Start Planning For Cold Weather Fix-Ups

Preventive maintenance can be the key to keeping your home trouble-free during the fall and winter, but many homeowners have lengthy to do lists and not enough time to complete them.

Fortunately, a few tips from the experts can help you decide what to take care of and what to delegate.

All houses require maintenance of some kind, and its especially important when the weather turns colder, says Jim Rocchetta, vice president of Marketing for nationwide home improvement contracting network Handyman Connection. Whether homeowners do it themselves or get help from a certified handyman, these projects can enhance both comfort and peace of mind.

Rocchetta offers some starting points for projects:

Keep out the elements: Check the caulking and seals around windows. Make sure exterior doors fit snugly to discourage drafts.

Insulate yourself: Double-check insulation in attics, crawl spaces and spaces adjacent to porches or garages.

Outdoor plumbing: Remove hoses and shut off the water to all outside faucets to prevent them from freezing and becoming damaged.

Clutter control: Effective household organizational systems can reduce clutter and make sure you can find what you need when spring arrives. New shelves, cabinets or closet systems can create more space for you.

Thorough inspection: Take the time to walk slowly around the exterior of your house, pausing to visually inspect potential problem areas such as gutters, chimneys, eaves, window wells and so on. Many local companies will offer inspection services and recommendations for a fee.

Depending on the project, you may need to invest in some building materials, time, or good old-fashioned elbow grease.

If you need help to complete your list, discuss the details with a professionally licensed handyman and receive a cost estimate.

Taking care of a few smaller projects now can keep bigger problems from developing in the future, adds Rocchetta. When the colder weather arrives, you can feel confident about the condition of your homeand start making plans for your spring projects.

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