Aug 23,2006 00:00
The days are getting shorter and the weather is getting cooler. It's time to embrace the transitions of the season.
Fall is an opportune time to make cost-effective improvements to your home, potentially increasing its value, aesthetic appeal and comfort level.
If your yard lost the luster and beauty it had in prior seasons, brighten it up by adding flowers such as asters, mums and irises, or diversify by adding kale, ornamental peppers and grasses. This is also the time to plant trees, which thrive on the cool temperatures and adequate rainfall. In addition to providing ambiance, trees will positively impact the value of your home.
Autumn also is a good time to protect your decks and other exterior wood that may have been damaged by the summer sun. Wood finishes are best applied when the temperature is between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
And while the fall temperatures are welcoming after the summer heat, they present new obstacles for comfort inside the home. National home improvement expert Lou Manfredini says now is the time to prepare your home for cooler weather.
"With today's volatile energy prices, it is imperative to find cost-effective solutions to maintaining a comfortable home," he says. One economical solution is the Hybrid Heat system from Carrier Corp., which combines a furnace with a heat pump rather than an air conditioner - helping to reduce energy consumption and lower monthly heating bills.
Insulation is another efficient means of preserving the warmth and comfort in your home. Un-backed or loose-fill insulation is appropriate for reinforcing existing insulation, while batted insulation is suitable for homes without any previous insulation. Remember that the foil-backed side is the vapor barrier and must be facing the heated area.
For many people, their home is their single largest investment. Following these steps can protect that investment and increase a home's resale value.