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Weekends in the fall are busy, with trips to the apple orchard, the kids sports and, of course, college and pro football games. Yet you can still get projects done around the home on these busy weekends, if you plan ahead.

Just like a football team, doing home project on weekends requires advance planning and plenty of preparation. So let’s huddle up and get ready for game time!

The first and most important part of your weekend project “game plan” is to make sure you aren’t biting off more than you can chew. Home maintenance on a weekend is certainly doable. Remodeling a bathroom; not so much.

Once you’ve set a goal, remember that proper prior planning prevents poor projects. That means determining what you need to buy at the hardware store and making sure you have the proper tools before game day on Saturday.

To make sure you can accomplish your task in a timely manner, pick up the supplies or additional tools on your way home from work Thursday night.

On Friday night, lay everything out you will need for the project, and read any directions to make sure you are ready for game time. Now you are ready to blitz your project on Saturday, with a break to watch your favorite college game.

You can then do any final things to finish the project on Sunday before the 1 p.m. kickoff for the NFL games.

Here are just some of the projects you can realistically tackle over a busy fall weekend:

Caulking: To keep the cold air out and the warm air in this winter, get rid of any old caulk around your windows that is hardened and replace it with a high-end, waterproof paintable silicone caulk like GE Window and Door Supreme Paintable Silicone, caulkyourhome.com. If you want to seal your windows with caulk around the frames from the inside, but will want to open those windows when spring comes, use a special caulk like DAP Seal ’n Peel removable weatherstrip caulk, dap.com.

Change furnace filter: While this may be the easiest project of the group, it’s probably the most impactful one. Dust, pet dander and allergens can blitz though your home once the furnace kicks on and the windows are sealed up. Filtrete filters, filtrete.com, capture these particles down to a Micro Particle Rating level of 2400 and keep working for up to three months. So, if you don’t remember changing your filters since the Fourth of July, the time to do it is now.

Clean and organize the garage: Before you store all your outdoor furniture and lawn equipment for the winter, make sure your garage is ready to house it. One of the best ways is to hang shovels, rakes and other outdoor lawn and garden tools on hooks. If you haven’t done this yet, you could hang up a GearTrack Pack from Gladiator, gladiatorgw.com, that features an assortment of hooks. Gladiator also makes lots of storage cabinets that will help you store everything and allow you to actually park in the garage this winter.

Clean the gutters: With all the storms we have had recently, a lot of leaves and debris have been blown into gutters. So now is a great time to clean them out and to make sure the downspouts aren’t clogged. You can also install a product like Gutter Brush, gutterbrush.com to keep your gutters flowing free. It is easy to install and you can cut it to any size that you need.

Wrap your windows: The best offense is a good defense. Before the winter winds howl, save energy and keep the warm air where it belongs with Windows Insulator kits from 3M, 3m.com. With sizes ranging from regular 3-by-5 windows, patio doors and more than 6-by-19 windows, the clear film and double sided tape installs easily.

These are just a few ideas for weekend projects that you can complete before the game. Of course, changing a faucet, installing a new light fixture or even painting a small room can also be accomplished over a weekend.

Remember, if you plan ahead, you will have your project completed and you will be ready to ask that famous weekend question: “Now, where did I put the remote?”

Speaking of planning ahead, plan to join me Oct. 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. as I broadcast live from Great Lake ACE Hardware on Twelve Mile and Greenfield in Southfield. Representatives from Scotts, Concrobium, DTE Energy and others will join me as I answer your home improvement questions. Hope to see you there!

If you would like to suggest a question for this column, email askglenn@masterhandyman.com. If you want to talk to Glenn Haege personally, call his “Handyman Show” on WJR-AM (760) at (866) ASK GLENN, (866) 275-4536 between noon and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The “Handyman Show” can be heard on more than 130 radio stations nationwide.

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