Garages are a versatile amenity to have attached to your home. They provide a safe place to park your vehicles—and to keep them out of the rain and snow. They also can give you a storage area for equipment, tools, and household items. Finally, they can serve as a workshop, as a play room, and as a hang-out spot. With all these options, it’s easy to see how garage doors can get an incredible about of use. Up. Down. Open. Close.

Here are some considerations for your garage door maintenance.

  • Check the hardware: tighten your nuts and bolts.
  • Lubricate the chains/screws/rollers/hinges: The lubrication helps smoothen the door’s operation—and keeps things quieter.
  • Clean the door and all components, and wipe dry when you’re done.
  • Check the weather stripping for damage. And if you don’t have a seal on your door, consider installing one; it will save energy and help protect your garage and items.
  • Test your door’s balance; for your garage door to function properly and last longer, it should be properly balanced.
  • Test any automatic safety systems (such as an emergency reversal or stop system)

Don’t forget the outside! While ensuring the garage door is in working order keeps everyone safe, also keep in mind aesthetics. Depending on the size of your garage, its door can take up a big part of your home’s exterior. 

As the seasons change, so do our household to-do lists. Fall brings the harvest, fun holidays and family gatherings, all things pumpkin and apple, and, of course, the changing of the leaves in many areas of the country. Those leaves, however, contribute to most of the autumn chores. Here are some tips for outside fall clean-up:

Mow Your Grass: Before you put the lawnmower away for the season, trim it one more time. This Old House recommends going down to one and a quarter inches for the last cut of the year. Shorter grass prevents disease.

Fertilize Your Lawn: Fall is a good time to replenish your soil with nutrients it might have lost over the warmer summer months.

Pick Up Leaves: Raking and cleaning up your leaves prevents wet foliage from suffocating your lawn. That can lead to disease, and we want healthy grass! Use a tarp for easier gathering, and then bag them up and dispose of them how your local community prefers. Or you can also add them to a compost pile if you have one.

Check and Clean Gutters: Just as you remove leaves and debris from your lawn, do the same for your gutter system; this will prevent any damage-causing build-up in the winter.

Clean and Store Patio Furniture: Fall clean-up isn’t limited to yardwork. Clean off any outdoor furniture, and then get it ready for the cold weather by storing it away or covering it. 

You go in and out of your doors countless times, and you likely peer out the window just as often. But how often do you think about taking care of your entry ways and windows? Here are a few tips to keep them in tip-top shape.


Over time your windows’ frames can collect dust and debris, the panes can become streaked, and hardware can experience wear and tear. Give them some TLC once a year (or more).

  • Wash your frames with water and a mild soap. Dry when complete.
  • Wash your screens with water, mild soap and a soft brush. Rinse and dry.
  • Wipe your panes clean with a glass cleaner.
  • Lubricate the hardware once per year to keep in working order.
  • Check the condition of your windows, including checking for rot, condensation, faulty seals, peeling paint, and damage to any weather stripping.


  • We open and close our doors. A lot. Here are some things to consider as you care for your exterior entries to keep them looking and functioning well.
  • Clean your doors with a gentle soap. (Avoid abrasive cleaners!) Use as little water as possible.
  • Look for cracks in the frame or door windows. Also, look out for damage to weather stripping.
  • Check the paint finish for signs of wear, such as chips, cracks, or faded spots.