Autumn agenda for house and garden

The weather is cooling off, leaves on the trees are turning from fresh summery green to warm tones of orange and brown, and throw rugs are reappearing from random cupboards. It must be autumn!

Actually, autumn is a favourite season of the Perspective team, since we can enjoy the Aussie outdoors without either getting sunstroke or being completely soaked through in a sudden thunderstorm.

We here at Perspective are especially excited (ahem, sure we are) about cleaning out our homes and getting organised for the cooler weather, when more time is spent indoors. Whether it’s clearing space in wardrobes, tidying the garden or home repairs, this can be a good time of year to tackle those annoying but essential household organisational tasks.

In house and property terms, it’s a great time to get onto those essential home maintenance jobs you’ve been putting off over the summer months. It’s also a fantastic time to sell. Whether your goal is simply improving your home or getting ready to for the market, there are a few tasks that will make your property sparkle, potentially add value and stand out from other homes in your suburb.

Getting ready to sell your home in autumn

plane tree leaves and house

Autumn can be a fantastic time of year to sell your home. Buyers are usually back from holidays and families with kids have them settled into school and their usual routine. All of which means more time for researching property listings and visiting open for inspections. Cooler weather may also encourage better attendance at open house sessions, since everyone’s not hanging out at the beach!

If selling your home is your goal this season, there are a few tasks you can undertake to prepare and get an edge on the competition.

Getting ready to renovate

Getting ready to renovate? It’s as easy as contacting a builder or two, getting some plans drawn up and off you go. Well, not quite.

We spoke to Cassandra, who is preparing for a major renovation in 2017. She and her husband own an original 1960s bungalow, but with two young children, it’s time to extend upstairs and create more living space. She says the preparation process is more involved that she first thought.

“It’s been an interesting process already, meeting with a few builders and discussing our wishlist and needs in terms of living spaces, home offices and where to place kids’ bedrooms. We’re trying to think ahead to the future. We don’t want to borrow a lot of money, but we want quality and maximum bang for our buck,” Cassandra said.

The preparation stage has already been extensive. Even preparing for builders’ visits takes time and planning.

“I didn’t realise some builders will want access to areas such as the garage and the rear of the property to measure and quote. We’ve already been clearing out storage space in the garage and trimming trees that overhang the eaves. We need to get rid of clutter so we’re not shifting it when the builders come in. Next we need to contact the council about an easement at the back of our property and see if it’s okay to build right up to the property line.”

But there is always the consideration of how much time and money to spend on a renovation, versus selling your home and buying a new (or already renovated) home.

Autumn home sale checklist

Smiling woman putting leaves garden cleaning gardening housework bucket

Preparing the exterior of your home

  • Trim lawns and tidy up your backyard, raking up fallen leaves.
  • Consider shaping deciduous trees, to make the most of seasonal colour.
  • Move or trim plants that obscure the front of your home and make sure windows are clean, thinking of street appeal.
  • Pull weeds from the garden and spread some ground cover or mulch to give a tidy appearance.
  • Keep pathways clear to allow easy access to your property…but a few autumn leaves are okay!

Preparing the interior of your home

  • Focus on the entry and family rooms first, make sure the area is clear of clutter and looks welcoming.
  • Repair any small cracks in the walls and apply a fresh coat of paint.
  • Install energy-efficient LED lighting to brighten your spaces on darker days and also add value.
  • Add some colour in furnishings to brighten living spaces – a pop of autumn inspired colour such as yellow or orange can add cheer.

 

Autumn home maintenance checklist

rake

Following are some home maintenance tasks you might consider, whether you’re selling, renovating or simply getting ready for the cooler months.

Indoor checklist

  • Have your heating system cleaned and serviced, particularly chimneys and older wall-heaters, also replace the air filter.
  • Check windows/doors for drafts and floors/walls for cracks. Use caulk and weather stripping to seal gaps to keep you warm in winter and lower your power bill.
  • Check to make sure heating vents are clear and that nothing has been moved over them during summer.
  • Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Clean your clothes dryer vents and inspect hoses on whitegoods for cracks.
  • Examine wood for insect damage such as termites.
  • Conduct an energy audit to minimise winter electricity usage.

Outdoor checklist

  • Trim trees and bushes so nothing touches your house. This might be ongoing if you have deciduous trees.
  • Clean outdoor furniture and barbeque ready for storage.
  • Clean, sharpen, oil, and store tools and gardening equipment in a dry location. Make sure winter tools, like blowers, rakes and shovels are ready to use.
  • Check roofing, sides and gutters of sheds and garages to make sure they’re clean, dry and waterproof—particularly if you’re storing tools and furniture over winter.
  • Do an outdoor safety check—are your outside lights working? Are your handrails stable?
  • Clean gutters, check roof for damage and replace any missing tiles before winter hits.
  • Check downpipes and splash blocks to ensure water flows away from the house.
  • Seal gaps into the house and block off entries into any crawlspaces to prevent animals from getting in and nesting.
  • Remove hoses and drain. Store them indoors. Drain and ‘winterise’ exterior plumbing.
  • Prepare lawn by cutting short and fertilising so it has the nutrients it needs to get through winter. The same applies to the garden bed–cut back and apply a layer of compost to improve the soil.
  • Mulch plants well, especially those that are tender. Good mulching can save them when temperatures dip. Bring fragile potted plants indoors for protection.
  • Terra cotta planters need to be cleaned and stored to prevent them from cracking.
  • Throughout autumn, transfer fallen leaves to the compost bin on a regular basis to prevent them from smothering your garden. Ready, set, go!

Are you ready to get started? The Perspective team is feeling inspired to clean out the gutters and re-paint the patchy walls in our homes this weekend (yeah, sure we are). Right after we catch up on our Netflix queue.

Images courtesy of dfrsce, koratmember and Rosemary Ratcliff at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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