Here are just a few tips, and things to remember, that you'll want to get done before the snow flies and the temperatures really drop.
Number 1: Clean out and maintain your eavestrough and downspouts. Be sure that all those falling leaves don't clog things up, and that there are no cracks or leaks anywhere along the roof line, or down the downspouts, where cold/freezing water can run and sit against your roof and walls.
Number 2: Winterize your yard/landscaping. If you have plants/shrubs/young trees that may not be able to handle the winter climate around here, make sure they get covered up. Do any yard clean up/fall fertilizing you may want to do for your grass. But this extends beyond just your plants. If your sidewalk or steps have cracks or loose "rubble" on them, you'll want to clean that up before it gets covered up and can present a slip or fall hazard in the winter.
Number 3: Clean/service your power garden tools. Yes, do this now, not in the spring. If you get that lawn mower and other tools cleaned and serviced before you put them away, you'll know they'll be ready as soon as you need them. And if you think this year may be the end of the life cycle, buy the new ones now as well, you'll find great out-of-season sales in the fall.
Number 4: Get your water heater and furnace checked and serviced. And change the furnace filter. In most cases this something you should be doing every few months. You'll clearly want these items in peak working condition when it gets cold. The last thing anyone wants is that early morning wake up to find out your furnace has decided to stop working. If you get the servicing and work done now, you can rest easy that you'll have a nice warm home all winter long.
Number 5: Fix leaky faucets. You'll want this done before winter as well, because it will help avoid frozen/broken pipes in the winter, which, like a dead furnace, is not something you want to deal with when it's -35 degrees out there! (Not to mention saving a few dollars on the water bill!)
Number 6: Check your windows and doors for drafts. This is where your home will lose most of it's energy. Even you can't get them replaced, there are things that can be done. Plastic over the windows, or even just heavy drapes can help to block drafts at the windows, and some weather stripping, or rolled up blankets along the door can help there.
Number 7: If you have one, get your fireplace checked as well. This is especially true with wood burning fireplaces. They need to be clean, and in good working order if you want to use them over the winter months. Who doesn't like a nice fire to keep warm by, but let's keep it in the fireplace, not the house!
These are just a few things to think about, and, if you get them done now, they will save you a lot of time, money, and headache later, and you can get out there and still enjoy autumn, and maybe help winter be a little more enjoyable as well!
Thanks everyone, and as ever, if you need anything involving real estate, feel free to call or email me anytime!