When the seasons change, many homesteaders do their fall housecleaning and notice items needing maintenance. Performing routine tasks can help save money down the road by preventing small problems from escalating. Plus, you take pride in your investment and want it to look it’s best.
If money is tight, how can you spruce up the home place on a budget? Doing so might require some expenditures but saves you money in the long run. Consider adding these 9 tasks to your autumn to-do list.
1. Think Energy Efficiency
How old are your kitchen appliances? If you’re still rocking appliances from the 1980s, you’re paying way too much for electric.
Since 1992, all appliances come with an Energy Star rating telling you how much energy your appliances use. Engineers know this, and today’s appliances use half or less in utilities what prior-year models did.
2. Clean Up the Exterior
Your home’s curb appeal attracts buyers, and even if you’re not looking to sell, keeping the exterior tidy increases the return on your investment. It also helps prevent wildfires and ward off future repairs.
Clean your gutters or hire a professional to do so every six months if you have a two-or-more story home. You can have them inspect the roof and fix small leaks before they cause flood damage. Clear away any overhanging tree limbs and brush and debris from around your home, and trim back bushes around windows to deter thieves.
3. Replace Your Windows
If your windows leave you feeling hot or chilled when you sit near them, you’re paying to heat the outdoors. Consider upgrading to fiberglass windows to save energy and time spent painting. Unlike wood, which peels over time, fiberglass holds its original color, saving you money down the line.
4. Add on to Your Porch
Is there anything more romantic than sipping cool ice tea on a wraparound porch? Get more out of outdoor living by adding on to your existing porch or building a deck. Have ample space? Consider screening in part of your deck to use it in the cooler months, too. You can build inexpensive “windows” for winter out of 1×1 frames and plastic sheeting or plexiglass.
5. Paint Any Room of Your Home
Paint costs little but changes your entire interior. Want to limit AC use during the summer months? Consider painting living areas with a light shade. Light colors reflect heat away, making you feel several degrees cooler without turning down the thermostat.
6. Upgrade Your Flooring
Carpets hold in pet dander, bacteria, and dirt. Consider replacing the carpeting in high-traffic areas with tile or hardwood. These prove easier to clean and reduce the number of germs in your home. Plus, you’ll save a fortune on professional carpet cleaning services over the years.
7. Install Solar Panels
If you embrace off-the-grid living, going solar serves as an important first step in developing true independence. Many states provide significant rebates for going solar, and that’s not the only way you save money. Bidding adieu to your electric bill can save hundreds, even thousands, annually.
8. Build a Greenhouse
Why drive to the grocery every time you want fresh produce? You can build a greenhouse in a single weekend without spending much money and enjoy fruits and veggies all year long.
You’ll save money at the store and waste less food. Even if you buy from local farmers, once you pick foods, they begin decomposing. With your greenhouse, you’ll never open your crisper drawer to find slimy lettuce again.
9. Create a Compost Bin
Are you still paying for store-bought mulch and compost? Why not make a compost bin and put your table scraps to good use? All you need do is start by building an inexpensive frame and toss in your scraps. If you like, you can create separate compartments for food waste and brush and other lawn cuttings.
Sprucing Up Your Homestead the Budget-Friendly Way
With fall on the way, take advantage of the cooler temperatures to fix up your homestead. Even if you don’t sell your home anytime soon — or ever — you’ll increase the value of your investment, not to mention your enjoyment of it.