One of the best things about Canada is the changing seasons. Behind us are the dog days of summer, and ahead are cool evenings, changing colours, cosier clothing and seasonal scents. The arrival of fall brings a new focus, and it’s rooted in the preparation of shelter for the winter that blows in behind it. Let’s break down the best projects to consider for the new season.
Address your envelope
Windows and doors will soon be closing. Fresh air, however, is a year-round need inside all buildings, including your home. Warmer air is soon to be a need as well. This is the perfect time to schedule a furnace inspection and tune-up, duct cleaning, and open up and clean out your ventilation fans and dryer vent to ensure that things are free-flowing and operating as they should. Don’t wait until you need the heat, as then it might be too late. If your home has an HRV or ERV, now would be a good time to begin rerunning it to ensure fresh air exchange to the benefit of your entire family. With the cooler weather, reflect on how the previous winter was at your home. Perhaps an energy audit by a certified adviser, or a top-up of your attic insulation, may help make things more comfortable this year.
Regular exterior maintenance
The dry summer months will give way to moisture. Eaves troughs, downspouts, window and door caulking, shingles, positive grade sloping and sump pump/backwater valve checks are a must at this time of year, in preparation for the increased moisture for the following three seasons. Make sure everything is operating freely and avoid having to fix a problem in a flood, or when it’s freezing outside. Watch for those frost events that can come up quickly, to cover sensitive plants and shut off hose bibs to avoid freezing.
Fall typically marks the end of installing new foundations for additions or custom homes. It’s the perfect time to get them in the ground, allowing you to build over the winter and get ready to move in when the weather is nicer. If you can’t get going now, this also marks the best time to firm up your foundation plans for spring. With summer’s busy schedule out of the way, the kids are back to school, and our desire to get work done can help us set forth our plans and commitments to improve our homes in the coming year. It all starts with a plan – and now is the best time to convert those ideas and dreams into concrete actions.
The season extending essentials
Pergolas, portable heaters, fire pits and cosy throw blankets, infrared or wood-fired saunas and hot tubs can all help to keep your core warm, allowing you to still enjoy the outdoors in the fall. It is officially cuddle season, too, so snuggle up and soak in the last few days and nights where it is truly comfortable to sit and relax outside. Last year, patio extending products were in record demand, so move quickly if you don’t want to be left out in the cold.
If you want help to design and build your own perfect space, remember there is real value in working with a professional to design and execute it, and professional associations such as the Ontario Association of Architects and renomark.ca , the home of the professional renovator, are great places to start your search.
Brendan Charters is a Founding Partner at Toronto design-build firm Eurodale Developments Inc., the 2020 BILD Renovator of the Year. eurodale.ca , @eurodalehomes, 416.782.5690