The once warm mornings now greet us with an icy embrace and evening creeps in earlier and earlier each day. Summer lovers be warned: these are the tell-tale signs that autumn has arrived. But, there is no need for frost-phobic homeowners to sound the alarm bells; plenty can be done to prepare for this coming snuggle season.
“The thought of autumn’s arrival makes many unpleasant chores spring to mind, like cleaning out the gutters and resealing the window panes. As unpleasant as these chores may be, they are quick and cost-effective ways to insulate your home,” reminds Adrian Goslett, regional director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
Through his dealings with various agents, homeowners and industry experts over the years, Goslett has acquired many insightful tips on how to prepare a home for the colder months. Below, Goslett shares this knowledge.
See you later, summer
It seems obvious, but many homeowners tend to overlook the fact that if you do not want the cold to get in, then you need to start on the outside by ensuring that your house is weathertight. Apart from the chores already mentioned, this includes all other general maintenance, such as:
- Varnishing timber window and door frames
- Checking the chimney flute and outside drains for blockages
- Doing a roof inspection to check for lose shingles
- Trimming back on large trees or shrubs in case of strong winds
As much as it might pain you to say goodbye to summer, there are certain things that need to be packed away or rescheduled before the arrival of the cold and wet days that await us. Automatic sprinklers, for example, need to be reset so that you do not end up wasting water. Seasonal furniture and outdoor décor should also get stowed away and, unless you are planning your very own Polar Bear jump, pools should be covered to avoid debris from falling in and clogging up the filtering system.
The empty space that the summer remnants once occupied can easily be filled with autumn knick-knacks. It is time to cosy up your space for winter by pulling out your heaters and thick feather duvets. Other small decorative touches like fluffy, thick throws and mats can also do a lot to warm up a space.
Firewood is an autumn essential for those who have indoor fireplaces. Try to beat the peak-season price-hike by stocking up early. It is also a good idea to refresh your emergency kit supply in case of electricity outages or extreme lockdown weather conditions. Things such as torch batteries, candles and matches will all be useful in this respect. While you’re at it, why not stock up on food supplies as well? ‘Tis the season to stay inside and snack, so make sure you have a steady supply of hot chocolate, popcorn and any other treats worth crunching on during your many nights in this autumn.
Autumn presents a great opportunity to stay indoors and spend some quality time with those closest to you. It doesn’t have to be an ominous prospect as long as you plan for the season and prepare your home accordingly.