Before winter, make sure your home is ready by conducting an inspection

As the nights get darker and the temperatures outside start to dip, homeowners should use the comparably milder fall months to get their houses in shape for the coming winter.

Angie's List, a website that recommends the best services to consumers, has compiled a checklist of upgrades homeowners should look into before the cold weather hits. From improvements that increase a home's energy efficiency to renovations that help ensure a property's structural integrity, looking over these few spots in the house will go a long way in making sure that your residence is prepared for the worst.

As the literal shelter over your families heads, the roof is one of the most important features of a house that needs to be maintained. If a roof is unsound, there could be a bevy of issues that plague the structure ranging from inefficient weather protection to potential collapse in the event of an extreme storm.

A home inspection is recommended in the fall since contractors are able to best assess the quality of construction before freezing temperatures make an audit dangerous. You should have a professional inspect your roof before the leaves start piling up, making roof inspection a hazard.

Tell-tale signs of roof damage can be seen from within the house in many cases. If there are water stains or cracks visible on the ceiling in a room just below the attic, the probable culprit for the damage is inefficient weatherproofing on the top of your home.

Angie's List recommends that you seek a home inspection in the fall and in the spring so that you can gauge the damage done before and after rough winter weather. Along with regular maintenance, these assessments will go a long way in making sure that you are as comfortable as possible no matter what the season.