Get your house in shape for iconic summer experiences
Ah, summer. You can feel it coming. Right now the weather may be teasing us with bright, mild days interspersed with chilly breezes and spring showers (which, oddly enough, always seem to fall on the weekend). Soon enough, though, the sun and heat will be here for real. Along with them come a number of iconic summer experiences. Here’s how to get your house in shape.
Yes, it will get hot. Sometimes very, very hot. Prepare for summer heat waves by tuning up your air conditioner today. Change the filter, clean the coils, and remove any debris from the exterior unit. If your A/C needs professional repair or replacement, call an HVAC contractor now before the peak season starts; on that July afternoon when the mercury reaches 100 degrees and keeps on rising, they’ll be booked solid.
If spring is here, school vacation is not far behind. Soon the kids will be home for two solid months. Can’t you almost hear the chorus of “I’m booored” in the air? Jumpstart a fun summer with a tad of advance planning. Sit down with your youngsters to craft an oversized wall calendar to hang in a prominent place in your house, mapping out activities for the vacation months — as major as a 2-week family camping trip or simple as an outing to the local library. This will give them a sense of structure and highlights to look forward to. Another vital piece of prep is making sure the home is child-safe. Update to tamperproof and/or GFCI electric outlets as appropriate.
Entertaining is a breeze in the summertime. Balmy temperatures and a casual mood mean you can comfortably accommodate a large crowd. You’re no longer limited to your living room, but can allow the action to spread out to the deck or patio. Get ready now by power-washing your exterior space. Depending on your decking material, you may have to replace any damaged planks, tiles, or pavers, then restain or reseal for easy maintenance. Then break out the barbecue.
Selling your home
The ideal time to put a home on the market is summer, when a freshly painted exterior and attractive landscaping will rev up the curb appeal. Set the stage for success by attending to often-neglected (but highly visible) details, like the doors of your garage, for example. Update their appearance … or if they are badly worn or more than 20-25 years, it might be preferable to install new garage doors, for good looks combined with the latest safety features.
I don’t know about you, but where I live, sunny weekends seem to bring out a yard sale on every street corner. Go along with this summery trend and you’ll reap triple benefits: Decluttering your home (clean, clear spaces just naturally feel cooler), meeting and greeting your neighbors, and pocketing a little mad money for your summer indulgence fund. Ice cream, anyone?
Along with all the pleasures of summer come a few downsides, like mosquito invasions. Check the condition of your door and window screens and repair them as necessary. To prevent mosquitoes from taking over your yard, trim bushes and other vegetation and remove any standing water. Even a small amount of stagnant water left outdoors in a pet’s dish or a clogged gutter can become a skeeter breeding ground if you’re not vigilant.
Lush lawns and gorgeous gardens
For many folks, summer is all about gardening — coaxing fragrant flowers and flavorful fruits and veggies from the earth. For others, it’s time to rise to the challenge of achieving a thriving expanse of green grass. Whichever you fancy, invest a bit of effort now for the payoff of a beautiful summer backyard. Clear away leaves and twigs left behind after wintry storms. Then seed your lawn and sow your ornamental or edible seedlings now so they will be strong and healthy before they are subjected to the full heat of July and August. Water frequently (before 10 a.m. for best results) until the new growth is well-established.
— Laura Firszt writes for networx.com.