Must-Do Fall DIY Projects

5 projects to help you prepare for winter…

By Tina Jacobs

Fall is a season of change…it’s a transition from shorts and sandals to sweaters and boots, and the ideal time to get a grip on those weatherproofing and DIY home projects to get the homestead prepared for battering down the hatches in winter so you can snuggle up by the fire instead of insulating a freezing attic.

Here are the five essential DIY projects that you should be doing for fall in order to weatherproof for winter…

1. Insulate your attic

You can insulate many areas in your home to keep the warm air in and the cool air out. This DIY project does the opposite in summer—keeping the hot air out and the cool air in (if you have central air). If  you have an older home, chances are that your attic is the prime source of hot air escaping.  Look for insulation for your attic that is either R-45 fiberglass batts or blown-in cellulose insulation, both are easily blow in or add to existing insulation, and take less than a few hours.

2. Caulk any leaks

All the tiny holes and cracks around your home’s exterior –windows, doors, etc.—all leave your homes interior exposed to the elements. It’s wise to inspect your window sills and door frames for cracked caulking and re-caulk in order to help you save on heating costs when it starts to snow. You can also use weather-stripping material (typically a type of adhesive foam strip) to block gaps and cracks around windows, garage doors, and door frames as well. Lastly, inspect your electrical outlets for cracks letting in cold air. Caulking of foam wall outlet insulators will block cold air from getting in and hot air from leaking out.

3. Cover windows in clear plastic

You can also save a lot of money on your heating bill by simply covering your windows with plastic, transparent window coverings, which act as a thermal barrier to prevent cold air from leaking.

4 Paint and waterproof

Fall is a great time to add some protection to your exposed wood decks, stair cases, gazebos, and fences as well. Choose a paint that combines a waterproof seal to extend the life of your home’s exterior features. Plus, October is the ideal month to paint outside because it’s cool yet not damp and cold.

5. Clean your furnace

You’re going to use your furnace a lot this winter, so it best be in tip-top shape. Although the cleaning itself isn’t ideal for us do-it-yourself types, you can replace filters in preparation for heavy use in winter. Then seek a professional to inspect your furnace for issues that might cause a fire from overuse in cold months.

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