As the season changes from the warm days of summer to the chilly days of fall, it’s the perfect time to prep your home for the cold months ahead. Our 4 Seasons of Home Ownership: Fall checklist is full of tasks to make your home more energy efficient and keep those heating bills down.
And, early fall is ideal to get your home ready for holiday guests, before things get too hectic. Since the kitchen is the focal point of family gatherings, you’ll want it in top shape. Full kitchen renovations are notoriously expensive, but these ideas to spruce up existing cabinets and other aesthetic updates won’t break the bank.
Also, watch the video Fall Fix-Ups for Your Home for more info on these projects.
Seal Up Drafts
Heating and cooling costs account for nearly half of the average home’s energy bill, so taking the time to seal up cracks and crevices will translate into immediate savings – always a good thing heading into the holiday season.
Doors are one of the most common places to find leaks and drafts in the home. Using weatherization products on your doors can help block drafts and keep the temperature in your home more comfortable. Replace worn-out weather stripping around doors and replace damaged door thresholds to ensure a tight seal around entry doors.
For more protection, you can add Duck Brand’s Triple Draft Seal, a slide-on door bottom that helps to save energy year-round. It offers three layers of protection – an inner seal helps retain room temperature, an outer seal blocks drafts, and bottom fins help keep out moisture and water. It can also keep out dust, insects and pollen during the warmer months.
During the cold weather months, windows also become a prime spot for energy loss. Duck MAX strength window insulation kit creates an added barrier between the outdoor air and your home’s inside, helping block drafts and air leaks that lead to high heating costs. At a fraction of the cost of window replacement, the kit offers an economical and temporary solution for insulating older, less efficient windows. When the weather turns warmer, the film is simple to remove.
Don’t forget to seal outside cracks on your home. Use quality, exterior-grade caulking for small cracks, and fill larger cracks and holes with expandable spray foam.
Insulate the Attic
Nearly 40 percent of the home’s energy is lost through the attic, so ensuring the space has adequate insulation will translate into savings on your energy bill and a more comfortable temperature in your home. The rule of thumb is, if you can see the floor joists, your attic is under-insulated.
Using a product that comes in rolls or batts makes for simple installation. Roxul ComfortBatt insulation is easy to install, even for novice do-it-yourselfers. You can cut the batts with a bread knife to fit the space between the joists and lay unfaced insulation on top of existing insulation. The mineral wool material is naturally resistant to fire, mold, mildew and termites; and it’s sound-absorbent.
Always follow safety precautions and wear long sleeves, a mask, gloves and glasses during installation. Check out Rule Your Attic: Sealing and Insulating Tips for more info.
Get Your Kitchen Holiday-Ready
Looking around your home, you may notice some projects you’d like to tackle before you have guests over for the holidays. Giving your kitchen cabinets a facelift, for example, is a project that can make a big impact for a relatively small investment of time and money.
On one of our recent episodes, we refaced painted kitchen cabinets with wood veneer to give them a whole new look. Then we stained the cabinets and gave them a coat of polyurethane, before installing new hardware. Watch How to Reface Kitchen Cabinets to see step-by-step instructions on this project.
Another idea for transforming boring, builder-grade cabinets is to add 1/4-inch cabinet-grade plywood trim to give them a shaker-style look. Using a quality wood glue, such as Titebond Original Wood Glue, ensures a strong bond and sets up quickly. It’s also water-based, which makes for easy cleanup.