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Front Page » October 7, 2004 » Focus on Winter Preparation » Autumn is ideal time for outdoor maintenance
Published 4,020 days ago

Autumn is ideal time for outdoor maintenance

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Fall is the ideal time to make improvements to your yard. Consider replaicing deck, porch and fences with vinyl options for easier maintenance.

The warm-weather season has come to a close. As you pack away the patio set and pool accessories and watch your annual plantings start to wilt you may notice how your backyard has taken a beating. Scorching temperatures, blazing sun and downpours, as well as frequent visitors and insects may have left your outdoor structures looking worse for the wear. But don't wait until next year to breathe new life into decking and fencing. Fall is the perfect time to assess and spruce up your home.


After all of the running around you did this summer, it's easy to put off outdoor repairs for next season. Yet, if you plan ahead now, you'll be ready for springtime entertaining as soon as the trees begin to bud and the weather warms anew. Here are some reasons to start early:

•The cool, crisp air will make outdoor work less of a chore. Why wait for spring when an early heat wave could zap your motivation. Take advantage of the moderate weather to spend time outdoors.

•Minimize further weather-related damage to your outdoor structures. The sun, pool water and heat of the summer already took their toll. Frigid temperatures, snow and ice can damage structures even further. Repair and protect these items before Old Man Winter can do his worst.

•Who has time for staining and sanding when there are parties and other social engagements to attend. Spring is a busy time of year. Your weekends may be filled with religious events, birthdays and weddings, pushing home repairs to the back burner. When it comes time to entertain in your yard, you'll be left doing a rush job in order to have everything ready.


There are plenty of chores suited for autumn. Here are some ideas, to get you started:

•Consider revamping your landscaping. Map out new planting beds and replace/lay mulch and rocks according to your plan. Plant hardy bushes that will withstand winter temperatures, taking care to leave space where annuals can be planted come warmer weather.

•Tackle decking, porch and fencing repairs. Weatherproof your deck, porch and fence or give them a new look for next season's entertaining opportunities. A no-maintenance option for busy homeowners is using vinyl products.

For fencing, consider vinyl, which is strong and maintenance-free. It withstands the weather and won't corrode, blister, peel or rot. Many vinyl fences are simple to install and come with a lifetime warranty.

•Install a family pool. Certain companies offer discounted rates for pools installed in the off-season. Get it in the ground now so you'll be able to dive in first thing next summer.

•General yard maintenance. Lawn fertilization, weeding, leaf raking -- these are all tasks that can be tackled in the fall so you won't have a dead lawn or a mess during the spring thaw.

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