Great home projects for the autumn months

September 20, 2013

By Pat Maurer

Whether your home improvement project involves remodeling the kitchen, adding a new bathroom, redecorating your living room, planting a flower garden, building a deck or simply sprucing up the lawn, you’ll find a wealth of information to help you choose home improvement products and services wisely.

And fall is a great time to redecorate, giving your home a fresh look for those fall and winter family gatherings and holidays.

There’s nothing like new flooring to bring a room or home to life. Whether it’s new wood, carpet, or even tile, your winters will likely seem a bit cozier with a fresh floor. And fall might be the perfect time to install it.

“We are seeing a trend towards softer yarn like our Tigressa Cherish collection (for carpeting),” said Keri Powers of Mt. Pleasant Carpet One Floor and Home. “Now is a great time to install new carpeting in your home,” she added. “We also have hardwood and we are also seeing a big trend toward the luxury vinyls that look just like wood and tile.”

Wood flooring is a hot commodity for many homeowners. But not all flooring can be added to a home at any time of year.
That’s because certain types of flooring employ adhesives that need temperatures inside the home to be within a certain range, and that range is often within 70o to 80o F, which makes fall a great time to install such floors. Colder temperatures can make it difficult for the flooring to dry and bond, which will prove problematic down the road.

If you are thinking of adding a home office or just need storage, fall can be a great time for that too. Mike Weaver, salesman at First Choice Office Outlet said, “We have all types of furniture, great for the office or the home.”

Painting projects
Painting is another home improvement project that seems tailor-made for fall. A fresh coat of paint or a new color scheme around the house can give a home an entirely new look and feel. But paint can be pungent and the aromas may last if it’s applied at a time of year when it can’t dry while the windows are wide open. Paint fumes inside a home can make the home uninhabitable, but painting at a time of year like the fall, when you can keep the windows open during and after the project, can help air the home out.

But interior painting isn’t the only painting project homeowners can tackle in the fall. Fall is a great time to paint the outside too. Many exterior paints are temperature-sensitive and need the temperature outside to be above 40 degrees. Paint that freezes won’t dry properly, and homeowners might be left with a costly and unsightly mistake on their hands. Fall temperatures tend to be amenable to both interior and exterior painting projects, just be sure to check the weather forecast before making your first brush stroke.

Keeping it warm
If you want to keep warm this winter, this fall might be a good time to put in a wood burning or anthracite stove. There’s just nothing cozier when the snow is falling outside than a cheery fire inside.

Although wood stoves might conjure up images of a smoke-belching potbelly in a backwoods cabin, today’s models are efficient heaters that meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emission guidelines and reduce heating bills by nearly half when energy prices are high.

Or even better, consider an anthracite (clean coal) burning stove. Ken Warner, owner of KW Feeds in Farwell carries two major brands. He said they are U.L. tested, thermostatically controlled, self-feeding and 90 to 98 percent efficient.”

Anthracite stoves come in free standing stoves, hearth models, boiler models, and hot air furnace models. There’s even one that doesn’t use electricity.

Unlike fireplaces, anthracite stoves can heat a whole room or possibly even your whole house, depending on its layout. And their prefabricated chimney pipes let you install them practically anywhere—even in front of an existing hearth.

Roof Repair or Replacement
Fall is a good time to do roofing projects.

Don Haskin of Harrison Lumber said, “Let’s face it, there’s nothing that kills the holiday spirit quicker than the drip, drip, drip of a leaky roof. And the last thing you want is Santa and his reindeer (or a snow pack) falling through the roof. So, before the heavy winter weather comes pouring down, you might want to think about a fall roof job.”

Fall timing for this kind of project couldn’t be better. The heat of summer is gone and it’s a whole lot easier on the guys doing the work. Roofs can get incredibly hot in summer.

As for a winter roof project, it’s doable – but potentially difficult. Roofs can be repaired or replaced in winter, but in most parts of the country, the weather can make it very hard for even minor repairs. And if your roof is leaking or not up to holding the weight of snow, roof replacement or repair could be dangerous.

How about a brand new home?
If your home maintenance is a back-breaker; if your house is too small, or you are looking to downsize, maybe a new modular home is the way to go.

Larry Walters of C&M Homes of Sanford said, “Years ago, factory housing of both manufactured and modular homes came to a standstill for three months during the winter months of January, February and March. Not true anymore, many dealers prep private property locations with residential crawl spaces and basements during this time. The homes built in the factory are delivered and set the same as in the summer.”

Whatever your project or to-do list, fall, with cooler temperatures and beautiful weather, is a great time to start.

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