Guest Author: Laura Leavitt
Whether you’ve spent decades maintaining your home or are just settling in, there’s never a better time than the present to dig into home improvement in the late summer and fall. Your home’s yard, in particular, benefits from some attention in the fall since you can often get it into top shape and reap the benefits in the form of a tidy backyard all winter.
Here are three of the top home improvement projects to tackle this fall according to top real estate agents’ perspectives and keep your home’s value in great shape in case you end up deciding to sell your house quickly at some point.
While raking your leaves may conjure up images of jumping in piles and messing around on an autumn afternoon, the raking does serve a big purpose. Thick layers of leaves make it harder for water to drain through your lawn, potentially creating flooding in areas where you didn’t expect pooled water. You also encourage fungal growth, which is natural but sometimes unsightly. Finally, you want your lawn to get full air to continue photosynthesizing, and too many leaves can impede that process too. It’s not just for looks: raking leaves is a healthy-yard move.
If you only want to make one big project this fall, make this the one: invest in some good mulch attuned to your perennial plants. Plants that typically will return after each winter will have a better chance of surviving the sharpest cold-weather days if you cover them with an appropriate mulch material in the fall. It’s good for other reasons too, from keeping the correct pH for the plants and discouraging weeds come the next growing season. Lastly, mulching keeps your high-value landscaping plants healthy, yielding savings when you don’t have to re-do your beds each year.
While initial landscaping choices are almost always taken with the idea of draining water away from the foundation of your home, the earth does settle and small changes to your property could eventually direct rain runoff toward your foundation. Basements leak more often if water naturally flows toward them than if the direction of the water is naturally away from the house. No one wants the pain and expense of a damaged foundation or leaky basement, along with all the potential for mold and destroyed possessions that come along with those circumstances. Instead, talk to a landscaper about problem areas on your property and regrade by adding and removing soil strategically and moving vegetation an appropriate distance away so that when big rains come, you are ready. Your foundation will be glad you took the time for this home improvement project!
These projects aren’t huge time-sinks, so you can add them to your to-do list even if you have a lot on your plate, such as buying a new house and selling your current house at the same time. Taking a little time for your yard at the right time of year can yield big results down the line.
About the Author: For the past year, Laura Leavitt has been writing informative articles for HomeLight.com and enjoys educating new home buyers about the world of real estate.