According to my wife, the fall is the best time of the year.  There’s the beautiful fall colors, football games, and apple cider, so I’m ok with that.  As you look to the fall, it’s also a great time to finish up projects both in and around the house.  After all, the daylight hours will be shorter and shorter, but you should still have some pretty solid temperatures from which to work.  Here are some things to take a look at.


  1. Start in the Kitchen.   During the summer months, the ovens aren’t typically used as often.  In preparation for all that tailgating, take care to clean the oven. 
  2. Go Through the Refrigerator.  Turns out, that cheese that’s been sitting there for a year really will go bad!  Start with expiration dates first.  When everything is within it’s fresh dates, you should be able to clean the interior and exterior surfaces of the refrigerator better.
  3. Wash countertops, backsplashes and walls.  Ever get a grease spot on the wall one evening preparing dinner and it just sort of stays there?  Now’s the time to get on a ladder and wipe it off!  While I’m sure everyone has cleaned their countertops, what about the backsplash?  If it’s sticky and doesn’t look great, time to get out the sponge!
  4. Take a look at the gutters.  If your gutters haven’t been cleaned in a while, or you notice overflows during rains, it’s time to get them taken care of.  After all, clogged gutters can be a cause of foundation issues.  If the gutters are too high for you, it’s usually not too expensive to hire someone.  We have local companies that we’d be happy to refer to you, just give us a call.
  5. Consider bringing hoses in and turning off the outside water.  Some years back, I totally forgot to bring the hoses inside, so the first night it froze, the water cracked not only the hose, but the water spout.  It was a pricey fix, and the water needed to be shut off to make the repair.  I learned that fall can be kind of unpredictable. 
  6. Take a look at the roof, the siding, and the foundation.  If you see missing shingles, get them fixed before the bad weather starts.  If your siding has holes or cracks, it isn’t doing its part to protect the house.
  7. Bring in your potted plants.  If you have plants that can’t survive winter, now is the time to bring them in the house. 
  8. Have your trees trimmed.  If you have limbs sticking over the house that are dying or dead, now is the time to get them removed.  Some types of trees do best when you trim or prune them in the fall. 
  9. Take care of your yard.  As the warm season grasses start to go dormant, you’ll find plenty of leaves to rake.  Leaves can do all sorts of damage to your yard. 
  10. Look out for any holes in your home.  As the weather begins to cool, critters are going to start looking for warmth.  Watch for holes near food areas.  If you see any holes, fill them with heavy-duty cloth or caulk.
  11. Check your smoke detector batteries.  Usually, we wait until daylight savings time ends and use that as the marker to replace the batteries. 
  12. Check your dryer vent.  According to one study, 27% of all dryer fires were caused by lint buildup.  Check outside the home, if you see a bunch of lint in the vent outside, there’s a good chance the lint is built up all the way to the dryer.

As you work on these projects throughout your house, your house will be more ready for the nasty weather during the winter!


John Schink is a real estate broker in the St. Louis metropolitan area who specializes in full service listings and buyer agency.  He is a member of both the Saint Louis and Jefferson County Boards of Real Estate.  If you are looking to buy a home for sale in Saint Louis, Missouri or the surrounding metropolitan area or considering selling your home, or for general real estate related inquiries, he can be reached at 314-707-4821 or