When completing fall maintenance to prepare the house and yard for winter, there are many tasks that can be completed by homeowners. Clearing piles of leaves and twigs out of the yard to avoid wildlife making dens, nests, and burrows is an example. Weatherstripping the doors and windows can also be a do-it-yourself project.
Installing storm windows, replacing the filter in the furnace, and making sure draft dodgers are in place at all doors are also excellent ways the family can prepare for winter. Do all the chores that do not need special skills. Keep in mind that some maintenance will require a professional.
The main reason some maintenance requires hiring a contractor is safety. Walking around on the roof, for example, is dangerous. Most homeowners are not even sure what they are looking for in terms of issues, any possible repair needs, or the overall condition of the roof.
Wiring needs to be left to trained electricians. If loose connections are suspected or something is not turning on or off correctly, do not attempt to connect wires or tape everything together and call it fixed. Not only can you be creating a potential fire hazard, being shocked or electrocuted is a real possibility. Call the professionals.
If safety is not a priority, think of the money that will be saved when a minor issue is fixed by a professional before it becomes a major issue. Replacing a few loose shingles in the fall is much less expensive than replacing an entire section of shingles when winter ends. The cost of repairing any residual damage done will also be expensive. Insulation may be ruined, roof framing members may be rotted, and personal items in the attic may be destroyed.
Stock Up on Essentials
Check the supply of candles, matches, flashlights, and lanterns around the house for power outages. Candles are great for creating a peaceful glow and throwing off minor heat. Remember, never leave them unattended. Flashlights can get family members around the house without bumps, bruises, or falls. A radio with new batteries needs to be placed somewhere central, such as the living room or kitchen, to have access to any news bulletins or weather updates.