Projects for a Perfect Next Summer

Projects for a Perfect Next Summer


It may seem a bit premature to think about getting your house ready for next summer when this summer has just past. But now is the ideal time to get your outdoor projects completed before the 2018 summer begins. While the sky’s the limit in terms of what you can tackle, here are a few to get you started:

• Remember to follow an important rule of remodeling: Get at least two or three estimates, interview the owner of the company or a representative in person, ask for references, and see some finished jobs. If you schedule the work now for winter, some companies may give you a price break since their schedules then are sometimes slower.

And, if you’re planning on putting your house on the market before next summer, the pre-summer projects will help you improve your home’s curb appeal, especially as inventory continues to rise in most regions of the country.

• Add or fix that patio, deck, or terrace. No matter what it’s called, most homeowners today want to have an outdoor space for cooking, entertaining, sitting, reading or just snoozing. If you’ve already got a porch or deck but it has old wooden railings, one way to spruce them up for the long term is to replace them with low-maintenance, high-density polyurethane railings that resemble painted wood but only require occasional cleaning.

• Install a pergola. Do you wish your house was in Napa Valley or Italy so that your view might include a vineyard? You can capture a bit of that feeling with a pergola and other systems that you plant with greenery and vines. They’ll offer shade as well and can create a cozy place to read, talk or eat. Choose a design in weather-resistant PVC, which, left natural, will permit little maintenance.

• Incorporate lighting. There’s no reason you should have to stop enjoying your yard as the sun sets, but the key to doing so is to add lighting along walkways, by patios and outdoor kitchens, and in and around pools. These days you can choose designs that are decorative unless you want them hidden but also energy efficient. Add a ceiling fan on a screened porch or covered patio. Use less light rather than more and strive for dramatic shadows and visual interest. Trim energy costs by setting your outdoor landscape lights with automatic timers so areas are well lit once evening approaches but not lit during the day. Add lighting that’s whimsical and romantic, such as a string of party lights in zany motifs, Chinese lanterns or candles, and highlight favorite trees or shrubs.

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