Fall House Prep Checklist

The list below outlines all the important things you should do before winter sets in.  Many of you use landscapers and contractors to do much of this for you.  If so, contact them now.  The closer you get to the time that these things MUST be done, the less likely you will be able to get on their schedule so book ASAP.  If you need referrals to contractors, let me know.

The House – Outside

☐  Have Gutters Cleaned

☐  Draft-Proof the House – caulk around windows, check weather stripping and replace as necessary

☐  Check Your Roof  –look for tiles and flashing that are coming up.  If you don’t know what to look for, ask a roofer to look it over. Fix as necessary.

☐  Have Your Irrigation System Winterized – schedule this now!

☐  Drain Spigots – turn off the valve inside and then run the water to drain the water out.

☐  Check walkways for needed repairs – if stones are coming up or asphalt is split, it could wreck your snowblower or trip up people walking over snow and ice.

☐  Bring in Hoses and Flower Pots – the flower pots will freeze and crack if they have dirt in them or fill with water.  So, if you don’t want to bring them in, at least empty them and turn them over.

☐  Stow your Mower – it’s a good idea to take out the spark plug, put oil in the opening and run the mower for a couple of seconds to distribute the oil.  At the very least, drain the gasoline.  It will get stale over the winter.

☐  Check your Snowblower – make sure it runs! If not, have it serviced.

☐  Clean and Store your Patio Furniture – if you can’t store, at least store the cushions so they don’t get stained and moldy. Then cover the furniture, grill, etc.

☐  Check the House for wood rot and have replaced.

☐  Remove Screens and Put up Storms (or pull down)

☐ Weather strip your garage doormake sure critters cannot slip under the door

☐  Check Outside Lights and Replace Bulbsbetter now than in the freezing cold!

Seal cracks where mice can get inthey are going to be looking for a warm place soon.

☐  Remove Window A/C Units – if you cannot remove, cover them on the outside

Take Pictures! – if you are going to be listing your house in the early spring, you may not be able to get good picture if there is still snow on the ground.  If you are a client of mine, planning to sell in the spring, I will have my photographer do this for you.  Just let me know.

The House – Inside

☐  Turn on the Heat to make sure it works

☐  Change Furnace Filters 

☐  Have Furnace Servicedideally you should have it checked every year, but if it is making noise, then definitely.

☐  Check Chimney(s)birds and bats can nest up there, creatine can build up, bricks can come loose. If you don’t want to flash a light up there, call an expert.

☐  Check Smoke Detectors it’s a good idea to blow the dust out of the detectors and make sure they work.  If you will be selling in the spring, you likely will have to change them all as the rules for smoke detectors changed in December 2016

☐  Reverse direction of Ceiling Fans

The Yard

☐  Seed Bare Patches in your lawn now so they can take hold before winter.

☐  Plant Spring Bulbsnow is the time!

Plant Shrubs so they can root for next year.

☐  Fertilize the Lawn with a high phosphorous mix (12-25-12) to ensure good grass in the spring. 

Last Mowing to 1¼”end of Oct is good time for this.

Prune your Plants – this is somewhat complex, different plants must be pruned at different times of the year.  This article gives a great rundown

https://www.thespruce.com/how-and-when-to-prune-plants-1403009

☐  Divide Crowded Perennialsshould be done every 3 years.

☐  Mulch New Bedsafter first frost but before ground freezes

☐  Get rid of Annuals as they Diesnails and slugs feed on these and breed.

☐  Trim Spent Perennial Foliage to the ground so energy goes to the roots.

 

Buy

☐  Snow Meltthere won’t be any once snow arrives

☐  Shrubs to Round out your Landscapingparticularly if you are selling in spring.

☐  Restock Emergency Kits for your Cars

Click the image to get this list in a printable PDF format

If you are going to be selling your house in the spring, feel free to contact me now to talk about what you can do now to have the house look great at the beginning of the season.

Michelle J. Lane
MICHELLE J. LANE, Realtor
Century 21 Commonwealth
CELL: 617 584-3904
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