Welcome to the Fall/Winter 2013 Almade Home Improvements Newsletter. Our goal is to inform and offer suggestions to our readers to better maintain their investment.

Most homeowners have an autumn routing making sure everything is in good condition before the colder months. Many tasks are easy enough that you can do them yourself. If you are unable to do some of the maintenance chores, consider hiring a service contractor to take care of them for you.

Seasonal chores to do before the colder weather arrives include preparing your home through regularly scheduled inspections, maintenance and cleaning of the heating and ventilation systems and plumbing and pipes, to ensure you and your family’s comfort, health and safety.

Keep on top of your to-do list to avoid expensive repairs down the road. If you own a home, taking care of the maintenance includes both the interior and exterior of your home as well as the landscaping, lawn and gardening.  Decide which chores you want to do yourself and which to hire out.  Consider hiring Almada Home Improvements if you have several repairs of different types.

Divide up the tasks

You could categorize your list of chores, starting with outdoor maintenance duties. One of the first duties on every homeowner’s to-do list is to collect and dispose of all the leaves that have accumulated on the lawn. Some people like to use leaves in a compost pile, so if any of your neighbors offer to take them off your hands, that is less work for you to do.

Weather-stripping and insulation can be a major chore, but if you consider the potential savings in your utility bills, the time and effort will be well spent. Inspect the windows and doors as well as your garage for any cracks, and make the necessary repairs to keep the cold air out during the fall and winter months. Check the siding and roofing of your home for cracks, peeling and damage, and make repairs as necessary.

Prepare for cold weather

If you have a wood-burning stove or regularly use your fireplace, take the time to do any necessary cleaning. It is a good idea to have a carbon monoxide detector installed in your home if you use alternative sources of heating, due to potential toxic fumes. Check your smoke detector to make sure it is operating properly and change batteries if needed.

Many homeowners may forget to take care of their trees, shrubs and plants in preparation for the colder months. Unless you have a lot of dead limbs or plants that need to be removed, it is generally advised that you do not trim back the branches or prune until later in the season when the plants are inactive.

Garden centers recommend that homeowners fertilize their lawn one more time before the cold season. Doing so will feed the lawn and give it nourishment needed for a lusher, greener lawn next spring.

Bring your patio furniture in and store it during the colder months. Remember to turn off the water to the outside hoses that you use to water your lawn, plants, shrubs and flowers. Drain the hose before you store it away for the winter.