MPj03995560000[1] (ARA) – Many smart homeowners see fall as the year's last chance to fix that leaky roof, resurface the driveway, re-stain the deck, clean the chimney and tidy the yard. But while all your last-minute winterizing chores probably won't break your back, they could break the bank if you try to buy all the tools you'll need to get the jobs done.

For many homeowners with realistic home improvement budgets and limited tool storage space, renting is the answer. "You can rent just the right professional-quality tools for virtually any home improvement task," says Christine Wehrman, chief executive officer of the American Rental Association (ARA). Cheaper than buying, renting tools allows homeowners to put their home improvement dollars towards materials, rather than equipment.

Here are some common winterizing home improvement or repair tasks:

Deck maintenance – Fall is a great time to re-stain the deck, and repair any damaged wood. If you are removing and replacing damaged wood, you’ll need a variety of hand and power tools such as power saws and a nail gun. To stain or seal the deck, you can rent power sprayers to make the job fast and easy.

Roof and window repairs – Keeping your windows and roof in good shape can help reduce winter heating costs. Summer sun and high temperatures may have kept you off the ladder for a few months, but now is the time to care for windows and roofs. Scaffolding can help you reach both and is often a safer, more stable work space than a ladder. Your local rental center can help you determine the tools you’ll need to repair the roof or damage around windows.

Chimney cleaning – If you think “Dick Van Dyke did it, so why can’t I?” you might feel confident enough to tackle cleaning your home chimney on your own. But you probably don’t have a chimney brush or blower stored in your garage for this purpose. Consider renting the equipment you’ll need – including drop cloths to protect the inside of your house from soot and dust.

Clean up the back yard – Clear brush, sod or seed bare spots in the lawn, remove leaves and store summer gardening tools. Brush cutters, seed spreaders, leaf blowers, and even stump grinders and chainsaws can all be rented.

Take care of really odd “odd jobs” – You’ve been meaning to dig that French drain all summer. Now is the time to get the job done – before winter brings storms and freezing temperatures. A family of squirrels has set up house in your attic. Humanely trap them before they settle in for the winter. You can rent walk-behind trench diggers and animal traps from your local rental center.

“If you need a special tool for a one-time job, renting gives you what you need without the cost of buying,” says Wehrman. “Likewise, renting saves storage space by allowing you to use seasonal tools – like leaf blowers and lawn aerators – when you need them and let someone else store them when you don’t.”

To learn more about tools and equipment available for rent, or to find an ARA-member rental center near you, visit www.rentalhq.com .

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