Fall Home Maintenance Tips for Pennsylvania Homeowners

In Western Pennsylvania, there are things we do every fall to keep our homes operating at peak efficiency during the long winter months. Weaver Homes has years of experience building superior-quality homes, and as the cold weather approaches, we have recommendations for some of the key tasks you’ll want to tackle before the snow flies.  

Prepare a Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

As summer fades, you’re just a few weekends away from getting your home and yard into shape for the winter. What’s the big deal about fall maintenance? Winter in Pennsylvania means cold temperatures, ice and snow, and damaging wind gusts. In short, the ideal conditions for leaking roofs, frozen pipes and treacherous sidewalks. 

Doing just a few maintenance chores can save you money while keeping your home in good repair. The best way to make sure everything is covered is to make a fall home maintenance checklist, figuring out what needs to be done before the leaves start to fall. Do you have a sturdy leaf rake? Or are you team leaf blower? Are you going to clean your gutters or hire someone? Once you compile your checklist, you’ll be able to create a game plan. Let’s go! 

fall maintenance checklist

What are Some Fall Home Maintenance Tips?

One of the most important fall home maintenance tips is to plan ahead! Nothing is worse than turning on the heat on the first chilly morning, only to realize the furnace needs a check-up. And don’t even think about starting a fire if the chimney hasn’t been examined and cleaned. These chores are ideal tasks for the summer months when you aren’t using the heat or fireplace. 

 

Okay, so let’s take a look at how to prepare your home for fall: 

OUTDOORS

sketch of man raking leaves for fall maintenance

  • Collect and clean summer tools. Make sure to use up all of the gas in the lawn mower. Store everything. Then prep fall & winter tools: Rakes and leaf blowers, snow shovels, snow blower, ice scrapers and salt. 
  • Clean the gutters. (Or have them cleaned by a professional.) This task is especially crucial because of freezing and thawing. Have the roof checked for cracked or loose shingles, too. 
  • Check for gaps around windows, ripped screens or damaged siding. Seal gaps and cracks around with weather-stripping and caulk. 
  • Turn off all outside water and sprinklers. Close any shut-off valves, then open the outside faucet to drain the line. Empty all hoses, too.
  • Check deck and porch boards. Loose or warped boards are hazardous. Check stairs and railings for stability. Damaged walkways, drives or steps can be dangerous when the weather turns icy. Fixing problems now can prevent expensive headaches later
  • Power wash your home’s exterior, driveway, walkway, patio, porch or deck. 
  • Clean and put away or cover patio furniture, grills, and kids’ toys. Make sure every part of the grill is cleaned thoroughly of burned food and grease before it is covered and put away. 
  • Cut dead or damaged trees and shrubs away from your home, especially if snowfall will cause them to bend and rub against the house. 
  • Remove fallen leaves from the lawn so they don’t damage the grass. If you don’t want or need them, bag the leaves. If you can use them, chop them up with your lawn mower to create mulch.
  • Scatter grass seed and plant bulbs. This is the perfect opportunity to plan for next spring! 

 

INDOORS

sketch of indoor fireplace

  • Have the furnace inspected by a professional. Replace all filters. Do this BEFORE it gets cold! 
  • Get the chimney cleaned. Make sure all fireplaces or wood stoves are thoroughly inspected. Order and stack firewood. 
  • Check for drafts around windows and doors. The caulking and weather stripping in newer homes should be examined, too.  
  • Make sure the dryer vents are clean. Static electricity builds up in the cold, dry months, and can cause dryer linkt to catch fire. 
  • Test all smoke/CO detectors. Change the batteries if necessary. 
  • Get an emergency kit ready. Include basic items you may need: water, flashlights and batteries, a first aid kit, whistles to signal for help, jumper cables, basic tools, a manual can opener, a small supply of food, radio, candles, lighter, blankets and rope.

Preparing for the cold months ahead

We all know what winter can be like here in Pittsburgh. Performing these important fall maintenance tasks can prevent costly repairs and help your Weaver home and belongings survive our tough Pennsylvania winters. 

For more information about Weaver Homes, contact our team of experts. (We live here, too, so we’ll probably be raking leaves right along with you!) 

Top Home Design Trends of 2022

In 2022, it’s all about peaceful, calming, well-edited interiors. With many people still spending more time indoors, and an overall emphasis on minimizing stress of any kind, interior designers are transforming homes into retreat-like havens that incorporate soothing color palettes, natural materials, and spaces that can be… well… whatever you need. Whether you are designing an entire home, or just want to refresh a few rooms, here are the top new home design trends for the new year.

 

2022 Top Home Design Trends

 

Natural, Neutral Tones

While neutral colors are a mainstay of interior design, this year they are leaning toward the warmer, more natural tones, like beige, white, ivory, taupe, and brownish-grey. These are colors you would likely find in nature (think of a day at the shore or hiking through an amazing forest) and by bringing them inside your home, you’ll find yourself more grounded, relaxed, and focused. Play with these colors in different fabrics, materials, paint, and decor to create an interesting and layered neutral aesthetic.

 

Organic Materials

Playing right into the natural theme, this is the year to bring more organic materials into your interior design. Look for furniture and accessories in natural-finish wood, wicker, rattan, stone or ceramic, and natural fiber rugs like wool, cotton, or jute. Even mirrors and other wall art can take a million different natural forms. These organic materials create a calm and cozy feeling — a great way to combat the higher stress levels of the last few years. Designers fully expect this to be a long-term design trend as we all seek to lead simpler, less chaotic lives. A great side benefit is that these materials are sustainable and can easily be repurposed.

 

Flexible Spaces

Like plastic straws, single-use rooms are out. Multifunctional spaces are in — ones that can transform and change along with your life. A flex room might be both a den and a guest room, or a finished basement may start out as a child’s playroom then transform into a family rec room. Even an open-concept living space can be flexible in that it allows you to place furniture whenever it makes the most sense during a particular period in your life.

 

Dedicated Home Offices

More people continue to work from home these days, and trying to focus in a highly trafficked room or clearing a space on the already-messy dining table just doesn’t cut it. In order to be “on” and professional, find a room or space in your home that can serve as a home office and nothing else (hello, flex room!). Bring in all the things that make you feel comfortable, inspired, and productive — like great lighting, a quality chair, bookshelves, photos, awards, and collectibles. Make this office “off limits” while you’re working, and your feeling of accomplishment will soar.

 

Minimalism

With many of us still spending so much time at home, we need our spaces to feel airy and open, no matter their size. Minimalism is both a way of life and a design aesthetic that can help accomplish that. Use only what’s necessary; keep only what’s meaningful and important. Decluttering your home goes a long way toward decluttering your mind so that you can rest more peacefully and focus when necessary.

 

Biophilia

Minimalism is the way to go for furniture and decor, but in 2022, designers say bring in all the plants you can! Indoor plants have mood-boosting benefits like reducing stress, increasing focus, boosting productivity, and more. Not to mention, they help purify the air by converting carbon dioxide into fresh oxygen — perfect if you’re spending long periods of time indoors. 

 

Serene Green

In line with the overall trend of all things natural and soothing, green is making its way into every designer’s look book as a must-have accent color in 2022. Earthy, organic greens like sage, olive, and forest destress and revitalize, and are associated with nature and growth. Use green anywhere you need a pop of color or need to feel energized, like a wall, accent chair, or pillows. You could even try removing window coverings to highlight your green landscape outside — it’s like built-in wall art!

 

Outdoor Rooms

It’s no longer just the “patio” or “deck.” More designers are transforming these spaces into fully outdoor living spaces. It’s an easy way to enjoy more livable square footage in your home without actually adding any rooms. Bring in multiple seating arrangements, a cozy bistro table for coffee and breakfast, soft rugs for underfoot, and ambient lighting to make this one of the most used rooms in the home. 

 

From all of us at Weaver Homes, we hope your new year is happy, peaceful, and rejuvenating. Happy Designing!