The fall has quickly become a great time to plan a few home improvements. Many people are using these next few months to prepare for the coming winter by adding some versatility to their properties. 

However, before any changes are made, homeowners should have a property inspection completed. Taking the time to make sure that the home is in sound condition before upgrading is crucial. This way, damage won't be missed or covered up, or problems won't damage any brand new renovations. 

Homeowners planning for fall upgrades

A majority of property owners surveyed for the Zillow Digs Fall Home Improvement Survey reported that they were planning home remodels during this time. Of all the respondents, 52 percent said that they were preparing to take this step, and many expect to spend as much as $1,000. However, the numbers are slightly down from the summer, when the Zillow Digs Summer Home Improvement Survey found that 60 percent of homeowners planned renovations. 

The survey highlighted several key preferences. While every room is always a target for homeowners, a greater percentage wanted to focus on a home office or playroom upgrade.

"Fall is a perfect transition time from outdoor to indoor activities, which is resonating in home improvement plans and trends," said Cynthia Nowak, trend expert for Zillow Digs. "Parents are sprucing up indoor play areas to keep the kids active and occupied, while looking for ways to update their own workspaces for the season ahead as workdays are shortened by kid pick-up and drop-off duty."

When residents are planning a home remodel, safety is vital. A home inspection is the smartest route, and a licensed property inspection professional can help ensure that any changes are done properly.

Versatility was highly attractive to the homeowners surveyed by Zillow Digs. While home offices were a popular target for renovations, most changes are made with more than one purpose in mind. For some, that might include a daybed, small kitchen or a guest bedroom. Playrooms should be fixed up with functionality in mind. As long as a re-designed space help keep kids busy, the value and attractiveness of a home could increase.

Prepare before making home improvements

The best way for homeowners to make sure that a space is ready to be upgraded is by planning ahead. Taking steps before starting should help save money and prevent unexpected costs. Therefore, a home inspection is a must.

In addition, as more people become interested in dual purpose rooms, converting a basement might be a logical move. Using this existing space could be a viable solution for some looking to add extra living space into a property.

Before starting, however, all homeowners should make sure the basement is dry, according to the DIY Network. Water damage can seriously interrupt a remodel, and undo all of that previous hard work. Outside, the ground should be graded away from the foundation, so water doesn't run back toward the home. Gutters should also be checked for damage and cleaned, as well. A property inspection could help answer any questions residents may have before starting.

Moreover, when adding extra living space, insulation is critical, Houzz noted. Taking the time to properly prepare should keep an additional room warm, or cool, during the entire year. Very few people would enjoy sleeping a room with arctic temperatures at night. The paint choices also make a difference. Depending on the size of the new space, light or dark colors have very different results. Potentially leaving the ceiling unfinished is a way to add visual height, even if the space might not actually have it.