Fall is here! In the Queen City that means pumpkin spice lattes, a bowl of chili from Lupie’s Cafe, Carolina Panther hoodies, and leaves…. lots and lots of leaves. Charlotte is, after all, known as the city of trees. The falling leaves may look beautiful but they’re a bit of a thorn for homeowners. Dealing with those should be at the top of your Fall house checklist. And while you are working anyway, there are a few other items you should put on your to-do list.

Take care of the leaves

Rake them up first. If you leave them there too long it can kill your grass which you might not care about in winter but you will when your spring yard looks blah.

*worth noting: All those leaves are a perfect start to composting. Those fall leaves make for spring gold when it comes to planting your garden.

You aren’t done with the leaves yet! Next, clean out the gutters. Trust us, they are in there!  Clogged gutters create a problem with water. If you don’t want to spend a few hours doing this yourself, it’s worth it to have someone do it for you. It’s a lot cheaper than repairing water damage on your siding, roof or foundation.

Turn off outdoor plumbing

Speaking of water, Fall is a good time to drain any outdoor faucets and sprinkler systems and cover them so they don’t fall victim to the freezing weather to come. Replacing a garden hose won’t cost much but sprinkler systems are another story. Considering we’ve gone from 90 degree days to 50 degree days in the blink of an eye, don’t wait too long to knock this one off your fall house checklist.

Make sure your furnace is ready for winter

This isn’t an area where you want to show off your DIY skills. We recommend having a professional take a look now before they get too busy with all those calls from people who didn’t plan ahead and are freaking out because the first freeze is forecast and the system isn’t working. Cover your AC unit if you are done with it to keep debris and ice from damaging the system. Don’t forget to change over the thermostat on the inside from cool to heat! 

Go for a walk 

No, not down to the local brewery. We mean outside around your house. 

  • Check sidewalks for cracks that need repair. 
  • Inspect weather-stripping around doors. 
  • Make sure shingles are in place on the roof
  • Test for burned-out bulbs on lighting around your home (It gets dark early this time of year!)

Home Safety Check

This is one of the most critical things on your fall house checklist. Now is a good time to test batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide monitors. Review or create a family fire escape plane. Replace fire extinguishers that are more than 6 years old (What? You don’t have one? Get on it!)

If you plan it right, and start first thing in the morning, after that pumpkin spice latte, you could most of this done (depending on the size of your home and yard) before your friends bring over the chili for kickoff to the big game!