, check your smoke alarms. The Metropolitan Fire Brigade says you should replace all smoke alarm batteries at least once a year.
Tend to the lawn: Don’t stop at dragging out the lawnmower to do your fortnightly cut. “Spraying for weeds and the prudent use of the right fertiliser makes the difference between an average lawn and a thing of beauty,” says Stan Scott from Mitre 10.
High-pressure hose: Rid your outdoor areas of the moss and lichen that built up over winter with the help of a high-pressure hose. Make the job a little easier for yourself by following Scott’s advice and softening surfaces with the right spray before you scrub, hose or pressure-blast them.
Weed: “It’s also a good idea to clear weeds away from the base of the house,” Wyn-Harris says. “They can build up and create a problem with dampness. It also pays to clean the guttering and check out the roof for storm damage over the winter.”
Appliance checks: Wyn-Harris says mid- to late-October is a good time to get appliances checked that have run all winter. Gas fires, ducted heating, heat pumps, and also chimneys should all be checked or cleaned annually. Do this now and save yourself some stress for the next winter.
This article was first published on stuff.co.nz.