Spring is a time of new beginnings, so it's the perfect time to start that home improvement project you've put off all winter. See our tips for projects to prepare your home for summer.
As you're cleaning and decluttering the house, figure out what you have and decide what you actually need. Donate unwanted electronics, housewares, and gently used clothing and shoes to charity. For other items, call your local recycling program to find out what's collected and how. Getting rid of these unwanted items will make your home feel lighter, larger, and more comfortable.
Minimize the mess and clutter that winter left behind. Wipe down windows, walls, and floors; polish wood furniture; dust light fixtures and ceiling fans; organize the entertainment center; corral countertop clutter; and tame untidy toiletries. But don't try to get all your spring cleaning done in one day. Focus on one room at a time and schedule different rooms for different days. Divide the jobs -- vacuuming, dusting, window washing, organizing -- among family members.
If this is the year you finally commit to a kitchen makeover, a sunroom addition, or a party-perfect outdoor room, do so with the help of a professional designer or decorator. They've got the expertise and experience to make your dream remodel a reality.
Refresh a room for spring with a new coat of paint. As you search for the perfect color, remember that paint often dries darker or brighter than the swatches. Sample on a piece of scrap cardboard or a small area of a wall first to ensure you love the color. Also, invest in a high-quality primer to ensure a long-lasting paint job. Rearrange the artwork -- after the paint dries -- to complete the fresh look.
Spring is the perfect time to put your home's best face forward with a fresh paint job. An updated color scheme can take your house from forgettable to traffic-stopping. The average exterior paint job lasts 10 years, so make sure it's done right. If your house doesn't require a full paint makeover, consider a touch-up, which can prolong the life of your siding and trim.
Nothing says outdoor entertaining like a deck designed to match your home and lifestyle. Because of their expertise and experience, professional designers can offer fresh ideas, anticipate code restrictions, and deal with unusual problems. Planning a new or redesigned deck begins with imagining everything you want the space to be. Even if your ideas seem far-fetched, don't discard them. Who knows? A design professional might make them a reality.
Vacuuming is likely a biweekly, if not weekly, chore in every home. However, you should give carpets a quality cleaning once a year to eliminate deep-down dust, dirt, and food particle buildup. Hire a professional, rent a carpet cleaner from a local home improvement store, or buy a professional-style model designed for home use.
When it comes to your lawn, there's no such thing as fashionably late. This spring, get the most out of your efforts by giving your lawn what it needs, when it needs it. Maintaining your lawn requires work -- mowing, trimming, fertilizing, and heading off or curing problems. If you'd rather leave the job up to someone else, consider hiring a lawn-care service.
Unless you live in a region that is warm year-round, pools are typically opened during the swim season and closed during the off-season. Beginning your pool season requires removing, cleaning, and storing the cover; removing the antifreeze chemicals from the plumbing system; refilling the water to an appropriate level; starting the equipment; and adding the first dose of chemicals.
The Alliance to Save Energy (ASE) says that a well-maintained cooling system will run more effectively, use less energy, and lower your energy bills. With that in mind, contact a professional heating and cooling contractor to inspect your system. Also, clean and replace air-conditioner filters regularly.
When you consider that your roof's drainage system annually diverts thousands of gallons of water from your house's exterior and foundation walls, you can see why it merits a semiannual inspection. Clean and repair gutters and downspouts every spring before heavy rains begin and late in fall after leaves have fallen.
Having your home's exterior and windows power-washed won't just make your home look sharp, it also will prevent the growth of mold and mildew that feed on grime. If you're not comfortable deciding whether your home's exterior can handle the pressure that will be exerted from the various pressure-washing nozzles available, hire a professional to do the work.