Fall is the ideal time for visiting a pumpkin patch and breaking out those cozy sweaters — but it’s also a good time to prepare your home for the winter ahead. Winter’s ice, snow, and cold temperatures can put a strain on your home, and the best way to prevent adverse effects is to plan far in advance. Read on for a few simple steps you can take to prepare your home (and yourself!) for winter.

We all know winter takes a toll on our footwear as boots get covered with salt, rain, snow, or mud. Don’t bring the outside mess inside — try a plastic shoe tray placed by the home’s entry to keep your floors clean. Some shoe trays have two tiers for maximum storage, or even holes to house wet umbrellas. Many of our Colorado community homes, like the Melody plan at Solstice™, include mudrooms or owner’s entries to help you take off and store cold weather gear with ease, keeping mess to a minimum.

Solstice Harmony Melody Mud Room
Melody Model Mud Room

Winter ice and snow can make sidewalks and driveways treacherous. It’s important to stock up on snow items like shovels and ice scrapers prior to the season’s first snow and ensure your home and every car has at least one of each at the ready. While our Shea Colorado homes feature two or three bay garages to keep cars safe at home, it’s a good idea to keep sand or kitty litter, snow shovels, a tow rope, jumper cables, and a flashlight in the backseat in case a winter storm strikes while you’re on the road.

Shoveling Snow Getty Images

As temperatures begin to drop, your lawn and landscaping might need a little TLC to prepare for the next growing season. October is a great time to aerate your lawn to relieve any compaction and increase drainage. A garden fork is all you need to aerate: Just insert the fork’s tines into the ground, tilt the handle backwards slightly, then remove. Repeat at regular intervals all over your lawn. Many plants can be saved over winter, like dahlias, calla lilies, and gladiolus — simply dig up the bulbs after the plant’s foliage has died, air dry bulbs for two weeks, then store in a dry place until planting time in the spring. It’s best to remove potting soil from planters or pots if you’re going to leave them outside in winter, as soil can expand and cause planters to crack.

Aerated Lawn Dirt Clumps Getty Images

Homeowners can take simple steps to prevent any unexpected problems on the outside of their home. Check your gutters during the fall to tighten any loose joints or replace any damaged parts. Clearing your gutters of dirt, twigs, and leaves in fall can prevent them from clogging or sagging during a snowy winter. Trim any trees that hang close to your home: A three-foot buffer should be enough space to keep tree branches heavy with snow from damaging your home’s exterior.

Roof Gutters Filled Autumn Leaves Getty Images

Though winter may seem far away in the midst of fall’s golden aspens and crisp afternoons, days of snow and ice will be here before we know it. Thankfully, these easy steps can safeguard your home before winter arrives. For a cozy home ready to handle all four seasons, check out our Colorado communities and move-in-ready models today.

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