Fall is officially upon us and with fall, comes home maintenance.  To ensure your new home runs in tip-top shape, we’ve consulted with our Construction Team and compiled a list of handy tips for you.  Enjoy!

Note:  If you do not feel confident in any of these duties, please be sure to contact a professional.


  • Shutdown your air conditioner once you’ve used it for the last time this fall season.  Go to your main breaker box and turn the air conditioning breaker off.
  • Replace your furnace filter.  Check furnace operation prior to the first cold spell.
  • Inspect and add silicone – if necessary – around bath tub drain and faucets, where they meet the fiberglass module.
  • Seal grout lines of all ceramic tiles.  A simple grout sealer applied with an artist’s paintbrush tends to be the best method.
  • Test your smoke detectors and vacuum the outside of the units to clean them.
  • Check fireplace operation.  Gas fireplaces with pilot lights should be relit following the manufacturer’s instructions.  Those without pilot lights can be turned on at the control.  Wood burning fireplaces should be cleaned and inspected by a professional.
  • If your home’s exterior doors are equipped with adjustable thresholds, they may be adjusted up with a screwdriver to tighten the fit of the door.  In the spring, adjust down.
  • Tighten PVC traps under your sinks so they don’t loosen and leak.
  • If you have a water softener, make sure the salt is above the water level.
  • Keep your exterior lights on for safety during the evening.

Safety Tip:  Change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors when you adjust your clocks for the time change in November.


  • After the leaves have fallen – clean gutters, downspouts and window wells.  Confirm that downspout extensions or splash-blocks are in place and in good condition to carry roof water away from the foundation.
  • Drain and winterize landscaping sprinkler systems.  Disconnect all hoses from exterior faucets and turn valves (located in basement) to the off prevent freezing.  Store garden hose equipment for the winter.
  • Mow lawn after the first frost.  Apply fall or starter fertilizer.
  • Wash exterior concrete: garage floor, sidewalk, driveway and stoops.  Once dry, caulk any cracks or expansion joints in the concrete slab with a concrete grade caulk.  Next, seal concrete slabs with a topical concrete sealer to prevent cracking and/or flaking.
  • Re-apply stain/sealer to deck surface to prevent cracking and warping of wood.
  • Inspect exterior wood surfaces for cracking/peeling paint.  Sand, prime and paint as needed to prevent winter damage.
  • Verify the sump pump extension is installed on the home’s exterior.  Inspect caulk around exterior penetrations.  If any caulk is cracked or weathered, remove the existing caulk and re-caulk using clear silicone caulk to prevent water entry.
  • Inspect vent pipes to ensure they are clear of obstruction.
  • Check for any settling that may have occurred around your foundation.  To properly allow water to run away from the basement, your home requires a positive slope away from the foundation walls.  If settling has occurred, add topsoil to create the necessary slope.  Seed and repair as needed.
  • While it may seem easier, do not use salt or ice removers on concrete; they will cause pitting and/or spalling.  We recommend using sand for traction.

We hope you’ve found these tips beneficial.  To end this post, I’m going to leave you with an adorable image from some past homebuyers.  Don’t forget to submit your photos in our seasonal photo contests!

Photo courtesy of the Smith Family.