Fall is a great season for undertaking home improvement projects; the weather is just right, not too hot or cold. As a DIY enthusiast, you can’t wait to get your hands dirty. Before you do, you should know that not all home improvement tasks are ideal for a do-it-yourself approach. Here’s a guide for great DIY projects to consider for this fall.
1. Revamp Your Kitchen Cabinets
Before throwing Christmas parties, consider refacing the kitchen cabinets as part of your DIY home improvement projects for this fall. It’s a more cost-effective option for giving this important room of the home a fresh look than a full redesign, and it takes less time.
Just remove the doors, give everything a good sanding, and then stain or repaint. However, before painting, closely examine the cupboard’s present finish and follow the instructions for the new paint and primer. If you take on the project indoors, ensure the space is properly ventilated. Complete the new look with chic new hardware to make the before-and-after comparison more dramatic.
2. Update Your Attic
Working in your attic during summer’s hot months can be downright dangerous. The cool fall temperatures are ideal for starting DIY home improvement projects and purging the things you’ve stashed there. Once you’re up in the attic, inspect the insulation for air leaks or other gaps that may offer easy entry for pests and seal them. However, first, ensure they haven’t already broken into your home. Remember, don’t make the rookie mistake of sealing the vents, as they’re key for ensuring proper air circulation and preventing mold growth.
3. Draft-Proof Your Windows
While you may not feel the effect of unsealed nooks and crannies in the summer, winter’s cold temperatures will leave your home feeling frosty. The key here is to take action as soon as possible. Inspect your doors and windows before a cold snap hits and apply fresh caulking or install weatherstripping to keep out cold air.
Note that weatherstripping gradually becomes less effective as you use it, so it’s a good idea to check it every few years. If you have outdated single-pane windows, now is an excellent time to replace them. While it’ll require a substantial initial investment, your future self will be happy about the lower energy bills besides having a warm and comfortable home. Draftproofing your windows is a much cheaper DIY home improvement option than scheduling a new AC install.
4. Renovate Your Fireplace
Do you enjoy cuddling up in a warm blanket next to a crackling fire when the days get shorter and the weather colder. The fireplace can be your home’s heart. However, an outdated or unsightly surround and mantle can ruin even the most fashionable and cozy space.
Upgrading your fireplace can be an extremely satisfying DIY home improvement project that gives your space a touch of polish and a welcoming atmosphere. While you could keep it simple and only paint the front, this won’t do much to improve the overall appearance. Consider entirely refacing the fireplace surround for a more rewarding makeover that will yield the most return on your investment.
5. Install Retaining Walls
One thing you’ll notice about well-landscaped yards is they often feature retaining walls. These walls shield your landscaping from strong winds and heavy rain or snowfall. When properly designed and installed, they ensure a yard can weather the rough winters. You should especially consider this addition if your home is on a slope, hill, or other form of raised land.
Strategically placing retaining walls on your yard will help to stop erosion. Think of them as components that work to retain the land and preserve the current property layout. Retaining walls aren’t just structural landscaping pieces that only serve a functional purpose. A well-built retaining wall can provide a lovely finishing touch to any landscaping.
Whether you opt for a modern aesthetic with similar shapes and sizes of stones or a rustic wall with the collection of rocks you’ve collected while traveling, this DIY home improvement project will inspire conversations among your guests.
For this project, you’ll need to enlist the help of an excavation contractor. As much as you want to take the DIY approach, you don’t want to use too much energy to complete a task that the pros can easily perform. You may also need to invest in a bulldozer rental to move the contents you excavate.
If you feel like building a retaining wall from scratch is too much of an undertaking, you can always let the professionals handle the installation. Retaining walls contractors have years of experience working on different yards and using different tools and materials. They’ll know exactly what your landscape needs.
6. Add Mulch to Your Yard
Spring isn’t the only time you can add mulch to your yard. Fall offers perfect conditions for laying a new layer of mulch. Mulch aids in regulating soil temperature, reducing the rate of evaporation, and controlling weeds. However, mulches like pine bark or needles may also be visually appealing.
Some varieties of mulch can be dyed to make them stand out as aesthetic elements. Avoid using mulch from your local recycling center as they usually take any trees and shrubs, even old ones, which can often harbor diseases. Be sure to get yours from a reputable garden center.
7. HVAC Maintenance
An annual check-up enables you to make low-cost minor modifications before they turn into large, high-cost repairs. It also helps lessen the possibility of a catastrophic heating system failure at the peak of a winter storm. Imagine not having heat while waiting for HVAC repairs or a replacement unit to arrive.
Considering how low temperatures drop, you don’t want to go even a day without heat during the chilly winter months, much less many weeks. You face the danger of having frozen pipes and other potentially fatal situations for your family during bad weather. You can significantly reduce these risks by performing simple DIY home HVAC system maintenance tasks this fall and backing them up with a professional inspection.
Regular air filter replacement is a simple DIY task that can have a big impact. The system will function more effectively and with less strain when you clean the air filters. Your living situation and the sort of filter you have will determine how frequently you need to change it.
If you live with pets inside the home, you’ll probably need to change the filter more frequently. A skilled HVAC expert can suggest the ideal filter for your system. If you haven’t already, ask yours when they come for their next appointment.
Vacuum the dust and grime out of your vents. You also want to remove any obstructions to the airflow, including curtains and furniture. Blocked vents will make your system work harder than necessary, resulting in high energy bills. A damaged heat exchanger may let carbon monoxide emissions into your house, putting you, your loved ones, your pets, and visitors in danger. While a professional maintenance inspection will likely reveal a damaged heat exchanger, the carbon monoxide detector will warn you of excess fumes in the home.
8. Perform Minor Electrical Repairs
In most cases, you’ll find that homeowners are advised to leave electrical work to an electrical installation company. Electricity is inherently dangerous. Without the proper training and tools, making a hazardous mistake that could potentially cost your life is easy. However, there are some minor electrical repairs that you can handle yourself.
If you’re hesitant about venturing into the world of DIY home electrical work and aren’t sure about your skills, start by simply changing a light switch. You’ll encounter a variety of switches as you take on this project, including single- and double-pole and three- and four-way switches. For the power and switch to work correctly, you must ensure the replacements are the correct type. Exercise extra caution when handling dimmer switches for the first time, as they tend to overheat, especially if you use the incorrect bulb type.
Even if you don’t have any prior experience, you can easily change a light fixture. This is a great project for flexing your DIY home improvement skills while modernizing your home, and the great thing is it can all be done in just an hour. Start by turning off the power and removing the existing fixture’s hardware, and then locate the junction box and disconnect the wires to remove the fixture and install your new one.
9. Repair Your Water Heater
You can also use the season to perform water heater repairs as part of your DIY home improvement efforts. You’re probably wondering ”How can I tell if my system needs repairs?’ The most common sign of an underlying issue is reduced water flow. In this case, you likely have a build-up of sediment or scale in the connecting plumbing or water heater.
If your home is supplied with hard water, scale is likely the main culprit. All you may need for a solution is a water heater flush. Rusty and murky hues in your water might indicate the presence of bacteria or rust inside the water heater tank.
This may also point to a damaged anode rod in the tank, which normally aids in disinfecting the water, killing off microorganisms, and removing rust. A malfunctioning water heater will also often emit a rotten egg odor. This is brought on by sulfate bacteria, which can grow within the tank and produce sulfate gas and an unpleasant odor.
10. Power Wash Your Home
The fall is an excellent time to power-wash your home after a long spring and summer’s hot months. In preparation for winter, power washing can ensure your siding is clear of mildew, mold, and dirt and give your home a fresh glow. If you choose to hire a professional power washing technician, they’ll ensure the correct power settings and customized solutions for your home. However, you can also include it in your list of DIY home improvement projects. Just be careful. Using the wrong settings can strip your home’s exterior paint.
11. Add Some Simple Outdoor Touches
Your home’s exterior is the first thing you and your guests interact with when looking at the property. Consider giving your front door a fresh coat of paint to give the facade a facelift. This seemingly simple DIY home improvement project can instantly transform your home’s overall feel, enhance its curb appeal, and make it pop in your neighborhood.
Brick red, sage green, and navy blue are great choices if you want to go bold. If you’d like to keep things subtle but want to change things up, consider going for a neutral hue that stands out from the rest of your house. For instance, if your house features a warm neutral color such as tan, consider painting your door a cool gray hue.
Do you have exterior motion-detecting lights on all your entries? Despite having a front porch light, your side entry may be completely dark at night. Adding a motion sensor light by that door can completely change your life. You can say goodbye to fumbling with bags and keys when you bring groceries home at night. Some simple, inexpensive models are easy to install with a DIY kit.
Why not make your entryways more welcoming for your Christmas guests while you’re at it? Consider adding solar lights to the pathway. They’re an easy-to-install, low-cost feature that looks great and makes it easier for you and your guests to find their way about. Since they use solar technology, you won’t have to worry about burdening your home’s energy supply. When undertaking major exterior work, like on your landscape, consider renting a dumpster and self dumping hoppers to make managing waste easier.
DIY home improvement projects offer a unique opportunity to add a personal touch to your property. Think about it. You’ll have something you can look at and say ”I made that.’ You can use this read as your guide for projects to consider for this fall.
The thing with getting into the DIY world is you start feeling like you can take on any job yourself. It feels empowering. However, when it comes to major jobs like well drilling and metal fabrication, you’re always better off letting the professionals handle it. One of the best qualities of seasoned DIYers is knowing when to stop. Avoid taking on too much.