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Home Improvement & Renovating
Inspired by warmer and brighter days ahead, we’ve gathered some ideas to give you a head start on spring and summer home projects. Get your home and garden ready so you can enjoy relaxing leisure time with family and friends this summer.
Over the past two years, shortages and higher prices due to increases in demand and supply chain hiccups have meant some home improvements were put on hold. Lumber shortages delayed many garden projects. Is this the year you’ll finally have your new deck, fence or gazebo?
Let the outdoor cleanup begin! First, inspect the exterior of your home to see if everything is in good shape, or if you need to make any repairs. This is a good time to clean your siding, garage door and deck.
Are your cleaning tools and supplies ready for spring? Make sure you have plenty of disposal bags or boxes to clear out any garbage or items you can donate or sell. Avoid harsh cleaners and bleaches. Vinegar is a natural all-purpose cleaner that is kinder to your family, pets, and the environment.
Freshen your outdoor areas with a fresh lick of paint or stain! How welcoming does your front door look? If it’s looking a bit worn, maybe it’s time for a fresh coat of paint, stain or a good cleaning. While you have your paint out, you can touch up your outdoor wood trim. Don’t forget to check the condition of the insulation around the door frame and your screen door.
Cleaning your windows is a sure sign of spring, but do your windows need any repairs or new seals?
Cracks in the exterior window seal may signal the potential for leaks in the rainy season. If you need new windows, it’s best to order as soon as you can to avoid delays as experienced by home renovators in past years.
No one looks forward to the mosquitoes and black flies that come with spring weather, but by checking your window and door screens now for holes or tears, you can prevent them from entering your home.
Handy DIY screen repair kits, replacement screen material and adjustable sliding screens are readily available.
If you have central air conditioning, test your unit as soon as it is warm enough. If your system needs repair, arrange to have it taken care of before the very hot and humid weather starts. Past years saw shortages of air conditioners of all types, so it is a good idea to order early. New air conditioners are more energy efficient, quieter, and use an eco-friendly coolant.
Shop around and read reviews to find a ceiling fan that is the right size and style for your room. It’s a good idea to order early as better fans tend to sell out quickly once the hot weather starts.
Check your eavestroughs for leaks and blockages and clean them out. A great timesaver for clean-up is to install gutter guards to prevent leaves and twigs from clogging up your eavestroughs. Gutter guards are made with mesh screens and surface tension helmets. PVC covers or foam inserts are recommended for DIYers.
Raised flower bed planters at least two feet high surrounded by mesh fencing can help save your veggies from being ravaged by rabbits or other hungry critters. Try building your own, or purchase ready-made raised planters for your seeds and plants. An easy DIY version is a simple raised bed with 4×4 posts. Order the lumber you’ll need soon to build your own raised flower beds to get a good start on your vegetables and flowers.
It’s exciting to see and enjoy the results of your hard work planting seeds and nurturing plants. There is still time to order seeds and plants, but don’t leave it too late. For best results, learn how much time each plant needs to flower or produce vegetables. Keep your eyes open for native plants that do better in droughts, and attract butterflies, hummingbirds and bees.
Visit your local garden centre or nursery to learn more about the shrubs and plants that will thrive in your property’s soil, light and gardening hardiness zone.
Make sure your garden has a healthy base of good soil and compost, then fertilize and water your plants and seeds as directed. Mulch will hold in moisture to protect your plants from dry conditions. There are many varieties and colours of mulch to choose from.
Other landscaping materials to think about are gravel, decorative stone or bricks to border your garden, and for patios and pathways. Creating your own terrace is a fun DIY project giving you lots of time outdoors, and it’s also great exercise.
Is your garden hose in good condition? Avoid frustrating kinks and water flow stoppages by buying the best hose you can. Consider the best hose length, diameter and material for your garden.
The popularity of cordless electric lawn mowers is increasing, despite higher pricing, as more home owners try to reduce their carbon footprint.
Maybe backyard projects require lumber. Before you buy, draw a plan with precise dimensions. If you’re DIYing, it’s best to order the materials early in case of supply shortages or delays. Determine what materials you will need – lumber (pressure treated, cedar, PVC or other), plus hardware, gravel, and cement. Be sure to get three estimates if you decide to hire a contractor.
If you have been thinking of building a new fence or replacing an existing fence, you will see a wonderful selection of attractive fence materials available. Now you can put together your own fence using wrought iron style units or wood panels for privacy.
Creating a special space outdoors to spend time with family and friends is being made easier with a wide offering of attractive weatherproof outdoor furnishings and accessories.
An attractive way to shade your outdoor space, all-weather awnings or shades provides effective protection against harmful UV rays, wind and rain. Resistant to mould and mildew, they come in different shapes and beautiful colours. Look for environmentally friendly sail shades made with recycled material.
Children love playing for hours in and on the popular club house/swing and slide set combinations. You can build your own or order a ready-to-assemble unit. Take care to find a set that is built with sturdy, heat-reducing materials according to safety standards to reduce the chance of injury.
Solar-powered lights add a soft glow to your garden as they light your pathway and gardens. When you need brighter lights for dining, electric string globes are a popular choice.