With the summer sun slowly fading, and the autumn leaves appearing, it’s time to start preparing your home for the months ahead. While home renovation and maintenance can be a financial burden, it makes sense to make improvements in the autumn months, in order to prepare for the cooler months ahead, and make savings in the long term.
With research indicating that there has been a 147% increase in home renovations across Australia since 2010, it’s clear that more and more Australians are becoming aware of the advantages of renovating over purchasing a new home. The value of renovations has increased by 40% from December 2013 to December 2014, and 89% of Australians agree that renovating is a smart approach to increasing the value of your home.
Tips for Autumn Home Renovation and Maintenance
There are a number of maintenance and renovation projects that are perfect for this time of year and can range from something as simple as cleaning the gutters, to installing new windows and shuttering. Here, we will take a look at some of the key areas to take into consideration, both internally and externally.
We all enjoyed the barbecues and relaxing on the decking over the summer, but now it’s time to get it back to its original condition.
Power wash the decking with a high velocity pressure washer in order to remove any excess dirt.
If you use a stain or sealant the autumn is a great time to reseal your decking. This should be done early on in the day to enable the decking to dry sufficiently before nightfall.
Cleaning the gutters of leaves prevents blockage, and the formation of ice dams in the winter time.
Use a leaf blower to clear the guttering or else use a hose to wash them out.
Ensure there are no cracks or holes in the gutters. Failing to repair these now can lead to further damage in the months to come from rain or snow.
The condition of your roof can play a key factor in the warmth of your home. Any holes or gaps can lead to heat loss, while snow and ice will easily find its way in during the winter months.
- Ask an experienced professional to inspect your roof for any damage.
- Curling or buckling shingles may need to be replaced.
- Inspect the flashing around chimneys and skylights.
- If the damage is extensive the roof may need to be completely renovated.
Insulating water pipes will help to save energy and also prevent them from freezing and bursting, if you live in an area where temperature falls below freezing during wintertime.
- Inspect plumbing lines to establish which ones are outside, underneath the house or in the attic.
- Wrap all of these pipes in foam wrap or heating tape. This can be purchased at any hardware store and is an inexpensive solution to ensuring your pipes are well maintained and insulated.
- For cold pipes insulate at least one metre from the water heater.
- Insulation should be correctly installed in the attic to prevent heat loss. The vapour barrier should always be facing down towards the living space.
- To install attic insulation correctly, the insulation should be unrolled with the paper facing out.
Small pieces should be installed, between the joists on the floor of the attic.
Autumn is the perfect time to paint either the interior or exterior of your home, as lack of ventilation on cold winter days can cause fumes from paint to remain in your home and lengthen the time it takes for the paint to dry.
Upgrade Windows and Doors for Energy Savings
A variety of factors such as wear and tear, and humidity can cause window seals to crack and shrink. Some homes still use single pane windows, which will result in a significant amount of heat loss in winter. If this is the case for your home, upgrading to double glazed windows would be a smart investment as it will lead to less heat loss and ultimately a reduction in your heating bill. The installation of outdoor blinds to accompany your windows can also be of particular benefit to Australians, as they can be used for heat and light control in summer and winter. Both of these renovations add value to your home, while also providing heat control all year round.
- Inspect all exterior doors to ensure that they are insulated well.
- Pay particular attention to any cracks or gaps and if these are present, make sure that you repair them promptly.
- If your doors contain weather stripping, make sure that it is in good shape and will last through the coming months.