Top 10 Home Remodeling Don'ts -
from our friends at Houzz
December 17, 2017
21 Home Improvement Projects to tackle before Thanksgiving
October 27, 2014
Have you taken care of these Fall projects yet?Call J&M's Estate Management service to get these to-do's off your list so you can enjoy the Holiday season: 203.256.5785
1. Exterior Paint
Fall offers plenty of days that are warm enough to work with exterior paint, and a touch-up can help prolong the life of your siding and trim. A fresh coat of paint or sealer on any surface that potentially will be covered with snow, such as wood floors or stairs, also is a wise idea. Sooner is better to get started, as many paints aren't recommended for application on days when the temperature dips below 45-50 degrees F.
2. Finish the Basement
Living in the Northeast brings ice and snow, clouds and rain during winter, and chances are your outdoor living space will spend a good portion of the season out of commission. If your time indoors leaves you feeling a little crowded, look to your basement for room to roam. Finishing a basement is a great way to extend your living space and also gives a higher return on investment than many other home projects. Whether you're planning on selling your home come springtime or you just need more space to live, consider finishing your basement.
3. Fix Major Home Appliances
From turkey dinners to seasonal cookies, the holiday season is a busy time for most kitchens. Clothes washers and dryers often pull an extra shift or two during the holidays as well. If your appliances aren't working - or aren't working as well as they should - call an appliance-repair professional before the holidays arrive. A trained professional can diagnose and repair a problem in a major appliance for far less than the cost of replacement.
4. Fall Lawn Care
To ensure your lawn's health and beauty come Spring, complete several important yardwork projects in the Fall. Raking leaves and aerating will prevent your lawn and garden beds from suffocating, while fertilizing and winterizing grass, trees, and shrubs will allow your greenery to enter its winter slumber comfortably and properly nourished. Professional lawn-care services make quick work of these projects, freeing up your time for family, friends, and football.
5. Plan for Holiday Lights
Holiday lights begin to appear on homes across America every year almost immediately following (and sometimes even before) Thanksgiving. If you plan to decorate your home yourself, develop a plan and start looking for deals on lights and other outdoor holiday paraphernalia early. If you're planning to hire assistance, J&M's Estate Management Group can help you design, install, and disassemble holiday lights. Either way, allow time to make arrangements and install lights as early as you can to maximize the number of days you'll have to enjoy them.
6. Seal Gaps and Add Insulation
Nothing makes a home more uncomfortable during the winter than a nagging, chilly draft. Consider a home energy audit that includes a review of your home's caulking and weather stripping. J&M will also look inspect your attic. If the insulation is at or below the level of the joists, you might be able to keep your home warmer by adding more insulation. A depth of 10-14 inches is generally considered optimal, and you can supplement with a variety of types of insulation to achieve that depth.
7. Power Washing
Having your home's exterior and windows power washed won't just make your home look sharp, it also will prevent the growth of mold and mildew that feed on grime.
8. Hire Cleaning Help
If you're like most people, the final months of the year are long on to-do items and short on time. Hiring a cleaning professional will allow you to focus on more important tasks and keep your home looking its best for holiday visitors. Whether you schedule a one-time visit or routine cleanings, the stress and effort you'll save are likely well worth the monetary investment.
9. Fireplace Repair
Proper inspection of a fireplace is vital to ensuring its safe operation - even if it is rarely used. Check wood fireplaces for flammable buildup (known as creosote) and chimney blockages such as bird nests. Check also for these red flags: improperly functioning dampers, damaged brickwork and masonry, and missing or damaged flue caps (the screen covering the top of the chimney).
10. Tune Up the Furnace
The furnace is literally the heart of most American homes during cold winter months. Without it, comfortable life indoors would come to a grinding halt. Occasional maintenance from a trained professional can keep your furnace running effectively and efficiently, and it will prevent potentially catastrophic damage to your home from burst or frozen pipes.
11. Prepare for Snow Removal
Get bids from snow-removal professionals in your area before that first flake falls. Keeping your walks free of ice and snow is a vital part of wintertime safety, but venturing outside with a snow shovel in the dead of winter is an unpleasant task for most.
12. Repair or Replace Siding
When deciduous trees and bushes have shed their leaves and yards and landscaping are covered by snow, shoddy spots on your home's exterior are pulled into the limelight. If your home's siding needs repair or replacement, contact J&M's Estate Management Group to complete the work before the harsh days of winter magnify any exterior blemishes. Some new siding even comes with added insulation, which can help bundle up your home for winter.
13. Replace Windows
Do you feel a chill next to certain windows in your home during winter? Have you noticed condensation or frost on these windows? Glass with multiple panes, spacers, or filler gasses (such as argon or krypton) will likely solve these problems. J&M can swap out your problem windows with more-efficient models that will increase your comfort level while decreasing your heating bills.
14. Install a Home Security System
If you're looking for peace of mind this holiday season, consider enlisting the help of a home security company. A home security system will help protect against intruders, and many systems can monitor for signs of fire. Security companies will often install basic systems free of charge, provided you sign a monitoring contract.
15. Roof Repair
The cold of winter can aggravate even the smallest of roof leaks. Any leaks in a home's roof should be fixed in advance of the first snowfall. J&M Estate Management Group's experienced, professional crew will accurately assess leaks and fix problems quickly and safely.
16. Clean Carpets
Fall is the perfect time to clean your carpets - the humid days of summer have passed, but the below-freezing days of winter have yet to arrive. It's the best time to open windows for ventilation, which should speed the drying process. And let a professional wrangle the bulky cleaning equipment - with a house full of wet carpet, you can get outdoors and enjoy the few remaining warm days.
17. Clean, Repair, and Protect Gutters
Your home's gutters divert thousands of gallons of water each year. To keep the water flowing smoothly away from your house instead of into it, inspect and clean your roof's drainage system. Better still, protect your gutters with mesh guards to keep leaves and other debris from causing blockages in the first place.
18. Install a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats save money without sacrificing comfort by using less energy to heat and cool your home while you're away or asleep. More accurate and convenient to use than manual thermostats, programmable thermostats don't contain toxic mercury found in traditional models.
19. Repair Driveways and Walks
Small cracks and gaps in a driveway or walkway can quickly expand during winter's freezing temperatures. Cracked concrete and disintegrating asphalt also can create treacherous conditions for pedestrians. Contact J&M to ensure these cracks are fixed properly and won't return or get worse.
20. Winterize Faucets and Sprinklers
Most exterior plumbing in areas with temperatures below freezing must be winterized to prevent freezing and bursting. J&M's Estate Management Group can make quick work of winterizing exterior faucets (known as hose bibs), as well as winterizing more complex plumbing, such as sprinkler systems or water features.
21. Plan Ahead
If you've been dreaming of a new home or a home improvement project such as an addition or major landscaping, fall is an excellent time to reach out to J&M to discuss design and draft plans. Starting now will allow time to revise the plans - and you'll have one more reason to look forward to Spring!
Whether you want to tackle 1 or all 21 of these great Fall Home Improvement Projects, J&M Construction and our Estate Management Group are here to take care of the details while you take care of enjoying the Holidays.