Fall Home and Yard Fix Ups

Get your house - inside and out - ready for cooler weather with these maintenance chores and improvements to conserve energy. Learn how much it costs to do it yourself compared with hiring out the work.

Fall Home and Yard Fix Ups

Get your house - inside and out - ready for cooler weather with these maintenance chores and improvements to conserve energy. Learn how much it costs to do it yourself compared with hiring out the work.

By Gene and Katie Hamilton

Fall Home and Yard Fix Ups A good defense is the best strategy to protect your home against cold weather damage. Be your own home inspector and take a stroll around your house with this Fall Home checklist and use it as a gameplan to follow. After your home checkup make any necessary repairs and you'll be confident your home is ready for any kind of weather.

Inside the House

  • Clean out the sump pump, which is the best defense against water seepage and flooding in your basement. Remove debris that may clog the pump and make sure the pump works. Connect a garden hose to a tub faucet and fill the sump with water. The pump should come on long before the sump pit fills. If it doesn't make sure it's plugged in and check and that the fuse is not blown. If the pump still does not work, have it serviced.
  • COST TO REPLACE A SUMP PUMP
  • Replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Check fire extinguishers to make sure they're charged and in working order.
  • COST TO REPLACE A SMOKE DETECTOR and COST TO REPLACE A CO DETECTOR
  • Hire a chimney sweep to clean the chimney and remove any build-up of creosote.
  • COST TO CLEAN A CHIMNEY
  • Schedule an annual heating system tune up to make sure the unit is running and properly adjusted. Make sure the furnace filter is changed or cleaned and the air ducts are sealed and not leaking.
  • COST TO CLEAN FURNACE DUCTS
  • Add pipe wrap to insulate any interior water pipes that are exposed or susceptible to northern winds to prevent them from freezing.
  • Change the batteries and reset your programmable thermostat for your winter heating schedule.
  • COST TO INSTALL A SELF-LEARNING THERMOSTAT
  • Install weatherstripping on a door seal any gaps and prevent air infiltration.
  • COST TO WEATHERPROOF A DOOR
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