Last Dry Chance
I have to say that September is my favorite month here in Washington State. It’s the 2nd driest month, (which I appreciate more and more with every passing year…), and often it’s still warm and pleasant outside for a little yard work, hiking, biking or even just walking, while we enjoy the cooling breezes and leaves beginning to change into Fall colors.
If you’ve been reading our articles for a while, you know that September is also the month I begin to take a look at the regular maintenance needed in my home and at my work. I usually pull out my Fall Checklist in October, so I won’t go over many of those things till next month. But now is about the last good chance I’ll get to tackle any major repair or improvement before the rains start to shut us in.
Also, as a General Contractor/Plumbing Contractor/HVAC Contractor, I know that September is often a ‘Slump Month’ for several reasons. And this year, since the pandemic is still very much with us, many of us contractors can really use any work we can get even more than usual in September. So… the point is, it’s a great time to ask for and get discounts and/or things ‘thrown in’ … and it’s likely your Contractors/Vendors can be more flexible in scheduling right now; like working nights or weekends without big, additional add-on charges, because their crews need the work. (It doesn’t hurt to ask; right?)
Personally, this month I have a few things to do at home and at our properties like the following:
Any painting projects are good to get done, inside or out, now. It’s always nicer for everyone if painting can be done when things don’t get soaked outside and when things can be left open and aired out nicely inside. And the prep-work like wall washing, drywall patching and pressure washing outside. Resealing/caulking….all those things are good to do now.
Driveway Repairs and Sealing
As I said, historically September is very dry, and that’s a must for asphalt driveway and parking lot work, cleaning and sealing, re-striping, pothole repairs etc. I have one big driveway and one parking lot that will need to be done before winter. I got some pricing this summer, and now I’ll call back the top two I like and ask if they can “sharpen their pencil” for us, and get it done.
From inspection and air cleaning and pressure washing, to repairs and even replacement; obviously, the dryer it is the better for everyone.
When I did my outside inspection last spring, I noticed a couple of gutters that were sagging, and one was apparently overflowing sometimes. Just cleaning the gutters won’t/didn’t solve that, and a section of gutter needs to be repaired.
Window Repairs / Replacements
Whether it’s a large, complete project or just one or two windows, now is a good time to get any window work handled. Again, I collected several quotes this summer and I just chose a contractor to proceed to replace all our windows at home. On a project that costs about $10k, my prices ranged from $9,100 to $13,900 for exactly the same product and installation specs. Doing the job now while it’s dry is ideal for them and us.
Mason Chimney Inspection Cleaning and Repairs
Chimneys should be cleaned inside annually, but every five years or so, it’s good to inspect and clean masonry chimneys on the outside too. And then apply sealer if needed. Sometimes you find that the flashing between the chimney and the roof is in bad condition and repairing that properly (not just slopping some roofing tar on it) must be done in dry weather.
I need some new fencing installed, but any fencing work, repairs, painting, gate repairs, etc. would be good to do now.
Anyway, there’s work to be done, and (possibly) deals to be had. I hope you enjoy your September, and that you don’t waste your ‘last chance’ to do some of these things this year… because we never know what winter will bring…especially in these times. Stay safe and healthy!
Bruce Davis Sr. is President of Day & Nite Plumbing & Heating, Inc., a 65-year old family owned and operated plumbing and heating business in Lynnwood, Washington. Bruce can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit their website at dayandnite.net or call (800) 972-7000.